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Archive for the ‘Foreign Cars’ Category

Kia Next to Compete With the BMW 3 Series?

February 8th, 2016

kia-novo-concept-02-1

Here are the carmakers you might expect to field competition to the BMW 3 Series:

Audi
Mercedes-Benz
Lexus
Acura
Infiniti
Jaguar
Volvo

Each of those automakers builds a vehicle that could be considered a sports sedan, and each has its own selling points and unique qualities when compared with BMW’s venerable sedan.

Other brands might like to get into the sports sedan game, but just don’t have the heritage to build a world-class competitor that would be taken seriously.

So a Kia entry in the sports sedan market would seem to have a snowman’s chance in summer, right?

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Best and Worst Super Bowl Car Ads

February 4th, 2016

Christopher Walken for Kia

Some assignments are just too good to pass up. Somebody needed to watch the current crop of automotive commercials for Super Bowl 50, and who better than me? I love cars. I love commercials. And I love sharing my opinion.

This isn’t an in-depth look at every single commercial. Rather it’s a quick critique of some of the best and some of the worst. In no particular order, except for the one I saved for the end, here are the best and worst automotive commercials for Super Bowl 50.

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Toyota Killing the Scion Brand, Keeping Some Cars

February 4th, 2016

Scion-C-HR-Concept

Perhaps you’ve heard by now that Scion will soon be a thing of the past.

The brand that Toyota created 13 years ago to win younger buyers and act as a platform for new ideas will dissolve. Most of the brand’s current lineup, however, will remain available under the Toyota umbrella.

Usually when an automaker decides to end a brand, it discontinues both the brand and all associated models. Think Pontiac, Hummer, Saturn…the list goes on. This isn’t a traditional discontinuation, though. It’s more like a rollover.

And that’s actually really good news.

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Could Narrow Cars Solve Our Transportation Problems?

February 2nd, 2016

toyota_i-road

You’ll laugh the first time you see a narrow car on the road.

There aren’t many just yet, so unless you’re driving the streets of Japan, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Seattle, your odds of seeing a narrow car are about the same as stumbling across a traveling fleet of motorized La-Z-Boys.

Narrow cars do exist, however, and it seems they might be starting to pick up steam, at least judging by media coverage for the last month or so.

The most famous narrow car in the news right now is the Toyota i-Road, a 3-wheel tandem 2-seater that is testing in Japan. It’s funny looking, but the i-Road, and cars like it, could shape the future of mobility.

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Car Minded, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, Exotic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat, New Cars , , , , ,

Building a Better Body: 10 Cars Worth Re-Imagining

January 29th, 2016

Jeep Gladiator Concept

The Jeep Wrangler is an insanely popular car. Not only is it one of the most sought-after used cars on CarGurus, but it also retains its initial value better than any other car on the market. Nevertheless, enthusiasts have been hammering Fiat Chrysler (Jeep’s parent company) to produce new and different versions of the Wrangler for years, and the returns on their efforts have been slow but sure. In 2007, Jeep modified the previously 2-door-only Wrangler and introduced the first 4-door Wrangler Unlimited. At the New England International Auto Show this year, we saw the Wrangler Backcountry: an extra-capable off-roading version of a car specifically designed to be extra-capable at off-roading. Until just recently, however, Jeep has failed to acquiesce to its fan base’s greatest demand: a Wrangler Pickup.

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Have Electric Cars Already Beat Fuel Cell Vehicles?

January 29th, 2016

2017-Honda-Clarity-Fuel-Cell

The price of electric cars is quickly falling into the $30,000 range. The Nissan Leaf, the upcoming Chevy Bolt, and, presumably, next year’s Tesla Model 3, will all be available for about the price of the average new car.

Infrastructure for charging electric vehicles is becoming more common and people are getting used to their limited range. Part of the reason for less range-anxiety is because cars are going farther on a single charge and taking less time to recharge.

Amidst the looming mass-adaption of EVs by consumers around the country, another type of alternative-fuel vehicle is starting to hit the market.

But is it too late for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles?

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Bad at Backing Up? Trailer Assist to the Rescue!

January 28th, 2016

2016-Ford-F-150-Pro-Trailer-Backup-Assist

I didn’t learn to back up a trailer until I was 37 years old.

Until then, panic set in whenever it came time to go backwards with anything attached to the hitch of my car. Especially at the dump. That’s where a burly man would point to the empty slice of space between two massive F-250 Super Duty trucks and expect me to back my trailer perfectly between them. I’d try, only to wind up with the trailer nearly parallel to my car while hanging my head in shame.

My dad, on the other hand, can expertly perform a 3-point turn in the space of a small driveway while towing a 35-foot boat.

I’ve gotten way better, and trips to the dump are now handled with confidence, but I definitely didn’t get the right gene passed down into my DNA. That’s why new functions such as Volkswagen’s Trailer Assist are not just cool options, they are vital to the ego for people like me.

Volkswagen recently released this fun new ad promoting its Trailer Assist feature:

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Toyota FJ Cruiser: The Unlikely Collectible

January 27th, 2016

2014_toyota_fj_cruiser

I may have accidentally cost myself a lot of money.

Since my son was about 10, he’s been in love with the Toyota FJ Cruiser and obsessed with having one as his first car. Being a loving and supportive dad, I told him that I’d pay half and match his contribution to buying one when the time came.

My son is 14 now, and his driving years are getting frighteningly close. He’s still set on having an FJ Cruiser, but prices haven’t exactly fallen like I expected.

Insead, some used FJ Cruisers are selling for more than when they were new. What’s going on?

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Jerry Seinfeld Sends $10 Million Worth of Porsches to the Auction Block

January 22nd, 2016

seinfeld-collection-porsche

Remember when we said that Barack Obama might be the coolest car guy ever? Well, he’s not.

In that same article we mentioned that Jerry Seinfeld could be making a case for himself with his web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Little did we know that Mr. Seinfeld is one of the world’s most exclusive Porsche collectors and owns one of the rarest stables of Porsches known to exist, including the very first 911.

That automatically ranks Seinfeld in the upper echelon of car guys, no questions asked. Three of his rarest vehicles will go on sale at auction in March, and are expected to fetch a staggering sum.

Here are the cars going up for sale:

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The Concept Kia Needs to Build

January 20th, 2016

Kia Telluride

Kia wants to get into the luxury game.

Its sister company, Hyundai, dabbled in luxury for a few years with the Genesis and Equus sedans before finally announcing that it would launch a separate luxury brand to compete with the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi. That new brand, called Genesis, will launch in Hyundai dealerships this year and offer up to six models by 2020.

This post, though, isn’t about Hyundai.

Kia also produces a luxury liner, the well-appointed K900, but it’s struggling to find a place in the world.

A recently completed long-term review of the car said,

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