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Archive for the ‘Foreign Cars’ Category

Electric Cars Grabbing Headlines, Changing Lives

July 24th, 2015

Porsche Pajun small sedan

Would anyone have guessed in 2005 that auto headlines midway through 2015 would focus so heavily on electric vehicles? From Tesla to Porsche and from upstarts to downfalls, electric cars are succeeding, failing, creating controversy, and setting records everywhere we look.

We recently covered the news about the fast-depreciating Nissan Leaf, and we’ve covered the rise of Tesla in these virtual pages since the Roadster was just a baby.

We’ve also seen the fall of Fisker, Coda, Aptera, and many more hopeful EV makers that never sold more than a handful of vehicles before going belly-up.

Here are some of the more interesting headlines from the last week or so regarding the best (and worst) in the EV world. If there’s any doubt that electric cars are here to stay, these stories might change some minds.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

How Much Is Too Much Horsepower?

July 17th, 2015

2015_bmw_m5-pic-1944578703047994224

707 horsepower.

640 horsepower.

Numbers like this used to represent the hottest, most expensive supercars on the planet. Today they describe the output of cars obtainable by middle managers and financially savvy blue-collar workers.

The Challenger Hellcat (707 hp) and the upcoming Cadillac CTS-V (640 hp) are examples of supercars for the masses; cars with power so great they border on dangerous.

Is all of that power necessary, or is it the result of thoughtless engineering meant only to upstage the competition?

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , ,

How Low Will They Go? Diesel Prices Keep Falling

July 15th, 2015

low_diesel_prices

I’ve noticed something at gas stations in the last few days that I can’t remember seeing in the recent past.

When I glance up at the fuel prices, I’ve noticed that the price of diesel is at or below the price of regular unleaded. How can that be? Diesel prices have, for as long as I can remember, been considerably higher than gasoline.

That’s been the tradeoff when buying a diesel. Sure, you get better fuel economy, but the price of the fuel offsets some of the benefit.

Those days have ended, at least temporarily, as diesel prices have retreated significantly. Why are they going down and what does it mean for car shoppers?

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Foreign Cars, Gas for your car..., General Chat , , , ,

Tacoma Versus Colorado: The Better Truck Falls Behind

July 14th, 2015

2015 chevrolet colorado-pic-3672756912968334547

Two trucks named after places are in the midst of an epic battle for superiority.

One is a long-standing stalwart in the industry while the other has evolved into something all-new after returning from a short hibernation.

The Toyota Tacoma, named after the third-largest city in Washington, and the Chevy Colorado, named for the 38th state to join the United States, compete in the U.S. to capture market-share.

Oddly enough, the truck that looks better on paper is the one losing the battle. In fact, it’s getting destroyed.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , ,

The Car That Eliminates Traffic Jams

July 13th, 2015

Tango_T600

Sometimes the beginning of major change happens with one simple “a-ha” moment.

I had one over the weekend, which I’ll describe a little later. But first, here’s what led to my moment of clarity.

While in San Francisco I had the opportunity to drive a Commuter Cars Tango T600 through heavy traffic into the city and back to the suburbs. The entire trip was about 50 miles.

The T600 is about as wide as a Honda Goldwing motorcycle, weighs as much as a Subaru Outback, has the rollover threshold of a Porsche 911, has four times as many side impact protection bars in its doors as a Volvo, and has quicker acceleration to 60-mph than most stock Ferraris.

No kidding.

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Car Minded, Car Review, Car Safety, Electric Vehicles, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , ,

Which Cars Still Look Great After Decades on the Road?

July 10th, 2015
1985 ferrari testarossa-pic-40441

The Ferrari Testarossa: Still a good-looking car!

If your family is anything like mine, going on a road trip generates plenty of interesting conversation. In many families, those conversations often end with intense bickering, due to heated opinions.

I’m lucky because our conversations tend to revolve around cars, but that doesn’t mean they’re not heated.

When the topic of cars that still look great after a couple decades came up, there were two distinct opinions .

The conversation began when a late model Ferrari California drove by while we shopped in the city of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif.

Our daughter thought the Ferrari was a Porsche and pointed it out first. Thus began the Great Debate of 2015.

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Car Minded, Exotic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , , ,

The Case for Car Brokers

July 7th, 2015

2015 land rover discovery sport-pic-294091176881838782

Even rich people love to save money.

There are some people in this world who could walk into any car dealership they want and write a check for any car on the floor.

Sometimes, though, they just don’t have the time to spend at the dealer and go through the hours-long process of buying a car.

For those people, and for regular car buyers like you and me, auto brokers can be a true blessing.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

Own a Land Yacht? Get a Dinghy Instead

July 6th, 2015

1988 Honda Civic

Three cars sat in the driveway, and there was only one that I desperately wanted.

We were high in the Sierra Nevada mountains somewhere just south of Lake Tahoe. My aunt lives in the area, and in her driveway sat a Lexus RX 350, an Audi Q7, and a 1988 Honda Civic.

The two luxury utes looked like behemoths next to the diminutive Honda, but that’s the one I would’ve loved to take home.

Here’s why.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Classic & Vintage Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

Does Your New Car Burn Too Much Oil?

July 3rd, 2015

oil1

I’m going to describe a problem with my car, and I want you to take some guesses on what year and make of car I own.

I have the oil changed on my car about every 5,000 miles. I’m actually quite good at keeping to the schedule and making sure the maintenance is done on a timely basis. I use full synthetic oil in the car, and most of my family’s driving is on the highway. We live 30 minutes away from civilization, so the car rarely, if ever, does trips where it doesn’t reach operating temperature.

The problem is that the car burns at least a quart of oil between oil changes.

Any guesses on the year and make?

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Car Minded, Car Parts, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , ,

The Most American Car in America Isn’t American

July 1st, 2015

2015 Honda Odyssey

It seems the old days of American-made cars consisting only of Ford, Chevy, and Chrysler have faded into the past faster than this season’s Red Sox victories.

Today’s “most American” cars come from foreign car companies, which makes things difficult for the people who like to buy American and who still believe American cars come only from the traditional Big 3 automakers.

Our friends over at Boston.com have a story about the “most American” cars, and three out of seven of them are from Honda or Toyota, with the number-one car being the Toyota Camry. Number two is the Toyota Sienna, and number four is the Honda Odyssey.

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Car Industry News, Car Lists, Car Minded, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,