Archive for the ‘General Chat’ Category

A Quarter of all Audis to be Electric Within 10 Years

December 1st, 2015


The electric revolution got another dose of support late last week.

Considering how much media coverage electric cars get, a person would be forgiven for thinking EVs constitute a somewhat hefty portion of car sales. The truth, though, is that the market for plug-in electric cars in the United States is ridiculously small.

Through the first nine months of 2015, EVs accounted for only .62 percent of new car sales. Yes, the market share for electric cars is currently well below one percent.

That number should rise as more automakers provide more options and as the logistical issues of limited range and a lack of charging stations are addressed.

But who will step up and cater to such a small market?

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The Start/Stop Button: A Silent Killer?

November 30th, 2015


A huge lawsuit against ten of the world’s largest automakers was quietly filed last summer.

The suit claims at least 13 people have died due to a major safety defect in automobiles made by BMW/MINI, Mercedes-Benz, FIAT/Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda/Acura, Hyundai/Kia, Nissan/Infiniti, Toyota/Lexus, and Volkswagen/Bentley.

The issue has nothing to do with airbags, faulty ignitions, or sudden unintended acceleration. The problem is with a system we all take for granted that no one thought could end up killing people.

The Start/Stop button.

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GM’s Truck Twins Could Save the Diesel Name

November 27th, 2015

2016 GMC Canyon

For as long as I have been a car guy, I remember people begging automakers for a diesel-powered midsize pickup.

We watched the likes of the diesel Toyota Hilux power through Europe and trudge through the Arctic and then looked at our comparatively lame gas-powered Tacoma trucks in disgust. We lusted after diesels here for years, and finally, an unlikely carmaker has delivered.

It wasn’t Toyota, as we might have expected, but General Motors. And that was after, mind you, the company cancelled and then brought back its midsize trucks.

The Colorado diesel just won Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year award and now also has the title for most fuel efficient truck in the United States.

Could this be the vehicle that saves diesel’s name here?

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Five New Cars That Make Us Thankful

November 26th, 2015

2016 Toyota Tacoma
Here in New England, autumn holds a special place in our hearts. Be it the changing leaves and cooler temperatures, the knowledge that bitter cold and long nights are just around the corner, or the New England Patriots’ triumphant march toward the playoffs, the fall season brings with it a sense of comfort. Timed perfectly with the season’s capstone in America’s northeast corner, Thanksgiving manages to wrap up this autumnal attitude and outlook, bringing together families for a yearly reflection (and plenty of slumber-inducing turkey).

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Questions and Answers About Winter Tires

November 25th, 2015

Snowy roadWinter weather has already started its sloppy march across the northern parts of the United States. But that doesn’t mean it’s too late for some winter tire advice.

Why do you need winter tires? The fast answer is handling. Well-designed winter tires have deeper treads than summer or all-season tires. (The latter, by the way, are really three-season tires if you live in the snow belt.)

Winter tires’ deeper treads help them deal with snow and the icy precipitation that creates slush. An interesting side benefit of winter tires is that they improve traction by packing snow in those treads for better grip on snow.

Also, winter tires are designed with tiny slits in the treads (or as Bridgestone calls them “snipes”). These provide biting edges on ice that help with acceleration, deceleration, and stopping.

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The Convertible SUV: Why Does This Keep Happening?

November 25th, 2015


Who buys a convertible SUV?

The SUV is meant to be a cargo-ready family transport vehicle that can traverse through nearly any weather.

Convertibles are meant to be summertime cruisers for couples on weekend road trips.

No one meant for the convertible and the SUV to hook up and produce a monster. It’s like combining tuna and ice cream, two things that are fine on their own, but together… just… no.

There’s a new convertible SUV about to hit the market, and it’s just as unnecessary as the previous ones.

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Despite VW Troubles, Bugatti Chiron Marches On

November 24th, 2015


Would you want a hypercar that can knock the wind out of passengers?

We could argue that the hypercar era was ushered in by the 2003 Ferrari Enzo, then secured with the introduction of the Bugatti Veyron. Some might even say that McLaren brought us into the world of hypercars with the 1992 F1.

The last decade has seen a veritable explosion of hypercars, and the next one from Bugatti could be the one to knock the wind out of all of them.

Assuming there’s a priority to build it.

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Chevrolet Sweeps Car of the Year, Truck of the Year Awards

November 23rd, 2015

2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS

It’s a good time to be Chevrolet.

The automaker won two of the industry’s most sought-after awards as its all-new Camaro sports car won Motor Trend’s Car of the Year and the Colorado diesel truck won the magazine’s Truck of the Year award.

It’s not unheard of for one company to take home both awards in the same year, but it’s not a common occurrence either. For Chevy to do it now, at a time when some of the best cars and trucks the world has ever seen are on the market, is quite remarkable.

Plus, there’s at least one more trick up Chevy’s sleeve that could secure it even more hardware for an already packed trophy case.

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Depreciating Darlings: The 10 Best Used-Car Bargains

November 20th, 2015

2012 Dodge Grand Caravan

As soon as a brand new car leaves the dealer’s lot, the depreciation phenomenon commences. There are plenty of reasons to spring for a new car with an empty odometer, of course. They come with great warranties, include the latest technologies, offer the buyer peace of mind with regard to the vehicle’s history, and, naturally, they come with that wonderful new car smell. However, to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes and your new car depreciating as soon as the rubber rolls of the lot.” We took a look at the data and found that although some cars quickly lose value for good reason (looking at you, Mitsubishi Galant), there are others that actually become pretty great deals. If the smell of organic materials off-gassing is of paramount importance, feel free to pay the premium for your brand new car. If you don’t mind waiting a few years, however, we’ve picked 10 vehicles that offer incredible value on the used market.

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Do You Own One of the Most Unreliable Cars?

November 20th, 2015

2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

How badly would you feel if you spent tens of thousands of dollars on a car, only to have it in for repairs nearly as often as you spend behind the wheel?

People buy certain brands for their known reliability, but even some of those aren’t exempted from a new article about the 20 most unreliable cars from Consumer Reports.

Interestingly enough, nowhere on the list are those vehicles traditionally panned for their unreliability. There are no Jaguars, and there are no Land Rovers. There aren’t even any electrics.

The list is dominated by American brands, with a few Japanese and Korean brands, and is made up of sports cars, SUVs, economy cars, and luxury cars.

Below are some of the more surprising vehicles on the list. Do you own one?

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