Archive for the ‘Trucks & SUVs’ Category

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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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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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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Some of Our Favorites from the Los Angeles Auto Show

November 20th, 2015

LA Auto Show logo

Auto-show season has kicked off with the Los Angeles Auto Show. It runs through Nov. 29 at the L.A. Convention Center. The show hasn’t generated a lot of buzz, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t include significant debuts. Here are some notable new cars from the show (in no particular order).

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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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Chinese Buick Envision Seems Headed to U.S.

November 17th, 2015

Buick Envision chinese-spec-rear-three-quarter-02

Yesterday came some praise for the United Autoworkers Union because of its part in steering Ford towards producing a much-hyped new generation of a well-known pickup and SUV in the United States.

Today, the union may have some negative influence on a GM plan to introduce a new, economical Buick CUV to the U.S. market.

Typically the union would be all for a new model, because it would employ people and keep factories moving. This Buick, though, wouldn’t be built in the United States. It would be built in (and imported from) China.

Back in August we reported about the possibility of a Chinese-built Buick Envision CUV being sold here. The UAW lashed out immediately. Cindy Estrada, UAW’s vice president in charge of GM talks, said:

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Ford Bronco, Ranger Coming Back Thanks to UAW

November 16th, 2015

2020 Ford Bronco

I’m generally not a fan of the United Auto Workers union.

I believe that automakers should have the right to hire and fire whomever they choose, whenever they want, while paying whatever wages they deem fair. Without getting into a giant political debate here, I think we can all at least agree that the union has significant control over the actions of automakers.

One positive result from the UAW’s influence is the recent confirmation of a long-standing rumor involving the return of a favorite old workhorse.

Union contract negotiations can get intense and often involve salary increases, bonuses, performance pay, guaranteed work, and increased factory production. Ford’s recent negotiations with the UAW have resulted in something exciting:

The virtual guarantee of a Ford Bronco, along with a new U.S. Ford Ranger.

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Chevrolet Colorado Most Fuel-Efficient Pickup in America

November 13th, 2015

Chevrolet Colorado dieselThere’s an interesting battle going on to be the most fuel-efficient pickup truck in America. It’s interesting not so much for the fact that the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado 2-wheel drive with the Duramax turbodiesel engine is the winner.

Nope, what makes it intriguing is it turns out Americans do care about fuel efficiency, even with falling fuel prices. We don’t care so much how a vehicle gets fuel savings. We just want it to happen.

That’s according to a survey by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. It discovered in June that “[a] little more than half (52 percent) of respondents said it didn’t matter to them how a vehicle saves fuel and reduces emissions,” according to an article at the news site

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Don’t Call it a Comeback: Mitsubishi’s Still Here

November 12th, 2015


There’s one car company that has been on my “death watch” list longer than any other automaker.

This list has seen the likes of Suzuki and Isuzu die in the United States, as well as Hummer, Pontiac, and Saturn. I’m not 100 percent accurate in my predictions, though, because I also once had Buick and Lincoln on that list. Buick is now firmly off, but I still have some concerns about Lincoln.

The brand that I thought had the highest probability of disappearing is Mitsubishi, which has been in the top spot on my list for close to a decade. The fact that it has outlasted Pontiac still blows my mind.

With very little marketing and a product offering that impresses no one, the little Japanese company still manages to sell a car now and then. And rather than fold and move out of the market, Mitsubishi is preparing to step things up a notch.

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