Archive for the ‘Trucks & SUVs’ Category

High Mileage on Your Car? Here’s Some Perspective

December 31st, 2013

semi truck

Road trips often lead to interesting conversations about cars.

There are two cars in my family, a 2013 Subaru Legacy that was purchased new and now has 16,000 miles on the clock, and a “new to us” 2008 Audi Q7 with a shade over 80,000 on the odometer. Driving across the state yesterday, the conversation turned to what constitutes high mileage on a vehicle. The Audi drives as if it’s just been broken-in even though the dreaded 100,000-mile mark is only about two years away.

As we spoke, the rain poured hard and we were passed by a fast-moving semi truck. Even with the wipers at full force, the tidal wave of water rendered the windshield useless.

But that truck sparked a question:

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The Toyota Models That Should Go

December 27th, 2013

2014-Scion FR-S

Toyota makes some weird cars.

In an effort to dominate the world, the automaker has covered just about every segment with the exception of supercars. Come to think of it, it’s entered those exclusive ranks as well with the Lexus LFA.

From entry-level basic transportation to 4-wheel-drive off-roaders to luxury cruisers and everything in between, Toyota has a vehicle to meet the needs and wants of every human on Earth.

For now, at least.

According an article at WardsAuto, Toyota will streamline its product offerings and discontinue some models.

Keep reading for the list of cars Toyota should axe.

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New-Car Fantasy Fails to Meet Expectations

December 26th, 2013

Audi Q7 interior, three-row seating

Four kids, two adults, three rows of seats, two sets of grandparents, three black plastic yard waste bags filled with wrapped presents, 10.9 cubic feet of storage space, 11 hours of festivities and one new car.

That’s the recipe for one of the most efficient but exhausting Christmases ever.

The new car was purchased to solve the problem of taking 2 cars everywhere while safely and efficiently moving 6 people and all their stuff. The theory was that it would work flawlessly with happy children and ample space.

The car was a surprise on Christmas morning for the kids and provided a day of surprises for us adults.

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The Most Promising Cars of 2014 (So Far)

December 13th, 2013
2014 BMW M3

Photo courtesy of The Telegraph

It’s that wonderful time of year again: Snow is on the ground, holiday music fills the air, and automakers have started revealing all the fantastic cars that will be in people’s driveways come the new year. Although 2013 saw some fantastic cars come our way—cars like the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette, 2014 Cadillac CTS and 2014 Mazda3—we can’t help but look at 2014 with wide eyes, as some of the most promising cars many makers have turned out in generations sit just beyond the horizon.

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Car Lists, Car Minded, Cars Coming Soon, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, Exotic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs

The Best Engines of 2014

December 13th, 2013

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

The engine in my car never has, and never will, win any engine-of-the-year awards.

The 2.5-liter V6 in my 2004 Jaguar X-Type produces 192 hp and pulls the 3,400-pound sedan to 60 miles per hour in 7.9 seconds (when the check engine light isn’t on). My last tank of premium unleaded delivered 22 miles per gallon.

None of those numbers are even the least bit impressive by current standards. The truth is, they weren’t all that impressive in 2004, either.

One thing the engine has proved to be is reliable, as a mostly trouble-free 124,000 miles have rolled by so far.

Reading about the latest list of Ward’s 10 Best Engines sure gives me an inferiority complex, though.

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Honda Ridgeline Gets Discontinued and Reborn

December 11th, 2013
The 2005 Honda Ridgeline...

The 2005 Honda Ridgeline…

Some say it’s a truck in appearance only, used only by men who want a truck but who also have wives determined to keep that from happening.

The Honda Ridgeline has, for nearly a decade, stood bravely in the shadow of real trucks and pretended to be just as good. With looks resembling a cross between a Chevy Avalanche and a Subaru BRAT, the Ridgeline shook up the truck world when it went on sale in 2005.

In the years since, sales trailed off, and plenty of people relegated the truck to the “I’m sure it’ll be discontinued soon” list.

Like a real pickup in the depths of an unescapable mud pit, it pushed on, slowly, toward its ultimate demise. Two years ago news surfaced that the Ridgeline would finally, mercifully, be put out of its misery.

But then something crazy and unexpected happened.

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10 Best Cars to Tackle Winter

November 29th, 2013

1991 Toyota 4Runner

As we saw this past week, snow and ice can be quite a drag when you need to get somewhere—especially when half the country does at the same time. With Winter Storm Boreas hitting just in time for the Thanksgiving travel rush, we got to thinking about just which cars we’d prefer to take out in extreme winter conditions. Some of them are practical, some are sensible, and others are downright nuts—but they’re all cars we’d love to be in when the white stuff starts falling.

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Car Lists, Car Minded, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs

2015 Chevy Colorado Revealed!

November 21st, 2013

2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71

Just last week we caught word of the soon-to-be revealed 2015 Chevy Colorado pickup, and now we have official images and specs of the hotly anticipated new midsize truck.

The new Colorado is built for people who want strength and capability in a truck but don’t want to park a full-size one in the garage.

Also, the truck is a much better choice than a large and lumbering Silverado to take on an epic trek to the deadliest road in the world. Just something to keep in mind, because, well, you never know.

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Backup Cameras Could Save Lives of Children

November 18th, 2013

Blind-spot distances

Cars are dangerous.

It’s easy to forget that something so common in our lives, something so many of us safely use each day, can cause utter devastation in people’s lives.

Cars and trucks are essentially large, heavy chunks of metal that are capable of inflicting great damage. I was reminded of this fact by the tragic story of a Chevy Avalanche owner who accidentally backed over a child. It’s a terrible reminder that cars are dangerous, especially many of the late-model vehicles with sloped roofs, small windows and large blind spots.

Is a sleek look worth the added safety risk?

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Big Family, Big Cars, Big Prices

November 15th, 2013

family car decal

You’ve seen the stickers on the back of Suburbans everywhere. You know the ones, the little caricatures of each family member happily bouncing soccer balls or petting a puppy.

There’s usually a mom, a dad, 4 kids or more and two pets. Presumably they are all in the vehicle at the same time, and I’d almost guarantee they aren’t nearly as happy as their sticker-selves represent.

A lot of crying and yelling happens in the back of those Suburbans, I’m just sayin’.

For large families in need of a 7+-passenger vehicle, the choices are surprisingly ample. Expensive, but ample.

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