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Archive for the ‘Trucks & SUVs’ Category

Our 10 Favorite Truck Innovations

September 26th, 2014

2010 Ford SVT Raptor

When it comes to variety in vehicle choice, nothing beats a pickup. The number of trims and options available to the customer nowadays is staggering and may even seem overwhelming. But trucks are good like that: They evolve with customers’ needs. Aftermarket products often lead to manufacturer options and eventually become standard features. So we’re going to take a look at some of our favorite innovative pickup truck features that have arrived over the years. Of course, we have to go back a little ways to find out when some of these innovations first surfaced, but a lot of them have appeared within the last few years.

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Car Lists, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Classic & Vintage Cars, Domestic Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs

The 2014-2015 Season’s 10 Best Tailgaters

September 12th, 2014

2010 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500

The football season is officially in full swing. Now Sundays (and Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays for college, and Fridays for high school) will be spent staring at the TV, checking your fantasy lineup, and, if you’re lucky enough to actually go to the game, tailgating. Ah, tailgating—there are few things better in the world than cooking hamburgers in a parking lot on a chilly autumn day. There are two essential ingredients to tailgating: good food and a good vehicle. And here we have a list of some of the best vehicles for tailgating.

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Car Lists, Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs

The Opposite Ends of Mercedes-Benz

September 10th, 2014

Mercedes AMG GT

Should You Buy a Used Unimog?

What’s a Unimog, you ask? Well, if we look to the reliable and almost-always-accurate Wikipedia, we’ll learn that Unimog is a range of multi-purpose 4-wheel-drive trucks produced by Mercedes-Benz.

With diesel power, high ground clearance, a flexible frame and a powerful off-road ability, Unimogs can be found in places where other motor vehicles dare not go.

That includes the freeways of Los Angeles, where one very famous Unimog once lived.

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Safe Vehicles for Carpoolers and Soccer Parents

September 5th, 2014

A Ford van empties at school

The back-to-school season and fall sports have begun, and if you’re the parent of a child who plays any of the many fall sports, you know how important your vehicle will become when bringing athletes to their practices and, more important, games. Carpooling will become an essential part of your everyday commute, and you’ll want a vehicle that can hold as many teammates—and all their equipment—in the safest way possible. Well, we’ve compiled a list for you that takes all of that into account. We looked at the number of seats, the amount of cargo space available and the safety rating of all the minivans and SUVs on the market, and we found the best options for getting your athletes (and their friends) to games and back.

Every vehicle on this list has seating for at least 7 and a terrific safety rating. Seven of the 10 vehicles on this list have a perfect NHTSA 5-star safety rating, while the other three (the Dodge Journey, Lincoln Navigator and Toyota 4Runner) are just below the threshold of perfection and make up for it in other relevant ways.

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Car Lists, Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs

A Jacked-Up Jag and Other Auto Atrocities

September 1st, 2014

jacked up jag

I only saw it for a moment.

While driving out of town and heading north toward my favorite lake, I turned my head, because something odd caught my attention. In a parking lot on the other side of the highway sat what appeared to be an older Jaguar.

In itself, that observation was nothing spectacular. But this Jag was different, because its body sat a good 6 feet above the suspension and tires.

Someone had taken that little Jag and turned it into a monster truck. As a guy who appreciates Jaguars and other non-monster types of vehicles, I don’t understand modifications that take a car and turn it into something it was never meant to be.

We may not understand the motives behind such auto atrocities, but we can stand back, laugh, and silently criticize the cars that no one else will ever want. I will say this, though:

Each of the cars pictured below must have taken a labor of love to create. While these aren’t my taste, at least someone had fun making them.

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Car Minded, Classic & Vintage Cars, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , ,

The Most Exclusive Used Car in America?

August 28th, 2014

Land_cruiser_series_70

A couple of days ago, CarGurus posted a link on its Facebook page to an article listing the top 10 cars we can’t buy in the United States.

It wasn’t a bad list and featured the usual suspects from Seat, Citroen, Holden and Land Rover. The list neglected to mention a true international classic, though, which has soldiered on since 1984 and is still sold new. This vehicle has been marketed and sold around the world, with the exclusion of a few countries in North and South America.

It’ll never be sold new here in the States, but it is possible used versions could be imported.

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Cars That Will Be a Big Help on Moving Day

August 22nd, 2014

2008 Toyota 4Runner

September 1 is quickly approaching, and if you’re familiar with Boston’s seasons, you know what that means. The city’s population will see a 20% swing in one day as everyone’s lease begins. The streets will be jammed with moving vans, students and parents will desperately try to move large pieces of furniture into dorms and apartments, and everyone will wish that their lease began sometime last week. And with this frustration comes the most wonderful time of the year: Allston Christmas. So, you’ll need a vehicle to move your stuff into your new apartment or pick to up that abandoned recliner you could really use off the sidewalk (I mean, it’s really nice, who would just throw that away)?

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Saving Fuel: New Car or Just Drive Slower?

August 19th, 2014

Canadian gas prices

Don’t be deceived by the gas signs when traveling abroad.

Gas prices here in the States are about as high as they’ve ever been, hovering just below $4 per gallon in my area. The premium stuff is $3.89 at my corner station.

That makes filling up my SUV a major account drain. In fact, there should probably be men in suits and dark glasses verifying account balances before drivers are allowed to enter a gas station’s general proximity.

Having a rig that gets 20 miles per gallon, tops, is expensive. Unfortunately, it’s also necessary when you have a family of 6 and enjoy adventurous car camping trips in another country.

A Toyota Prius just isn’t going to cut it.

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Driving a Large Truck? Read This First

August 13th, 2014

2003 Freightliner Fl70 24_ft_box_truck_4_lgw

I began life as a delivery boy.

Well, after actually being delivered at the hospital, I basically went right to work as a delivery boy for my dad’s business.

I didn’t deliver pizzas like most young people; I delivered mattresses, because my dad owned a mattress company.

My point in mentioning this is that I became more familiar with driving a 24-foot box truck than I did with the ’84 Accord I used to get to and from work.

I quickly learned that right turns need to be as wide as possible and low-hanging branches can punch right through the box.

These are things that people who have never driven a large truck might not think about, yet every day moving companies happily hand out keys to people who have never driven anything bigger than a Miata.

This topic came to mind because of a Facebook meme that made me laugh, but makes a very good point.

IMG_5461

That said, here are tips for driving a large truck:

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Car Minded, Car Safety, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , ,

The Little Trucks Are Coming Back!

August 6th, 2014

GMC Canyon Chevy Colorado

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, small trucks were seen everywhere and proudly driven by guys and gals who wanted the occasional utility of a pickup bed but not the gas-mileage penalty of a large truck.

The small trucks were inexpensive, had a tough look and often came with a capable 4-wheel-drive system.

Once the 2000s hit, small trucks all but disappeared in the U.S., because automakers decided that truck buyers should buy basic full-size trucks instead of compact trucks.

Now some are changing their tune, as GM will bring back two of the trucks we all miss so much.

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