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Archive for the ‘Trucks & SUVs’ Category

Day Two at the Javits Center: The New York International Auto Show

March 25th, 2016

Honda Civic Hatchback Concept

Day Two began with the World Car Awards. Backed by a surprisingly loud, club-ish soundtrack and some odd song choices (maybe intended to help attendees wake up after a very long Day One?), the Toyota Mirai fuel-cell vehicle got the World Green Car Award, the Audi R8 Coupe took the World Performance Car Award, and the BMW 7 Series won the World Luxury Car Award. Mazda managed to take two trophies, as 2016 World Car Design of the Year and World Car of the Year, with its MX-5 Miata, and having driven the car ourselves, we heartily applaud the WCA jurors’ decision.

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Day One at the Javits Center: The New York International Auto Show

March 24th, 2016

2017 Porsche 911R

The New York International Auto Show hosts more than a million visitors every year, and we are excited to report on the biggest news from day one. From a 120 MPGe Toyota to a 565-hp Nissan GT-R, an all-new pair of Subaru Imprezas, and a $72,000 Maserati SUV, NYIAS did not disappoint.

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Have CUVs Replaced the Family Sedan?

March 24th, 2016

2016_jeep_cherokee

For every Mazda6, Volkswagen Passat, Subaru Legacy, and Chrysler 200 sold so far this year, more than two CX-5s, Tiguans, Foresters, and Cherokees have left dealer lots.

The midsize family sedan, once a ubiquitous sight on American highways and in suburban garages, is being replaced by the car-based crossover.

Today’s CUVs offer the same interior seating capacity as sedans, but offer additional cargo space that’s also more accessible. Plus, CUV drivers sit higher and have a better view of surrounding traffic, while available all-wheel drive can handle almost all road conditions.

Have we reached the point where CUVs have replaced sedans?

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10 Kinds of Cars We’d Buy to Share

March 18th, 2016

A Ford van empties at school

With the exception of a home, a car is the most expensive purchase a person will likely make (and we hope that home and car aren’t the same thing). Considering the improvements in safety, powertrain, and infotainment technologies, it’s not surprising to see vehicle prices rising at or above the rate of inflation. So, with the fiscal scope of a vehicle purchase firmly in mind, we have to ask: why don’t more people share cars? We posted an earlier article about the prevalence of ride-sharing services and their impact on consumer purchasing trends. While Uber and Zipcar have certainly given drivers more ways to get around, car ownership still seems to be the clearest path to unlocking the flexibility and freedom that a set of wheels can provide.

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Make Room for a Third South Korean Automaker!

March 17th, 2016

Ssangyong-SIV-2-Concept

A South Korean automaker, Ssangyong, says it wants to join Hyundai and Kia in the U.S. market within three years.

While interesting and exciting, news like this is always taken lightly because entering the U.S. market is, well, really hard.

It’s especially difficult for a company with a troubled past, uncertain future, and hard-to-pronounce name. Ssangyong has been owned by South Korean company Daewoo, Chinese company SAIC, and is currently controlled by India-based Mahindra.

Ssangyong does make a robust line of CUVs and SUVs, a segment that is enjoying tremendous popularity here in the U.S. thanks to low fuel prices. On the surface, a line of inexpensive CUVs seems like an easy sell here. The company has plenty of obstacles to overcome, though, if it wants to succeed.

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New XT5 Foreshadows the Future of Cadillac SUVs

March 16th, 2016

2017 Cadillac XT5 luxury crossover

Up until recently, a Cadillac SUV is something we didn’t know we needed.

Plenty of folks questioned the rationale for Cadillac SUVs in the early days of the Escalade. The arrival of the SRX didn’t do much to help the company’s case as it struggled to gain a foothold against the likes of the Lexus RX 350 and BMW X5.

Cadillac seems to have it going on now, though. The SRX has improved enough to become Cadillac’s best-selling model, but it is now being replaced with the XT5, a 5-passenger rig that boasts a sophisticated, comfortable, and contemporary interior made from top-notch materials.

The exterior is sleeker and less clunky than the outgoing SRX and features plenty of LED lighting, along with a design that may not turn heads, but will at least keep people from looking away.

What’s most interesting about the XT5, though, is what it foreshadows for the future of Cadillac.

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Staying Power: 2015s with Shelf Life

March 12th, 2016

2015 Ford Mustang

To most people, spring means longer days, sunny skies, and flowers in bloom. For us, however, spring also means great deals on outgoing model-year vehicles. While some cars, like the Honda Civic and Mitsubishi Outlander, received enormous changes between the 2015 and 2016 model years, others enjoyed more modest enhancements or were complete holdovers from the year before. It’s these cars — the unchanged models — that we want to find.

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Ford F-150 Being Investigated for Brake Failure

March 10th, 2016

2014 Ford F-150 STX SuperCrew

Ford sells more trucks in America than any other brand. Most of the Ford trucks sold are the F-150 model, 700,000 of which left dealer lots last year.

The truck is popular with suburban families, city-dwelling contractors, rural ranchers, and pretty much anyone else who wants a capable, comfortable, rugged vehicle for his or her personal fleet.

There’s a problem emerging, though, in Ford’s perfectly calibrated sales machine.

The U.S. government is investigating certain 2013 and 2014 F-150 pickups amid complaints that the trucks can suffer from a sudden and complete loss of braking.

Keep reading for more details, and what to do if it happens to you.

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Could a 707-HP Jeep Wrangler Hellcat Actually Happen?

March 8th, 2016

Jeep_Wrangler_Trailcat

Dodge rocked the automotive world when it unleashed the fiery and sinister 707-horsepower Challenger Hellcat upon the earth.

Up until that point, an engine with 700 ponies was reserved for cars with exotic nameplates that had prices stretching into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

With the introduction of the Hellcat, Dodge managed to bring ungodly amounts of power to any mere mortal with a spare 60 grand and, not surprisingly, mortals have gobbled it up. Since dealers have no problems selling the Hellcat, the engine has migrated into the Charger and will next show up in the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

You read that right. Your friendly neighborhood family hauler might have a 707-hp secret. But that’s nothing compared with what could come after that:

A Hellcat-powered Wrangler.

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Reliable Rides: 10 Used Cars You Can Count On

March 4th, 2016

1969 Chevrolet C/K 20

Expected reliability is the single most important factor in deciding on a car, according to J.D. Power. Whether you want a vehicle for off-roading, track days, or everyday commuting, you definitely don’t want one that will cost you a lot of extra money, time, or frustration in repairs. J.D. Power’s annual Vehicle Dependability Study, now in its 27th year, polls owners of 3-year-old cars to determine the number of problems they experienced during the previous 12 months. The company then ranks each maker and model by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles.

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