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.

Continue reading >>>

Which of These Electric Cars Couldn’t Go Up a Hill?

September 26th, 2014
Hint: It wasn't this one

Hint: It wasn’t this one

There are some things all cars should be able to do:

  1. Go
  2. Stop
  3. Make it up a hill

Pretty basic, right? The only car I’ve ever driven that struggled to make it up a hill was a 1987 Subaru GL. That car, for whatever reason, barely had enough power to drive over the added elevation of stripes in a parking lot.

I mention this because last weekend I attended an electric car show and managed to take an up close and personal look at some of the EVs currently on American roads. All were impressive.

One couldn’t make it up a hill.

Continue reading >>>

Should You Use an Auto Broker to Buy a Car?

September 25th, 2014

auto broker

The thrill of having a new car is rare enough in most people’s lives that it’s cause for a great celebration.

The process of buying a car, though, can be intimidating. It involves research, shopping, then finally negotiating a price and navigating a sea of dealer add-ons. Some people really enjoy the process, while others accept it as a necessary evil in car buying.

People who truly despise the process can turn to a broker for help with their purchase.

Advocates for using a broker like to use the argument that car dealerships are professionals at selling, so why not hire a professional at buying?

Makes sense, right?

Continue reading >>>

The Cadillac of Big Sedans Isn’t a Cadillac… Yet

September 24th, 2014
Cadillac Elmiraj Concept

Cadillac Elmiraj Concept

There are two great ironies in this world.

The Cadillac name, throughout the ages of its existence, has survived as a stand-in for luxury, even as the cars themselves have lost much of their cachet over the years.

Today we see and hear “the Cadillac of such-and-such,” over and over, as the name stands for the highest attainable levels of quality.

That’s great irony number one. Today’s Cadillac models, while fine cars, aren’t associated with the best of the best.

Great irony number two is this:

There’s isn’t currently a “Cadillac of Cadillacs.”

However, that is about to change.

Continue reading >>>

Should Toyota Build This Juke Rival?

September 23rd, 2014

Toyota C-HR

Toyota shouldn’t bother with the frivolous or deal with matters too far outside of mainstream acceptance.

The Toyota brand is about status quo. It’s about creating the cars that respectable middle-class suburbanites drive to their corporate jobs and to weekend retreats at friends’ lake places.

Toyota doesn’t do wild and crazy, because the people who own them don’t do wild and crazy. Yes, sometimes Toyota steps out and tries something a little more exciting, but at least in the United States, those crazy moments are disguised by a Lexus or Scion badge.

If shoppers want something really crazy, they know they can look to Nissan. But what if Toyota doesn’t want people turning away from the brand when they want to stand out?

Enter the C-HR Concept.

Continue reading >>>

Corvette Stop-Sale Raises New Questions

September 22nd, 2014

2015 Chevrolet Corvette

When you build cars, it’s kind of important to attach all the pieces.

Major automakers have figured out how to do this with impressive precision, while smaller companies can be forgiven for overlooking a small part.

But when the world’s largest automaker misses parts on its most important car, you just have to wonder what’s going on internally. Especially right on the heels of the company’s biggest recall ever.

Continue reading >>>

10 Cars That Can Make Getting Stuck in Traffic Enjoyable

September 19th, 2014

traffic jam 788d2c4451aa43c4

Traffic is a universal awful. Anyone who has to commute to and within a major city knows just how much time and patience every rush hour consumes. And with the addition of continuous large-scale construction, these delays only escalate. Let’s look at a specific case study: Construction on Boston’s I-90 Prudential Tunnel has reduced lanes and caused congestion in both directions as MassDOT improves it. Knowing Boston construction timelines, or really planned construction anywhere, this will take a while. So if you’re driving through a massive construction project, or simply commuting through rush hour, you might want to consider the cars listed below. They have a comfort level and entertainment packages that can fend off the frustration of sitting in traffic. Most of these entertainment options are, of course, only for passengers. We don’t want any drivers taking advantage of the DVD system or WiFi. That could be dangerous or, even worse, cause even more traffic behind you.

Continue reading >>>

2015 Ford Mustang: Better Than a Scion FR-S?

September 19th, 2014

2015 Ford Mustang

I think it’s safe to say that Top Gear is a respected and trusted source of automotive news and opinion. When the television hosts or blog writers give an opinion, the world tends to listen.

When I saw the headline that the British blokes had driven the upcoming 2015 Mustang, I prepared myself to read about Ford’s still-inferior performance, interior, steering, yada, yada, yada.

Instead what I read was an absolutely glowing take on the pony car that has taken 50 years to finally arrive on UK shores. That’s great for them, but what will it mean to Mustang purists here in the United States?

Continue reading >>>

Cars on Autopilot: Self-Driving or Drive Yourself?

September 18th, 2014

volvo_autopilot

The first autopilot system in an airplane was developed in 1912, just as car technology was in its infancy. In the 102 years since, airplane technology has evolved so aircraft can virtually fly from point A to point B by themselves.

The human pilots are there to monitor progress, handle takeoffs and landings, and be prepared for emergencies.

We all accept the fact that planes fly themselves, but transfer the technology to cars and widespread panic sets in.

The terms “self-driving” and “autonomous” are thrown around by automakers, and perhaps most famously by Google, to describe their efforts to create a car that drives with limited human interaction. Some automakers are embracing the technology, but now at least one has put the focus back where it belongs: on the driver.

Continue reading >>>

Celebrating 60 Years of Ferrari Design

September 17th, 2014
2014 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

2014 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

In 1954, America changed forever.

This wasn’t because of a traumatic event or even something that seemed all that significant when it happened. The impact, though, has spread across six decades and left a trail of inspiration and breathlessness, along with plenty of burned rubber and lofty aspirations.

It was in 1954 that Ferrari formed an alliance with the North American Racing Team and began selling cars in the United States. Over the next 60 years, Ferrari won countless races and produced some of the most exhilarating and beautiful automobiles to ever scorch the pavement.

With a 60-year anniversary car debuting next month, let’s take a moment and look back at some of the most influential Ferrari designs in U.S. history.

First, though, I want to share what little info there is about this 60th anniversary car. AutoEvolution says,

In all likelihood, it is expected that this car will be based on the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, and it will add an exclusive exterior and interior design to account for the price jump of almost $3 million; a standard 2014 F12 Berlinetta starts at $318,888. Among the upgrades include a distinctive blue paint scheme with white stripes acting as a throwback to the Ferraris raced by the North American Racing Team (NART) from the 1960s through the 1980s. Big changes are also expected inside this car.

For $3 million, it had better be special! Not that it matters, because word is that only 10 vehicles will be produced and all are already sold. With that in mind, here are my favorite Ferrari designs from each decade:

Continue reading >>>