More Than Just a Refresh: Our 2016 Toyota Tacoma Impressions

November 6th, 2015

2016 Toyota Tacoma 2662350292231816912-640x480

The return to availability of GM’s Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon last year gave the midsize pickup market a shot in the arm. Long a staple in what’s now one of the fastest-growing segments in the auto business, the 2015 Toyota Tacoma suddenly looked outdated. For 2016, it had to be more efficient, more comfortable, and more refined.

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Unlikely Classics: More Than $20,000 for That Thing?

November 6th, 2015
$21,000 of fun?

$21,000 of fun?

Nirvana has become classic rock.

While scanning through my programmed radio stations this week, I came across “Come As You Are” and turned up the volume. I was surprised when the song ended and the station identifier came on and said, “Your classic rock station.”

How could this be? The classic rock station plays CCR and Led Zeppelin, not Nirvana. Then it occurred to me that Nirvana debuted a good quarter-century ago, which I suppose would indeed qualify its music as “classic rock.”

That hurt a little.

It reminded me of the changing face of classic cars as we cruise toward the year 2020. Classics aren’t the typical old ’66 Mustangs and ’67 Chevelles anymore—they include some vehicles I never thought I’d see on a classic car list.

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SEMA Vehicles Demonstrate What’s Possible in Future Cars

November 5th, 2015

We are in the midst of the 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show running in Las Vegas. It’s the greatest collection of aftermarket parts and new carmakers anywhere in the world. Some great vehicles are presented at this show—some are simply outlandish, while others showcase what could be possible in future new cars, trucks, and crossovers.

Ignition Ford Edge
Ignition by Webasto Thermo & Comfort North AmericaOkay, so normally a crossover wouldn’t get your blood pumping, but the Ignition by Webasto brings luxury and performance together to make the Ford Edge, dare we say it, stunning? This Edge Sport features more aggressive handling while offering a comfort level associated with high-end luxury rides. It features carbon fiber components and performance-enhancing parts. It also boasts more power and tighter handling while including Webasto Thermo technology, which gives it a more luxurious feel. Our favorite feature would be the AG Luxury 22-by-9-inch wheels wrapped around Toyo Proxes rubber.

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Honda Civic Type R Coming to the United States… Eventually

November 5th, 2015
2016 Honda Civic Type R

2016 Honda Civic Type R

Today we have good news and bad news for you.

Here’s the bad:

If you live in the United States, you can’t buy the 2016 Honda Civic Type R. That’s bad news because the Type R is more than just a spiffed-up Civic. It’s a turbocharged 2.0-liter direct-injected VTEC 4-cylinder speed demon that spits out 310 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque at just 2,500 rpm. It comes only with a 6-speed manual and can rocket from 0 to 62 in 5.7 seconds while on its way to a top speed of 167 mph.

The car is based on the European Civic, which differs from the U.S. version, so there’s no chance it will be sold here.

But here’s the good news:

The 2018 version will.

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The Camaro Matures Into a True Sports Car

November 4th, 2015

2016 Chevrolet Camaro

There was a time I considered myself a muscle-car fan, but that’s also the time I started growing my first facial hair and noticing girls. My car of choice back then was the Ford Mustang. More specifically, I lusted after a 1965 Mustang with the V8 engine.

I never owned that car, but the 22-year-old me scratched the itch with a 1994 Mustang. Not the same, I know.

In my years of being a muscle-car fanboy, the Camaro was never my thing. I associated it with ramshackle neighborhoods and saw them sitting on concrete blocks more often than on tires.

In my mind, muscle cars never matured past the testosterone-filled teenage drag-racing stage. But that could change this year.

The muscle car may have taken a long time to grow up, but with the 2016 Camaro, I think it’s finally become a man.

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Detroit Electric: Exported to… Europe?

November 3rd, 2015


Detroit Electric.

If you don’t know anything else about the company, you might think it could be a local utility that provides electricity to Detroit homes. It could also be an electrical repair company that serves residential and commercial needs in the Detroit area…or it could even be a Detroit startup electric automaker.

With a name like that we certainly assume we know at least one thing about the company: That it does its bidding in the great city of Detroit.

Except in this case, it doesn’t. Believe it or not, electric carmaker Detroit Electric doesn’t even do business in the United States of America.

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Can Alfa Romeo Finally Take On BMW?

November 2nd, 2015

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Alfa Romeo is the unicorn of the United States automotive market. For years we’ve heard rumors of its existence, but very few people here have ever actually seen one.

That has started to change with the arrival of the 4C, but it’s still a rare beast that most people won’t ever see, much less own.

A rare car isn’t a great platform to build a comeback on, so the Italian automaker wants to introduce a slew of performance vehicles overseas and hopefully in the U.S. to try and turn Alfa from a rare unicorn to a ubiquitous presence. Is there room for another competitor to BMW and Mercedes-Benz?

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It’s a Real Jeep: Our 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Impressions

October 30th, 2015

2015 Jeep Renegade

Since 1941, Jeep has been the name brand for getting off the beaten path. The Ford Explorer may have taken the automotive glory in Spielberg’s first “Jurassic Park,” but if you pay close attention, you’ll notice that all the gas-powered vehicles on the island were good, old-fashioned Jeep Wranglers. If that’s not proof enough of a rig’s ruggedness, I don’t know what is.

The problem with the Wrangler, however, is that while it’s fantastic off road, it has never really excelled on road. Outside of the grande-size Grand Cherokee and Grand Wagoneers, Jeep has never really made a vehicle that was capable both in the mud and on the asphalt. Fast forward to 2015 and cue the all-new Jeep Renegade.

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What’s Your Favorite Utilitarian Car?

October 30th, 2015


There was a time when people bought cars for a specific reason. Sometimes it was for simple transportation, sometimes it was for moving stuff, and sometimes it was for traveling to remote locations.

Cars were built specifically for a purpose. People didn’t drive the Ford F-100 to the theater, they took the Buick Regal into town and left the Ford on the ranch for hauling hay.

Today’s cars have become multi-purpose vehicles and serve as family haulers, date night chariots, moving trucks, and off-road adventurers all rolled into one attractive wrapping.

Does anyone else miss the days of simple, utilitarian vehicles? Keep reading for a few examples of the best utilitarian vehicles ever available in the United States.

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The 2016 Camaro Goes Cross-Country

October 29th, 2015

2016 Chevrolet CamaroNow through Nov. 14, depending on where you live, you might just cross paths with the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro. Teams of journalists are driving some cross-country in a promotion called the Find New Roads Trip.

Chevrolet is bringing the Camaro East, West, North, and South across the United States to consumer events where you can get up close and personal with the exciting new coupe as well as the Chevrolet Malibu and Chevrolet Cruze. The Camaro is going to cover 48 states in 25 days.

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