Hey, Where’s the Spare?

Have you ever had one of those mornings that can only mean a great afternoon is on the way?

You know the type of morning: You get out of bed a little late, which makes you leave for work a few minutes late, but as you’re backing out of the driveway, you notice a flat tire, so you transfer your stuff into your spouse’s car and take that one, only to spill an entire cup of coffee on your lap, because the cupholders in that car aren’t deep enough. (Maybe there’s something to that new Washington law disallowing coffee while driving.)

Just when you think you’ve made it through and have clear sailing to work, the road ahead is closed due to construction, and you have to take a time-consuming detour.

Later, when it’s finally time to change the flat, you discover that there’s no spare and no jack. Continue reading >>>

Autonomous Car Progress: Approaching Level 5

BMW iNext rendering

I thought adaptive cruise control was the coolest thing ever. Simply set the cruise to 70 miles per hour, and the car does the rest, even slowing down to match traffic when speeds drop.

I first experienced adaptive cruise control in 2014, and now, just three years later, we have automakers talking about “level 5” autonomy.

What is level 5? It means a car can control itself in all situations and doesn’t need a driver for anything. We’re not there yet, but some powerful and influential automakers are on the path to making it happen. Before level 5 cars arrive, lower priced cars will receive levels of autonomy that make my adaptive cruise look like technology straight out of 1999. Continue reading >>>

Mazda’s New Gas Engine Runs Like a Diesel

Has Mazda invented an all-new engine that can revolutionize the world of automobiles?

No, but it might be on the verge of perfecting one.

There are a few articles making their way around the Internet that claim the Japanese automaker has created a gasoline engine that works like a diesel engine. The motor ignites gasoline through compression rather than spark, thus providing the efficiency of a diesel. Continue reading >>>

Fiat Chrysler Could Be Sold to a Chinese Automaker

Chinese-owned Chrysler.

Those are words you might need to get used to hearing, as the possibility of a sale of Chrysler’s parent to a Chinese automaker has become very real.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA, has made it clear he’s looking to partner with another automaker. General Motors and Ford have both denied him, and now the auto exec is taking suitors from overseas. In fact, he has reportedly received and rejected one bid from a Chinese automaker, but that has opened the door to the possibility of receiving an acceptable offer for an outright takeover. Continue reading >>>

Will New Lineup Return Cadillac to Glory?

Cadillac currently offers four sedans, and it’s getting ready to axe three of them.

By 2019, the Cadillac ATS, CTS, and XTS will be history, leaving just the CT6 and two new replacements to handle sedan duty at Caddy dealerships. Not surprisingly, Cadillac is joining the masses in whittling down its sedan offerings to make room for SUVs and crossovers.

Sales for the sedans have been falling, and Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen is ready to take action to make sure Caddy remains a relevant and compelling brand. Continue reading >>>

Alfa Romeo Outsells Volvo and Jaguar

Coeur d’ Alene is a small sleepy city in north Idaho with a population of about 50,000 people. It’s nestled between mountains and a large alpine lake and serves as a summer playground for boating enthusiasts and a winter wonderland for ski bunnies. Its downtown is lined with mom-and-pop shops and locally owned restaurants.

Not much happens in Coeur d’ Alene, but it’s a popular escape from the crowds of Southern California and Western Washington. Aside from the mansions lining the lake, there’s no real indication that Coeur d’ Alene is a city with money. In fact, driving through town suggests quite the opposite.

So you can imagine my surprise when I drove by a dealership, in a part of town surrounded by convenience stores and fast-food joints, lined with row after row of Maseratis and Alfa Romeos.

You know those large Toyota dealers in big urban areas that are packed with acres of cars? That’s how this dealership looked. It was an exceptionally out-of-place sight and left me wondering why all those cars are there and who’s buying them.

I looked to Google for the answer. Continue reading >>>

Hyundai Ready to Let Genesis Fly

The Genesis car brand has grown up quickly.

Not long ago it was nothing more than a speck in the eye of its parent, Hyundai. Its early childhood was spent as the top model in the Hyundai range, then it grew into the new role of becoming its own brand while safely still living under its parents’ roof.

Now Genesis is already all grown up and desperate to leave the nest to try life on its own. Continue reading >>>

Toyota Turns to Mazda for Help with Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma is losing market share to the Chevy Colorado and Honda Ridgeline. This isn’t happening because people are losing interest in the venerable Toyota, but because Toyota can’t build them fast enough.

There’s a shortage of Tacomas at dealerships around the country, and buyers are turning to some very worthy competition instead of waiting for Toyota to catch up and deliver more trucks. This is a problem that’s new to Toyota, as decent competition in the midsize truck market hasn’t been a concern since… well… ever.

What’s Toyota’s plan to prevent more buyers from crossing over to competing brands?

Ask Mazda for help. Continue reading >>>

Gas Prices Rise as Car Prices Fall

Maybe you’ve noticed, but gas prices are going up again.

That’s bad news for drivers, automakers, and car dealers, but could be good for people in the market for a new car.

Low prices over the last couple of years have driven sales of trucks and SUVs while stifling sales of sedans and compact cars. If you’re one of the people who recently bought a big SUV, you might regret your choice once filling up the tank starts draining Benjamins from your bank account.

But there could be a great deal on a gas-sipper in your near future. Continue reading >>>

Nissan: The World’s Largest Automaker!

Over the last couple of years, General Motors, Volkswagen, and Toyota have vied for the title of World’s Largest Automaker.

Last year, VW took the title by selling more cars globally than any other automaker and proudly wore the crown as the largest carmaker on the planet.

For the first half of this year, Nissan has quietly snuck up and overthrown the reigning king. Did anyone see this coming? Continue reading >>>