10 Best Convertibles for All Seasons

2008 Land Rover Defender

Every once in a while, Mother Nature likes to throw us a real curveball. This February was a perfect example here in New England. After weeks of getting pounded by heavy snow, the clouds went away, the sun came out, and the temperature shot up. It was a little taste of spring—just enough of a taste to get us thinking about things like convertibles.

In a move any good New Englander should have predicted, Mother Nature ripped that all away after just a few short days, sending the region back into a bitter cold and bringing intense snowfall to some parts. Even with the temperature below 30, we still can’t get our minds off convertibles. If you’re like us, you probably don’t want to wait any longer to put the top down and drive with the wind in your hair. There are likely to be a few days in the near future when that will be possible, but what if Mother Nature changes her mind again, and you find yourself stuck with a convertible in the middle of a snowstorm?

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Cadillac Ad Spotlights American Materialism

Cadillac ELR ad, poolside

After what I saw yesterday, I kind of wish I was from France.

In France, and many other countries, people don’t live to work, they work to live. It’s not uncommon to take exceptionally long lunch breaks, work 4 days a week and even take the entire month of August off. New mothers often take far more time off in other countries than they do here in the States.

Why is that?

People in other countries value family time and personal growth over materialistic success.

Here in the U.S., that hasn’t traditionally been the case. We’ve been quite the opposite, working our tails off to accumulate stuff and all the debt that goes with it. We’re making slow progress in the other direction, much to the chagrin of marketers everywhere.

None, perhaps, more than Cadillac.

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Tesla’s “Gigafactory” Could Change the Future

Tesla Gigafactory

Today we will discuss an important theme: the future.

In the film Back to the Future 2, Marty McFly travels from 1985 to 2015 and encounters a future he didn’t expect, only to return to a present he never knew.

That’s on my mind today, because I’m watching the antics of crazy old scientist Doc Brown with my family while reading about a young brilliant entrepreneur and his plans for the future. Doc Brown needed 1.21 gigawatts to power his DeLorean, while this modern-day man plans a “Gigafactory” that could change the auto industry as we know it.

What is a Gigafactory? Read on, with no worry that you’ll learn too much about the future and cause a chain reaction that could unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the entire universe! This time, the future seems set.

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GM Recall Poses a Serious Safety Issue

2008 Saturn Sky

Sometimes topics in the auto world get pretty serious.

We like to have some fun and make light of certain situations, but there are times when humor is off the table. The fact is, building cars is a dangerous business. A lot can go wrong when putting together the pieces of these metal capsules that hurl us down traffic-filled roads at upwards of 70 miles per hour.

Usually, things go according to plan, and our vehicles safely transport our families and us for many years. When things go wrong, though, lives can be lost. Even worse is when an automaker knows about a problem, but fails to act in time to save lives.

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The Alfa Romeo Countdown Is On! For Real This Time!

Alfa Romeo 4C

Come on, you guys. This is it. For real.

Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, now known as Alfa Romeo, will return to the United States by the end of June. This June. As in within 4 months.

It’s okay to be skeptical, as the promise has been made, and broken, plenty of times in the last half-decade or so. This time we have the Alfa Romeo 4C to drool over, but don’t expect to walk in to your local dealer, negotiate a fair price and drive away with a new Alfa.

Why won’t it be that easy to secure a new Alfa all your own?

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In Defense of the Forester, and Other Automotive Oddities

2002 Subaru Forester

I ran that car ragged.

In virtually all the western states, I experienced plenty of big-city traffic, wide-open freeways, epic snowstorms and countless trips to Costco and Home Depot. Through it all, I can’t remember a single problem.

Purchased new in 2002, my Subaru Forester delivered perfect reliability for over a hundred thousand miles. I sold it only because I have a compulsive need to drive something new, or new to me, every few years. The Forester performed so well, in fact, that I’ve kept the model on my short list of cars to look for when it’s time to acquire a different vehicle.

In those quick searches it’s not uncommon to find the same model with over 200,000 miles on the clock. So why would a used Forester make a do-not-buy list?

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Audi TT: From Artistic to Aggressive

2015 Audi TT

You know a car is sleek when even the snow blows off it in an artistic pattern.

A friend of mine said that in an email that came with a picture of his Audi TT, fresh from coming home after a light powdery snow. He had a good point—the TT looked great, like it had a custom powder-white paint job (see the image at the end of this post).

Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of the TT, because to me, it looks a lot like its cousin, the Volkswagen Beetle. I do, however, appreciate the spirited performance and all-wheel drive along with the plush Audi interior that has helped make the automaker famous.

My other big drawback to the TT is that it simply hasn’t changed much during its existence and has always resembled a slightly used bar of soap.

With news of a new TT coming, I’m wondering if it’ll follow the same path or blaze an all-new one.

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Chevrolet Wants to Be More Like Ford

2015 Ford F-150

2015 Ford F-150

Talk about being ahead of its time.

There’s nothing better for a company than introducing a new product so revolutionary that your closest competitor can’t touch it for about 4 years.

Even better is when the competition’s product chief wants to get his hands on your product and examine how it was done so it can be copied. That’s called hitting a home run.

That is what Ford has done to GM. It’s not a knockout punch by any means, but the blow has effectively left the General staggering and grasping for ways to catch up. Round 1 goes to Ford.

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The Would You Rather Game: Karma Edition

VL Destino

Have you ever played the “Would You Rather” game? It’s a wonderful way to get to know someone or discuss topics that might not otherwise come up in conversation.

There are thousands of possible questions, including scenarios like: Would you rather have a million dollars right now or get $40,000 per year for the rest of your life?

Of course the questions can get a lot more serious, funny or downright inappropriate. Today we’re going to play one round of “Would You Rather,” but first I’m going to give you some details so you can make an informed decision.

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Changes at BMW: Front-Wheel Drive Becomes Reality

bmw_2_series_active_tourer

Nobody likes it when a dear friend changes. Change is hard to deal with and even harder to accept.

Sometimes change can even feel like betrayal, when something or someone you’ve known your entire life fundamentally changes on a level you never expected.

Whether we like it or not, things change. Thats true in everything from relationships to friendships and grocery stores and yes, even car companies.

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