Dodge Puts on Purity Ring, Promises Return to Roots

2013 Dodge Dart SRT

Dodge: Losing weight and gaining speed

Like many middle-aged American men, Dodge has grown fat and slow. Over the years, its passion for life and zest for thrilling speed have given way to bloated discomfort and expanding waistlines.

Why live fast and stay young and fit when you can fall into the comfort of wide seats and underpowered motivation?

Yes, the younger Dodge was strong and attractive, while the modern Dodge has pretty much given up on life. Dodge is the overweight guy who goes to Walmart in sweatpants and slippers, because he doesn’t really care anymore. He’s been married forever, has no one left to impress and would be happy in an existence of slow degradation until the end.

Sometimes all it takes is one event to inspire change. Dodge seems to have experienced that event and has vowed to “purify” itself, according to Automotive News.

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GM’s Solution to Recall: Just Buy a New Car

2014 Buick Regal

Sorry for the trouble. Buy one of these as compensation!

Let’s say you bought a car only to find out later it has a defect that could potentially kill you.

Would your first response be heading to your nearest dealer and buying a new version of the same brand to replace your defective car?

Of course not. That’s a silly question, right? Most people would simply want the car fixed, if possible. Others might have a more extreme response and sue the carmaker in question and vow to never own said brand again.

General Motors is still in the middle of its ignition recall and has made those affected by it a very strange offer.

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The War Pony: A Loyal First Car

1991 Ford Festiva

We called it the War Pony.

With a name like that, you might expect something like an old muscle car, but no, this was a 1987 Ford Festiva. A red one, just like every other older Festiva. This particular car was owned by my friend Wesley, who bought it as his first. Wesley is a Navajo native and, when I knew him, routinely drove his car from his job in Seattle to his home on the Navajo reservation.

Wesley worked as a Navajo language professor at the University of Washington and had over 250,000 miles on the old War Pony. Considering his commute, that was a source of worry for me. I routinely asked him if he’d ever get rid of it in favor of something newer since he was, after all, making a college salary. He refused, because the War Pony served him well, and he had no desire to get rid of it.

I lost touch with Wesley about 10 years ago. This weekend I heard from him out of the blue, and you can guess my first question:

“Are you still driving the War Pony?”

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Volkswagen: Obsessed with Growth as Sales Decline

2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI

One of the requirements of becoming the best in the world at something is to continually get better than your competition.

Volkswagen would very much like to be the best automaker in the world, and by best, I mean biggest.

Again, being the biggest requires a steady incline in size. Without growth, well, you don’t become the biggest. Rocket science, I know.

Volkswagen’s desire to be the world’s number-one automaker was last mentioned on these pages sometime in 2011. In the years since, how have the Germans come along on their goal?

Not too well, it turns out.

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More Big SUVs Coming to Hog Roads Near You

2014 Lexus GX 460

At least the Audi SUV looks good!

In a world where economy is king, gas mileage rules and fuel prices reach into the sky…

Two carmakers attempt to defy the odds and build luxury road-going barges to transport up to 9 humans on journeys throughout this vast land.

Can they appeal to the correct target? Will they sell well enough to justify their existence?

Most of all, can they compete with the existing ships of the road and establish a name for themselves?

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