Mazda’s Kai Concept Could Preview Upcoming Mazda3

Mazda used its home market’s auto show to wow the automotive world with a concept that’s likely to become the best-looking hatchback on the market today.

The Kai concept, which debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show last week, is a preview of what to expect from the upcoming Mazda3. That long hood and sculpted body are unlike any other hatch available and invoke the spirit of Grand Tourers from the past.

Why, however, would Mazda give this concept such graceful rear-wheel-drive proportions when it’s on a front-wheel-drive platform? There are other indications that the concept isn’t quite ready for prime time, but they’re minor enough to be modified for an upcoming production version. Will it happen? Continue reading >>>

Newest BMW Crossover: The Sedan of SUVs?

She said she didn’t want an SUV, but who doesn’t want an SUV?

Sport utility vehicles, crossovers, sport activity vehicles, and other variants of the high-riding 5-door vehicle class have all but closed the coffin lid on sedans.

Why buy a 4-door low-riding sedan with a traditional trunk if you can get a roomier cabin with a view that can also haul your Costco treasures with less fuss?

I thought everyone, and I mean everyone, was eschewing sedans for sport utes and crossovers. Everyone, apparently, except for a friend who said she was interested in purchasing our 2013 Subaru Legacy after I mentioned it was for sale. Well, either that or she wants to wait for a new car she just heard is coming down the pipe: a brand new just-announced BMW X2. Continue reading >>>

New Cars Losing Ground on Reliability

New technology that makes cars easier to drive, more fuel efficient, and better connected could also be the reasons why new cars are less reliable than they’ve been in the past.

It wasn’t that long ago when a car buyer could take home a sedan with a 5-speed manual transmission, a CD player, a steering wheel, a basic 4-cylinder motor, and air conditioning. Cars like that could be driven for decades with minimal problems. Heck, Toyota and Honda built their businesses on those cars and still benefit from that reputation for reliability.

Things are changing, though. As cars become more advanced, their reliability is decreasing. Continue reading >>>

This Exotic Carmaker May Finally Build an SUV

Choose the one that doesn’t belong:

Lamborghini Porsche Jaguar Rolls-Royce Bentley Ferrari Aston Martin Maserati

Those are some of the most prestigious automakers in the world. All produce cars worthy of royalty, and all are aspirational brands that only some of the wealthiest people in the world will ever buy. Everyone, however, can appreciate them.

But there’s one that doesn’t fit with the rest—one that has held onto its exotic roots and never strayed from its 2-door sports car recipe for success.

Until now. Continue reading >>>

Can Hydrogen Surpass Electricity As the Fuel of the Future?

Electric cars are quickly becoming the mainstream choice for alternative fuels. As has been well-discussed here over the last few months, cities, countries, and automakers are committing to the elimination of gas-powered cars and the adoption of electric ones.

Toyota was among the first to introduce electricity to the masses with the hybrid Prius, but now it seems to believe the fuel of the future is hydrogen.

Could electric cars be just a stop-gap on the way to a true fuel revolution? Continue reading >>>

Will Ram Change Everything, Again?

In 1994, the Dodge Ram changed everything.

Advertising for the new generation of early ’90s pickups took America by the storm, as the newest Dodge and its sleek, curvy looks captured the most macho of hearts.

People compared the front end to a semi truck, and the look transformed Ram pickups forever while elevating their perceived toughness.

While Ram trucks remain the third-best-selling truck brand in America, behind Ford and Chevy, the trucks have continually improved over the decades and have a devoted following of fans.

Now, thanks to a gust of wind and a well-timed photograph, we know how the next-generation Ram will look. Does it pay homage to the 1994 version that changed it all? Continue reading >>>

BMW May Move MINI Production to China

A British legend was born in 1959. No, we’re not referring to the great Tracey Ullman, but another icon that has become deeply rooted in British culture and is known around the world:

The MINI.

The economy car, originally produced by the British Motor Corporation, was voted the second most influential vehicle of the 20th century, just behind the Ford Model T and ahead of the Volkswagen Beetle. Production began in 1959 and continues to this day, though ownership has changed hands a number of times.

The famous British brand has been under BMW ownership since 2001, and now the German automaker plans to further dilute MINI’s English roots. Continue reading >>>

You Can Now Subscribe to Porsche, But Should You?

If you can’t afford a Porsche, you probably can’t afford Porsche’s new subscription program, either.

The idea behind Porsche Passport, which launches in Atlanta next month, is to provide subscribers with any model of Porsche they wish at any time they wish. It’s a compelling idea, but the privilege won’t come cheap.

Car subscription models are popping up in select markets around the country. One in San Francisco, for example, is offering cars for $99 per month and between 50 cents and $1 per mile. While those rates include gas, insurance, roadside assistance, and unlimited swaps, it won’t take many miles before the monthly costs exceed the price of simply buying or leasing a vehicle.

Will people pay even more for unlimited access to the Porsche fleet? Continue reading >>>

Tesla Model 3 Delays Could Lead Buyers to Other Automakers

Freezing air has descended upon my city. Those leisurely mornings of heading out to the car in shorts and a T-shirt have been replaced by scraping windshields free of frost.

I love my electric Nissan Leaf, because I can start and warm it up using an app on my phone while I stay toasty warm inside the house. My Subaru Legacy actually requires me to go outside and start the motor with a key.

This week I needed the Legacy, because my errands required more range than the Leaf could provide. That meant I had to brave the cold, trek outside, and start the Subaru so it would be warm for my family.

When I got back inside, my wife, who was getting ready in the upstairs bathroom, asked why the car was so loud.

“Because it has a gas motor,” I said.

Needless to say, we have become accustomed to driving electric.

We’ve been hoping the next electric car might be a Tesla Model 3, but with production problems pushing back availability of the car, we, like thousands of other drivers, may have to look elsewhere. Continue reading >>>