2018 Nissan Leaf Debut: Yay or Yawn?

Nissan has been teasing its new electric Leaf for months. The sleek teaser images suggest a racy shape and a whole new Leaf experience.

It also came with the preconceived notion that it would come with a range on par with the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3. Nissan never made specific mention of that, but we all just kind of assumed it would step up to meet the competition.

The new Leaf was unveiled this week, and while Nissan may have expected much fanfare, it debuted to a whole lot of silence. Can anyone else hear the crickets?

The newly redesigned Leaf looks like a Toyota and has the range of, well… a Leaf. Continue reading >>>

Should This Safety System Be Turned Off While Driving?

Like about half of all drivers, I turned off an important, though irritating, safety feature in my car this weekend.

The incessant beeping of the lane-departure warning system routinely woke up my sleeping family as I drove home from a downtown event on Sunday. The shrill, fast series of beeps emanating from my Subaru is supposed to alert the driver that he or she is drifting outside of the lane, but somehow, on this drive, the system was picking up ruts in the highway instead of the painted lane markings and chirping in short bursts every 15 seconds.

I figured I had lived without the warning system for the first 20 years of my driving life, so I could probably make it the last few miles home without one.

And I did, with the family sleeping peacefully.

Timing is a funny thing, though, because the next day CNN published an article about how many crashes such systems have prevented and then warned against ever turning it off. Continue reading >>>

Which of These 2018 Cars Would You Call “Sexy”?

Toyota Camry vs. Audi A5

Which 2018 car would you call “sexy,” the Toyota Camry or the Audi A5 Sportback?

The English language includes many words that mean different things to different people. Just last week we published Test Drive Reviews of two very different 2018 cars that have each been called “sexy”: the debuting Audi A5 Sportback and the re-designed Toyota Camry. We think both cars have significant strengths, but we also think they’re different enough that Audi and Toyota must have very different definitions of that word. And because we want to know which automaker understands car shoppers better, we wonder which car you, dear readers, would be more likely to call “sexy.” Continue reading >>>

Which FCA Brand Does China Want Most?

Last week we brought you news that FCA, the company born out of the Fiat/Chrysler merger, may be sold to a Chinese automaker.

That would turn the once-iconic American Chrysler brand into a wholly foreign-owned corporation while giving a Chinese automaker entry into the coveted American car market.

This is a sale that could actually happen, but it may affect only one brand, leaving the rest of the FCA stable with a questionable future. Which brand looks most appealing to the Chinese? 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 >>>

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 >>>