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 >>>

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 >>>

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 >>>

China’s Big Decision Would Impact U.S. Auto Strategy

GM will offer this EV for about $5,300 in China

This is big.

For a few months now, we’ve been following stories of certain countries playing with the idea of banning the use of gasoline and diesel vehicles. India, France, Britain, Norway, and Germany have floated plans to do away with the sales of new vehicles powered by fossil fuels.

France and Britain plan to ban sales starting in 2040, while India is looking at 2030. Germany hasn’t committed to a year yet, and Norway wants to see the ban go in place by 2025.

Now, the world’s largest car market is following suit, which could change everything. Continue reading >>>

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 >>>