One-Inch Crack Totals 2017 Chevy Corvette

In 2005 I had a 6-month-old Honda Pilot. That vehicle was parked overnight in a driveway next to a large RV, and the RV caught fire.

The RV burned to a crisp, leaving nothing but a blackened frame and a smoking pile of debris. The Pilot, which was parked not 12 inches from the RV, didn’t catch fire, but did suffer massive damage from the heat. The windows burst, leather melted, paint bubbled, plastic exterior and interior trim melted, tires burst, and wheels warped.

The driver’s side of that car was destroyed. The insurance company deemed the damage repairable, and three months and $12,000 later, I got my car back, but it never felt “good as new.”

Contrast that story with this one: Continue reading >>>

Will the Tesla Model 3 Kill Off the BMW 3 Series?

Tesla has very high hopes for its midsize Model 3 sedan.

It doesn’t just hope to survive and sell enough copies to make the investment worth it—the electric carmaker plans to revolutionize the auto business by selling a hundred thousand or so every year.

That’s a lofty goal. All of those sales would have to come from somewhere… and the BMW 3 Series could be the sacrificial lamb. In fact, one investor believes sales of the 3 Series could “go to zero.” Continue reading >>>

Ford Raptor Not Macho Enough? Try the Shelby Edition

The Ford F-150 Raptor is about as extreme as trucks get. Built for flying across sand, traversing dunes, and descending hillsides like a mountain goat, the Raptor is one of very few trucks that can compete in the Baja 1000, then drive home like it made a leisurely trip visiting the in-laws.

The truck comes stock with a 450-horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, which offers plenty of punch to get out ahead of traffic or even leave most cars in the dust. It’s massive, too. The Raptor is 6.4 inches wider than the already huge F-150 and 1.3 inches taller. At 78.5 inches high, good luck getting this thing into your garage at home or into many urban parking garages.

In fact, good luck even finding a large enough space at the grocery store.

This truck isn’t made for parking, though. It’s for mountain men (suburban dads) who need a macho desert-runner (grocery-getter) to stand out from the crowd.

However, for some folks, the stock Raptor just isn’t macho enough. Enter the Shelby Raptor. 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 >>>

When’s the Last Time a Car Took Your Breath Away?

Some cars just take your breath away at first glance. Sometimes because they’re expensive supercars, sometimes because they’re rare and beautiful luxury cars, and sometimes because they’re old classics that stand out in a Walmart parking lot full of crossovers.

The last time a car left me in a state of awe was in Deland, Florida (I hope all is well over there, friends), when a passing Bugatti Veyron in the quaint downtown took me by surprise.

Before that it was a 1962 Jaguar E-Type, parked in the valet section of a luxury hotel.

It takes a lot to impress me with cars these days, and even the standard-fare Ferrari and Lamborghini typically get nothing more than a passing glance.

So why did I point out a 1987 vehicle this weekend with the excitement of teen girl at a Beatles concert? 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 >>>

The Best Used Deals Are Electric

We all want a good value when buying a used car. Who doesn’t love picking up a five-year-old low-mileage car for 60 percent less than what the car cost new?

Getting a great used car deal is the holy grail of car shopping for many value-oriented shoppers. My best experience was scoring an almost half-price deal on a used car that had been sitting on a dealer’s lot for a long time. It was a base model and had a 5-speed manual. No one wanted the car, the dealer wanted it gone, and I made a half-price offer, which was accepted.

Boom!

That was a little over five years ago. Today’s best bargains are a little different. In fact, they’re electric. Continue reading >>>

How Much Do You Love Kia’s Design Right Now?

My disdain for their logo aside, Kia’s design has evolved into one of the most head-turning and appealing shapes on the road today.

How many times per day does a Kia make you do a double-take? There’s the strong and sporty stance of the upcoming Stinger, the grand K900, the stout and strong Sorento, and just about anything else wearing that oval travesty of a Kia logo.

I can’t think of another affordable automaker with looks as consistently good as Kia’s. In fact, I would place it right up there with Audi in terms of design, which makes sense considering the company’s lead designer made a name for himself with the German automaker before being wooed by the South Koreans.

And if Kia’s design wasn’t good enough already, another jaw-dropping concept is on the horizon. Will it go into production? Continue reading >>>

Volkswagen Caters to Modern-Day Hippies with ID Buzz

It’s finally happening.

Some 60 years after the Volkswagen Microbus became a symbol of peace, love, and happiness in the United States, a new version will land on dealer floors aimed at the modern, and somewhat affluent, hippie.

The ID Buzz has been a concept floating around the blog-o-sphere for at least six months, and now VW has confirmed that it will indeed go into production. However, it won’t happen until after a smaller electric compact car, simply called the ID, goes on sale by 2020. Continue reading >>>