The Solution for Distracted Driving: Invented in 1836?

Sometimes a modern problem is best solved by looking into the past.

Distracted driving, for instance, is a major cause of accidents, injuries, and deaths on roads around the world. Automakers have attempted to address the problem by connecting our phones to our cars so we may continue to receive the constant stream of information from our screens to our brains while driving.

That’s not working very well, though. People are still using their phones while behind the wheel to text, browse Facebook, make phone calls, and more.

Nissan has a solution that uses a piece of technology invented in 1836, and it just might work. Continue reading >>>

New Navigator Hopes to Reinvent the Luxury SUV

What if your new SUV came with a driver? We’re not talking about that fancy self-driving technology that’s all the rage right now, but an honest-to-goodness driver who will take you wherever you want to go.

It’s an option for one vehicle, and one of the many reasons why buying an SUV isn’t as straightforward as it used to be.

Sport Utility Vehicles used to come standard with a basic interior, 4-wheel drive, and not much else. If a buyer wanted luxury, he or she would have to opt for a sedan.

Today, SUVs can be had in almost any size and offer a wide range of capability, luxury, and storage space.

Two new sport utes illustrate just how different even luxury SUVs can be. Continue reading >>>

What Would Make Your Car Perfect?

For almost a year I’ve driven an electric Nissan Leaf and there’s just one thing keeping it from being perfect.

Well, no. There are a lot of things keeping the Leaf from being perfect. Considering that it’s a $30,000 car, you’d think it would have power seats, door and steering wheel mounted controls that light up at night, and mirrors in the visors that light up. It doesn’t have any of those features and the interior is slathered in cheap plastic and ultra thin fabric wrapped around the door handles.

The Leaf does have plenty going for it, though. The heated seats and heated steering wheel are invaluable. The car has plenty of storage space and the 30-kwh battery pack offers an electric range that’s more than capable of managing commutes and daily errands.

My one wish for the Leaf is all-wheel drive, but one customizer is about to prove that the Leaf may not need it. Continue reading >>>

Can BMW Reclaim the Title of Ultimate Driving Machine?

BMW spent years, decades even, proclaiming itself as the Ultimate Driving Machine. It wasn’t all just talk, though, because the company delivered again and again with vehicles that were the benchmark of luxury and performance. Others tried, but no one could approach BMW’s level of superiority.

Best luxury sedan, best sport sedan, best luxury SUV… all wore the BMW logo and everyone—from consumers, to reviewers, to the automakers themselves—knew it.

But something happened in the last five years or so. BMW fell asleep at the wheel and gave the rest of the industry a chance to catch up. BMW leaders are now in panic mode as they’re realizing they’ve fallen behind and must scramble to keep up with the likes of Tesla, Jaguar, Porsche, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. Continue reading >>>

Are Electric Vehicles as Popular as Pickups?

About one in seven American drivers say their next new vehicle purchase will be a pickup. There’s nothing surprising in that statement, right? I mean trucks are the best-selling vehicles in America. We can’t get enough of the big, powerful, fuel-draining mega-machines.

So would it surprise you to learn that the same number of people say the next new vehicle they’ll take home will be electric?

True story, folks. Sales of electric cars are surging like the power coming back on after a lightning storm.

What gives? Continue reading >>>

Station Wagons Are Back, But They’re Not Called Station Wagons Anymore

The Buick Regal TourX will be based on the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer Wagon

Once upon a time station wagons were must-have family vehicles. Cars like the Vista Cruiser and Buick Estate were parked with pride in driveways across the nation. They epitomized family road trips as much as financial success.

Owning a station wagon was a status symbol of a life well-lived, even if behind closed doors they offered private chambers for yelling at kids and fighting over who got the “way back” seats.

As Americans settled into the 1990s, they discovered that the 4-wheel-drive capability and commanding view of sport utility vehicles made station wagons obsolete. The wagon was almost instantly forgotten.

Automakers have attempted to resurrect the wagon over the last couple of decades with limited success. Today, Buick and Jaguar are hoping their latest iterations of the wagon hit the sweet spot with American car buyers. Just don’t expect to them to be called station wagons. Continue reading >>>

Porsche Learns a Valuable Lesson from the 911 R

2018 Porsche 911 GT3

At one point in 2007, Porsche owned 4 of the 10 fastest lap times around Germany’s Nurburgring. The other owners? Well, a couple belonged to specialty-car makers Donkervoort and Radical. Pagani had the 7th spot with the Zonda F Clubsport, and the remaining position was held by the McLaren F1. Things have become a bit more diverse in the past 10 years, but with 20 of the top 100 lap times belonging to Porsche, it’s safe to say the engineers in Stuttgart are still the world’s best when it comes to building a ‘Ring king. Continue reading >>>

Mirage or Metro? The Battle for MPG Supremacy Spans the Decades

It was Earth Day, and I pulled up to a noodle joint and parked next to an old Geo Metro. The diminutive little car stood out in a sea of pickups and SUVs, like a defiant statement against the modern status quo.

As I exited my vehicle, the owner of the Metro approached his.

“Great car,” I said.

“Thanks,” he replied, ”I get 46 miles per gallon, I’ll keep ‘er till she stops running. They just don’t make ‘em like this anymore.”

I smiled, nodded, and went into the restaurant thinking about his claim. Was he right? Are there any cars like the Metro that are still available for purchase in the United States?

I can think of at least one. Continue reading >>>