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 >>>

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 >>>

Comparing Compact Sedans on CarGurus

2017 Toyota Corolla

We’re only a month into Spring, but most of us have already started looking forward to the summer months. Not long from now we’ll be having barbeques outside in peak humidity, baseball will be the only televised sport we’ll care to watch, and kids will try to find summer jobs to eat up some of their free time now that they’re out of school. It’s also almost graduation season, and if you’re a parent whose child is about to graduate high school or college, you may be considering purchasing a car for them so they can get around themselves, be it for college or a new job. And for your kid’s first car, you’ll probably want to consider something safe, cheap, reliable, and easy to get. And nothing exemplifies those attributes more than your everyday compact sedan. Continue reading >>>

What Full-Size SUV Would You Buy for Under $8,000?

There’s been a dilemma at my house this week. Every time I step out the door and need to take a bevy of children to lacrosse practice or Costco or wherever else our daily adventures lead, I’m faced with a choice between two vehicles:

A 2004 Chevy Tahoe or a 1999 Toyota Land Cruiser.

Only the Toyota is mine. The Tahoe is on loan for the week. Both offer room for five kids and two adults (three of the kids are, like the Tahoe, on loan for the week) with just enough room to spare for some practice equipment and changes of clothes.

Neither SUV offers the cutting-edge technology or panache of modern versions of the Tahoe and Land Cruiser, but their affordability and work-a-holic attitudes make either one a solid choice for a buyer who needs a full-size SUV but has the budget for a used Civic. Continue reading >>>

With Volvo’s Comeback Complete, What’s Next?

Well, they did it.

Written off as a doomed automaker when Ford unloaded it to Geely Automotive in 2010, Volvo has defied the odds and roared back to life while keeping its Swedish charm under Chinese ownership.

That wasn’t supposed to happen.

While execs at Volvo remained confident through the transition that they’d bring the company back to life, we have to take a moment and point out that Saab’s executives once thought the same thing.

Sinking automakers rarely can find the cash—or the buyers—to become relevant again and—like Saab—tend to disappear into the night.

Ask anyone who’s driven a new XC90, though, if Volvo shows any signs of disappearing. Continue reading >>>

Change and Sameness at the 2017 NYIAS

2017 New York International Auto Show

Auto shows provide strong evidence to support the following proverb: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Gearheads from around the world arrive at the Javits Convention Center with eyes alight every Spring to get a look at and learn about the latest and greatest cars available for sale at the New York International Auto Show. The cars change from year to year, of course, but many other things stay pretty much the same. Continue reading >>>

Here’s the Best-Selling Non-Pickup in America

The list of best-selling vehicles in the United States is always topped with the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado. Beyond those two constants, there’s a consistent flow of Toyotas and Hondas that typically round out the top 10.

One car that hasn’t spent much time on the best-selling list is the Nissan Rogue. Its name suggests that the car is a lone ranger, a scoundrel driven away from the rest of the herd and left to operate on its own. This is a vehicle that might be more comfortable slinking around in the dark than basking in the limelight of a top-sellers list.

It’s ironic then, that the once-mediocre and formerly unpleasant Nissan Rogue has evolved into the best-selling non-pickup in America.

Continue reading >>>

Springing Into Another List of Convertibles

Ragtops in a row

Repetition inspires varied emotions here in New England. Pats fans nearly lost their minds in February, when Tom Brady and company managed to mount an insane comeback to win another Super Bowl. But we were much less happy about the blizzard last Saturday, exactly 20 years after an even bigger April Fools’ Day snowstorm and one brief year after Snowmageddon. Happily, our forecast calls for 60 degrees and sunshine on Tuesday, when we’ll head to the Javits Convention Center in NYC to cover the New York International Auto Show.

We visited the Detroit Auto Show in January, so have already seen some fantastic 2018s, but we can’t wait to meet the new Dodge Demon, Buick Regal, Volvo XC60, Subaru Crosstrek, and Audi RS3, among others. We’ll spare ourselves hours of traffic on I-95 by taking the train to get there and back, but if that weather forecast proves accurate, I know my team and I will be looking forward to top-down driving from the Acela. Continue reading >>>

Coming Back to a Dealership Near You: Volkswagen TDI!

Volkswagen has approval to bring back the diesels!

Not since 2015 has a VW TDI left a dealer’s lot. In September of that year, news broke that the German automaker had been cheating on government emissions tests and its diesel-powered cars actually emitted many times the legal limits of nitrogen oxides during normal driving conditions. All new diesel-powered Volkswagens were suddenly illegal and a stop-sale followed immediately.

No doubt you’re overly familiar with the scandal and its far-reaching fallout that killed not only VW’s diesel business, but has virtually knocked diesel out of the American market just as it was gaining steam here.

After criminal charges and billions of dollars in fines and repair costs, the EPA has finally approved Volkswagen to sell repaired 2015 TDI models in the U.S. Continue reading >>>