It is difficult to overstate the importance of the original Ford Focus. For starters it replaced the Escort, which although somewhat stale by the late 1990s, was still one of the most recognisable cars on the road. Not only that, but the Focus was Ford’s entry into the hugely popular family car segment, a true bread and butter model that it simply had to get right. Continue reading >>>
Going green in our cars means more than just getting better fuel economy. As early as 1998, Chrysler aimed to use recycled materials for the fabric roof liner of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Fast forward to the 2010s and the list of automakers using recycled materials has grown.
Ford stands out when it comes to using recycled materials; in addition to using recycled materials in the wire frame and under the hood, Ford incorporates recycled materials in tactile components of a car’s interior, such as seat cushions and fabric. In 2011, Ford began using soy foam for its seat cushions. Shortly after, the automaker incorporated Repreve fabric, made of recycled water bottles, in the 2012 Ford Focus Electric.
Ford isn’t just focusing its recycling efforts on one or two models. Instead, its efforts span multiple models, from trucks to compact vehicles.
It’s turned its attention to another interior component, with some inspiration from bees. Continue reading >>>
Rarely does a new vehicle debut with less power and capability than the model it’s replacing. Yet the Nissan Kicks compact crossover is hitting the market without all wheel drive and with less horsepower than its predecessor, the Juke.
AWD has become a staple of crossovers from almost all automakers. So, the decision not to offer it as an option is an interesting one. Will the new Nissan Kicks find a fan base in spite of its front-wheel-drive-only architecture and 1.6-liter 125-hp motor? Continue reading >>>
If you’ve never driven a Toyota Avalon, I’d highly recommend you do so next time you’re in the market for a sedan.
The Avalon isn’t especially fast and it won’t carve the corners like sport sedans do. The Avalon, though, is a comfortable cruiser that feels more planted and solid than a Camry while offering more of an understated style compared to a Lexus. I’ve driven a few and always fall a little bit more in love every time.
Sedans like the Avalon are falling out of favor with American consumers as they turn en masse toward higher-riding crossovers and SUVs. That’s a shame, because the Avalon is a worthy vehicle in an almost forgotten segment.
Buyers will have another chance to rediscover the Avalon because it’s coming back, all new, for 2019.
Does it get any more American than that? Sure, we could include the cliché baseball and apple pie, but it’s the Corvette that might best define what it means to be an American.
Like many Americans, the Corvette tries really hard to be good looking, could probably stand to lose a few pounds, and can’t quite keep up with its fancy European peers.
The new Corvette ZR1, however, might finally be the car to outshine its European counterparts.
Well, maybe not all of them. Continue reading >>>
When Tesla started selling cars, CEO Elon Musk probably didn’t think his little company would eventually cause Porsche to completely restructure itself.
But it’s starting to happen.
As demand for Tesla cars continues to grow, other automakers are wondering how they can grab a piece of the action and divert some of the dollars from that demand into their own bank accounts. Continue reading >>>
Theories regarding what it will look like and what will power it have captivated the Internet for a good 18 months. Maybe even since the Supra was discontinued all the way back in 2002. We now know it’s coming back, but will it be co-developed with BMW? Will it be a hybrid? Gas only? Electric only?
Will it be a Z4 with Toyota badging?
All we’ve really known for sure is that the new Supra will, 100 percent, no-doubt-about-it, have a Toyota badge. Because it’s a Supra.
The Supra is a Toyota legend and was, for many years, the top-performing car in the Toyota stable. It has Toyota blood flowing through its arteries. The Supra coming back as a Toyota is as safe a bet as the Camaro was to return wearing its bowtie.
But, as it turns out, there are no guarantees in life. Continue reading >>>
In 1994, the Dodge Ram changed everything.
Advertising for the new generation of early ’90s pickups took America by the storm, as the newest Dodge and its sleek, curvy looks captured the most macho of hearts.
People compared the front end to a semi truck, and the look transformed Ram pickups forever while elevating their perceived toughness.
While Ram trucks remain the third-best-selling truck brand in America, behind Ford and Chevy, the trucks have continually improved over the decades and have a devoted following of fans.
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 >>>