Because We Need Another 3-Row SUV: Here Comes the Subaru Ascent

2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca

The list of the world’s ugliest cars gained a new member with the 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca. Designed to inspire thoughts of the company’s aircraft heritage, the front end of the B9 ended up looking, at best, awkward and quirky.

At worst it’s the feature that kept buyers from driving the B9 Tribeca off the lot. Well, that and the fact that it offered a cramped interior and got less-than-stellar fuel economy.

In 2008 Subaru dropped the “B9” from the name and revised the grille, but it was still the same car, albeit with what looked like a transplanted front end from a Chrysler Aspen.

In short, the Tribeca had few redeeming qualities, and it was discontinued in 2014.

Now Subaru wants to try its hand at a 3-row crossover again, and this time it should get the formula just right. Continue reading >>>

Lexus or Jaguar: Rakish Design Versus Subdued Elegance

Lexus RX 450h

Allow me to take you back in time. Let’s go to the early 1990s and stroll right on up to 2015 or so.

I want us to take a look at luxury cars during our journey. Specifically, let’s focus on Jaguar and Lexus.

Lexus was still new to America after being introduced in 1989 with the LS 400 sedan. The company took pride in creating a luxury car that was high in comfort while possessing a certain understated elegance.

Lexus appealed to people with similar qualities. Conservative older folks flocked to Lexus because it provided the reliability and unassuming looks of Toyota with the comfort and interior class of traditional German luxury brands.

Other luxury makers, including BMW and Jaguar, touted performance and unique design as selling points. Lexus buyers wanted none of that and enjoyed decades of low-profile luxury motoring.

Those days are gone. Continue reading >>>

Volkswagen Says It’s “Back on Track”—Would You Agree?

A scandal the size of the one Volkswagen is coming out of would be enough to topple many automotive companies in existence today. With billions of dollars in fines, recall, and repair costs, in addition to criminal charges from the U.S. government, the company took a direct shot to the heart of its brand that left appalled customers clamoring for answers.

Volkswagen could very well have dropped to its knees and succumbed to its injuries. Being the largest automaker in the world, though, has certain perks, and surviving catastrophe is apparently one of them.

The story of VW’s emissions cheating broke in September 2015. Just three months into 2017, the company’s chairman has declared that the automaker is “back on track.”

That statement came just days after VW pleaded guilty to three felonies in a U.S. District Court. How is that “back on track,” exactly? Continue reading >>>

Your New MR2 Dreams Could Come True

If I were to ask a hundred people what car they’d most like to see return as a new model, I bet at least half would mention one of the Toyota sports cars from the 1980s and 90s.

Specifically, the Supra and MR2 routinely top lists of most-missed vehicles and are consistently the subject of comeback rumors.

Toyota brought us the 86, which has quenched some of the thirst for Toyota sports cars, but continued rumors of a reborn Supra (with BMW bones) keep Toyota fans salivating for more.

Things got even more interesting over the weekend as Toyota, at the Geneva Motor Show, seems to have suggested it could return to its past of making affordable sports cars. Continue reading >>>

Land Rover and Mazda Bring More Luxury to Midsize SUVs

Let me guess: You drive a midsize SUV.

I’m playing the odds on that one, because the midsize SUV just might be the most popular segment of vehicle on the market today. Family sedans, and their cargo-limiting trunk space, are quickly falling in popularity at the hands of the capacity, ride height, and AWD capability of midsize SUVs.

In recent years, the opulent features and sleek design of luxury midsize SUVs have conquered the hearts, and bank accounts, of America.

The segment includes entries from BMW, Porsche, Audi, Jaguar, and more. Another, from Land Rover, is due very soon in this increasingly crowded market.

Which ride will be king? Continue reading >>>

Volkswagen Arteon: The Next VW Nobody Buys?

The Volkswagen Phaeton was the answer to a question nobody asked.

It quietly debuted as the flagship VW sedan but came with the price of a well-equipped 7 Series. The Phaeton died an uneventful death after it became obvious that executive-level buyers prefer executive-level brands.

Very few people wanted to spend upward of $80,000 and stare at a Volkswagen logo.

Has Volkswagen learned from the error of its ways? Maybe. Continue reading >>>

GM Heads Back to Basics—Sells Opel, Vauxhall to the French

Peugeot CEO Carlos Tavares shakes hands with GM CEO, Mary Barra

Peugeot CEO, Carlos Tavares, shakes hands with GM CEO, Mary Barra

When quality standards appeared to slip for Subaru, we asked if perhaps the small but rapidly growing Japanese brand was threatening to “fly too close to the sun.” Since 2008, General Motors has continuously adjusted course to bring its business back to basics and avoid the allure of owning far-reaching—but ultimately unprofitable—brands. The latest departure from GM’s portfolio: Opel and Vauxhall (its entire European operations) have been sold to French conglomerate Groupe PSA, formerly PSA Peugeot Citroën. Continue reading >>>

The Best Luxury Cars Without the Luxury Badge

When someone buys a luxury car, he or she is not just buying heated rear seats, autonomous driving capability, and an overly complicated infotainment system. The buyer is investing in a little thing called prestige.

Prestige is what you get when you buy a high-end Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus, Jaguar, or the like. Prestige is the thing that makes people look at your car and think, “I wonder what that guy does…”

When non-luxury automakers attempt to build a luxury car, they can fill it with all of the luxury features and goodies they want, but it will never have the prestige of the luxury brands.

If you want all of the luxury that modern vehicles have to offer but could pass on the prestige, check out these cars.  Continue reading >>>