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 >>>
Japan took the American car industry by storm when it started making and selling cars in the United States. During the 1960s and ’70s, Japanese carmakers Honda and Toyota developed a reputation for quality, reliability, and efficiency and forced the American Big Three to take note. Today, South Korean Hyundai and Kia are doing the same. Continue reading >>>
Confession time: it didn’t come as a complete shock that not everybody in our recent survey about car finance didn’t understand the ins and outs of how it all works. However, we were surprised at the level of confusion around what is for a lot of people the second-biggest monthly outgoing after rent or mortgage.
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 >>>
The auto industry is evolving in two ways, both of which spell massive changes for the industry with which we all grew up.
First, the industry has become globalized like never before. American cars are built in Mexico, Japanese cars are made in America, parts are sourced from around the world, and finished cars are exported into global markets.
Second, this global evolution is the continued blurring of the lines between car and tech experience. Rather than cars offering tech products, tech products are becoming cars.
That’s an important distinction from the carmakers of our youth, and one that’s driving a new breed of automaker into the limelight. Chinese automaker Byton is a perfect example. Continue reading >>>
The North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year Awards aren’t your typical auto accolades. Rather than being chosen by a specific organization, these awards are given by an independent jury of automotive journalists based throughout the United States and Canada.
The winners are often vehicles that shake up the status quo while delivering an exceptional experience to the driver and passengers. Only cars that are new to the market, or substantially redesigned, are eligible for nomination.
Each member of the 57-person voting committee submits a score for each of the finalists. They are free to judge the cars however they like, but must disperse a pre-determined number of points across each of the three finalists in each category. The vehicle with the most points in each category wins. The winners are announced each January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Both cars have a long list of pros: They have strong reputations for reliability and quality, and both sport new designs that should have no problem turning heads.
While both cars come from Japanese automakers, they are built right here in the United States. Both have long and storied histories here, and both are virtually guaranteed to provide years of trouble-free driving while depreciating more slowly than other sedans.
Honda and Toyota face the same challenges too: They are trying hard to keep their sedans relevant in the age of the high-riding crossover.
But which car is better? That, of course, depends on who you are and what model year you buy. Continue reading >>>