Ford Raptor Not Macho Enough? Try the Shelby Edition

The Ford F-150 Raptor is about as extreme as trucks get. Built for flying across sand, traversing dunes, and descending hillsides like a mountain goat, the Raptor is one of very few trucks that can compete in the Baja 1000, then drive home like it made a leisurely trip visiting the in-laws.

The truck comes stock with a 450-horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, which offers plenty of punch to get out ahead of traffic or even leave most cars in the dust. It’s massive, too. The Raptor is 6.4 inches wider than the already huge F-150 and 1.3 inches taller. At 78.5 inches high, good luck getting this thing into your garage at home or into many urban parking garages.

In fact, good luck even finding a large enough space at the grocery store.

This truck isn’t made for parking, though. It’s for mountain men (suburban dads) who need a macho desert-runner (grocery-getter) to stand out from the crowd.

However, for some folks, the stock Raptor just isn’t macho enough. Enter the Shelby Raptor. Continue reading >>>

Chevy Blazer: The Legend (Sort of) Returns

We all know that the Ford Bronco is coming back, probably as the rugged off-roader that we all hoped it would be. That’s certainly good news for the hardcore Bronco fanbase but a little off-putting to the people who prefer their off-roaders to wear a bow tie.

Chevy’s Bronco-buster, the Blazer, slowly morphed into the TrailBlazer and then the Traverse, which rendered it mostly useless on the trails where the Blazer once roamed.

Last week, news started circulating that the Blazer would return for 2019. Exciting, right?

Not so much. Get ready to find out what disappointment feels like, Blazer fans. Continue reading >>>

Toyota Turns to Mazda for Help with Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma is losing market share to the Chevy Colorado and Honda Ridgeline. This isn’t happening because people are losing interest in the venerable Toyota, but because Toyota can’t build them fast enough.

There’s a shortage of Tacomas at dealerships around the country, and buyers are turning to some very worthy competition instead of waiting for Toyota to catch up and deliver more trucks. This is a problem that’s new to Toyota, as decent competition in the midsize truck market hasn’t been a concern since… well… ever.

What’s Toyota’s plan to prevent more buyers from crossing over to competing brands?

Ask Mazda for help. Continue reading >>>

Could This Become the New Ford Bronco?

If you’ve never heard of the Troller T4, it might be time for you to copy and paste that name into a Google search and then marvel at the images staring back at you.

The Troller is a boxy off-roader sold in Brazil and built by a company now owned by Ford. For fans of the Jeep Wrangler, Land Rover Defender, and Ford Bronco, the Troller might look like the fantasy car you never knew existed.

And get this: One source has said the upcoming 2020 Ford Bronco will look like the Troller, but “a 4-door version of that.”

How excited are you right now? Continue reading >>>

Honda Ridgeline: The Best Midsize Pickup?

2017 Honda Ridgeline

Don’t say you saw this coming: The Honda Ridgeline is making a name for itself as a competitive midsize pickup.

In fact, it’s creating a new niche of buyers who want the handling, ride, and everyday drivability of a sedan with the ability to haul loads of stuff every now and then.

The Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma offer that combination platter of capability, but the Ridgeline turns the dial up to 11, and buyers are taking notice.

The thing is, Honda is scooping up buyers before Ford has the chance with its all-new Ranger. Continue reading >>>

The Best Vehicle for a Summer Family Road Trip?

The open roads of America are hard to ignore this time of year. Millions of people heed their call and embark on trips throughout this grand country. Whether you’re the kind of road-tripper who lackadaisically putts down quiet 2-lane roads in search of lost American culture or blasts through states at 75 mph on the nation’s Interstate system, the vehicle you choose for your adventure will play a vital role in your trip’s success.

Choose a car that’s too small and you’ll drown in stuff. Choose one that’s too big and you’ll spend more money than necessary on fuel. Choose one that doesn’t offer the perfect seating position and your back may never recover. Continue reading >>>

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Coming for the Millennials

Any luxury automaker that doesn’t have a premium compact on the market is missing out on a huge, and potentially imperative, market.

No longer are BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi in the business of selling only large luxury vehicles to well-off Boomers. The market has shifted in favor of millennials, and with that change comes the need for a smaller breed of luxury-brand vehicles.

That’s why we’re seeing mini crossovers, tiny sedans, and hatchbacks from Audi and BMW. Now, after 20 years of existence in European countries, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class will join the party. Continue reading >>>

Regular Cars That Cost as Much as Luxury Cars

Barring the stratospheric price of the Ford GT, the Blue Oval isn’t exactly known for high-priced luxury. That could be about to change, as an $80,000 Ford family hauler is now a reality.

Cars that cost upward of $60,000 and approach $80,000 used to be the realm of ultimate luxury and performance. We’re talking top-end BMWs and Jaguars that blend plush driving pleasure with spirited performance, not to mention a certain brand panache that justifies the price tag.

Today, the $80,000 price point is starting to encroach on mass-market brands. While we are not likely to see an $80,000 Taurus anytime soon, another Ford is dangerously close to breaking that not-so-budget-friendly milestone. Continue reading >>>

Tesla Remains Perfect, Audi Hopes to Follow Its Lead

Safety is quickly becoming a trademark quality for Tesla. The California-based electric carmaker builds the Model S sedan, which achieved the best safety rating of any car ever tested back in 2013.

Now it can lay claim to something else no other automaker has ever been able to accomplish: a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) perfect score for an SUV in its 5-star crash-testing system.

Yes, the Tesla Model X is now the safest SUV ever tested by the government agency. Continue reading >>>

Ram Readying for a Come-from-Behind Sales Victory

2017 Ram 1500 Rebel

I grew up with a staunch adversity to Chrysler products. It stemmed from my dad, who had a bad experience with a Chrysler Le Baron. And by “bad experience,” I mean an engine blowout before the 60,000-mile mark.

Since that day, mentioning Chrysler in conversation was akin to discussing poor bathing habits or certain political parties. It was simply not to be done in polite company.

I took that perspective into adulthood, but now that I’m older and considering a truck purchase, I’m re-thinking my attitude toward the company formerly known as Chrysler.

So, it seems, are thousands of other truck buyers in the United States. Continue reading >>>