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 >>>

Thanks to Toyota, Ford, and Jeep, Off-Roading’s Future Looks Bright

This is an exciting time for all of you rock-hopping, river-traversing, boulder-crushing off-roaders.

What makes now perhaps the best time ever for folks who love to spend their weekends getting dirty?

The upcoming selection of vehicles purpose-built to tackle any road not covered in asphalt, of course.

The stalwarts from Land Rover and the ultra-luxurious Land Cruiser are mainstays as far as off-road capability goes, but the vast majority never see anything dirtier than a manicured gravel road leading to a hidden lake cabin.

The cars most likely to see true off-road action are the Jeep Wrangler, the returning Ford Bronco (we hope), and now, a potential successor to Toyota’s much-loved FJ Cruiser. Continue reading >>>

Uber Halts Self-Driving Program, BMW Announces One

The BMW iNEXT: Coming soon!

The drive toward full autonomy in cars continues on its relentless march, but setbacks continue to plague the new technology.

Google was among the first to publicly test self-driving cars and has logged millions of mostly trouble-free miles. Tesla is also proving the technology, though not without occasional tragedy.

Automakers around the world are also going all-in on the self-driving craze. Ford has promised full autonomy by 2021, as have Tesla, Audi, and more.

BMW just announced its intent to join that list, while Uber has abruptly halted its autonomous testing after a crash in Arizona.

Will we see full autonomy in just four short years? Continue reading >>>

Who Needs a Reality Check, Tesla or Its Model 3 Buyers?

While flying to Cape Canaveral, Florida, to oversee SpaceX business, Elon Musk did what any of us would do with a few hours of free time: He used Twitter to chat with his 7.94 million followers about the upcoming Tesla Model 3.

As it turns out, when Elon Musk starts firing off replies on Twitter, people notice. Among the 50 messages he fired off were valuable insights into the future of his young car company and the model that’s expected to take Tesla from a few (expensive) driveways and turn it into a mass-market player. Many of the tweets seemed designed around lowering consumer expectations for the Model 3, but considering the scope of Musk’s plan for Tesla’s near future, is he the one who needs his expectations managed? Continue reading >>>

Has Any Automaker Improved Faster Than Hyundai?

Spotting these two old friends in a parking lot over the weekend was a stark reminder of just how far Hyundai has come. On the left is a perfect example of what many of us picture when we picture a Hyundai. On the right is the truth of what Hyundai has become.

Now that the South Korean automaker is just about on par with the likes of Honda and Toyota in terms of design and price, it’s easy to forget about Hyundai’s humble beginnings and awkward growing pains.

Today’s Hyundai vehicles are sleek, stylish, reliable, and comfortable. They routinely turn heads and evoke comments of, “That’s a Hyundai?” Unfortunately, an aversion to the growing price tags are a less-desirable first response for some buyers who haven’t shopped the brand in a decade or two.

Hyundai is the seventh best selling automaker in America. Honda is number five. It’s pretty clear that, regardless of the slowly increasing price, Americans have embraced the once-lowly automaker and enabled it to blossom into a household name. Just how far has Hyundai come? Continue reading >>>

Five Must-Have Accessories for Any Old Car

Spending so much time in and around brand-new cars certainly comes with its perks. Nothing quite compares with being handed the keys to a new BMW M2 and shown the way to a private race track, and few car shoppers are invited to test the best winter vehicles side by side. From auto-show previews to rambles in ragtops, it’s easy to take the new toys for granted.

When you just stepped out of a $50,000 2017 Acura MDX, $35,000 for a fully loaded Subaru Outback suddenly looks affordable. When a 2017 Nissan 370Z Roadster costs close to 45 grand, $32,000 for a 2017 Miata RF seems like a steal—I mean, it has a roof! Continue reading >>>

Will This Lawsuit Against Ford Boost Camaro Sales?

Marketing can be a company’s best friend when done correctly, or it can incite anger and lawsuits if done incorrectly.

Ford is learning the importance of truth in marketing, as some customers are discovering that their Shelby GT350s aren’t holding up on the track quite as well as Ford promised.

Before we go any further, it’s important to remember that Ford hasn’t done anything wrong, nor is there any confirmation that the automaker purposely sold the GT350 as something it isn’t. What we do know is a group of owners have experienced serious overheating issues while on the track, and a couple of law firms have taken notice. Continue reading >>>

Bad News for Finance Company Means Good Deals on Used Cars

Following financial news is about as invigorating as watching cantaloupe ripen, which is why the vast majority of us don’t include it as a regular pastime.

Financial developments, though, can have lasting impacts on our lives and affect the ease with which we buy houses, cars, and other items that typically require financing. Trends in the automotive finance industry can also provide a glimpse into the future of car prices and help us find the perfect timing for purchasing a new or used car.

With that in mind, we have some interesting news to share from Ally Financial, formerly GMAC, that might be good news for used-car shoppers who love to take home a great deal.

The news is not so great if you’re an automaker, a dealership, or the CEO of Ally. Continue reading >>>

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 >>>

Chevy Bolt vs. Hyundai Ioniq: Which Has a Brighter Future?

Flexibility is a benefit enjoyed often by small companies, but rarely by large ones. Like a small boat, businesses still in early stages can maneuver quickly; they can alter business plans, tweak messaging, and otherwise pivot without having to worry about re-orienting a large workforce or undermining the public’s understanding of the brand. By contrast, large businesses operate more similarly to a container ship. Every move requires extensive planning, communication, and extreme foresight. Fine-tuning a product can take months, and changing direction entirely can take years. Continue reading >>>