The Best Family Cars of 2016


Imagine driving across the country with a carload of children. Now imagine doing that twice, every year. CarGurus surveyed families to determine which cars best meet their needs, and among other findings, 1 in 3 parents reported driving his or her kids at least four hours per week. Cumulatively, that equals two round trips between Boston and San Diego per year. We’ve all lusted after a Mazda MX-5 Miata or Dodge Challenger at least once in our lives, but if kids are in the picture, the shortcomings of a sports car become readily apparent.
Continue reading >>>

Kia’s New Ads: Best Ever?


Name two things that are now nearly unrecognizable from their humble beginnings.

Here are mine:

Video games and Kia.

You may not believe this, but I haven’t played a video game since roughly Madden 2005. Before that, my favorite video game was Tecmo Bowl. No joke.

So seeing the graphics on the latest Madden, when playing with my son recently, pretty much blew me away.

I had a similar experience seeing a new Kia in a parking lot last weekend. Not only did I do a double-take, but I stood there for a few seconds admiring a car that looked nothing like the Kias of the recent past.

That would have never happened in the Korean automaker’s first decade in the U.S.

It was timely, then, to see a new ad from Kia linking my favorite childhood video game to some classic football.

Continue reading >>>

A Brief History of Batteries and Battery Tech

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

What comes to mind when you hear the term “car battery”? Fifteen years ago, the answer would have been quite obvious. But lately the idea of what a car battery entails has shifted away from that essential-but-oft-forgotten black box under the hood to state-of-the-art propulsion systems of the near future. When talking about batteries, we focus less on volts and more on kilowatt-hours and MPGe. We’ve mentioned batteries a lot lately, specifically in regards to the Chevrolet Bolt, GM’s potentially game-changing affordable all-electric vehicle. But when we talk about the Bolt’s 238 miles of battery range, how is that different from talking about the battery at the end of your jumper cables?

Continue reading >>>

Car Company to Build One of World’s Biggest Buildings


A car company is in the early stages of building one of the largest structures the world has ever seen. The structure will have a base that encompasses more than 700 acres, contain more than 3 million square feet, and will require moving enough dirt to fill an entire NFL football stadium.

The building will house a factory capable of producing an untold number of vehicles every year to satisfy demand for… wait… demand for what?

The company building this mega-structure isn’t Tesla. It isn’t Toyota or General Motors or Volkswagen. The company behind this massive project is Faraday Future, which, in its entire existence, has sold a grand total of zero vehicles.

Continue reading >>>

Mitsubishi: Goodbye to the Old, Hello to the New


Mitsubishi doesn’t make the news cycle very often, especially when it comes to product-related news. The brand has, unfortunately, had plenty of coverage in recent months regarding its manipulation of fuel-economy results on vehicles in Japan.

Nothing guarantees news coverage like a scandal.

Mitsubishi’s admission of wrongdoing led to a heavy drop in stock value, a billion dollar net loss, and Nissan’s virtual takeover of the embattled company.

Still, though, the company is moving forward with new products while it phases out the old.

Continue reading >>>

Chevy Bolt Should Eliminate Range Anxiety


Range anxiety is about to become a quaint memory from the early days of electric cars.

When EV technology was getting started, just a few short years ago, we were lucky to get 40 miles of range on batteries alone.

The original Chevy Volt couldn’t manage much more than a short daily commute and needed a gas-powered motor in addition to the electric one to give buyers some extra peace of mind.

The first all-electric Nissan Leaf fared much better, with an 84-mile range, but still left motorists stranded after pushing the limits too far. Today’s Leaf can top 107 miles of electric range while the much more expensive Tesla Model S can go more than 250 miles.

Chevrolet is about to change the game and combine Tesla-like range with Nissan-like affordability.

Continue reading >>>

Two New Tires Bring Fun Driving Year Round

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+

The Autumn Equinox is September 22, but when the kids go back to school, summer is unofficially over. Sure, there are plenty of warm days left, but the nights have started getting cooler, and it’s only a matter of time before the leaves change and the chill of fall and winter will take hold. Now’s the time to start thinking about tires.

Automakers routinely tout all-wheel drive as the best way to deal with challenging conditions, but regardless of which wheels get power, the tires are the only parts of a car that actually touch the road. A good set of winter tires can turn a rear-wheel-drive sports car into a competent winter commuter car, while a set of ultra-high-performance summer tires can render an AWD-equipped car useless in the snow.

Continue reading >>>

Don’t Forget the Little Things: Some Easily Overlooked Safety Tech

Henry Bliss Plaque

Take a walk down New York City’s Central Park West, and right at the intersection of West 74th Street, you’ll see an interesting little plaque. It’s as unassuming a corner on New York’s Upper West Side as can be, but the sign nevertheless marks the intersection as an historic site. On September 13, 1899—117 years ago today—while stepping off a street car across from Central Park, a real-estate dealer named Henry H. Bliss was struck by an electric taxicab. The car knocked Bliss down and crushed him. He was pronounced dead the following morning. Bliss’s death marked the first automotive fatality in the western hemisphere.
Continue reading >>>

Pleading Guilty: Criminal Charges in Volkswagen Scandal Begin


Here’s a charge most people hope they never have to face in federal court: Conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government.

The first Volkswagen engineer to be formally charged entered a guilty plea Friday for his role in the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal. His plea has uncovered new information regarding ten years of deceit and coverups by the German automaker.

We now know that, since the very beginning of Volkswagen’s “clean diesel” program, the company intentionally developed and installed a “defeat device” on roughly 500,000 cars in the United States so that they could appear to pass U.S. emissions tests. We also know that engineers lied in attempts to cover up the existence of the device once U.S. investigators became suspicious.

Continue reading >>>

4 Must-Have Features for a Terrific Tailgate


We might still be riding out an unusually warm summer, but here in New England, the phrase “winter is coming” brings with it a very specific set of feelings. No, I’m not talking about dread and despair, I’m talking about something much more positive. You see, although New England winter may earn headlines by delivering winter storms, polar vortexes, and record-setting snowfall, it never arrives before autumn foliage, apple-picking, and most importantly, football season.

Continue reading >>>