Buick: America’s Shining Star for Reliability?

Buick Cascada by Mike Perkins

Since they began flooding the U.S. market in the mid-1970s, Japanese cars have always enjoyed a reputation for reliability American companies could seem to only covet. So, naturally, it comes as no surprise that Lexus and Toyota continue their best Jimmie Johnson and Sebastian Vettel impressions, respectively landing the top two spots of Consumer Reports’ Annual Brand Reliability Survey for the 4th straight year. Instead, this year shoppers will need to scroll down to the 3rd place finisher if they’re looking for a shock. Buick, of all brands, has brought an American nameplate to Consumer Reports’ podium for the first time in over three decades. Continue reading >>>

Can Honda Recover After Falling From Grace?

honda-civic-hatchback

Honda, once a formidable force in the auto industry and a maker of bulletproof cars to which consumers flocked, has fallen from its mighty throne.

The carmaker used to be known for leading the way in innovation and blowing away the competition when it came to research and development. Today, the company admits it has pursued growth over quality and is now in need of a fundamental transformation.

Quality problems have plagued Honda vehicles in recent years, while competing cars have caught up, or even surpassed, the once invincible automaker. What does Honda need to do to get back on track?

It’s really quite simple.

Continue reading >>>

The Honda Mojo: It’s Not a Car

Civic Type R

Remember the 2012 Honda Civic? Of course not. It was the most disappointing Civic in modern history.

Consumer Reports famously dissed the car by revoking its “Recommended” status, while Car and Driver summarized the changes like this:

With the latest Civic, Honda has gambled that moving away from sportiness and towards quiet comfort will suit its buyers. Honda hasn’t hedged its bets into the boring realm of the Toyota Corolla, but it’s certainly an unadventurous effort. Aside from being quieter and more efficient, the new Civic doesn’t represent improvement as we define it. The Civic lacks the passion, soul, and entertaining driving dynamics of its predecessor. Mainstream buyers may not care, but enthusiasts surely will.

Honda, once known for sporty and fun-to-drive cars that provided reliability and fuel efficiency, had morphed into the latter while forgetting about the former.

Honda had lost its mojo.

Continue reading >>>

Buying Used Luxury? Think Twice

How much are those rings worth to you?

How much are those rings worth to you?

Driving a luxury car for the price of a Honda is an appealing proposition.

I’ve advocated for it on these very pages. Why would someone spend $25,000 on a new Accord or CR-V when they could have a used Audi A6 or Q7?

The benefits make it seem like a no-brainer. For the same money you get more luxury, more brand panache, better performance, and an all-around cooler vehicle. Everything’s great, up until your new luxury car needs some basic maintenance and repairs.

I’d like to share my personal story, so you might avoid the fate that has fallen upon me.

Continue reading >>>

Here Comes Tesla’s Competition

Commuter Cars Tango and George Clooney

When you think of electric cars, the first maker to come to mind is probably Tesla. The company has done an amazing job branding itself as the leader in vehicles powered by electrons. With sexy car designs, lots of media coverage and a personable-yet-eccentric CEO, Tesla has become the gold standard in electric vehicles.

That doesn’t mean Tesla is alone, though.

Other carmakers build and sell vehicles that use alternative fuels, and there’s no way the legacy automakers are going to sit down and watch Tesla silently drive into the sunset with all the cash.

From the big boys to some small guys with big ideas, it seems EVs are here to stay. Keep reading for some interesting competitors Tesla may face.

Continue reading >>>