Home & Leisure

Larry Printz: You don't need to spend a lot to get a great ride

Automotive / Automotive News /

You know the drill. You're out to buy a new car or truck, just aching for that new ride, but then you check your finances. Sigh. Looks like you might have to bike to work.

But don't despair. There is an answer.

Any buyer can get the essence of a high-priced ride without the price tag if he knows which vehicles to consider. Some spendier rides ...Read more

'Spy car' worries raised by new Allstate patent

Automotive / Automotive News /

CHICAGO -- If, while driving, you were also chowing down food, yakking on your phone or getting distracted by Bella the Labrador retriever, would your insurance company know?

A patent issued in August to Allstate mentions using sensors and cameras to record "potential sources of driver distraction within the vehicle (e.g. pets, phone usage, ...Read more

More new vehicles get forward-crash prevention systems

Automotive / Automotive News /

More cars are coming equipped with robotic functions that protect drivers from front-end crashes with other vehicles or objects, which could result in fewer crashes and lower insurance rates for drivers.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said 52 percent of the 784 new vehicle models come with technology that alerts a driver to a ...Read more

Auto review: Design elevates 2016 Lincoln MKX 2.7-liter AWD

Automotive / Automotive News /

A stunning interior elevates the 2016 Lincoln MKX Black Label SUV (I give it three out of four stars), the latest step in Lincoln's long march back toward relevance in the luxury-car market.

The new MKX has a roomy and luxurious interior, especially in Black Label livery, Lincoln's new premium trim designation. It's also comfortable and fuel ...Read more

Auto review: Compact Buick Encore crossover offers style, comfort, versatility for the family

Automotive / Automotive News /

The Buick Encore is a small luxury crossover with style, comfort, versatility and adaptability to fit many busy lifestyles, from parents of small children to empty nesters and grandparents.

It's offered in four trim levels – Encore, Convenience, Leather and Premium – priced from $24,065 to $29,450 for front-wheel drive models; add $1,500 to...Read more

Under the Hood: How do today's 'performance' modes compare to those of old?

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: My mother had a 1995 Saturn SL2 with a four-speed automatic transmission that had a "performance" button. With the car in performance mode, depending how vigorously its accelerator was applied, all 140 of its horses could be utilized. For example, when I would cruise at 62 mph in fourth gear and floor the acceleration, the transmission would ...Read more

Mark Phelan: America from the slow lane: Model T's cross-country trip

Automotive / Automotive News /

After 34 days and 3,600 miles across America on dirt roads, the Model T that recreated Edsel Ford's 1915 road trip from Detroit to San Francisco reached its destination earlier this month.

"Seeing America in the slow lane turns out to be amazingly pleasant," said Mark Gessler, president of the Historic Vehicle Association. "I was surprised how ...Read more

Motoring Q&A: What's causing my engine to misfire?

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: My 2004 Buick Park Avenue Ultra with 60,000 miles misfires when restarted hot. The missing lasts for no more than 30 seconds. My mechanic is stumped. Any thoughts? Other than this, the car runs beautifully.

A: If the engine misfire occurs only during a hot restart, checking fuel pressure is the place to start. If the ready fuel supply in the...Read more

Conservative group blasts Trump for comments on Ford

Automotive / Automotive News /

WASHINGTON -- The conservative Club for Growth on Thursday criticized Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for repeating a claim that he would put an onerous tax on Ford if it followed through on plans to spend $2.5 billion on new facilities in Mexico.

Speaking at a campaign rally in Dubuque, Iowa, on Tuesday, Trump, a real estate ...Read more

Could Ford bring back the Ranger pickup back stateside?

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Many questions are being raised by the idea of building the Ford Ranger compact pickup in suburban Detroit later this decade.

It is an idea making its rounds in the media and rumor mill during this sensitive bargaining period as the UAW union is negotiating a new master agreement with Ford as well as General Motors and Fiat Chrysler ...Read more

Consumers are ignoring much auto technology, report says

Automotive / Automotive News /

Drivers are shunning much of the technology automakers are stuffing in cars.

It amounts to a waste of billions of dollars in investment that's ultimately paid for by consumers, according to automotive research firm J.D. Power.

In its 2015 Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience Report -- a study of how new car owners use their vehicles within ...Read more

American customers' satisfaction for vehicles declines for a 3rd year in a row

Automotive / Automotive News /

Car prices keep going up, but so do the number of recall notices being sent to car owners.

It's not a combination designed to make customers happy.

Customer satisfaction with vehicles is down for the third year in a row, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The report released Tuesday said the sector's score fell 3.7 percent ...Read more

Greg Gardner: Automakers increasingly dependent on China

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- The stock market plunge of the last week, which nearly turned into a panic early Monday, may end up teaching Detroit automakers and the rest of us a valuable lesson.

Yes, China is important because it remains the world's largest auto market. But today it's North America, where General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler are benefiting ...Read more

Federal agency opens investigation into 2008 Honda Accord air bags

Automotive / Automotive News /

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating reports that a defect in certain Honda Accords could prevent the air bags from deploying in a crash.

According to NHTSA documents, the problem with the air bag control computer model affects some model year 2008 Accords. The defect causes the air bag status indicator lamp to ...Read more

Retiring baby boomers, improved economy drive up RV sales

Automotive / Automotive News /

MILWAUKEE -- If you're seeing a lot of travel trailers and motor homes on the highway these days, it's more than a sign of summer. For the first time in a decade, the recreational-vehicle industry is poised to break production records.

RV manufacturers are expected to ship 380,000 units this year, up 6.5 percent from 2014 and nearing the ...Read more

Auto review: Again, Honda's Accord stands above the midsize sedan pack

Automotive / Automotive News /

If you want to stand out in the marketplace, take something ordinary, give it a twist and you'll wind up with something perceived as quite different.

For instance, if you renovated Kmart stores and stocked them with items that are stylish yet reasonably priced, you'd have Target. Or consider Mr. Coffee. Instead of making a large pot to be ...Read more

Auto review: 2016 Cadillac ATS-V leaves luxury rivals in dust

Automotive / Automotive News /

The fast and luxurious 2016 Cadillac ATS-V (I give it four out of four stars) coupe continues Cadillac's assault on the BMW M Sport and Mercedes-Benz AMG high-performance brands.

Those factory super tuners are the only other nameplates that are in the game with the sleek ATS-V. The Caddy hits 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, has a terminal velocity of ...Read more

Motoring Q&A: Talking flex-fuel vehicles could lead to political debates

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I would like to hear your opinion on flex-fuel vehicles. I assume these vehicles can use regular gasoline with 10 percent ethanol or E85 (85 percent ethanol). I don't understand how a vehicle can run on both gasoline and E85 when we hear of potential engine damage when using E15 (15 percent ethanol).

A: That's a sensitive issue that involves...Read more

Under the Hood: How to match new tires with your old car

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: There's no doubt car manufacturers do enormous amounts of research on the best tire setups for their new cars. From this research come clearly recommended tire pressures that support optimal tire performance.

But what happens if original manufacturer tires are replaced with tires carrying a different speed or load rating? Do the recommended ...Read more

Average used-car price hits record high: $18,800

Automotive / Automotive News /

Used cars are following the pricy road paved by new cars.

Used-car prices hit a record high in the second quarter of 2015, climbing 7.6 percent year-over-year to an average of $18,800, according to a new study by car shopping site

The price growth mirrors the average transaction price for new light-duty vehicles, which hit a near-...Read more