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Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Volvo V60

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Have you noticed? Acura has quietly dropped the TSX sportwagon. The Caddy CTS wagon is gone, too. Audi no longer sells wagon versions of the A4 or the A6, either. The Benz C-Class wagon disappeared years ago. Look around - the room's pretty empty. Well, except for this Volvo V60. It's not only a wagon, it's the only luxury-brand sportwagon you ...Read more

Eric's Autos: If Distracted Driving is Bad

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

We're told it's not safe to text while drive because that's a distraction. But how about all these buzzers and flashing lights and (yes, it's true) suddenly vibrating seats and steering wheels? Many new cars comes equipped with some - or all - of the following:

Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Cross Traffic ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Get An Old Bike While You Can Still Afford One

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

As new bikes become more and more like new cars - that is, complicated and expensive, both to buy and maintain - the remaining supply of old bikes is going to get pricier as a result of increasing demand. After all, they're not making any more of them.

The situation with bikes today is a lot like it was with cars - especially now-classic muscle...Read more

Eric's Autos: Blue Haze - Mazda RX-8 (2001-2012)

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Some of the greets ideas never get fleshed out and remain... great ideas. Mazda's rotary engine, for instance. And the car that was built around it. The RX8.

Well, it began with the RX-7 - which first came to market in 1978. It was the heir-apparent of the Japanese (home market) 1967-'72 Cosmo - Mazda's first production car foray into rotary ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Mandatory in-Car Breathalyzers by 2020?

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Drunk driving checkpoints presume you're drunk until you demonstrate otherwise to the satisfaction of a cop. In about five years - maybe sooner - your car may take over that job.

NHTSA - the federal agency that brought you shrapnel-spewing airbags you're not allowed to say no to - has revealed its next decision-made-for-you in the name of "...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Chevy Impala

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Big family cars used to be what American car companies did better than anyone else. Chevy is doing it again. It may not be rear-wheel-drive or offer V8 power, but the Impala is a family sled and road car worth of the bounding African antelope badge on the sail panel.

Perhaps because it is a Cadillac road sled with a bounding African antelope ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 BMW X5 M

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Some of the quickest cars on the road aren't even cars - much less high-performance sports cars. This BMW X5 M, for instance. Don't let the four doors fool you. Let them fool the dude sitting next to you at the light in his 911.

With not-far-from 600 hp under its hood, the gag is on pretty much everyone - in anything - who thinks they can ...Read more

Eric's Autos: What They're Not Telling You About New Cars

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Did you know that some (and soon, probably many) new cars don't rely entirely on an alternator to generate the electricity needed to run accessories and - critical thing - keep the battery charged? And that these are not hybrid cars?

BMW and Mazda were the first to graft hybrid-esque regenerative braking technology onto non-hybrid cars. The ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Unmarked Cars Making The Roads Less Safe

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Wouldn't it be easier if they just hit us all with another once-annually additional "fee" (that is, another tax) that would be due Jan. 1 and otherwise left us alone on the roads unless we actually caused an accident?

Instead of cops lurking in cutouts on the highway, radar guns at the ready, fleecing people at random - why not just cut 'em a ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Nissan NX300h

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Maybe you're like me and think there's something... odd about spending $40,000 on a car because you're, uh, worried about how much gas costs. And yet, they sell. High-end hybrids, that is. And so, they keep building more of them. Like this new Lexus NX300h.

It's the same basic ride as the NX200t - but instead of a 235 hp turbocharged four, zero...Read more

Eric's Autos: Takata Air Bags Bad, Government Air Bags Good!

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Probably the most interesting thing about the (can't help myself) exploding Takata air bag scandal is the doublethink it exposes.

On the one hand, we are told - in the literal/parental sense - that we will have air bags in our cars (like it or not) because not to have them is an unacceptable risk and "unsafe."

Notwithstanding that when air ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Why The Young Hate Cars

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Well, maybe hate is too strong. But they sure seem not to like them very much. As evidenced by the fact that a record-high percentage haven't even got a driver's license - and have no intention (according to what they tell researchers) of ever getting one.

How high? Pushing 30 percent (and upticking each year) of present-day 19-year-olds. As ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Dodge Dart

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Every now and then, you'll see a Dodge Dart. The original ('70s-era) Dart, I mean. They were as durable as the pyramids. Well, the famous Slant Six" engine was. The bodies tended to rust away long before that inline six gave up the ghost. That's the main reason you don't see many original Darts anymore.

But back in the day, people loved 'em - ...Read more

Eric's Autos: GM's Cobblepot and The Chevy Vega

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

In the popular TV series, Gotham (it's a prequel to the Batman story) there's an episode called "Everyone Has His Cobblepot" - a reference to something embarrassing in one's past. The Chevy Vega's is GM's Cobblepot.

Like most failures, it wasn't intentional. But it was - in retrospect predictable. Chiefly because then-GM President Ed Cole ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Maintenance 101 and Old Car Oil Change

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Everything changes - even oil changes. Not necessarily the procedure. But the oil you use. Or rather, ought to be using. If you happen to own an older vehicle.

Specifically, a vehicle with an engine that has a flat tappet camshaft. Which is - pretty much - every American car with a ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Subaru Forester

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

You can learn some important stuff about cars by taking note of who buys what - and how the cars are used. And whether they stand up to the uses to which they're put.

Texans, for instance, know trucks. Forget the TV commercials and advertising flapdoodle. Check out which makes/models of pick-up are popular in Texas - especially rural Texas - ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Things to Know About Tires

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

The invention of the wheel was a pretty big deal - rolling stuff being a lot easier than carrying (or pushing or dragging) it.

The invention of tires was the next great leap forward. Rubber tires allowed wheels to travel more smoothly on rough/uneven surfaces and at faster-than-walking pace without shaking themselves - and the cart or carriage...Read more

Eric's Autos: It's Not The Speeding, It's The Double Standard

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Here's a nice little video making the rounds online:

Observe the Hero (as we're constantly told they are) driving at least 85 MPH - the car pacing him is going that fast and can't catch up. In many states, anything over 80 MPH - anywhere - is statutory "reckless" driving. The offender is subject to ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 VW Passat TDI

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

When you're the only game in town, you've pretty much got the market cornered.

But it helps when what you're selling is also what people want. People want Passats.

It's a very popular car, in part because it's the only German car in its class - and in this price range. The rest are (cue the italics and the umlaut) uber expensive due to their ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Worst Car Design Trends

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Looks may be in the eye of the beholder - we can argue about the aesthetic appeal of the Pontiac Aztek all day long without anyone proving they're right - or wrong.

But functional flaws are objective.

Here are some picks of the litter:

* Steamroller wheels (and tires) -

I recently reviewed the 2015 VW Passat TDI (see here). It's a middle-of...Read more

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