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Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Acura TLX

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

It's rare for a luxury car's price to go down for the new model year. Rarer still for that to happen when the car in question is "all new." Well, here you are - the 2015 TLX.

It replaces the TL luxury sport-sedan and (more or less) fills the same slot in Acura's lineup, targeting the same general buyer pool. But it does so at a much lower entry...Read more

Eric's Autos: New Car Features to Think Twice About

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

It's the "bells and whistles" that get the headlines - and grab your attention. But they might also grab your wallet once the warranty runs out. A classic example from long ago is the aluminum block four-cylinder engine GM trotted out back in the mid-1970s. It was a revolutionary design based on a high-silicon alloy that eliminated the need for...Read more

Eric's Autos: Self-Driving Cars

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

You've heard about the "self-driving" car? Here's a preview: This is me driving a 2015 Acura TLX. Actually, it's the Acura TLX driving me.

The car (and other Acuras, including the new MDX) has a "steering assist" feature that uses cameras to keep the thing in its lane - more accurately, in between ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Infiniti QX80

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Well, gas is cheap again. Does it mean big SUVs (with big, thirsty V8s) will make a comeback? I doubt it. Even though the cost of fuel is down, the cost of everything else has gone up. I don't buy the happy talk about the "recovery." No one I know has "recovered." Most of us are just trying to pay the bills. Barely.

But, I am happy in the way ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Classic Car Pros and Cons

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

It's fun to own a "classic" (read, pre-modern) car. It can also be a hassle. Before you dive in, it's a good idea to know what you're in for, both good - and bad. The good:

Pre-modern cars have personality; they're interesting - something homogenized, same-same modern cars aren't. Cars built in the '70s and before were designed largely the ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Electric Lemonade

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Remember the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? Welcome to the wacky world of electric cars! Going on 100 years now - and they keep churning them out (with "help" from Uncle, natch).

There are now at least a dozen different makes - and models - to choose from. VW just debuted an electric...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Kia K900

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

"K900" sounds like the designation for the latest Russian nuclear ballistic missile submarine. But it's a Korean sub - and its warheads are targeted at Mercedes and BMW. Kind of like Lexus did, back in the day. The concept is similar: Offer more car (literally) for less money.

Thus, the K900 is bigger - and a great deal roomier - than an E-...Read more

Eric's Autos: Sensible Traffic Laws… For a Change!

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Virginia - home of the dumbed-down "reckless driving" statute (drive faster than 20 MPH over any speed limit and you automatically qualify; see here) has actually done something sensible for once, with regard to its traffic laws.

Flashing yellow "proceed when clear" signals are replacing Thou Must Sit And Wait red lights at left turn lanes. ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Keep Your Bike From Overheating!

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

If your motorcycle has a water-cooled engine - and you'd like for it not to overheat - then it's a good idea to keep the cooling system in good "tune." Let's have a quick look:

The basic system is similar to a car's. You've got a radiator - usually (in modern bikes) with a thermostatically controlled electric fan that comes on if the ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Toyota Camry

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Don't worry - they didn't mess it up. The "bold" and "sporty" 2015 Camry is - wisely - more or less the same as it was before. Yes, it has a new face. And there is a new (and "sportier" optional gauge cluster). But it's no Altima/Maxima/Mazda6/Accord ... thank god. Toyota isn't stupid, after all.

And it would be exceptionally stupid to take ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Best Time to Buy a Hybrid?

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Cheap gas is making hybrids seem like less of a deal. Which in turn is making them harder to sell.

Which is tough nuts for those trying to sell them - but could be really good news for you, if you're thinking seriously about trying to buy one. Consider the Toyota Prius - the best-known (and best-selling) hybrid. Its base price is $24,200 and ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Backseat Buzzers Coming?

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Soon, you won't even be able to toss a gym bag on the back seats. Well, not if you want to avoid the dreaded - and relentless - "buckle up for safety" buzzer. Which the government is about to mandate shall be wired into the back seats now, too. For the children.

There is, you see, an epidemic (well, they want you to so see) of kiddies who ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 VW Golf 1.8 TSI

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

The Beetle is cute and lately, butch - but the VW that consistently sells best (and which has done so, for a long time) is the Golf ... which was once the Rabbit ... which was the car that succeeded the original (air-cooled/rear-engined) Beetle, back in the late '70s... by which time it could no longer comply with Uncle's ever-more-demanding ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Keeping it on the Road

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Most of us would like our vehicles to last a long time - and cost us as little money as possible during that time. Here are a few tips toward that end:

* If your vehicle has a manual transmission, the first time you start the car in the morning - especially if it's a cold morning - select neutral after starting the engine, gently release the ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Roaches Don't Like The Light

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

What possible legitimate objection could any cop have to being video/audio recorded while performing his "duties"? As the saying goes, if you've got nothing to hide.

But of course, there is much to hide - such as the recent choke-holding death of cigarette scofflaw Eric Garner. Take away the inconvenient video and the official story becomes: ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Scion FR-S

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Muscle cars and pony cars and exotic high-performance cars abound. But there aren't many true sports cars around. Not for less than $25k to start, at least. Arguably, the Mazda Miata has been the only one. It has certainly been the most successful one. For 25 years now - and still going strong.

Subaru and Toyota (an oddfellas partnership, if ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Insurance Savings Accounts?

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Let's accept - for a moment - the core argument that's typically trotted out in support of forcing people to buy car insurance: You might hurt someone or cause damage to someone else's property; if you don't have insurance, these costs will be borne by society." Therefore, "society" has a right to demand that you carry insurance. Well, ok.

But...Read more

Eric's Autos: Riding Old

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Old bikes have style - and character. Any machine that's still operable after say 40 years will have become something special, a piece of living history that conjures sensations and sounds from decades long gone. Turn the fuel tap to on, kick the beast to life... it's more than merely reminiscing. It's revisiting.

An old bike is a time machine...Read more

Eric's Autos: Fix it - Or Junk It?

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Kids leave the house at 18, Christmas is always December 25th... but when is it time to sell, trade - or junk - your car? It's a hard question, especially if you like the car. Even more so if it's been reliable ... up to now.

But, a day will come when you're faced with a repair that could put you on the wrong side of the cost-benefit equation. ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Why Do Cars Cost So Much?

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

How much would the average new car cost if the least expensive new car you could buy cost around $5,000? Probably, a lot less than the current average of just over $30,000.

Part of the reason for the ballooning cost of new cars is the balloons in new cars - six air bags, for example (only two are formally required by law, but six has become the...Read more

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