Remember the famous scene from the original Star Wars? Obi Wan and Luke run into an Imperial checkpoint heading into Mos Eisely spaceport. Using his Jedi powers of suggestion, Obi Wan whispers to the imperial stormtrooper, "You don't need to see his identification... These aren't the droids you're looking for... he can go about his business." ...Read more
Why does Lexus sell so many ES350s? Probably for the same reasons Toyota sells so many Camrys. Oops! The cat just jetted out of the bag… .
Yes. It's true. The ES350 and the Camry are related ... in the same way that Eric and Julia Roberts are related. One's just a bit prettier than the other. But the two cars share the same qualities that ...Read more
VW was the only major automaker selling affordable diesel powered passenger vehicles in the United States. You could, for instance, buy a diesel-powered Jetta sedan, Golf or Beetle for about $22k. Not anymore. At least, not for awhile.
VW announced yesterday (Wednesday; see here) that it will withdraw emissions certification applications ...Read more
In its Mad Men-era heyday, a Cadillac was the ultimate, the most, over-the-top... and not the least bit shy about it. Big fins - and big V8s. Even bigger attitude. Here's to repeating history.
WHAT IT IS
The Escalade is the end product of giving Cadillac designers a Chevy Tahoe and a blank check. The Tahoe's still in there - somewhere - but ...Read more
If you own a VW equipped with a diesel engine, what should you do? For the moment, nothing. Continue to drive your vehicle. It's perfectly safe. This is unusual.
Usually, when there is a recall, it is because a defect or flaw that could affect the safety of the vehicle has been identified. For example, the classic horror story of Ford Pintos ...Read more
Why make another of what everyone else is making - and hope it'll sell? Wouldn't it be smarter to offer something no one else is making instead? That would probably sell. This new Hyundai Tucson is another crossover SUV - but it's not "just another" crossover SUV.
What they've done is bridge the Size Gap between the emerging class of subcompact...Read more
How much do you know about your car - and what's good (and bad) for it? Take this quick quiz and see!
* Regular vs. premium gas?
Some cars require premium; others merely recommend it. Which should you use? The answer is - either!
If your owner's manual says the engine requires premium fuel, it means is designed to deliver the rated ...Read more
Minivans have become kind of like timeshares. Not many people seem to want to buy in. Part of the problem is image. Minivans are the automotive equivalent of middle-aged ED. Or at least, likely to be associated with it.
A much bigger problem for minivans is the availability of crossovers - many of which have everything a traditional minivan has...Read more
What Teenage Drivers Don't Know, The Unwritten Rules Of The RoadPaul Zientarski
“What Teenage Drivers Don’t Know, The Unwritten Rules of the Road” offers driving strategies and tips to teenagers about driving in poor conditions, parking, vehicle maintenance, surviving the unexpected and even navigating the court system.
This book takes the art of skillful...
It's a good idea to skip the high heels if you're going out for a hike. Similarly, a two-wheel-drive truck is just about the worst possible choice for attempting to make your way up a steep gravel driveway in summer. Forget winter.
I rediscovered this truth the other day after not making it up my friend Tim's steep gravel driveway in my 2WD ...Read more
As a rule, poor drivers aren't born. They are made. The other day, I came upon one such in process. She (as it happened) was obstructing five or six cars, all bunched up behind her. The speed limit was 55. She was doing between 40 and 45. On the roof of her car, a placard read: XYZ Driving School (XYZ is made up, the rest is real).
A student ...Read more
In theory, choice is good. In practice, too many choices can be overwhelming - especially when the choices between X and Y come down to little things (and the price is little different).
VW's just-updated Golf is by no means the only choice among compact economy cars. There are lots of them. But it is the only compact economy sedan/hatch on the...Read more
What they say may be true. Or at least, it's why so many went Jap back in the day. Me among them.
I have been working on an '80 Harley Sportster for about a month now. Mark that. Workingon an '80 Sportster. Not riding the thing. I understand now why they're often referred to as Hardley-Ablesons. You get one running, maybe. But not for long. ...Read more
In the '80s, when most cars were slow, you could drive fast and mostly get away with it. You might get a ticket. But going to jail - or even losing your license - was something you really had to work for.
Today, cars are much more powerful - and far faster than they were back then - but we hardly dare use them for fear of extreme repercussions...Read more
Four legs good, two legs bad! was the cry of the rebellious animals in Orwell's other classic, Animal Farm. This applies to cars as much as politics.
Two "legs" (doors) are generally bad when it comes to trying to make a buck. They don't sell in quantity because most people need more in the way of practicality. Even Porsche has had to deal with...Read more
Do you know why SUVs became so popular? It wasn't because of their, er, sportiness. Or even their utility. It was because they provided a way to get the size (especially under the hood) that American buyers wanted but which the government was doing its damndest to deny them via fuel efficiency mandates.
The story goes like this: In the mid-...Read more
If you are a car person - or just want to be able to park your car in your own damned driveway - be sure you read the fine print before you buy a house in a neighborhood that has an HOA. Or - worse - peculiar zoning ordinances.
But even if you do read them, it may not matter. Because the rules can change at any time - and when that happens, ...Read more
Sedans are becoming the red-headed stepchildren of the new car market. They're losing ground to the rising tide of crossovers - which are the same basic thing except they ride higher and have hatchbacks rather than trunks - and so usually have much more room for stuff. People seem to really like crossovers.
I was thinking these thoughts as I ...Read more
By Eric Peters For immediate release
Here are some of the most memorable car commercials of the past 30 years.
* Volkswagen "Little GTI" -
If you were around in the mid-1980s, you probably know the song, even if you don't know any German. Some exceptionally clever ad men took the 1960s hit single, Little GTO by Ronnie and the Daytonas - "...Read more
The work-to-reward ratio has been in steady decline for decades, but may have shifted decisively and perhaps irreversibly since the bottom fell out in 2008.
It's bad enough (but still tolerable) when they take 35 percent of your income in taxes, but the remainder is still sufficient to provide for the necessities plus some extras. When you can...Read more
GM gets ribbed a lot (and rightly so) for being "government motors" ... having accepted (no,demanded) enormous sums of taxpayer money in order to avoid bankruptcy. The bailouts were the corporate equivalent of EBT (which conservatives somewhat oddly or at least, inconsistently, dislike . . . their ire apparently reserved for needy and greedy ...Read more