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Eric's Autos: Last Call

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Some of you may have caught my recent article about the almost muscle cars of the mid-late 1970s (see here, if not). Cars like the Chevy Monza (and its Buick/Pontiac/Oldsmobile-badged twins), the Ford Maverick ... and so on. A side thread was that these cars - which are looking better and better in retrospect - might be the last opportunity for...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2016 Audi A3 TDI

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

If you've been considering a diesel-powered, compact-sized entry-luxury sedan, you might want to consider this: The 2016 Audi A3 TDI's city mileage is nearly as good as the Mercedes CLA250's highway mileage. And the Audi's highway mileage (43 MPG) is 10-15 MPG better. So says the EPA.

In real-world driving, you will find the Audi TDI's mileage ...Read more

Eric's Autos: New Car Buying Jedi Mind Tricks

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

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

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2016 Lexus ES350

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

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

Eric's Autos: No More Affordable Diesels

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

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

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2016 Cadillac Escalade

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

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.


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

Eric's Autos: Own a VW? What should you do?

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

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

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2016 Hyundai Tucson

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

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

Eric's Autos: Driver's Ed 101

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

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

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2016 Kia Sedona

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

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

Eric's Autos: High Heels and 4WD

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

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

Eric's Autos: Clovers Ed

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

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

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 VW Golf TDI

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

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

Eric's Autos: I'll Never Own An Old Harley

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

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

Eric's Autos: Life in the Slow Lane (in a Fast Car)

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

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

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2016 Fiat 500 X

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

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

Eric's Autos: History Repeats

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

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

Eric's Autos: The War on Cars - Parked and Otherwise

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

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

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Nissan Sentra

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

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

Eric's Autos: Best Car Commercials Ever

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

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

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