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Auto Word: 2015 Lexus NX Is a Fashion Stiletto, But Not the 'Nimble' Wagon It Could Be

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

The compact sport crossover is the trendy gold mine for luxury brands. Audi has the Q5 and smaller Q3, BMW has the X3 and smaller X1, Mercedes-Benz is making a killing with the GLA and now Lexus is selling every NX that it can build -- and a majority are the top-line NX F Sport, a fashion-stiletto with even louder exterior styling.

The NX -- ...Read more

Auto Word: Porsche 911 Targa Returns With Shapely Sculpting and AWD

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

I was never a fan of the Targa body style of Porsche 911 -- until the 2015 model came along.

The first generation of 911 Targa was introduced at the Frankfurt auto show in 1965, and this year marks its 50th anniversary. Returning for 2015, this semi-convertible is the seventh generation.

You'll know this body style by its Targa picnic-basket ...Read more

Auto Word: Buick Regal GS AWD a Thoughtful and Considerate Midsize Sedan

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

A blustery winter storm socked San Diego with showers -- and snow to our higher elevations. And as luck would have it, Buick had just delivered a 2015 Regal GS with all-wheel drive, $44,000 as tested.

Seat heater, on. Heated steering wheel, on. I went for a drive.

With just a dusting in the hilly backcountry I didn't challenge the AWD, but the...Read more

Auto Word: Aluminum Is Just Part of 2015 Ford F-150 Innovations

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

There may be no keener competition among the domestic automakers than for pickup dominance. Trucks are what Ford, GM and Ram do best -- and better than the import competition.

Each of the Detroit-sourced pickups on sale today is a paragon of power with efficiency and a work ethic. So when Ford re-created its best-selling vehicle -- the F-150 --...Read more

Auto Word: Corvette Stingray Convertible Has the Right Moves

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

The Corvette Stingray may not be the perfect sports car -- but the convertible version comes close.

The one-touch power top folds in less time than the wait at a traffic light, and, if not, the process will finish at up to 30 mph. Air flow with the top down at Interstate speeds is completely comfortable, for most occupants not in the ...Read more

Auto Word: When Too Much Is Not Quite Enough, Try The Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

The Mercedes-AMG S63 puts the grand (thousands of them) in a grand touring coupe. This big new model from the newly formed subbrand -- Mercedes-AMG, the high-performance division of the star-emblem German automaker -- is a platinum standard among the mainstream luxury-class competition.

Mercedes-Benz now makes the most luxurious cars in the $...Read more

Auto Word: Four Doors Do Not Compromise Cooper Hardtop

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

Yet another bigger Mini with four doors and five seats? And it's not a wagon? And it's still a riot to drive?

Who would have thought that a four-door Mini would be a good idea? But the new four-door hardtop will be a big seller in the U.S. And it follows the 2014 redesign of the two-door hardtop that was made a little bigger and more functional...Read more

Auto Word: Nissan Juke RS Gets a Jolt of Higher Power

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

There's nothing like a brisk spray of torque steer scrambling the front tires to get me to slap both hands on the wheel.

Nissan juiced its Juke Nismo model last year with the higher-horsepower RS model and then layered on more improvements for 2015.

I just tested the 2015 RS with turboed 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 215-horsepower -- 18-...Read more

Auto Word: Ford Transit Wagon Redefines a Family-Size Package

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

Van-zilla: Ford Transit Wagon Redefines a Family-Size Package

When eight is not enough, or your family comprises the entire sports team and you prefer to buy your vehicle by the pound, then the new Ford Transit passenger van will make a strong value statement for you.

Don't confuse this rolling add-a-room with Ford's compact and tidy Transit ...Read more

Auto Word: Lincoln Advantage Has Style, Function Ideal for the American Motorist

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

The Lincoln MKC is the fountain of youth for this formal luxury division of Ford Motor Co.

Suddenly, Lincoln has a desirable new entry in the fastest growing segment of vehicles in the U.S.: the compact crossover. All of the European and import luxury brands have at least one and so do the mainstream brands.

It is a simple and mainly American ...Read more

Auto Word: A Better Wiper

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

If you were seeing through the glass darkly when it rained this week, it's likely time to change your vehicle's windshield wipers. Sun, salt air, car wax and high heat are hard on the rubber squeegee, and after a year on the job, most are gummed up, cracked and chattering or flapping loose and ready to etch a most-unwelcome arc on the glass.

...Read more

Auto Word: Buick Debuts Avenir Concept and Recalls Five Past Influential Designs

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

Celebratory Spirit: Buick Debuts Avenir Concept and Recalls Five Past Influential Designs

"The celebratory spirit of America's great auto shows returned to Motor City this year," said Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com.

The ongoing Detroit auto show -- fully titled the North American International Auto Show -- feels very...Read more

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