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Auto Word: Hyundai Tucson Redesign Packs Versatility and Refinement, But Lacks Power

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

Size matters for a compact crossover, and the Hyundai Tucson makes the most of small spaces to give the owner big returns.

The Tucson was re-engineered for 2016. It was made 3 inches longer and a little more than an inch wider, and the wheelbase was made 1.2 inches longer. Size adjustments were made for a roomier cabin, more cargo space and a ...Read more

Auto Word: Fiat 124 Spider a Bilingual Strategy

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

The Fiat 124 Spider is a bilingual strategy piece designed to please the senses, the company says.

The strategy for this two-seater is to add a love interest to the existing lineup of Fiat 500 models (four- and five-seaters) and bring in some new customers through a new relationship with Japanese carmaker Mazda. The 2017 124 Spider shares the ...Read more

Auto Word: Camaro Convertible Is a Hot Mettle Striptease

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

There are just a few hard stats necessary to signify a good convertible.

No. 1: Good air flow with the top down. There's no excuse for shoddy aerodynamics that will make the wind rip off a driver's sunglasses. Passengers should be able to have a conversation without shouting.

No. 2: A top that can be lowered in less time than it takes for a ...Read more

Auto Word: Mazda Shows Its Sword Play With New CX-9

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

Mazda has brought a Japanese sword to a knife fight in the cutthroat arena of seven-passenger crossover sport utility vehicles.

Mazda has made a strong move up-market and deeper into advanced technologies for the redesign of its second-generation three-row CX-9 crossover.

In the past, the CX-9 was minivan-like in function and utility. The new ...Read more

4th Generation 2016 Toyota Prius Is Less Prius, More Practical

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

2016 Toyota Prius: 4th Generation Hybrid Is Less Prius, More Practical

Do not underestimate the 2016 Prius.

This tech trendsetter that was once a dollop of green envy has evolved to become an all-around handy hatchback.

The fourth-generation 2016 Prius gasoline-electric hybrid is a complete re-engineering on Toyota's New Global Architecture. ...Read more

Auto Word: Audi Builds Its Best A4 -- After 9 Generations

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

Audi calls its re-engineered 2017 A4 the best-performing version yet, though it took nine generations. Under its new, more elegantly styled skin is an autocross of sophisticated electronic sensors for near-piloted driving, but it's also is a balanced driver's car of mean intensity.

The A4's electro-mechanical steering is a standout for its ...Read more

Auto Word: Chevy's Compact Moves up in Size, Styling and Content

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

The re-engineered 2016 Chevrolet Cruze begs the statement "why not" rather than "why bother." Why not offer an economy sedan that has a list of sophisticated options and refined interior features?

Manufacturers are now making what were once uplevel packages and accessories available on the modest models. It's all possible at a price, but is it ...Read more

Auto Word: Ford's Platinum Explorer Covers New Ground

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

So, I was having dinner in the local cantina, chewing the fat with the guy on the barstool next to me.

"Why do you always write about cars that cost so much?" he asked. "Nobody buys those."

In the next breath he says with great pride: "Hey, guess what I just bought? A new Ford Explorer."

"Oh," said I. "And how much was it?"

"Fifty-thousand-...Read more

Auto Word: Chrysler Pacifica Breaks out of the Minivan Box

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

Chrysler was faced with a real head-scratcher when it came time to remake the most ridiculed passenger vehicle on the American roadscape: the minivan. How do you disguise the box that a minivan has to be and make it into something desirable?

It was this Detroit Three carmaker's family-centric engineers and designers who created the minivan in ...Read more

Auto Word: American Muscle Cars and Other Auto Reads

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

If V-8-powered, rear-wheel drive American muscle cars make you smile, then here are two new coffee-table books to fuel some memories. Remember the words of Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band's tune "Racing in the Street": "I got a sixty-nine Chevy with a 396/ Fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor."

"Wide-Open Muscle: The Rarest Muscle Car ...Read more

Auto Word: Honda's New Civic Coupe Is Packed With Personality and Perks

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

A cheapie coupe was once the go-to car for the young and restless new driver.

Today, young drivers (millenials) are choosing four-door vehicles for their technological capabilities and space. Two-doors have become the niche choice because they have become expensive.

Honda hopes to mine some millennial gold with the 2016 Civic coupe. There are ...Read more

Auto Word: The Lincoln MKC Makes a Statement with Power and Prestige

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

The Lincoln MKC is the brand's smallest vehicle, but it makes a big statement of style and power.

This compact crossover is a luxury-class workhorse with a simple, but elegant usability, although you can still hitch your weekend toy and drive off with 3,000 pounds. Inside and out it is quite Lincolnized to separate it from Ford's global ...Read more

Auto Word: The 2017 Audi Q7 Is a Flagship of Sedan Luxury

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

Through a late spring storm of rain, sleet, snow, wind and sunshine, the 2017 Audi Q7 powered through 1,250 miles, on a Route 66 run, with confidence, luxury and a fuel economy that ranged between 24 and 28.6 mpg.

Audi's redesigned second-generation Q7 crossover is a sedan-like flagship of luxury that happens to have cargo capacity and seat ...Read more


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