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Auto Word: 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

Auto Word: Acura Builds a Beautiful Beast

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

On the racetrack, the Acura NSX howls like an Indy-500 racer. But on the street, in its Quiet mode, it purrs like a Honda kitten.

In 2012, Acura announced it would bring back its high-tech sports car, and this time, it would be a supercar with a hybrid gasoline-electric power unit.

While pricing starts at $157,800 (including the $1,800 freight...Read more

Auto Word: More Beauty and More Growl in the Redesigned Jaguar XF Sedan

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

The new Jaguar XF might be the prettiest large sedan in the luxury segment.

The redesigned second-generation car is more mature, more sophisticated and more focused, Jaguar says. But that's not to say that the first model, launched in 2007, was a mere cockney flower child.

The redesign rendered more clean-and-lean sleekness that continues the ...Read more

Auto Word: 2016 Miata Redesign Gets Back to Basics

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

There is just no other car like the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Pleasure is part of its DNA, and the re-engineered 2016 model, the fourth-generation MX-5, is no exception.

This little roadster was a charmer when it debuted in the U.S. in 1990. Its Miata magic is still quite apparent, and possibly even more enjoyable now. Its lightweight, rear-wheel-drive...Read more

Auto Word: Tech-Savvy 2016 Malibu Is Back with Sizzle

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

The 2016 Chevy Malibu is back with sexy lines and a tech-friendly interface after a lapse in style in 2013. This nameplate has been part of the American dream landscape since 1964, and the 2016 model represents the ninth generation.

The new Malibu has a fresh makeover, riding on a wheelbase that is almost 4 inches longer, with a body that is ...Read more


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