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Auto Word: Toyota Avalon Hybrid is High-Tech with a Durable Disposition

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

The Toyota Avalon flies under the popularity radar as a comfortable car with American-class roominess. It's also the only large-midsize sedan sold as a gasoline-electric hybrid.

Toyota sells about a billion Camry sedans a month versus a tenth of that number of the slightly larger Avalon sedan. But the Avalon might actually be a value purchase ...Read more

Auto Word: Airstream's 85th Anniversary

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

Come and listen to a story about a man named Wally, a humble travel pioneer with wanderlust in his heart.

Wally Merle Byam was born on the July 4, 1896, in Baker City, Oregon. He would find himself pretty much alone in the world at a young age, but moss would not grow under his feet. To make a long and captivating biography short, Byam loved ...Read more

Auto Word: Cadillac Flagship CT6 Is out With the Old

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

Cadillac's new full-size CT6 sedan certainly isn't "old Cadillac." It seems to be trying very hard to be a competent German car, and it succeeds in some ways. But while I like this Caddy's sharp exterior styling, the inside seems more like an upscale Chevrolet, although it is luxurious in a sport-tuned way.

These may just be observations of ...Read more

Auto Word: Lamborghini Huracan Is a Daily-Driving Rave Show

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

The Lamborghini Huracan may be popularly perceived as a social rave, but it is an engineering masterpiece and a daily-driver supercar.

As Lamborghini's smaller sports car, the Huracan replaced the Gallardo in mid-2014. It is a righteous successor to an exotic reigning champion of supercar finesse and style. New for 2016 is the rear-wheel drive ...Read more

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

 
 

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