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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

Auto Word: The 2017 Sportage Grows, Regroups and Rallies

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

Kia's Sportage nameplate has been around since this Korean carmaker started selling cars in the U.S. in 1994. And my, oh my, how far this compact crossover has evolved in 22 years.

The 2017 Sportage is a completely re-engineered vehicle. It's a little larger, wider and longer. It's a showcase of Kia's can-do perseverance. At first glance, the ...Read more

Auto Word: Hyundai's 2017 Elantra Redesign Targets Style, Technology and Refinement

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

Hyundai's 2017 Elantra Redesign Targets Style, Technology and Refinement

The once cheap and cheerful Hyundai Elantra has evolved from a "head (choice) to (a) heart choice of a compact car," the company says.

The 2017 redesign made three key fixes: design, technology, and body structure and safety. The styling is an immediate observation. ...Read more

Auto Word: Second-generation Plug-In EV Is More Efficient but Has Limits

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

The redesigned 2016 Chevy Volt doesn't drive as sporty as it looks, but just about everything else about it has been improved.

Now in its second generation, this extended-range electric car can be driven about 15 miles farther on a charge. Its motor and engine (generator) are more efficient, and the whole car is lighter and quicker.

The car is...Read more

Auto Word: Diesel's Not Such a Dirty Word for Range Rover Sport Td6

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

Diesel's Not Such a Dirty Word for Range Rover Sport Td6 It is cruel and unusual punishment to drive an $85,000 Range Rover Sport across scrabbly rock outcrops that can slice tires and gouge aluminum body panels. But traversing these outdoor environments can be done in complete luxury -- with street tires -- with a Range Rover.

There's a reason...Read more

Auto Word: Lexus Updates Its Best-Selling Crossover

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

Lexus defined the budding crossover segment in 1998 with its first RX model. At the time, it was a radical concept and a striking design. It was SUV-like with a wagon's simplicity and a level of luxury that beat anything the American motorist had experienced.

Now in its fourth generation, the RX is still the brand's best-seller, and it has been...Read more

Auto Word: The Nissan Titan XD Is a Gentle Giant

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

When Nissan was designing its first full-sized pickup in the late 1990s, it knew that whatever it came up with could not be one millimeter less in capacity, ability or power than anything made by the Detroit Three. That truck, the Titan, went on sale in 2003 with the hardware and specs to compete. But it still could not chink the armor of the ...Read more

Auto Word: El Nino Repellents and Other Do-It-Yourself Car Care Products

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

If you've had trouble seeing through your windshield during this dark rainy week, it's probably not just your eyes. Have you checked your wiper blades lately?

If you are shopping for wiper blades, consider the Rain-X Latitude Water Repellency blades. These are curved beam blades, which I prefer because they hug the glass more and have a more ...Read more

Auto Word: Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Makes it Easy to be Green

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

The 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has the smallest life-cycle carbon footprint of any model year 2016 SUV, according to a study by the Automotive Science Group, based in Santa Rosa.

But the dilemma for buyers to go with an electrified vehicle is still economics vs. environment. It is somewhat reassuring that the RAV4 Hybrid is some of both.

Sold in ...Read more


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