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Auto Word: 2015 Upgrades to Honda CR-V Highlight Innovations, Safety

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

The simple and likable Honda CR-V has been a handy helpmate since 1997. And, my, how it has grown in confidence and sophistication from that first spindly model that had a nifty cargo floor that converted to a card table, with folding legs, for tailgating.

The table is gone now, but there are many more functional features layered into this ...Read more

Auto Word: Three-Ton Rolls-Royce Convertible Is Big-Boned and Broad, but a Beauty

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

PhThe topless winged lady flies through the air with greatest of ease, that phantom of the street opera baring all to see.

This big V-12 Rolls-Royce convertible is an imposing car, with her hood riding taller than the roof of most sports cars. In Brit-speak, today's tester is the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, costing a breathy $553,000 as...Read more

Auto Word: 2nd Generation ILX Distills the Best of Acura

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

The second verse is much better than first for the 2016 Acura ILX. It has had a mild do-over from last year, but it was a significant layering on of improvements from the launch of the first generation model in 2012.

The ILX is a compact-class, entry-luxury sedan, which has become a trend-setting segment with several new models, including the ...Read more

Auto Word: Kia Tries a Little Harder to Make Sedona a Standout

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

Clean, lean and crisp are not typical words used in describing a minivan. But Kia seems to be trying just a little harder to stand out with its re-engineered 2015 Sedona.

This is the third generation of Sedona and, my, it has come a long way. It was coarse, underpowered and clunky on its debut in 1998, but Kia quickly smoothed the rough edges ...Read more

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

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