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Larry Printz: An impressive new Toyota Avalon springs to life for 2019

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Full-size cars rarely attract younger buyers, and the Toyota Avalon is no exception. Try selling a car to a millennial with a name that refers to the legendary island of the dead where King Arthur is buried. After all, this car has traditionally offered a similar dose of eternal serenity.

As before, the fifth-generation Avalon ...Read more

Review: Mini electrifies the Countryman, with plug-in hybrid drive system

Automotive / Automotive News /

The distinctive design and individual styling possibilities, along with efficient driving fun of the Mini, have been thrilling fans for over 15 years.

During that time, the Mini Clubman and Mini Countryman have placed the brand in the premium compact segment. A plug-in Clubman hybrid was introduced for 2017, the British brand's first, paving ...Read more

Review: 2018 Volkswagen Atlas carries 3-row SUV class on its shoulders

Automotive / Automotive News /

With the all-new Atlas, Volkswagen is one of the last automakers to debut a proper three-row SUV. Being late to the three-row party has its advantages; Atlas feels roomier, smoother and altogether more unified than the competition.

It may just carry the beleaguered brand on its back, much as its mythological namesake holds up the sky, a sky ...Read more

Automakers put on a show in Detroit as policy storms loom in DC

Automotive / Automotive News /

WASHINGTON -- New models soaked up the spotlight at the Detroit auto show this week but policy decisions coming from Washington in 2018 may do more to determine the health of the industry than anything since the industry's U.S. bailout 10 years ago.

Pending federal government actions -- from a possible North American Free Trade Agreement ...Read more

Under the Hood: Avoid 4x4 mode on the road

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I read your column in the local newspaper, the Texarkana Gazette, and that's honestly the only reason I buy the Sunday paper.

I have a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 5.3 automatic four-wheel drive Z71, approximately 160,000 miles, perfect maintenance so far. We had some winter weather, and I have some land, and I put my truck in four-wheel drive ...Read more

Car hacking remains a very real threat as autos become ever more loaded with tech

Automotive / Automotive News /

Automakers and suppliers are making progress in protecting vehicles from cyber attacks, but the car-hacking threat is still real and could get increasingly serious in the future when driverless vehicles begin talking to each other.

A worst-case scenario would be hackers infiltrating a vehicle through a minor device, such as an infotainment ...Read more

Reinvented Ranger pickups will move Ford into midsize truck market

Automotive / Automotive News /

It's been just over six years since the last Ford Ranger pickup rolled off the assembly line, and Ford Motor Co. is ready to make the small-size truck for North American markets again.

But this time, it's a mid-size pickup, and it looks a lot more like the current F-150 than the former Ranger.

Production on the new truck will begin in late ...Read more

Review: Yamaha's new Star Eluder could compete with baggers from Harley-Davidson and Indian

Automotive / Automotive News /

This is a great season for cruisers and baggers.

In the last few months, Honda has unleashed its new Gold Wing touring motorcycle and BMW has produced its mighty K1600 B and K1600 B Grand America.

I was able to spend a 300-mile riding day astride the Eluder, on a route between San Diego and Los Angeles that also included a lunch stop at ...Read more

Subaru Crosstrek: Get ready to roam

Automotive / Automotive News /

It may be love that makes a Subaru a Subaru, but I suspect that a good deal of research and engineering went into the design, development and manufacturing of the new Crosstrek.

Featuring some key upgrades for the 2018 model year, this capable car could be an ideal vehicle for buyers who want a compact SUV that drives like a sedan but also ...Read more

Auto review: 2019 Honda Insight aims to become America's favorite hybrid

Automotive / Automotive News /

Honda will make its latest pitch for recognition as a leader in gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles when the sleek 2019 Insight prototype bows at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday.

The handsome, five-seat sedan will look right at home alongside Honda's hot-selling Accord and Civic. I expect prices to overlap those ...Read more

Auto Review: Nissan Maxima '4-door Sports Car' gets some upgrades for 2018, starts at $33,270

Automotive / Automotive News /

Nissan rolled out the newest generation of its Nissan Maxima sport sedan just two years ago, and now it returns for 2018 with just a few enhancements.

Those include standard Android Auto connectivity (in addition to Apple CarPlay, added last year), new content for the Midnight Edition package, and a new exterior color, Carnelian Red ($395 extra...Read more

Fiat Chrysler will invest $1B in Michigan truck plant; bring Ram work back from Mexico

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said Thursday it will invest more than $1 billion to modernize the company's Warren Truck Plant, adding 2,500 jobs and moving production of its Ram Heavy Duty trucks from Mexico.

The changeover is to be complete in 2020.

The company said the new federal tax law made the shift possible. That legislation, ...Read more

Toyota to show FT-4X Concept, new Avalon at Detroit auto show

Automotive / Automotive News /

In addition to the 2019 Avalon, Toyota on Monday will show the FT-4X Concept at the North American International Auto Show, the automaker said Wednesday.

The Avalon was first sold in the U.S. in 1994. It shares its underbody with the new Camry that went on sale earlier this year. Much of the engineering, except the powertrain, was done in the ...Read more

Under the Hood: New tire size changes odometer and speedometer readings

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: Three months ago I purchased 2010 Jeep Wrangler Sport. It came with P255/75R17 tires which are larger than the original tires which were P225/75R16. Is there an easy and inexpensive fix to re-calibrate my speedometer so everything is correct based on the present tire size? Thanks.

Fred S, Millville, N.J.

A: Your replacement tires cover ...Read more

New Edge unveiled during hot SUV cycle for Ford, offers internet access for 10 devices

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- On the heels of its hottest year for SUV sales, Ford unveiled a new 2019 Edge midsize sport utility that targets upscale shoppers. The vehicle gets an aggressive cosmetic and technology overhaul.

Many buyers of the SUV are professionals who say they want to project a positive image while having access to a wide range of options that ...Read more

The future of Ford: Connecting cars, bikes, stoplights

Automotive / Automotive News /

LAS VEGAS -- Ford CEO Jim Hackett offered an ambitious vision for the automaker's autonomous vehicle business strategy Tuesday at the CES tech conference here, depicting a future that will be as much as about networks of cars and traffic signals as any particular model of self-driving vehicle.

Ford will build these networked systems, he said, ...Read more

Auto review: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is like a good winter coat

Automotive / Automotive News /

A good compact crossover is like a good winter coat: it's nothing to get excited about, but its ability to satisfy several functions can be very pleasing. The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is like a good winter coat.

Fortunately for car buyers, the hottest segment in the industry doesn't have any duds or divas, so differentiating between them is less ...Read more

Fisker at CES: A $130,000 electric sedan and a radical new battery technology

Automotive / Automotive News /

Henrik Fisker, the Los Angeles car designer and automobile entrepreneur, is best known for his long, flowing, smoothly muscular creations, from the BMW Z8 to the Aston-Martin V8 Vantage to the Fisker Karma.

His own companies have achieved less success than he'd like. His previous electric-car company, Fisker Automotive, went bust in 2013.

Now ...Read more

Pay $200-plus for a car's key fob replacement? Look at cheaper options

Automotive / Automotive News /

I've learned to live with certain idiosyncrasies on my 2004 Chevy Malibu. The "check battery" indicator light flashes and dings at 50 mph, the gear shift light burned out, and my key fob will no longer lock or unlock the doors, despite replacing the fob's battery.

A nonfunctioning key fob was the last straw. Not to get a new car--the Malibu is ...Read more

Honda's new Accord is an excellent transportation appliance

Automotive / Automotive News /

No automaker in history has made better cars than Honda. The Japanese company deserves its reputation for delivering decent, dependable cars at fair prices.

The 2018 Accord is another feather in its cap, a well-engineered transportation appliance that is almost post-automotive in design and execution.

Honda reworked its bestselling sedan for ...Read more