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Auto review: Buick's seven-passenger Enclave crossover redesigned for 2018; prices start at $39,995

Automotive / Automotive News /

Buick's large three-row crossover, the Enclave, got a complete makeover for 2018, bringing it into its second generation.

It's actually about 10 percent roomier inside than before, and still offers comfortable seating for up to seven passengers -- even adults.

Prices for 2018 begin at $39,995 (plus $995 freight) for the base front-wheel-drive ...Read more

Ford betting big on trucks, SUVs; sets sights on hybrid gains

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- America is showing an insatiable appetite for trucks and SUVs, and Ford plans to feed it.

CEO Jim Hackett and his top executives announced Thursday a strategy to ramp up truck and SUV production with a goal of 86 percent of the company's volume in North America by 2020 -- up from 70 percent.

"We're speeding up product development," ...Read more

Under the Hood: Truck occasionally loses power when put in gear

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I have a 2004 GMC Envoy XUV, V6 with 65,000 miles. For about the last six to nine months it seems to lose power about every 20 starts. It starts, no problem, but when it's time to get in gear and move, it makes a sound that is hard to describe and seems not to want to move forward or backward. This lasts for a bit, and then the sound ...Read more

Auto review: Here's why 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is the small SUV to beat

Automotive / Automotive News /

Subaru's 2018 Crosstrek 2.0i Limited subcompact SUV sets the standard for value and safety features in a small SUV that's likely to be many parents' vehicle of choice for kids with new driver's licenses. Most teens will probably endorse that choice, because unlike conservative clothes, early curfews, getting plenty of rest and eating balanced ...Read more

Ford issues recall for 1.4 million Fusion, Lincoln MKZ cars, says steering wheels could come off

Automotive / Automotive News /

Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday announced a safety recall for 1.4 million of its cars in North America, saying that because of issues with the steering wheel bolts, the steering wheel could detach.

It also announced a safety recall for about 6,000 manual-transmission cars over a clutch-plate problem that carries a risk of fire.

The recall over the...Read more

Could General Motors launch its own Airbnb for cars?

Automotive / Automotive News /

Airbnb for cars?

Bloomberg reports that General Motors is planning something similar through its Maven car-sharing platform.

The news service, citing unnamed sources, said GM will launch a pilot project this summer.

"GM vehicle owners will be able to put their cars on Maven's platform for other drivers to rent and share the revenue with the ...Read more

New 2019 Ford Mustang GT California Special adds muscle to lineup

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. announced Monday it has created a 2019 Mustang GT California Special that adds new muscle, new high-tech handling and a new audio experience.

"People have been talking a lot about the 2019 Mustang Bullitt," said Ford spokesman Jiyan Cadiz. "This adds just a little more excitement for Mustang fans."

Ford continues to ...Read more

Auto review: A bargain battery electric: Nissan's Leaf is sensible as well as sleeker, smarter and cheaper

Automotive / Automotive News /

Battery electric car sales are low and growing more slowly than the Sierra snowpack.

Even in green California, and despite a 30 percent increase over 2016, sales of battery electric vehicles accounted for only 2.5 percent of all sales in the state last year, according to the California New Car Dealers Assn.

The Nissan Leaf was the earliest ...Read more

Under the Hood: Tenacity and patience help crack tricky diagnostic problems

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: As a former mechanic, I read your column regularly to help keep me up with what's going on in the auto repair world. Occasionally I read about frustrating intermittent problems like failure to start or stalling. We all know they're often hard to pin down unless the problem can be recreated for diagnosis. I thought I'd share one of my ...Read more

Auto review: GMC's 2018 Acadia crossover offers All-Terrain version for off-road jaunts

Automotive / Automotive News /

Just last year GMC redesigned the Acadia large family crossover, downsizing it a bit and adding features, technology and even a new All-Terrain package that gives it improved off-road capability.

While base models come with a standard four-cylinder engine, our SLT-1 All-Terrain version came with the uplevel 3.6-liter V-6, along with leather ...Read more

Minnesota speeds up planning for self-driving cars

Automotive / Automotive News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Self-driving cars will eventually hit the pavement in Minnesota, and state officials want our roads and laws to be ready.

Gov. Mark Dayton formed a group Wednesday to delve into the tricky policy and infrastructure questions that will accompany the arrival of autonomous vehicles. The 15-member advisory council will take up ...Read more

Auto review: 2018 Ford EcoSport subcompact SUV arrives late, struggles to compete

Automotive / Automotive News /

Ford is playing catch-up with the 2018 EcoSport subcompact SUV, but it's a long way behind. The EcoSport just went on sale in the United States, but it's a face-lifted version of an SUV Ford's been selling in other parts of the world since 2012. Most of the competition is newer, with equipment that reflects it.

Adding to the challenge, the ...Read more

General Motors plans to boost Chevy Bolt EV production at Orion Assembly

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- General Motors will boost production of the Chevrolet Bolt this year at its Orion Assembly plant in Oakland County, Mich.

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, in a speech Wednesday at the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston, cited surging global demand as driving the decision to boost production of the Bolt, an extended-range plug-in ...Read more

Jaguar I-Pace EV base price in the U.S.: $69,500 — undercutting Tesla's Model X

Automotive / Automotive News /

Jaguar introduced its new all-electric crossover, the I-Pace, in Europe last week. But the automaker's marketing department figured it could prompt a new round of media coverage by withholding the U.S. price and letting that number slip a few days later.

It worked. The I-Pace is the first luxury all-electric car to go up against Tesla, the ...Read more

Humans slapped and shouted at robot cars in two of six DMV crash reports this year

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- The human response to possible takeover by robot overlords is off to a troubling start.

Of six crash reports involving robot cars filed in California so far this year, two involved a human approaching the car and attacking it.

On Jan. 2, a Chevy Bolt EV operated by General Motors' Cruise driverless car division in San ...Read more

Auto review: 2018 Lincoln Navigator outdoes Cadillac Escalade as most refined family hauler

Automotive / Automotive News /

A familiar family scene in a full-size SUV: Two parents up front, four tweens behind, a sister in the third row aggravating her brother and his teammates in the second row, who are barking and bobbing with all the excitement of leaving for a far-away game. Here's where it becomes less familiar: the parents are talking calmly, almost softly, ...Read more

Mark Phelan: Not far off, your car becomes an extension of your brain

Automotive / Automotive News /

Technologies ranging from cloud computing to shape-changing dashboards are about to change how vehicle interiors look, feel and work.

The work at two suppliers' Detroit-area engineering centers focuses on new levels of connectivity and reimagining interiors for a day when an autonomous vehicle's steering wheel may disappear as the instrument ...Read more

2018 Lincoln Navigator: Insanely hot seller — even at $100K

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- After 40 years of selling cars, Jere Law sees something new and shocking.

"People are writing $100,000 checks for a vehicle," said the general manager of Varsity Lincoln in Novi, Mich. "That may not sound like a lot in other places, but that's the first time happening for Lincoln here in Michigan."

Business executives, doctors, pro ...Read more

Toyota starts company to speed development of autonomous cars

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- In an attempt to move driverless-car software more quickly into its cars and trucks, Toyota is creating a separate company and hopes to fill it with some of the world's best autonomous-vehicle coders.

Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development, based in Tokyo, will draw on work turned out by Toyota's research labs and ...Read more

Auto review: 2018 Jeep Wrangler is a rough rider, on and off the pavement

Automotive / Automotive News /

The Jeep Wrangler is an American favorite and is the spiritual spine of the Jeep brand. Almost a quarter of all Jeeps sold last year were Wranglers.

But the Wrangler is as much a lifestyle choice as a transportation tool. This is a vehicle that validates the rugged individualist who, ready for adventure and desperate for authenticity, may never...Read more