Where would Rocky Balboa have been without his ability to take a punch? Probably on the mat, with Mr. T doing a victory dance around the ring.
Volkswagen is in a similar spot, having lost the turbo-diesel punch (and near-hybrid mileage) that gave cars like the Jetta sedan something other cars in their class couldn't match.
Then came the ...Read more
The B-52 bomber has been around a long time. Most of them are older than the pilots who fly them. This tells you something about the soundness of their design. Same goes for the Chrysler 300. In car terms, it's ancient.
The current 300 hasn't been significantly updated since 2011, and its underthings -- the basic chassis -- date all ...Read more
American car buyers, for whatever reason, generally do not like station wagons. This is why you don't see many new station wagons, especially high-end wagons, even though high-end car companies like BMW sell a wagon version of almost every car it makes.
You just don't see them here.
Meanwhile, there are hatchbacks. These do sell, but there is ...Read more
Seven hundred and seven is a lot of horsepower. It is three or four times the horsepower found under the hood of the typical new car. But then, the typical new car does not get to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. How about a Jeep that does?
What It Is
The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is a three-seconds-to-60 Dodge Challenger Hellcat in Grand ...Read more
Part of the allure of buying a high-end car is exclusivity -- you'll be driving something everyone else isn't. Take the Alfa Romeo Giulia. It's a spicy meatball. And if you haven't heard of it yet, well, that's part of the allure.
What It Is
The Giulia is a compact luxury-sport sedan made (with some help from Ferrari) by Alfa Romeo, ...Read more
How do you make a sedan more practical without making it into something else?
Make it a hatchback sedan.
Buick calls the new Regal hatchback sedan a Sportback, but it amounts to the same thing. Instead of a traditional small-opening trunk that most sedans have, this one has a tall opening. And with the back seats laid flat, the car has enough ...Read more
When you get down to it, big power and big capability are the things most esteemed by most of the people who buy big trucks. Does it matter whether that power and capability arise from a big V-8, or a small V-6 that has bigger horsepower and delivers more capability?
Ford's bet is that buyers want the horsepower and torque, and that if a V-6 ...Read more
Really small SUVs aren't a new idea. You may remember old-school examples, such as the Geo Tracker (later the Chevy Tracker) of the '90s, for instance.
But the idea is making a comeback.
And it's not a bad idea ... if you're looking for SUV capabilities (and capacities) in something with a footprint that's about the same size as a ...Read more
Let's talk about a different kind of hybrid: the 2019 Jeep Cherokee.
It hasn't got electric motors, and the only battery it has starts its gasoline-burning engine. So what's all this talk about a hybrid?
Well, the Jeep is a car-based crossover SUV. But it has the off-road and towing capabilities of a truck-based SUV -- a combination that makes...Read more
The Volkswagen Passat is not just German -- it's a close cousin of German luxury sedans made by Audi, the luxury division of the Audi-VW conglomerate. It's just without the Audi luxury car price. It's also roomier inside than most of the cars in its price range without being as large on the outside as some of them are. And it has something else ...Read more
Two things used to almost be givens in trucks -- or at least available: manual transmissions and diesel engines. Today, it's impossible to find a new full-size truck with a manual transmission. Regardless of brand, they are all automatic. But there is one new full-size truck that still offers a diesel engine. It's the Ram 1500.
There may be ...Read more
Sometimes splitting the difference hits the sweet spot.
The Ford Expedition is bigger -- and roomier -- than a Chevy Tahoe. But it's not as "yuge" as a Suburban. It's also unusual in another way -- two other ways.
First, it's wrapped in lightweight aluminum. All the other SUVs in its class -- the Tahoe, Suburban, Toyota Sequoia and Nissan ...Read more
The Cadillac Escalade is ridiculous -- but then, so is my orange 1976 Trans Am. Both have a huge engine and a huge personality. But the Cadillac is quicker than my old muscle car. Plus, it can carry eight people. It gets better gas mileage, too.
What It Is
The Escalade is the end product of giving Cadillac designers a Chevy Tahoe and a blank ...Read more