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Eric's Autos: 2020 Fiat 124 Spider

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

People who buy economy cars don't especially care that lots of other people are driving the same car; if anything, it's confirmation that they bought the right car.

But people who by sports cars want more than just a great car; they want to be driving a different car.

This is the Mazda Miata's curse -- which flows from its ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

If you wear Superman's tights, you better be able to fly. Or at least, not get stuck.

And you probably won't if you've got stickers reading "TRD" on the flanks of your Toyota.

Not because of the stickers, mind you.

Like Superman's "S," it's what's those letters signify that matters.

"TRD" is short for Toyota Racing Development, and what ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Given that the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross costs a bit more than its better-equipped rivals -- models like the Subaru Crosstrek and Honda HR-V -- and given that it's a bit less roomy, is there any sound reason to consider buying one?

There's a big one, actually.

Plus another one.

The big one is the fact that it's a Mitsubishi, which can benefit ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2019 Volkswagen Arteon

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Top-of-the-line cars used to always be sedans, but that layout has fallen out of favor because of the sedan's comparatively small trunk -- and limited versatility.

That's probably why Volkswagen decided to make its new top-of-the-line Arteon sedan a hatchback.

VW calls it a "Gran Turismo" with "coupe-like styling," because that connotes...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Jeep Gladiator

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

The Jeep Wrangler has always been its own thing -- and that's probably the thing that accounts for its enduring popularity. But how about a more practical Wrangler? One that can haul more stuff -- and pull a lot more stuff?

Enter the Gladiator.

What It Is

The Gladiator is a stretched version of the four-door Jeep Wrangler, with a 5-...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2019 Mercedes-Benz A220

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

There's a leveling going on. A good one, for once.

New entry-level cars come standard with features that weren't always available in luxury cars -- and entry-level luxury cars like the new Mercedes A-Class come standard with (or at least offer) features that as recently as two years ago were only available in top-of-the-line Mercedes models ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Ford Mustang

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Classic muscle cars were defined by their brawny V-8s, but it's not necessary to buy the V-8 to get brawny performance out of a modern muscle car if you buy a new Mustang -- with its available turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

It makes more power than classic-era Mustang V-8 engines -- including even the 1970 Boss 302 Mustang's engine. And ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2019 Nissan Leaf

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Electric cars have three big downsides.

The first is their lesser range. Most of the models on the market can only go about as far as a nonelectric economy car can travel on a half-full tank -- about 150-200 miles or so.

Which brings up the second problem.

Even the thirstiest gas-powered car can be refueled in just a few minutes almost ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2019 Toyota Prius C

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Everyone knows about the Prius, but how about the other Prius? The one that costs less -- and saves you money on gas?

It's the Prius c.

What It Is

The Prius c is not as well-known as the eponymous Prius -- Toyota's popular five-door hatchback hybrid -- but it's basically the same thing in a smaller and more affordable package.

Prices begin ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2019 Genesis G90

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Part of what sells a luxury car is the status that goes with the brand. When you mention your Mercedes to people, it elicits a different reaction than when you talk about your ... Toyota.

So how do you sell a Lexus ... back when no one had ever heard of one?

That was Toyota's challenge some 30 years ago when it launched its luxury car brand, ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 Diesel

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

And now there are three! Diesel engines have practically disappeared from the passenger car market -- chiefly because their high buy-in cost is harder to justify when gas is cheap, as it has been for several years now.

But diesel engines are making a big comeback in the light truck department -- where other considerations, such as towing grunt ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2019 Fiat 500

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Should you buy a new car that's just been discontinued?

It depends on the reason for its discontinuation.

If it's a bad car -- unreliable, problem-prone -- then the answer, obviously, is no. Don't buy it.

But what if the car isn't bad but just a victim of bad timing?

What It Is

The Fiat 500 hardtop hatchback/soft-top Cabrio is the smallest ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2019 Volvo S60

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Volvos have a reputation for being safe ... and stodgy. Don't believe the latter. Not anymore.

Thor is Swedish, remember. So is Agnetha Faltskog. Combine the two and you've got the new S60, the fiercest, sexiest and probably safest sedan in its class.

What It Is

The S60 is Volvo's war hammer assault on the longstanding German dominance of the...Read more

 

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