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Eric's Autos: 2020 Mercedes AMG E53

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Many people think the defining element of a high-end car is a powerful V-8 engine -- or, even better, a V-12 engine.

But some of the most iconic high-end cars -- models like the Mercedes SL 300 Gullwing of the '50s, for instance -- were powered by in-line sixes. They had two fewer cylinders but were smoother than a Bill Clinton interview -- and...Read more

Eric's Autos: Buying a Car Post-Coronavirus

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

People who've longed to buy a classic car may be thinking now is a great time to go shopping for one.

Maybe.

But classic cars are not like new cars or even used cars. Classic cars are an indulgence, while new/used cars are necessary appliances. No one needs a classic car. Those who own them tend to be people who can afford the ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 GMC Savana

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

There aren't many new vehicles that are almost 25 years old. The GMC Savana van is, in fact, the only one.

If, of course, you don't count its Chevy-badged cousin, the Express.

Both of these full-size vans haven't changed much since 1996 -- because why would they? No one else makes vans like them anymore: body-on-frame construction, 12-15 ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Buick Regal TourX

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Some of the best deals going are on the cars no one knows about -- which stands to reason. But how do you buy something if you're unaware it exists?

How about the Buick TourX wagon?

It's the unknown soldier of the new car market -- probably because General Motors hasn't been marketing it much. And that probably has to do with the fact that the...Read more

Eric's Autos: Wider Stance

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

My little pickup truck -- with a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine -- has exactly the same size wheels and tires (225/70R-15) as the ones my 1976 Pontiac Trans Am -- with a 7.5-liter V-8 engine -- was shod with when it rolled off the Norwood, Ohio, assembly line back when Jimmah Cahter was angling to be the country's next decider.

No classic ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Genesis G70

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

It was once a kind of automotive axiom that if you liked to drive, you aspired to own a BMW. They were, after all, the ultimate driving machines -- and that wasn't advertising hype. It was behind-the-wheel fact. BMW was among the first to make four doors and fun driving not mutually exclusive -- by putting a third pedal in its sedans, among ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Honda Civic

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

The best car is one that comes more than one way.

Honda's Civic comes three ways -- two doors, four doors or five doors -- and with your pick of four different engines, paired with your choice of two different transmissions.

Which makes it hard to find a Civic that doesn't fit almost anyone's needs.

What It Is

The Civic is Honda's ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Volkswagen Jetta

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Many car companies have given up on sedans altogether. Ford and General Motors, for instance, have stopped making most of the ones they used to make.

And good luck finding a sedan with a manual transmission, if you swing that way. Especially one that's available in anything other than the base trim version.

Unless the car you're looking at ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Toyota Tundra

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

A lot has changed recently -- and not just because of the coronavirus. The market for half-ton trucks is changing, too.

For the first time in decades, the no. 1 bestseller, Ford's F-150, is threatened by the truck that, for decades, had been the third-bestseller, the Ram 1500. Which has already supplanted the decades-long hegemony of the Chevy ...Read more

Eric's Autos: A Car Story

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Today is a good time for a car story, to take our minds off the other story.

This story's related to my story from about a month ago, about upgrading the out-of-date, factory-installed, CD-playing (but no Bluetooth-playing) stereo in my '02 Nissan Frontier with an up-to-date system.

Well, I just attempted the reverse.

I ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Mini Cooper

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

When you can't get a manual transmission in a small, sporty car, you know it's close to The End for manual transmissions.

Which you can no longer get in the smallest sporty car you can still get.

But why can't you get the manual in the Mini? Chiefly, because Mini -- like all car companies -- is under a lot of pressure to maximize the miles per...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Mazda3

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

All-wheel drive is a feature many people want -- which accounts for the popularity of crossovers, which usually offer it and often come standard with it.

But for some reason, it's hard to find an entry-level compact sedan or hatchback that even offers it.

Well, it was.

Mazda now offers the extra grip -- and better handling -- of all-...Read more

Eric's Autos: The Corona Car

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

There actually is a Corona -- not the virus, the car.

Toyota sold it as recently in as 2001 in Japan -- and before "corona" acquired other connotations. It was slightly larger and nicer than the more well-known Corolla, which Toyota still sells everywhere. You have probably seen third-gen Coronas (1964-1970) in '60s "Godzilla" movies. ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Audi A8

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

The best seats in the house are in the rear -- if you're in the new Audi A8. It has several inches more legroom in the back than in the front, as well as the option to recline your seat and stretch out, which, for obvious reasons, you can't do up front.

But up front's not a bad place to be either.

What It Is

The A8 is a full-size, top-of-the-...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Nissan Frontier

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

The new Nissan Frontier is actually pretty old; the 2020 model is essentially the same truck as the 2005 model.

With one exception.

There's a new 3.8-liter V-6 engine under the hood that's the most powerful standard engine under the hood of any currently available midsize truck. It has more than twice the horsepower of the four-cylinder...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Subaru Legacy

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

How much can buying a trunk save you?

About $4,000.

That's the price difference between the new Subaru Legacy and the new Subaru Outback, which is basically a Legacy without the trunk.

Both are mechanically identical and almost physically identical -- except for the Outback being a wagon and the Legacy being the sedan on which it's based.

...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Cadillac CT4

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Cadillac is trying to keep the sedan's head above water as the tide of crossover fever rises ever higher.

The rest of General Motors has already given up. Almost every car formerly sold under the Chevy and Buick labels is no longer sold under either label -- leaving almost nothing but crossovers, trucks and the Corvette, which -- like the ...Read more

 

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