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This story's related to my story from about a month ago, about upgrading the out-of-date, factory-installed, CD-playing (but no Bluetooth-playing) stereo in my '02 Nissan Frontier with an up-to-date system.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

Eric's Autos: 2020 Ford Escape/Hybrid

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

The Ford Escape has been around for 20 years, and while a lot has changed during those years, a lot has stayed the same, too.

The difference -- and commonalities -- are an interesting commentary on the changes in the car business, generally.

What It Is

The Escape is a compact-sized crossover SUV, just as it was back in 2000 when the first ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Ford Expedition

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

What's a big SUV without a big engine? If it's a Ford Expedition, it's the strongest big SUV in its class -- with the smallest standard engine. It's also the biggest, period -- at least, without changing names.

The Expedition comes in two sizes. Full-sized and fuller-sized. There's nothing else quite like it.

What It Is

The Expedition is a ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Toyota Corolla

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

The Toyota Corolla hasn't changed much over the past 20 years -- because Toyota is smart enough to not fix what isn't broken.

No one has sold more cars than Toyota has sold Corollas -- something like 44 million of them so far, over the course of about 50 years. To put that number in context, Volkswagen sold only half as many Beetles in over 80 ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Land Rover Defender

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

The old Land Rover Defender -- last sold back in the 1990s -- was a primal SUV. The thing didn't even have carpet.

What it did have was cachet. There was something special about driving what you saw the safari guys on TV driving.

It could go through -- and over -- practically anything.

There's nothing else like it.

Well, nothing new.

You ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Lincoln Aviator

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

What if you'd like a new Navigator ... but maybe a bit less of it?

Something almost as big, but not quite. With three rows -- the third one usable -- that can pull more than its own weight, but without so much length? And without such a big price?

Enter the Aviator, Lincoln's new three-row, almost-full-sized SUV.

Like the ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Mercedes GLC 300 Coupe

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Style usually comes at the expense of practicality. Take two-door coupes, for instance; they look great but have back seats that are hard to get into ... and out of. Especially if the driver and front seat passenger haven't gotten out first.

Mercedes' solution? Add a pair of doors.

Then chop the roof -- but without haircutting the headroom.

...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2020 Honda Accord Hybrid

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

When hybrid cars first appeared almost 20 years ago, their main draw was that they used much less gas than other cars. They were slow, but you saved money. Which made going slow worth it.

Then gas got cheap, and electric cars got fast -- without using any gas.

Which made spending extra for a slow hybrid a harder sell.

The latest hybrids offer...Read more


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