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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Subaru's Outback wagon is known for being able to get you there -- just not very quickly. It was one of the first high-riding wagons with all-wheel drive -- the automotive critter that's called a crossover today.
It was tenacious, rugged -- and slow.
Now it's quick.
Because it's available with a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine that's ...Read more
Mercedes doesn't sell an S-class sedan for a third of the price ... under a different label.
But General Motors Co. does more or less exactly that.
The Chevy Impala sedan is very closely related to the Cadillac XTS. Both are full-size sedans that share a common platform, the under-the-skin part of a car.
They both come standard ...Read more
When you can't sell practical anymore, it's time to start selling something prettier.
Midsize sedans like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata used to be top sellers -- largely due to the strength of their practical, family-car credentials. But crossovers -- with their two- or three-times-as-much cargo room, (usually available) all...Read more
Cadillac already has a three-row SUV -- so why make another one?
Probably because Cadillac buyers want a different kind of three-row SUV -- one that's almost as big and nearly as roomy as the one Cadillac already has in the lineup.
But not nearly as expensive.
Until now, the Escalade was the only Cadillac that could ...Read more
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