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Eric's Autos: 2018 Mini Cooper Countryman Plug-in Hybrid

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Mini Cooper's slogan is "Let's Minimize!" They're small, cute -- and fuel-efficient. How about no fuel at all? Well, no gas , at least for about 12 miles. That's how far you can drive the new Mini Countryman plug-in hybrid on the batteries before the gas-burning engine steps in -- until you can plug in again.

What It Is

The Countryman,...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2018 Chrysler 300

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

If you want a big luxury sedan with a big V-8 but don't want to spend big money, the Chrysler 300 has what you're looking for. It's literally the last of the Mohicans ... it's the only full-size V-8-powered luxury sedan that you can still buy for less than $40k.

Everything else that's similarly equipped costs at least $15k more. Most ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2018 BMW X3

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

2018 BMW X3

Two things are getting hard to find in a compact crossover -- and in new cars in general: six-cylinder engines and a rear-wheel-drive-based layout.

The BMW X3 still has both.

It hasn't gone to four-cylinder-only, as is becoming the trend, even in higher-end cars. It also has much more headroom than most of its rivals -- and more ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2018 Mercedes-Benz C350e

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Don't buy the hybrid version of the Mercedes C-Class for the gas it'll save you.

Buy it for the speed it will give you.

The hybrid version of the Mercedes C sedan has almost 500 foot-pounds of torque awaiting your right foot -- which is much more fun than the plug that's in the trunk.

What It Is

The C350e is the hybrid gas-electric ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2018 Infiniti Q50

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Infiniti's cars are not named well. Take the Q50 sedan, for instance. Neither the letter nor the number seem to stand for anything identifiable about the car. Besides, it just sounds bland and boring. The good news is the car's not.

What It Is

The Q50 is Infiniti's almost midsized/mid-priced luxury-sport sedan.

It's slightly less midsized on ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2018 Toyota Corolla

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Technically, the Toyota Corolla is an entry-level compact sedan -- a notch down in size and price from the midsized, mid-priced Toyota Camry sedan.

But when it comes to passenger space, the Corolla has almost the same interior space and more back-seat space, 41.4 inches instead of 38 inches.

You also get adaptive cruise control, a 6.1-inch LCD...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2018 Kia Rio

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Kia and Hyundai are today like Ford and Mercury used to be. Well, Mercury no longer is at all. But once upon a time, Mercury was the higher-line (and slightly higher-priced) version of the same basic thing sold under the Ford label. Kia serves the same purpose today. Its models are Hyundai models, slightly sportier in looks than their Hyundai ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2018 Chevrolet Camaro

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

cars, by tradition, are supposed to have V-8 engines. But what happens when a four-cylinder has as much (or even more) power than most muscle car V-8s used to? You go faster -- and get much better gas mileage.

That's the 2018 Chevy Camaro turbo.

What It Is

The Camaro is GM's iconic muscle car. It's still available with a muscle car V-8 if you...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2018 Nissan Versa

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

The average price paid for a new car last year was about $35,000. But that doesn't mean you have to pay $35k to drive home a new car -- a nice new car. You could buy a brand-new Nissan Versa -- with air conditioning, a four-speaker Bluetooth-ready stereo and intermittent wipers -- and pay less than $12k.

A Pinto reimagined it's not.

...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2018 Lexus NX300

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

No one knows who invented the shoe, but not surprisingly, it caught on.

The crossover is another such idea -- and we know whose that was.

Back in '98, Lexus took a car -- the ES 300 sedan -- gave it a lift kit and all-wheel drive and hey! Presto! The RX 300.

It's obvious now. It was radical and brilliant back then.

It gave people ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2018 Volvo V60 Polestar

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

The thing that Volvo used to sell, safety, is something everyone sells now. Which is why it's smart for Volvo to start selling something else.

How about a high-performance compact wagon with a turbo and supercharged engine -- and almost 400 horsepower -- that can go from zero to 60 mph in just over four seconds?

P.S. It's perfectly safe, too. ...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2018 Buick Cascada

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Impractical convertibles seem to do OK. The practical ones, not so much.

The Toyota Camry Solara, the Chrysler 200 convertible and the Volvo C70 convertible all withered away for lack of interest, like unwanted timeshares -- notwithstanding back seats that were both present and usable by adults as well as trunks large enough to hold more than a...Read more

Eric's Autos: 2018 VW Golf

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Every successful car company has a sell -- something that defines it, makes its cars different. Volkswagen's main sell is that it's a German brand, like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It's also related to Audi, which is a German luxury brand.

This means that VW models like the 2018 Golf have much in common with Audi models like the A3. Well, except for...Read more


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