Automotive Industry and Car Reviews

Old automotive pages from 2007 and Before

Acura adds A-Spec goodies to 2018 TLX

Honda’s luxury division may have sparked the Japanese invasion of the luxury and high end sports car markets - and led the way for several years after that - but you might wonder what the company has done lately.

Well, besides the new NSX supercar, the company has continued to release well built, luxurious vehicles that are stuffed with technology. The problem is, everyone else is doing the same thing, only some have now passed Acura’s lead enough that the folks at Honda’s top niche may find themselves a tad lost in the customer shuffle. And that’s a shame.

By Jim Bray - Friday, September 29, 2017 - Full Story

Fuel-cell cars cruise onto the market

Fuel-cell powered cars that emit only water vapor when driven have been in the works for decades, but progress seemed to keep stalling. Now, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the wait is over. Motorists can finally lease or buy hydrogen-powered, fuel-cell cars, but the road ahead for these vehicles still faces some bumps.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, September 28, 2017 - Full Story

Volkswagen stretching things with new generation Tiguan

The VW Tiguan has always been a great compact SUV, and for 2018 the German carmaker has redesigned the vehicle completely, crafting a new generation Tiguan that seems fully capable of slugging it out in this niche of the market.

As a VW fan, I’m always nervous when they release a new model because I’m afraid they’ll screw it up. It’s like your favourite sports team coming off a championship-winning season, and you just know the team will be different next year thanks to retirements, free agency, etc., and you dearly hope the new team will be everything the old one was. They aren’t usually, unfortunately - dynasties being the exception rather than the rule - but at least in Volkswagen’s case their history is generally one of steady development and refinement rather than the company rushing to throw the new baby out with the ancient bath water.

By Jim Bray - Monday, September 25, 2017 - Full Story

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid hits the right notes except for some weird sounds

Minivans. These people haulers have been around for years and for a while were some of the most popular vehicles on North American roads. Then came the “crossover,” a combination of car and SUV, and the minivan segment in which an abundant number of automakers had participated started dwindling down until today there’s only a handful of models available.

One of the more interesting is from Chrysler, via its Pacifica - a name that once applied to one of the early crossovers, a seven seat people hauler that was more a long and a tad taller car than a minivan. I reviewed the first Pacifica back in 2007 and thought it was pretty neat - a decent carrier of people and not necessarily their stuff. But that Pacifica is long dead and the new one comes down firmly into the minivan segment - and it also offers what the company says is the first hybrid minivan on the market.

By Jim Bray - Saturday, September 9, 2017 - Full Story

Motoring: Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo

The city of Monte Carlo has had a long association with motorsport, ever since the Monaco Grand Prix was founded in 1929 using the city streets as part of the challenging circuit. A circuit that has seen some of Britain’s finest racing drivers clinching victory such as Graham Hill and more recently Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

Why am I talking about this famous French Formula One race? Because I happen to be behind the wheel of a Skoda Fabia… Monte Carlo. It’s a racy little number that reminds me of a plush bachelor pad, as I cast my eyes over the striped seats. There’s definitely a hint of sportiness about this five-door family hatchback. There’s a liberal smattering of leather on the gearstick, handbrake and steering wheel. But somehow it’s more staid than a typical hot hatch.

By Tim Saunders - Monday, September 4, 2017 - Full Story

New CX-5 continues Mazda’s zoomy tradition

Here we go again, another Mazda review, another vehicle that does everything it should well, but which adds a little extra "zing"  to the equation or, as Mazda has put it for so long, with "Zoom-Zoom."

Sure, it could use a little more "Zoom," but it’s still pretty good, and it’s a darn fine mid-sized SUV as well.

I love Mazdas and have only found one over the years I’ve been reviewing them that was lacking enough in "Zoom-Zoom" for me to whine about it - even though I’d love to see a little more of it in most of their current vehicle line. It was the original CX-5, back in 2012, the first Mazda product to offer its SKYACTIV technology. The two litre engine in question only put out 155 horsepower, which prompted me to quote the book of Daniel: "For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?"

By Jim Bray - Sunday, September 3, 2017 - Full Story

Does VW’s Atlas hold the company’s future on its shoulders?

Volkswagen’s first all new SUV since the Tiguan is here, and it’s bigger, more angular - and more modern in VW’s inventory, than the Tiguan and the Touareg.  Will it be enough to help turn around any negative public impressions there may be coming out of the diesel kerfuffle of the past couple of years?

Who knows? I doubt one model could do that - though the Atlas is a darn fine place to start. Besides, I think the whole diesel thing was BS anyway - and a shame from consumers’ standpoints. That’s because, if I were to buy a vehicle today that was offered in gas or diesel, in most cases I’d opt for the diesel. Sure, they’re down on horsepower, but they generate gobs of torque, which is more important for the lead footed, plus they get terrific fuel mileage. And, though prices wobble wildly, diesel is often cheaper than gasoline.

By Jim Bray - Sunday, August 20, 2017 - Full Story

10 of the hottest self-driving technologies from Israel

“Car manufacturing is not about tires or brakes anymore, but the technology inside the car – the sensors and algorithms.”

How did Israel, a country that has no domestic car manufacturing industry, become a worldwide powerhouse for autonomous-driving technology (also known as self-driving cars)?

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - Full Story

Fusion Sport and MKZ offer sporty variations on a mid-sized them

One is the sportiest version of Ford’s mainstream mid-size sedan, while the other’s Lincoln’s variation on the theme. So, when it comes to a choice between the Fusion Sport and the Lincoln MKZ, which is the better car?

Waffle time (syrup, anyone?)! As is so often the case, the answer is a clear “it depends.” Mostly, it depends on your budget, I suppose, because the loaded Ford Fusion sport Ford loaned me to wring out for a week is priced at $42,388 (sans taxes, etc.) while the MKZ stickered for $59,300. That’s a pretty big spread for what beneath the surface are two cars who share a lot of their DNA.

By Jim Bray - Friday, August 11, 2017 - Full Story

Lincoln MKC and MKX - Ford’s upmarket brand Escapes its roots and hones its Edge

If you’re looking for a compact or mid-sized crossover from Ford but want something a little more exclusive, Lincoln just may have what you’re seeking.

The MKC and MKX, which are up market versions of the Ford Escape and Edge, respectively, are both comfortable and luxurious vehicles that drive well and will coddle your bones nicely. I spent a week in each of these vehicles recently and came away quite impressed. I think they’d be even more impressive if the manufacturer would integrate more completely the terrific new interior found in the excellent Continental, but in the meantime you get a better and nicer Ford for a not-too-unreasonable premium over the garden variety Fords.

General Motors U.S. Sales Down 15.4 Percent To 226,107 Units In July 2017

General Motors reported 226,107 new vehicle deliveries in July 2017 for the U.S. market, a 15.4 percent decrease compared to strong July 2016 sales. Sales were down at every brand, including Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac.

The automaker attributes the decline to responsible sales of vehicles into the the lucrative retail and commercial segments, rather than incentivizing overproduced vehicles, thereby protecting residual values.—More…

By News on the Net -- GM Authority- Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - Full Story

Official: General Motors Closes Sale Of Opel-Vauxhall To PSA Groupe

The end of an era for General Motors’ once-sprawling global empire has come to a close: Opel and Vauxhall have officially been sold to France’s PSA Groupe.

The deal was closed today, August 1, 2017, which falls in line with previous estimates that aimed for the deal to close by the end of July. PSA Groupe also operates the Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands.—More…

By News on the Net -- GM Authority- Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - Full Story

Consumers still love that new vehicle smell - and German quality smells the best

Ah, that new car smell! There’s nothing quite like it.

As a car nut, it’s one of the nicest aromas I can think of, and as someone who reviews cars regularly it’s a welcome odour I get to experience all the time. The only “new” smell that can match it is the spit up from a newborn family member - but, unlike a new family member, you don’t have to hose yourself down after experiencing new car smell.

Volkswagen Trendline

It is necessary to adapt your driving style when behind the wheel of a vehicle that does not have a rear view mirror.

This becomes clear when I am sat in the Volkswagen Transporter Trendline 2.0 TDi Bluemotion. It is the white van man’s dream vehicle, tough and robust, fast and efficient. And although it very much does feel like a car to drive with fairly light steering and a good driving position, the fact remains that there are no windows at the rear and no rear view mirror.

By Tim Saunders - Friday, July 28, 2017 - Full Story

GM considers pulling the plug on the Chevy Volt

The Chevy Volt was unveiled in 2010 to great fanfare. Politicians hailed it. The media gushed over it. The first electric car manufactured domestically, it was instantly a cause celebre, and it was hailed as part of the resurrection of General Motors.

There was one problem, though. The public was never excited about the Volt. With a price tag of more than $40,000, even government rebates of $7,500 weren’t enough tto convince many people to buy a Volt. It drives well enough and it’s true that you don’t have to put much gas in it (although you do need some in reserve just in case), but that type of price tag isn’t within reach for most people, and GM seems to have forgotten that electricity isn’t free either.

By Dan Calabrese - Monday, July 24, 2017 - Full Story

Michelin debuts airless tyre concept that never needs to be replaced

Earlier this month, Michelin—the company behind the chubby white tyre man we all know and love—unveiled a revolutionary new airless tyre concept. The ‘Visionary Concept’ tyre is 3D printed from recycled biodegradable materials and is designed to be the puncture-proof tyre of the future.

The Visionary Concept is actually a tyre and wheel combo. which mimics the structure of coral or the human lung, by being constructed from a number of smaller cells. This biomimetic structure is designed to be generative, meaning that the tyre never needs to be replaced, by enabling fresh tread to be added via 3D printing.—More…

By News on the Net -- Adapt Network- Monday, July 24, 2017 - Full Story

Ford F-150’s blend comfort with utility and size - and even some fun!

Ford’s F-150 truck line has been at or near the top of the vehicular sales heap for decades, and that’s a laudable achievement in an ever-more-competitive automotive marketplace. Especially for a truck!

And even though the joy of a full sized pickup truck is nearly entirely lost on me, I just got to spend two weeks behind the wheel of two Ford F-150 samples, a fairly conventional (but quite loaded) F-150 Lariat edition and (drum roll…) the Mighty Raptor.

Few vehicles raise a smile in the way that a Range Rover does

Few vehicles raise a smile in the way that a Range Rover does when you are behind the wheel, I find.

It’s always an absolute privilege to find yourself sitting in the high quality cabin and it is a fantastic experience. Imagine your favourite armchair and then add all the electronic gadgetry that you can conjure up and here is a seat that can be electrically adjusted to your heart’s content providing that ultimate driving position. Then of course there is the sheer height of this luxury off roader, which stands head and shoulders above most other vehicles apart from lorries. This means that the driver and front passenger have a marvellous view of the road ahead, which is perfect for overtaking. Despite its sheer size and weight this 4x4 is pretty quick off the mark and if the accelerator is pushed to the floor it makes safe light work of most opportunities that present themselves on the open road. Zero to 60mph is accomplished in a little over seven seconds, which is very impressive. There are so many luxuries fitted to this vehicle that it makes a Rolls Royce blush. Shut the door and the Range Rover ensures that the door is properly closed as you can see in the video at Testdrives.biz. The two section boot opens and closes at the push of a button. This is all well and good but ironically, after reading a newspaper article about how a woman lost her arm in the door of a neighbour’s car, I come close to trapping mine in the boot of the Range Rover but thankfully escape with a light bruise. It seems to shut and continues even if a hand is in the way. There needs to be a sensor to prevent this from happening.

By Tim Saunders - Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - Full Story

2018 Buick Regal TourX Priced To Start From $29,995

Buick made headlines headlines when it officially announced a wagon would be returning to its portfolio. The 2018 Buick Regal TourX aims to inject a dose of “white space” to the Regal nameplate and potentially offer the Subaru Outback some competition.

Now, it has a price tag. CarsDirect reports the 2018 Regal TourX will start at $29,995 including destination when it goes on sale in late fall of this year. Under $30,000 seems like a sweet deal, but it may be difficult to nab one at that price.

That’s because the $29,995 price tag represents the base 1SV trim, while the $33,575 Preferred 1SB trim will likely be the TourX stocked on dealership lots. Per the norm with Buick, the base model will likely not receive many incentives either.—More…

By News on the Net - Thursday, June 29, 2017 - Full Story

U.S. States Would Be Barred From Setting Individual Self-Driving Car Standards Under New Proposed Pl

The United States House of Representatives released its early draft of self-driving car framework earlier this month and it would mean more federal government control and less say from individual states.

Reuters reports the self-driving car plan would diminish states’ rights and limit what a particular state could regulate with regards to autonomous cars and their rollout. California and New York have proposed legislation to initially limit the roll out of driverless cars and associated technology.—More…

By News on the Net -- GMAuthority.com- Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - Full Story