Tag: Cars

By on March 20, 2019

1992 Camry WagonFor the past couple of weeks, Wednesday’s QOTD posts have asked a simple question: What was the most overpriced non-luxury vehicle of a given period of time? The first inquiry dealt only with 2019 vehicles, and last week we covered the 2000s — where I picked on the overpriced, retro Ford Thunderbird. Many of you thought I was wrong (I wasn’t). Today, we’ll head back to the decade we all like to discuss — the one that’s popular right now with youths.

It is, of course, the 1990s. I’m already wearing my blazer and shoulder pads.

(Find Out…)

By on March 13, 2019

SAAB 9-5 Aero Wagon, Image: Saab

I hinted at today’s QOTD last week, when the original post for this line of questioning got the ball rolling. Last time we asked which non-luxury vehicles of 2019 were the most overpriced. The subsequent comments reflected a wide variety of nuanced opinions, ranging from “Everything over $25,000 is overpriced” to “Cars should come used from the factory.” Just kidding (maybe).

Today we step back over a decade and talk about everyone’s favorite rounded and cheap plastic era: the 2000s.

(Find Out…)

By on February 12, 2019

A dated product lineup, questionable fuel economy across the board, a general need for some reworking. These are all issues with Fiat Chrysler’s offerings in North America. Today we’ll try and come up with some solutions.

(Find Out…)

By on February 1, 2019

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon

The long slog that is January provided a mixed bag of sales results for America’s automakers, with some enjoying the fruits of their new products while others stared down the barrel of red ink as they tried to kick their fleet habit. Frightening and frigid weather patterns didn’t help anyone, either.

Talking heads are expecting this calendar year to be the first since 2014 in which total vehicle sales in America drop below 17 million units. While it seems a bit early to sound that alarm, it cannot be denied that some companies have already dug themselves a big hole.

(Find Out…)

By on February 1, 2019

2018 Accord Sport 2.0-Liter Turbo - Image: Honda

Of all the automakers populating this vast land, none display quite same the level of guarded optimism for the passenger car’s future as Toyota. Two years ago, if you recall, it boldly declared that its new Camry might save the midsize sedan segment. Well, there’s now a new entry in the rose-colored glasses race.

Honda feels that public distrust in the ability of a four-door sedan to carry occupants to their intended destination has pretty much bottomed out. (Find Out…)

By on January 28, 2019

Being accused of being out of touch is one thing. Ahead of the curve, though? Sometimes that can be equally problematic.

Whether loaded with a host of unbaked tech or saddled with styling that wasn’t quite ready for primetime, what’s your pick for a vehicle that was ahead of its time?

(Find Out…)

By on January 5, 2019

Don’t worry, it isn’t a long list. You won’t be here all day. While the industry coasted to a surprising, yet slight, year-over-year volume increase in 2018, automakers can’t thank America’s desire for traditional passenger cars for eking out a win. Light trucks carried the day, with car sales plunging to new lows. Industry-wide, U.S. car sales sank 13.1 percent in 2018, pushing their share of the market to just over 31 percent.

Within this soup of sales, a handful of conventional passenger cars exist that held their ground, straining mightily against gale force headwinds. Maybe it’s a futile battle, but it’s worth noting these survivors. (Find Out…)

By on January 2, 2019

Last Wednesday, our Question of the Day asked which automaker you wished well in 2019. Today we take a different approach, and ask which automaker doesn’t need any of your positive internet thoughts and prayers.

(Find Out…)

By on October 22, 2018

Flat new vehicle sales and an industry that’s far more interested in making crossover lovers’ dreams come true add up to a poor environment for a traditional new car buyer.

We’ve already told you how high demand for a shrinking supply of off-lease sedans and hatchbacks has sent used car prices through the roof compared to just a few years ago. That erased a go-to option for many thrifty buyers. In the new car market, however, automakers’ need to boost profits in a stagnant market means incentive spending is dropping as fast as used car prices are rising.

It’s not just sedans that saw a decline in discounts last month. (Find Out…)

By on August 27, 2018

2017 Ford Focus S sedan - Image: Ford

After Ford’s decision to cull all passenger cars except the Mustang, Blue Oval brass felt confident that existing and upcoming Ford trucks, SUVs, and crossovers (or crossover-like vehicles) would be more than enough to keep current car owners in the family.

That’s probably wishful thinking. A new survey of Ford sedan owners shows that the allure of other brands — those that still sell sedans — is enough to lure plenty of them away from the Ford flock. (Find Out…)

By on May 1, 2018

Plenty of digital ink was invested in Ford’s recent decision to let all their cars rot on the vine exit the small car and sedan market. If the company follows through on its plans, and we have little reason to believe it won’t, we will soon be living in a world absent of Fiestas, Foci, Fusions, and big-brother Taurus.

Other manufacturers *ahem, GM, ahem* will be watching this closely, now that both of its crosstown rivals have largely ditched their cars (recall that FCA deep-sixed the Dart, 200, et al not long ago).

VW is thinking differently, recently introducing a new Jetta and placing a reworked Passat in the pipeline. In an interview with the website , Volkswagen of America boss Hinrich Woebcken explained why.

(Find Out…)

By on August 31, 2017

2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe - Image: Honda

As I write this, one of my favorite race tracks is entirely underwater. Many years ago, I wrote for a Houston-based automotive website and we used MSR Houston as a testing facility. It was also the track where I nervously watched my little brother start his first wheel-to-wheel race back in 2013. Now the start/finish flag station looks out over a mirror-finished hurricane lake stretching to the horizon.

Every time something like this happens in the United States it tends to get people talking about climate change and what can be done to slow or halt the process. Predictably, the privately-owned automobile comes in for a fair share — maybe more than a fair share — of criticism as a result. I couldn’t tell you if the internal combustion engine actually makes a difference to the climate, and I suspect the facts are less clear than they are made out to be, but it doesn’t matter. Enough people believe in anthropogenic global warming (AGW) for public policy to be affected as a result. Nobody in Salem was really a witch but that little fact didn’t save anybody from being burned at the stake. The same is true when it comes to climate change and the automobile.

Sports cars and performance cars are a favorite target of the save-the-earth crowd, of course, but I think I can make the argument that increased availability of fast cars in general — and “hot hatches” in particular — can actually make a positive impact on carbon-dioxide emissions. Are you skeptical? Read on, my friend.

(Find Out…)

By on March 17, 2017

the triumphant one

On Monday, we issued a challenge to the B&B to submit their best efforts in the first-ever Car Name Game Challenge. There were 26 submissions, all of which went in front of our judges for review. So now it’s time to announce your top five winners, in ascending order. Let’s take a look, shall we?

(Find Out…)

By on March 13, 2017

2017 Dodge Challenger GT, Image: FCA

Today we’re going to play a little game. It’s the sort of game where all are called and few are chosen. The winner (or winners) of this game will receive lavish virtual validation from the staff at TTAC and fellow members of the B&B. And isn’t validation the best prize of all?

The title of our challenge today is The Car Name Game.

(Find Out…)

By on March 1, 2017

1984 Volkswagen GTI

Earlier this week, our Matthew Guy inquired about your favorite automotive “oops” moment — a time when it all went wrong for a manufacturer’s model or idea. Today, we’re going to flip it around, switch it up, and reverse it.

There are times when everything comes together at the right place and time in the automotive world. Whether by complete accident or cunning planning (often years in advance), a manufacturer hits an idea out of the park. It might be a single model in a new style, a superb entry into a crowded marketplace, or something that fills a void hitherto left empty in the lives of hungry consumers. No case of schadenfreude here — just success, dollars, happy children, puppies, and smiling regulators and accountants.

So which tale of automotive success is your favorite? While the GTI shown above is interesting and is credited with creating the new hot hatch segment, it’s not my pick today.

(Find Out…)

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