September 20, 2015 |
Since I initiated the annual Inquirer Cheap Car Survey in 1986, it has, predictably enough, been a roundup of inexpensive little sedans and hatchbacks. But given our nation's burgeoning love affair with crossovers in general and small ones in particular, I've decided to deviate from the protocol this time and see what I could uncover in the SUV bargain basement. I figured that if I found vehicles that could combine good fuel economy, the utility of a hatchback, and the weather-defying blessings of all-wheel-drive at an affordable price, women would stop me in the street and kiss the hem of my garment.
July 27, 2015 |
Hyundai says the epidermis of its redesigned 2016 Tucson compact crossover is a continuation of the "Fluidic Sculpture 2.0" design theme that debuted with the South Korean automaker's 2015 Genesis sedan. As evocative of Renaissance art as it might sound, Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 isn't really quite on par with Michelangelo's daubs on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. But the sporty sculpting it imparts to the new, third-generation Tucson does make for a particularly good-looking crossover SUV. At a recent regional press introduction for the markedly improved Tucson, I suggested to Dave Zuchkowski, the burly president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America, that the designers who coin terms like this and use all sorts of bizarre verbs and adjectives to describe their work really do speak another language.
June 28, 2015 |
Lincoln, like Cadillac, has been taking steps recently to make its machinery a more relevant member of the luxury segment. Certainly, the efforts to bump up the sales of products from the newly named Lincoln Motor Co. won't be hurt by the latest J.D. Power initial quality study. That influential report has Lincoln in the top 10 - and ahead of Lexus. The healthy sales of the MKC, Lincoln's new-for-2015 compact crossover, haven't hurt, either. Indeed, the MKC is a principal reason for Lincoln's recent sales increases, said Sam Locricchio, the automaker's product spokesman.
May 17, 2015 |
There is a fascinating story buried in Iverson , a biographical documentary of the 76ers great. Director Zatella Beatty does her best to tease it out of her subject. But her greenness at the helm shows, as she relies heavily on a cloying score, obvious imagery, and a simplistic structure. The film, which premiered at last year's Tribeca Film Festival, starts with Allen Iverson's hardscrabble youth in the projects of Newport News, Va., hitting on his controversial 1993 arrest after a bowling alley brawl (which leads to a cameo by current NBC10 reporter Monique Braxton)
December 29, 2014 |
The words bold and premium have attained prominent places in autodom's marketing mantra. Wherever you turn, there's an emphasis on bold exteriors and premium interiors. At the moment, Toyota is running a big ad campaign that extols the bold persona of the new Camry. Nissan is underscoring for car writers the more premium nature of the new Murano crossover's cabin. Not to be outdone, Kia keyed on both qualities when it showed its redesigned 2016 Sorento crossover at a recent press introduction.
October 13, 2014 |
2014 Audi Q5 TDI Quattro TipTronic vs. 2014 BMW X5 xDrive35d: Luxury and diesel together? This week: Audi Q5. Price: $51,445 as tested ($46,500 base price). A gasoline-powered version starts at $37,300. Marketer's pitch: "Utility meets elegance in the Audi Q5. " Conventional wisdom: In the non-TDI, Edmunds.com likes the "top-notch interior craftsmanship; . . . superb brake performance; roomy back seat; sporty handling" but not the "below-average cargo capacity; unintuitive control layout without navigation; artificial steering feel.
September 14, 2014 |
Since all-wheel-drive crossover SUVs have become so popular in snow-prone places such as Philadelphia, I thought an AWD crossover variation on the Annual Inquirer Cheap Car Survey might be of service. As it turns out, you don't have to spend half of the gross national product of Uganda to get home in a snowstorm. I found five perfectly serviceable AWD crossovers for less than $22,500. Indeed, three of them are less than $21,500. These entry-level compact crossovers are base models with decent standard equipment litanies and reasonable room for folks and cargo.
August 17, 2014 |
Lexus invented the luxury crossover SUV when it introduced its RX model 16 years ago. For that Edisonesque accomplishment, the upmarket manufacturer was issued a license to print money. The RX sells more than 100,000 copies a year, making it this country's top-selling luxury vehicle. That many sales of a vehicle that starts at $40,795 translates into yumongous yens, particularly when you're talking about premium-brand profit margins. Now, it seems, the king of the Lexus showrooms will have to cede a little floor space to a new kid brother, the Lexus NX. Due in the dealerships in late November/early December, the NX is Lexus' new entry-level crossover, a somewhat smaller, sportier, and cheaper variation on the RX. Unlike the pioneering RX, however, the NX is rather late to the compact crossover party.
July 28, 2014 |
The manual transmission is still a principal player on the global stage, where it finds a role in roughly half the vehicles sold. But here in the United States, the stick shift has to settle for bit parts. It now figures in only 5 percent of this country's car and truck sales, most of them performance-minded machines and small, inexpensive econocars. Indeed, the vehicles most people buy, like crossovers, midsize family sedans and pickups, are seldom offered with manual transmissions.
March 4, 2014 |
THE EFFECTS of Allen Iverson's career and carriage cannot be overstated. He influenced not only a league but a culture; braided, tatted and 'tuded; valiant, defiant, unapologetic. The 76ers retired Iverson's No. 3 on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center in a stirring ceremony that offered a respite from the catastrophe they have created this season. Yesterday afternoon, Villanova dismantled Marquette on the court under which Iverson's number now hangs. If the Wildcats weren't aware that Big East nemesis Creighton lost Saturday night, putting Villanova atop the conference, it was because they were watching A.I.'s love-in.