October 4, 2015 |
With its 2015 redesign, the Murano, Nissan's midsize crossover, continues a penchant for avant-garde styling that began with the model's birth a dozen years ago. The Murano is easily the most evocative exterior design exercise in its segment. The styling has a very original feel. The sculpting takes delightfully unexpected turns, and usually manages to be cohesive as well as courageous in the process. An exception would be that chrome spear astride the rocker panels. I understand it is intended as a continuation of the chrome strip under the front fascia, but to my mind it just sits there being an essentially isolated non sequitur.
May 5, 2013 |
Actually, the Acura RDX doesn't fill prescriptions or offer ibuprofen on a buy-one-get-one-free basis. That's because it's not really a drugstore. It's an automobile, a compact crossover SUV, to be exact. But while it doesn't dispense drugs, it is, like all its vehicular brethren, the recipient of a marketing prescription. And that prescription has changed dramatically, resulting in a very different RDX for the 2013 model year. The RDX, which debuted as a 2007 model, was originally aimed at a 30ish male yuppie who prized driving fun. It featured a turbocharged four-banger, a sophisticated, performance-minded all-wheel-drive system and a firm, sporty suspension.
April 14, 2013 |
Getting around in the snow can be a pricey proposition. The Range Rover Autobiography model has a base price of $130,995. The Porsche Cayenne Turbo checks in at $108,750. Granted, these are rather extreme cases. But they do underscore the point that all-wheel-drive vehicles do dip more deeply into your pocket than their two-wheel-drive counterparts. In exchange for the peace of mind they give you on a snowy ride home, AWD systems typically add a couple of thousand dollars to your vehicle's price tag and subtract several MPGs from its fuel economy.
December 14, 2012 |
DETROIT - General Motors is giving its big pickups a much-needed makeover. The company unveiled new versions of its top-selling Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra on Thursday, aiming to get them to showrooms by late spring or early summer. The timing is good. The 2014 models roll into a market where truck sales are growing after a five-year slump. And GM's current trucks are dated, hurting sales. Those trucks, last revamped in 2007, are the oldest on the market and have fallen behind newer models from Ford and Chrysler.
November 3, 2012 |
DETROIT - Hyundai and Kia overstated the gas mileage on 900,000 vehicles sold in the last three years, a discovery that could bring sanctions from the U.S. government and millions of dollars in reimbursements to car owners. The inflated mileage was uncovered in an audit of test results by the Environmental Protection Agency, which ordered the Korean automakers to replace fuel economy stickers on the affected cars. The new window stickers will have figures that are one-to-six miles per gallon lower depending on the model, the agency said Friday.
October 18, 2012 |
Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL: Smooth, sippy family mover. Price: $32,075 as tested, including a $3,080 package that adds premium audio and navigation, power liftgate, rear camera, and automated parking. (A base model starts at $25,020.) Marketer's pitch: Hybrid efficiency. Real-world performance. Conventional wisdom: Edmunds.com credits its "superb gas mileage ... refined ride and responsive handling. " Reality: I'd call it 2½ out of 3. Weekend vehicle: The C-Max came to me in an unusual way. Normally, I work with fleet companies that provide test vehicles for members of the media.
March 19, 2012 |
I made a few stops on the way home the other night, which meant my car's engine had to warm up several times and my gas mileage for the trip was down a bit - 55.2 miles a gallon. Yes, I have a Prius. But normally I can do a few miles a gallon better. It was late. Orion was high overhead. And as I stood in the driveway gazing at it, I had a diabolical thought. Normally I put so much effort into increasing my mileage. I drive the speed limit and coast to every red light.
July 31, 2011 |
The new-for-2011 convertible rendition of the Chevrolet Camaro arrived on my doorstep clad in a $325 option called "Inferno Orange Metallic. " I'm thinking: Gee, isn't it easy enough to get a speeding ticket in a sporty, 426-horsepower V-8 without dressing it in a variation on "Arrest Me Red"? Oh, well, I guess there's really no way to render a Camaro SS gendarme-proof. You could substitute a Cuisinart motor for that fugitive from a Corvette engine bay, paint the car "Funereal Fawn," and still swivel a constabulary neck or two. And besides, the metallic orange paint grew on me. I found it a tad jarring at first, but it was an interesting color that worked well with the black body-stripe package ($470)
April 21, 2011
When gasoline is about $4 a gallon, and climbing, why spend more to save? These apps for gas shopping, improved mileage, and oil-based comedy are from the "free" column. GasBuddy is for Apple, Android, and Windows, and is scheduled for BlackBerry in May. You sort a list of nearby gas stations by distance or price. GasBuddy users report the prices they see and pay, and this "crowdsourcing" makes it a pretty reliable tool on the road. Feel free to submit an update whenever you see new prices.
April 17, 2011 |
Gasoline prices keep climbing, and that's not good for the pocketbook or the economy. There are ways to minimize the hit from $4 gas, and these sites explain a lot of them, such as taking the bus. Consumer Reports explains how to maximize fuel economy in your car. Recommendations include keeping to moderate speeds, inflating tires properly, and avoiding idling. Time-honored myths are also busted - you won't save by buying gas in the cool of the morning (except when the price is being raised later in the day!