Posts By: Mark Stevenson

By on February 17, 2017

2017 Buick Model Lineup from Buick Website

“Buick revealed its Cascada convertible, an elegant four-seater that will go on sale in the USA in the first quarter of 2016. This marks another example of the two brands’ successful collaboration, which already includes the jointly-developed Buick Encore and Opel Mokka, the Buick Verano and Opel Astra notchback as well as the Buick Regal and Opel Insignia,” proclaimed Opel in January 2016, just ahead of the Cascada’s reveal in Detroit.

One paragraph. Four products that intrinsically link Opel and Buick.

It’s no surprise, then, that General Motors’ possible sale of Opel to Peugeot has those in and out of the RenCen wondering: What of Buick?

(Read More…)

By on February 15, 2017

Buick Grille Logo Emblem, Image: General Motors

As politicians and labor unions in Europe reel from yesterday’s revelation of high-level talks between General Motors and Peugeot over a possible sale of Opel, GM’s most European-infused brand on this side of the Atlantic is operating business as usual.

Buick, which is GM’s second-largest brand globally by volume behind Chevrolet, has product in the wings, including the largely rumored but unconfirmed Buick Regal, based on the recently revealed Opel Insignia.

Buick sees no problem with that.

(Read More…)

By on February 11, 2017

Franka Emika Robot Arm, Image: Franka

We’ll always need humans to manufacture robots for automated manufacturing, or at least that’s been the prevailing wisdom for years.

But what if that wasn’t the case?

Robot arms, such as the Franka Emika pictured above, might change all that, as they now have the ability to clone themselves.

(Read More…)

By on February 8, 2017

2017 Kia Niro Hybrid Hotel Emma, Image: © 2017 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

Simon Cameron, the 26th United States Secretary of War, is known for saying, “An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.”

He could have said the same thing about supposed automotive journalists, too.

Wayne Gerdes, who was hired by Kia to set a Guinness World Record for fuel economy in the new Niro Hybrid, has just posted his review of the same vehicle. You know exactly how this is going to go.

(Read More…)

By on February 3, 2017

BOOK by Cadillac Website

General Motors’ luxury division isn’t content with brewing coffee and showing off fashionable new threads at its new SoHo space — it also wants you to drive its cars.

Book by Cadillac, a monthly subscription lease service that launched one month ago, aims to get more people in the metal to the tune of $1,500 a month — and 24/7 Wall St. is already calling it a “major flop.”

According to the self-described “financial news and opinion” website, “[Uwe] Ellinghaus [Cadillac’s chief marketing officer] in particular has to be humiliated,” as there aren’t enough subscriptions available to supply the demand.

Say what now?

(Read More…)

By on February 3, 2017

Remember MTV? Back on September 18, 1983, the once-music-oriented television station — before its foray into an endless stream of mindless reality programming — broadcast a momentous event in rock history. The members of KISS, who’d never previously showed their bare faces in public, appeared in front of a camera without makeup for the very first time. Instantly, the […]

By on February 1, 2017

Kia Niro, Image: Kia Motors

Kia’s foray into the hybrid segment might be ill-timed, considering the current contraction of sales for its main rival, the Toyota Prius, but the Korean automaker is betting big on the Niro’s traditionally boxy shape bringing in would-be Prius buyers offended by origami-esque sheetmetal.

Still, with that two-box silhouette comes some preconceived notions — like all-wheel drive.

While you want it, and Kia Motors of America would surely love to give it to you, there are a host of reasons why Kia’s newest hybrid-only crossover doesn’t offer all-wheel drive and likely won’t anytime soon.

(Read More…)

By on January 24, 2017

In November of last year, I asked you, our loyal readership, for your input on how to guide this website into the future. You spoke to the tune of 300 comments, and I replied with the following:

When it comes to politics, we must walk a fine line, and we must define the meaning of political discussion. There’s no doubt that politics, government, regulation, and the automotive industry are intertwined like a well-stirred spaghetti. If we’re to ignore those aspects of the automotive environment in America and globally, we aren’t doing our jobs. However, there’s a vast difference between politics and partisan rhetoric. It’s the latter that’s become an issue.

So, we’ll eschew partisan rhetoric unless it’s germane to the story at hand. Otherwise, TTAC will not take part in the dissemination of rhetoric itself. Still, we’re about to enter a new era in American politics, where rhetoric plays an even more active role than it has in years and decades past. Keep this in mind when reading our reports. We cannot and should not ignore the words escaping the mouths of politicians, elected officials, regulators, and bureaucrats. To do so would be a disservice to you.

Well, dear readers, I’ve done you a disservice.

(Read More…)

By on January 12, 2017

2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Roof, Image: © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

Update: Added detail about next-generation Jeep Wrangler roof.

A vehicle is no Bronco unless owners can remove its roof in some way. Thankfully, it looks like the next-generation SUV won’t disappoint.

According to two well-placed sources, the next Bronco won’t feature a canvas top or fiberglass cap. Instead, it will look to the Wrangler’s little brother, the Jeep Renegade, for inspiration.

(Read More…)

By on January 12, 2017

Ford Bronco Concept, Image: Ford

Bronco.

While the name isn’t as intertwined in Ford history as much as Mustang or F-Series, the Bronco nameplate is something Ford can’t affix to just anything.

And according to rumors we’re hearing, we don’t need to worry about Ford refreshing an Everest for North American consumption and relying on a nostalgic nameplate to carry it off the lot.

(Read More…)

By on January 9, 2017

Mark Stevenson's Former 1995 Ford Bronco, Image: © 2011 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

We knew it would happen, but now it’s official.

Ford, in two very short paragraphs bookended by more spilled corporate ink over mobility and futurethink, has given me a reason to save my nickels and dimes for 2020.

The Bronco, like the Terminator, will be back.

(Oh, and the Ranger is coming back too.)

(Read More…)

By on January 5, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Monroney, Made in Mexico, Image: © Bozi Tatarevic/The Truth About Cars

Update: Added dealer info, sales background.

Contrary to a statement released two days ago by General Motors, it seems not all Cruze sedans sold in the United States are made in the United States.

According to TTAC alum Ed Niedermeyer, a number of 2017 Chevrolet Cruzes — even those for sale at a dealer in Lordstown, Ohio, where GM manufactures the Cruze in the United States — are Hecho en Mexico.

(Read More…)

By on December 22, 2016

Long-Exposure of Sparklers around Old Car, Image: thevlue/Flickr

As we roll into the holidays, TTAC is signing off for a four-day weekend and its writers are enjoying some much needed rest with family and friends. As much as we love to pour our hearts into this little corner of the web, we also need to share those hearts with other loves in our lives. So, because of that, TTAC can wait for a few days.

But before we go, I’d like to thank you — the writers, the readers, and everyone else that makes this possible — for an excellent year. Enjoy your holidays safely. We’d really like to see you come back here in 2017 in one piece.

In the meantime, and in the spirit of the season, let’s try something.

(Read More…)

By on December 12, 2016

Update: An earlier version of this story stated the 2017 Honda CR-V was “American-made.” However, the CR-V is manufactured in both the United States and Canada for North American consumption. Sorry, Allistonians. We sat down for dinner in a rented space shortly after arriving in Monterey, California. The food, standard fare for such a gathering, consisted of […]

By on December 9, 2016

2018 Volkswagen Atlas, Image: Volkswagen

There’s no doubt Volkswagen needs its new midsize Atlas to be a home run (or, at least, a ground rule double) to keep its American dealers appeased following the now-year-long diesel emissions scandal. Even before the scandal, Volkswagen USA could neither create a product mix befitting American sensibilities nor price its ill-marketed product at price points palatable to the American public.

Yet, Atlas — Volkswagen’s crossover slotting between the compact Tiguan and upmarket Touareg — wears sheetmetal penned by Ativan-popping designers, and one of Volkswagen’s design employees agrees.

(Read More…)

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