Posts By: Mark Stevenson

By on February 8, 2016

2013 Dodge Dart GT

Duncan writes:

Because I want a car that will depreciate faster than my 2014 Genesis 5.0 R-Spec, I inquired at a local Pennsylvania Dodge dealer about a 2016 Dart GT with a manual transmission. After a week of them trying to order one for me, I was told that the factory would not sell the Dart GT with a manual transmission to PA dealers because of something to do with emissions.

I figured I was being given the runaround so I did a search and, sure enough, there were no 2016 Dodge Dart GTs with manual transmissions for sale in PA.

What gives?

(Read More…)

By on February 8, 2016

2015CadillacEscalade_(4_of_9)

Cadillac has one exceptionally good, class-leading model in its range. That model doesn’t have a V badge. It isn’t even a car. And almost nothing about it is unique. It’s the Escalade. And people can’t get enough of its luxury whipped cream dolloped atop its American apple pie.

Contrary to recent reports that the Escalade will abandon its body-on-frame roots, it looks like the Escalade will continue as a luxury offshoot of its full-size SUV cousins — the Yukon and Tahoe/Suburban — reports the Detroit Free Press based on an interview with Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen:

“The Escalade must become more sophisticated and technically advanced, more detail oriented” in its interior design and materials, [Johan de Nysschen] said. “We can do all that with a body-on-frame architecture.”

Though, if we’re to dig into this no-change-is-good story a bit more, maybe Cadillac couldn’t change the Escalade even if it wanted to.

(Read More…)

By on February 7, 2016

Kenneth Feinberg, Generous Solution Quote

Kenneth Feinberg, the man behind Volkswagen’s claims fund, stated American VW TDI customers should expect an offer that will make them very happy in an interview published this weekend.

When asked by Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (via Reuters) what he will offer the more than 500,000 Americans who own dirty diesels, he replied, “I can promise that there will be a generous solution.”

What that solution will be is anyone’s guess, including Feinberg’s.

“The jury is still out, and at the moment all options are up for debate: cash payments, buybacks, repairs, replacements with new cars,” he said.

(Read More…)

By on February 7, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 12.14.52 PM

No, the State of Colorado isn’t blowing up grandmas for doing 10 mph under the limit in the left lane. But the state’s Department of Transportation is keeping people safe by clearing avalanches with World War II artillery.

Armed with a 105 mm howitzer — possibly an M101A1, though please feel free to correct us — the Colorado DOT clears avalanche prone areas by shooting shells up to 7 miles away into the mountain tops. Those shells have a secondary charge that explodes on impact to trigger a controlled avalanche.

(Read More…)

By on February 6, 2016

Volkswagen Diesel Sale Disclaimer

The fuel cost savings of a diesel vehicle can be huge for those who eat up highway miles. However, with Volkswagen’s voluntary stop sale of those vehicles implicated in the diesel emissions scandal, you may think you can’t buy one from a Volkswagen dealer.

You’d be wrong.

According to a source who spoke to TTAC under the condition of anonymity, Volkswagen dealers are still able to sell an affected diesel vehicle should it meet certain conditions: that it not be a “certified pre-owned” (CPO) or new vehicle, and that the buyer signs a disclaimer stating they understand the vehicle being purchased pollutes more than government compliance tests initially indicated.

(Read More…)

By on February 5, 2016

Volkswagen Dealer Sign

Volkswagen Group of America has begun the process of buying back cars affected by the ongoing diesel emissions scandal, but you shouldn’t expect to receive a letter or phone call with a buyback offer anytime soon.

VW is going ahead with a buyback program that will see the automaker acquire affected vehicles from dealers’ certified pre-owned (CPO) inventories, a source familiar with the plan told TTAC.

(Read More…)

By on February 5, 2016

British Grand Prix 2012 - Silverstone

If there was any doubt surrounding the future certain failure of Top Gear, it was put to rest today.

Eddie Jordan — famous for running a Formula 1 team into the ground, being the Irish orange yin to David Coulthard’s pasty, Scottish yang during BBC Formula 1 coverage, and for making Bernie Ecclestone look like a normal-sized human being — has been tipped as the third host of Top Gear, reports Radio Times.

Plot lost.

(Read More…)

By on February 4, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 8.28.08 AM

Former “Friends” star and current “Episodes” main character Matt LeBlanc will be heading to the BBC to co-host Top Gear with Chris Evans, Top Gear announced Thursday.

The news comes just before Evans, who’s experienced numerous setbacks with taping the new series, is set to headline BBC Worldwide’s annual showcase where he’ll be expected to sell the show to international broadcasters.

(Read More…)

By on February 3, 2016

2015 Dodge Charger V6 AWD Rallye (3 of 13)

More than half a million 2011 through 2016 Dodge Chargers are being recalled because they can’t stay up.

Jack points on the Chargers may become deformed, causing the cars to slip off their jacks when owners are changing a flat.

Three minor injuries have been attributed to the issue, said Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. One minor headline joke can also be attributed to Dodge’s problem of keeping it up. There’s no word on whether Dodge will be asking sister-brand Fiat for blue pills to rectify the issue. (Read More…)

By on February 3, 2016

2016 Scion iM

Beyond the funky metal, there’s one element that set Scion apart from its Toyota mothership: monospec pricing.

By offering up only a single trim for each models and reducing options to paint colors, transmissions and accessories, Scion was able to market its vehicles to a different audience and offer a no-haggle sales approach.

For the 2017 model year, that monospec approach will continue, but Toyota is evaluating its future. Also, Scion’s no-haggle pricing model won’t be surviving the transition to Toyota.

(Read More…)

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