Posts By: Matthew Guy

By on October 18, 2017

2018 Civic Sedan

There’s a good argument to be made that Honda has its mojo back, at least when it comes to the Civic. The ninth-generation car landed on the market with all the appeal of a wet fart, yet sales remained relatively strong, proving – once again – that no one listens to auto journos.

The latest Civic is leagues ahead of the old model, so much so that it has a very good chance of ousting the Camry from its perch atop America’s passenger car pyramid. Can the cheapest Civic, the LX, capture some of the luminescence cast by its more expensive brothers, particularly the Type R? Let’s find out.

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By on October 16, 2017

BORGHI,RN, ITALY - AUGUST 12: power music audio system with amplifiers bass and treble speakers in the car trunk, exhibited during the rally "Fashion tuning club" on August 12 2012 in Borghi RN Italy, Image: ermess/Bigstock

Hands up: how many of you guys and girls reading this have a radio in their car? Good, that’s just about everyone. Now, how many have a favorite tune or genre of music they crank to eleven when hitting the road? That’s what I thought.

Rock ‘n’ roll and fast cars have been intertwined since the ‘50s, and if one had to count the number of car references in rap music, well, we’d be here all day. So here’s today’s question: on what do you hit “Play” when it’s time to drive?

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By on October 11, 2017

2018 Ford EcoSportFord is a bit late to the micro SUV party, with trucklets like the Kia Soul and Chevrolet Trax hoovering up sales while the Blue Oval dawdles in getting its EcoSport to market. Finally, it appears for the 2018 model year.

By the way, even if there seems to be a couple of ways to pronounce the name of this little rig, Ford vigorously prefers we say “Echo-Sport” and not “Eek-Oh-Sport.” The company’s completely serious, despite beating us over the head for years with ads for the identically-prefixed “Eek-Oh-Boost” engines. Very good, then.

With the build-and-price tool for the EcoSport going live not long ago, let’s gander at the cheapest soft-roader in Ford’s showroom.

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By on October 9, 2017

Winter city snow

Alert readers will have noted by this time that I have lived my entire life in the refrigerator that is Eastern Canada. Snow appears early, sticks around like an unwelcome houseguest, only to begrudgingly depart sometime after Cinco de Mayo. My father often says his retirement plan consists of loading a snowblower into the bed of a pickup truck and heading south. The first place he stops where someone asks “What’s that?” is where he makes his new home.

On Friday, I regaled you with my tale of finally paying off a car (thanks for the kind words in the comments, readers). Since I’ll be keeping the Charger, and live well into the snow belt, I will soon need to get it ready for winter.

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By on October 6, 2017

2012 Dodge Charger

Every now and then, life takes you by surprise. One minute you’re hanging out with your buddies, deploying the 225 horsepower of a tattered Mustang GT to do donuts in the parking lot of the Muddy Shag Lounge. The next, you’re weighing the benefits of a variable rate mortgage.

It’s an alarming reminder of age, not unlike the sudden predilection of my knees to sound like nails in a Cuisinart when I attempt to alight from my sofa after watching the Pittsburgh Penguins get shellacked by the Chicago Blackhawks.

One such life event snuck up on me a couple of weeks ago: I finally kept a car long enough to pay it off.

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By on October 4, 2017

2018 Nissan Frontier

“Hang on a second,” you shout, hurling canned food and stale eclairs in my general direction. “Didn’t this series already cover the Frontier?” Yes, dear reader, it did… for the 2017 model year.

There used to be a Chinese buffet restaurant in the capital city of Newfoundland famous for offering meh options at midday, only to trot out much better versions of the same dishes in the evening. They charged a little bit more after sundown, naturally, but not that much more.

It appears the Nissan product team has been eating at the Golden Phoenix on Kenmount Road, then.

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By on October 2, 2017

2018 Chevy Silverado 3500 Dually

People have been predicting it for years, we foreshadowed it a few months ago, and on Thursday it finally happened: one can now waltz into a dealership and spoil the better part of a hundred grand on a pickup truck.

See that 2018 Silverado 3500 Crew Cab Dually up top, though? It doesn’t cost $100,000. It doesn’t even cost $50,000. It is, in fact, only $340 more expensive than a top-rung Honda Ridgeline.

Wait. What?

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By on September 29, 2017

2018 Chevrolet Silverado Centennial Edition

Chevrolet has gone to great pains to remind everyone that the 2018 model year marks the 100th anniversary of Chevy Trucks. A hundred candles is a big deal, so Chevy reached into its lengthy history for a few design and detail cues to mark the occasion.

I’d wager a hefty amount of money that most people reading this either had or has a Chevy truck in their family or know someone who did. They’ve produced over 85 million of the things, after all.  (Read More…)

By on September 28, 2017

Ford Super Duty Limited. Image: © 2017 Matthew Guy

For years, Ford has wisely been pushing their trucks into the upper stratosphere of both price and luxurious content. Features once reserved for the finest Lincoln flagships now pop up in pickups with alarming regularity.

Hard working, heavy duty customers naturally want a piece of the action, too. That’s why Ford is applying the Limited trim to their Super Duty fleet for 2018.

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By on September 28, 2017

2018 Ram Southfork and Lone Star

People allege that everything’s bigger in Texas. At the State Fair, they’re probably right. Ram chose the long-running extravaganza to show off a couple of new trim packages now available on their pickups.

The current list of Ram trim levels reads like a menu at a good restaurant: lots on it and plenty that you want. Ahead of next January’s Detroit show, where we will presumably see a brand-new Ram 1500 pickup, the FCA team has dropped two new models into their lineup.

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By on September 27, 2017

Alien Green 2018 Kia Soul

Korean automakers built their foundations on these shores by offering cars priced much more aggressively than established competition yet packed to the gunwales with features. Kia has come a long way since opening up shop with their first dealerships in – where else – Portland, Oregon. Keep it weird, Portland.

Even with the by-all-accounts superb Stinger and the not-offered-here funky Stonic pointing Kia in a bold new direction, the company stays true to its roots by continuing to offer an array of products squarely in the Mr. Noodles price range. One of the most popular? The Kia Soul, of course.

Is there a base model? Of course there is. This time, it’s right there in the name.

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By on September 25, 2017

2018 Kia Stonic, Image: Kia

It’s not a secret most of us at TTAC are not, to put it charitably, overly enamored with the current crop of alphabet soup adorning the trunk lids of most new cars today. The market has endured alphanumeric model names for years, but at least, say, in the ‘80s and 90s there was a very good chance the numbers stood for engine displacement. Not anymore.

This is why I am glad Kia has chosen to simply make up words for its new product. The Stonic is allegedly a portmanteau of ‘speedy’ and ‘tonic’. All right, then. At least it’s not the 6000SUX or something.

Automotive history is littered with many great and bizarre names. Here’s a few: (Read More…)

By on September 20, 2017

All Hail the Mighty Suburban

Full-size, body-on-frame, real SUVs are in some circles (not mine, thankfully) about as politically correct as a Monsanto home fracking kit. Thing is, though, if a person wants to transport nine people while towing an 8,000-pound trailer, there are few options other than the Suburban and its fraternal twin, the GMC Yukon XL.

The Suburban is a nameplate that’s been around since 1935, unabashedly truck based and powered by a 355-horsepower V8 engine which may or may not run on ground-up bicycles. Since the last time we looked at the Beast from Chevy, the bowtie brand has introduced a Tahoe Custom that was received warmly at TTAC HQ. Can the ‘burb retain its spot on the Ace of Base board? Let’s find out.

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By on September 18, 2017

Pagani Zonda Cinque
Last week I had the good fortune to spend a couple of days with Andrew Comrie-Picard, wheeling some gnarly Jeeps and riding along in psychotic 600-horsepower rallycross cars at a GRC event in Seattle. The Jeeps growled like Chewbacca on a bad fur day, while the rallycross cars felt like a freight train speeding up my spine and coming out my ear.

As with all good conversations, the topic frequently centered on cars. On the way to drive Jeeps, ACP posed a great question: What’s your definition of a supercar?

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By on September 13, 2017

2018 Nissan 370Z, Image: Nissan

There’s not much new in the 2018 Nissan 370Z, nor was there much new last year, and the year before that. In fact, this model has been around since Shane was still alive on The Walking Dead.

Like last year, an equivalently priced Mustang or Camaro will be arguably more modern with better technology, especially with the 2018 changes to those models. But, as long-time readers may know, I feel that either of those cars equipped sans V8 is more pointless than ordering a Diet Coke to accompany one’s double Big Mac and supersized fries.

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