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Posts By: Matthew Guy
Eight months ago, we took a sojourn through the build and price tool for the Honda Fit LX. Since then, Honda’s increased the price and added a paint option.
So far in 2017, the Fit has sold at a more rapid pace than last year, despite the addition of an HR-V that logically should have cannibalized some Fit sales. As we well know, logic has no place in the car business. Perhaps shoppers are being lured to Honda showrooms by the new HR-V, then flipped by an alert member of the sales staff to the more affordable Fit.
Let’s see what one gets for their extra Fit cash in 2017.
Mercifully, at least to those of us living in the Snow Belt or in the Great White North, the official start of summer is only 57 days away. You know what that means: swimming pools, grilling meat, and — for gearheads — road trips.
I’m of firm belief the journey is half the fun, especially if you’re taking the Queen Family Truckster somewhere new. The countries on either side of the 49th parallel are filled with random and bizarre roadside bric-a-brac, some of it fit for discussion on this website, some of it — as we shall see — is straight from Hugh Hefner’s imagination.
Sometimes a manufacturer churns out a base model in which it might be more prudent to spend one’s extra cash on aftermarket upgrades and not a more expensive trim. Here’s a candidate.
Many songs of praise have been penned and much digital ink spilled of Mazda’s rear-wheel drive, two-seat roadster. From the original version in 1990 to the current fourth-gen model, Mazda has always managed to keep a lid on cost and weight, two things which generally spiral out of control in both successive iterations of a popular vehicle and my own personal lifestyle as I age.
A total of $5,150 separates the base MX-5 Sport from the top rung Grand Touring model. Is that sum of cash better spent on DIY upgrades? Or should buyers spring for the high-zoot MX-5? Let’s find out.
Ever since I was a lad,
growing up maturing getting older in a community of about 1,200 souls and 90 minutes from any sort of car dealership, I’ve been fascinated by cars. Grasping every copy of a car magazine that found its way into our rural mailbox with my grubby little hands, I’d read each one cover to cover until the pages fell out. I knew what each person in our town drove; when someone showed up with new wheels, I’d invariably appear in their driveway asking if I could look at it. That wouldn’t fly today. Good thing everyone knew each other.
Thanks to this dearth of youthful car-related entertainment, 30 years later I now find myself checking out every single car show I happen to find, quenching a long simmering thirst for cool wheels.
Before we start this Ace of Base, we need to get one thing clear: no one listens to automotive journalists. We can carp about bad cars and exhort the good ones, but at the end of the day, customers go out and buy whatever they want.
I’m saying this with tongue firmly in cheek, of course, but there is a nugget of truth. The Mazda 6 is one of the best driving sedans in the mid-size segment, wrapped up in a good-looking body with plenty of interior space. Naturally, it sells at approximately the pace of glacier progression.
Ask any real estate agent worth their salt and they’ll tell you the easiest way to increase the curb appeal of an aging house is to slather it with a new lick of paint. With a trifling of effort and minimal investment, new sets of eyes will be drawn to the place.
With that in mind, may we present the latest special editions — sorry, factory-custom designs — headed our way from the truck builders in Auburn Hills.
You can always spot a gearhead on vacation. They’re the ones arguing with the people at Hertz over the type of tires on their rental or, at the bare minimum, running up and down the Emerald Aisle at National like a kid in a candy store.
Serious car freaks, like all hands writing for this august establishment and (I’m wagering) a good percentage of our readers, start seeking out car-related “events” at their destination at the earliest opportunity.
Me? I usually end up digging through the Yards Across America.
Just in time for spring and dry pavement, FCA heeds the internet credo to Hellcat All the Things by dropping that model’s supercharged 6.2-liter mill in its Jeep Grand Cherokee.
This completes the trifecta of gonzo SUVs, with the Tesla Model X and fish-faced Bentley Bentayga already scorching the pavement. Think a Jeep won’t play in the same league as those rarified SUVs? Both of those vehicles lay claim to 0-60 times in the three-and-a-half second range; with 707 hp on tap, all-wheel drive, and an estimated weight of around 900 lbs more than a Charger Hellcat, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk should do the same.
There’s something innately endearing about a small pickup truck. Like an overeager puppy who yaps and seems to bounce instead of walk, fun-sized pick-‘em-ups just appear to be excited all the time. Come on! Come on! Let’s work! Let’s play! Are you ready? Can we play? Huh? Huh? Are you ready? How about now? To me, that’s the soundtrack of a small truck.
Nissan has been a large player in the small truck market ever since Methuselah was a boy, with the Hardbody (what a great name for a truck, by the way) finding itself on the nation’s gravel roads in a whole bunch of trims. In the Great White North, they even used the fantastic Hustler name. Hardbody Hustler. Tremendous.
Any gearhead with a pulse and an internet connection knows the eighth (yes, eighth) installation of the never-ending Fast & Furious franchise is set to be foisted upon us next Friday. Fun challenge: sneak a fifth of Smirnoff into the theatre and down a shot every time someone says the word “family.” Please make sure to take a cab home.
Nevertheless, here’s an easy question not asked to date in this QOTD series: what’s your favorite car movie?
Yesterday, we learned the Kia badge might not be good enough for Stingers in its home country. Around here, the slinky sedan will still carry the nameplate, despite the brand’s humble beginnings.
Twenty years ago, Kia made a name for itself on these shores hawking bargain-basement priced entry-level cars, many of which quickly returned to the earth in the form of iron oxide. Today, Kia’s smallest offering has since gone to finishing school, earning a major in Economics.
Last week, Jack opined it’s high time a certain American nameplate needs to start leading itself with marketing — brash, notice-it-even-if-you-don’t-want-to marketing — instead of by the short leash provided when one tries engineering their way into the hearts and wallets of American consumers.
Never one to pass up a chance to dive down the rabbit hole of automotive marketing, it didn’t take long for my browser history to be clogged with search terms, finding great car ads I remember from when, as a kid, my grubby little hands would anticipate the arrival of a new car magazine.
Let’s get one thing straight right from the start: like last week, this comparison isn’t going to change anyone’s mind. Truck buyers are a notoriously loyal lot, so the online bleatings of a shrimp-filled journalist are unlikely to curry favor with folks whose work boots are firmly entrenched in one of these three camps.
Thing is, though, I do know a thing or two about trucks. Plus, I had a deadline to meet and needed a topic for today. Having recently completed the trifecta by finally getting the chance to drive all three diesel behemoths listed here, I started to ask myself how these workhorses would compare in single cab, four-wheel drive, base trim. Fleet managers, please click on through: we’re about to step into the world of bare-bones diesel trucks.
A couple of weeks ago, Steph asked about the one that got away. From Aussie coupes to strange French sedans — which, by the way, require such a deep love of all things Gallic that one must have garlic toothpaste in their medicine cabinet — the B&B had some great examples of forbidden fruit for which they yearn.
Thing is, though, all those examples were denied us by the manufacturers. This time, we’re going for something far more personal. What’s the one that got away … because you sold it?
A few months ago, I promised the B&B they would never see American muscle cars in this Ace of Base series. Why? Well, it’s my firm belief the likes of Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger should be permanently equipped with a V8 engine and its accompanying sultry exhaust note.
I am here before you today not to break my promise, but — as I’ve said to my wife on occasion — to creatively keep my promise. Let’s find out what shoppers get for their cash in a no-option, V8-equipped example of the hairy-chested coupes hawked by the Detroit Three.