Posts By: Chris Tonn

By on April 12, 2017

Nissan Rogue Dogue dog in hatch

Someone needs to tell the product planners at Nissan to stop browsing Reddit. Someone also needs to tell them that most canines have remarkably poor credit ratings, because the newest Nissan Rogue Dogue concept — revealed Tuesday ahead of the 2017 New York International Auto Show — is very clearly for the dogs.

I envy the copywriter who wrote the press release, as they likely waited a lifetime to use the words “side wall mounted poop bag dispenser” in a professional capacity. Sigh.

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By on April 11, 2017

2018 Lexus LS 500 F SPORT Front 3/4, Image: Lexus

Back in the day, a properly large luxury sedan was just that — large and luxurious. No sporting pretensions were found, as any special package simply piled on the brougham.

However, Lexus has said no to a padded roof or opera lights for its newest full-size package, as it’s given the F Sport treatment to the new LS 500. Available for the twin-turbo V6 and V6 hybrid powertrains, the F Sport package adds a dash of sporting pretense to an otherwise posh sedan.

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By on April 7, 2017

For whatever reason, Volkswagen has shied away from the mainstream, large, family vehicle market for decades. When most American parents and spawn headed to Wally World in massive station wagons, Volkswagen offered the Microbus. When minivans became the rage, the sages of Wolfsburg set forth the quirky, rear-engined Vanagon. And through the ‘90s, as the SUV […]

By on March 31, 2017

Midsized luxury cars are a tough sell these days. The SUV craze shows no sign of ebbing, with new models coming out frequently from nearly every automaker (though if Caterham starts offering an assemble-it-yourself crossover, I’ll hang up my keyboard for good). Further, these midsizers are squeezed by models upmarket and down — the compacts […]

By on March 22, 2017

Is it or isn’t it? A crossover, I mean. That’s been the discussion over the 2017 Kia Niro ever since it bowed. No one seems to care whether the all-new hybrid functions as it should. Instead, the argument revolves around dimensions, and everyone knows that no one wins when someone whips out a ruler. A […]

By on March 3, 2017

It’s been the butt of jokes from journalists for years. It’s too small. It’s underpowered. It’s noisy. It’s funny looking. It’s cheap. I’m not going to disagree. Yet I don’t hate the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage GT. Granted, I wouldn’t look forward to taking a cross-country journey in it with the family, but it’s not a […]

By on February 24, 2017

The squeals of delight from the back seat were nearly deafening. My eight-year-old had discovered the rear seat heater button while pawing at the door-mounted armrest. She tends to underdress for the climate, and as usual, she was sporting shorts for her basketball game that morning — in 38 degree weather. Mercifully, the Kia Cadenza […]

By on February 10, 2017

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Braun Ability Van

One in five Americans lives with some sort of disability, per the U.S. Census Bureau, including 3.8 million veterans. Not every disability requires a customized vehicle, but the minivan has become the ideal solution for those who do.

BraunAbility has worked since 1972 to adapt vehicles for those who need them, and unveiled its new upfitted Chrysler Pacifica at the Chicago Auto Show.

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By on February 9, 2017

2017 Nissan Titan King Cab and Titan XD King Cab, Image: Nissan

In 1977, Nissan released the revolutionary King Cab option for the Datsun 620 pickup, which opened up 10 extra inches of space behind the front row of seats for people or stuff.

Forty years later, Nissan has revealed the new King Cab for the Titan and Titan XD, joining the Crew Cab and Single Cab options to round out the product line.

Interestingly, the Titan and Titan XD King Cab is offered with a rear-seat delete option, giving extra cargo space behind the front row for the coveted work-truck market.

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By on February 6, 2017

Internet eyeballs are like sweet candy to “content producers” like yours truly, so I apologize for the clickbait title. After all, the iconic, elemental roadster has nearly nothing in common with a two-ton, all-wheel-drive CUV at first glance — or even fifth glance. But look deeper at each vehicle’s mission, and I’m convinced the 2017 Nissan […]

By on February 5, 2017

I’m doing the hard work today – and all for you! I’m couch bound, laptop and beer in hand, here to bring you all the automotive commercials from tonight’s Super Bowl LI.

I’ll update this post, quarter by quarter, with every relevant commercial – after the jump!

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By on February 3, 2017

Does anyone else miss those innocent days before YouTube? Back when we had to wait for the actual Super Bowl to watch our beloved Super Bowl commercials?

Nowadays, there’s pretty much no reason whatsoever to watch the game.

Let’s take a look at the commercials, in alphabetical order by automaker.

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By on February 2, 2017

Like it or not, advertising is a legitimate art form, studied and dissected just like its sculpture and literature forebears. As the high holy day of the medium approaches this weekend, I thought it appropriate that we discuss some of history’s greatest automotive advertisements.

And don’t worry, we will have a roundup of The Big Game’s best car-specific spots coming soon.

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By on January 26, 2017

Honda Accord on fire, Image: By Shah rukh khan (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I’d like to think I was hurrying because I had a date, but an honest reassessment of my frantic reassembly of my first car was likely spurred by a need to get to work. I’m sure that after my misadventure, my fuel-soaked clothing and fouled undershorts conspired to keep me from working at the donut shop for a day or so.

Those of us not privileged enough to afford a mechanic have all done it: the cheap, likely unsafe repair meant only to get a car back on the road until time and/or funds allow a proper fix. Some call it a kludge, others redneck or ghetto engineering — depending on which stereotype you find more distasteful — but it’s all part of owning a car on a budget.

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By on January 19, 2017

1997-honda-accord-art-carI’m of the opinion that a true auto enthusiast is never content with the status of their fleet. A wandering eye is constantly looking for the next toy, the next project, the next opportunity to flip for a profit. I’m no different — I’m figuratively digging in the couch cushions every time a funky car pops up on eBay or Craigslist.

But those cushions are bare. Two kids tend to consume every spare penny. I’m trying to put away cash for a potential cheap toy, but the classics I really want have ballooned in value well beyond a reasonable figure. I’m thinking I can scrape together about five thousand dollars to buy a new toy for the garage.

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