Category: Editorials

By on October 19, 2016

2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo white frontThe 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo I’m driving this week is not a great car. Ride quality is abysmal. The dual-clutch transmission chronically delays the actual act of transmitting. Present are a number of negative symptoms with which we associate “sportiness,” but few and far between are the dividends we expect to be paid in exchange for those negative symptoms.

Yet more than five years into its run, the Hyundai Veloster continues to produce healthy volume for Hyundai USA while also providing the market with something it lacks: unique, interesting, “sporty” proposals for the small car buyer who doesn’t want a ho-hum everyday sedan.

Remember when other automakers used to do the same? The Mazda MX-3, Nissan NX, Geo Storm/Isuzu Impulse and Toyota Paseo, for example — cars with humble foundations that reached higher with unique bodywork. We need more of that. Read More >

By on October 19, 2016


Manufacturers want you to believe that their vehicles are durable, but at the same time they want to make money. So, they make continuous improvements and updates in order to keep buyers coming back. Setting a hard limit for how long a vehicle should last would be detrimental to any brand, but soft limits — like the five-digit odometers of the 60s and 70s — made owners aware that they should dump their car before the 100,000 mile mark rolls around.

We’re well into six digit territory now, as the commonly accepted lifetime for vehicles has doubled to 200,000 miles. However, according to its service software BMW thinks its cars shouldn’t be on the road that long. Read More >

By on October 19, 2016

Kafziel at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

As fun as it is to overhype the dangers of Halloween to frighten adults, we all know that poisoned candy and razor blade-filled apples are bunk. The odds of you finding an anthrax-laden piece of taffy are so improbable that they aren’t worth mentioning. You are statistically more likely to harm yourself by drinking a glow stick out of curiosity.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t spooky things going on. Plenty of sinister automotive stuff happens on October 31, making Halloween a scary time for cars. Read More >

By on October 19, 2016

2017 Skoda Kodiaq frontYou want a Škoda Kodiaq. Your neighbor wants a Škoda Kodiaq. I want a Škoda Kodiaq. Naturally, we all want Škoda Kodiaqs, because the grass is always greener on the other side.

But what if the Kodiaq wasn’t only available on the other side of the Atlantic? What if persistent talk of a potential North American Škoda return resulted in a Kodiaq on sale at a dealer near you? How inexpensive would the Kodiaq need to be in order for your persistent desire for unobtanium turn in to a real purchasing decision?

Škoda would likely charge in the neighborhood of USD $24,995 if the Kodiaq, set to go on sale across the pond in April 2017, made its way to the United States. Read More >

By on October 19, 2016

2017-2014 BMW 5-Series profile_128

The new 2017 BMW 5 Series, BMW’s seventh in a long line of revered midsize sedans, looks exactly like the outgoing BMW 5 Series.

Chip off the proverbial old block. Spitting image. Germany’s vehicular Dolly The Sheep.

If the new 5 Series, codename G30 in Bimmerphile parlance, were nothing more than a facelift of the departing F10 5 Series that will shortly end its 2011-2016 run, we would all surely consider the facelift to be an insufficient attempt at spicing things up.

But the new 5 Series isn’t just a mid-cycle refresh, it’s not merely a freshening of a tired old dog, it’s not the standard Munich riposte to a Stuttgart incursion.

This is the all-new BMW 5 Series. Or rather, one of these cars is the all-new BMW 5 Series. Can you say for sure which one it is? Read More >

By on October 19, 2016

2016 Porsche 911 Carrera

Let’s get one thing clear straight away: this car doesn’t exist on any Porsche lot. Finding a no-options Porsche 911 is like finding leftover beer at a frat party or a Prius owner who isn’t smug. If you want this, you’ll have to order it.

The base Porsche 911 Carrera starts at $89,400 and is devoid of extraneous technical frippery, making it closer in spirit to mythical 911s of the past than anything else in the current catalog. And yes, I’m aware of the existence of the psychotic 911 R and GT3 RS.
Read More >

By on October 18, 2016

Ethanol Plant In South Dakota.

Arthur C. Clarke is perhaps best-known as the fellow who wrote “2001: A Space Odyssey”, but he is notorious among science-and-engineering types for having once said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” This statement is, of course, entirely relative. The vast majority of human beings in this or any other era can be easily confused by everything from a torque wrench to the weight difference between a pound of bricks and a pound of feathers.

The news that came out of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory last week, however, is going to blur the science/magic boundary for most of us. A group of scientists there discovered a way to turn water that has been saturated with CO2 into ethanol using nano-spike catalysts. At room temperature. It’s (not quite) as simple as this: You apply a lot of electricity to the water in the presence of this material, and it turns into ethanol.

This is going to cause a lot of problems.

Read More >

By on October 18, 2016


Ryan writes:

Hey Bark,

I’m in the final year of my lease on a 2014 Cadillac ATS 2.0T and the itch to start shopping for my next car has kicked in. Ownership has not been perfect. CUE annoys me on a regular basis, the 2.0T noticeably shakes the car at idle when the engine is cold, it’s been recalled four times for its sunroof, and its automatic transmission is way too eager to up shift. While my wife loves how quiet and smooth the car is, I am a bit ambivalent. The handling is great, but the car itself lacks character when you cane it.

I’ve owned an E46 BMW M3, both eighth and ninth generations of the Honda Civic Si, and a Toyota MR2 targa top in the past. Recently, I put a refundable deposit on a 2017 Subaru BRZ with a manual transmission in hopes of getting back into something that’s a bit more raw, but it seems Canadian customers are not receiving some ’17 updates and my wife hates being a passenger in it.

I was eyeing the new Chevrolet Camaro SS, BMW M2 and used Porsche Caymans when, on a whim, I test drove a 2015 Lexus RC F.

Read More >

By on October 18, 2016


Chris writes:

I’ve noticed various new-ish cars, ranging from Kias to Lincolns, with a flash-then-steady mode on their center high-mount stop lights. Is this becoming standard? I expect it’s not federally mandated, but I can’t imagine where else it’s coming from.

More importantly, how is it being implemented? I’m thinking about grabbing one from a salvage yard in a few years.

Read More >

By on October 17, 2016

MINI Hybrid Countryman

Mini has revealed what form its new hybrid will take.

That, the e-tron name lives on in Audi’s first dedicated electric SUV, Unifor squares off with Ford, and hype man Elon Musk reschedules his alleged big announcement … after the break! Read More >

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote


  • Contributors

  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Kamil Kaluski, United States
  • Seth Parks, United States
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Kyree Williams, United States