Is there a car enthusiast whose pulse does not quicken when he or she hears the brrrap brap of the exhaust when the North American spec Fiat Abarth fires up? TTAC’s managing editor Derek Kreindler is correct, the Abarth does indeed sound faster than it actually is, but it still sounds glorious. Don’t tell me that an inline four can’t sound as exciting as a V8 or even a V12. Saying that an eight or a twelve “sounds better” than a four is like saying that a big band sounds better than a trio, as if you can’t enjoy both Duke Ellington and Cream.
Bad reputations are earned in short order and shed only after many years of good behavior. For car companies, such bad raps come relatively quickly and sometimes decades are needed to overcome them. For Fiat, the cute sobriquet Fix-It-Again-Tony seems to be unavoidable no matter how they actually compare in most reliability studies. The fact is they routinely do better than most European rivals and still have to improve to reach Toyota-like reliability. So, the strive for credibility must go on.
For the fourth consecutive year, Lexus is tops among the brands ranked in JD Power’s annual Vehicle Dependability Study.
The anger had nothing to do with our first drive to the other side of Halifax. And I wasn’t even in the Escape, let alone driving it, when my resentment blossomed. I was shovelling our driveway during a lull in the blizzard that left New York in peace, hammered Boston, and slathered Nova Scotia’s capital with ice after a few inches of snow fell. With four vehicles jammed into our small driveway to avoid the on-street winter parking ban, the Escape’s tailgate insisted on opening of its own accord with frustrating frequency.
• USD As-Tested Price: $38,075
• Horsepower: 231 @ 5500 rpm
• Torque: 270 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
• Observed Fuel Economy: 19 mpg
Armful of groceries? Yes, hands-free tailgate opening might then be useful, if you can maintain your balance while holding the grocery load in your right hand, perching the 15-month-old child on your left hip, and doing the jitterbug under the rear bumper.
Autonomous alien luxury pods and royalty-free hydrogen patents aren’t the only things coming onto the stage during the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Today, we’ll show you the latest and greatest from BMW, FCA, Audi and Ford, with the help from our brothers and sisters over at AutoGuide.
Alfa Romeo will be going its own way for its upcoming Spider, directing Mazda to take its 2016 MX-5 over to Fiat-Abarth instead.
Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s Chrysler Group is dead; long live FCA US LLC.
Though Daimler made $780 million off of its recent Tesla stake sale, CEO Dieter Zetsche says there’s no money in the EV stand.