By on July 15, 2013

vwag2

I’ve had the Cadillac for about three weeks. During this time, I’ve learned a lot of things. Primarily, I’ve learned that it takes at least three weeks for a new key fob to reach a Cadillac dealer. I find this hard to believe, but I’m reassured by my salesman’s constant phone calls that insist it will arrive “any day now.”
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By on July 12, 2013


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I recently wrote an article entitled “Going Ugly On Purpose.” This was a piece about how automakers are intentionally uglifying their base-level vehicles so people pay more for nicer models. Many of you read this story from start to finish, absorbed the facts, perused the nuances, and then scrolled straight to the comments where you got into a fight about California versus Texas.

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By on July 10, 2013

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I recently visited the great state of Texas (State motto: “Don’t shoot!”), where I made several highly important observations that I will now share with you. They are:

1. Everyone loves pickups. This matter is not up for dispute. If you walk into a dealership, you will walk out with a brand-new pickup, even if you’re just the FedEx guy dropping off a package.

2. Everyone loves Texas. Nearly all of those pickups are the “Longhorn Package” or the “Lone Star Model” or the “Build A Huge Border Fence Edition.” Also, more than one resident told me a story about how some giant, low-priced national chain restaurant tried to move into a local strip mall, only to be put out of business by a mediocre, Texas-owned fish place.

3. It has not rained in Texas since the Bush administration. Governor Rick Perry responded to this in 2011 by asking Texans to pray for rain over a designated three-day rain-praying period. Interestingly, the governor of my home state, Georgia, attempted a similar thing in 2007, and it only just stopped raining this morning.

But my most interesting Texas-related observation relates to license plates. This won’t surprise regular readers, as I go on license plate-related rants with surprising frequency. There was, for example, that time I made fun of Montana for having a “Quilt Lover” license plate, which resulted in a ricin-laced quilt appearing on my doorstep.

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By on June 14, 2013

1993_audi_s4_sedan_quattro_fq_oem_1_500
Derek writes:

One of the things Doug and I wanted to do with this column is to highlight the regional differences in car choices – not just in condition and value but the overall selection. Any surprise that humid, sunny Atlanta has a dearth of Audis while snowy Canada is awash in them?

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By on June 14, 2013

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Recently, and with great interest, I read Thomas’s article on electronic license plates. For those of you who haven’t read it, and are therefore hopelessly behind the times, a quick summary: (Read More…)

By on June 10, 2013

sienna1

I recently got behind a Toyota Sienna in traffic. This is a fairly common occurrence that usually involves a) changing lanes, and b) speeding up to see whether the children inside are watching SpongeBob SquarePants.

Of course, the children inside are always watching SpongeBob SquarePants, except in this case, where the Sienna didn’t have its rear DVD player on. This is probably because it was an Enterprise rental, likely the result of a cheerful woman behind the counter announcing: “Good news, Mr. Smith! We don’t have any compacts, but I’m going to upgrade you for free!”

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By on May 30, 2013

46is2

Well, folks, the day has come. You’ve shined your shoes. You’ve worn your good suit. You’ve called your wife and excitedly announced: “Honey, I’ll be late tonight!” You’ve refreshed TTAC for days, weeks, months, only to discover that now, finally, they’re here: photos of the all-new BMW X5.

Of course, I’m kidding. You probably saw those X5 photos yesterday on Jalopnik and scrolled right past them, thinking: Do they have any Russian dash cam videos today?

But photos of an all-new X5 are a big deal. That’s because our nation’s streets will soon be flooded with them, each driven by someone who believes that no drive is complete without a little texting. And so, on the occasion of this grand unveiling, I’ve decided to take you through some of the BMW X5’s hallowed history.

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By on May 28, 2013

tahoe

Today, dear readers, I come to you with some bad news: Chevrolet is cancelling the Tahoe Hybrid. This is a major event. So major, in fact, that – upon reading it – you probably took a deep breath, sat back in your chair, gazed at the computer screen, and thought to yourself: They still make the Tahoe Hybrid?

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By on May 24, 2013

Ford-SVT-Contour. Photo courtesy wikipedia.org

(The idea for this series based on the numerous emails sent between Derek and Doug, containing long forgotten cars that have fallen into a derelict state. While our intrepid authors would love to own these cars should they ever win the Powerball, they find it difficult to actually part with the funds required to take them home, especially given the significant reconditioning required. In addition, you’ll see the difference between a snow belt car and a clean car from the south, as both authors compare examples from their respective locales.)

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By on May 20, 2013

mkt_town

I recently wrote an article entitled “Lincoln Can and Will Come Back,” in which I insisted that Lincoln would, someday soon, rise from the ashes and return to its rightful place as a top luxury brand for people who can’t afford an Infiniti. Many of you thought I was crazy, largely because Lincoln’s lineup consists of five re-skinned Fords, all of which share the same name.

But as a patriotic American, I am certain that Lincoln will come back. In fact, I believe its resurgence has already begun, as I will illustrate with a comparison between the Town Car and the MKT. I know what you’re thinking: Why are you comparing the Town Car with a … wait, what the hell is an MKT? Is that a sedan? The answer is: because that’s what Lincoln is doing. You see, Lincoln is telling current Town Car drivers – in other words, airport limo services and Jack Baruth – that the MKT is the Town Car’s rightful replacement. Also, the MKT is not a sedan, but rather a medium-sized hearse that Lincoln calls a crossover.

So let’s see how it stacks up in a comparison.

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