Latest auto news, reviews, editorials, and podcasts

By on August 4, 2020

Rustic and western-themed special editions have been part of the pickup truck business for generations. Dodge sold Prospector versions of the Ram pickup in the 1980s, and the same company sold “The Dude” “sport trim package” for its “Sweptline” pickups in 1970 and 1971.

The Dude is most famously — or rather, infamously — known because Dodge (or more likely its ad agency) made the peculiar choice of using actor Don Knotts as a celebrity endorser. People loved Knotts, but his best-known role as bumbling sheriff’s deputy Barney Fife hardly projected a “tough” image. Read More >

By on August 4, 2020

mazda

The big news at Mazda right now are the two new additions to the compact 3 line for 2021. Bookending the model’s range, the fresh faces include a new entry-level trim that adopts the 2.0-liter four-cylinder ditched for 2019, plus a turbocharged all-wheel drive model positioned at the top of the heap.

It’s a tale of two very different prices. Read More >

By on August 4, 2020

Image: Ford

A bombshell just landed from Ford, as the automaker announced the impending retirement of CEO Jim Hackett and his replacement by Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley, effective October 1st.

Ford said Tuesday that Hackett, 65, whose tenure has been the subject of much speculation and criticism as the company navigates wildly turbulent waters, “elected” to retire. He replaced the ousted Mark Fields in 2017. In his place rises Farley, who also joins the company’s board of directors. Read More >

By on August 4, 2020

Legislation that would advance the widespread deployment of autonomous vehicle in the United States appears to have stalled. With development of the technology hitting a rough patch and public perception teetering between AVs being a major breakthrough for society or an important contributor to its demise, any new laws might have been irrelevant anyway.

Outside of major players like Waymo, companies making consistent progress on the technology are hard to find; meanwhile, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to decide who’s at fault when a computer-controlled car goes off script and hurts someone or destroys property. Drivers don’t want to be liable, since they’re not technically supposed to be the ones in control (once true self driving arrives) and manufacturers don’t want to assume any more responsibilities than absolutely necessary.

Those concerns and more were reportedly on full display during last week’s Automated Vehicles Symposium. Designed to take the pulse of the industry and decide where AVs currently stand, the event seemed to showcase that there wasn’t much to be done this year. Whether it be the fault of companies overestimating how quickly the technology would advance (yes), the impact of pandemic-related lockdowns (yes), the unappetizing nature of the mobility concept (yes), or a lack of effective, well-informed governance (yes), 2020 seems to be a wasted year for vehicular autonomy.

Read More >

By on August 4, 2020

A strange phenomenon (one of many) cropped up in recent years among the more ardent of  very-online quasi-activists, one where people seem to think that jumping to the most hyperbolic potential outcome of their “enemy’s” actions somehow lends weight to their argument — to their opposition to something, anything.

It also manifests as a person attributing the maximum amount of malice to the actions of a person or entity they dislike, as if they hold a special key to the innermost thoughts of their most despised foes.

Which brings us to large pickup trucks and the nation’s children. Read More >

By on August 3, 2020

2020 Mazda CX-30 profile

The not-quite-subcompact CX-30 arrived at just the right time for Mazda, appearing at the tail end of what had been a grim 2019 for Mazda. Just as sales of the new tweener crossover matured, the pandemic hit.

As volumes struggle to regain potency across the industry, the new arrival in the Mazda stable helped the automaker post back-to-back monthly sales increase in June and July, replacing volume lost among the brand’s passenger cars — and then some. Read More >

By on August 3, 2020

Last week, New Hampshire became the first state to grant flying cars access to public roadways, despite the fact that they don’t currently exist.

That said, House Bill 1182 only references “roadable aircraft,” with an aim to establish a commission to study the on-road usage of non-traditional motor vehicles. While flying cars remain anchored to our collective imagination, airplanes that can be rigged to drive on public roads technically already exist.

New Hampshire is just attempting to give them some leeway via the bill while also slipping in some new laws making it easier to revoke licenses if someone ever refuses to take a blood test, as well as withholding motor vehicle registration renewal privileges to anybody found driving in a “manner that evades toll collection.” There are also numerous revisions to construction projects related to tolling within the state. You didn’t think Bill 1182 would just be about establishing inspection and registration requirements for flying cars, did you?
Read More >

By on August 3, 2020

hyundai

If you’re like this writer, you pine for the long-ago days when walking into a bar only carried the risk of embarrassing inebriation and possibly violent confrontation, not a viral infection that could leave any of us on gasping on life support. We all wish things were normal.

While the coronavirus hasn’t cleared out,  you wouldn’t know that looking at Hyundai’s U.S. sales tally for July. The automaker raised eyebrows and bucked the industry trend by posting a year-over year gain last month. Read More >

By on August 3, 2020

Today’s Rare Ride popped up on the Internet recently, hailing from the archive of Long Forgotten Concept Cars. This particular concept happens to be a high-riding off-road cabriolet, created from a Frankenstein-like amalgam of Mercedes-Benz parts and custom fabrications by French alteration firm Heuliez.

Buckle up — it’s gonna get weird.

Read More >

By on August 3, 2020

Jaguar Land Rover has increased its savings target for the year to $3.3 billion (£2.5 billion) following a $540 million (£413 million) pre-tax loss for the quarter ending in June. Losses are hardly uncommon within an industry shaken by the pandemic, but JLR went into this year already confronting an uphill battle.

In 2019, the company was deep in the midst of a restructuring plan aiming at $2.5 billion in life-sustaining savings. Unfortunately, the move required the elimination of thousands of positions as it tried to imagine the effects of Brexit and contend with falling sales in its largest markets. That includes China, which the firm assumed would offer continued growth in the months leading up to coronavirus’ big debut and increasing political tensions between the Communist Party of China and United Kingdom. Read More >

By on August 3, 2020

Image: Nissan

Nissan’s future will not see it become everything to everyone, and certainly not in all markets. The 2010s, and the market share-chasing, globe-straddling expansionism that characterized that decade’s car-buying orgy, are violently over.

Also soon to be over, apparently, is the Nissan Maxima’s gasoline-powered powertrain. Read More >

By on August 3, 2020

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was on top of his game during an interview with Automotive News last week. By that, we mean his ego and various personality quirks came through like a shaft of sunlight parting a fog bank.

Musk announced during the talk that his company performed no customer research before designing and revealing the polarizing and still-not-clearly-legal Cybertruck to would-be buyers, laughing at the idea. If folks don’t like it, he said, there’s a plan. Read More >

By on August 3, 2020

Lordstown Motors

The question of how fledgling EV maker Lordstown Motors plans to fund production of the Endurance pickup has been answered. On Monday, the owner of GM’s former Lordstown Assembly plant announced a merger with a blank-check company, with a cash-raising NASDAQ listing as its goal.

Lordstown Motors plans to finalize the merger with DiamondPeak Holdings Corp., which is already listed on the NASDAQ, by the fourth quarter of this year — after which the combined entity will carry the symbol “RIDE.” Read More >

By on August 3, 2020

2005 Volvo S60 in Colorado junkyard, RH front view - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsI’ve documented 60 discarded Volvos since I started my junkyard history project, but 58 of those Swedes were born in the 20th century, and 44 of those rolled off the assembly line before 1990. Just as I’ve done with BMWs in recent years, I’m going to try to document some of Göteborg’s (and maybe Hangzhou’s) newer products in my favorite kind of car museum.

Here’s a Ghent-built S60 with a super-rare three-pedal setup, found in a Denver self-service yard. Read More >

By on August 1, 2020

Quite suddenly, large electric pickups have become the hottest thing you can’t yet buy. But they’re out there, looming, just waiting to see whether demand for this embyonic segment materializes.

Ford, General Motors, Rivian, Tesla, and Lordstown Motors all have a stake in the game, with the next two years promising to reveal exactly how much pent-up thirst exists for these battery-bound behemoths. Watching from the sidelines is Fiat Chrysler, an automaker whose historical aversion to EVs is a matter of record.

Not surprisingly, FCA plans to take a wait-and-see approach. Read More >

Recent Comments

  • Imagefont: Yeah I’d have to paint over that, regardless of the effect on resale. Otherwise I love these simple,...
  • jkross22: Rick, Your Mazda6 has a back seat large enough to accommodate 6 foot passengers. The Mazda3 does not....
  • SCE to AUX: All those internet complainers about the weaksauce 3 needing more motor had better run out and buy the...
  • MrIcky: OK, larger truck vs smaller car collision: I agree – the small car will fair worse. However it is yet...
  • ponchoman49: Lets hope the next 30 years are the same as 2020 for this useless tech. By then I won’t be driving...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber