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Alex Dykes

By on February 8, 2016

When is a BMW not a BMW? Some would say: when it has four wheels. Others will say: when it’s front wheel drive. But here we are. BMW’s smallest crossover has ditched its BMW 3-Series roots for underpinnings shared with the Mini Countryman. Say what? Americans may be surprised to hear that the X1 is not BMW’s […]

By on February 1, 2016

Traditional car shoppers are moving away from small sedans and toward compact crossovers. That’s the conventional wisdom used to explain the slowing sales we see in some models. But could there be another reason? Could it simply be a lack of focus and attention to the compact segment? There is one model that’s seen a meteoric rise in […]

By on January 28, 2016

Honda received much flogging from the press for the last-generation Civic. The 2012 model was the result of Honda improperly reading the Magic 8-Ball amid the global slowdown. Honda’s decision makers assumed shoppers would be looking for something more modest, perhaps even austere, and changed direction to suit. The competition, assuming shoppers would be looking for greater creature comforts […]

By on January 19, 2016

Lexus has tended to prefer conservative design in almost every aspect of product development. Words like reliable and dependable usually spring to mind before sporty or exciting. Yet, the brand has been trying to change that over the last few years with love-it-or-hate-it designs; in particular, Lexus’ new “Predator mouth.” The changes aren’t simply skin deep. […]

By on January 13, 2016

Most luxury roadsters are related to a practical, rear-wheel-drive sports sedan, but Audi prefers to march to a different drummer. Since its inception in 1998, the Audi TT has been based not on the A4, but on the Volkswagen Golf. The original TT was the product of Audi’s best and brightest and it not only […]

By on January 11, 2016

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Persistent rumors of the Chrysler Town & Country’s demise have proven true. Going further, the House of Marchionne has dug through its list of historical nameplates to pick a moniker for the minivan’s successor

Chrysler is resurrecting the Pacifica name to affix to the derriere of the next-generation people hauler, a name we last saw on the short lived three-row crossover from 2004 to 2008. Thankfully, the new Pacifica shares nothing with its earlier namesake, and only the good stuff with its Chrysler and Dodge predecessors. (Read More…)

By on January 6, 2016

“Looks like sex, goes like stink” is the usual supercar mantra, but BMW’s guru was humming a different tune when penning the i8. You see, the i8 isn’t just a sexy car with “butterfly doors.” It’s also a production prototype of sorts styled after BMW’s 2009 Vision EfficientDynamics concept. Most supercars have exotic engines with high cylinder counts and […]

By on January 1, 2016

Checking the files, I drove over 120 different cars, trucks, SUVs and crossovers in 2015. On track, off road, and in the Taco Bell drive-thru line. No wonder I’m tired and fat. Here are my eight top picks from 2015. If you’re car shopping and you don’t buy one of these, you should be forced […]

By on December 29, 2015

The Impala exists in an odd segment of its own. The full-sized Chevy is one of the largest sedans on sale in America, yet its base engine is only a 2.5-liter four cylinder. Based on the pricing and feature options, the Impala is designed to be a semi-step above the Malibu, yet the number of true competitors […]

By on December 22, 2015

It’s easy to see why some automakers resist putting premium features in mass market models. All you need to do is look at that luxury showroom to the right. In the quest to differentiate, say, the Ford Fusion from its Lincoln counterpart, or the Toyota Avalon from the Lexus ES, and so forth, manufacturers limit the options and luxuries available […]

By on December 14, 2015

If there is one constant in the automotive world, it is that every redesigned vehicle gets bigger, more powerful, heavier and more complex. Bucking that trend is Mazda’s latest MX-5, one of the smallest and lightest cars sold in the United States. Since the launch of the Miata in 1989, Mazda’s tiny roadster has been a […]

By on December 11, 2015

I’m not a “tuner” kinda guy. There, I said it. It’s a load off my mind. It’s not that I don’t like extra power, or a different suspension tune, I just prefer parts made by the company that made my car and I like the car to look “stock.” A case in point was my […]

By on December 7, 2015

Toyota’s small trucks have long been associated with bulletproof reliability (and occasionally militant militias). Despite the Tacoma splitting from the legendary Toyota Hilux bloodline in 1995, the Taco (as some fans refer to their trucks) has continued Toyota’s rugged and reliable image. A big factor in the Tacoma’s long-term reliability is the Toyota’s philosophy to change: it should happen slowly […]

By on November 30, 2015

Coupé-like styling is one of the biggest buzzwords at new car launch parties. Although this is more of a modern phenomenon, the root of the seemingly contradictory four-door coupé is older than you might think. In 1962, Rover dropped the rear roofline on its P5 sedan and dared to call it a four-door coupé. In 2004, Mercedes […]

By on November 23, 2015

America loves big cars, big trucks and fat crossovers. If you doubt me, all you need to do is look at 2015’s top sellers. The top five vehicles account for 13 percent of all vehicles sold in the USA this year, and the smallest of the five is the Toyota Camry. Not so small. Check […]

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