Posts By: Matthew Guy

By on April 2, 2020

Surprising exactly no one, sales numbers for the automotive industry in this country are grim. With stay-at-home edicts being encouraged in most states and various social distancing measures in place to help temper the spread of COVID-19, it’s understandable that a limited numbers of customers are darkening the doors of the few showrooms that remain open.

The first two months of this year were reasonably robust, so the negative numbers can almost entirely be chalked up to March’s challenging conditions (to put it mildly). As a programming note, the brands of Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover, and Mercedes-Benz won’t we releasing their numbers until later in the month. This explains the holes in our chart.

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By on April 1, 2020

A few days ago, on the Official TTAC Slack Channel(TM), our bearded car reviewer was carping about the MSRP of a Nissan Versa he happened to be testing that week. “Too expensive!” he grumbled into his facial shrubbery, before extolling the virtues of several terrible French cars.

This got your author thinking: on sale now for the better part of a year, and recently refurbished from “Beirut taxi” to something resembling an actual car you’d want to drive, how does the base S model stack up against its bucks-deluxe brother which found itself on one of our doorsteps in Ohio?

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By on March 30, 2020

Image: FCA

Events of the last month (and the foreseeable future) will surely cause more than a few auto manufacturers to reevaluate their portfolios. Numbers for Q1, scheduled to be released this week but potentially delayed for understandable reasons, will surely be quite dismal.

Leaving one’s own personal views about the current economic shutdowns aside, do you think car companies might be forced (or choose to take the opportunity) to scrub a few underperforming models — or even entire brands?

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By on March 25, 2020

Long-time readers (thanks, all three of you) may recall a certain, erm, affinity at this site for vehicles from the old Lincoln-Mercury stable. Sajeev shed many bitter tears over various Cougars and Marks found in our nation’s junkyards, while your author freely admits he suffers an odd form of Stockholm Syndrome. And the world turns.

It’s difficult to pin down just how much time the Continental has left on this mortal earth, with the Blue Oval suits pulling the plug on everything with a trunk in Ford’s showroom. Production changes at Flat Rock surely spell its death by 2021 to make room for EVs, but, for now, it remains.

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By on March 23, 2020

There are a few manufacturers selling vehicles in this country that seemingly don’t want everyone to drive something painted a dull shade of grey or white. Large, teutonic sedans from Ingolstadt or Munich all seem to be on the greyscale (when was the last time you saw an A6 or 5 Series in any sort of bright color?), but even these manufacturers let loose with their sportier offerings. The natty Turbo Blue found on a TT RS is particularly eye-popping.

What’s your take? Given the option, if you were to buy a new car today, would it blend with the pavement — or would it be visible from space?

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By on March 19, 2020

Let’s be clear: sometimes an Ace of Base post is written purely to help shoppers of a particular make and model determine if the entry level option is worth considering. We are quite certain there are plenty of readers who will deride today’s entry simply because they don’t like the vehicle or its name. That’s fine; not everyone is a big fan of the compact crossover segment.

But they do sell, otherwise manufacturers wouldn’t be building the things. We can argue until we’re blue in the face about how OEMs sometimes wag the dog in terms of market demand but, for now, let’s see if the new-for-’21 Chevrolet Trailblazer is worth considering at its cheapest price point.

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By on March 16, 2020

Spending imaginary money and theorizing an answer to a ridiculous question is always a good bit of fun and diversion. We’ve asked in the past how you’d allocate 29 cylinders and how you would spend the average price of a new vehicle in America.

Today, we’re kicking it a nickel. Edmunds has estimated the average transaction price for pickup trucks in 2019 was $49,543 — the highest on record. Given that amount of scratch, what vehicle would you take home?

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By on March 12, 2020

It will not have escaped your notice that The General has deep-sixed the Holden brand in Australia. To the gearhead Aussies within your author’s circle of friends, this amounts to a treasonous action, especially since Holden is as much part of the Oz fabric as kangaroos and Crocodile Dundee. I’m sure it all makes business sense; matters of the heart are rarely cheap on the wallet.

The binning of a brand usually means one thing: deals. This is situation is no different, so let’s see what equipment one finds in a base model Commodore.

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By on March 9, 2020

It’ll not have escaped anyone’s notice that car manufacturers are well into the second cycle of engine downsizing. We’ve seen this story play out in the past, both in the Malaise Era and then in the ’80s when TURBO graphics were applied to every single flat surface (and probably some curved ones).

Last week, you lot provided some excellent creative answers to our 29 Cylinders Later game (electric cars and rotaries!). Here’s today’s question: is there anything out there you’d like to buy in today’s new car market that has more doors than cylinders?

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By on March 4, 2020

No, despite appearances, we haven’t taken complete leave of our senses. At least not until our road tester starts telling us in excruciating detail about how he wants to see the Genesis reunion later this year.

On the pickup truck side of Ford’s showroom, the cheapest way into a rig powered by the burly 7.3-liter V8 is via an Ace of Base F-250. That vehicle bears a price of $33,705 plus $2,045 for the hairy-chested eight-pot. The E-Series starts at just $33,265 … and carries the 7.3L as standard equipment.

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By on March 2, 2020

There was an extra day this February, making up for a slight annual offset in our blue marble’s voyage around the sun or something. Or perhaps it was intended to give insufferable presidential candidates an extra day to preen on television. Whatever.

Here’s today’s question: you’re being tasked to fill a fictional garage with exactly 29 cylinders worth of engines. What do you select? Our choices are easy as they are weird.

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By on February 26, 2020

Those of us in a certain age bracket, which is to say rapidly approaching our fortieth year or more, recall the Honda Civic as a primarily hatchback form of transportation. Sure, a few weirdos went and got the sedan or coupe but, by and large, the Civic was a hatchback. At least in our town.

Then, it suddenly disappeared from dealer lots in North America. The seventh-gen car was available in coupe or sedan form on this side of the pond, save for the slightly oddball Si and its bent-nail gearstick. Mercifully, it reappeared in volume for the current model.

We’ve studied the Civic sedan and coupe in this series but not the hatchback. Let’s right that wrong today.

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By on February 24, 2020

On Saturday night, the Carolina Hurricanes stared down the barrel of a rare occurrence in the NHL — both their goalies were on the sidelines. This necessitated bringing in the emergency backup goalie, a bloke named Dave who is quite literally a Zamboni driver. Their hapless opponents still couldn’t score enough goals and Dave notched a win for the team.

There have been more than a few Hail Marys in the automotive world as well, with manufacturers who are on the brink of bringing in a new model or gambling on a unique body style in order to stave off elimination. Sometimes it works and, well, sometimes it doesn’t.

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By on February 19, 2020

It’s been a minute since the fish-mouthed Yaris sedan has been seen in the Ace of Base arena. Closely related to the not-for-us Mazda 2, the littlest Toyota does its best to quash the bad old days of entry-level econoboxes.

Just make sure to park the thing front-in at every parking space, please.

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By on February 17, 2020

Even in this day and age of digital media, there are still no shortage of BUY NOW and LIMITED TIME OFFER ads on the radio or local television station. Presidents’ Day has historically been laden with so-called deals on new metal and, if a quick perusal of this year’s ads are any indication, this year is no different.

Here’s the question: with so many tools and information at our disposal these days, do you (or anyone you know) wait until a holiday like today to pull the trigger on a new set of wheels?

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