Posts By: Matthew Guy

By on June 19, 2019

When exactly did it come to pass that hatchback versions of small cars were generally priced higher than their sedan counterparts? It’s not true in every example but, more often than not, one will shell out a few more simoleons for a five-door. I’ll posit that the original Ford Focus started this trend.

At least customers get a more practical car and, in many cases, a more stylish one.

Such is the case with Kia’s littlest family member. Its five-door variant is priced just ever so slightly above its two-box brother. The Korean automaker has a trophy case packed with Ace of Base awards, largely thanks to its strong value for money proposition. Let’s check this one out.

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By on June 17, 2019

With the official start of summer just around the bend, your corner car meet is about to get a lot more crowded. Sure, you folks who are #blessed to live in warm climes have Cars & Coffee year-round but the rest of us plebes can only enjoy our precious metal once the calendar flips into the hottest months.

Import shows, classic muscle, modern performance — what’s your favorite type of car to see at a show?

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By on June 12, 2019

Today’s post is not meant to convince you that any particular crossover ranks super high on my personal Top Forty. Indeed, I would prefer if the Lincoln Motor Company was still cranking out Town Cars and Versailles (ok, maybe not the Versailles) than a myriad of tall wagons. However, market conditions rule the roost and here we are.

Longtime readers (thanks, both of you) know my unreasonable Stockholm Syndrome relationship with the Lincoln brand. This helps explain today’s choice, but you know what also helps its selection? That’s right — this platform’s return to rear-drive architecture.

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By on June 10, 2019

Image: Subaru

This past May long weekend was the unofficial start of summer for a good many gearheads. With cold temperatures and misery falling from the sky (mostly) behind us, it’s time for car shows, warm breezes, and — of course — road trips.

Kids and families have no shortage of attention diverting options these days, what with various tablets and devices approaching commodity-grade prices. But come on — surely someone out there still plays traditional road trip games, right? Right? Hello?

Where’d everyone go?

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By on June 6, 2019

Get your Dad something this Father’s Day he’ll actually appreciate.

By on June 5, 2019

It’ll not have escaped your notice that neither the Dodge Charger nor the Challenger has made an appearance in this series. Why? Because we try (emphasis on try) to include models which we think have base trims that might very well be the best of the line. With 797-horsepower options on the table, it’s hard to make that argument for the Dodge.

But what about its Chrysler cousin? A well-timed and much appreciated email from a reader suggested the 300 Touring might make a good candidate, especially since deep discounts can be had just for asking. We don’t usually consider incentive spending in Ace of Base, but when that figure routinely touches 25 percent — or more — of sticker price, it’s difficult to ignore.

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By on June 4, 2019

2019 Ram 1500 eTorque

Running a car company is hard, in case you haven’t noticed. It gets even more difficult when various and sundry world events conspire to create a jittery public or wonky cost structures. Toss in a pinch of interest rate paranoia and you’ve the perfect recipe for a very challenging industry.

Last month, sales of light vehicles in America was roughly flat compared to the same time period one year ago. This would normally not be cause for much celebration but, against a backdrop of a disastrous April, it is almost worth breaking out a case of the good stuff.

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By on June 3, 2019

FCA

One of the many joys in finding a good program on television is discovering that a vehicle of some sort plays an integral role in the story. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, the car — or truck, or SUV — is such a perfect fit that it’s as much of a character as the human actors themselves.

What’s the best one, though? As you’d expect, we’ve an opinion or two on that.

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By on May 31, 2019

Time to replace those old brake rotors.

By on May 30, 2019

Expand the cargo capacity of your vehicle.

By on May 29, 2019

In all the years we’ve been presenting this series, Ace of Base has never focused on what was Hyundai’s first stepping stone into the world of crossovers and SUVs: the Santa Fe. Let’s correct that oversight with this new-for-2019 model.

To be clear, this is the two-row model, not the three-row which currently has an “XL” suffix appended to its name. That machine will vanish when the new Palisade appears later this year. Whatever it’s called, Hyundai sells a lot of ‘em; there must be a reason for that, right?

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By on May 23, 2019

Protect your bumpers from bumps and bruises.

By on May 22, 2019

Betcha forgot about this one. That’s okay – most people have. Thanks to Nissan’s glacier-like design cycle, the 2020 Z isn’t significantly different than when it first appeared in the late Jurassic period for the 2009 model year.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy of our attention in this series, though, especially since it is one of the few remaining cars in today’s market that still offers a manual transmission, let alone two doors and a fast roofline. In fact, that steep chop aft of the windshield puts your author in mind of Godzilla, which is not bad company to keep.

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By on May 20, 2019

2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro - Image: Toyota

What’s the matter with the car I’m driving? / Can’t you tell that it’s out of style? / -Billy Joel

William Martin Joel might’ve been on to something here. Late last week, while behind the wheel of a new 4Runner, I was reminded of just how much I like the thing, despite its prehistoric infotainment system and Ralph Kramden driving position. Plenty of others seem to agree, as Toyota has no trouble moving them off dealer lots.

Then I realized something mildly startling — this isn’t the first slightly-outta-date new vehicle that I thought was the bee’s knees.

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By on May 17, 2019

Make the process of washing your car a lot easier.

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