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Michael Karesh

Michael Karesh lives in West Bloomfield, Michigan, with his wife and three children. In 2003 he received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. While in Chicago he worked at the National Opinion Research Center, a leader in the field of survey research. For his doctoral thesis, he spent a year-and-a-half inside an automaker studying how and how well it understood consumers when developing new products. While pursuing the degree he taught consumer behavior and product development at Oakland University. Since 1999, he has contributed auto reviews to Epinions, where he is currently one of two people in charge of the autos section. Since earning the degree he has continued to care for his children (school, gymnastics, tae-kwan-do...) and write reviews for Epinions and, more recently, The Truth About Cars while developing TrueDelta, a vehicle reliability and price comparison site.

By on November 16, 2012

On paper, there’s no contest. For the same price as the new Ford Escape, the even newer Hyundai Santa Fe Sport includes a longer warranty, more power, and a much roomier interior. But if such comparisons could be decided from the spec sheets alone, auto reviewers would have to find a new line of work.

By on November 7, 2012

The VW Tiguan is strong but soft. The Mazda CX-5 is firm but weak. Might the new Ford Escape combine their strengths while avoiding their weaknesses?

By on October 29, 2012

In search of the compact crossover that best impersonates a hot hatch, we first examined the Volkswagen Tiguan. The Tig proved quick and composed, but expensive and softer than the typical Teuton. For a lower price and sharper handling, no brand holds more promise than Mazda. But focusing intently on driving enthusiasts with limited budgets […]

By on October 18, 2012

When you’ve reviewed over 600 cars, few new ones surprise you. With the polished road manners and granitic structure of a far more expensive car, the 2012 Ford Focus was one of the few. But its 160-horsepower engine, while easily adequate for daily driving, doesn’t provide the thrust many driving enthusiasts demand. For 2013, this […]

By on October 16, 2012

Some driving enthusiasts (for reasons that escape me) take their significant other’s tastes into account when buying a car for themselves. Invariably, the s.o. won’t abide a hatchback, but finds crossovers the epitome of automotive style and utility. So our whipped enthusiast wonders which compact crossover they will least regret. Oh, and it can’t cost […]

By on October 9, 2012

With fall foliage peaking, it’s time for my third annual Appalachian Road Trip. Last year my friend and his father couldn’t make it, so it was just the old man and me. With fewer time constraints, I planned a route from West Virginia to “The Dragon” and back. Lessons were learned, among them the insanity of planning 360 miles of back roads driving in a day that also includes a few hours of hiking (my new max: 250) and, the subject of this piece, the inability of navigation systems to replace good old paper maps.

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By on October 2, 2012

Want a quick, agile, fun-to-drive vehicle you can stuff a bunch of kids into? Ford has what you’re looking for. Just one catch: you’ll have to move to Europe. Not that Ford sees no market here for a swift seven-seater. They do, just not for one like the S-Max. Instead, for 2013 we receive the […]

By on September 28, 2012

It’s very cheap. It’s very small. It’s from a manufacturer that hasn’t historically focused on either. So, is the 2013 Chevrolet Spark the best car for your worst enemy?

By on September 25, 2012

Even when stacked up against other Lexus models, the front-drive ES has long been considered boring. Yet the Camry-based sedan has been a best-seller for Lexus and in its segment. For this reason, it has become a benchmark; just as every compact sport sedan targets the BMW 3-Series, every upper-midsize near-luxury sedan targets the ES. Well […]

By on September 24, 2012

Whenever we post about a Volkswagen, comments about reliability (or, more specifically, the lack of it) inevitably follow. So few will be surprised that, with the latest update to TrueDelta’s car reliability stats, the 2012 Passat again received subpar marks. Though the big sedan’s score is better than earlier, it remains considerably worse than most other 2012s. Digging through the repair reports, a common cause emerges. Ignition coils aren’t failing. Nor are window regulators. Instead, the most common problem for these cars happens to be rattles.

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By on September 20, 2012

I hate to review mass market midsize sedans. Especially with the latest round—every key player save the Sonata has been redesigned in the past 18 months—all are good cars. But they’re also all boring. Given the large number of conflicting criteria that must be met for a shot at segment leadership and the rarity of […]

By on September 14, 2012

What’s a Mustang? We know, but it’s not an easy question to answer. A Mustang is…a Mustang. It’s so thoroughly itself that there’s no need to define it as a variant of someone else’s car. All truly great cars are like this. Competitors might meet and even beat them in this or that regard, but […]

By on September 7, 2012

Reviewing a car a week, and dispatching the great majority as boring (if not in so few words), I begin to wonder whether I’m pursuing some fantastical ideal. Perhaps the concepts of communicative steering, a connection with the car, and a visceral driving experience are just something I have in my head? Can they actually […]

By on September 1, 2012

  A few months back, Bertel decreed that TTAC would have no more duplicate reviews. If we wanted to test a car that had already been reviewed, we’d better have a dramatically different take on it. I had a FIAT 500 Abarth for the week. Jack and Alex had already covered it on track and off. I thought […]

By on August 31, 2012

The McLaren MP4-12C Spider, essentially an MP4-12C with a power-retractable roof, was revealed a couple of months ago and officially debuted at the Pebble Beach Concours two weeks ago. But, perhaps to amortize the cover’s cost, McLaren threw it back on the car for another unveiling this morning at AutoWeek Publisher KC Crain’s Vinsetta Garage restaurant. Overly generic? Or timelessly clean? You decide.

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Recent Comments

  • Old_WRX: I run into so many rudely impatient drivers that this 55 mph rolling road block sounds like a fun way to eff...
  • aja8888: I wonder if those panels are actually connected and functioning?
  • slavuta: 1. They probably don’t want to report on such things. American journalism is dead 2. You said...
  • mcs: @oberkanone: It could also be what caused the time rift that resulted in the amazon article posted here. Look at...
  • Oberkanone: I’m not so sure. Engaging Time Warp mode in Tesla Model S Plaid sends driver to autonomous...

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