Posts By: Tim Healey

By on April 18, 2019

Designing cars is a mix of art and science – and it’s about more than just looks.

Especially when the brand you work for has a lot on its plate. In the past year, Nissan has launched all-new models that represent a departure from the past (Kicks), updated others significantly (Altima) and not so significantly (Maxima and Murano), and has a few older models in the lineup that are getting very long in the tooth (Z, Frontier).

(Read More…)

By on April 11, 2019

One of my personal auto reviewer “rules” is that I try to test any vehicle I drove on a press junket later, at home, even if it’s months later (and even if it’s many months before I get around to writing about it). I do this because the potholed roads and unpredictable weather of the city […]

By on April 5, 2019

Today’s crossover craze may be in part a rebuke of minivans, but that hasn’t stopped Chrysler from putting effort into the class. After all, if the company that more or less invented the modern version of the people-toting minivan was offering up a subpar effort in the class, that wouldn’t reflect well on it. Chrysler […]

By on April 2, 2019

Volkswagen’s latest iteration of the Jetta is a well-rounded commuter car, but a tad boring. VW had an easy fix for that in mind – just implant the heart of the GTI hot hatch along with some Golf R bits. Boom, instant sports sedan. There’s been a GLI version of the Jetta since 1984, and […]

By on April 1, 2019

Jeep engineers and PR folks wasted no time in telling media, assembled in Sacramento to drive the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator mid-size pickup, that this truck is more than just a Wrangler with a pickup bed slapped on the back. Technically speaking, it’s true — there are key mechanical and structural differences. So no one […]

By on March 22, 2019

Life is often a matter of timing. Ask Kia about the difference between the 2020 Kia Telluride crossover and its last attempt at something similar – the Kia Borrego. Remember the Borrego? I do. That body-on-frame SUV wasn’t a poor vehicle – I drove one, briefly, and liked it – but it came to market […]

By on March 8, 2019

Part of the appeal of pickup trucks is that they can be many things to many people. Tow machine to haul your boat? Check. Home-improvement aid? Sure, throw those 2x4s in the back. Guarantee that your friends will call you when they need help moving, even if they never call you any other time? Sure. […]

By on March 5, 2019

That headline has two meanings, at least as pertains to the 2018 Stinger. One meaning: Watch your right foot. It’s easy to quickly get this car above the speed limit. Meaning number two: When I first drove the Stinger, I harped about its tendency for greater than desired body roll in corners. Well, that tendency […]

By on February 28, 2019

tesla model 3

The $35,000 Model 3 is here. Fittingly, perhaps, it’s three years late.

Tesla has promised a $35,000 version of the Model 3 since announcing the car in 2016, but the company focused on more-expensive variants at first to help get the model off the ground without tanking the company in the process. It needed the large profit margins from the higher-priced Model 3 to help the company turn a profit for back-to-back quarters for the first time.

Now you’ll be able to buy multiple versions of a Standard Range trim. The base version of which will be available for $35,000 and have a 130-mph top speed and a range of 220 miles. Zero to sixty should take 5.6 seconds.  (Read More…)

By on February 27, 2019

There’s a reason why the Volkswagen Golf GTI is fetishized by journalists and enthusiasts as perhaps the perfect daily-driver sporty car. Because if it isn’t, it’s damn near close. Changes for 2018 were minimal. The 2018 got a mild standard horsepower bump (assuming you’re using premium fuel) to 220, up from 210. Other changes included […]

By on February 25, 2019

When you look at a Kia Soul, you likely peg it for just what it is – a boxy, utilitarian commuter vehicle. You wouldn’t expect it to be a blast to drive, or full of coddling luxury materials and content. Sometimes, what you see really is more or less what you get. This is one […]

By on February 25, 2019

2020 Kia Soul

I had just returned from driving the 2020 Kia Soul in San Diego (review forthcoming later today) when Kia fulfilled a promise made to the media via a note in my inbox.

The pricing info that wasn’t ready for our drive event was now live.

While most of the pricing is in line with what one expects of a boxy compact commuter, if you fancy the GT Turbo, be prepared to pony up.

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By on February 20, 2019

Volkswagen walked journalists through its much-hyped electrification strategy at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, giving the automotive media a preview of the automaker’s plans.

MEB, which is an acronym for the German Modularer Elektrobaukasten, is the platform underpinning the company’s push from internal-combustion engines to electrified vehicles. The company intends to roll out 50 battery-electric vehicles and 30 plug-in hybrids across Volkswagen Auto Group’s 12 global brands between this year and 2025 as part of a larger strategy to field 300 electrified vehicle models across the dozen brands by 2030.

That’s obviously an aggressive strategy — one requiring a closer look.

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By on February 15, 2019

Journalist Randy Essex of the Detroit Free Press took to those same digital pages last week to discuss how great his new car-free life is, even during the life-threatening cold of the polar vortex.

To which I say, good for him. If he’s happy living a car-free life in Detroit, more power to him. But his article is just the latest part of a conversation happening, at least in certain circles on social media, about going car-free.

This isn’t to pick on Essex. Again, if not having their own car works for him and his wife, that’s fine with me. To each their own, you do you, all that jazz. But going car-free won’t work for everyone, and urbanites, especially urbanite auto journalists, need to remember that.

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By on February 14, 2019

alexandria ocasio-cortez

If you’re freaked out that the so-called Green New Deal will soon render you carless, or perhaps driving an EV against your will, I am here to tell you: Relax.

If you’re hoping the Green New Deal will save the planet from a climate crisis the federal government itself has predicted is just a hair over a decade away, I am here to tell you: Those backing the deal have their hearts in the right place, but their heads in the clouds. Or perhaps somewhere lower and darker. (Read More…)

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