Posts By: Tim Healey

By on July 3, 2020

On paper, a midsize truck with a diesel powertrain and bad-ass off-road gear sounds like a recipe for fun. And based on our first drive of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison, it is – provided you actually get an opportunity to leave the pavement behind. On road, however, in an urban environment — well, you […]

By on July 2, 2020

Yuganov Konstantin/Shutterstock.com

This year is a bit different. If you plan on celebrating the birth of your nation by blowing up a small part of it (still one of my favorite Simpsons lines), you best be doing it with a mask on and socially distanced from anyone you don’t live with.

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By on July 1, 2020

European 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen just revealed the new Tiguan. For next year.

Why did the brand take the virtual wraps off the refreshed version of the Tiguan a year and a half before it goes on sale here, as a 2022 model? Because Europe gets it first. It goes on sale there “shortly.”

Might as well just gather media via Skype and tell us all about it now, apparently.

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By on July 1, 2020

2020 Toyota Corolla LE Hybrid

Add the Toyota Corolla to the list of nameplates that were accused of losing the plot in recent years, before being righted — at least partially — by a redesign or refresh.

We’ve talked about this with the Nissan Altima (and Sentra, and Versa), as well as other vehicles. Now, it’s the Toyota’s turn.

I got my grubby mitts on a Corolla Hybrid and put it through its paces around Chicago. I’ve been critical of the car before – the last-generation model’s steering felt like it was constantly out to lunch, and the seating position was uncomfortable, especially for a tall, beer-gutted dude like me.

These flaws might’ve been acceptable if the car didn’t also feel downmarket, even accounting for its price point. Honda, Hyundai, and others were offering compact sedans that were even with (or better) than the Corolla for similar money.

Toyota took a step in the right direction with the Corolla hatch, but did the sedan follow? Well, sort of.

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By on June 30, 2020

Nascar fans. Grindstone Media Group/Shutterstock.com

A while back, I penned a piece describing my mixed feelings about NASCAR running without fans during the pandemic.

Now, a few weeks on, I have a bit more clarity.

I was worried that even with NASCAR’s safety protocols in place, the coronavirus might spread among crew. I was also worried about contact between the safety crews and a driver after a crash that could lead to virus spread (this worry didn’t make the final edit).

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By on June 26, 2020

Mitsubishi burned a lot of what little street cred it had left by taking the name of a once-beloved affordable sports coupe and plunking it onto yet another crossover. The good news, if there is any, is that the crossover that now bears the nameplate is more than a little quirky. The bad news – […]

By on June 26, 2020

By now we have a pretty good idea about the facts surrounding the noose that rocked NASCAR, although there is still more to learn.

We know that it doesn’t appear to be a hate crime directed at Bubba Wallace. We know Wallace never saw it (unless at least one of a group including him, an anonymous team member, and NASCAR president, Steve Phelps are lying). We know, thanks to a pic shared by NASCAR that the rope was definitely tied into the form of a noose, and we know it’s been there since at least October of last year.

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By on June 25, 2020

The Nissan Altima was once in the mix with the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord in the mid-size sedan conversation. That’s no longer the case, and hasn’t been for some time. Nissan is working hard to get back in that mix, and while the 2020 Altima takes the right strides forward, there’s still more work […]

By on June 23, 2020

2021 Volkswagen Arteon

You’re forgiven for forgetting the Volkswagen Arteon exists.

That’s not necessarily the car’s fault. It’s a fairly good large sports sedan, but it plays in a class that has been overshadowed by the crossover craze, and top-level Arteons are priced so that similar Audis start to look appealing.

As I wrote when the car launched, the biggest challenge the Arteon faces is finding the right buyer.

It’s very unlikely this is the first car that comes to mind when someone thinks of Volkswagen.

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By on June 19, 2020

Money might never sleep, but Wall Street never seems to learn.

We all remember those stories from a few years ago about Tesla being overvalued by investors. Hell, a quick Google shows me there are opinion pieces on that topic from just a few months ago.

Now comes Nikola.

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By on June 18, 2020

Juneteenth. Shutterstock user scoutori

The edict came down from our corporate parent last week: Juneteenth is now an official company-wide holiday.

That means we’ll be off on Friday, June 19th.

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By on June 18, 2020

Last week, the New York Times ran an article about auto shows, and what the future may hold for them both during the pandemic and in the post-Covid19 future.

Auto shows are in the news because the pandemic caused the 2020 New York Auto Show to be scrapped, along with Detroit – and in a year in which Detroit moved the show to the summer for the first time. The 2020 Los Angeles Show is still on, as of now, but as with any large event scheduled for later this year, uncertainty surrounds it. The rumor mill suggests it too will be canceled.

While the article itself was a perfectly standard feature story, it was the discussion about it in Facebook groups that host members of the automotive media (as well as PR flacks and other industry professionals) that missed the point, in my opinion.

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By on June 17, 2020

As I wrote in April, the Toyota Avalon has taken great strides in moving from being a snoozer to a touring sedan with a bit of spice up its sleeve. That was in reference to the hybrid. Try the gas-engine Avalon for a truly transformed experience. Much of the overall hybrid experience remains true in […]

By on June 12, 2020

2020 Land Rover Defender

This interview should’ve been posted months ago.

I sat with Jaguar Land Rover North America Product Planning Director Rob Filipovic at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show (remember those?) to talk about the reborn Defender.

Then, I screwed up. I didn’t write the piece right away due to other work and travel. Still, the first drive was scheduled for mid-April, and I thought maybe the interview would work well as a companion piece to our first drive of the Defender.

You know the rest.

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By on June 12, 2020

Cadillac is a brand beleaguered. Part of the reason is its misadventures in Crossover Land. In a world where Acura, Lexus, and others are serving up premium crossovers at premium prices, and building competitive vehicles while so doing, Cadillac has served up something that’s more like a glorified Chevy. That, obviously, is a problem.

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