By on April 17, 2019

1996 Chevrolet Impala SS - Image: ChevroletLast week, we accepted suggestions for our readers’ least favorite front-drive cars from the 1990s, but commenter Art Vandelay (an importer/exporter) wanted more. We’re back a week later to repeat the same question, but with a focus on rear-drive rides. Let the aero-infused criticism begin.

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By on April 11, 2019

No, we’re not talking about your college dalliance with the counterculture scene. But we could very well be talking about an event from your college years.

Higher education usually involves empty pockets, bloodshot eyes, and dry gas tanks — usually slung beneath a vehicle held together with Bondo and bought for a song. A vehicle that gets lighter as time goes on, even as your expanding midriff packs on the pounds.

Maybe college has nothing to do with the memory. Maybe, at one point in your life, you simply fought a losing battle with the scourge of autodom — corrosion — and lost. Read More >

By on April 10, 2019

Last week, Steph penned a QOTD where he let commenters loose on front-drive American cars made between 1980 and 2010. The ask was to pick a favorite from the wide selection; one you’d buy today as new.

This week we’re going to take the opposite tack and talk about the front-drive car you like the least.
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By on April 9, 2019

Image: Ford

Ford is anything but a conversation killer these days. Love their ideas or hate them, the boys and girls at the Blue Oval seem pretty confident that they know what works in the near automotive future.

One ploy is the bold step of splitting a model in two. No longer will one mainstream crossover attempt to be most things to most people. Instead, you’ll get the Escape, newly urbanized for the 2020 model year, and a similar-sized (but not shaped) platform mate gunning for a more rugged set of buyers. Two vehicles, one brand, one segment.

If this becomes a trend, where should it strike next? Read More >

By on April 8, 2019

2018 Accord Sport 2.0-Liter Turbo - Image: Honda

Some days, it seems as if the world is on an unending march to eradicate the manual transmission from our North American automotive landscape. The 911, various trucks, you name it — soon, there won’t be a stick to fetch anywhere.

Or will there? Fresh off writing a roundup of cars available in the Great White North with three pedals, I got to thinking: what would the B&B buy today if they had to select a stickshift vehicle?

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By on April 5, 2019

Our recent first drive of Volkswagen’s warmed-up Jetta — the revamped and newly potent GLI — sparked a fair bit of discussion among the TTAC crew about front-drive cars that live double lives.

As sedans of all stripes cower beneath the executioner’s wavering blade, fears are mounting that we could lose even more practical and attainable fun vehicles in the years to come, forcing all of us into Ford EcoSport STs or something of that vein. Yes, front-wheel drive cars can be fun, and there’s certainly a lot to be said for a hotter, performance-focused mainstream FWD sedan that offers its driver a chance to work out the stress of a hard week on a twisty stretch of backroad. A roomy Jetta with the heart of a GTI, manual transmission box checked? Sign me up.

Drivers are slightly spoiled these days on that front, as the GLI pairs nicely on the shopping list with Honda’s Civic Si. But let’s travel back in time for a debate. Read More >

By on April 4, 2019

A piece you’ll see later this morning may have something to do with today’s topic. We’re talking handouts, incentives, rebates, discounts, credits — anything that can ease the financial burden of buying a new vehicle.

Specifically, that class of vehicle few people want to buy (and frankly, a class of vehicle more than a few people would rather not read about): Electric cars.

As Tesla and GM buyers face a once-juicy tax credit that’s now pared in half, and as other automakers stare down the barrel of a reduced federal incentive, we have to ask: what would it take, price-wise, to get you into one of them? Read More >

By on April 3, 2019

Auto manufacturers don’t always get things right on the first try. Altering existing product takes time and lots of money, two things which aren’t always easy for OEMs to pull together.

Today we ask: When did a vehicle change or evolve during its production, only to still fall short of expectations? Read More >

By on April 2, 2019

Image: FCA

Twitter — or as I like to call it, the unintellectual dark web — regularly tosses out scorching takes like “too many people drive pickups” and other gold-plated nuggets for the online punditry to seize upon. Maybe there’s some truth to them.

But until government apparatchiks start barring dealership doors, saying, “Hey! You there — you with the cash that you worked hard to earn. Don’t you dare purchase this pricey domestic product for your own (completely legal) use!” we’ll continue buying them. Meanwhile, a good many people will look at the state of their finances, take a gander at rising ATPs in that segment, and decide on something else.

Are you a truck owner with a mind to downsize? Read More >

By on March 28, 2019

Protecting one’s individuality often means isolating yourself from the “in” crowd, sometimes at your own peril. Steering clear of fads. Giving short shrift to the dominant trends of the day. You author never went in for neon or Doc Martens back in Grade 5, despite all the cool kids wearing this incongruous attire combo. The jury’s still out on whether that was a good idea or not.

In the automotive sphere, buyers are making sure builders of SUVs and crossovers are well rewarded for their actions, scooping up boxy, high-riding family haulers like it’s going out of style. You’re not one of those people, are you? Read More >

By on March 27, 2019

TTAC’s Slack channel honed in on muscle cars the other day. As the discussion progressed, a question came to light which your author hadn’t previously considered. It’s a simple enough inquiry, yet there are many variables to consider.

Today we talk about the least sporty muscle cars.

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By on March 26, 2019

2018 Chevrolet Bolt - Image: Chevrolet

Tim Cain’s observations of his quaint island’s driving habits revealed that electric vehicle ownership, though seemingly feasible given the distance to the sea in all directions, is about as rare as a happy ending on Black Mirror.

Cain, secretly funded by Big Oil and no doubt a part of other shadowy conspiracies, cynically believes that, outside of major urban centers, EVs are generally seen as impractical and unnecessarily expensive conveyances, given their limitations in range and capability. Thus, premonitions of the impending end of gas — or cars in general — are both premature and overblown.

Does your neighborhood’s vehicular landscape reflect this? Read More >

By on March 21, 2019

Once upon a time, the vehicles populating high school and college student parking lots were a rangy mish-mash of beat-up hatchbacks, faded hand-me-down family sedans, the odd minivan (daughters beware!) and the obligatory Mustang or Camaro. Soon, it’ll be a sea of crossovers. Maybe it already is — your author, understandably, doesn’t make a habit of cruising by such locales at low speed in the interest of checking out rides.

As vehicular variety decreases, the need to stand apart from the crowd hasn’t. Maybe that explains this week’s Chevrolet Blazer SS thought experiment. Sure, a hotter two-row crossover, especially in Blazer form, might not turn your crank, but that doesn’t mean there’s no audience for such a vehicle.

Is this segment in need of more muscle? Read More >

By on March 20, 2019

1992 Camry WagonFor the past couple of weeks, Wednesday’s QOTD posts have asked a simple question: What was the most overpriced non-luxury vehicle of a given period of time? The first inquiry dealt only with 2019 vehicles, and last week we covered the 2000s — where I picked on the overpriced, retro Ford Thunderbird. Many of you thought I was wrong (I wasn’t). Today, we’ll head back to the decade we all like to discuss — the one that’s popular right now with youths.

It is, of course, the 1990s. I’m already wearing my blazer and shoulder pads.

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By on March 19, 2019

Image: 1975 GMC SIERRA CLASSIC 1500 GENTLEMAN JIM

It’s a car-related desire most gearheads have had at some point in their driving years: holding the keys to a classic car. Whether that takes the form of a ’58 Impala, a flathead Ford, or the Gentleman Jim shown above, a good many of us have harbored a desire to own a vintage automobile.

Taking the thing out for a weekend cruise is a lot different than living with it on a daily basis, though. Here is today’s question: would you daily a classic?

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