By on August 22, 2019

1993 Volvo 240 Wagon in Colorado junkyard, LH rear view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

We know, we know — you aren’t. Almost no one is, which handily explains why new wagons are now rarer in North America than sobriety on the first night of Woodstock. Or virginity on the last. It wasn’t always the case, though, as once upon a time a great herd of long-roofed family haulers roamed freely across the vast expanses of pre-Millenium America.

We’re left with premium niche models, and that’s that. Deal with it. This Question of the Day isn’t designed to make you pick favorites from among the skimpy crowd of remaining estate cars, but to think back to those halcyon (or perhaps traumatizing) days before you earned your driver’s license. Read More >

By on August 21, 2019

Between 1953 and a few weeks ago, the Chevrolet Corvette stuck to a very specific formula: Engine at the front, driven wheels at the back. With the debut of the 2020 C8 Corvette, all of that changed. Today we want to find out what you think about the metamorphosis of an iconic sports car nameplate.

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By on August 20, 2019

2017 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Sahara - Image: Jeep

For no reason in particular, your author found himself researching the various attributes and eccentricities of Greenland these past couple of days. Again, no reason. And while Greenland itself is pretty sparse and remote, you can’t actually drive very far from what passes for civilization in that big island sort-of country. Something to do with fjords and glaciers and such.

If you’re looking to really get away from it all behind the wheel of a vehicle, there’s better choices closer to home. And, obviously, further. But maybe you already know that… Read More >

By on August 19, 2019

1991 Pontiac Trans Sport, Images: RM Auctions, Inc.

Over the weekend at Monterey, RM Sotheby’s executed what will forever remain one of the worst screw-ups in auction history. With a piece of is-it-or-isn’t-it Porsche history on the block, the auctioneer started his patter at what the crowd (and the media screen) thought was thirty million dollars. That same media screen quickly rocketed to seventy mil before said auctioneer clarified he was saying seven-teen not seven-ty. Boos rained down upon the room and bidding predictably evaporated like chloroform. The car failed to sell.

Conspiracy theorists will forever debate what really happened, but our question for you today is this: what’s the biggest error — either in buying or selling — you’ve ever seen at a car auction?

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By on August 16, 2019

2017 Toyota Camry rear, Image: © 2017 Sajeev Mehta/The Truth About Cars

It’s normal to worry about — or at least give a passing though to — the possibility that the airliner you’re about to step onto may, in fact, never reach its destination. The same goes for thinking, hoping, or praying that a road trip you’re about to embark on goes well, with no cataclysmic incidents along the way. It only becomes a problem if these concerns dominate the mind, leading to paralyzing fears and a determined avoidance of certain activities that negatively impacts your life. At that point it’s time to see a psychologist.

We’ve talked in the past about our worst driving fears, the most obvious being the accidental running over of a human being. Understandable! But sometimes, despite our fearlessness behind the wheel, we bake into our daily lives strange little habits, performing these rituals unconsciously until a friend or family member calls us out on our neurosis. Read More >

By on August 13, 2019

2017 Toyota Corolla XSE interior - Image: © Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars

Cars, like their drivers, often fly so far below the radar that they may as well not exist at all. Despite the best intentions of designers to stimulate (but not over-stimulate) loyal buyers, a great number of vehicles roll off the drawing board and into reality with an exterior tailor-made to avoid being noticed.

Some vehicles are nothing less than rolling anonymity. Which, depending on your line of work, may be just the thing you’re looking for. Read More >

By on August 9, 2019

2019 Mazda Mazda3 interior

The headline refers to the automobile itself, though it can just as easily refer to each and every one of us. We’re all along for the ride as the industry ditches coupes, sedans, affordable cars, and manual transmissions en masse, and there’s no option of tucking and rolling as the ride slows to turn a corner.

With that said, what recent addition to a vehicle’s content do you find most hard to live with? For our amusement, we’ll list a single rule: you can’t bitch about the loss of stick shifts. Read More >

By on August 8, 2019

EcoBoost Mustang Burnout, Ford Motor Co.

Have you ever strayed? Fallen off the well-trodden path that carried you into adulthood from your imaginative youth?

We’re not talking sin, vice or philandery here, no sir. We’re talking cars. Most adults who harbor a deep love for all things automotive grew up loving all things automotive — it’s one of those age-spanning infatuations, unlike a passing interest in grape popsicles or dance music or that girl who sat in front of you in Grade 9 English class. Once you’re hooked on broader subjects like autos, history, or whatever else, it seems a person never strays from the path.

But maybe your interests took a sharp detour at one point. What sparked the sudden lack of interest, and what brought you back to the flock? Read More >

By on August 7, 2019

Automakers are keen to pursue partnerships with one another when it means saving money via economies of scale, or when it supports an established corporate structure. Whether it’s in the form of some basic components-sharing or a more intensive joint venture, today we want to hear about the worst possible examples of automotive cooperation.

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By on August 6, 2019

We often place ourselves in enviable situations in these QOTD posts, selecting which model best suits us following a sudden windfall, or perhaps deciding which vehicle tops all others in performing a certain task. In a sense, this is just like those other questions.

Except… you’ll be taking a severe pay cut.

Things have gone bad, you see. Somehow, following some unfortunate sequence of life-altering events, all the strings that tied you to a life of leisure and fair pay have snapped. You’re now just surviving. Yes, you’re stuck driving for Uber. Read More >

By on August 1, 2019

Last week we played a round of Armchair Alternative History where we discussed missed opportunities in the automotive industry. Conversation focused on actions automakers didn’t take when they should’ve.

Today is round two. Let’s go back and erase things that actually happened.

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By on July 31, 2019

The news of Nissan’s recent financial trouble brought attention right where it needs to be: on lackluster product. In our most recent reporting regarding Nissan’s sales woes, I was asked in the comments whether I had any ideas for improvement. Well that got me thinking (and worked up), and it turns out I do have ideas, and they fall into three major categories.

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By on July 30, 2019

2020 Cadillac XT6 Sport

The internet was awash with reviews of the Cadillac XT6 on Monday, with our own Tim Healey being of the mind that it is “pleasant yet forgettable.” In a sea of three-row crossovers, any new machine — no matter the brand — needs to have a killer app in order to stand out.

What form does that take for you? Prodigious power? Let-them-eat-cake seats? I think there’s one item in particular that would allow the XT6 to pole vault most of its competition … and Cadillac already has it in its parts bin.

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By on July 24, 2019

Today marks the first entry into a two-part Question of the Day series where we’ll step back in time. The purpose of the journey? To fix the mishaps committed by automakers. First up are the missed opportunities.

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By on July 17, 2019

Today’s QOTD marks the last post in the Nineties design discussion on which we embarked in the beginning of May. We discussed the good and bad points of Nineties design from America, Europe, and Asia. SUVs and trucks were off-limits initially, until we focused solely on them starting in June. As our final entry in the Nineties, we talk bad SUV and truck design from Asia.

Read More >

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