Latest auto news, reviews, editorials, and podcasts

By on January 24, 2022

 

Don’t listen to certain talking heads who are trying to tell us that all hands are busy switching to electric transportation pods and there’s no market for enormous SUVs. In Japan, where they’d have you believe streets are tighter than two coats of paint and no one drives anything bigger than a Kei car, Toyota is apparently running up against lengthy waitlists for its new Land Cruiser.

How long? Try four years.

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By on January 24, 2022

cold car seat

Following the Virginia shutdown of Interstate 95 that left countless people stranded in freezing weather overnight earlier this month, there was a surprising amount of news coverage making offhand comments about how victims would have been better off if they all were driving electric vehicles (Ed. note — there was also this Washington Post op-ed in which the author worried that an EV would be a poor vehicle to be stranded in And this Vice rebuttal to that article). While it seemed an inopportune time to advertise for EVs, it’s an interesting premise and encouraged Car and Driver to conduct a head-to-head experiment between a Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Sonata N-Line to see who could keep the cabin warm for the longest period of time when stranded.

Realistically, you’d be better off in whatever vehicle is yielding the heaviest fuel tank or least-depleted battery when traffic stops. But there are other factors to consider. Idling an internal-combustion car for extended periods of time is not recommended and doing so when totally snowed in could potentially trap harmful exhaust gasses if the exhaust is not kept clear. Meanwhile, EVs are notorious for having their battery chemistry altered by colder temperatures. This is especially true if they lack the relevant thermal management systems, resulting in the maximum range being diminished by as much as 30 percent.  Read More >

By on January 24, 2022

Viewed in a vacuum, especially through the filtered lens of an online picture, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 might appear to be a hatchback roughly the size of a VW Golf. In reality, it’s a lot more crossover-like inside and out, with the added bonus of seating flexibility that eliminates a space-hogging center console which creates a spiritual successor to the old-school bench seat.

There is a quartet of trims offered in our market, starting with the $39,700 SE Standard Range with its single motor and rear-wheel drive.

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By on January 24, 2022

Today’s Rare Ride was a single-year offering at Buick; it came and went in 1958. As General Motors reworked its large car offerings that year in response to styling changes at one of its biggest competitors, it reintroduced a historical nameplate at Buick: Limited.

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By on January 24, 2022

2005 Chrysler Crossfire in Colorado junkyard, LH front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsMuch of the automotive press went absolutely ape over the press events for the 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Roadster, particularly the writer who deemed it the Sexiest Car of the Year and compared its rear end favorably to Melania Trump’s jeans-clad hindquarters. Closing in on two decades later, the Crossfire’s image has fared about as well as memories of the DaimlerChrysler “merger of equals,” which makes a first-year Crossfire Roadster an excellent Junkyard Find. Read More >

By on January 24, 2022

Ford Bronco Raptor

After plenty of speculation and spy shots – plus a healthy dose of rumor – Ford has whipped the sheets off what they’re calling the most powerful street-legal Bronco ever to roll out of a Blue Oval factory. Shod with FOX shocks which permit yawning wheel travel, 37-inch all-terrain tires, and heavy-duty bash plates, this thing is ready to jump a few dunes and tear across wide-open spaces.

Under the hood is an engine not currently found in any factory Bronco – and it isn’t the mill your author thought would be residing between these flared Raptor fenders.

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By on January 23, 2022

best antifreeze

Maintaining your out-of-warranty ride often forces us to learn the different systems in our vehicles. After wrenching on them for interminable amounts of time, knowing the ins and outs of the braking system or suspension bits is kind of inevitable.

Another area with which you’ll likely become familiar? Cooling/antifreeze systems. These closed systems help to keep things from freezing up in the rust belt and from boiling over in places like Arizona.

At least they’re supposed to be closed systems. Leaks in rubber hoses or metal components can lead to this liquid vanishing out of your car faster than a government worker at the end of shift. There will also be occasions when flushing the system might be a good idea in terms of preventative maintenance.

By on January 21, 2022

Intel has announced a $20 billion investment to transform a 1,000-acre plot in New Albany, Ohio, into the latest addition to its U.S. chip-manufacturing hub. Construction is scheduled to commence later this year with operations starting in 2025. But everyone’s wondering if it is going to be enough to rectify the pathetic state in which domestic vehicle production currently finds itself.  Read More >

By on January 21, 2022

 

Well, that didn’t take long. Mere minutes after our post this morning about the upcoming Cadillac Escalade V, the brand dropped official images of the thing – much earlier in the day than expected. But if you think TTAC had anything to do with that decision, we’ve some bridges in which you may be interested. After all, no one at RenCen reads TTAC, right? Right? (*nudge, nudge, wink, wink*)

As for the upcoming Escalade V, it promises to be a ground shaker.

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By on January 21, 2022

A common knock on the new Toyota Supra, besides its close ties to a certain BMW, is its lack of a manual transmission. Sure, there are umpteen reasons why a well-sorted automatic is (on paper) better than a stick – but the involvement and entertainment of a slick-shifting manual cannot be denied.

Now, well-placed rumors are suggesting Toyota is going to offer Supra buyers a chance to row their own gears.

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By on January 21, 2022

Something exciting is coming from Cadillac

If you’re part of a weird Venn Diagram that’s been trying to figure out whether to pull the trigger on a CT5-V Blackwing or a new Escalade, it seems Cadillac is about to make your decision a whole lot easier. Later today, the luxury brand from Detroit will haul the covers off a powerful new variant of their biggest SUV.

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By on January 20, 2022

best mechanic's gloves

Quick – what’s the first thing you reach for when starting any DIY project? No, it isn’t the perpetually absent 10mm socket, nor is it a quarter for the swear jar. It is, most likely a good pair of gloves.

Protecting your hands serve many purposes, from keeping them off harsh chemicals to cushioning a blow when you finally overtorque a stubborn bolt and your knuckles make contact with that infernal exhaust flange.

We’ve assembled eight good options, led by the pair that your author dons each time he picks up a wrench.

By on January 20, 2022

Toyota Motor Corp is currently having to contend with idle factories in Asia, reducing the automaker’s estimated output by over 47,000 units this month. Shockingly, it’s not alleged to have anything to do with the semiconductor shortage that’s been wreaking havoc on Western markets.

With chip production having been localized primarily in China and Taiwan, Asian suppliers have had better access to them. But Eastern markets have still been subjected to other routine plant closures due to supply chain restrictions stemming from the pandemic. Existing protocols in China, combined with renewed restrictions in Japan, have created a situation impacting numerous automakers with Toyota announcing this week that it probably won’t reach its goal of manufacturing 9 million cars this year — though it made sure to include the ongoing semiconductor issue as relevant.  Read More >

By on January 20, 2022

We entered the Fuselage Look era of the Imperial in our last installment, as Chrysler shook off the conservative and upright styling its flagship brand wore prior to 1969. Prices were notably slashed and quality suffered as Imperial shared body panels with its Chrysler siblings, incidents that in previous decades would’ve been out of the question. We pick up in 1970, for the second year of the C-body Fuselage Imperials.

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By on January 20, 2022

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has said it is developing a new rating system to evaluate the existing safeguards found inside vehicles equipped with partial automation. Considering how commonplace advanced driving aids have become, you might be thinking this was long overdue. However, insurers were blindly praising advanced driving suites a few years ago — until they actually started testing them in earnest.

As luck would have it, there’s been mounting research supporting claims modern automotive tech encourages drivers to tune out and become distracted. While this wouldn’t be a big deal if the relevant features all functioned perfectly, the reality is that most are far less effective than advertised and practically all of them run the risk of being completely undone by inclement weather or poor lighting. Confusingly, the IIHS believes the best solution here is to make sure systems constantly monitor the driver to ensure the driver is constantly monitoring the system.  Read More >

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