Piston Slap: It Ain't Easy Being on the Front Left!

Matt writes:

Hello,

I own an 06′ Hyundai Elantra GLS hatchback and tire wear on the front left tire has been much worse than the other three, despite rotating the tires. The outside of the front left tire is worn down so that it is smooth and now I can see a secondary layer of rubber being exposed. At first I thought maybe there was something wrong with the alignment but I took it to three places, one wanted to charge me a $90 “diagnostic” fee so I walked and the other two couldn’t find anything wrong. One place mentioned that since I had directional tires I couldn’t really get a proper rotation and thats probably what’s causing the wear.

Read more
Review: 2011 Mazda3 Sport GT Take Two

Here’s an open secret: the Mazda3 is the auto-journo’s cop-out. “Hey,” inquires the prospective punter, “I’m actually kinda/sorta in the market. What do you recommend?” Nine times out of ten, the sporty little ‘3 is gonna get a plug. Tenth guy wants a truck.

Now around here, obviously that’s not the case. Ask the TTAC boys what you should buy and Jack Baruth is going to punch you in the face and sleep with your wife, Sajeev Mehta will get a far-away look in his eyes thinking of all the non-running personal-luxury-coupe crap-cans he could add to his stable for the price of a new car, Bertel Schmitt’s going to give you a fascinating but interminable lecture on the nuances of some improbable menage a trois between Nissan, Geely and Fisher-Price, and me? Well, I’m new around here. Again.

Which is why I’m going to extoll me a little Zoom-Zoom.

Read more
Mercedes For The Masses, Or Fine Young Cannibal?

The US won’t be receiving the hatchback version of the forthcoming, front-drive Mercedes A-series, but we will be getting this “CLC” four-door coupe based on the same platform. But, if American owners can’t tell the difference between front- and rear-drive, will this CLC cannibalize the C-Class? According to AutoBild, it will be only 2cm shorter than the C-Class sedan, and its wheelbase is only 6cm shorter. In Europe, they say the CLC will be bought by 45-50 year-olds with two kids and enough money to spend €5k more than the average A-Class buyer. But in the US, where this will form the Mercedes entry level, and where shoppers tend to be more value-oriented, couldn’t you see a cheaper, front-drive/AWD CLS lookalike stealing sales from the rather subdued C-Class?

Read more
What's Wrong With This Picture: The First Front-Drive BMW Edition

So… does this look like a BMW to you? Blame the camo if you must, but this forthcoming BMW-branded “0-Series” looks like it’s shaping up to appear as mundane as anything BMW has ever slapped a roundel on. Which makes sense, I suppose, given that it’s going to be the most mundane BMW-branded car yet built, constructed as it is on the next-gen MINI’s transverse, front-drive platform. Even BMW’s forthcoming i3 sports a freakier, funkier high-roof baby hatch look… and despite our initial fears, it’s apparently rear-drive as well. On the other hand, we’ve been here before with Mercedes… and they pulled a surprisingly sexy design out of a humble, front-drive mule. Here’s hoping BMW can pull off some equally adept styling magic, otherwise we’re looking at the BMW Cimmaron right here…

Read more
Who's Ready For An FWD Land Rover?
From Ferrari’s manual-free pledge to BMW’s move to front-wheel-drive, the auto industry is breaking down formerly untouchable barriers left and r…
Read more
BMW: One Million FWD Cars By 2015

While the autoblogosphere frets bout whether BMW drivers can tell which wheels drive their cars, the real news in the BMW-goes-FWD storyline is the impact that the sea change in brand strategy is expected to have on volume. Automotive News [sub] reports that BMW is developing a new family of modular gas and diesel engines, which are intended “primarily for BMW’s new front-wheel-drive architecture, but the powerplants also will be used in the automaker’s rear-wheel-drive cars,” according to CEO Norbert Reithofer. And the volume at which this new family of three, four and six-cylinder engines will be produced is one of the early indications of where BMW is going with its FWD expansion. Today, BMW sells just under 1.3m vehicles worldwide. That’s fewer cars than will be powered by this new family of engines alone, which Reithofer says will motivate 1.5m vehicles worldwide. Considering BMW’s goal is to sell 2m vehicles of all its brands by 2020, it’s clear that much of that growth will be made possible by new FWD-inclusive drivetrain technology.

Read more
Do 80 Percent of BMW 1 Series Drivers Really Think Their Cars Is FWD?
Debates over the relative values of front-, rear- and all-wheel-drive have raged for as long as automotive enthusiasm has existed, and after decades of argum…
Read more
BMW Does The Unthinkable: They Go Forward

The NYTimes reports that Norbert Reithofer, CEO of BMW AG, is thinking the unthinkable. Dr Reithofer said at a shareholders’ meeting in Munich: “We are exploring the possibility of developing a joint architecture for the front and four-wheel drive systems of these cars,” WHAT?! An FWD BMW? An act against nature. Say it isn’t so! He didn’t.

Read more
What's Wrong With This Picture: Keep On Truckleting Edition
As our Brazilian friend Stingray pointed out in today’s Curbside Classic thread, the FWD trucklet isn’t dead… it’s on vacation in So…
Read more
Review: 2010 Honda Crosstour

There are guys at my gym that work out hard, three times a day, chiseling their chests and abs to perfection, compensating for the fact that God didn’t give them High School Musical faces. They are masterpieces of strength, structure – everything other than looks. From now on, I will secretly call them Crosstours.

Read more
Ask The Best And Brightest: MINI or BMW Zero-Series?
After the 1 series, BMW pretty much committed themselves to the smallest car, because it was the smallest number, they were going to make under the BMW marqu…
Read more
Lutz: Impala Will Be An Epsilon II
Enthusiasts have been adamant that GM’s decision to sell a police-only version of its RWD global Lumina platform (Holden Statesman) creates a fantastic…
Read more
  • Kosmo I, for one, and maybe only one, would buy a 5.0 L, stickshift variant of the sedan/hatchback that is Ford's "Not A Mustang EV" tomorrow.I'd buy the sportwagon version yesterday.
  • Akear I am counting the days when Barra retires. She has been one long nightmare for GM. People don't realize the Malibu outsells all GM EVs combined.
  • Redapple2 you say; most car reviewers would place it behind the segment stalwarts from Honda and Toyota,........................... ME: Always so. Every single day since the Accord / Camry introduction.
  • Akear GM sells only 3000 Hummer EVs annually. It is probably the worst selling vehicle in GM history.
  • Amwhalbi I agree, Ajla. This is theory, not reality - hence my comment that Americans don't like hatchbacks. But one of my neighbors bought one of the last Regal hatchbacks that were available for sae, and it is a darn nice car. I still think the idea makes sense, even if history is proving me wrong. And my sister does have a Legacy, which rides a bit higher than my Sonata, and that also is an excellent driver. Even if the general public doesn't concur with me.