Opinion: We Need More Off-Road Parks (and Drag Strips, and Tracks…)

This past weekend, I went off-roading. I took a Ford Bronco Raptor I was testing to the Badlands Off-Road Park in Indiana (with Ford’s approval) because I felt that the Raptor needed to be taken off-road, if possible, for me to get a full picture of the vehicle’s capabilities ahead of a possible future review.

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QOTD: Cars to Calm a Crisis?

This Question of the Day took form as your author drove into the hills, away from the city, in a fruitless search for awe-inspiring meteors. What a bust. And something sauntered past in the dark, too, so that wasn’t great for the ol’ nerves.

On the trip up to that spooky secluded roadway overlooking a fog-cloaked valley, yours truly got to thinking about the Toyobaru Twins and their low sales numbers, and the fact that a successor is nearly upon us. Who’ll buy such a vehicle in today’s hostile buying climate for small, sporty coupes? A few possibilities come to mind.

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QOTD: Road Trip Games?

This past May long weekend was the unofficial start of summer for a good many gearheads. With cold temperatures and misery falling from the sky (mostly) behind us, it’s time for car shows, warm breezes, and — of course — road trips.

Kids and families have no shortage of attention diverting options these days, what with various tablets and devices approaching commodity-grade prices. But come on — surely someone out there still plays traditional road trip games, right? Right? Hello?

Where’d everyone go?

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Piston Slap: Extraneous Engineering Fallacy, Factory Performance Models

Matt writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I’m anticipating that my 1997 Subaru Legacy wagon, with 210,000 miles on the clock, will need replacing soon. I’m lucky in that my wagon is a five-speed manual with the 2.2 EJ motor, so it has been fairly bullet proof. I’ve been looking around at affordable commuter five-door hatchbacks (Mazda3, Impreza, Focus, etc) to replace the Legacy as the replacement needs to be able to fit multiple kids and sports gear, as well as be my daily driver (~45 miles roundtrip work commute).

Here is my question: I would like something a little sporty as more than half of my commute is on fun, twisty, back roads.

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Ask Bark: An Update to 'Hi, I'm a Millennial Who Likes Cars!'

Here’s a quick update from a previous Ask Bark questioner:

Hey Bark,

I wanted to drop you line to give a quick update and say thanks.

First and foremost, thanks for taking my question! I really appreciate your advice, and that of the B&B. It’s definitely safe to say that everyone’s thoughts pushed me to listen to the shoulder-devil that was saying, “You’re only young, dumb, and have no kids, wife, or dogs in your life once! Get something fun, impractical, and fast!”

However, I ended up going in a different direction than mentioned by pretty much everyone.

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Question Of The Day: Which Car Companies Do You Not Like… But Respect?

The late Gore Vidal was fond of saying, “Gratitude can be a complicated thing.”

He was right. Whether you are a hater, or simply a chronic critic, the act of complimenting those who follow the beat of a different drummer is usually not within the tip of the human tongue.

We want things our way… and sometimes we’re just plain wrong.

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Hedonist Vs Frugalist : 2012 Toyota Yaris SE


Tercel. Echo. Yaris.

When the history of great cars is written, these models will likely not be anywhere near the short list.

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Piston Slap: Honda Fanboi, Beater Enthusiast, Wannabe Racer?

Carleton writes:

Sajeev,

I have two essentially unrelated questions but both seemingly require something that I greatly lack: money. I’m a 22 year old engineering student in New Hampshire and have been around cars my whole life. Over the past few years, I’ve purchased several older motorcycles on craigslist very inexpensively, sorted the mechanical issues, cleaned them up and sold each on for a solid profit ($500 to $1000 profit per bike). While this has been fun, cars have always been my real passion. Working on motorcycles has given me the confidence to tackle a project of a larger scale, so I am seeking advice to realize two long awaited desires. I am currently working and making around $1000 per month and can play with about $200-$300 every month. Furthermore, I have access to my grandfather’s a large garage with pretty much every tool needed to do any automotive work.

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New or Used: The Right Combination of Stupidity and Bravery
Marcus writes:My wife has requested that I get a jeep type vehicle that we can use to do some light off road driving, i.e. she wants to drive on the beach. I see this as an opportunity to buy a fun 4×4. I would like to take it off road a bit and try to get it stuck. My requirements are that it be a 4×4, cost $15000 or less and can support a winch. It does not need to be a daily driver, and manual is OK, but automatic is slightly preferred. Finally, I am not looking to buy myself a job as a mechanic.
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  • UncleAL wow ! nice Holiday gift from BMW.......
  • Aaron Bought one for my son. He loves it. 210k miles. Runs like a top. Does chug gas is really the only negative
  • Syke Felt that Corvette should have been removed from Chevrolet dealerships decades ago and become their own brand. At which point, however, that takes away the only thing Chevrolet has done right in the last fifty years. Dealers will see to it that'll never happen, or, at best, every dealership becomes a Chevrolet/Corvette franchise.And before anyone starts crying at the thought, it's certainly worked for Porsche . . . .
  • VoGhost First of all, more great performing vehicles are always welcome. But it really does point to a cancer within GM that their answer is always: 'more models.' They face an existential crisis from a competitor that grows at 50% annually and is stealing their market share. And they are doing it on the back of just two models. And while the commentators moan about where the CyberTruck is and when will they update their vehicles, Tesla now produces two of the top five vehicles on the planet. GM doesn't need more models - they need a few GREAT vehicles. Come on, GM! Show us a vehicle that can sell at 500K+ units, that isn't a third place pickup people only buy because the F-150 and Ram are sold out.
  • Ajla Everything should be branded as a Corvette, Mustang, or AMG.-Subaru Crosstrek AMG-Toyota Mustang GR86-Buick Shelby Corvette Encore AMG