Opinion: Maybe Crossovers Aren't So Bad, After All?

Maybe it’s just automotive Stockholm Syndrome, but after 15 years of testing vehicles, a huge percentage of which have been crossover SUVs, I’m ready to say it: Crossovers aren’t so bad.

Yeah, I know, you’re going to ask me to blink twice if I am OK, but hear me out.

Read more
Opinion: These Brands Won't Make It in the US (as EVs)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock since 2019, you’ve probably realized that just about every major carmaker has plans to go “fully electric” at some point in the rapidly approaching future. That’s going to mean big changes in the way we buy and use cars, obviously— but change is hard, and not every company is going to be willing or able to make those changes.

That equally obvious fact begs the question: who’s not gonna make it?

Read more
Opinion: Someone Needs to Teach Joe Manchin How EVs Work

Senator Joe Manchin (D, West Virginia) said something this week that makes me think he needs to sit down with a guide to how electrification in vehicles works.

Read more
Opinion: Tesla and Elon Musk Need to Hold Themselves Accountable

Tesla and its boss, Elon Musk, stepped in it again this week.

As we reported the other day, Tesla faced a recall of 54,000 vehicles because the company had programmed its Full-Self Driving software to allow rolling stops.

When the Associated Press’s Tom Krisher wrote a pretty straightforward news story describing the recall, Elon Musk called him a “lobbyist” while replying to a tweet.

Read more
Opinion: Vehicles That Deserve A Heritage Parts Program

You finally did it, didn’t you? You beautiful disaster, you did it! You spent nearly $30,000 US American dollars on thirty-seven-year-old Toyota Corolla because of a comic book, and you aren’t even mad about it. Hell, you paid a little extra for the “authentic” Fujiwara Tofu Shop decals on the doors. You. Kick. Rear. And now, after you didn’t think it could be possible to feel better about your automotive purchase, I’m going to make you feel better about your automotive purchase – because you can now buy factory-fresh parts for your Corolla AE86, straight from Toyota.

That’s right kids, through its captive motorsport brand, Gazoo Racing, Toyota is reproducing spare parts for the Corolla Levin Sprinter Trueno “AE86” as part of the GR Heritage Parts Project. The project reproduces new original parts that have been discontinued and sells them as genuine parts with a standard new part warranty, “ in order to support customers who wish to continue driving older vehicles that are full of memories and that they truly love.”

All kidding aside, you have to admit that the concept of a Heritage Parts program is great, even if the Initial D AE86 isn’t exactly your cuppa – but it sort of begs the question, what other new-age classics might be worthy of a heritage program? I’m glad you asked!

Read more
Opinion: 5 Ways Rural Drivers Benefit From EVs

Despite being presented as the ideal vehicle for “urbanites and city dwellers who don’t drive long distances,” it’s actually rural drivers who stand to benefit the most from making the switch to an electric vehicle (EV). And that’s often true regardless of what state they live in or what type of vehicle they currently drive. And, while it’s true that rural communities across the country have their own cultures and characteristics, common themes like longer driving distances, larger vehicles, and a number of shared socio-economic factors all contribute to a potential benefit from vehicle electrification.

So, without further ado, here are five reasons why rural drivers stand to benefit the most from switching to an electric car.

Read more
Opinion: Journalist Misses Mark With Manual Car Man Editorial

Twitter is amazing sometimes. One of the best parts about it is that occasionally a great piece of journalism — a feature story or investigative report — finds its way into your timeline.

Sometimes, though, you get the flip side. Sometimes, you come across an opinion/hot take so bad you feel like you, should you have a platform, eviscerate it.

Read more
Opinion: Big Fines and EPA Crackdowns Spell Big Trouble for Speed Shops
Whether it’s adapting to a rapidly changing performance landscape or overcoming the encryption that’s being built in to cars’ electronic brains, it’s tough to be a tuner these days. But you know what they say, “When it rains, it pours.” And, for aftermarket performance tuners, the hits just keep on coming.Don’t take my word for it, though. Ask Brent Leivestad, the owner of a small Colorado speed shop called PFI Speed who just got hit with an $18,000 EPA fine – a fine that, if not paid within 30 days, could increase to $180,000.
Read more
Opinion: How Acura Can Avoid Messing Up the Integra

Last week, we reported on Acura’s plans to bring back the Integra. In the article, I hinted at how Acura can go about getting it right.

I’d like to expand on that.

Read more
What's Influencing Hyundai Design These Days, Anyway?

There’s a great scene in The Commitments where Jimmy Rabbitte, the main kid, puts an ad in his local paper to recruit talent for his band. If you’ve never seen the movie, it’s definitely worth the two-hour – a er, commitment (sorry), but that’s off-topic. Rabbitte puts out this ad, and would-be musicians knock on his door. When he opens the door, he asks them one question: Who are your influences?

It’s a great question, isn’t it? It cuts through lots of the usual interview BS and small-talk and hand-wringing and gets right to the meat. In The Commitments, the right answers were Al Green, Wilson Pickett, and Otis Redding. Over at Hyundai/Kia, however, it seems like the right answers were Lancia Delta, Lancia Stratos, and Porsche 959.

What the heck is Jo talking about this time? I’m glad you asked.

Read more
Opinion: The Jeep Grand Wagoneer Won't Be a Big Success

The reviews are breaking today on the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer. As Jeep resurrects one of its most historical full-size nameplates from a three-decade slumber, it’s getting a lot of positive press coverage. But Jeep is in for a world of disappointment in a couple of years.

Read more
Counterpoint: Mask Mandates for Autoworkers Are Fine

On Tuesday, Matt wrote an op-ed piece in which he said that it’s a mistake for automakers to bring back mask mandates.

I disagree.

Read more
Opinion: The Mustang Mach-E Really is A Mustang, and Let's Not Pretend It Isn't
It’s almost a cliché at this point.“The Mustang Mach-E is a great crossover,” they say. “It’s quick, it’s capable, it’s got great range — it’s even pretty good-looking for a crossover. But it’s not a real Mustang.”There are a lot of “theys” saying stuff like that, too. And they’re all wrong. Yes, even you — because the Mach-E is every inch a Mustang. And, arguably, the most “Mustang” Mustang ever.
Read more
Adventures in Marketing: BMW Says "OK Boomer" to Its Own Flagship Vehicles

BMW published a four-minute and change ad a couple weeks ago for the start of the virtual CES 2021 show. Though this would not normally be a subject worth covering, this particular ad seems to indicate BMW believes their own E65 7-Series is for ridiculous out of touch Boomers.

Marketing departments always know what they’re doing, right?

Read more
Aston Martin Celebrates 70 Years of Vantage by Parking a Bunch Inside an Empty Hangar

Listen, I know I’ve given Aston Martin a hard time ever since I’ve started writing about cars. My diatribe about the marque choosing New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as a brand ambassador netted me no shortage of attention from upset sportswriters and morning DJs who cared more about football than I ever could. To my surprise, the ordeal even landed my name in a book about the NFL that nobody read. Despite the indescribable waves of pleasure I feel from bashing the marketing efforts of any high-end brand, Aston’s cars have historically been quite desirable. In fact, I have a gigantic soft spot in my head heart for the V8 Vantage Volante Timothy Dalton drove around in The Living Daylights.

That bodes well for Aston as I prepare to exercise every ounce of pettiness from within my soul to comment up its 70th anniversary celebration of the Vantage. But then the manufacturer decided to put a bunch in an empty aircraft hangar for a photo op and I suddenly remembered that the Vantage name has been tainted by more than just Mr. Brady.

Read more
  • ToolGuy Nice torque figure.
  • ToolGuy Pretty cool.
  • ToolGuy While Americans sit around griping about emissions from container ships, check out what the French have been up to: https://www.freightwaves.com/news/largest-lng-powered-container-ship-making-maiden-voyage
  • 28-Cars-Later "I was thinking that service shops were the real cash magnets for the dealers not car sales."You are correct, service and used cars made the majority of dealer profit.
  • ToolGuy Secret: Large automakers have some dealers which they really really like, and some dealers they would love to get rid of.