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.

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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?

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A Polite Request Regarding Apple CarPlay

I was sitting in line for a car wash this morning, readying a test vehicle for photos, and since the line was long and moving slow, I started perusing Twitter on my iPhone while listening to the radio.

The same phone that was plugged into the Ford Maverick’s USB port so that I could run Apple CarPlay.

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Opinion: These Are the Most Influential EVs of the Moment

It’s become something of a mantra for me, lately, but that doesn’t make it any less true. It goes like this: Electric cars aren’t coming, they’re already here. And, depending on who you ask, they’ve been here – they just haven’t quite made it into the mainstream, yet. With the dawn of the Rivian R1T ( which became the first full-size electric pickup to reach series production earlier this month), though, a lot of people would have you believe that’s set to change. I happen to be one of them.

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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.
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Opinion: Over the Air Updates Bad, Owning the Car Good

Software updates. Precisely when we had to start having a conversation about software updates – over the air or otherwise – in an automotive context isn’t something I can answer. We didn’t have them for about 100 years. Then, we did. What’s more, it seems like everyone is more or less OK with that, but should they be? Are these software updates really making your car better, or are they slowly throttling back your car’s performance and functionality in a bid to frustrate you into buying a new one?

Let’s take a few minutes to explore the possibilities.

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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.

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Opinion: The 2023 Nissan Z May Be Old, But That's Fine

Since last night’s unveiling of the 2023 Nissan Z, I’ve been chewing over my thoughts on the car. Is it good, or is it another misfire from a brand that’s struggling to recapture glory days?

After exerting far too much brainpower on the question — I’d rather ponder what’s for lunch — I’ve arrived at my answer.

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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.

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Opinion: EVs Should Not Get More Government Incentives

The current $7,500 Federal electric vehicle tax incentive could get a boost to $12,500 if the “Clean Energy for America” bill ever makes its way to reality – but it’s absolutely the wrong way to go, in my opinion. And, I know – “Who cares what Jo thinks about EV incentives,” right? Right –except that very, very few people in the industry have as much “green cred” as I do, so maybe you’ll want to give this one a read.

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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.

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Opinion: I Will Never Understand Tesla Fans

Yesterday, I got Musked*.

I wrote an op-ed about how I think the Cybertruck won’t sell well over the long term, though I do expect it to sell strongly at first. I said it might be the first real flop from Tesla.

Perhaps predictably, it caused quite the stir among the company’s fans on Twitter.

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Opinion: Tesla's Cybertruck Will Be Company's First Flop

Tesla’s Cybertruck is in the news again, thanks to some (on paper) comparisons between it and the Rivian R1T and news about a deal with Samsung for cameras for the truck.

I’ve been thinking this for quite some time — since the unveiling, really — and the more I see the truck in the news, the more I think it might be Tesla’s first true flop as a model.

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The Ford Maverick Isn't as Compact as It Seems

A few weeks ago, Ford took the wraps off of a new, “right-sized” pickup for the 2022 model year called the Maverick. The truck is different. For one, it’s a unibody design with four doors and a bed that’s integrated into the cab, not separate. For another, it’s a hybrid — which, I dunno. That seemed kind of brave, for Ford. It seemed brave enough to me, at least, to inspire me to take a closer look at the little truck’s specs … and that’s when I noticed that the new Maverick isn’t that little after all.

In fact, at 199.7 inches long, the new “compact” Maverick is a full two inches longer than the 1992 Ford F-150 “full-size” half-ton pickup.

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Opinion: It's Fine If the Honda Civic Si is Sedan Only

We gave you all the goods on the 2022 Honda Civic hatchback yesterday, and part of that reporting also mentioned the Si performance trim — and how it’s likely that the Si trim will be offered only on sedan models.

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  • FreedMike It's not cheap, but 45 grand for a car with this kind of performance, equipment level and practicality isn't a bad deal at all. @Tim - I think you have the wrong transmission listed in the box above. The DSG is a seven-speed, not a six-speed.
  • FreedMike During my second year of college, I took my first French class, where I discovered that if you remove the "e" from "Citroen," you get the French word for "lemon." My family had a Citroen - an SM, no less. Completely appropriate. Nice logo or not, Stellantis is going to have an uphill battle reintroducing this brand - or any French brand, for that matter.
  • IBx1 It works better as an oval than a circle as it appears in the headline photo, but I generally dislike the 2D logos everyone in the industry is adopting and think badge looked great since '09.
  • Pbxtech I like it, but it's not an improvement. Lateral move at best.
  • Cprescott It is not a disaster like the 2024 Ford Mustake.