By on February 4, 2019

1992 Jaguar XJ6 Vanden Plas Majestic in Colorado wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2019 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsJaguar XJ40s are so plentiful in U-Wrench-It yards that I don’t even notice them as I wander around searching for the elusive Suzuki Equator (no luck there, yet). In fact, none of the Jags I’ve photographed prior to today’s Junkyard Find have been XJ40s, but we’ve got a one-of-121-built super-rarity here in Denver: a genuine Vanden Plas Majestic! (Read More…)

By on January 16, 2019

Following leaked images that made the rounds online, BMW has officially taken the wraps off the 2020 7 Series. The latest update to the German manufacturer’s luxury line plays host to an almost comically oversized kidney grille, slimmer headlamps, and some zestier powertrain options.

However, before we get into technical and mechanical upgrades, we need to address the elephant in the room. The 7 Series’ new styling is not inelegant, but that grille occupies an alarming amount of space. BMW updated the look to more closely resemble its new X7 SUV and decided that meant installing a similarly massive chromed beak. (Read More…)

By on November 30, 2018

The Buy/Drive/Burn series has ventured into unpopular cars territory a time or two before. Most recently we discussed three large American sedans that are most unpopular indeed (two of those three are now on their way out). Today we pick a Buy amongst three lower-volume midsize offerings from second-tier luxury brands.

(Read More…)

By on October 29, 2018

Image: Corey Lewis./TTAC

Acura’s entry level ILX is redesigned for the 2019 model year. With new styling and additional technology on board, it fulfills the brand’s desire to display a cohesive design language across all models. But is this refresh of a refresh any good? We headed to Columbus to find out.

(Read More…)

By on August 9, 2018

One of our trio is on its last legs, another is brand new, and the third option is near the middle of its life. They all share V8 power up front, driven wheels at the rear, and midsections full of luxury equipment. Most people avoided them when new, so it should be no problem finding one to burn.

Right?

(Read More…)

By on April 12, 2018

Last time on Buy/Drive/Burn, we took a look at full-size sedans of an American persuasion and non-luxury intent. The consensus was loud and clear on which vehicle of the trio to burn; the Taurus was the subject of a flame war. Citing the sedan’s outdated everything and bad packaging, most of you didn’t like it.

Some of you also complained that the three offerings were too basic, and lacking in content and luxury. Today we turn up the luxury dial and look at three full-size Americans which are a bit more aspirational.

Ready, comrades? This might be tough.

(Read More…)

By on January 5, 2018

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio - Image: FCA

Alfa Romeo “outperformed all others in U.S. sales last year,” posting astronomical year-over-year gains. At least, that’s how Bloomberg frames it in a recent news article. By that logic, infants everywhere outperformed long-distance runners by taking their first steps last year.

As Fiat Chrysler’s sexiest brand, Alfa has only recently made its return to the North American market. Therefore, referencing a large improvement in overall sales isn’t quite so impressive, considering the borderline mainstream Giulia has only just been added to the product lineup. Prior to 2017, the brand’s singular offering in the United States was the mid-engined 4C sports car.

(Read More…)

By on December 17, 2017

A Class Concept Mercedes, Image: Daimler AG

When you desperately want a status-defining automobile from Mercedes-Benz, but haven’t budgeted for it, you have a few of options. You could purchase either the GLA or CLA250 for around $33,000 — or take the nontraditional route, save yourself a bundle, and buy a Metris van. But, since the CLA is technically a “four-door coupe,” there’s nothing out there for sedan shoppers who can’t afford the pricier C-Class.

Benz is planning on changing that by bringing the updated A-Class to the United States next fall, thereby making it the brand’s new entry-level model for the region.  (Read More…)

By on September 15, 2017

Genesis G70

Ever since Hyundai spun Genesis off into its own premium brand, we’ve been trying to figure out where it best fits. While an Asian brand, it lacks the quirkiness of most of its Japanese equivalents. It’s also not flashy like most American luxury makes. That leaves Europe and, from an aesthetics perspective, that’s probably the region Genesis spends most of its time focused on beating. It’s easy to imagine that somewhere in South Korea there’s a boardroom filled with dozens of dart boards plastered with photos of the C-Class and 3 Series, each riddled with holes.

However, the fledgling brand lacked a midsize entrant and you can’t really throw down in that part of the world without one. Fortunately, the solution to the brand’s problems is almost ready. Called the G70, it was revealed Friday at the automaker’s design center in Namyang, Korea — and subsequently announced for North America in early 2018, as a 2019 model.

Just showing up won’t be enough, so Genesis has done everything it can to ensure buyers can have the G70 on their terms and at a reasonable price. The brand has already proven it can compete on the premium landscape with its G80 and G90, but with the way it talks about the new midsize, it’s starting to sound like it also wants to dominate it.  (Read More…)

By on August 21, 2017

2017 Lexus ES300h red - Image: © Timothy CainThis is not a proper review, not the kind of tome presented to TTAC’s audience after a major vehicle spends a full week with one of the site’s editors. I didn’t drive the 2017 Lexus ES300h across multiple states. I didn’t resolve to land on as many beaches as possible on EV power. I didn’t get a proper chance to take pictures. I hardly drove the Lexus ES300h at all.

Ah, but the one journey undertaken by the midsize luxury hybrid and your humble TTAC Prince Edward Island bureau chief was quite a journey indeed.

What happens when the least sporting Lexus car is suddenly tasked with arriving at a destination on the other side of the Island in order to be removed from Island duty? What happens when you rush a car that was never intended to be one of Lexus’ rushable cars?

Decidedly un-hybrid-like mileage, for one thing. (Read More…)

By on April 24, 2017

2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue in Arizona wrecking yard, LH front view - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

The Oldsmobile Division had just six years to live when the Intrigue appeared in the 1998 model year, and this car was Oldsmobile’s final version of the long-lived GM W platform. I see thousands of W-bodies every year, during my junkyard travels, but it takes a special one to make me reach for my camera. Say, a supercharged Daytona 500 Edition Grand Prix, or a Lumina Euro, or a genuine Phoenix Open-badged Intrigue.

Here’s an example of the latter car that I found languishing in a Phoenix wrecking yard, just 30 miles from the Phoenix Open’s high-zoot venue. (Read More…)

By on December 9, 2016

All four Lexus LS generations - Images: Toyota Canada

The current automotive climate is not a favourable one for full-size sedans, luxury or otherwise.

Many automakers have persevered, reinvesting in their flagship sedans despite decreased demand. BMW, for instance, suffered a 29-percent loss in U.S. 7 Series demand over the last decade, yet the company introduced two new generations of 7 Series during that period.

Lexus, however, has allowed the LS to wallow in a pool of its own misery. The car that started it all for Lexus was once a conservative, value priced, marketplace leader in the full-size sector; a car that could beat the overpriced Germans at their own game. Now, the decade-old fourth-generation Lexus LS has all but disappeared from the public consciousness. Sales have fallen 73 percent since 2006.

Toyota has finally determined that it’s time for a new Lexus LS. In fact, it’s been time for a new Lexus LS for quite a while. (Read More…)

By on December 8, 2016

2017 Lincoln Continental - Image: Ford

There remains a select group of American car buyers who are actually buyers of cars. In fact, there are still American car buyers who want American cars. Indeed, there are still a number of American car buyers who want American luxury cars.

As an example, consider the all-new Lincoln Continental.

It’s not a hot seller — at least not in the conventional sense of the word. The new Lincoln Continental isn’t topping the sales charts. Indeed, given the fact, in November, the Continental was America’s 17th-best-selling premium brand car, it may not even be a warm seller.

But there are a couple of indicators that suggest the 2017 Lincoln Continental is over-performing; that it’s exceeding Ford Motor Company’s expectations. That’s not bad news for America’s remaining handful of American luxury car aficionados, especially with the measure of success being enjoyed by a cross-town Continental rival. (Read More…)

By on April 30, 2015

2015 Cadillac ATS

The Cadillac ATS’s launch in the fourth-quarter of 2012 was the most important for the Cadillac brand since whatever Cadillac’s previous most important launch was.

But very early on, Cadillac simply wasn’t selling as many as they wanted to. Sales weren’t terribly low – Cadillac averaged 3,200 U.S. ATS sales in calendar year 2013, but incentivization kicked in early. After peaking at 3,887 units in December 2013, sales have decreased on a year-over-year basis in 14 of 15 months, including in each of the last eleven months.

Only a two-unit, 0.07% uptick in April 2014 interrupted what would otherwise be a streak of decreases stretching back to the beginning of last year.

So here’s the question: with April sales results set to be released tomorrow, will the Cadillac ATS’s sales stats display a full year of year-over-year monthly declines? (Read More…)

By on December 24, 2013

2014 Citroën DS 5LS 04
Unveiled at a special event in Paris last week, Citroën’s DS 5LS is the French automaker’s first premium variant of the DS sub-brand. Don’t expect to park this one at the Louvre, however; the DS 5LS is destined solely for the Chinese market.

(Read More…)

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