Tag: QOTD

By on December 9, 2019

Subaru Ascent

We don’t know about the rest of you lot, but the vast majority of us who toil at this august publication reside well within the snow belt. Starting around this time of year, shovelling, bundling up, and generally cursing at cold weather is a daily occurrence for most of the masthead.

Modern cars are virtually maintenance-free these days — save for vital fluids, of course — especially compared to the Bad Old Days when one had to gap plugs and set points in order to get to church on time. Despite this, are there any particular ways in which you prepare your car for winter?

(Read More…)

By on December 6, 2019

gm

Cars are out, crossovers are in. This is as true as saying the sun rises in the east or that the slow air leak in your back tire will eventually get worse. It’s a given, and, with the current onslaught of crossovers now trickling into previously unexplored white space, your choice has never been greater.

2019 may be remembered as the year automakers broke out of traditional segments and began inserting boxy products into that narrow window between existing models. Chevrolet, Buick, and Mazda all decided it was a good idea to pursue buyers in tweener segments. The question today is: have any of these supposedly right-sized products moved you to consider a brand you’d normally have ignored? (Read More…)

By on December 4, 2019

An article posted yesterday on these renowned pages really got me thinking about how certain brands seem to not have much of a future in the automotive landscape of 2020 — and beyond. If you didn’t click the link there, you may be wondering which brand I’m presently speaking of. It is of course Alfa Romeo.

Let’s do some Italian-style pondering.

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By on December 3, 2019

2018 Ford Super Duty, Image: Ford

Depending on your lifestyle, hanging something off the rear bumper of your car, SUV, or pickup might be a regular occurence. Maybe you’re a member of the horsey set, hauling thoroughbreds to and from the tonier enclaves of Southern California or Kentucky. Perhaps you’re a road trip buff with a family to lug around. It could be that boats and ATVs consume every minute of your waking thoughts, and the contents of your garage show it.

Or, just maybe, you’re the owner of an old Mazda B-Series who searches in vain every week for just enough scrap metal to keep the lights on at home.

At some point in your towing experience, did something go terribly awry? (Read More…)

By on December 2, 2019

frozen car. Shutterstock user Pixelcruiser

Winter arrived north of the border with a bang this weekend, catching some people and good many municipal snowplows off guard. Stuck and otherwise immobile vehicles littered the roadway like debris at a ticker tape parade.

This frozen wasteland got your author thinking — what’s the stickiest situation in which you’ve ever placed a vehicle?

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By on November 30, 2019

We don’t normally ask questions on the weekend, but in the spirit of the holiday, coupled with the fact that too much excitement could aggravate your already elevated cholesterol and blood pressure, we’d like to know what you’re thankful for in the automotive realm. Hardly original, sure, but bear with us.

There’s one caveat here: this question only pertains to contemporary OEM products and features, not bygone equipment or aftermarket upgrades. There’ll be no giving thanks for three-speed manuals or the Oldsmobile brand today.

With bitching now the top-ranked pastime, let’s speak from the heart and pin down something automotive that makes being alive in 2019 great. (Read More…)

By on November 27, 2019

Today’s Question of the Day was generated by some comments on yesterday’s post regarding the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer. There, it was clear that two divergent camps of opinion were present regarding the model’s long hiatus.

Let’s explore this a little further.

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By on November 26, 2019

Last week’s Tesla Cybertruck introduction is still dominating discourse, and in classic Tesla fashion, it’s doing so in a truly annoying way. Following a sketchy tug-of-war with a downslope-pointed, rear-drive F-150 intended to show the cockroach-shaped Cybertruck’s brawn, Ford has demanded a do-over on a (literal) level playing field.

Again, it’s annoying.

While “polarized” doesn’t begin to describe the reaction to Cybertruck, one comment about the retro-futuristic EV caught my eye. It was a reason why someone might not consider the vehicle, and it has nothing to do with power, price, or build quality. (Read More…)

By on November 25, 2019

The internet collectively lost its mind when Elon Musk rolled out his Cybertruck last week in California. More polarizing than the ends of two magnets, people either loved or hated the thing. But — and this is key — regardless on which side of the fence a person stood, it seemed that everyone was surprised by how the thing looked.

Today’s QOTD is easy: what other vehicle debuts caught you off-guard?

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By on November 21, 2019

1968 Ford LTD in Colorado wrecking yard, trunk - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Wednesday night marked the first time this season that yours truly was called upon to perform an annual ritual; one that falls on random days throughout the cold and dark months. A friend called me for a boost. While jumping dead batteries is a task I loathe — all stemming from a childhood fear of electricity — I perform the task at least once a winter, sometimes several times, and have for two decades.

Why? I’m always the guy with the cables. And it’s only during battery-reviving excursions like this that I pause to think about all the crap that accumulates in a person’s trunk during the year and how, quite often, most of that junk is of zero usefulness to the owner in the event of a breakdown or emergency.

So, how much of what’s in your trunk actually serves a useful purpose? (Read More…)

By on November 20, 2019

pt cruiserIn our question of the day post last Wednesday, we asked you to submit the vehicles that left you wondering what the manufacturers behind them were thinking. Today, we’ll take the opposite tack and focus our attention on the automotive products which came along at exactly the right time.

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By on November 19, 2019

Forgive us for this post, one which yet again delves into a vehicle that, for good or bad, came in like the proverbial wrecking ball. Busted up the joint. People are abuzz, and so is Adam, whose opinions on the Ford Mustang Mach-E flowed like water through a breached dam on Monday.

Again and again (and not just from Adam) a hypothetical scenario reared its head — what if the Mustang Mach-E emerged from behind the curtain wearing another badge? (Read More…)

By on November 18, 2019

Ford dropped the Mustang Mach-E (don’t forget the hyphen or you’ll get a personal visit from Jim Hackett himself) in L.A. last night, marking another chapter in what can only be called Adventures in Branding.

It isn’t the first time a company has tried to mine the credibility of an established name when introducing a new car. This new EV from the Blue Oval certainly ranks in the top 10 examples of this practice. There are plenty more, of course. What one sticks out in your mind?

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By on November 15, 2019

1979 Lincoln Continental Bill Blass Edition Profile, Image: © Forest Casey

Despite what the media tells us, kids have a lot of dumb ideas. That said, plenty of youngins possess a wit and canniness that defies their years, sometimes — perhaps even often — making them better company than obnoxious know-it-alls in their 20s.

I used to babysit a coworker’s son by taking him to the bar, so these sentiments come from experience.

Thinking back to one’s own childhood, it’s often embarrassing to recall the things we believed at the time; things that the march of time revealed to be untrue. In regard to the automotive realm, what beliefs did a younger you hold as an unshakable truth? (Read More…)

By on November 14, 2019

Gee, what are we going to talk about today? What issue could possibly stimulate a little dialogue on this frosty November morning?

How about… the newest member of the Mustang family. Yes, the Mustang Mach-E, which is neither a coupe, a car, nor the recipient of an internal combustion engine, is now a member of a family that once hosted but a single occupant (with varying lengths of hair), stretching back to the time when Lee Iacocca was just a brash young Ford exec with an idea.

Totally awesome idea, or pull-your-hair-out, froth-at-the-mouth blasphemy? (Read More…)

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