By on July 10, 2020

Image: 2017 Dodge Journey SE, via FCA

By now you’ve heard, been told, or simply noticed that the Dodge lineup for 2021 contains but three models: the Charger, Challenger, and Durango. A trifecta of AARP members, now endowed with as much horsepower as Fiat Chrysler could rustle up from its deep parts bin.

Gone for ’21, but hardly forgotten, is the Grand Caravan, a pioneer of the minivan segment and a stalwart Dodge model seemingly immune to inflation. We knew its demise was coming. Same goes for the other model axed for 2021 — the Dodge Journey — though the discontinuation of this vehicle isn’t nearly as likely to elicit tearful, glowing eulogies at the wake.

Perhaps you’d like to say a few words? (Read More…)

By on July 9, 2020

The Twitterverse — which is a horrible place, by the way — finds itself rocked this week, torn asunder and factionalized by the mass signing of a remarkably anodyne letter supporting free speech and open discussion. Twenty-six-year-old NYC bloggers are up in arms; here at Casa Steph, the popcorn bucket’s working overtime.

But while these warriors clash in the online streets over the core tenet of liberal democracy, a great number of opinions, beliefs, and offbeat thoughts remain behind lock and key in our own minds. The subjects these thoughts cover are vast in scope, and one of them is surely cars. Yes, cars. And trucks, and those who build them.

Let’s exercise a little free speech today. (Read More…)

By on July 7, 2020

We all know someone who’s had a kid. Yup, procreation still happens in today’s enlightened society, and with that babymaking comes a rapid accumulation of stuff. It’s a scourge, and this disgruntled, childless writer has long railed against the steady onward march of this phenomenon.

Y’all are spoiling your children. They’ve got too much stuff.

More often than not — almost inevitably, really — this new addition to the household precipitates another change in either the driveway or garage. (Read More…)

By on July 2, 2020

As you read in the previous post, Lincoln has finally admitted what everyone by now knew — that the Continental’s days are numbered. The marque plans to shelve the model after pulling the plug on production at the end of the year.

Big sedans have all the appeal of an uncontrolled cough in a crowded elevator right now, so there’s dim hope that the Continental name will ever grace a stately, rear-drive sedan or coupe in anyone’s near future. At least we have our memories, though… not all of which are good ones. (Read More…)

By on June 30, 2020

Ford

Like the server who came to your table that one time, Ford’s 2021 F-150 boasts many appealing attributes — so many, in fact, it may have you thinking about ditching your current ride for a new one.

Evolutionary on the outside and innovative within, the next-gen pickup offers owners ample space for both sleeping and work. It’s the latter feature we’re discussing today, as it seems Ford had a simple solution to its table problem all along. (Read More…)

By on June 26, 2020

ford

The hazy year of 1981 brought the world many things, among them, yours truly. It was also a year that sent bullets flying through the air towards several world figures; a year that saw interest rates soar to new heights (while horsepower values fell to dismal lows), and brought what was arguably the last year of true classic rock.

In the background, New Wave ominously gathered strength.

Also gathering strength? The Ford F-Series’s popularity, as the model line donned the hat of best-selling vehicle in the U.S. that year. The F-Series traces its lineage to the Truman administration, and we now have a new generation to ooh and aah over. (Read More…)

By on June 25, 2020

kia

You were probably thrilled to get a glimpse of the next-generation Kia Sedona yesterday, perhaps even dissolving into uncontrollable babbling, tears rolling unchecked down your crimson cheeks. Pull yourself together! It’s still a minivan. Kia just decided to play dress-up, disguising the new people mover as everyone’s favorite vehicle type: the easy-driving, socially acceptable crossover.

We’ve reached a point in history when the utility and versatility of a minivan — a once huge segment of the American auto landscape — needs to be dressed up as a SUV in order to (hopefully) sell. Are the segment’s attributes not enough? Clearly not. Stigma of such vehicles and declining sales forced Kia’s hand, prompting a re-do. But it begs the question — could it force a change in your thinking? (Read More…)

By on June 24, 2020

No, I won’t rest until Subaru returns with a true successor to the brash and youthful Brat. I’ve harped on this desire in the past when we asked what vehicle the well fleshed-out Subaru lineup lacked, and I’ll do so again today.

With Hyundai’s Santa Cruz entering production in Alabama next year and Ford working on a unibody challenger, the timing will never be more right. (Read More…)

By on June 23, 2020

mitsubishi

Is Mitsubishi about to try on Fiat’s shoes? After the Japanese automaker’s CEO presented a new business plan that aligns with the goals of its alliance bunk mates late last week, it’s starting to look that way.

The Mirage maker, suddenly eager to save cash and firm up its foundation, plans to pull back in the North American market, preferring instead to focus on Southeast Asia and other overseas environs. It’s not that the brand wasn’t growing its sales in the U.S. and Canada; it was. Its dealer network was steadily adding stores, too, and 2019 was the brand’s best sales year since 2007.

What we ask you today is: should “pulling back” turn into pulling out? (Read More…)

By on June 22, 2020

2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Don’t you love it when an automaker comes out with a survey? Served up with a huge grain of salt, such surveys are only published when they reinforce a conclusion the OEM already wishes to make, and always in the service of marketing.

There’s a Ford F-150 coming on June 25th, and it seems the Blue Oval now wants to talk to you about sex and booze. (Read More…)

By on June 17, 2020

Nothing like a nice evening drive on a warm summer’s night, streetlights whipping by as the western horizon glows with hues of peach and lavender. Yessir, there’s nothing like some leisurely motoring. And what’s that up ahead?

Oh, an FJ Cruiser, Toyota’s answer to the retro craze sweeping the industry back in the early to middle 2000s. Big ol’ thing, it was — and thirsty, too. Kept its resale value, though, but certainly not its initial sales prowess. That thing’s popularity dwindled faster than inhibitions at a kegger.

Will a time ever come when automakers again dive into retro with such ferocity, I wondered? (Read More…)

By on June 12, 2020

2018 Kia Stinger GT front seat

Something appeared on social media yesterday that inspired a healthy bit of conversation among the denizens of the TTAC chatroom/lounge.

On the subject of cars that are not actually “cool,” one participant in the chat — we’ll call him “Adam T” (wait, that’s too obvious; maybe “A. Tonge” is better) — posited that a certain rear-drive sports sedan does not deserve the label of “cool.”

Perhaps you agree. (Read More…)

By on June 11, 2020

1987 Shelby CSX (P), Image: Shelby Automobiles

“Huh, I wouldn’t have figured you for a [insert make and model here] driver.”

“You don’t seem like the type to drive a…”

You get the idea. The personality we project in polite social and work settings might not be the primal being that emerges when no one’s around. There’s a bit of Jekyll and Hyde in all of us, and it sometimes manifests itself in what we drive. All too often, of course, the mundane reality of personal finances keep even these urges under wraps.

But not always. (Read More…)

By on June 10, 2020

A very minor occurrence nudged my brain in this direction. One the way home from nowhere last night, a cop lit himself up like a Christmas tree in order to blow a light, his 3.7-liter V6 screaming as it strained to move the Police Interceptor Utility’s bulk with something approaching alacrity.

Which got me to thinking about the previous-generation Explorer and its platform mate, the defunct Lincoln MKT — both of which offered a 2.0-liter four-cylinder for a time. And from that, a question formed. What specific vehicles would you call under-engined? (Read More…)

By on June 9, 2020

The other day, we posed the question of whether you’ve ever regretted lending your vehicle to another individual. Not hard to see how something could go wrong in a hurry in that situation; God knows we’re a flawed species. Hopefully the memories weren’t too painful.

Perhaps less soul-destroying is what we’ve come here today to ask. While this has everything to do with the loaning of personal property to another, the situation is reversed. And the “friend” element is, for the most part, gone.

We’ve all dropped our ride off at the dealer or the local mechanic for necessary surgery (or BS servicing required to keep the warranty intact), and not all of us had a friend, spouse, or bus waiting to take us back home or to work that morning. Instead, we were handed the key to a wholly unfamiliar car. (Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • DenverMike: Adequate? Yeah how exciting. I should pay (lease) all that money, for adequate?? Anyway, why does it have...
  • EBFlex: “The typical lack of quality that Ford puts into every vehicle made.” you can say that for FIAT as well....
  • Imagefont: Putting a powerful V8 in a Wrangler would be monumentally stupid. The 3.6V6 is perfectly adequate....
  • Art Vandelay: And these are all stupid anyway per these hallowed forums. The Telluride is whatcha need!
  • ajla: I’ll have to see how it works out. The Pentastar doesn’t do it for me though and I don’t like...

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