Throughout The Car Industry
Categories: Car Reviews
In recent years, carmakers have been under tons of pressure to develop more fuel efficient vehicles. They have been obligated by the government to get their corporate EPA numbers up however possible. So that’s what they’ve been doing… Or saying that’s what they’ve been doing anyway. In 2014, however, Hyundai (along with its subsidiary Kia) were hit with the single biggest fine in the era of the Clean Air Act. Why such heavy discipline? Well, it seems that Hyundai sort of… embellished… the ability of a few models' ability to achieve 40 miles per gallon on the highway. And by “few”, we mean around 1.2 million vehicles in all. The Elantra actually got closer to 38 mpg, not the 40 as advertised. And while that small two-mile-per-gallon discrepancy may not seem like a big deal, when you are lying to customers who are basing their purchasing decisions on cars that are very similar and one edges the other out, or seems to anyway, in fuel economy and then doesn’t, you’re going to have quite a few angry folks knocking on your door. The fine levied by the government was enormous—$100 million in total—and beyond that Hyundai lost another $200 million in greenhouse-gas emissions credits it got for claiming to have high-efficiency vehicles. After they got kicked in the teeth for lying, Hyundai downgraded the Elantra’s highway mpg to 38 mpg, and made the decision to build a car that lived up to its claims.
It’s always instructive to glance at the vehicles car makers offer outside of the market you’re familiar with – often you encounter interesting, clever vehicles. The Skoda Citigo sits in a niche which doesn’t exist in the USA - cars smaller/cheaper than the Ford Fiesta. The Citigo has 995cc three cylinder turbo diesel usually mated to a six speed manual transmission, and returns a real world 65mpg and costs less than $100 a month.
Firstly, and most importantly, it goes down the road feeling like a real car: the Citigo fully occupies its lane, isn't blown around by other traffic and has the power to keep up with the ambient flow of traffic, as opposed to feeling like your writer felt on a rainy freeway on a Yamaha 125 being overtaken by 18 wheelers.
Posted In: Car Reviews
Tags: Jon Summers, Skoda Citigo roadtest, Skoda Citigo review
I'm a guy who first got a drivers license during the latter portion of the 1970s. I grew up in New Jersey, where you could get a drivers license at that time when you reached the age of 17. As that fateful day approached, I started to evaluate the used car that would be right for me.
No matter who you are or where you go, car fanatics will almost always be biased on certain cars. That bias may be in the positive, and you’ve seen these people. They think that their preferred car is the fastest, best built, and obviously most visually appealing automobile on the market, and nothing you can say to the contrary, even if it is meant in a purely benign manner and only to stimulate productive discussion, will ever be seen as anything other than a slight to their beloved vehicle which they will defend to the death. German car owners are the first group to come to mind when talking about this auto hubris; American owners are second. Conversely, those that are against a certain group of cars will simply dismiss any and every piece of information that may lead them to draw a different conclusion than their already predisposed idea that the car they have always hated is forever still a piece of junk, that it is either overpriced, underperforms, looks hideous, or some combination of negative traits. Once again, American, German, and even Japanese cars come to mind. But, sometimes, even though you may hate a car, and may want to dislike it profusely, sometimes, you have to just shut up and give it the respect it deserves.
Posted In: Car Reviews, Special / Limited Edition
Tags: Car Review, 2017 BMW M4 GTS, bmw, m4, GTS
Practical, pleasant to drive, and showing some design flair were the impressions left by a few hours spent with a 2016 Jeep Renegade. Chrysler's design team has long been noticeable for their ability to “do the most with the least”—Charger immediately springs to mind—and Renegade is cut from this cloth. In both size and ethos the Renegade reflects the original military Jeep, now reinvented for twenty-first century urban living.
Posted In: Driving, Car Reviews, Professional Car Reviews
Tags: CAR REVIEW, 2016 Jeep Renegade, Jeep Renegade, 2016 Jeep roadtest
It may be too long ago for half of the people who are considered ‘legal adults’ at this point to remember, but there once was a time when if you wanted a pickup truck, you had one choice per company. Chevy had the Silverado, Ford had the F-Series, and Dodge had the Ram. And that was it. Oh, you wanted a smaller truck? Buy a Ranchero or a station wagon. But, enough people clamored for a smaller truck and, suddenly, they were everywhere. Chevy created the S10 line, Ford had the Ranger, Dodge had the Dakota. Even Toyota jumped into the mix in the 1990s with the Tacoma, and then moved up to create the full-sized Tundra. Then, carmakers started realizing that people enjoyed the interior volume of four-door pickups with the versatility of having a bed, just in case they had to hit up Home Depot on the weekends with the kids in the car. Suddenly, there was a new kind of pickup truck. A pickup truck that wasn’t quite a full pickup truck. Technically, a mid-sized sport utility truck. These were trucks like the Chevy Avalanche, Ford Explorer Sport Trac, Lincoln Blackwood, and the Cadillac Escalade EXT. Seeing all the success companies were having creating trucks, especially companies like Japanese rival Toyota, the folks at Honda decided in the mid-2000s to step into the mix. Enter the Honda Ridgeline.
Few cars in the world seem to be able to make it past a few model years. For the few models that do, some tend to fade away by trying to change its image, or make radical changes, or, on the other end, not change enough to keep up with the times and watch their customer base walk off towards some newer model. But, sometimes, there are some models that just have a special something. Some models are able to rise above the madness of the global need for new and different, and change with the times, instead of watching the times either change them beyond recognition or simply pass them by.
Posted In: Car Reviews, Special / Limited Edition, Professional Car Reviews
Tags: reviews, Chevrolet, Corvette, Grand Sport
When it comes to Ferraris, any new addition is celebrated by its many adoring fans like a new child in the family. The only sad part about adding a new Ferrari is that more often than not, it comes at the cost of losing one of our favorites. The new Ferrari 458 Italia is no different. With its arrival, we must now cast off one of the most beautiful and crazy fast stallions from Maranello, the F430. From 2005-2009 the F430 scorched streets and racetracks all over the world with its 483-horsepower 4.3-liter banshee-imitating V8 that pushed that car in to a terminal velocity of 196 mph. You had your choice of either a traditional six-speed manual, or an F1-style six-speed electro-hydraulic paddle shifter. It was a car that was called by some (including your author) as the most captivating Ferrari since the mighty F40. With such large tires to fill, the question is: Is the new 458 Italia up to the task?
Posted In: Classics, Exotics, Car Reviews, Professional Car Reviews
Tags: car reviews, ferrari, 458 Italia
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple decades, it should come as no surprise that SUVs are popular. Very popular. In fact, we would like to declare here and now that the SUV, of some type, is going to be around for a very, very long time, possibly as long as people still use personal vehicles for transportation. People love them and car makers can't seem to make enough of them. Every manufacturer has their hand in the cookie pot, because the profit that stems from these car/trucks make for some damn fine tasting cookies.
Posted In: Car Reviews, Professional Car Reviews
Tags: car reviews, 2017 Jaguar F-Pacejaguar, f-pace
In the hundred-plus years that cars have been around, there has been a divergence of the car philosophy. This has come about for different reasons, a lot of which have to do with money. The income of a potential owner is obviously a big factor in producing a car. But, after that, the general mission statements for some cars have gone is entirely different directions. For example, some cars are just cars. They are simple, basic transportation that gets us from point A to point B. Your Toyota Corolla, Ford Fiesta, and Honda Fit are all cars that do just what they're supposed to do: Take people from one place to another more quickly than if they had attempted to walk or ride a bike. Then, on the other end of that spectrum, are insanely impractical, wholly purpose-built nigh-racecars that have been created to haul its passenger from one place to another in a stunning spectacle of lavish excess. Cars like the Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita, Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari LaFerrari, or Lamborghini Veneno are all simply the ultimate expressions of excess.
Posted In: Car Reviews, Professional Car Reviews
Tags: car review, 2017 Audi R8, reviews, audi, R8
The world of midsize sedans is a brutal market to compete in. The big champs of the segment are the Camry and the Accord, who trade blows year after year battling for supremacy of the heavyweight sales division. But, aside from those perennial all-stars, there are some other competitors that have been trying to make their mark against those bruisers for some time. Known mostly for their all-wheel drive systems, and their rally-inspired WRX models, Subaru has been trying to establish itself as more than just a boy-racer brand in recent years. The model in center stage of those attempts is their midsize model, the Legacy.
Posted In: Car Reviews, Professional Car Reviews
Tags: car Review of the 2016 Subaru Legacy, subaru, legacy,