We make no claim to objectivity. We’re often asked, by readers and automakers alike, what the qualifications are for an All-Star award. It’s simple. It has to be a car (or truck) on sale in America at the time of our fall testing exercises. The reigning Automobile of the Year is never an All-Star, which is why you won’t read about the Tesla Model S here. We generally, but don’t always, exclude exotic metal. We bring no score sheets, just open minds and a desire to recognize the best and most significant vehicles. This year, sixteen editors and contributors voted for some twenty-five brands and forty-four models — loudly arguing over some of them — but only eleven vehicles got their names engraved on a 2013 All-Star trophy. And who doesn’t like a trophy? This year, we went a step further and took those winners on adventures on three continents.The Golden Age of Sports CarsChevrolet Camaro ZL1 / Porsche BoxsterSubaru BRZ/Scion FR-S This is the … [Read more...] about 2013 Automobile Magazine All-Stars
With our first ever Ferrari loan confirmed, it was time to plan logistics. What roads should we take en route to Maranello? Who of the team did we need to make this a killer trip? What camera gear should we bring? And most importantly, what second vehicle should we take as a reliable crew car that would meet all our needs of space, reliability, range, ease-of-use and comfort. And so it was that I called Skoda to chance my arm and ask for a Kodiaq, the brand’s new SUV that I’d already read good things about on websites like Autocar. “What would you like the car for?” was the first question, to which I answered very honestly “I want to go abroad with four men and lots of cameras”. After allaying any fears of illegal activity or public nudity, a 10-day loan was agreed and the car you see in these pictures was to be our reliable chariot whose brakes would soon cook on the Stelvio and whose 12V would give out twice and refuse to charge a laptop. … [Read more...] about How This 1.4 Skoda Kodiaq Became Our Best Friend On A 2000 Mile Ferrari Road Trip
The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class facelift has finally made its global premiere in Shanghai, bringing with it a plethora of improvements including an updated engine range, new technologies and additional features. According to Mercedes-Benz, its flagship was the best-selling luxury sedan in the world in 2016, and it will certainly want to keep that momentum going. As before, the S-Class is available with a short wheelbase (W222), long wheelbase (V222) and the even longer wheelbase (X222) Mercedes-Maybach. Mercedes-AMG versions are also offered in the form of the S 63 4Matic+ and S 65, both of which are long-wheelbase versions only. On the S 63 4Matic+, a 4.0 litre biturbo V8 engine (shared with the AMG GT, C 63 and E 63) provides 612 hp at 5,500-6,000 rpm and 900 Nm of torque at 2,750-4,500 rpm. The mill replaces the previous 5.5 litre biturbo V8, and sends its power to all four wheels via a new nine-speed AMG Speedshift MCT automatic transmission and an AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel … [Read more...] about W222 Mercedes-Benz S-Class facelift debuts – new engines, enhanced styling, additional technologies
The statement ‘The Koreans are coming’ is about as outdated as the Backstreet Boys. They were coming in the past decade, even up until a few years ago, but with this latest generation of products from Hyundai and Kia, the Koreans have truly arrived. By the way, Hyundai-Kia is the fourth largest car manufacturer in the world today, only behind Toyota, GM and VW. The tide really turned for Hyundai with this latest generation of products, which are obviously design led, with the tech to match. But looks weren’t always the priority. Study their relatively short history of making cars, and you’ll find a few phases. ‘America’s Best Warranty’ gave people less to worry about. Pic from my 1999 Road & Track In the early days, it was all about value, undercutting established names by a few thousand bucks and drawing in folks who want more for less. Then came the quest for reliability, and what better way to convince than to offer epic warranties? … [Read more...] about Embracing new thinking, searching for new possibilities: We look at the next phase in Hyundais evolution
BMW’s stand at the 2011 Geneva show in March will have this dramatic roadster concept. Called BMW Vision ConnectedDrive, this study is meant to show a glimpse into the future of intelligent networking between driver, vehicle and the environment. Think of the car working together with your smartphone to cater to your lifestyle in every aspect. “The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive concept study extrapolates the principle of intelligent networking of driver, vehicle and the outside world into the future. The vehicle is transformed perfectly naturally into a fully integrated part of the networked world and sets new standards in future comfort, infotainment and safety features,” says the release. This is divided into three aspects – safety, infotainment and comfort. The fundamental concept of BMW ConnectedDrive – the intelligent networking of driver, vehicle and the outside world – is expressed on four levels: the display and operating concept, an unparalleled … [Read more...] about BMW Vision ConnectedDrive: Networking tool of the future
“New York, New York, a helluva town. The Bronx is up but the Battery’s down.” New York City. The World’s Capital. It has something for everyone and everything for someone. One can travel the globe and never find better restaurants, theatre, shopping, museums, or music. It’s also an awful, awful place to drive. Parking is non-existent or hellaciously expensive. Taxi drivers show no concern for surrounding vehicles, changing lanes at will. Pedestrians leap out in front of vehicles–sometimes sober, but most of the time not. And the traffic! Sitting in the Lincoln Tunnel for ninety minutes “just because” is a daily occurrence. What vehicle can survive such a test? Enter the 2014 Chevrolet Impala. I had the privilege of facilitating a meeting at the Grand Cascades Lodge in Hamburg, New Jersey this week. It’s a beautiful facility, with rooms bigger than any of my first three apartments, a meticulously manicured golf course, and a Wine … [Read more...] about Bark’s Bites: Impala N’You
* You can see all my USA Coast to Coast Reports here! * After detailing the history and highlights of the Old Route 66 from Oklahoma to New Mexico, we now pause in New Mexico to analyse the vehicle landscape in Albuquerque and Gallup. This, a special feature on ethnic car buyers’ preferences and state-wide sales data below. First a bit of trivia about New Mexico: this state is the 5th most extensive (121,589 sq mi or 315,194 km2), the 36th most populous (2.1 million inhabitants) and the 6th least densely populated of the 50 United States. Inhabited by indigenous peoples of the Americas for centuries before European exploration, New Mexico then belonged to the Imperial Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain, then part of Mexico, a U.S. territory before finally becoming the 47th state in 1912. During World War II, the first atomic bombs were designed and manufactured at Los Alamos NM. New Mexico is often mistakenly believed to have borrowed its name from the nation of Mexico. This … [Read more...] about Coast to Coast 2014: New Mexico
Cheeseburgers and steering wheels are a dangerous combination -- at least that's what one resident of Cobb County, Georgia was told when he was ticketed for eating while driving. Madison Turner was doing what many folks do every week: juggling the demands of two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, a sesame-seed bun, and brakes. That's when an unnamed police officer decided that Mr. Turner's eating habits posed a threat to himself and other motorists, in violation of the county's distracted driving law. Was the officer right? Mr. Turner admits that he may have been "enjoying the burger too much. I needed to tone it down". (Whatever that means. Probably best not to dwell on it.) However, Turner's lawyer, William Head, is optimistic that his client's ticket will be tossed when they go before a judge on February 3: "There was no accident here, so the fact that this man was charged with eating and driving is a first for me." OUR TAKE We've spilled a lot of … [Read more...] about Is Driving While Eating The New Driving While Texting?
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take our awesome home theater-surround sound system with us on the road, especially if we’re frequently traveling or carry the family along? Sure, it costs a little more for the best in-car sound systems direct from the factory, but isn’t the pure enjoyment worth it? For the audiophiles among us, it definitely is. Here we take a look at some 2012 and one 2013 family cars with the best sound systems. Could you pay more? Undoubtedly you could, but there’s really no need, unless, of course, you’ve just hit the Lottery or come into an unexpected windfall. 2013 Lexus GS 350 Unveiled at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and available in February 2012, the 2013 Lexus GS 350 five-passenger mid-size luxury sport sedan will offer an available 835-watt 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system. The system provides 7.1 Surround Sound through 10 channels using a new class Digital amplifier and luxury-first Green Edge speakers … [Read more...] about 2012-2013 Family Cars With The Best Sound Systems
Free Price Quote From a Local Dealer No Obligation, Fast & Simple Free New Car Quote Change Car Select Make Acura Alfa Romeo Aston Martin Audi Bentley BMW Buick Cadillac Chevrolet Chrysler Dodge Ferrari FIAT Ford Genesis GMC Honda Hyundai Infiniti Jaguar Jeep Kia Lamborghini Land Rover Lexus Lincoln Lotus Maserati Mazda McLaren Mercedes-Benz MINI Mitsubishi Nissan Porsche Ram Rolls-Royce Scion smart Subaru Tesla Toyota Volkswagen Volvo Select ModelGO 1. Vehicle Option Trim Exterior Color No Preference Black Blue Brown Gold Green Orange Red Silver White Yellow Interior Color No Preference Beige Black Blue Gray Green Other Red White Buying Time Frame Within 48 hours Within a week Within two weeks Within a month More than a month Payment Method Undecided Loan Lease Cash Trade In? Yes No 2. Contact Info First Name Last Name Address City State -- AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH … [Read more...] about Celebrity Drive: Chef and TV Host Robert Irvine
Foodies start restaurants. Most new restaurants fail. Gearheads’ most common business dream/fantasy may be starting up a new car company. Those usually fail too. The appeal has attracted diverse entrepreneurs with near addictive quality, and with nearly the same ruinous results as a physical addiction. For every Walter Chrysler, there is at least one Henry J. Kaiser. For every Colin Chapman there has been a least a couple of Malcolm Bricklins. Bricklin’s own attempt to build a safety car was predated by that of Preston Tucker. Bricklin actually sold a lot more cars than Tucker ever did. That’s not even counting the frauds like “Liz Carmichael” and the Dale. Powell Crosley Jr. also caught the car building bug, and was both more successful and more influential than most of those dreamers. Crosley had an early interest in automobiles and before 1920 made a number of failed attempts to make cars. He was more successful, though, selling gadgets and accessories … [Read more...] about Look At What I Found!: 1951 Crosley Hotshot
Back in 1994, I bought a brand new Toyota Camry. It drove like an underpowered Mercedes with an advanced sixteen valve, four-cylinder engine. Unbelievably quiet, refined, and durable beyond compare. The Camry offered a level of quality back then that most other automakers couldn’t match at even twice the price. This good news spread throughout the land. Within eight years, everyone in my family along with millions of other new car buyers had a Camry or a Lexus ES300 in their garage. By 2002, Toyota had made the Toyota Camry a gold standard in the American marketplace and annually decimated the rest of best selling car rankings. The Camry was dominant, price aggressive, ubiquitous, and even hated. Hated it was first and most of all by those enthusiasts who always lust for a mainstream car that can offer more thrill. If your desires were more on the pistachio and less on the vanilla side of things, the Camry was not for you. As Jim Press, when he still was at Toyota, used to say: … [Read more...] about New Car Round-Robin: 2012 Toyota Camry LE
Honda’s decision to redesign the current Civic after barely a year on the market was described to me by one former Honda insider as “the closest they will ever come to admitting to gross incompetence.” Even though the Civic has been panned by most outlets, the staff at About.com called the Civic one of the Best New Cars of 2012. Aaron Gold, author of the piece, lauded the Civic for being “… the most comprehensive compact car on the market. You can get a sedan or a coupe; a high-fuel-efficiency version; a high-performance version; a leather-lined version; a hybrid version; even an alternative-fuel version that runs on clean natural gas. And whichever Civic you choose, you’re virtually guaranteed years of trouble-free motoring.” Gold’s depiction of the Civic brings to mind an automotive buffet. And like most buffet restaurants, the abundance of choice cannot be correlated with the quality of the offerings. Seeking a neutral, third-party … [Read more...] about 2012 Honda Civic Wins About.Com “Best New Cars Award”, Praise From Derek’s Grandma
(Let’s all welcome Zombie McQuestionbot back to TTAC. He’s a well-known and well-loved writer who is now writing for “bigger” and “better” and “more easily recognized” and “less thoroughly despised” outlets than this one, but we managed to convince him to write a few questions for us — JB) Mustangs. I know, right? I almost bought a Mustang once. Actually, I did buy a Mustang. I was in the American South on my way to see an actual underground bullfight, with a bull and everything. But it turned out that the two-year-old “Mustang” that I agreed to pay five thousand dollars for in a back room of a Mexican restaurant was actually a Mustang. You know, a horse. The good news is that “Trigger” and I had plenty of good years together before I let him retire to a farm in Oregon. For “plenty of good years” subtitute “one drunken night”. And for “a farm in Oregon” … [Read more...] about QOTD: What’s The Best Retro Mustang?
The internet has been a boon for car buyers in a million ways, but for new car marketers it’s been a decidedly mixed bag. GM’s California-only experiment selling new cars over eBay was quickly abandoned, after generating more embarrassment than sales. Now, another high-ish profile online new car marketing gag has flopped, as Autoweek reports that Groupon’s car debut is going nowhere: Only four consumers agreed to pay $200 for a $500 discount voucher on a new-vehicle purchase at LaFontaine Buick-GMC-Cadillac in Highland, Mich. Groupon and LaFontaine had set 10 as the minimum required for the vouchers to be issued. For companies like Tesla, who hope to do without traditional franchised dealers altogether (Chrysler may harbor similar desires), the internet is next great frontier in new car sales… but the eBay and Groupon failures are troubling signs for that dream. According to Donna Harris of Automotive News [sub], there were a few specific problems with the … [Read more...] about Will Online New Car Sales Ever Take Off? Should They?
We all dream of a white Christmas... but if snow does fall this winter, do you have the skills necessary to drive safely on challenging icy roads? As the scores of stranded motorists each year will testify, a lack of experience means we Brits are a bit clueless when it comes to driving on snow and ice. A winter driving course could help you combat the fear of driving during the tough winter months, as well as boost your skills so you actually know what you're doing. As well as being practical, they can be a lot of fun, too. Most courses will teach you how to control slides and drifts on real snow and ice, so expect to travel to get the most comprehensive training around. Scandanavia is a perennial favourite, especially the motor industry's testbed in Arjeplog, Sweden, but there are also some courses available in Canada, the Italian Alps or even here at home in Britain. Price: 450 Euros (£400) (www.bmw-drivingexperience.com) The majority of BMW's line-up is still rear-wheel … [Read more...] about Best intensive winter driving courses: improve your skills on snow and ice
Waymo & FCA are building 100 self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans For years, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne has been searching for a partner--a company to help FCA develop and build tomorrow's cars. He first tried hooking up with General Motors and Ford, both of which shot him down. Then in April, he hit up Google. 2018 Honda Odyssey teased ahead of Detroit debut The minivan wars are heating up this winter. Honda will take to the stage at next month's Detroit auto show with its fifth-generation Odyssey minivan, which arrives just months after arch-rival Chrysler reinvigorated its people-carrier lineup with the new-for-2017 Pacifica. Volkswagen to pay $200 million for cheating 3.0-liter diesels (but how much will owners get?) In September 2015, Volkswagen's Dieselgate scandal first began making headlines. Now, more than a year later, the gift that's given both nonstop headlines and harmful levels of pollutants is giving something else: $200 million in … [Read more...] about Autonomous Chrysler minivan, Mercedes-AMG GLC63 spied, BMW 530e iPerformance: What’s New @ The Car Connection
From the December 2016 issue Mario Fasanetto goes shrieking through the forests of the Eifel Mountains in a Lamborghini Aventador SV, a car that seemingly came about when Clark Kent and the devil had a baby. The Lambo’s body is slashed with cuts and gouged with holes and tattooed with black blades that order the wind to either go through it or around it. The four pipes under the rear origami “bumper” gush blue flame—flame!—a good six inches when the whip comes down on the 6.5-liter, 8500-rpm V-12. This is the car that appears when you call for an Uber in Mordor. Today is one of those special days when being a car-magazine editor is exactly what everyone thinks it’s like all the time. We’re behind Fasanetto, Lamborghini’s chief test driver, trying to keep up, two ham-handed journalists foolishly given our own 740-hp SVs. One is virtually identical to Fasanetto’s stock all-wheel-drive SV, and the other is a prototype with some … [Read more...] about Ringing the Bull: Testing the Lamborghini Aventador SV’s New Rear-Wheel Steering at the ‘Ring
In a market that has no shortage of worthy competitors, the Nissan Altima has etched a name for itself that we just can’t overlook. Sure, more notable models like the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry get more of the buzz, but the Altima, thanks to its redesigned exterior, sophisticated interior and a choice of two engines, is by no means a slouch. That’s crucial for young buyers of the vehicle and Nissan did a good job of keeping the Altima look sporty and athletic to cater to a new wave of potential customers. Updated 06/02/2014: Nissan announced prices for the 2015 Altima which is on sale now at Nissan dealers nationwide. Prices for the 2015 Altima will range from $22,300 for the base 2.5 version up to $31,950 for the 3.5 SL version. Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Nissan Altima. Exterior , especially when rivals like the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry are themselves attractive to look at for midsize sedans. So the Altima doesn’t fall … [Read more...] about 2014 – 2015 Nissan Altima
The Japanese automaker Honda has just reveled the first details on their all new crossover variant based on the popular Accord sedan, the Accord Crosstour , as it will be known will be placed at the top of the Honda Accord family and is slated to go on sale this Fall after today’s online debut. The new Accord Crosstour’s design is inspired by the Accord’s familiar body lines and adds a bolder front grille that is complemented by a bolder and more muscular front bumper giving the Crosstour an aggressive stance while the wedge shaped C pillars add a bit of a fastback appeal to the sporty CUV. The flowing roofline narrows smoothly into the rear of the vehicle to create an attractive set of hips, which also makes for a rather large cargo area that can fit a bit more than the traditional sedan. With the Honda Accord Crosstour, the world’s largest engine manufacturer is getting into the game of plus sized luxury sedans that offer the practicality of a wagon … [Read more...] about 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour