For over 20 years, Motor Trend has bestowed the Import Car of the Year award on the automobile that best embodies a significant achievement in design, engineering, innovation, performance, market influence, and value-within its category. Above all, this remarkable import must do so in a way that sets a new high-water mark in the worldwide automotive industry. The field of ICOY hopefuls includes all new or significantly changed cars and minivans that are EPA classified as imports, and ’98 presented a particularly eclectic group. It ranged from autobahn-bred roadsters and cutting-edge performance sedans to high-value family cars and people movers. Also, this was the first year an electric-powered car has been considered for the ICOY award. From this diverse crowd, we evaluated each vehicle on both its merits and those to which it aspires. Imagine trying to select a single “Athlete of the Year” from the myriad sporting events in which we participate-from billiards to … [Read more...] about 1998 Lexus GS 300 – Motor Trend 1998 Import Car Of The Year
Imported car models
Selecting the Motor Trend Import Car of the Year is seldom easy, and this year’s competition proved to be a particularly spirited undertaking. When the debate finally ended, however, we agreed that the winner of our Golden Caliper award could be only one car: With its exceptional combination of contemporary styling, world-class engineering, first-rate handling, and above all, solid value, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class has moved decisively to the head of the class of ’96. The criteria we use to select the MT Import Car of the Year are straightforward. Every all-new or significantly changed ’96-model car or minivan classified by the EPA as an import and on sale by January 1, 1996, is eligible for consideration. We scrutinize every qualified vehicle, using in-depth technical evaluations, on-road driving, and track testing to help us identify the single most important new import vehicle of the year-no simple feat in this era of excellent vehicles. It’s been 15 years … [Read more...] about Mercedes E-Class – Motor Trend 1996 Import Car Of The Year
Not sure if you’ve noticed, but grey market cars have been increasing in numbers lately. It used to be just the Harriers, Muranos, Caldinas, Estimas and Alphards, but grey importers are now using a big chunk of their APs on European premium makes. Audis, Porsches and BMWs from UK now line up alongside the still popular Toyota MPVs in car lots. As can be seen on our sister site oto.my, some of these recond cars are very attractively priced. Nearly new and with a low mileage, they seem like perfect deals waiting for us to empty our bank accounts. Take this Audi A5 2.0 TFSI for instance. It’s a UK spec 2009 model advertised for RM197,888. Official Audi importer Euromobil sells the A5 2.0 for RM400k. So there’s no new car smell, but one can buy two recond A5s for the price of a new one! Attractive as they may be, there are concerns. The car may look good, but what if something goes wrong? Since it is not an official import, where do I go if the car has issues? No … [Read more...] about Grey import car maintenance – international car warranty, adoption packages, insurance warranty?
Singapore’s adoption of the Euro 6 emission standard for motor vehicles – which begins from today – is set to have an impact on a number of car models. More than a dozen vehicles that are currently on sale in the republic do not meet the standard and are set to make an exit from the scene, some for good, The Straits Times reports. Models impacted by the switch to the new Euro 6 include the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Nissan Teana as well as entry-level offerings such as the Nissan Almera and Toyota Vios. The seven-seat Honda Mobilio, Suzuki Swift and S-Cross, Hyundai Veloster and the entire Chevrolet range available in the country also fail to make the cut for the new emissions standard. The adoption of Euro 6 for petrol vehicles from September 1 – which replaces Euro 4 in place now – will be followed by that for diesel vehicles on January 1 next year. Existing registered vehicles on the road are not affected by the new ruling. According to vehicle … [Read more...] about Singapore switches to Euro 6 emissions standard – more than a dozen car models set to leave the market
Still a few years shy of legal driving age, and being unable to accelerate the calendar one whit, my automotive outlets were car magazines, doodling, slot cars, and scale model kits. Laboring at my basement workbench to bring forth my next great scale masterpiece, I learned the box contained more than a bunch of plastic parts, an instruction sheet, and some decals. It held some important life lessons that still apply today. The picture they put on the box looks great, but the cold fact is that the picture is a pipe dream. You don’t just open the box and there it is. You have to build it, one piece at a time, one assembly at a time, not, as I would later find out, unlike a diploma, career, or family. It’s tempting to bypass the mundane steps and skip ahead to the more fun parts, but there’s probably a reason that they tell you to do stuff like scrape the chrome off the grille before you glue it to the body; put the “glass” in before interior; and put the … [Read more...] about Everything I Needed to Know About Life I Learned Building Car Models
From a European perspective, the news that Ford is pulling out of the Japanese and Indonesian car markets and ceasing all operations in the countries comes as a shock. This is, after all, the company that rules the UK car market in terms of overall sales, with the Fiesta standing atop the charts each month. But Ford’s fortunes aren’t as consistently strong the world over, despite the One Ford strategy that is streamlining and simplifying many aspects of the Blue Oval’s global business. Ford has had a presence in Japan for more than four decades, but is reported by Reuters to have sold fewer than 5000 cars in 2015. So what’s at the heart of the withdrawal? I asked our friends at Autocar Japan for some insight. They told me the news was greeted with surprise and disappointment when it broke late on Monday night in Japan. What’s more, the timing of the news was either calculated or unfortunate: almost all of the Ford dealerships in Japan are closed on … [Read more...] about Why would Ford pull out of an important car market such as Japan?
It’s a new beginning. It’s the most important car in Jaguar’s history. It’s being built in a new facility deploying the most advanced aluminum techniques in the world and is powered in part by an all-new engine family. These are just a few of the dramatic pronouncements Jaguar officials made here in Paris during the deep dive of the all-new Jaguar XE on the eve of the 2014 Paris auto show. The XE is a car that Jaguar believes will go head-to-head with the best midsize sport sedans in the world. It had better, as the stakes have never been higher for Jaguar and its future fortunes. The XE will launch in the U.S. as a 2017 model, likely in spring 2016. On paper at least, the Jaguar XE has been developed with everything necessary to give it more than a fighting chance to succeed. It will come with 2.0-liter diesel (roughly 160 and 177 horsepower) and already available gas variants (200 and 240 horsepower) from the automaker’s Ingenium engine family built at … [Read more...] about 2017 Jaguar XE First Look: The Most Important Car in Jaguar’s History
Toyota is allowing its North American teams a bit more freedom to build cars that best suit the market in which they work. Earlier in the year, Toyota announced that American designers would be more keyed in to model development, and now comes word that the automaker will no longer be importing Japanese-built Camry sedans into our market. Instead, starting with the 2012 Camry, the popular mid-size sedan will be built Stateside.Toyota aims to sell 360,000 examples of the Camry per year. In order to produce enough units, Toyota will build the car at both its Georgetown, Kentucky plant and Subaru's assembly facility in Indiana. By building the Camry in the U.S., the automaker will be attempting to offset losses through dollar-yen exchange rates while also providing a boost to local production facilities. … [Read more...] about Toyota to stop importing Camry models from Japan
After a round of psychological warfare with targeted leaks, GM seems to be ready to attack the overcapacity at lossmaking Opel in earnest – eventually. The German government reportedly has been informed that Opel wants to close Bochum. Jobs will be exported to low cost countries such as Poland, Russia, China, India, Mexico and Brazil. Cars will be imported even from China.Germany’s WAZ has learned that Opel Chief Karl-Friedrich Stracke informed the head of the Berlin chancellery, Ronald Pofalla, that Opel’s Bochum plant will be closed in 2015. Earlier closures are contractually verboten.Germany’s Spiegel laid its hands on an internal strategy paper (“Global Assembly Footprint”) that says that Bochum and Ellesmere Port will be closed. The paper also calls for capacity increases in low cost countries. Opel’s plant in Gliwice, Poland, is scheduled to increase capacity by 25 percent. By 2016, GM wants to import up to 300,000 cars to Europe … [Read more...] about Opel To Close Plants In Bochum, Ellesmere Port, Will Import Cars From China
Let’s say you’re casually web shopping for used cars—one of our favorite time-wasting activities—and something unusual grabs your interest. Maybe it’s one of those exotic Japanese domestic market (JDM) cars, one that has lived out the 25-year U.S. import restrictions and is finally available stateside. Even more intriguing, let’s say it can be had for less than $25,000 or even $10,000.So you’ve found an obscure and relatively inexpensive car for sale, but what about the insurance? That will be astronomical, right? The answer, thankfully, is not usually. The cheapest and easiest way to insure your exotic purchase would be to go the same route taken by buyers of classic and collectible cars: Use an insurer that specializes in this realm. Asked about underwriting a cheaper but rare import, Jonathan Klinger of insurance specialist Hagerty said, “Absolutely, those vehicles are insurable just like you insure anything else on a … [Read more...] about Here’s What to Know about Insuring an Obscure Imported Car