Hyundai Santa Fe: System tweaks enhance three-row crossover’s appeal

Hyundai’s pitch for the 2015 Santa Fe is mercifully succinct. Read more


Why two license plates?

Is one enough? Is two too many? Those are the basic questions pondered when states consider the number of license plates required on vehicles. But after B.W.’s email informed me that a House Bill suggesting single plates here received no consideration in Washington’s Legislature, I… Read more

Teen ‘Dream’ Car

Q: My granddaughter is turning 15 this month and we’re preparing to buy her first car. We are interested in your recommendation as to what might be considered a relatively safe car that is mid-price or lower. Any suggestions and/or help would be greatly appreciated. A: First, I wouldn’t for … Read more

Playing With the Big Boys

Just launched for the 2015 model year, the Acura TLX sedan replaces both the previous TL and its slightly smaller sibling, the TSX, and supplants them both with what could deliver the most bang for the buck in the entry-level luxury segment. While the TLX shares platforms and powertrains with … Read more

One in Five Auto Recalls Go Unresolved

Manufacturers recalled over 62 million cars and trucks last year to repair safety-related defects, which is the highest total ever. That’s bad enough news, but data from the title-search company Carfax in Centreville, Virginia, suggests that more than 46 million cars in the U.S. are being bought, sold or driven … Read more

On the Bench

Q: We have a 2006 Ford Taurus with three seatbelts in the front seat. When our children visit from out of town it is very nice to have the extra seat in the front. We would like to buy a new moderately priced sedan with the same seating, called a … Read more

Not-So Fun in the Sun

Percentage of congestion during a typical evening Los Angeles rush hour, the worst congestion in the U.S. Source: TomTom, Burlington, Massachusetts Read more

Connected, driverless, or not

Technological advancement is rampant among automakers. Though sometimes moving in uncertain or even misguided directions, it nevertheless dominates industry news. Experts have differing opinions of the eventual results of this trend. For example, akin to the frenetic pace of road building once autos were invented,… Read more

740Ld xDrive: BMW adds turbodiesel to flagship lineup

In the Old Dogs/New Tricks category, BMW adds a turbodiesel option this year to its 7 Series lineup. The old: The current, fifth-generation 7 debuted in 2009; a new version is due this year. The new: A 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel six that makes 255 horsepower… Read more

The Most Annoying New-Car Features

Though today’s cars deliver accommodations and levels of performance that are unmatched in motoring history, no car is perfect. A given model may leap off the line with authority, hug the corners as tightly a child clutching on to her mother and be slathered with all manner of comfort and … Read more

You Did What?

It’s well documented that distracted driving has become a factor in slightly over half of all traffic accidents, typically from cell phone calling and texting. But apparently those aren’t the only diversions drivers are engaging in these days. A survey conducted for Erie Insurance in Erie, Pennsylvania, found motorists admitting … Read more

Snooze Alert

Q: I heard on “Today” that Nissan has a new technology coming out that alerts the driver who’s falling asleep at the wheel. They explained a little about how it works, but did not say when this car will be out. We don’t have a Nissan dealership in our area … Read more

Insure Low

Cost to insure a 2015 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4WD - the cheapest 2015 car to insure. Source: Quadrant Information Services via Insure.com Read more

Auto safety finally popularized

I like the noticeable trending of auto safety issues. I’ve been writing for years about the rampant annual tally of our country’s vehicle related deaths. Until recently, car and truck crashes have ended the lives of over 100 victims daily for decades. Thankfully, that number… Read more

VW Golf: Little hatch, big strides

When the 2015 Volkswagen Golf arrived, I’d spent the previous few weeks driving big cars. Minivans, midsize crossovers, full-size American sedans. Not a loser in the bunch. But the Golf forced me to face facts; I’m a small-car guy. Nothing rings my bell like a… Read more

Cars with the Lowest Death Rates

It’s widely been noted that highway deaths are at historic lows, having fallen by more than a third over the last three years. This is generally accredited to advances in auto safety, along with a fortunate combination of stricter seatbelt, drunk driver and graduated licensing laws. How safe are today’s … Read more

The Hidden Cost of Traffic Tickets

Being written a moving violation is enough of a salvo to the wallet, but a recent report suggests the long-term costs in terms of higher insurance premiums will sting a motorist for years, and can be particularly painful depending on where he or she lives. According to data compiled by … Read more