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Don Adair: Dodge Durango, RWD outlier in a world of FWD crossovers

Consider the Dodge Durango, a rear-wheel outlier in a world of front-wheel crossovers. Like the Jeep Grand Cherokee, whose platform it shares, the Durango uses a crossover-style unibody rather than a truck’s heavier body-on-frame platform. Both rigs shun the crossover’s front-wheel-drive convention, employing rear-wheel-drive instead…. Read more

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A noteworthy trend

Automobiles were barely invented when the death toll resulting from vehicle crashes was tallied for 1899. 26 individuals lost their life that year in a trend that would move markedly upward. For each successive year, U.S. fatalities increased to the point where nearly 100 motorists… Read more

When to use the left lane

Periodically, the topic of left-lane louts arises. Those are drivers who perpetually occupy the left lane of multi-lane roadways without due cause. This time it came up when a young driver told me that he has a right to drive in that lane if he… Read more

Dashcam consideratiions

Driver use of dashcams (dashboard cameras) is rising worldwide, including popularity gains in the United States. They were first widely employed in Russia as a defense against police corruption and insurance fraud. Mounted via suction cup, adhesive or Velcro to the dashboard or windshield, they… Read more

Do cars still matter?

Yesterday, I conducted an informal survey, noting the vehicles that were passing through my residential neighborhood for about 20 minutes. The traffic consisted of fathers, mothers and others who were picking up picking up kids from school. Maybe the survey results are skewed with this… Read more

Mixed bag of EV predictions

Last year, I wrote about a recent EV (electric vehicle) development resurgence. After the first wave of marginally successful EV marketing, Google, Apple, General Motors, Volkswagen, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Nissan, Toyota, Tesla and others are at it again. Limited range, high cost and difficulty finding… Read more

Don Adair: Kia Forte thrives in the compact sedan segment

Who can argue with the crossover’s growing popularity? Crossovers are roomy, utilitarian and, with the easy availability of all-wheel-drive, enormously practical in snowy climes. In our rush to crossovers, though, let’s not forget the humble four-door sedan. Sedans are more affordable than crossovers, they’re more… Read more

Driver distraction persists

I’ve written columns devoted to driver distraction many times over the course of a decade or so. And writing about it can evidently only raise awareness, since it has remained rampant despite reporting by me and countless others. While drivers have always been distracted by… Read more

What self-driving cars won’t do

I pondered erratic driver behavior during a recent drive on a two-lane Washington highway. It could have been in any state or on any highway, since certain ill-advised, unexplained driver actions seem to surface everywhere. The crazy act I endured for over ten miles was… Read more

Don Adair: Kia Sorento — so many options, you might need a spreadsheet

Should your crossover shopping lead you to the 2017 Kia Sorento, I’d advise taking along a spreadsheet. The midsize Sorento is available in a dizzying array of configurations. The $20,000 spread that separates the base L trim ($26,295) and the topmost SX Limited ($46,595) merely… Read more

Don Adair: Volvo’s new S90 flagship pays a winter visit

Like an emissary from the Land of the Midnight Sun, Volvo’s new S90 sedan stopped by for our first real taste of winter. Of course, Volvo knows winter. The rigors of Swedish winters gave rise to its focus on stout construction and safety innovation. Volvo’s… Read more

More readers weigh in

I received much communication in response to my column making a plea for additional lanes on US Highway 195. One of those emails came from M.D. who drives 195 every day. But instead of the section south of Spangle, he drives the northerly four-lane stretch… Read more

Winter driving considerations

Hopefully, we’ve honed our winter driving skills during the December appearance of snow-covered roads. The basics of slowing according to conditions, effecting gentle input to steering, throttle and brakes, and leaving extra space around your vehicle should be habit by now. But there are other… Read more

Dubious road to autonomy

The availability of self-driving cars is imminent, but the route leading to them is still somewhat dubious. Much of the confusion stems from the current approach by automakers. Given corporate competition and secrecy, each manufacturer is on a different page as to the how, what,… Read more

Don Adair: Kia boosts fortunes of Cadenza near-luxury sedan

With the 2017 Cadenza sedan, Kia fast-tracks its North American learning curve. Kia made its name here selling well-equipped, value-priced small cars and crossovers and covering them with the industry’s best warranty. Now, it aims to repeat that success in larger, more luxurious segments. Quickly…. Read more

Fans of full-time headlights

My column, “Seeing the light,” elicited many responses, answering my query of where readers stand on full-time vehicle lighting. The column was meant to open debate on the merits or faults of daytime headlight use. But while nearly 20 drivers responded, the debate was non-existent,… Read more

Don Adair: Subaru Forester occupies unique space in its segment

Subaru has created an enviable space for itself in the compact crossover category. Subaru debuted the Forester crossover in the U.S. in 1998. It was based on the compact Impreza sedan, and ran Subaru’s full-time mechanical all-wheel-drive system. In snow and mud, it easily outpaced… Read more