Choosing a ‘Greener’ Car

The diminutive two-seat Smart ForTwo Electric Drive coupe and convertible have been named the “greenest” cars sold in the U.S. for the second year running, according to the annual environmental ratings issued by American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) in Washington, D.C. And while the “meanest” car in … Read more


Like a Lexus?

Q: We’re looking at a Lexus ES 300h. What are the most logical competitors for us to test drive? A: I’d suggest these two - hybrids, of course, just as is the Lexus you’re considering: the Infiniti Q50 Hybrid sedan (somewhat more expensive than the Lexus you’re looking at) and … Read more

Does age matter?

As it relates to driving, we have an established minimum age. Should there be a mandatory maximum? It’s evident that young drivers contribute greatly to traffic accident and fatality statistics. In fact, motor vehicle accidents remain the number one cause of death for individuals up… Read more

Why It’s A Good Time to Buy a High-Mileage Car

The average price of gasoline in the U.S. has been falling like a rock since last summer, settling just above the $2/gallon mark as of February 1, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. That’s the lowest price for a gallon of regular-grade gas registered since the onset of … Read more

Attack of the Clones

Misrepresentation in the used car market is apparently reaching new heights - or lows - as consumers are increasingly falling prey to pernicious purveyors of so-called clone cars. Here, car thieves acquire the VIN of similar cars to register stolen ones, usually in other states. Once discovered, law enforcement officers … Read more

Shutter the Grille

Q: I just read a review of the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado pickup that said it has active grille shutters, and they’re for fuel economy. What are they? A: Active grille shutters, on the front of the vehicle, open and close automatically to control airflow. When the grille shutter is open, … Read more

No Lemons Here

Percentage of total used car sales at franchised dealerships that were certified pre-owned vehicles - an all-time high. Source: Edmunds.com Read more

A city divided

Ever since the section of Sprague Avenue near downtown was altered from four lanes to two, comments I’ve heard regarding it have been mostly negative. Per my informal survey, anecdotal evidence also suggests a similar attitude toward the proposed lane reduction north of Indiana on… Read more

Mazda CX-5: Exuberant efficiency

Let’s just go ahead and declare this Mazda month. In recent weeks, I’ve looked at Mazda’s MX-5 Miata and its CX-9 midsize crossover. Today, we’re looking at the CX-5 compact crossover, and in two weeks we’ll cover the Mazda6 sedan. Blame scheduling woes. I’m supplied… Read more

Sociable - Yet Sedate - Crossover

While crossover SUVs are arguably the quintessential family vehicles, not all of them are designed solely for the juice box and backseat-cartoon crowd. Take, for example, the Nissan Murano we recently spent a week testing. Revamped and restyled for 2015, the five-passenger Murano remains one of the more “grown up” … Read more

Volvo to Sell First China-Built Car in U.S.

Chinese cars have been predicted to reach the U.S. market as early as 2005, but none have yet to clear customs. Until this summer, that is, when the first model stamped “Made in China” goes on sale here, not from some unfamiliar-sounding brand, but via Volvo in the form of … Read more

Tire Ticket

Q: We were stopped for a burned-out taillight. While the cop was at it, he wrote us up for “unsafe tires” too. I know we don’t have the best tires in the world (or didn’t - we replaced them). They were pretty close to bald. But we live in the … Read more

After Hours

Percentage of nighttime drivers in 2014 with evidence of drugs in their system. Source: National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers Read more

Safety tips to live by

At times I’ve hinted that to be safer in our motor vehicles, we’d all wear DOT approved helmets. That’s because nearly nine out of ten auto deaths result from an occupant’s head striking something within the car or truck. But since that is not a… Read more

Soul EV: Kia’s fresh new face

Kia’s Soul is an obvious candidate for electrification. So obvious Kia designed its funky hatchback with that conversion in mind. The Soul’s raffish vibe is well-suited for the iconoclasts who are the EV tribe. Moreover, its blocky, upright stance seems custom-made to accommodate a boxy… Read more

Hot New Pickups Coming This Fall

Truck sales are booming, with automakers delivering 21.9 percent more pickups to customers in January than they did during the same month in 2013, with full-size models continuing to comprise the three top selling vehicles of any kind in the U.S. The segment will get even more competitive for the … Read more

Trucks Top 2015 Resale Awards

With sales of pickups, SUVs and crossovers booming, it should come as no surprise that the 10 vehicles predicted to deliver the highest resale values after five years of ownership are trucks. That’s according to the valuation experts at Kelley Blue Book in Irvine, California, and their annual Best Resale … Read more