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Don Adair: Audi Q7 transcends the sum of its parts

A whiff of alchemy attends the creation of every great car, a bit of magic that allows it to transcend the sum of its parts. The 2017 Audi Q7 is such a car. Fresh off a year-long hiatus, the large crossover returns to the fray… Read more

Latest

195: A four-lane plea

I think we’ve all heard of frequent fatalities occurring on U S Highway 195, which is better known around here as the Pullman Highway. There are serious mishaps on just about every bit of that 95-mile stretch of mainly two-lane roadway on a regular basis…. Read more

Motoring miscellany

I always appreciate reader input. The comments and questions you send provide a real-world glimpse of items on drivers’ minds. Here’s a sample of those communications. A common query came in from L.H., who wrote, “What is the passing rule for passing a school bus… Read more

Seeing the light

After returning to standard time, there’s an earlier advent of evening darkness. As we adjust our biological clocks to our physical ones, the reality is that it now gets dark an hour earlier than it did during daylight savings time. Judging by their behavior at… Read more

Curbing road rage

Perpetually, news reports remind us that road rage is an impetus for collisions, fights and even death. Stress can escalate during the holiday season; don’t exacerbate it with road rage. Remember, other drivers may be as angry with you as you are with them. The… Read more

What happened to EVs?

A few years back, during a big gas price spike, electric vehicles (EVs) were all the talk. Now, in the midst of a gasoline price rollback, much of that talk has subsided. Nevertheless, automotive engineers are quietly working on advancing the technology. For most consumers,… Read more

The need for speed

When the first car was built, I’ll bet its builder wanted to see how fast it would go. As soon as a second car was assembled, I suspect it raced the first car. Since their inception, an exhibition of speed has always been associated with… Read more

It doesn’t make sense

Conclusions derived from analyzing driving topics are not always definitive. In fact, there is sometimes only one conclusion on a topic: It doesn’t make sense. One of those instances regards the non-existence of school bus seat belts. On an airplane? Yes. In a car or… Read more

Global love affair

It’s evident that Americans love their automobiles. First, we keep buying them in spite of ever-growing “sticker shock.” Despite an initial cost, operating expense and depreciation that few consumer goods rival, the love affair (maybe love/hate at times) continues. The ubiquitous array of clubs, collector… Read more

Hail Damage Up

Question: We’ve had many hailstorms the past two summers. Our insurance agent said our car insurance rates would go up, not because we made a claim (we didn’t) but because of the pool we’re in and the claims history. I accept that, though I don’t love it. It made me … Read more

Auto detailing details

A well-detailed car or truck shows pride of ownership. Besides that, it helps protect your dollar investment by averting the ravaging effects that exposure to the elements heaps on your ride. Dirt roads and foul weather are not the only culprits in the detrimental mix… Read more

Don Adair: Compact Mazda3 expresses Mazda’s engaging DNA

Few brands do DNA better than Mazda does DNA. A strong familial thread links the smallest Mazda with the largest. Across the board, exterior design is fluid and dramatic. Cabins share a breezy, high-touch/high-tech aesthetic. Suspensions are tuned to allow precise responses. Every model —… Read more

Cowl Shake

Question: We read a review of a car my husband is interested in buying, and it said it had rather severe “cowl shake.” What does that mean? Answer: Clearly, he’s interested in buying a convertible! Cowl shake is the term given to the slight rocking motion or vibration you get … Read more

Gas Prices Squeeze Hybrid Car Affordability

With gas prices continuing to be more affordable than they’ve been in a decade and the fuel economy of conventional cars reaching new heights, only a handful of fuel-saving hybrid-electric vehicles make financial sense to own these days. That’s according to an analysis of new-vehicle ownership costs conducted by the … Read more

Look out for the little guy

For many, the bicycling and motorcycling season is coming to a close. But for others, who ride two-wheelers all year, a possibly more perilous period may be coming. Automobile drivers often have a difficult time recognizing bikes and cycles in the summer when they are… Read more

Don Adair: Kia K900 challenges the upscale status quo

Heading out of Chicago in a mid-day rainstorm, I power on the rain-sensing windshield wipers, activate the intelligent cruise control and settle in for a quick drive north. We’re deeply ensconced in the leathery confines of the 2016 Kia K900, a full-size luxury sedan from… Read more

Best and Worst Cities for Drivers

If there is such a thing as automotive nirvana, it’s a place where there’s little traffic, few car thefts, cheap gas, low parking rates and a repair shop on every corner. Those, in fact, are among the 21 metrics upon which the personal finance website WalletHub in Washington, D.C., based … Read more