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Don Adair: Mazda6 a driver’s car among family sedans

Mazda just spent eight years developing a fascinating technology you’ll never notice. Not much more than a few lines of computer code — Mazda calls it a “software control system” — the new G Vectoring Control (GVC) system exerts a powerful influence on a car’s… Read more

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Seeing the light

Whether that yellow-orange light reads, “CHECK ENGINE,” or depicts a side-view image of an engine block, when it’s illuminated on your instrument panel, take note. The warning means your vehicle’s on-board computer has detected a fault in one of many engine control systems. That fault… Read more

Our love of trucks

Why drive a truck when you can drive a car? I’ve often pondered that query, especially since a pickup, the Ford F150, is America’s top selling vehicle. In fact, it’s been the best seller of all vehicles for over 30 years. Given the available vehicle… Read more

Score your drives

Good drivers constantly look for ways to assess and improve their driving. Lack of citations and crashes are noteworthy standards to seek, but one entity has identified a few other behaviors to monitor. The entity is EverDrive, a company offering a smartphone app that evaluates… Read more

Bad drivers: incompetent or indifferent?

Evidently, there are drivers operating motor vehicles who lack the understanding to properly do so. Based on behaviors I observe, if it’s not incompetence, then it’s simply indifference to afford due diligence to the task. The only explanations for seemingly unexplainable driver actions are that… Read more

Driving while impaired

Humans make many mistakes as drivers even when they are alert and attentive. When they are impaired, however, mayhem regularly ensues. And there’s a wide array of impairment-induced influences. The commonly heard expression, “Driving while intoxicated,” is most associated with alcoholic beverages, but such intoxication… Read more

Don Adair: Toyota 4Runner conquers winter like no other

It’s tempting to call Toyota’s 4Runner the last of a dying breed. In fact, it’s more like an extinct breed. You only need one hand to count the midsize, truck-based SUVs for sale in the US. The SUV’s decline makes sense. Crossovers, which are built… Read more

Give left foot a rest

For decades, cars with manual transmissions were the norm. Whether it was with a three-on-the-tree, four-on-the floor, or a five-speed gearbox popularized in Japanese imports, mastering the friction point of a clutch and selecting an appropriate gear was every driver’s past quest. During the manual… Read more

Don Adair: Genesis G90: Hyundai premium brand targets luxury classes

Last fall, Hyundai launched an assault on the luxury classes with the debut of a premium sub-brand it calls Genesis. Having morphed from comedic fodder to mainstream mainstay, Hyundai now had the Germans in its sights. We’ve recently driven the two sedans that comprise Genesis’s… Read more

Risky reality for young drivers

For youthful drivers, especially teens, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death. Admittedly, part of that reality is that the older driving populace succumbs to an ever-growing list of maladies (heart disease and cancer among them) as they age. Those causes of death… Read more

Don Adair: Audi A4 reminds us that driving is its own reward

If the sedan is truly dead, no one bothered to tell Audi. Even as America’s crush on crossovers deepens, Audi’s sedan sales soar, led by the redesigned 2017 A4. The reason why is no mystery. The compact A4 is the complete package. Its $38,250 base… Read more

Spring’s annual onslaught

Marking spring, every year, an onslaught of bicycles, motorcycles, children and other pedestrians begin mixing with traffic. An “onslaught” implies an event of overwhelming nature, so maybe it’s more of an emergence, since dealing with these entities should not be that daunting. The annual emergence… Read more

Don Adair: Ford F-350 Super Duty: Strong enough to tow your house?

Let’s be clear. You won’t be dragging your bungalow behind Ford’s monster F-350 pickup any time soon, though we talked to a fellow who suggested as much. Pretty sure he was joking. Setting the stage: The made-over, 2017 F-350 Heavy Duty pickup is available with… Read more

Hacking back in news

I’ve previously reported of a “vehicle takeover” performed by a couple of expert computer hackers with a laptop and a Jeep. In 2015, Charlie Miller and Chris Valacek took partial control of a 2014 Jeep Cherokee (could have been any modern vehicle), messing with its… Read more

Don Adair: Jeep’s Cherokee offers buyers a profusion of choice

Should you wander into a Jeep showroom in search of a compact crossover, Jeep wants to make sure you won’t walk out for a lack of choice. The crossover boom has been very good for Jeep, whose sales have exploded since the recession ended. In… Read more

Unintended consequences

Sometimes, policies in placed do not achieve their intended goals. Instead of simply having no effect, a policy intended to make things better might make things even worse. For example, late Dutch traffic engineer, Hans Monderman, famously maintained that many of our road regulations, designs… Read more

Don Adair: Toyota’s full-size Avalon wins hearts and minds

Can a car and its owner be soulmates? I don’t mean that in the way some people name their cars. I mean it like the reader who called to tell me how much he loves his Toyota Avalon. This fellow’s love affair with his Avalon… Read more