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The latest news, reviews and commentary about cars, trucks, and more, automotive technology and car culture

Even small peeves matter

We all see driving behaviors that appear unnecessary, unsafe or downright illegal. Repeated sightings of these acts cause them to be labeled “pet peeves.” I’ve often written of mine, and reader R.S. has some of his own. The first gripe R.S. relayed to me is… Read more

Back to basics

Certain basic driving behaviors most affect our safety. A periodic assessment of how well you know and practice these behaviors is a worthy endeavor. Always be aware of the speed limit and operate your vehicle near or at the posted speed. Differential of speed among… Read more

Signal your intentions

Failure to indicate one’s turning intentions via use of turn signals is a perpetual driver grievance. But it isn’t just non-use that’s an issue. Absent mindedly leaving them on is also unsafe, and rules of the road even specify certain improper use that is illegal…. Read more

Trucks for the memories

My column of May 13th explored America’s love affair with trucks, a condition made evident by the top sales spot held by pickups. I suggested the motivation for truck ownership goes beyond utility, including undetermined factors. Whatever intangible cues may be in play, their mix… Read more

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

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

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

Don Adair: Mitsubishi Outlander Sport delivers value for budget-conscious buyers

We were young, underemployed and new parents. We’d survived a string of iffy used cars and needed to get serious about transportation. Under those conditions, my wife and i bought the least expensive car then available in America. It wasn’t fancy but it had a… 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

Don Adair: Call it crossover or wagon, Kia’s roomy Soul embraces audacity

Automakers are so often punished for making bold moves it’s worth cheering their successes. By those lights, Kia’s Soul is a car to cheer. While its boxy, upright stance evokes both praise and ridicule, it also produces generous amounts of passenger and cargo space. There’s… 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

Don Adair: Honda’s new Civic hatch blends comfort, performance and affordability

Our recent test of Audi’s A4 sport sedan reminded us that the right car makes driving fun. The A4 and its ilk are designed to be engaging. They respond, without hesitation, to driver input. They provide feedback — from the chassis, the drive train, the… 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