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

Emphasis patrols

I regularly hear drivers complain that law enforcement is too lax in observing and citing certain violations. Improper turns, speeding, following too closely, or domination of the left lane are errors that we all see all too often. But rather than resulting from lack of… Read more

Don Adair: Chevy’s Silverado 2500HD turns the truck life into the good life

Generally speaking, people buy trucks to move stuff from one place to another. Could be a boat, a travel trailer or a load for the dump. As a rule of thumb, pickups are available in four categories; compact, midsize; full-size (or light-duty); and heavy-duty. Light-duty… Read more

Summer safety

Statistics reflect increased traffic deaths during the summer months. The heightened peril applies to all drivers, but especially those in their teens. For those drivers, crashes typically jump nearly 20 percent over the norm during June, July and August. One factor driving the spike is… Read more

EV acceptance progressing

Automobiles powered with electricity have “sparked” interest since the middle of the 19th century. There were quite a few practical models appearing by the end of the 1800s, including a fleet of taxis roaming the streets of London in 1897 and operating in New York… Read more

Don Adair: Fiat 124 Spider: Italian beauty built on Japanese bones

Little-known fact: In 1909, the Italian automaker Fiat began building luxury cars at a plant in Poughkeepsie, New York. Eight years later, with the outbreak of World War I, the company pulled out of the US and didn’t return until the 1950s, when it introduced… Read more

Don Adair: Subaru Legacy built to handle the rigors of the Inland Northwest

Let’s say we were asked to pick an Official Car for the Inland Northwest. We’d want something sturdy and reliable. Something that would soldier through a rugged winter. And to handle the demands of our outdoorsy lifestyles. We’d want it to be comfortable, of course,… Read more

Grim reminder

The good news is that the economy is on an upswing. The accompanying bad news is that the chance of dying in a vehicle crash has gone up bit as a result. While improved vehicle design and safety technology has increased chances of surviving an… Read more

Don Adair: Toyota Camry Hybrid scores high for reliability, comfort and performance

We heard from a reader recently who wrote to suggest that we consider reliability when reviewing hybrids. Like most of us, I think, our reader assumed that the complexity of hybrid systems would make them unreliable. However, the opposite is true; gas-electric hybrid technology has… Read more

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