SpokesmanAutos.com

Auto Blog


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don Adair: New engine choice, other updates keep ‘17 Explorer fresh

To grasp the impact of crossovers on sedan sales, we need look no further than Ford. As it has for years, Ford’s full-size F-150 pickup easily tops brand sales. It’s been the country’s, best-selling vehicle for 36 years. But the No. 2 vehicle in Ford’s… Read more

Don Adair: Mazda CX-3: A youthful crossover even a grandmother could love

If you’d asked me last month to describe the typical Mazda CX-3 driver, school teachers would have made the cut. Grandmothers probably not. The CX-3 is Mazda’s subcompact crossover. It’s small, sporty and exuberantly designed. Its $20,000 price tag targets first-time buyers — young professionals… Read more

Don Adair: Made-over Honda CR-V so good it feels inevitable

A whiff of inevitability attends today’s column. There is for starters the inevitability — or at least the ubiquity — of its subject. In 1995, Honda’s CR-V pioneered the compact crossover segment and, since, nearly four million copies have been sold in the US alone…. Read more

Don Adair: Toyota Tundra gets the job done in tough conditions

For weeks, the winding, downhill dirt road between our house and the highway was an ice sheet. It was treacherous enough that leaving home invoked a three-step ritual: 1) engage the lowest gear available in whatever rig we were driving; 2) take a deep breath;… Read more

Don Adair: Dodge Durango, RWD outlier in a world of FWD crossovers

Consider the Dodge Durango, a rear-wheel outlier in a world of front-wheel crossovers. Like the Jeep Grand Cherokee, whose platform it shares, the Durango uses a crossover-style unibody rather than a truck’s heavier body-on-frame platform. Both rigs shun the crossover’s front-wheel-drive convention, employing rear-wheel-drive instead…. Read more

Don Adair: Mazda CX-9 faces down winter’s worst

Bad weather in the mountains forced a schedule change, bringing us a Mazda CX-9 for review and not the Genesis G90 we’d expected. The Seattle vendor that delivers our test vehicles thought better of driving a 420-horsepower, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan over snow-hammered Snoqualmie Pass. It… Read more

Don Adair: Chevy’s compact Cruze joins growing hatchback fray

Reversing years of resistance, Americans are finally buying into hatchbacks. They have good reason. Hatchbacks offer more utility than the sedans they’re based on, and they’re more economical to own and operate than crossovers. Hatchbacks account for a small fraction of US sales, but their… Read more

Don Adair: Acura MDX tackles winter with world-class AWD system

I first experienced Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) system piloting an MDX across Snoqualmie Pass in a blinding snowstorm. The torque-vectoring system transformed a white-knuckle drive into a revelation. As snow deepened and other drivers slowed, I fought the urge to speed up. The faster… Read more

Don Adair: Kia Forte thrives in the compact sedan segment

Who can argue with the crossover’s growing popularity? Crossovers are roomy, utilitarian and, with the easy availability of all-wheel-drive, enormously practical in snowy climes. In our rush to crossovers, though, let’s not forget the humble four-door sedan. Sedans are more affordable than crossovers, they’re more… Read more

Don Adair: Kia Sorento — so many options, you might need a spreadsheet

Should your crossover shopping lead you to the 2017 Kia Sorento, I’d advise taking along a spreadsheet. The midsize Sorento is available in a dizzying array of configurations. The $20,000 spread that separates the base L trim ($26,295) and the topmost SX Limited ($46,595) merely… Read more