Vidcast: Presumptive guilt

2015 Mercedes Sprinter

Inspections

That "Car" Fax Thing

Vidcast: Presumptive guilt

This Vidcast was inspired by my muse, Clover, whose every view seems to be based on the idea of presumptive…

2015 Mercedes Sprinter

I live just two miles away from one of the most popular recreational roads in America – the Blue Ridge…

Inspections

Government is nonsense and force – assembled in either order. Those mandatory “safety” inspections most of us are forced to…

That "Car" Fax Thing

You’ve probably heard about Carfax (and similar services, including AutoCheck and EpicVIN) that offer “vehicle history reports” which search state…

New Car Reviews

2015 Mercedes Sprinter

'15 Sprinter road 1

I live just two miles away from one of the most popular recreational roads in America – the Blue Ridge Parkway. So I see a lot of recreational vehicles. And lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of Benz Sprinters. Nominally, it’s a commercial van – in the same class (and useful for the same purposes) as the Nissan NV van (and the new Ram ProMaster van). But what differentiates it…

2015 VW Golf TDI

'15 Golf TDI lead

In theory, choice is good. In practice, too many choices can be overwhelming – especially when the choices between X and Y come down to little things (and the price is little different). VW’s just-updated Golf is by no means the only choice among compact economy cars. There are lots of them. But it is the only compact economy sedan/hatch on the market that you can order with a high-efficiency (and…

2015 Subaru WRX

'15 WRX road 3

Sometimes, less is more. The just-updated Subaru WRX, for instance. It has less engine than previously – but more power. Performance is better – and gas mileage has upticked noticeably. Also noticeable is the new six-speed manual transmission, which has one more gear than the previous WRX’s five-speed box. One other thing’s that’s less, by the way, is available body styles. The new WRX (and STi) are sedan-only deals now. The…

2015 VW Tiguan . . . Manual No More

'15 Tiggy lead

Some lament the passing of the manual transmission – me among them. But that puts me among the minority, because the majority seems to prefer the automatic, especially now that automatics are often the more fuel-efficient choice. Perhaps this changing of the proverbial guard accounts for VW’s decision to offer the ’15 Tiguan in automatic-only form for the first time. Previously, this small crossover SUV was one of the very few such…

2014 “Picks of The Litter”

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Going for a test drive is smart policy. The problem for most people is that test-driving all the available cars is not unlike visiting every Starbucks in the country. It’s not easy – and it would take a lot of time. I, on the other hand, test drive new cars every week. And by dint of that, have test-driven pretty much every car on the market. I’ve distilled all that…

2015 Jeep Cherokee

'15 Cherokee front detail

Ultimately, it’s all about balance. Crossover SUVs have surged in popularity because they bridge the gap between car and truck-based SUV. More capability (and versatility) than the former – but not to the extremes of the latter. People like to ride higher off the ground – and they definitely like not getting stuck in the snow. They also like having a roomy interior with lots of space for cargo. But…

Politics

Vidcast: Presumptive guilt

pre crime lead

This Vidcast was inspired by my muse, Clover, whose every view seems to be based on the idea of presumptive guilt. This is an idea similar to “pre-crime” – if you remember the movie (based on the novel by the great Phillip K. Dick) but takes things a step farther. Pre-crime at least focuses on a specific individual who – according to various indicators – appears likely to commit some crime in the future. The person is punished before he actually commits whatever the crime is. Presumptive guilt, on the other hand, presumes…

Inspections

inspect 3 pic

Government is nonsense and force – assembled in either order. Those mandatory “safety” inspections most of us are forced to deal with every year, for instance. The presumption underlying them is, of course, that because some people are fools everyone must be presumed a fool. Smith does not take care of his vehicle; he drives around on bald tires. He lets his brake pads wear down to nothing. The government must protect us from Smith by imposing hassle and expense on Jones… and everyone else, too. It does not matter that Jones isn’t…

Vidcast: Uncle Under The Hood

Obama czar

I wrote the other day about the disappearing V-8 (and also the disappearing six). This Vidcast gets into all of that: Like a tsunami that hasn’t yet arrived, the seas appear calm. But there is an epic shift under way that will become increasingly obvious over the next several years, as we get within sight of the 2025 model year. That is the year by which – by order of the government – all new cars must average 54.5 MPG (news story here). This is a near doubling of current federal fuel economy…

Cadillac and The Disappearing V-8

Caddy 6.2 V-8 picture

Mourn with me. Cadillac – Cadillac! – no longer sells a single car powered by a V-8 engine. Or such will be the case in about two months, when 2014 fades to 2015. Come Jan. 1, all new Cadillac cars will be powered by fours or sixes. Some will be turbocharged. But none will larger than 3.6 liters. The last of the V-8 Caddys – the (very) limited production CTS-V sedan/wagon – is being retired. There appears to be a replacement on deck for 2016, but the continued politically viability of V-8 engines…

Vidcast: Your Car – And Those Who Made It – Are Watching You

Mic

Most of you have heard about the “black boxes” installed in airplanes. They record data such as altitude, attitude, flight speed and so on for the purpose of having that data available in the event there’s an accident. Did you know cars have “black boxes,” too? Only the difference is they record – and (via OnStar and other such in-car send/receive capability) transmit – data about your driving even if you don’t have an accident. The data can be “retrieved” (their term) without your prior consent – and even without your knowing it…