Making Your Car (and Bike) Ethanol-Safe

The Diesel Dilemma

2014 VW Jetta TDI

Government and Your Car: Tom Woods Talks to Eric Peters

The Diesel Dilemma

The last time people began to sweat the cost of gas, they were able to turn to diesels. The cars…

2014 VW Jetta TDI

There are more diesel-powered cars available now than ever. Unfortunately, almost all of them are expensive cars. One of the…

New Car Reviews

2014 VW Jetta TDI

'14 Jetta side curb

There are more diesel-powered cars available now than ever. Unfortunately, almost all of them are expensive cars. One of the few – one of the two – that’s not is VW’s Jetta TDI. Its only competition is the Chevy Cruze diesel, which is the only other diesel-powered sedan you can currently buy for less than $25k. But in the Chevy’s case, just barely. Its MSRP is $24,985 – and unless…

2015 Nissan NV200

'15 NV side windows

My buddy the electrician is being eaten alive by the cost of feeding the full-size (and V-8 powered) van he uses to haul his stuff from job to job. Eleven in the city (and 15 on the highway) makes 33 gallons (the size of the tank in his Ford E-350 van) disappear almost as fast as you can say Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries – or even ExxonMobil. I told…

2014 Mercedes E-Wagon

'14 E350 lead

The E-Class Mercedes has – or can be ordered with – just about whatever you could possibly want. Just not always in the same model. If you want an E wagon, for example, you can order a death-dealing 577 hp twin-turbo V-8. But you’re out of luck if you want the 42 MPG-capable 2.0 liter Bluetec turbo-diesel four. It’s a sedan-only engine. On the other hand, all E wagons come…

2015 Mazda Miata

25th Anniversary Mazda MX-5

McDonalds still sells the Quarter Pounder. McRibs have come and (thankfully) gone. Similarly over at Mazda. Since 1989 – the first year for the Miata – many other Mazdas have come … and gone. Not necessarily because they weren’t appealing cars (a twin-turbo RX-7 is very appealing) or even because they were bad cars (like the Millennia, which wasn’t).    It’s just that they were too much – or too…

2015 Scion FR-S

'15 FR-S lead

Muscle cars and pony cars and exotic high-performance cars abound. But there aren’t many true sports cars around. Not for less than $25k to start, at least. Arguably, the Mazda Miata has been the only one. It has certainly been the most successful one. For 25 years now – and still going strong. Subaru and Toyota (an oddfellas partnership, if ever there was one) decided to have a go at this…

2015 Hyundai Genesis

'15 Genesis lead

Here’s some inside baseball. Two of the best luxury sedans on the market are – technically – not luxury sedans. Well, they’re not branded – or priced – as such. I speak – out of school – of the Chrysler 300 and the Hyundai Genesis, just updated for the new model year. But you’d be a fool not to consider them as such – and to compare them with the “branded” stuff.…

Politics

The Diesel Dilemma

rabbit diesel pic

The last time people began to sweat the cost of gas, they were able to turn to diesels. The cars delivered tremendous mileage (e.g., a VW Rabbit diesel was capable of 50-plus MPG, as good or better than a new Prius hybrid) and – perhaps as important – the fuel itself was cheaper than gasoline. You may recall. What happened? Government. Diesel fuel became more expensive than gasoline – because of government edicts that made it more rather than less expensive to refine. Today’s “ultra-low sulfur” diesel runs close to $4 a gallon in…

Sports Fans

p pic

Sports “fans” – most of whom are white – disgust me. The world is literally falling apart and all that matters to these dough heads is… the gaaaaaaaaaaame. Did “we” win last night? “We” are really looking good this season! Almost all the men I know, sports is their main topic of conversation. Which of course means they fucking have nothing worth saying. Or rather, nothing to say. To talk about “the game” is to talk about nothing. It is a game. Children play games. And in their defense, at least the children actually…

Direct Injection Debacle

crusty valves

You may have noticed that new cars with gas engines “diesel.” They clatter and rattle a little at idle. It’s especially noticeable if you raise the hood (and remove the big plastic sound-deadening cover almost all new car engines are covered with). What you’re listening to is the sound of direct injection – which is not-so-quietly replacing port fuel injection (which replaced throttle body, or TBI, injection). DI is replacing – supplanting – PFI because DI achieves a fractional fuel-efficiency increase compared with PFI. It’s not anything you’d notice. Maybe 1-2 MPG overall. But…

Your Car Isn’t

EDR 3

You paid for it – possibly making payments on it for years. It’s your car now . . . right? Maybe. But the data it contains effectively belongs to someone else. Don’t believe me? Then take a look at your owner’s manual – if you own (well, think you own) a new car. On page 34 of the (cough) owner’s manual for the 2014 Mercedes Benz E-Class wagon I recently reviewed, there is a section devoted to Information about electronic data acquisition in the vehicle. This refers to the Event Data Recorders –…

The Nine Archons

archons lead

I’ve never much liked priests. Those guys (and lately, gals) in black outfits who have anointed themselves the parsers and interpreters of the “word.”  Sound familiar? There are nine such in DC. It’s true they are a secular priesthood – but that’s actually worse in a very important way. You can tell a Catholic (or Protestant) priest to shove off. You can ignore him. Mock him, if you like. And there’s not much he can do about it – legally speaking – beyond don his hair shirt and pray for your eternal damnation. But the nine…