On the Bill Meyer Show

New Car "Standard Features" That Ought to be Optional

Avoiding a Louisiana U Boat

2017 BMW M2

On the Bill Meyer Show

Here’s the audio clip of last week’s appearance on Bill Meyer’s HD Radio show: 2016_08_22_EpAutos-Tesla_KMED      EPautos.com depends on you to keep…

Avoiding a Louisiana U Boat

Something you don’t want may be floating your way soon. Well, it probably won’t actually float there. More likely, a…

2017 BMW M2

Speed is not – contrary to the saying – always just a question of money. Sometimes, you get to pay…

New Car Reviews

2017 BMW M2

17 M2 lead

Speed is not – contrary to the saying – always just a question of money. Sometimes, you get to pay less to go just as fast. And get some other worthwhile things, too. In the BMW M2 coupe, for instance. It’s just as quick as the very similar in shape and layout but slightly larger (but not more roomy and much more pricey) M4 coupe, which starts at $65,700 vs.…

2017 Honda Ridgeline

2017 Honda Ridgeline

Everything makes a comeback. The El Camino, for instance. Only today it’s called the Ridgeline – and Chevy doesn’t make it. Honda does. But it’s the same thing, basically: A car with a pick-up bed Better, in some ways. Because it has four doors instead of just two, no driveline hump dividing the floorpan in half, cramping up the interior (because it’s based on a FWD design, engine and transmission/axle…

2016 Kia K900

'16 K900 road 1

Sometimes, a good idea doesn’t work twice. The Hyundia-Kia conglomerate looked at the success Toyota has had with its Lexus luxury line – and in particular, the original (1989) Lexus LS 400 sedan – and figured what worked for Toyota ought to work just as well for them. What Toyota did was (probably) buy an E-Class Mercedes, take it apart, then build one almost exactly like it using their parts – and sell…

2016 Toyota RAV4

'16 RAV4 curb 1

Slow cars are back. More precisely, slow crossover SUVs are here – and people seem to be okay with it. Maybe because they are only slow in relative terms, relative to the performance other cars (and some – usually expensive – crossovers) offer. Picture a continuum, with “slowest” on the left and “quickest” on the right. The slowest new car (or crossover) takes about 11-12 seconds to reach 60. The…

2017 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk

trailhawk lead

I was suspicious, too. “Trail-rated” rated Jeeps have – up to now  – always been real-deal Jeeps. Longitudinal engine (front to back, not transverse/sideways-mounted) and (most important of all) rear-wheel-drive-based, with a real-deal part-time 4WD transfer case and 4WD Low range gearing. Not front-wheel-drive-based, with an available light-duty all-wheel-drive system and no two-speed transfer case. They’ve also never been repurposed Fiats. Whoops, I done spilled the beans. But it’s ok. Though the Jeep…

2016 VW Jetta

'16 Jetta lead

Since VW can no longer sell a diesel-powered Jetta (or any other diesel-powered car) it looks like hybrids – and high cost – are in our future. The TDI engine is gone – for good, it looks like. The Feds have yet to rescind the fatwa prohibiting VW from selling any 2016 model VWs equipped with the high-mileage but Uncle-offending diesel engine. As it is now almost August – with…

Politics

Tesla All Fired Up…

Hindeburg

Tesla is all fired up. Literally. At a demo for media in Paris, a Model S went up in smoke. Caught fire, burned itself to a smoldering slag heap. At a media event (see here). Where – one assumes – there were reporters on hand. Not much reporting took place. To find out about this auto da fe it was necessary to dig. It wasn’t brought to the attention of people. This is curious. I myself am a car journalist and have attended hundreds of media “reveals” and “ride and drives” for new cars. If…

Now Uncle is “Investing” in Tesla

Barnum lead

Elon Musk may be the ultimate crony capitalist – the PT Barnum of our time. But to give PT his due, he was an honest con man. He never used the government to make his marks hand over their money. People stepped right up without a bayonet in their backs. Elon, on the other hand, depends entirely on the coercive power of government to line his pockets. Take that away and Musk goes away. Unfortunately, he’s not going away. He’s going deeper. Automotive News reports that Musk is not only fleecing taxpayers via multi-tiered subsidies for his electric…

Who Watches the Watchmen?

authoritah

It’s one thing to be told you must obey the law. But what being told to obey a cop who is acting contrary to the law? This happens routinely – and (usually) without consequences. For the cop, that is. Here are a few examples: In many states, it is still legal to “open carry” – that is, to openly carry a firearm on one’s hip (in a holster) or a rifle slung over one’s back… and so on. That is the law. Cops are supposed to know the law as well as enforce the…

A Big Got Damned Difference

Hillary face

A reader – a Libertarian friend – chastises me for supporting Trump over Hillary; for supporting any candidate who isn’t a principled Libertarian. I thought some of you might be interested in a principled Libertarian’s thoughts on this business:  Dear X – Here’s a stark difference to consider: Hillary is a murderer. A mass murderer. By proxy, yes – but a murderer, nonetheless. Eager to have people killed. Arguably, more guilty of murder than Julius Streicher – who was hanged for merely inciting murderous hatred. Hillary has ordered people killed. Has literally reveled in…

Moby Dick in Your Glovebox

manual 2

The fact that a new car owner’s manual is novel length – some are longer than Moby Dick – says a lot about how out of hand things have become. Is this degree of complexity necessary or even desirable? More to the point, who has the time to deal with it? To actually read  730-plus pages (new Toyota RAV4 manual, just an example) of instructions, cautions and how-tos? How many 700-plus page novels do you suppose the average American has read this year? Or ever? It’s like the iconic (and predictive) ‘80s movie,…

Public Roads as Tesla’s Private Test Track

Tesla Introduces Self-Driving Features With Software Upgrade

Logic – let alone reasonableness – is not one of government’s stronger suits. There are many examples of this, but here’s a newsie one: The use of public roads as test tracks for Tesla (and Google) self-driving car technology. On the one hand, government rigidly persecutes “speeders” on the basis (so it is claimed) that driving faster than a number on a sign might increase the chances of having an accident. This being unsafe and hence “speeding” being illegal. On the other, it gives the green light to Tesla racketeer Elon Musk to sell…