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High Heels and Four-Wheel-Drive

Clovers Ed

2016 Kia Sedona

"EPautos" is Offline

The URL for EPautos.com is offline – hopefully, just temporarily. Some of you have already found your way back using…

Clovers Ed

As a rule, poor drivers aren’t born. They are made. The other day, I came upon one such in process.…

2016 Kia Sedona

Minivans have become kind of like timeshares. Not many people seem to want to buy in. Part of the problem…

New Car Reviews

2016 Kia Sedona

'16 Sedona lead 3

Minivans have become kind of like timeshares. Not many people seem to want to buy in. Part of the problem is image. Minivans are the automotive equivalent of middle-aged ED. Or at least, likely to be associated with it. A much bigger problem for minivans is the availability of crossovers – many of which have everything a traditional minivan has in the way of kid-carrying/stuff hauling functionality except the sliding doors. Along with other…

2016 Mercedes Sprinter Van

'16 Sprinter lux 2

Living in a van down by the river may not be such a bad thing. Especially if your van is a Mercedes Sprinter van. It’s in the same class (and useful for the same purposes) as the Nissan NV van (and the new Ram ProMaster van). But what sets it apart from those utilitarian appliances is that it’s also nice. It’s the difference between a plain white ‘fridge – and a…

2015 Nissan Sentra

'15 Sentra last

Sedans are becoming the red-headed stepchildren of the new car market. They’re losing ground to the rising tide of crossovers – which are the same basic thing except they ride higher and have hatchbacks rather than trunks – and so usually have much more room for stuff. People seem to really like crossovers. I was thinking these thoughts as I drove around in the ’15 Nissan Sentra – closing in on three…

2016 Honda HR-V

'16 HRV road 3

The new Honda HR-V is – technically – a subcompact. A notch down in size from the compact-sized CR-V (which Honda sells a bunch of). But the difference between the two is mostly footprint-wise. The newest littlest Honda crossover is about a foot shorter overall than the CR-V. Inside, though, the subcompact HR-V actually has more backseat legroom than its, er, bigger brother,. Almost identical space up front, too.   …

2016 Fiat 500 X

'16 X last

Four legs good, two legs bad! was the cry of the rebellious animals in Orwell’s other classic, Animal Farm. This applies to cars as much as politics. Two “legs” (doors) are generally bad when it comes to trying to make a buck. They don’t sell in quantity because most people need more in the way of practicality. Even Porsche has had to deal with this reality by adding the four-door…

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid

'15 Camry hybrid road 1

It’s smart that Toyota has undercut Honda on the price of the new Camry hybrid. You can pick one up for about $2,500 less than you’d pay for the a new Accord hybrid. This makes up for the Mileage Deficit between the two. The EPA says the hybrid Camry LE is capable of 43 city and 39 highway (best case; the higher trim XLE’s rating dips to 40 city, 38…

Politics

Tall Boys

'15 F-150 ladder pic

The other day, I rolled my 1976 Pontiac Trans-Am out of the garage for a drive. As I backed it out, I looked left at the brand-new Nissan Sentra “press car” (review here) that was parked on the pad. It made my antique muscle car seem small. In part because the Sentra – like almost all new cars – is very, very tall. We are not talking inches difference here, either. But feet. Well, almost. The Nissan – which is a nothing-special “compact” sedan (in air quotes because by the standards of 20…

Crippling Technology

'85 Civic

So much would be possible – if it weren’t for the government. Government, remember, is not composed of experts in much of anything – except control and manipulation. Politicians and bureaucrats are not people who do things. They force others to do things. In the car world, you have the ridiculous spectacle of non-engineer mechanical imbeciles dictating functional parameters of engine design to people who actually do know how a four-stroke engine works, the meaning of stoichiometry; who understand that there is an inherent conflict between fuel economy and “safety.” That the more a car is…

Good Men

good men lead

Can a good man spend his days doing bad things and remain a good man? What if he chooses to spend his days doing bad things and could at any time elect not to do the bad things? Could decide – I am not comfortable with this; this isn’t for me – and quit, without risking anything (other than the need to find honest work)? The German SA man of the 1930s was a very bad man – but he did, at least, have the defense of being under duress. In 1930s Germany, it was…

The Other Side of The Thin Blue Line

wig wags

Call it Karma – or maybe just payback. Either way, it’s bad news. Last Friday, an Alabama cop pulled over a guy – apparently, over a traffic infraction. The guy argued with the cop; a fight broke out. The guy got the upper hand and beat the cop senseless. What’s remarkable about this incident – which got very little to no coverage outside of Birmingham – is the reaction of bystanders to the beating. Instead of coming to the cop’s aid – or even just calling 911 to summon more cops – they laughed, took…

History Repeats

Hummer H1 pic

Do you know why SUVs became so popular? It wasn’t because of their, er, sportiness. Or even their utility. It was because they provided a way to get the size (especially under the hood) that American buyers wanted but which the government was doing its damndest to deny them via fuel efficiency mandates. The story goes like this: In the mid-late 1970s, Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE, in government-ese) standards began to bite down. Government bureaucrats and politicians, in their usual secular Puritan we-know-best way, decided – then decreed – that new cars – generally – weren’t…