Third Tier Classics (Get 'Em While You Still Can)

Why Are Today's Diesels Only So-So Economical . . . and So Expensive?

2015 Audi Q5 TDI

Equal Time For Tesla?

2015 Audi Q5 TDI

In the U.S., diesels are sold at least as much on the strength of their performance as their economy – the…

Equal Time For Tesla?

Will I, as an online car colonoscopist, be forced by the FCC to give “equal time” to people outraged by…

New Car Reviews

2015 Audi Q5 TDI

'15 Q5 last

In the U.S., diesels are sold at least as much on the strength of their performance as their economy – the reverse of the usual dynamic. Which explains why they are almost exclusively found in high-end vehicles like the 2015 Audi Q5. It’s nice that this crossover SUV can deliver 30-something MPG on the highway. But it’s even nicer that it can accelerate to 60 in just over six seconds, too.…

2015 VW Jetta

'15 jetta curb 1

VW’s Jetta sedan hasn’t got a lot of sex appeal. Nothing about it seems automotive centerfold worthy. And yet, it’s a perennial favorite – one of the most successful (in terms of sales and model longevity) cars in its class. If this seems contradictory, it’s not. Think about people you dated in high school and college – and right after college – and compare them with the person you eventually…

2015 Mercedes GLA250

'15 GLA curb 1

Everyone wants to get in on the compact crossover sporty wagon action – even Mercedes, which until recently refrained from entry, preferring instead to concentrate on coupes and sedans and SUVs (all of them built on rear-wheel-drive-based layouts). But there is a lot of money to be made selling small crossovers. Ask Audi – or BMW. Mercedes, understandably, wanted a piece. Hence the new GLA. It’s a direct shot aimed at Audi…

2015 Mazda3

'15 3 lead

I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop. Two “shoes,” actually. The first – as regards the Mazda3 – is the Sky-D diesel engine that was supposed to have been available last year that’s still not available so far (as of mid-Feb.) this year. Which is frustrating, because it’s so tantalizing. The Sky-G (gas-engined) 3 is capable of more than 40 MPG on the highway. Imagine what a Sky-D 3…

2015 Hyundai Sonata

'15 Sonata lead

Should Toyota be worried? I think so, yes. Because anyone who takes the time to cross-shop the new Hyundai Sonata will find it harder to justify buying a Camry – which though still a good car is no longer the obviously best car in this class. People are beginning to notice this. It’s not merely that the Hyundai costs less (though it still does). Nor that it’s got a much…

2015 BMW 740Ld

'15 740Ld lead 2

Our time seems to be one of role reversal. Bruce Jenner, for instance. Also diesel engines. They are work truck – and economy car – engines no longer. In the U.S., they are primarily high-end car engines. As in the 7 Series BMW. It’s their biggest, swankiest – and most expensive – sedan. And now you can get it with a diesel engine. Sure, it’s economical to drive. You’ll average…

Politics

Why Are Today’s Diesels Only So-So Economical . . . and So Expensive?

'15 740Ld pic

There’s something weird and cruel about the fact that diesel engines are – for the most part – for the  affluent-only. You’d think it’d be the reverse. And it is … in Europe. Over there, more than half the passenger vehicles on the road have diesels under the hood and most models (cars, crossovers, SUVs) offer the option. This is not surprising, given that gas costs about the same per gallon as a decent quality whiskey costs per liter here. But why aren’t diesel engines more commonly available here? Or rather, why are they…

Equal Time For Tesla?

sunstein pic

Will I, as an online car colonoscopist, be forced by the FCC to give “equal time” to people outraged by my doubleplusungood articles about Tesla and electric cars generally? Will men in black visit me if I “deny” what they call “climate change” (such a convenient term given that climate changes constantly in whatever direction, so anyone who touts warming or cooling or both is always right) and refuse to publish a rebuttal? This is what’s coming – in the guise of “Net Neutrality.” Which is now, alas, “the law.” Ostensibly – what the…

Blame Nixon

'73 SD-455 GTO

The American automobile industry has loved Uncle long time now. But it was not always so – at least, not to the extent we’ve come to accept as normal. There was a time – some of you will remember it – when the car companies would actually resist government intrusions into their business, even going so far as to attempt end-running some of Uncle’s edicts. A story (true) comes to mind that will give you an idea how far we’ve come since then.  It was 1972 and GM’s Pontiac division – which back then still…

The Fumes of the Founding

fumes image

Most people are not liberty-inclined. Not anymore. America has become a nation of, by and for control freaks – populated by the people I style Clovers. If they don’t like something, if they want something, if they don’t want people doing something, they will casually urge that violence be deployed to make the necessary adjustments. This has become so reflexive that it is now unconscious and people – most of them – think nothing of it. Because, truth be told, they don’t think of it at all. Which isn’t an accident. Public (that is, government)…

Machine Gunning a Tesla

Tesla lead

There is an episode of the TV show Top Gear involving a Prius hybrid and automatic weapons. God, I wish I could afford to do the same to a Tesla. Unfortunately, I (and thee) are too poor to afford a Tesla. But that doesn’t mean we won’t continue to be forced to “help” Elon Musk build these mobile – just barely (and briefly) monuments to crony capitalism. This is a company that bleeds money like a machine-gunned hemophiliac, yet doesn’t die because fresh transfusions are always available. Just last week it was announced the company lost…