Today's Clover

Unmarked Cop Cars: Making The Roads Less Safe

"Green" is the Color of Money

2015 BMW X5 M

Today's Clover

I encountered this Clover Conga today, on the way home: The lead Clover being a motorcycle Clover, who kept about…

2015 BMW X5 M

Some of the quickest cars on the road aren’t even cars – much less high-performance sports cars. This BMW X5…

New Car Reviews

2015 BMW X5 M

'15 X5 M lead 2

Some of the quickest cars on the road aren’t even cars – much less high-performance sports cars. This BMW X5 M, for instance. Don’t let the four doors fool you. Let them fool the dude sitting next to you at the light in his 911. With not-far-from 600 hp under its hood, the gag is on pretty much everyone  – in anything – who thinks they can outrun this thing.…

2015 Lincoln Navigator

'15 Nav lead

How the mighty have fallen. Lincoln’s Navigator pretty much invented the bling-bling SUV as a cultural archetype and automotive industry phenom that changed everything almost overnight. Including Cadillac’s position as the country’s number one (in terms of total sales) luxury vehicle line. On the strength of Navigator sales alone, Lincoln – for a few salad years, back in the ’90s – eclipsed Cadillac. Until Cadillac built a blingier – and…

2015 Dodge Dart

'15 Dart silver

Every now and then, you’ll see a Dodge Dart. The original (’70s-era) Dart, I mean. They were as durable as the pyramids. Well, the famous Slant Six” engine was. The bodies tended to rust away long before that inline six gave up the ghost. That’s the main reason you don’t see many original Darts anymore. But back in the day, people loved ’em – and Dodge sold millions of them. This…

2015 Subaru Forester

'15 Forester road 3

You can learn some important stuff about cars by taking note of who buys what – and how the cars are used. And whether they stand up to the uses to which they’re put. Texans, for instance, know trucks. Forget the TV commercials and advertising flapdoodle. Check out which makes/models of pick-up are popular in Texas – especially rural Texas – and you’ll have a good idea about which truck…

2015 VW Golf R

'15 Golf R lead

Subaru’s WRX STI is the fastest n’ most furious turbo all-wheel-drive thing going… right? Wrong. At least, not anymore. The new king is VW’s Golf R – the “R” for returned after a two-year hibernation. Well, not really. The R is just VW-speak for really, really, really quick. Those two years in the garage? Time well spent. How’s zero to 60 in the high fours grab you? This leaves the…

2015 VW Passat TDI

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When you’re the only game in town, you’ve pretty much got the market cornered. But it helps when what you’re selling is also what people want. People want Passats. It’s a very popular car, in part because it’s the only German car in its class – and in this price range. The rest are (cue the italics and the umlaut) uber expensive due to their prestige branding. Well, and the…

Politics

“Green” is the Color of Money

Steyer pic

Gas is cheaper than it’s ever been. Well, it would be – if we were just paying for gas. But it’s artificially more expensive because of the taxes – and regulatory costs – tacked on to the cost of each gallon. The taxes are disproportionate (nationally, they account for about 50 cents of the cost per gallon, which works out to a tax rate of appx. 25 percent or 2-3 times the ordinary sales tax in most states) as well as hugely regressive (most of us have to buy gas – unlike meals…

Fixing The Cop Problem

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You’ve no doubt heard the term, “checks and balances.” It’s usually mentioned in the context of government – of the American form of government (well, its theoretical form) in particular. The idea that the legislative branch acts as a check on the powers of the executive, while the judicial balances the legislative – and so on. It’s a sound concept that maybe ought to be applied to police work. Something’s got to be done. On this point, almost everyone’s agreed. Because it’s obvious that cops are increasingly out of control. Literally. But not…

Why The Young Hate Cars

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Well, maybe hate is too strong. But they sure seem not to like them very much. As evidenced by the fact that a record-high percentage haven’t even got a driver’s license – and have no intention (according to what they tell researchers) of ever getting one. How high? Pushing 30 percent (and upticking each year) of present-day 19-year-olds. As contrasted with almost no 19-year-olds back in the ’90s and before. They are opting out. Of the hassle. Cars – and driving – are no longer a ticket to ride, for teenagers or otherwise. But…

It’s Not The Speeding… It’s The Double Standard

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Here’s a nice little video making the rounds online: Observe the Hero (as we’re constantly told they are) driving at least 85 MPH – the car pacing him is going that fast and can’t catch up. In many states, anything over 80 MPH – anywhere – is statutory “reckless” driving. The offender is subject to immediate arrest (at the cop’s discretion), his vehicle to impoundment. If charged, he faces a mandatory court appearance, the probable loss of his driving “privileges” – and the certainty (upon conviction) of doubled or tripled insurance premiums for the next…

“Your” Car? Not So Much…

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The government wants to control your car – how it’s made, what it comes equipped with and (of course) how you’re allowed to drive it. Now comes the other half of the pincers: The car companies want to prevent you from working on the thing. Modifications – performance enhancements – and even routine maintenance are to become illegal via the application (and enforcement) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to cars.    They are claiming propriety rights to the software embedded in the computer – technically, the Electronic Control Unit or ECU – that…