Tag Archive for review

2015 VW Passat TDI

'15 Passat lead

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…

When You Can’t Give ‘Em Away…

elr lead

When you have to resort to paying people to buy something, it ought to tell you something about the value of the thing you’re trying to “sell.” Such thoughts apparently haven’t occurred to GM, which continues to describe the Volt-based (and twice-as pricey) Cadillac ELR electric car as a “combination of leading technology with stunningly attractive…

2015 Nissan Altima

'15 Altima last

I’ve written before about the fact that federal fuel-economy mandates are subtly but significantly eroding away the choices available to consumers – and increasing the cost of the diminishing choices that remain. The ’15 Altima being a case in point. At first glance, it’s what they call in the car biz a carryover – the…

The Syclone That Came… And Went

Syclone 1

How many appealing vehicles can you name that were only sold for one year? Even the Edsel lasted three. Here’s one that came – and went – as fast as it went: the 1991 GMC Syclone. Zero to 60 in 4.3 seconds . And that was back in ’91 – when a new L98 (Tuned…

The Last Thunderbird

Thunderbird old:new

All of us know – or have heard about – the apparently healthy, successful person who one day just drops dead unexpectedly. In a way, this is the story of the Thunderbird. For decades, it was one of Ford’s most successful models and the name remains an automotive icon. But the car’s as dead as…

2015 Dodge Ram ProMaster “City”

'15 PM road 3

Minivans started off as inexpensive, economical, hugely versatile alternatives to both cars and things a lot bigger. But today’s minivans are not-so-mini and rarely economical – either to buy or to drive. Some cost over $40,000 (the 2015 Chrysler Town & Country starts at $29,995) and all of them drink gas like Sam Kinison drank…

2015 Mini Four-Door

'15 Mini lead

Mini has always had cute – and fun – on its side. Now it has four doors, too. Or at least, can be ordered with them. This makes it plausibly practical – which the original Mini coupe never was. It had back seats, but not doors to get to them. In a larger car, this…

2015 Ford Edge

'15 Edge side by side

The Internet as a mass medium is less than 20 years old but because it’s literally everywhere now it feels as though it has always been thus. Same goes for crossover SUVs. They are – as a class – hugely popular now and as common as wood-paneled station wagons were back in the ’70s. But…

1948 Tucker Torpedo

'48 Tucker front detail

Preston Tucker has been described as a hopelessly naive genius, a con man . . . or some combination of both. The evidence suggests he genuinely wanted to build cars – not filch people’s wallets. No doubt, he played fast and loose. So do most entrepreneurs. They have to. Unlike GM or Ford or Chrysler, each of which had a…

2015 Toyota Yaris

'15 Yaris lead

Toyota can get away with it. Kia couldn’t. Honda, neither. What high crime are we dealing with here? It’s more like a misdemeanor: Selling While Old. Or rather, selling a car that’s getting old, that has some pretty dated features (four-speed automatic, anyone? Drum rear brakes?) relative to what’s become common – expected – in…