Author Archive

Dec
12
2017 Subaru Impreza

2017 Subaru Impreza sedan in Lithium Red Pearl

Consumer Guide First Spin Since its introduction for 1993, Subaru’s Impreza has stood out in the compact class as being one of the few – and in many years, the only – member to offer all-wheel drive. And since 1997, AWD has been standard.

Dec
05
Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV with its charging port “open for business.”

Ah, fall. When – here in the Midwest – it’s not too cold, not too hot, and not too rainy … for about three weeks.

Short as that utopian span is, it’s the closest we ever come to simulating the year-round climate of coastal California. Which, as it so happens, is where most EVs are sold.

Dec
01
2017 Honda CR-V

2017 Honda CR-V

Consumer Guide First Spin Honda introduced the compact CR-V to the U.S. for 1997 to resounding reviews and great sales success. In fact, the company says it has stood as the best-selling SUV – of any size – for most of the two decades since.

Nov
23
2018 Toyota C-HR

2018 Toyota C-HR: Proving that small crossovers are a big draw.

2016 LA Auto Show LogoPerhaps because it’s the first major auto show of the season (and perhaps because it’s set, of course, in California – the tail that wags the fashion dog), the Los Angeles Auto Show often establishes trends later followed at the other major shows.

Nov
22
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid in Silver Teal

Consumer Guide First Spin When it goes on sale early next year, Chrysler will break new ground by offering the first hybrid minivan to be sold in the U.S.

Nov
17
Toyota C-HR

2018 Toyota C-HR

LA Auto Show Logo LOS ANGELES–Among the more significant reveals at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show was the stylish little 2018 Toyota C-HR. This expressive subcompact crossover made its debut as a concept a year ago wearing a Scion badge, but with the demise of that brand, it re-appeared this year – in production form – sporting a Toyota logo.

Nov
15
2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring in Sonic Gray

Consumer Guide First Spin Honda’s popular Civic was redesigned for 2016, arriving first as a sedan, then as a coupe, both offered in rather conventional LX, EX, EX-T (turbo), EX-L, and Touring trim levels.

Oct
18
2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback
A hatchback version of the compact 2017 Chevrolet Cruze is set to go on sale later this year at a starting price of just over $22,000.

Cruze

America’s relationship with the versatile, practical hatchback has been a decidedly on-and-off affair.

During the ‘70s and ‘80s, it was “on.” Virtually every mainstream manufacturer offered one. But they were usually the cheapest cars you could find, and thus garnered a negative image that screamed, “I bought the cheapest car I could find.” Hardly a prestigious statement. As a result, their numbers dwindled during the ‘90s and remained low for the next couple of decades.

Oct
05
EV tools
Tools used: Kill A Watt meter (which measures the amount of volts, amps, or watts running through it — one of my favorite toys), electric bill, and calculator.

Yeah, I know. You’ve hated math ever since you figured out that every part of it you learned after basic algebra would never, ever be used again in your lifetime.

Oct
04
2017 Toyota Prius Prime
A plug-in version of the Toyota Prius returns for 2017 as the Prius Prime. It boasts unique styling and offers up to 25 miles of electric-only range, after which it carries on as a regular hybrid — for a total of up to 640 miles between fill-ups.

Scion iM

When the Toyota Prius was redesigned last year, its Plug-in sibling was notably absent from the lineup. But a plug-in version returns for 2017 as the heavily updated Prius Prime, and it stands as a truly viable alternative to the “normal” Prius.

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