Archive for November, 2013

2014 Kia Soul ! (Exclaim)

Our test Kia Soul arrived in well-dressed ! (Exclaim) trim. As tested, Kia’s popular “box-on-wheels” came to $26,195.

2014 Kia Soul ! (Exclaim)

Dates tested: 10/30/2013-11/11/2013

Miles Driven: 342

Fuel Used: 15.0 gallons of regular unleaded

Real-world fuel economy: 22.8 mpg


Identify this truck for one bonus point. It’s an ’87, if that helps.

The “Find the Fake Car” quiz is back by popular demand. Like last time, all you need to do is identify the fake model in each lineup. How hard can that be? And like last time, you can earn one bonus point for identifying the vehicle depicted above. Enjoy, and let us know how you scored.

Sexist Honda Ad, Submissive Women

Who is this ad aimed at? (1972 Honda Ad)

The message in these vintage ads is pretty clear. Buy the right car and you’ll get all the women you deserve. That’s if you’re a guy. If you’re a woman, well, maybe you should consult your husband or boyfriend before making such a big purchase decision.

The auto industry is a different place this century, but it’s always amusing to looking back and see how simple—and often sexist—things once were. You know, back when Buick had a way with women.


The 2014 Subaru Forester can be had with 2.5-liter or 2.0-liter turbocharged engines. Only the 2.5-liter engine can be mated with a manual transmission.

2014 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Premium

Miles Driven: 477

Fuel Used: 19.6 gallons premium unleaded

Dodge Material Campaign

“Collectible Automobile” editor-in-Chief John Biel thought this ad looked familiar.

Art can imitate life, life can imitate art, and sometimes advertising can imitate them both.


Our test 2014 Scion tC came shod with $2199 worth of optional TRD alloy wheels.

2014 Scion tC

Miles Driven: 615

Accord Feature

One of the best things about the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid is that it’s a version of the very excellent Honda Accord sedan that just happens to get 50 mpg. It is marked by blue-accented trim in front, and a “Hybrid” badge in back.

When it refers to a milestone birthday – and it’s yours – it’s really kind of a bummer. (Trust me on this one.) But when it refers to a car’s MPG rating – and it’s yours – it’s really a cause for celebration.

And that’s the case with new 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid. When it went on sale at the end of October, 2013, it carried a window sticker boasting an EPA rating of 50 mpg city/45 mpg highway.

To put this in perspective, only two non-plug-in cars currently carry an EPA rating of 50 mpg or higher on their window stickers: the well-known Toyota Prius (51/48) and its smaller sibling, the Prius c (53/46).

Since its American introduction for 1976, the Accord has been a big part of Honda’s phenomenal growth as an automaker. And for the last several years, it has not only been Honda’s best-selling model, but one of the best-selling cars in the U.S.


Ready to roll: The A6, A7, and Q5 in front of the Audi Pacific dealership in Torrance, CA.

I’ll admit I had a few brief moments of despair. One was when I realized that I was not going to find a seating position comfortable enough for me to fall asleep. One was when I realized we were barely into New Mexico and we still had more than 2000 miles to go. One was definitely when I had to listen to Prince’s “Batdance,” Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love,” and other Eighties, uh, classics for the second or third time (radio-station selection was the driver’s choice, and apparently Sirius XM is on a loop on the weekends).


The redesigned 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander retains its three-row seating and available V6 power, making it the only compact SUV to offer both.

The compact SUV class has seen explosive growth in recent years. Yet despite fielding two entries in the segment, Mitsubishi has remained a second-string player. While that is unlikely to change dramatically, the company may attract a larger audience with its redesigned 2014 Outlander (which joins the 14-inch-shorter Outlander Sport introduced for 2011). At least some of that may be due to the fact that the Outlander offers some rare or unique features in the class that didn’t used to be so.