Archive for March, 2014

2012 Vortec 4.3L V-6 (LU3) for Chevrolet Express, Engines We’re Happy to See Retire

General Motors’ 4.3-liter V6 has been around since 1985. Shown here in Chevrolet Express/GMC Savanna trim, this dated mill was finally replaced in GM pickups by the stronger and thriftier EcoTec3 V6.

Michael Jordan came close to leading the Washington Wizards to an NBA playoff spot in 2002, but injuries held the legend back, and the team sat out the post season. But it’s not Jordan’s near miss with another championship run that most basketball fans remember about that season. Mostly, folks who recall his time playing for the Wizards at all remember his less-than-godlike 22-point-per-game performance, and grumblings by teammates that the 14-time NBA All Star was taking more shots than he probably should have.


Our test 2015 Subaru WRX came to $31,990 on the sticker, including a $795 destination charge.

Consumer Guide Automotive2015 Subaru WRX Limited Automatic

Dates tested: 2/26/2014-3/05/2014

Miles driven: 408

Fuel used: 14.4 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 28.3

Lincoln Navigator Redesign, Elaine Bannon

The updated Lincoln Navigator goes on sale early this fall.

Consumer Guide sat down recently with Lincoln Navigator chief engineer Elaine Bannon. Preparing for fortified competition from an all-new Cadillac Escalade due to arrive this summer, Ford has updated its entry in the premium large SUV category for 2015. Here are the highlights of that conversation.

2014 Toyota Sienna XLE, Sienna XLE AWD

Our test Toyota Sienna is seen here backed up against the now ubiquitous Consumer Guide wall of snow. Well equipped in XLE AWD trim, our test van came to $40,322 including an $860 destination charge.

2014 Toyota Sienna XLE AWD

Miles driven: 542

Fuel used: 28.2


Each of the five final Oldsmobile models could be had with a Collector’s Edition Package. This badge was part of that package.

I don’t know why, but I feel more warm-fuzzy love for Oldsmobile than I do Plymouth, Pontiac, or Mercury. Though I was troubled by the demise of each, I recall the Oldsmobiles of my youth and young adulthood more readily than I do the models of other dead brands.


The $3898 starting price for a 1953 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country included V8 power.

Note: This article is reprinted from the April 2014 issue of Collectible Automobile.

Chrysler had a somewhat odd relationship with the station wagon. The brand didn’t carry a factory sanctioned wagon until 1941-, later than practically every other wagon producer, and when it did, it was a vehicle that was a curious cross between a sedan and wagon with a wood body, sloping steel roof, and dutch-door tailgate.

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Nissan is a huge winner in the battle for Facebook “likes.”

Most of us do it. We carry a mobile phone with us at all times. Once, all that meant was that we were never out of the reach of business associates and loved ones. Now, it means we have easy access to about everything we might need or want to know.


Consumer Guide’s test Subaru Outback came to $35,665 on the sticker, including an $825 destination charge.

2014 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited

Miles driven: 233

Fuel used: 12.7

Real-world fuel economy: 18.3 mpg


William Clay Ford was the last surviving grandchild of Henry Ford.

The following is from an official Ford press release.

William Clay Ford, who helped steer Ford Motor Company into the modern era as an employee, director and influential member of the Ford family, died this morning at his home from pneumonia.


GM’s popular full-size SUVs are redesigned for 2015, gaining greater cargo versatility and a host of new features. They’re going on sale now. (Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban shown.)

When you already own 75% of a high-profit class of vehicles, there’s probably little incentive for a redesign. But that’s what GM is doing with its quartet of popular, full-size SUVs.