Archive for July, 2014

1977 Lincoln Continental Mark V

With a base price of $11,396, the Lincoln Continental Mark V was only the 4th most-expensive American-brand car available in 1977.

 It was the Brits who first used the term “Yank Tank” to describe the cars produced by American auto builders. And, compared to the cars sold in Britain after WWII–around the time the term Yank Tank came into use–the cars of the UK were certainly smaller, better handling, and more efficient than those sold Stateside. It is perhaps ironic then that the most-expensive American-built car in 1977 was, in fact, by definition a compact car.

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The 2014 Audi Q5 TDI is EPA rated at 24 mpg in the city, and 31 mpg on the highway.

2014 Audi Q5 TDI quattro Tiptronic

Miles Driven: 121

Fuel Used: 4.4 gallons

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai says it went for a more “mature” look for the 7th generation of its midsize Sonata. Rick thinks it’s still pretty stylish.

When the original Sonata was launched into the competitive midsize market for 1989, it stood as Hyundai’s flagship sedan with a strong value equation. But the company was in a tailspin brought on by quality problems, so sales never took off despite the car’s comparatively low price – a trend that continued through the second generation of 1995. But by the time the third generation appeared for 1999, the company’s famed 5-year/60,000-mile  bumper-to-bumper and 10/100 powertrain warranties were in place, and the Sonata’s sales climb was impressive: from just over 14,000 for 1998 to more than 62,000 for 2001. The totals reached nearly 150,000 with the fifth generation of 2006, and that put Sonata in the big time.


The 2015 Dodge Challenger sports 1971 styling cues and a wider availability of models.

If you put the entire 2015 Dodge Challenger lineup together in the same place, the new 707-horsepower SRT Hellcat sucks the air out of the room—figuratively and literally through the 8-liter air box and 92mm throttle body that serve the supercharger atop its snarling 6.2-liter Hemi V8. However, separated from the Hellcat—which we described in detail a few days ago—the rest of the Challenger line shows itself to be improved in a number of ways. It’s broader, too, with a new Scat Pack model and a trio of Shaker versions for V8-powered cars.


eldo1972coupecambridgered, Most-Expensive American Cars of 1972

How does the other half live? We’re going to find out. In a recent post we looked at the least-expensive cars of 1972. Today we’re going to check out the most-expensive models from that same year.

Fiesta EcoBoost 3-Cylinder

Consumer Guide’s 2014 Ford Fiesta arrived in hatchback guise and was equipped with the SE EcoBoost Fuel Economy Package. With the destination charge, our test car came to $18,585.

2014 Ford Fiesta SE Hatchback with EcoBoost Fuel Economy Package

Dates tested: 7/17/2014-7/24/2014

Miles Driven: 316

Fuel Used: 10.4 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 30.4 mpg

Dodge A100

Chrysler is back in the small-van business thanks to the 2015 Ram ProMaster City (right). How does it stack up to the company’s first small van, the 1964 Dodge A100? We compared the two.

This is all the Ram marketing folks’ fault. At the reveal event for the ProMaster City last month, sitting there in a corner of the tent was a meticulously restored Dodge A100. Though the Ram folks made no direct comparison between the two vehicles, the seeds were planted. How do the two diminutive, scrappy vans compare?

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Consumer Guide’s test 200 car arrived in S trim and loaded with options. Our test car came to $34,065 all told.

2015 Chrysler 200S AWD V6

Miles Driven: 314

Fuel Used: 15.0 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 20.9 mpg


Consumer Guide’s test 2015 Honda Fit arrived in topline EX-L with Navigation trim. With destination charge our test car listed for $21,590.

2015 Honda Fit EX-L Automatic with Navigation

Miles Driven: 276

Fuel Used: 9.0 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 30.7 mpg

2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat

Capping the 2015 Dodge Challenger lineup is the 707-horsepower Hellcat. Editor John managed a 12.2-second quarter-mile time when his turn came to face the drag strip.

You have to feel a little sorry for the product-information specialists and executives at Dodge when the topic of the 2015 Challenger comes up. They’ve spent who knows how much time working up all kinds of explanatory material about revised styling this and new 8-speed automatic that—and it’s all going in one ear and out the other because everybody in their audience is staring slack-jawed at the Hellcat.