Archive for August, 2015

Aug
19
Japanese Saturn Commerical, 1997, Japanese Saturn Commercial

In 1997, Saturn began selling cars in Japan. A right-hand-drive SW2 is seen here. 

Saturn executives had reason to feel confident in 1997. In just six years on the market, the fledgling brand had accrued 1.5 million customers and was on pace to sell another 300,000 cars in the coming 12 months. Saturn was on fire, and the division’s management was eager to continue making good news.

Aug
17
2016 Honda Accord

Honda’s popular Accord marks 2016 with revised styling and added features. Coupes and sedans are again offered (they have different design details front and rear), but the Hybrid won’t return until early next year. The 2016s are due to go on sale in August with prices ranging from $22,925 (including destination) for the LX sedan with manual transmission to $35,400 for the top-line V6 Touring sedan shown at right.

Scion iMIt’s a bit dangerous to mess with a successful formula. Just ask Coca-Cola, which introduced reformulated “New Coke” 30 years ago – with disastrous results.

That case became a textbook example on how not to mess with success. Seems Honda took that to heart when approaching the “new” 2016 Accord.

Aug
14
1974 AMC Gremlin

1974 AMC Gremlin

It took a little kerfuffle with OPEC, but the American buying public finally added fuel economy to its collective list of new-car purchase considerations. Though carmakers had always put some effort into touting the fuel efficiency of the vehicles it produced, it took the 1973-74 oil embargo gas-price spike—and gas lines—to really kick the marketing of mileage into high gear. The subsequent 1979 oil embargo only served to cement the movement.

Aug
13
2015 Lexus RC-F

Lexus management is on record saying that the brand’s current design language is intended to provoke conversation. The RC, seen here in high-performance F trim, arguably wears the intentionally radical Lexus look very well.

Click here for a full review of the 2015 Lexus RC-F including prices and fuel economy

Damon Bell

I took our RC-F tester on a solo road trip from Chicago to Grand Rapids, Michigan, and back, so I had a good chunk of time to evaluate its capabilities. Not surprisingly, my favorite thing about the car is its powertrain. The 467-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 delivers fantastic acceleration, aided by a crisp 8-speed automatic that cracks off upshifts faster than a traditional “slushbox” has a right to.

Aug
12
2016 Honda HR-V EX

Consumer Guide’s test HR-V arrived in top-line EX-L with Navigation trim. Including the destination charge, our test crossover listed for $26,720.

2016 Honda HR-V EX-L with Navigation   2015 Audi Q5

Class: Compact Crossover

Miles Driven: 243

Fuel Used: 9.0 gallons

Driving mix: 75% city, 25% highway

Aug
12
2019 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

The 2015 Jeep Chief Concept is based on the current Wrangler Unlimited. It’s clearly a throwback design exercise that’s more retro-rugged than luxurious, but it does suggest how vintage Grand Wagoneer styling elements could be applied to an all-new model.

Future Car by Don Sikora II

In 2014, Jeep sold more than 1 million vehicles worldwide, a new record for the brand. And Jeep’s parent company has even greater ambitions for the future: A Fiat-Chrysler five-year product plan unveiled in May 2014 predicts sales increasing to 1.9 million Jeeps in 2018. The plan also indicates a return to the 7-passenger 3-row SUV market in the form of a revived Grand Wagoneer model. The range-topping 2019 Grand Wagoneer would reprise a legendary name from Jeep’s past, and move the brand further upmarket to take on luxury-brand SUVs in every way—price included.

Aug
11
2015 Jeep Patriot

At $16,895 in front-drive form, the Jeep Patriot starts out as the least-expensive SUV on the market, but that base Sport model lacks such expected niceties as air conditioning and power windows and locks. Those features are all standard on the Latitude 4×4 tested, which started at $24,795 and ended up at $29,510 with some options and destination.

2015 Jeep Patriot Latitude 4×4  2015 Audi Q5

Class: Compact Crossover

Miles Driven: 192.1

Fuel Used: 9.7 gallons

Driving mix: 60% city, 40% highway

Aug
11
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

In its most radical redesign to date, the 4th-generation Mia … er … MX-5 is shorter, lighter, quicker, and more fuel-efficient than its predecessor, and makes available numerous new high-tech features. The base Sport starts at $25,735 including destination, with the top-line Grand Touring listing for just under $31,000 before options.

Scion iM

Maybe it was the day …

Maybe it was the road …

Maybe it was the scenery …

But the sunny preview romp along the twisting ribbons of asphalt that wrap through the high-desert mountains of Southern California made me fall for the Mazda Miata all over again.

Aug
10
1981 Mercury Zephyr, Ford Fox Platform

The Mercury Zephyr was one of eight Fox-platform models available from Ford Motor Company in 1981.

In May of 1981, the national average price of a gallon of gasoline spiked to $1.40, up 10 percent from just a year earlier, and a startling 40 percent more than the 1979 average. Ford Fox Platform.

Aug
07
2015 Chrysler 300C

Although considered a “redesign” by Chrysler, the 2015 edition of the company’s flagship 300 sedan doesn’t look much different than it did before–on the outside. Tested was a top-line 300C Platinum, which started at $42,395, but with the optional Hemi V8 and destination charge, ended up at $46,390.

2015 Chrysler 300C Platinum V8  2015 Audi Q5

Class: Large Car

Miles Driven: 403

Fuel Used: 20.0 gallons

Driving mix: 30% city, 70% highway