Archive for September, 2015

2015 Lexus LS

Consumer Guide’s test Lexus LS 460 arrived lightly optioned for a car in its class. Including the destination charge, our test car came to $80,630.

2015 Lexus LS 460 AWD 2015 Audi Q5

Class: Premium Large Car

Miles Driven: 475

Fuel Used: 29.6 gallons

2015 Toyota Prius c

Although our top-line Prius c Four tester started at $25,300 with destination — and ended up at $26,579 with options — a base One model can be had for as little as $20,375.

2015 Toyota Prius c  2015 Audi Q5

Class: Subcompact Car

Miles Driven: 405

Fuel Used: 8.1 gallons



What will a new Checker look like? Concept sketches are all we have to go on. Checker Motor Cars

What will a new Checker look like? Concept sketches are all we have to go on.

Presented here is an unedited press release received by Consumer Guide today.


“Two New Models Combine Retro Appearance With Twenty First Century Automotive Technology”

2016 Infiniti QX50

Infiniti’s almost invisible QX50 grows in wheelbase and overall length for 2016 while getting freshened styling and added features–and a lower price.

Scion iM

Considering it’s a long-time member of the popular premium compact-SUV class, Infiniti’s QX50 sells in laughably small numbers. Whereas competitors Acura RDX and Audi Q5 both topped 42,000 units last year, the QX50 accounted for … 2727.

If you can’t picture the QX50 in your mind, you’re not alone. Infiniti renamed all its models back in 2014, and though the new designations follow a fairly logical pattern, many folks (including some journalists) are still struggling with the transition.

1977 Chevrolet Impala Coupe

1977 Chevrolet Impala Coupe

I’ve spent a fair amount of time bemoaning the results of the Detroit downsizing movement that began in the mid-Seventies. Responding to rising fuel prices and an unusually high rate of inflation, manufacturers were desperately looking for ways to reduce materials costs and to improve fuel economy. The simplest way to achieve both goals was, apparently, to produce smaller vehicles.

2015 Subaru BRZ

2015 Subaru BRZ

Mick Jagger's Car by Don Sikora II

Note: The following story was excerpted from the August 2015 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.

During summer 2012, Toyota and Subaru sprung jointly developed affordable rear-drive sports coupes on the American market as 2013 models. Toyota sold the car through its youth-oriented Scion brand as the FR-S; Subaru’s version was dubbed BRZ. 

2015 Ford Mustang, Mustang EcoBoost Convertible

Subtle, it wasn’t. Our “Triple Yellow” Mustang drop-top came with Ford’s punchy-yet-economical 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine and automatic transmission, along with a bunch of options that pushed its $34,800 base price to nearly $42,000 with destination.

2015 Ford Mustang convertible  2015 Audi Q5

Class: Sporty/Performance Car

Miles Driven: 505

Fuel Used: 19.1 gallons

2016 Audi TT

Although redesigned for 2016, the TT doesn’t look much different — on the outside. With a starting price of $42,900 including standard all-wheel drive, our test car listed for just over $50,000 with options and destination.

2016 Audi TT  2015 Audi Q5

Class: Premium Sporty/Performance Car

Dates tested: 9/2/2015 – 9/9/2015

Miles Driven: 341

Fuel Used: 11.82 gallons

Volkswagen Clean Diesel Scandal

Has the media been too soft on Volkswagen?

If you’ve been in this industry long enough, you’ve met a number of manufacturer PR and engineering folks who actually believe in what they’re doing. Typically, these earnest people are fortunate enough to be working on heritage or green projects.

Dodge Shelby Lancer

Dodge Lancer Shelby

Cheap Wheels

by Don Sikora II

Note: The following story was excerpted from the August 2015 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.

Carroll Shelby tweaked an incredibly diverse group of cars in his long career. Many of them are coveted high-dollar collectibles, but a much smaller subset provides interesting candidates for a set of cheap wheels. Consider the 1988-89 Dodge Lancer Shelby, a second attempt to modify Dodge’s K-car-based four-door hatchback into a European-style sport sedan. 

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