Archive for February, 2016

Feb
22
Mazda Ice Academy

Running a slalom course … in the snow … in a Miata … with the top down was just one of the enlightening experiences of the first Mazda Ice Academy.

“We encourage you to go over the limit.”

That opening (and potentially career-ending) comment was delivered by Mazda product specialist Ramana Lagemann, and–trust me–it was a phrase none of the assembled auto journalists had ever before heard at a press preview. In fact, most manufacturers spend a great deal of (entirely justified) time imploring us NOT to go over the limit, as things quickly get expensive when we do. Just ask any prematurely grey PR rep.

Feb
19
2016 Ford Explorer

The new-for-2016 Platinum edition of the Ford Explorer comes just about fully loaded at its $53,915 starting price (including destination), with the only options being the 2nd-row bucket seats and console fitted to our $54,760 test vehicle.

2016 Ford Explorer Platinum 4×4   2015 Audi Q5

Class: Midsize Crossover

Dates tested: 1/25/2016 – 2/01/2016

Miles Driven: 307

Fuel Used: 19.6 gallons

Feb
18
Cadillac Auto Show Display, Manufacturer Displays

Cadillac at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show

2016 Chicago Auto ShowThe 2016 Chicago Auto Show opened its doors last week, and naturally Consumer Guide was there to cover all the new-vehicle introductions (which you can check out here). While the gleaming machines on display are obviously the main attractions at any major auto show, the manufacturer displays themselves are another key part of the magic. The displays are often much more than just the frame around the picture—they’re marvelous feats of architectural engineering that help a given brand stake out its space and stand out on the show floor.

Feb
17
1966 Mercury Colony Park

1966 Mercury Colony Park

What’s a woodie? The era during which real wood was used to supplement the rear/side steel bodywork of a vehicle was relatively short.

Feb
17
2016 Dodge Journey, Dodge Journey Crossroad

Despite an aging design, the Dodge Journey stands as a very likable 3-row crossover offering a lot of neat features at a near-bargain price. Although it starts at less than $22,000 in 2-row, 4-cylinder, front-drive form, our tester was a higher-end, 3-row, V6, all-wheel-drive model that started at a little over $30,000 and ended up at $34,360 with options.

2016 Dodge Journey Crossroad AWD  2015 Audi Q5

Class: Midsize Crossover

Dates tested: 1/20/2016 – 1/27/2016

Miles Driven: 581

Fuel Used: 27.3 gallons

Feb
16
1986 Honda Accord

How much bigger is the 2016 Honda Civic (bottom) than the 1986 model?

Imagine having invested $100 in a savings account back in 1986. Let’s say you opened the account, deposited the money, and subsequently forgot ever having had that money. Then, skip to the present. You find your old passbook, and decide to cash-out the account. Surprise! You now have a little under $500, assuming you were earning interest at the old-school savings-and-loan rate of 5 1/4  percent.

Feb
16
2016 Nissan Sentra

Recently on sale is the “freshened” 2016 edition of the venerable Nissan Sentra, which adopts the company’s V-Motion grille along with several new features. 

Scion iM

Nissan’s Sentra has had a tough row to hoe. Through seven generations since 1982, it has had to go head-to-head against the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, juggernauts that have long held the sales crowns of the compact class.

Feb
15
1963 Ford Mustang II Concept Car

1963 Ford Mustang II Concept Car

Note: This article is reprinted from the April 2015 issue of Collectible Automobile

By Jack Stewart

Photos by Al Rogers

The Ford Mustang I concept car was too successful. The midengine two-seat sports car was the subject of gushing magazine reviews, and Ford Motor Company received letters begging for its production. Yet, even as the Mustang I made its debut at the Watkins Glen Grand Prix in October 1962, Ford had already decided that Mustang would be a Falcon-based four-seater. In the interim, it needed a link between the Mustang I and the upcoming production car.

Feb
11
Screen shot 2016-02-11 at 5.38.12 PM

2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE V6 (left) and 1LE V8 (right)

2016 Chicago Auto ShowChevrolet’s redesigned-for-2016 Camaro will be offering even-more-athletic handing for 2017. At the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, Chevy announced the return of the 1LE handling package to the Camaro lineup. Availability of the package is expanded this time around to include V6-powered Camaros as well as the SS V8s (which are rated at 335 horsepower and 455 horsepower respectively, in case you forgot). In both cases, a manual transmission is mandatory.

Feb
11
Screen shot 2016-02-11 at 4.39.55 PM

2017 Chevrolet Trax

2016 Chicago Auto ShowChevrolet unveiled a refreshed edition of its subcompact crossover SUV at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show. The 2017 Chevrolet Trax gets new front and rear fasciae and an updated interior with a new instrument cluster, redesigned center panel with 7-inch MyLink touchscreen, and an updated infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.

Also new are a handful of active safety features, namely blind-spot alert, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision alert, and lane-departure warning. LS and LT trim levels carry over, but the top-line LTZ model has been renamed Premier. Also carried over is the Trax’s 138-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder and 6-speed automatic transmission.