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1958 Ford Del Rio Ranch Wagon

1958 Ford Del Rio Ranch Wagon

Note: The following story was excerpted from the February 2004 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine

By John Biel

The American station wagon has had many transformations over the years. It went from being seen as a commercial vehicle to being accepted as a passenger-car style. Wood body construction gave way to steel. And though four-door convenience made the most sense for such a vehicle, two-door wagons enjoyed a brief heyday that peaked in the mid Fifties. 

2018 Kia Rio 5-Door

2018 Kia Rio EX 5-Door in Smoke Blue

2015 Audi Q52018 Kia Rio EX 5-Door

Class: Subcompact Car

Miles driven: 538

Fuel used: 17.2 gallons

2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 AWD Cabriolet

2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 4Matic Cabriolet in Selenite Grey Metallic (a $720 option)

2015 Audi Q52017 Mercedes-Benz C300 4Matic Cabriolet

Class: Premium Sporty/Performance Cars

Miles driven: 321

Fuel used: 13.5 gallons

Rolls-Royce Dawn Wood Trim

2017 Rolls-Royce Dawn with Full Canadel Paneling option package

The 2017 Rolls-Royce Dawn we recently had through the Consumer Guide head office had a lengthy list of optional equipment that pushed its $341,125 base price all the way up to a bottom line of $413,030. We’ll do the math for you…that’s $71,905 in options alone—enough to buy a very nicely equipped 2017 BMW 5-Series sedan.

2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet

2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet

New York Auto ShowMercedes-Benz introduced the final member of the redesigned E-Class lineup at the New York Auto Show.

Nissan Titan Warrior Concept

Nissan Titan Warrior Concept

2016 Detroit Auto Show logoNissan’s new 2016 Titan XD pickup is only just starting to hit dealerships, but the company is already exploring new possibilities for its redesigned line of full-size trucks. One example is the Titan Warrior Concept, a muscular off-road themed show truck unveiled at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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

1970 Ford Escort RS1600

1970 Ford Escort RS1600

The seventh installment of the ludicrous, ludicrously lucrative Fast and Furious movies hit the theaters last week, and it’s making mounds of money as you read this. As expected, Furious 7 is gleefully ridiculous—a live-action cartoon fantasy of awesome cars, glowering tough guys, bone-crunching fist fights, over-the-top stunts, wanton mayhem and destruction, leering shots of scantily clad babes, AND enough tear-jerking melodrama to shame the cheesiest soap opera. (Note that we’re not counting the movie’s ending among those melodramatic moments—Furious 7 closes with an understated, genuinely touching tribute to deceased star Paul Walker.)

Jeep Renegade Trailhawk

A 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk (front) is displayed next to a Renegade Limited featuring custom trim bits sourced from the Jeep Authentic Accessories catalog.

Jeep displayed two concept vehicles at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, both based on the soon-to-be-released Renegade compact SUV.

2014 Fiat 500C Abarth Cabrio

Consumer Guide’s test Fiat 500c Abarth arrived well equipped. With the standard 5-speed manual transmission and including destination charge, our test car came to $31,645.

2014 Fiat 500c Abarth Cabrio

Miles Driven: 284

Fuel Used: 9.2 gallons (premium required)

Driving mix: 65% city, 35% highway