Author Archive

Jul
16

Around View Monitor

As vehicles become more technologically advanced, the list of features buyers expect from them continues to grow. Just a few years ago, a Bluetooth cell-phone link was something you’d typically find only in luxury vehicles. Now even the least-expensive cars have them, though admittedly some of that is out of necessity to comply with local and state regulations.

Jul
11
2014 Chevrolet Silverado

2014 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ “Z71”

This decade has been a fascinating one for large pickup trucks. Looking at the market as a whole, we’ve seen a shift toward big rigs equipped like luxury sedans rather than traditional workhorses. Chrysler rewrote the rulebook by giving its Ram 1500 trucks a more car-like suspension, never-before-seen storage capability, and a brand-new turbodiesel engine. As Ford readies a new F-150, likely for a model-year 2015 debut, it’s General Motors’ turn in the big pickup spotlight, highlighted by the recent release of new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and companion GMC Sierra 1500.

Jul
01
Diesel Car list

For model-year 2014, Jeep unveiled the Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel.

The 2014 model year is shaping up to be a strong one for the diesel engine. Long shunned by the U.S. buying public, today’s “oil burners” are as reliable, as clean, and sometimes as quiet as a modern gasoline motor. It also helps that diesels generate huge amounts of torque with greater efficiency. Manufacturers of diesel cars are touting driving ranges of more than 700 miles on a single tank, a figure that makes even the Toyota Prius “green” with envy.

Jun
04
2014 Chevrolet SS

2014 Chevrolet SS

General Motors today announced pricing for the 2014 Chevrolet SS. This large, rear-wheel drive, 4-door sedan will start at $44,470. The MSRP includes destination, but not the U.S. government’s excise gas-guzzler tax, the amount of which was unknown as of this writing.

Jun
03

2014 Bentley Continental GTC Speed convertible

Since the Volkswagen Group took over stewardship of Bentley, the German carmaker has pretty much left its British subsidiary to its own devices. VW provides some chassis and powertrain expertise while Bentley’s own designers and engineers craft the equivalent of automotive sculpture inside and out. This partnership has paid dividends, as Bentley has seen its sales consistently increase in the U.S. (its biggest market) and around the world.

You might not need us to tell you that a Bentley is fabulous. Stunning lines, sumptuous interiors, and tremendous power are just a few of the many high points of the brand’s entire product line.

What’s not to love? Price and fuel economy are obvious things, but a few of the niggles I had with our recent 2014 Bentley Continental GTC Speed convertible go a bit deeper than that. While this is still an absolutely wonderful grand touring sports car, this shining diamond has a few flaws.

Disclaimer: The spleen venting here is strictly that of the author, and the opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the entirety of Consumer Guide Automotive.

May
20

The Wheeler Dealer Know HowWhile channel surfing on a lazy weekend afternoon about five years ago, I stumbled across a program called Wheeler Dealers, airing on Discovery Channel’s HD Theater (now called Velocity TV). The premise of this British television show was fairly simple. Former car dealer Mike Brewer would purchase a “modern classic” car, hand it off to expert mechanic Edd China for a light-to-moderate restoration, and then sell it in the hopes of making a profit.

May
08
Online Car Shopping Experience

This Chevy dealer’s website tries to be helpful, but it really isn’t.

My wife and I might be in the market for a new vehicle sometime in the not-too-distant future. While my job as an auto critic gives me unique access to the industry’s latest and greatest, I will still need to get into the proverbial trenches to research not only the product but the dealerships who sell them.

Apr
25

BMW 335d

In the last five years, many cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans have come and gone in the U.S. retail landscape. Many made indelible impressions. Others slipped softly from our consciousness. It’s the latter that I wish to celebrate. Here are five vehicles from the last five years that you either forgot were sold in the U.S. or never knew existed.

Apr
19
Luxury Car Bargains

Volkswagen CC

With new-car prices ever on the rise, the average new-car buyer might find it nigh on impossible to enter the luxury market. Hold on to that dream, dear readers, because here are five vehicles you can buy right now that allow you to have that premium feel without too much of a hit to your bank accounts.

Apr
11

Ed says: Buy the Volkswagen GTI, not the Volkswagen Beetle (right).

You’re probably familiar with the successful Eat This, Not That! series of books, which document America’s unhealthiest meals while offering other suggestions that provide just as much taste with less nasty stuff.