Sitting down at the pre-drive briefing with Ford engineers ahead of sampling the refreshed 2015 Focus, water bottles clinked as we wet our whistles before Q&A. While pouring a glass, we noticed something stamped on the bottle label: "1L." One liter. We were palming the exact displacement of the EcoBoost engine our group was about to drive. This was undoubtedly coincidence (such bottles litter every conference and dinner table in Europe) but it served to drive home just how small the total sw
Rolls-Royce Director of Global Communications Richard Carter tells me that his storied employer is "a company that does not chase volume." In a perfect world, mused Carter, the carmaker would sell "one less" of its ultra-luxury vehicles than the fast-expanding world market demands.
In cars, as in all things, there exists a huge chasm between what is possible and what is probable. It may be possible, for example, that within a few years, we'll be zipping around town in hydrogen-powered, autonomous flying cars. But the likelihood is that we'll all be driving four-wheeled vehicles with internal combustion engines and our hands at ten and two for the foreseeable future – just as we have for generations. The same goes for the layout of those cars we drive.
Predicting the future direction of Honda's compact CR-V would have been difficult based on the Civic-derived model that first arrived on our shores for the 1997 model year. The newcomer, selling alongside the body-on-frame Passport (a hastily rebadged Isuzu Rodeo), was a cute compact crossover with four doors and an awkward curb-side hinged tailgate thanks to its Japanese home-market design. The five-passenger CUV offered generous interior room, but its wheezy 2.0-liter four-cylinder, with an ou
Advertising firms have done an admirable job convincing consumers that the easiest way to find a best-in-segment car or truck is by looking at a few key metrics. In the most elementary terms, the vehicle with the highest horsepower, most gears in its transmission housing, lowest acceleration times and best fuel economy most certainly must be the class benchmark.
Be it in the category of luggage, pocket knives, personal computers or cars, the concept of an all-in-one, do-everything product is attractive to a lot of consumers. Why fuss around with stocking your pockets with toothpicks and tiny saws, asks Victorinox, when one well-packaged device can offer up all the functionality that a Swiss Army regular might ever need?
Every car has its definitive year. Whether it be the Chevrolet Corvette, the Ford Mustang, or yes, even the ubiquitous Toyota Camry, 10.2 million of which have been sold since 1983, every car has its year. For the Camry, that year was 1992. With son-of-Lexus styling, a clear sense of purpose and a parent company that had hit its stride as the purveyor of faultlessly reliable family transportation devices, the Camry got its legs in 1992. It's a car that even your mom is likely to remember, even i
At 50 years old, the object of fantasies, a tuner's dream, a movie star and more than nine million strong, it couldn't be truer to say that the Ford Mustang needs no introduction. This newest Mustang, however – making the biggest changes we've seen to the pony car since perhaps 1964.5 – is something Ford has been introducing all year.
Minivan sales have stagnated in recent years, and Kia tells me that no fewer than 15 models have been completely eliminated from the market since crossovers rose to prominence. So why in the world is the company not only sticking by the Sedona, but also actively investing in it, giving it a complete overhaul for the 2015 model year?
Typically, when I approach a new vehicle launch, it's with a degree of optimism. Nowadays, we just expect that every new vehicle will pose a legitimate challenge to segment leaders. Mid-cycle refreshes, meanwhile, have taken on a greater degree of importance, as customers' preferences for the freshest vehicles remains strong and automakers rush to keep the latest tech in their offerings.
What came first, the metrosexual or the Audi TT? While it was close, the descriptor-turned-epithet preceded the 1995 concept car by one year. However, they were both notable cultural evolutions and they happened to work together perfectly. Hugh Grant, playing the cad Will Freeman in the 2002 film About a Boy, could not have chosen a better example of character than his silver TT.
I didn't get a chance to drive the Lexus IS F until 2009, two years after the car had gone on sale, but I still vividly remember the day it happened. Having piloted almost every other vehicle in the Lexus lineup at that point, I was stoked to finally get some wheel time in the V8-powered, flared-fender muscle sedan, but fully expected the car to offer a quick, sanitized and ultimately un-driverly experience. Lexus built well-screwed-together, comfortable, quiet, reliable luxury cars for the timi
Throw EV enthusiasts into a room with diehard motorcyclists, and prepare to see sparks fly. The perfect storm of oil and water famously struck when electric bikes first competed at the Isle of Man TT, and the conflict continues every time a battery-powered two-wheeler crosses swords with one of its internal combustion ancestors on public roads.
Germany's automakers seem to get their jollies by watching us scratch our heads. Instead of sticking to traditional automotive bodystyles, they've been deliberately blurring the lines between them and inventing new terminology with which to classify their creations. So we're left with low-slung sedans called "four-door coupes," crossovers marketed as "sports activity coupes" and slant-back luxury vehicles we wouldn't even know what to call. The upshot is that the customer is left with more choic
It ain't easy being the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Up until now, the compact luxury sedan has had a tough job description: offer sufficient driving dynamics to allow it to compete with the lauded BMW 3 Series, while also serving as the lowest cost of entry into the coveted Mercedes-Benz portfolio. Daimler has had to make it good enough to steal people away from BMW, Audi, Cadillac, Infiniti and Lexus, yet make it affordable and reasonable enough to win over first-time luxury shoppers. Talk about a t
Save for a few years of its century-plus existence, Cadillac has offered its unique brand of American elegance in two-door, fixed-roof bodystyles. Most of these cars were big, floaty barges, of course, though its most recent offering was the wedge-shaped CTS Coupe. But whereas the CTS Coupe was a statement car – angular and severe, with somewhat limited appeal except to design snobs and provocateurs – the ATS Coupe represents a return to form for Cadillac, with a proper three-box (en
Immediately after landing at Washington's Dulles airport, an Acura representative handed me the keys to a 2014 TSX with fewer than 180 miles on its clock. The four-cylinder engine started and I pointed its signature beak towards a destination in Middleburg, VA. It was a curious move by the Japanese automaker, especially considering that I had flown no less than 2,300 miles to drive the discontinued vehicle's ostensible successor, the all-new 2015 Acura TLX.
What weighs 30,000 pounds? Big Ben's Westminster bell. A navy ship anchor. Or as we found out during our first drive program for the 2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty, seven pallets of cinder blocks loaded onto a dual-axle gooseneck trailer. The test was part of a raft of towing demonstrations that showcased the new Super Duty's impressive tug capacity, which maxes out at 32,100 pounds. That's 1,200 more than its nearest rival, the Ram 3500, when equipped with its upgraded 6.7-liter Power Stroke die