Automotive Blog


What automaker charges the most for destination charges?

 

2019 Kenworth Toyota T680 FCET class 8 semi-trailer truckDestination charges on a new car are one of life’s pain points. Like mowing the lawn, vacuuming, or pulling hair out of the drain, the costs associated with shipping a car from the factory are unavoidable—the bill comes due whether you like it or not. But some automakers charge more than others. Why? The added cost for destination and...

What's a Monroney window sticker for, and what does it do?

 

2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee window sticker optionsWhat is the one thing you’ll find on every showroom floor aside from four wheels and the fear of a bum deal? The window sticker. Also known as the Monroney label, the window sticker is a universal data sheet mandated on all new passenger vehicles 10,000 pounds or less sold in the U.S. It’s meant to keep shoppers from getting swindled...

Seven ways to tell if a used car has flood damage

 

Nashville flood carMany car shoppers don’t realize just how much damage floodwaters do to a vehicle. That represents a problem—not just to the owner of a car or truck that falls victim to a catastrophic flood, but to prospective buyers unaware of the vehicle’s history. The risk of flooded vehicles on the market affects everyone looking for a used...

Car hacks: how an old iPhone and in-car Wi-Fi gave me free navigation

 

Chevrolet Bolt EV with Apple CarPlayCar hacks are little ways to make your time in a car easier, quicker, smarter, or more convenient. Auto journalists have a few of their own, but we learn a lot of them from readers. Here's one from Jay Lucas. What follows are his words, lightly edited by The Car Connection for clarity and style. I recently replaced my wife's old iPhone 5 with an...

GM: Sticking Rudolf's nose on your car hurts fuel economy

 

GMC Terrain AntlersRudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer may be perfectly suited to guiding sleighs in inclement weather, but if you played Santa: The Home Game this year, the chances are the little guy took some of the edge off of your fuel economy. That’s according to GM, which tested a GMC Terrain in a wind tunnel to gauge the effects of antlers and a reindeer...

PSA: Please don't put your feet up on the dashboard

 

Audra Tatum's car accident, via Audra TatumThe warning given by Audra Tatum from Walker County, Georgia is simple: Don't put your feet up on the dashboard of your car. The reason? It's beyond dangerous. Tatum and her husband were in a car crash two years ago as they were on their way to pick up their children. Everyone involved walked away, except Audra. Despite previous warnings from her...

What are the different levels of self-driving cars?

 

Volvo Launches Latest Autonomous Cars Pilot In SwedenIn many ways self-driving cars are an eventuality and a reality. As automakers approach full autonomy toward the end of this decade, several new cars now boast self-driving features that inch toward the goal of driver-less cars soon. Many of these features can be grouped together in a uniform set of self-driving "levels," which were defined by the...

Now's the time to buy winter tires

 

2017 Dodge Challenger GT, Media drive, Portland, Maine, January 2017Check that date. Yes, it's the beginning of February and we're telling you that you should buy winter tires now, even though we're already halfway through the snowy season. If you've been contemplating winter tires for your car, this may very well be the best time to take advantage of clearance sales as tire retailers like Tire Rack are looking to...

Mid-size sedans scrapping vanilla in favor of sport

 

2017 Ford Fusion SportThe family sedan is in the midst of a quiet revolution. What was once indisputably the type of car most likely to be found in the average American garage has been displaced by crossovers and SUVs that channel a little Marlboro Man with room for the kids and their gear (plus maybe the neighbors' kids). Mid-size sedans like the Toyota Camry, Honda...

How to be sure you're buying an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ car

 

2017 Audi A4 in IIHS crash testingYou've seen the TV spots. You've read the ads. You've visited the automaker's website. That new car you want is very safe, they proclaim. It has received top marks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety—the Top Safety Pick+ award. But not every car on the dealer's lot is necessarily a Top Safety Pick+ recipient, even if it looks...

Here's what a destination charge means and how it's calculated

 

2017 Volvo V60Picture this: You're sitting at home one night watching TV or flipping through a magazine when you see an ad for a shiny new sports car whipping through a curvy canyon highway—or maybe it's a rugged pickup kicking up a cloud of dust in search of adventure. The announcer screams at you, "$29,995!" You think to yourself—wow, that's a lot...

2016 Chevy Colorado: V-6 Or Duramax Diesel?

 

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel pulling Chevy CorvetteIf you have your mind set on skipping past the full-size Silverado (or F-150 or Ram 1500, for that matter) and heading for the somewhat more manageable 2016 Chevrolet Colorado—or the closely related GMC Canyon—you’ll be facing a dilemma: do you get the V-6 gasoline engine, or the new-for-2016 Duramax 2.8-liter turbo-diesel...

Used Electric Cars: Quick Guide For Getting The Best Deal

 

2012 Nissan Leaf electric car - net pricing shown on Nissan websiteIf you think that electric-car ownership is beyond your financial reach, think again. Due to a matter of supply and demand, and a flood of used models entering the market, electric vehicles (EVs) like the Nissan Leaf are remarkably affordable. This summer, and likely into the fall, there’s a surplus of electric cars being returned from two-...

Feeling Patriotic? GM, Ford Vehicles Top Made In America Index

 

GM Renaissance Center American flagAmericans are increasingly rediscovering the importance of buying local, or buying U.S.-made products. And for some households, that value system extends to their family vehicle. Yet it’s not entirely clear what constitutes ‘made in America’ for a car or truck. There is no 100-percent American model on the market; every vehicle...

May Lease Deals: Five Smart Vehicle Picks

 

2015 Toyota Avalon LimitedFor a certain kind of shopper, leasing can be a smart option. If you’re the type who wants a new vehicle with the latest look and features every few years, it can often give you more car for the money. Yet it’s worth laying out the numbers first, to see if leasing adds up in your case—or even makes sense versus buying. ALSO SEE...


Review update: The 2020 Lexus ES 300h shelters drivers in the right place

 

2020 Lexus ES 300hLong-distance journeys may have settled into your mind, in this time of sheltering in place. One day we'll be able to drive far, far away—and for that day your shopping list could start and begin with the 2020 Lexus ES 300h Ultra Luxury. If you can avoid the lure of a crossover SUV, the 2020 Lexus ES stands out among four-door sedans. We...

Meals on Wheels delivers connections, Mazda turns 100, GM to build Hondas: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

Meals on WheelsWheel Connections: Meals on Wheels deliver more than food during coronavirus shutdown Kathy Kreidler and her Subaru Forester have delivered thousands of meals to home-bound seniors so far, and the need is only getting greater. When does a three-row small crossover make sense? Grandparents, nannies, an involved aunt, uncle, sibling, or family...

Wheel Connections: Meals on Wheels deliver more than food during coronavirus shutdown

 

Meals on WheelsRosalee Craig’s small, 92-year-old frame sidles comfortably into her wheelchair. The back of it says “Drive,” advice she’s taken to heart. In her garage is a red 1966 Mustang that she bought new for a little more than $3,000, just down the street. Her grandson and caregiver James watches over the Mustang now, which he still...

When does a three-row small crossover make sense?

 

2020 Volkswagen TiguanThere aren’t many compact crossovers like the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan that offer a third-row seat. The Dodge Journey, Tesla Model Y, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Lexus RX 350L squeeze in a third row, but most three-row vehicles are much larger, such as the Volkswagen Atlas. Yet, for the 10% of Tiguan customers who opt for the third row, it...

2020 Mazda CX-30 vs. 2020 Mazda 3 hatchback: Compare Cars

 

2020 Mazda CX-30Mazda has presented a curious case with its small cars. Following the evolutionary chart of the Mazda3 hatchback leads to a split in what we can now call the Crossover Era. While the lovable Mazda3 continues on one trajectory, the split presents a new subspecies known as the CX-30 subcompact crossover. The CX-3 exists in that split, a small...

Mazda crossover or hatch? Camry TRD Pro is kid approved, Lucid claims 400-mile range: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

2019 Mazda 3 - Best Car To Buy 20202020 Mazda CX-30 vs. 2020 Mazda 3 hatchback: Compare Cars Mazda has presented a curious case with its small cars. Following the evolutionary chart of the Mazda3 hatchback leads to a split in what we can now call the Crossover Era. 2021 Genesis G80 preview When it goes on sale late this year, the 2021 Genesis G80 mid-size luxury sedan will share...

Basecamp comes to 2021 Atlas, 2021 BMW 5-Series spied, EV Jeeps are coming: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

2021 Volkswagen Atlas with Basecamp package2021 Volkswagen Atlas Basecamp off-road add-ons push families further into the wilderness It may not promise the world, but Volkswagen on Wednesday rolled out a list of available off-road upgrades to its 2021 Atlas. The parts, which include appearance items like front and rear bumpers, extra skid plates for protection, and chunky off-road wheels...

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Basecamp off-road add-ons push families further into the wilderness

 

2021 Volkswagen Atlas with Basecamp packageIt may not promise the world, but Volkswagen on Wednesday rolled out a list of available off-road upgrades to its 2021 Atlas. The parts, which include appearance items like front and rear bumpers, extra skid plates for protection, and chunky off-road wheels and tires, add up to more than $3,500, but can be purchased separately. The Atlas Basecamp...

Average gas price in US drops to $1.99: AAA

 

Gas pumpThe national average for a gallon of gasoline dropped to $1.99, AAA announced Tuesday. It's the first time in four years that average prices for gas fell below $2 due to two global problems. The global coronavirus pandemic has suppressed oil demand and a crude oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia have combined to lower crude oil to less...

Gas prices drop, as do EPA mileage targets: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

gas pumpAverage gas price in US drops to $1.99: AAA The global coronavirus pandemic has suppressed oil demand and a crude oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia have combined to lower crude oil to less than $20 per barrel, the lowest price since 2002, AAA reports. Review update: 2020 CX-30 is Mazda’s better, larger small crossover If the...

Review update: 2020 CX-30 is Mazda’s better, larger small crossover

 

2020 Mazda CX-30If the Mazda 3 hatchback were to grow up, it would become the new 2020 Mazda CX-30 crossover. First, it would have to go through an awkward but small rebellious phase as the CX-3. With the CX-30, Mazda has matured its small crossover to become more practical and responsible, but it still retains some youthful driving fun. The CX-3 is still around...

2020 Kia Telluride vs Sorento, 2021 Genesis G80 preview, electric trains are coming: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

2020 Kia Telluride - Best Car To Buy 20202020 Kia Sorento vs. 2020 Kia Telluride: Compare Crossover SUVs The 2020 Kia Sorento and 2020 Kia Telluride are both three-row crossover SUVs that share similar missions to get the family to soccer practice on time. Sidewalk Edition returns to 2021 Mini Cooper S convertible 2021 Mini convertible Sidewalk Edition is a Cooper S with a six-speed...

Sidewalk Edition returns to 2021 Mini Cooper S convertible

 

2021 Mini Cooper S Convertible Sidewalk EditionThe 2021 Mini Cooper S convertible comes with a Sidewalk Edition trim package that will start at $39,250 when it hits dealerships in late April, the automaker announced on Friday. First launched in 2007, the Sidewalk Edition is a puzzler. BMW says it was a popular special edition, but aside from being equipped like a Cooper S in Signature trim...

2020 Kia Sorento vs. 2020 Kia Telluride: Compare Crossover SUVs

 

2020 Kia Telluride - Best Car To Buy 2020The 2020 Kia Sorento and 2020 Kia Telluride are both three-row crossover SUVs that share similar missions to get the family to soccer practice on time. The biggest question for shoppers: How many players do you need to haul and how many shin guards and cleats do you need to carry in the back? Both the Sorento and Telluride offer three rows of...

Review update: The 2020 Ford Expedition Max Platinum poses issue for car seats

 

2020 Ford Expedition Max PlatinumThe Ford Expedition Max Platinum is nearly 19 feet long with space for up to eight passengers or nearly 122 cubic feet of cargo. It is the definition of a Bed Bath & Beyond runner or family hauler, yet it’s not compatible with some top-rated car seats. With a TCC Rating of 7.0 out of 10 the 2020 Ford Expedition Max Platinum hits big with...


Best of the 2020 Chicago Auto Show: TCC picks the posh and practical

 

2020 Chicago Auto ShowThe 2020 Chicago Auto Show kicked off auto show season and gave car shoppers a preview of what they can expect on dealer lots later this year. The new cars shown off on Thursday's media day ranged from pure performance to posh and practical. We'll stick with the latter, even though the $750,000 Liquid Carbon limited edition 2020 Ford GT is auto...

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a 54-mpg green-tech highway machine

 

2020 Hyundai SonataIf you drive a lot on the highway and think mileage really matters, yet you’re still not ready to turn in your gas card for a charging-network app, the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid might prove the perfect choice when it arrives in a few months. With the Sonata Hybrid’s debut at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show on Thursday, Hyundai announced a...

Coming for 2021: Small crossovers and EVs star at LA Auto Show

 

2019 LA Auto Show HighlightsIf cars had astrological years, 2020 will be the year of the small crossover. That's our takeaway from the unofficial start of the new car year—the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, which runs through December 1, where precocious 2021 vehicles strut their stuff on the silver floor, and those 2020 models late in the womb finally emerge into the hot...

2020 Mazda CX-30 makes room in small crossover SUV lineup

 

2020 Mazda CX-30, 2019 LA Auto ShowThe 2020 Mazda CX-30 that arrived in the U.S. on Wednesday at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show raises big questions about small crossovers in the Mazda lineup. It would seem as if the larger CX-30 would replace the CX-3 subcompact crossover, but instead it slots between the CX-3 and CX-5, Mazda spokesman Drew Carey told us on the show floor. The new...

2021 Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid revealed: Shocking power from crossover SUV

 

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime, 2019 LA Auto ShowToyota on Tuesday confirmed a bit of a shocker, pun intended. The automaker confirmed details for its 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid crossover, due next year, which adds a bigger hybrid battery to its hybrid powertrain that can power the crossover up to 39 miles on electric power alone. The crossover will make 302 combined horsepower and...

Coming to America: Performance cars, rugged SUVs, and plug-ins debut in Frankfurt

 

New Audi RS 7 SportbackWhile the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany might seem like a far cry from the States, many of the performance, luxury, and electric vehicles launched there will be heading over to the U.S. in the coming months. Here’s a look at what’s coming to America. 2020 Audi RS 6 Avant The 2020 RS 6 Avant mid-size sport wagon has a mild-hybrid...

The 13 most important cars of the 2019 New York auto show

 

2020 Toyota Highlander, 2019 New York International Auto ShowFrom three-row crossover SUVs to shapely mid-size sedans, the 2019 New York International Auto Show had an important new-car introduction for just about every kind of buyer Wednesday. The show opens to the public Friday and highlights include the 34-mpg 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, the shapely 2020 Cadillac CT5 sedan, the luxo-laden 2020 Lincoln...

The 8 most exciting new cars at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show

 

2020 Toytota RAV4 TRD Off-Road, 2019 Chicago Auto ShowThe world's automakers gathered under the bright lights at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show on Thursday to show off some off their latest and greatest new cars, trucks, and SUVs. Though there weren't many major debuts, this year's show is notable in that nearly all of the flashy new cars unwrapped in Chicago will be in dealers by the end of the year...

2020 Toyota Supra: Legendary two-seat sport coupe returns, with a European twist

 

2020 Toyota Supra, 2019 Detroit auto showLaunching a new model name costs many millions of dollars, which is why automakers often bring back old names or radically alter the vehicles sold under an existing name. That explains why Toyota's new two-seat sport coupe is called Supra, reviving a name last used in 1998. The new 2020 Toyota Supra has an inline-6 engine, just like the old one...

Crossover SUV of all trades: 2020 Ford Explorer hybrid, performance-oriented ST revealed

 

2020 Ford Explorer, 2019 Detroit auto showIllustrating its commitment to SUVs and crossovers at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ford on Monday took the wraps off of two more versions of its 2020 Explorer: the thriftier Explorer hybrid and the sportier Explorer ST. The eco-friendly and performance-oriented Explorers will act like bookends for the mainstream...

The 7 most important cars at the 2018 LA Auto Show

 

2020 Jeep Gladiator, 2018 LA Auto ShowAutomakers took to the Los Angeles Convention Center this week with a host of new SUVs, sports cars, sedans, and pickup trucks to show off to the public. Three new models revive long-retired names for pickup trucks and SUVs aimed at hauling people and all their gear. Another is the long-awaited update of an iconic German sports car. And one's a...

2020 Kia Soul revealed: The box is back

 

2020 Kia Soul, 2018 LA Auto ShowThe quirky 2020 Kia Soul crossover arrived with a new look at the 2018 LA Auto Show Wednesday. This time around, the battery-electric Soul EV gained a major update, too. Shoppers who adore the Soul's boxy looks won't be disappointed. The 2020 Soul retains the same toaster oven shape as its predecessor, but the look is arguably more cohesive. Slim...

2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid: 50-mpg hybrid tech for a new normal

 

2020 Toyota Corolla, 2018 LA Auto ShowThe Toyota Corolla has historically flaunted its frugal credentials. In a sign of changing times, the new 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is angling for a lot more eco cred. For the first time, it packs something very noteworthy: Toyota’s hybrid system, and mileage that’s surprisingly close to the Prius. Toyota claims that the Corolla...

2019 Nissan Murano, Maxima debut with updated look

 

2019 Nissan Murano, 2018 LA Auto ShowAt the 2018 LA Auto Show Wednesday, updated versions of the Nissan Murano crossover SUV and Nissan Maxima sedan broke cover. The two boast evolutionary styling updates with new LED head- and running lights, revised front and rear bumpers, and new wheel designs. On both, wider availability of active safety tech follows in the footsteps—or...

2019 Mazda 3 bows with new look, upgraded tech

 

2019 Mazda 3, 2018 LA Auto ShowAn evolutionary redesign that bowed Wednesday at the 2018 LA Auto Show puts the 2019 Mazda 3 in line with the automaker's larger sedan and its crossover SUVs. Bigger changes come inside and behind the scenes, where the Mazda 3 ushers in a new fuel-saving, high-compression engine, a larger infotainment screen, an available infrared...

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