Automotive Blog


How much should I tow with my crossover SUV?

 

2020 Volkagen Atlas Cross SportJust because you can tow 5,000 pounds doesn’t mean you should. Many popular three-row crossover SUVs such as the Kia Telluride and Volkswagen Atlas have maximum tow ratings set by their manufacturers of 5,000 pounds, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should hook up 5,000 pounds of boat and trailer and drive away. It’s more...

Wash me now: What's the best type of car wash?

 

Touch car washNeed to give the car a wash? Deliberating between doing it yourself or going to a professional car wash? If you don't have the time, desire, or supplies to clean your car at home, then it's time to hit the pros. There are three types of places you can go to get your car washed, all with differing degrees of effectiveness. Options include a quick...

Car shopping: Practice patience when considering your trade in

 

Car shoppingNew car sales have plummeted about 50% since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the U.S., and used car values have dropped as well. With great incentives on new cars, such as 0% financing for 72 months, and a slew of off-lease and retiring fleet vehicles, there is an overwhelming supply of used cars on dealer lots and at auction houses. This...

How to clean your car's interior like a pro

 

How to clean your car's interior like a proA clean car is a happy car. Your car deserves to be happy. For some it’s therapeutic (raises hand) and for others it’s a necessary evil. Whichever end of the spectrum you fall on, cleaning the inside of your car is necessary maintenance that isn’t difficult to do. The hardest part is deciding to do it. Keeping the interior of...

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...


First drive: 2022 Lexus ES 350 settles into middle life-cycle age

 

2022 Lexus ES 350The advantage of aging is you are more comfortable with what you are and care less about what you are not. The refreshed 2022 Lexus ES is comfortable in its role as a quiet, comfy mid-size sedan that doesn’t care to be on the cutting edge of technology, even though it adds a touchscreen this year. The updates are incremental if not grudging...

2022 Lexus ES tested, VW ID.5 teased, Tesla capitulates: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

2022 Lexus ES 350First drive: 2022 Lexus ES 350 settles into middle life-cycle age The refreshed sedan gets an overdue touchscreen and other standard safety and convenience features, but its best feature remains its ride quality. Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid to return as three-row SUV The Outlander plug-in hybrid will join the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring...

Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid to return as three-row SUV

 

Teaser for next-generation Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVThe next Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid will have more range and more seats when it goes in sale in late 2022, the automaker announced last week. Expected to be a 2023 model, the second-generation PHEV will feature a new powertrain with "improved motor output and increased battery capacity" over the 2021 Outlander hybrid that was just...

Your mileage may vary: AAA finds mpg meters inaccurate

 

Miles-to-empty fuel meter display, courtesy of AAAFuel economy displays in vehicles and "miles to empty" alerts can vary widely from real world usage, according to a new study by the AAA and Automotive Research Center published this week. In some tests, fuel economy displays showed estimates that were off by more than 2 mpg against controlled testing with a dynamometer, which AAA says acts as a...

MPG meters prove unreliable, Bentley debuts hybrid sedan, Nikola's Milton charged: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

Gas pumpYour mileage may vary: AAA finds mpg meters inaccurate Fuel economy displays in vehicles and "miles to empty" alerts can vary widely from real world usage, according to AAA. 2022 Hyundai Accent review Good fuel economy boosts the 2022 Hyundai Accent to a TCC Rating of 5.0 out of 10. 2022 Cadillac XT4 review With a TCC Rating of 6.5 out of 10, the...

First drive: 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L summits three-row SUV peak

 

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee LThe Jeep Grand Cherokee finally comes with a third row. Dubbed L as in large and in charge, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L offers more space without sacrificing the style that has helped it define the SUV segment since its 1993 launch. Stylish and rugged, sophisticated yet brutish, the timeless design of the Grand Cherokee has helped make it a...

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L tested, Fisker Ocean prepped to debut, Biden emissions rules challenged: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee LFirst drive: 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L summits three-row SUV peak The larger variant of the Jeep Grand Cherokee in Summit Reserve top trim offers luxury for the whole family. 2022 Hyundai Sonata review Especially strong as a Hybrid sedan, the 2022 Hyundai Sonata earns a TCC Rating of 7.3 out of 10. 2022 Toyota Supra review The 2022 Toyota Supra...

2021 Hyundai Palisade, 2023 Porsche Cayenne Coupe, Biden fuel-economy targets: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

2022 Hyundai Palisade2022 Toyota Prius review While no longer at the technological leading edge, the 2022 Toyota Prius provides all the right numbers for cost-conscious commuters. 2022 Porsche Macan gets modest upgrades, price jump to $56,250 The 2022 Porsche Macan wears a new look and its price increases $2,800 over the 2021 model justified by an increase in...

2022 Porsche Macan gets modest upgrades, price jump to $56,250

 

2022 Porsche Macan GTSThe 2022 Porsche Macan compact crossover SUV wears a new look, arrives with more power, and buttons down the suspension even more. It also comes with a performance and price increase ranging from $2,800 on the base Macan model to nearly $8,000 on the top GTS model. The previous top performance variant for the Macan, the Turbo, will not return for...

RAV4 vs. Tucson, next Toyota Tundra teased, Ford's EV strategy: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid vs. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: Compare Crossover SUVs Gas-saving versions of bestselling crossover SUVs go head to head, and one’s the clear winner. Ford’s EV strategy shows how much can change in a decade Ford's gotten serious about its electric car strategy and future. GM expands Super Cruise to 2022 Silverado...

2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid vs. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: Compare Crossover SUVs

 

2022 Hyundai Tucson HybridCrossover SUVs long ago took over for mid-size sedans as the family car default choice, at least among our crew. With superior space and features, utility vehicles really only suffered in comparison in one way—fuel economy. That’s cured with the arrival of excellent hybrid versions of some of today’s most popular crossovers, the...

Ford’s EV strategy shows how much can change in a decade

 

2022 Ford F-150 LightningFord has gotten serious about its electric car strategy and, subsequently, its future. A $40,000 Ford Focus electric car was never a viable business strategy. A $40,000 Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck is, according to Ford’s crystal ball. “This is a key product to start our journey to transition our customers from gas engine...

GM expands Super Cruise to 2022 Silverado, 2022 Sierra pickup trucks

 

Cadillac Super Cruise with automatic lane changeGM continues to roll out its Super Cruise hands-free driving system to more vehicles and with more features, the automaker announced Friday. Super Cruise expands to eight vehicles for 2022 and can be used while towing. “The additional Super Cruise-enabled vehicles and new features are an important step toward our goal of enabling hands-free...

Review update: 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Limited delivers well-mannered efficiency

 

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe HybridThe 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe underwent some plastic surgery and came out with an updated exterior design, revised powertrains with a hybrid option, and a slightly tweaked cabin. The result of this mid-cycle update is a TCC Rating of 6.8 out of 10, which bests its direct competition such as the Chevrolet Blazer, Honda Passport, Jeep Grand Cherokee...

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid driven, Audi E-Tron stress tested, Chevy Bolt recalled: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe HybridReview update: 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Limited delivers well-mannered efficiency Hyundai’s refreshed five-seat crossover goes long on fuel economy but comes up short on value. 2022 Subaru BRZ sports coupe costs less than predecessor at $28,955 The 2022 Subaru BRZ returns for a second generation with a new 228-horsepower 2.4-liter...


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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