Automotive Blog


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...

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...


2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz fills the gap between pickup trucks and cars

 

2022 Hyundai Santa CruzSometimes you want a pickup truck but need an SUV yet don't have room for both. The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz aims to bridge the gap between wants and needs. Hyundai debuted the much-anticipated production version of its "sport adventure vehicle" on Thursday, more than six years removed from when the concept wowed the crowd at the Detroit auto show...

Subaru issues two recalls encompassing 870,000 Crosstrek, Impreza, and Forester models

 

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid  -  First Drive, Santa Barbara CA, Nov. 2019Subaru on Thursday announced two separate recalls involving three of its most popular models. Citing an abundance of caution, Subaru recalled the 2017-2019 Impreza sedan and hatchback and 2018-2019 Crosstrek small crossover that shares its bones with the Impreza hatch. The engine control module programming needs to be checked and the ignition...

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, 2022 Mercedes EQS, 2022 Audi Q4 E-Tron debut: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz preview The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz offers compact SUV space and a small pickup bed with up to 5,000 pounds of towing capacity. Review update: 2021 Mazda CX-9 outhustles the big boys The CX-9 slips to the back of the pack in third-row space and in value—and let's not speak more of its infotainment system—but the...

Review update: 2021 Mazda CX-9 outhustles the big boys

 

2021 Mazda CX-9The 2021 Mazda CX-9 defies conventional judgement. Sure, it's a three-row, seven-seat crossover like a Honda Pilot or a Ford Explorer, but with its tailored outfit and its other luxury trappings, it doesn't have much time to worry about fitting kids in its skimpy third-row seat, and it doesn't place much of a premium on fuel economy like a Toyota...

Ford BlueCruise unlocks hands-free driving, replaces Active Drive Assist

 

Ford BlueCruiseFord has changed the name of its hands-free driving system from Active Drive Assist to BlueCruise, the automaker announced on Wednesday. The release followed 500,000 miles of developmental testing of the Level 2 system set to roll out in the third quarter of this year in the 2021 Ford F-150 pickup truck and 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E electric...

Ford BlueCruise takes off, 2022 Honda Civic teased, 2022 Mazda MX-30 debuts: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

Ford BlueCruiseFord BlueCruise unlocks hands-free driving, replaces Active Drive Assist Ford BlueCruise is coming later this year on the 2021 F-150 and 2021 Mustang Mach-E to allow hands-free highway driving. 2022 Mazda MX-30 preview The 2022 MX-30 electric crossover goes on sale in fall 2021 hampered by several disadvantages, from battery range to passenger...

2021 Audi Q5 and Q5 Sportback earn Top Safety Pick+ award

 

2021 Audi Q5 SportbackThe 2021 Audi Q5 luxury crossover SUV and the 2021 Q5 Sportback earned Top Safety Pick+ awards, which is the most rigorous honor for automotive safety in the U.S. The insurance-industry funded IIHS said in a statement released Tuesday that improved headlights improved the vehicles' safety ratings. The new Q5 Sportback coupe-like crossover joins...

Review update: 2021 Lincoln Nautilus crossover SUV comes around to luxury

 

2021 Lincoln Nautilus Black LabelThe 2021 Lincoln Nautilus has finally come around. The refreshed interior finally shed the vestiges of its MKX skin with an interior befitting Lincoln’s upward class mobility. This poses a problem for me. My dad likes Lincolns. Even since the Town Cars of our youth, my brother and I have mocked his fondness for Lincolns, especially when one...

2021 Lincoln Nautilus tested, Bentley GT Speed blows minds, 2021 Karma GS-6 driven: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

2021 Lincoln NautilusReview update: 2021 Lincoln Nautilus crossover SUV comes around to luxury The Nautilus carries a refined interior, plush ride, and great performance but fumbles on value. 2021 Kia Telluride vs. 2021 VW Atlas: Compare Crossover SUVs The three-row crossover SUVs fight for family buyers, but which is best? 2021 Audi Q5 and Q5 Sportback earn Top...

2021 Top Safety Pick awards: Hyundai, Volvo, Subaru, Mazda top IIHS list

 

2021 IIHS TSP+ winners, Volvo XC40, left, and Kia K5, rightVolvo, Subaru, Mazda, and Hyundai/Kia/Genesis led all other automakers in earning Top Safety Pick awards bestowed by the IIHS, the non-profit safety group announced Wednesday. On average, safety ratings improved and the number of Top Safety Pick+ winners more than doubled from 2020. “With these awards, we want to make it easy for consumers...

2021 Jeep Wrangler vs. 2021 Toyota 4Runner: Compare SUVs

 

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392Off-roading and adventure seeking is a lifestyle. Not everyone cares, but those who do inevitably consider the Toyota 4Runner and Jeep Wrangler as their overlander of choice. The decision becomes a crossroads. These two legendary icons created cult followings long before Tesla made such a thing, but for very different reasons. The 4Runner’s...

Wrangler or 4Runner, 2021 VW Arteon rocks, a hybrid pioneer revisited: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro2021 Jeep Wrangler vs. 2021 Toyota 4Runner: Compare SUVs The two boxy off-roaders square off in our competition; which one is best for you? 2015 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon recalled again for power steering issue GM's smaller pickups have flawed steering; recall begins soon. 2021 Ford Explorer review The venerable three-row Explorer SUV from...

2015 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon recalled again for power steering issue

 

2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71GM has expanded an earlier recall of the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and 2015 GMC Canyon mid-size pickup trucks, the NHTSA announced Monday. A poor electrical connection subject to corrosion in the power steering system can cause the affected vehicles to lose power steering assist and make steering more difficult for the driver. Drivers can still...

2021 Kia Telluride vs. 2021 VW Atlas: Compare Crossover SUVs

 

2021 Kia Telluride Nightfall EditionThree-row crossovers have become the hottest thing in suburbia since Five Guys spread across the nation. The 2021 VW Atlas and 2021 Kia Telluride are two large popular family crossover SUVs with lots of space for families. The former keeps things simple while the latter punches above its price class in top trims. The Atlas is the automaker’s...

Review update: 2021 Toyota Avalon TRD refills the fountain of youth

 

2020 Toyota Avalon TRDWhen we first drove it on the track, we wondered out loud whether a car like the 2021 Toyota Avalon really needed the TRD sport-sedan treatment. The Avalon's prime directive has always been to coddle its passengers in a cocoon of sound deadening and sensory deprivation, without costing them too much: Lexus lite. That began to change with the last...


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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