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...


2022 Ford Maverick vs 2022 Nissan Frontier vs 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: A tale of 3 trucks

 

2022 Ford MaverickThree new small pickup trucks have launched over the past three months, and we drove them all. Together, they tell us a lot about the U.S. market’s headlong scramble into trucks of all sizes and types. We think the 2022 Ford Maverick will be a smash hit, the 2022 Nissan Frontier should continue to sell the way it always has, and the new 2022...

Free wireless Apple CarPlay: Infiniti retrofits several 2020-2021 models

 

2022 Infiniti Q60Infiniti doubled down on equipping its new cars with wireless Apple CarPlay by offering owners of older cars the same convenience feature, the automaker announced Tuesday. Wireless Apple CarPlay may lure customers into dealerships to overcome the perennial problem of frustrating infotainment systems, according to successive annual surveys...

First drive: 2022 Toyota Tundra tackles a Texas-sized problem of old age with a good new truck

 

2022 Toyota TundraThe state of Texas proudly plants one boot in its independent past and its other boot in a future built on individual freedoms. It’s a fitting setting to drive the new 2022 Toyota Tundra full-size pickup truck. Beyond San Antonio, not far from the backyard of Toyota Motor North American headquarters in Plano, I drove the new Tundra off-road...

2021 Ford F-150 joins Ram 1500 with Top Safety Pick

 

2021 Ford F-150 Platinum off-roadThe redesigned 2021 Ford F-150 full-size pickup truck earned a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS, the insurance-industry funded safety agency announced Tuesday. The award applies for crew and extended cab models, but not the regular cab. The bestselling vehicle in the U.S. earned top "Good" marks on all six crash tests conducted by the IIHS. The...

What's New for 2022: Mazda

 

2022 Mazda MX-30Mazda's expansion continues in North America for 2022, with larger iterations of its crossover SUVs and more available sizes. The biggest news for Mazda in 2022 has the smallest impact: Sales of the Japanese brand's first electric vehicle, the MX-30, will be limited to California, initially, in limited numbers capped at 560 units. The model's...

Volvo recalls older S80, S60 sedans for airbag issue

 

2009 Volvo S60 2.5TVolvo will be recalling 259,383 older sedans for an exploding airbag risk, the NHTSA disclosed on Monday. The issue is similar to the Takata airbag recall that has roiled the automotive industry and affected more than 67 million vehicles as the largest automotive recall in history. The Volvo airbags in question, however, came from a different...

2022 Ford Maverick, 2022 Lexus NX showcase this week's new car reviews

 

2022 Ford MaverickA hybrid pickup truck that costs only $20,000, a plug-in hybrid first from Lexus, and new flagship electric sedans highlight the latest new cars coming soon to dealer lots. It's an impressive crop of vehicles, with a broad spectrum in price, powertrains, and capability. Here's what we've been driving, and what's been moving us. 2022 Ford Maverick...

What's New for 2022: Alfa Romeo

 

2022 Alfa Romeo StelvioAlfa Romeo may just be getting started. Not long after the Italian performance brand returned to the U.S. in 2014, it seemed like its revival would be short-lived. Last year, the Italian luxury brand discontinued the 4C Spider, and speculation on the future of the Giulia sedan and related Stelvio compact crossover was bearish at best. Then parent...

First drive: 2022 Lexus NX goes greener, techier

 

2022 Lexus NXDriving the redesigned 2022 Lexus NX 450h+ F Sport on a 40-mile loop into the Arizona desert quickly reveals what’s new about the brand’s compact crossover. For starters, I’m in the new NX 450h+ plug-in hybrid model—the brand’s first—that shares its powertrain with the Toyota RAV4 Prime. The other major...

Tesla hikes price of Model 3, Model Y by $2,000

 

2021 Tesla Model YTesla increased the price of the Model 3 compact sedan and related Model Y compact crossover this week. The base price of each electric vehicle increases by $2,000, and that follows a $1,000 price hike in July. The Performance trims of each model also increase by $1,000. The Model 3 Standard Range Plus with a single motor, rear-wheel drive, and...

2021 Honda Ridgeline vs 2021 Ford Ranger: Compare Trucks

 

2021 Ford Ranger Tremor, left, and 2021 Honda Ridgeline HPD, rightThe redesigned Honda Ridgeline squares off against an old foe in the 2021 Ford Ranger. The challenge in deciding between these two mid-size trucks might be all the other new trucks coming to market, ranging from the small 2022 Ford Maverick hybrid to the electric 2022 Rivian R1T. The difference between the Ridgeline and Ranger seems simple: If you...

2022 Ford Maverick vs 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz: Compare Trucks

 

2022 Ford MaverickThe 2022 Ford Maverick and 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz resurrect a small truck segment that had been dormant for more than a decade. Both of these crossover-based vehicles give shoppers an open bed and a more adventurous edge than compact crossover SUVs that fill roads like construction zones in summertime. Despite their similarities—seating for...

Hyundai Sonata recall indicates wrong direction

 

2017 Hyundai Sonata Certain Hyundai Sonata mid-size sedans are being recalled for a faulty turn signal indicating the opposite direction than intended, the NHTSA disclosed on Monday. A software malfunction mixes up the turn signal, so vehicles of drivers intending to turn right might indicate the sedan is turning left. The malfunction affects more than 466,000...

Review update: 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve grows for the family

 

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Summit Reserve 4x4After nearly 30 years, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has finally grown to accommodate those who have grown up with it. The fifth-generation Grand Cherokee introduces a new model to the lineup known as the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L. With a longer wheelbase and an adult-sized third row, the larger “L” variant is aimed squarely at families...

2022 Rivian R1T, 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee headline this week's new car reviews

 

2022 Rivian R1TElectric pickup trucks and redesigned iterations of classic SUVs filled The Car Connection's week of new car test drives and previews of forthcoming vehicles. Here's a look at the highlights. 2022 Rivian R1T review The R1T is the next iteration of the pickup truck, and its blend of futuristic yet traditional styling, on- and off-road performance...


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...

Back To The Top Of The Page

Automotive EBooks

eBooks Available For Immediate Download & Enjoyment!

Importing & Exporting

A new manual that gives you the insider secrets from interviews and information from exporters, shippers, foreign nationals...

Spray Paint Secrets

Now You Can Learn Professional Spray Painting & Body Work Repair In 2 Hours With Step-By-Step Complete Video Training...

Buying & Selling Cars

4 Ways To Make Money Buying And Selling Cars. I discovered the business of buying and selling used cars for profit over 20 years ago...