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...


2023 Cadillac Lyriq, Toyota Venza top this week's new car reviews

 

2023 Cadillac LyriqThe 2023 Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV appears to be the harbinger GM's luxury brand needed to chart the right course on the dawn of its electric era. The 2023 Toyota Venza represents a more traditional approach to electrification with a standard hybrid powertrain and a rating of 39 mpg combined. Those fuel-saving options headline this week's new...

Hyundai shuffles 2023 lineup, discontinues Accent, Veloster N, Ioniq

 

2022 Hyundai AccentThe small car segment lost more members on Thursday, with Hyundai announcing the end of production of the entry-level Accent compact car and the N vestige of the Veloster hatchback. The original Ioniq hybrid also ended production this year, ceding ground to a suite of electric vehicles with an Ioniq sub-brand. The three cars will not be back for a...

2022 Toyota Tundra recalled for rear axle issue

 

2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro i-Force Max hybridThe redesigned 2022 Toyota Tundra pickup truck has been recalled for a rear axle housing that can separate from the shaft and increase the risk of a crash, the NHTSA disclosed on Wednesday. The recall applies to trucks with either the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 or the hybrid version of that powertrain. Toyota is unsure how many vehicles are...

Apple CarPlay connectivity continues to be biggest problem for new car owners

 

BMW's wireless Apple CarPlay integrationDropped connections. Frustrating interfaces. Intrusive driver-assist systems. Such is the new car experience for many owners. The number of reported problems in the first 90 days of car ownership has never been higher than in the 36-year history of the J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, the consultancy group announced Tuesday. As a whole, new car...

Nissan Pathfinder recalled for hood that can fly open

 

2016 Nissan PathfinderNissan is recalling the 2013-2016 Pathfinder SUV for a faulty latch that can cause the hood to fly open, the NHTSA disclosed Wednesday. The recall encompasses 322,671 Pathfinders. The lever on the secondary hood latch can bind and be left in the open position due to contamination and corrosion. The primary hood latch works fine, unless it is...

Infiniti boosts price of 2023 QX55 crossover coupe nearly $3,000

 

2023 Infiniti QX55The 2023 Infiniti QX55 crossover coupe comes with a more few features for a few thousand dollars more than when it launched new in 2022. The tweener crossover costs $50,345 to start, including a $1,195 destination fee, Infiniti announced Tuesday. That's an increase of $2,820 from the initial 2022 model year. New standard features include leather...

Infiniti, Acura join other automakers in including complimentary scheduled maintenance

 

2022 Infiniti QX55Every 2023 Infiniti vehicle now comes with three years of complimentary scheduled maintenance, the automaker announced last week. Acura did the same for the 2023 Acura MDX three-row crossover, which now comes with two years or 24,000 miles of included maintenance. The premium brands join a chorus of luxury and mainstream automakers including...

2023 Acura MDX exceeds $50,000 with $2,320 price hike

 

2023 Acura MDXAcura has hiked the price of the 2023 Acura MDX by $2,320 more than last year's model. The three-row crossover SUV now starts at $50,245, including a $1,195 destination fee, the automaker announced last week. Adding all-wheel drive adds another $2,200 on base and Technology package models, which is a $200 increase over last year. To offset some of...

The last 2022 models complete this week's new car reviews

 

2022 Nissan RogueAt The Car Connection, we strive to test every new powertrain development, factor in the latest safety ratings, and report on the latest price changes within a model year. Often, we test drive new cars before crash testing is concluded, and other times, automakers delay access to base models or roll out new variants such as the Bronco Raptor we...

New car prices reach record highs, again, and dealers make record profits

 

Lincoln boutiques and dealershipsThe average transaction price customers have paid for a new car is expected to reach $45,844 this month, according to the latest report from J.D. Power. That's a 14.5% increase from one year ago. At the same time, the constrained supply isn't hurting dealers. Dealer margins on every new car sold is on pace to hit $5,123 profit per unit, the same...

2023 Honda HR-V vs. 2022 Subaru Crosstrek: Compare Crossovers

 

2023 Honda HR-VIf you want a compact utility vehicle with rugged cues, a little more ride height, and an affordable price—yet with a profile that’s ultimately more carlike than trucklike—the Subaru Outback and Honda HR-V are two great contenders. The Subaru Crosstrek arrived a decade ago, following the success of the Outback Sport. It delivered...

Honda Ridgeline recalled in states that use road salt

 

2014 Honda Ridgeline SportOlder versions of the Honda Ridgeline pickup truck are being recalled for a potential fuel leak caused by road salt de-icing agents, the NHTSA disclosed on Wednesday. In certain states that use road salt to clear roadways of ice, the salt can accumulate with mud and dirt in the rear part of the truck's frame where the fuel tank is located. Over...

2023 Nissan Leaf costs $28,895, could still be cheaper than Chevy Bolt EV

 

2023 Nissan LeafThe 2023 Nissan Leaf electric car blooms into another model year with a fresh face but only two trim levels down from five last year. The price increases $520 to $28,895 for the base Leaf S, Nissan announced Tuesday. The longer-range 2023 Leaf SV Plus costs $36,895, which is also an increase of $520 over the 2022 Nissan Leaf. The fresh look on the...

Off-road grades: SUV trims muddle the line between off-road intenders and soft-road pretenders

 

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek, left, 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness, rightWhat separates a crossover from an SUV? In the old days, a body-on-frame design along with a 2-speed transfer case for low gearing used to be the litmus test. Now, except for truck-based full-size SUVs, most vehicles in this most popular segment are based on unibody construction. Yet automakers continue to hark back to those days with trim lines...

Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango SUVs recalled for rollaway risk

 

2019 Jeep Grand CherokeeCertain SUVs produced by the automaker formerly known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are being recalled for a false brake reading that may increase the risk of rollaway crashes, the NHTSA disclosed on Monday. The recall encompasses 270,904 SUVs, including the 2018-2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2018-2019 Dodge Durango. A faulty antilock brake circuit...


2023 Nissan Pathfinder SUV levels up with off-road Rock Creek grade

 

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock CreekNissan on Tuesday announced the return of its rugged Rock Creek grade to the Nissan Pathfinder three-row SUV. Redesigned for 2022, the SUV embraces more off-road capability and a more outdoorsy look with the 2023 Pathfinder Rock Creek trim. With its shift last year from a CVT to a 9-speed automatic transmission, the Pathfinder boasted better...

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...

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