Larry Printz: What does your Toyota’s name mean? The answer may surprise you 07-10-2017
Toyota has become one of the world’s biggest automakers largely on the strength of its exceptional engineering and manufacturing acumen.
Mark Phelan: Volvo goes all-electric? Not so much 07-10-2017
Volvo won the press conference this week, but there’s both more and less than meets the eye to the self-congratulatory headline the automaker wrote for itself: "Volvo Cars to go all electric."
Auto review: 2017 Continental redefines American extravagance 07-10-2017
It’s easy to loathe business travel after spending too many hours squeezed into tiny, untidy seats. Fortunately, once your flight lands, there’s usually a Lincoln Town Car waiting to whisk you to a hotel.
Under the Hood: Keeping devices charged on a long trip 07-10-2017
Q: In late August, my wife and I are leaving for our annual camping trip. We’re going to a remote site in the High Sierra.
Auto review: Chevrolet’s bestselling car adds a door, and noticeable practicality 07-10-2017
Ford vs. Chevrolet has long been an epic American battle, with one automaker matching the other model for model. So why is it that even though Ford has offered its economy cars as hatchbacks, Chevrolet has long demurred?
Auto review: 2018 Audi A5 Coupe is a good getaway car 07-10-2017
Crossovers are the anti-coupe. They’re everything a coupe is not: tall, wide, ungainly, roomy and really, really popular. The four-seat, sedan-based coupe is an endangered species and yet, like the wagon, it attracts a small but loyal following.
Motormouth: Do drivers not use their blinkers anymore or are they low on blinker fluid? 07-03-2017
Q: Regarding the need for routine light bulb checks, you can eliminate turn signal indicator lights. Nobody uses them anymore.
Mark Phelan: Taking sides over where gas caps are placed 07-03-2017
For a component that’s not much different from the lid of a jam jar, gasoline caps inspire lots of passion.
Auto review: Nissan GT-R: Godzilla comes of age 07-03-2017
A white blur in the rearview mirror zigzagged up to us in the midst of Memorial Day traffic. It was a Volkswagen wagon, filled with five teenage boys baiting me to race.
Under the Hood: Low-mileage driver should change his antifreeze 07-03-2017
Q: I have a 2010 Dodge Caliber with 28,000 miles on it. Since retiring, I only drive it about 1,000 miles every six months, at which point I change the oil and filter and do the other routine checks. Should I also be changing the antifreeze?
Auto review: Ferrari horse gets turbo kick 07-03-2017
Seems like everyone’s turbocharging these days. Even Ferrari, who hasn’t used a turbo on its midengine cars since the late ’80s, has decided to turbocharge its 488 GTB supercar. Why is it a big deal in the rarefied supercar world?
Under the Hood: Reviewing some battery basics 06-26-2017
Q: I took my 3-year-old Subaru Forester to the dealer for routine service. When I returned at the designated time, I was informed they had to replace the battery because it was dead. There were no prior warnings or indications of a battery problem. Is it normal for a battery to suddenly die like this?
Mark Phelan first drive: 2018 Toyota Camry boasts fuel economy, safety features, style 06-26-2017
PORTLAND, Ore. — The all-new 2018 Toyota Camry will hit the road with class-leading fuel economy, a long list of safety features and prices starting at $23,495 when it goes on sale in July.
Auto review: 2017 Mini John Cooper Works Clubman ALL4: The quaint Mini gets souped up 06-26-2017
My first drive in a Mini was in Paris in the late 1970s. It was about 5 in the morning and the empty streets were damp with dew. The little car skittered and slid over the cobblestones in a way that was possibly illegal and probably unsafe — but so much fun.
Auto review: Toyota Camry looks to shed its vanilla persona 06-26-2017
NEWBERG, Ore. — Sometimes, a car’s name is appropriate. Consider the Toyota Camry, whose moniker is derived from the Japanese word for crown, kanmuri.
Motormouth: Mechanics can’t find reason for stalling engine 06-19-2017
My granddaughter’s 1999 Buick Century started stalling when she slows down or comes to a stop. It is worse when warmed up and when fuel is less than half full.
Larry Printz: For GM design chief, the future is the biggest challenge 06-19-2017
AMEILIA ISLAND, Fla. –– After decades of evolution, the automobile is at a pivot point, as gasoline propulsion gives way to electric and autonomous vehicles. In turn, this will affect the automotive design language that car buyers have come to expect.
Auto review: Kia Niro hybrid falters on transmission 06-19-2017
First times usually aren’t the best times. You get better with more attempts, though the impression of that first attempt can linger the longest. This is the predicament Kia is in with the Niro hybrid.
Under the Hood: Mechanics want to do all sorts of things to this car 06-19-2017
Q: I'm in my 70s. I own a 2004 Toyota Corolla 2004, bought it new. I get the oil changed every six months, live in Florida, have 42,000 miles on it.
Driving the world’s fastest, most luxurious supercar — the $3 million Bugatti Chiron 06-19-2017
LOS ANGELES — Two summers ago, Bugatti CEO Wolfgang Durheim promised that his company was going to make the fastest, quickest and most luxurious production car ever built.
Auto review: 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is a smooth three-row marvel 06-19-2017
The last time I remember being impressed with Acura was my dad’s Acura Legend in the late ’80s. Recently, the ILX felt like a gussied up Honda Civic and the RDX drifted into that great homogenous pool known as the compact crossover.
Auto review: 2017 Toyota Highlander isn’t as fresh as the three-row competition 06-12-2017
My friend refers to his Toyota Highlander as a truck. He’s serious about it, so we make fun of him. But my friend might be onto something, which surprises us all. The Highlander is as trucklike as it is minivanian.
Under the Hood: Ignition system issue will probably require a pro 06-12-2017
Q: I have a 2007 Ford F-150 4x4 with a 5.4-liter three-valve Triton engine and about 84,000 miles. The truck runs well with one exception.
Auto review: Chrysler minivan goes electric 06-12-2017
Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s Chrysler division has beaten its competitors to market with the country’s first plug-in hybrid minivan.
Auto review: Acura finds its way back with the 2018 TLX 06-12-2017
Being first isn’t always a blessing. Just ask Honda. Its Acura brand debuted in 1986 as the first upscale Japanese marque, years before Lexus and Infiniti.
Auto review: A grand touring car that scoffs at the weather 06-05-2017
For some, it doesn’t seem that long ago when station wagons ruled the hearts, garages and driveways of suburbia.
Auto review: Mercedes raises the roof on S63 AMG performance 06-05-2017
It was 50 years ago that automotive engineers Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher started the iconic AMG in Burgstall, Germany, where they developed and tested racing engines for Mercedes-Benz.
Mark Phelan: Detroit automakers should stand with Paris climate accord 06-05-2017
U.S. automakers should — and almost certainly will — ignore President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris climate agreement. Doing otherwise isn’t just bad for life on Earth. It’s bad business.
Under the Hood: Here’s what a first-class repair shop looks like 06-05-2017
Q: My trusted mechanic retired and closed his shop a couple of years ago, and I’ve had a heck of a time finding a good replacement.
Auto review: Chevy’s Bolt EV is an all-electric all-star 06-05-2017
I was invited to take a spin last September in an early version of the Chevrolet Bolt EV. The battery-electric affordable sedan was poised then to make its debut in dealerships, and I had my doubts.
Under the Hood: Rear differential assembly repair not easy, but doable 05-29-2017
Q: My 1998 Dodge half-ton 4x4 pickup started making a growling noise, which comes from its rear end and doesn’t vary with load.
Auto review: The perfect way to start your holiday weekend: drive a 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster 05-29-2017
If Memorial Day weekend signals anything, it’s the beginning of travel season, a time of year when a vehicle’s load capacity is challenged by lifestyle debris and a driver’s temperament is tested by fighting offspring, a nagging spouse and clogged arteries.
Mark Phelan: Volkswagen diesels: ‘Get them while supplies last’ 05-29-2017
Two years after cheating on emissions tests catapulted Volkswagen into a global crisis, the automaker is again selling cars with diesel engines in the U.S., but the German brand’s signature offerings won’t be around too much longer.
Auto review: 2017 Chevy Bolt is a good car with great implications 05-29-2017
People called it cool, cute, quick. The most talked-about feature was the 10.2-inch touch screen, the most divisive the plastic black-on-white dashboard design.
Larry Printz: Getting ready to roll for Memorial Day 05-22-2017
With the arrival of warmer weather, thoughts turn to packing the car and hitting the road. However, being prepared for a road trip will make it one you’ll always remember rather than one you’ll live to regret. So before hitting the highway, here are a few things to consider.
Under the Hood: How does Lane Departure Warning work? 05-22-2017
Q. I’m in the process of buying my dad a new Honda CRV which will probably be his last car. I’m impressed with the optional safety features and was explaining some of them to him.
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