Mark Phelan: Bigger, pricier Clubman heralds new direction for Mini 07-13-2015
Mini’s getting bigger. The vehicles and their price tags. "The Clubman will be Mini’s flagship," Mini Vice President David Duncan told me last week. "It’s larger and more premium."
Motoring Q&A: Does a service bulletin cover my out-of-warranty car? 07-13-2015
Q: Do you have any information on radiator fluid getting into the transmissions of 2005 Nissan Xterras? Is there a service bulletin?
Auto review: The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe flips the bird at practicality 07-13-2015
Before there was an Oldsmobile Toronado, Cadillac Eldorado, Buick Riviera or Continental Mark II, there was the 1952 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Coupe, the first in a series of full-size grand touring coupes meant to add a dash of spice to Mercedes-Benz’s top-of-the-line model range.
Under the Hood: Static issue with car radio should be easily fixable 07-13-2015
Q: Your column is interesting to read even though most of what you talk about is beyond my repair capabilities. The radio in my 2011 Ford Focus has a lot of static on the AM stations.
Auto review: New Cadillac excels on the track 07-13-2015
ROSAMOND, Calif. — This isn’t your Daddy’s Caddy — it’s a race car with Cadillac crests. That’s why the brand chose Willow Springs International Raceway in this city outside Los Angeles to show off its new ATS-V, a nimble sport sedan stuffed with a 464-horsepower twin-turbo V-6.
Auto review: BMW 228 flashes a cute smile — and strong legs 07-13-2015
Cute clings to the compact BMW 228 like $50 perfume on a bubbly Chi Omega. You just want to ask it to dance or maybe go for a Coke.
Auto review: 2015 VW Golf SportWagen is the perfect antidote for crossover-clogged cul-de-sacs 07-06-2015
Americans have become obsessed with compact and subcompact crossover utility vehicles. These are vehicles that look like SUVs but are little more than humdrum cars fitted with a hatchback body and a few more inches of ground clearance.
Motoring Q&A: I can't get out of park 07-06-2015
Q: Our 2007 Buick Rendezvous at times will not shift from park. It seems frozen there. If we turn on the ignition and put it in neutral, then it will let us shift. Help!
2016 Mercedes AMG GT S is built for speed 07-06-2015
The 2016 Mercedes AMG GT S is a hot rod. More muscle car than luxury car, more American than German, it’s a wolf in wolf’s clothing. Sleek, low and lean, it looks fast and it is fast — zero to 60 in 3.7 seconds, with a top speed of 193 miles per hour.
Mark Phelan: New book details US Highway 12, from its mastodon trail past to today 07-06-2015
A fascinating new book traces U.S. Highway 12 — Michigan Avenue, if you’re a resident of metro Detroit or Chicago — from its days as an Indian trail to when it became the second U.S. federal highway in 1825 and its current status as a scenic and leisurely alternative to the sameness of interstate highways.
Under the Hood: Air control issues have drive hot under the collar 07-06-2015
Q: I have a 1999 Corvette with dual-zone air controls. On three different occasions the controls have gotten stuck on a certain setting, and I’ve then been unable to get them to move.
Auto review: 2016 Fiat 500X offers adult size and youthful style 07-06-2015
Maybe you long for the shrieks of a rich red Ferrari but live with the humdrum thrum of a silver Sentra. You crave fast, furious and sleek and get 13-inch wheels, 35 miles per gallon and mouse-fur seats. Life loves a good joke, doesn’t it?
Mark Phelan: The inside story behind the millionth Chevrolet Corvette 06-29-2015
How did the 1 millionth Chevrolet Corvette get to be No. 1,000,000? No, not just by coming after No. 999,999, smart-aleck. Go sit in the corner.
Motoring Q&A: How can tire pressure issues affect an all-wheel-drive system? 06-29-2015
Q: You’ve spent a lot of ink on tire diameter differences caused by unusual tire wear. How about describing the impact of one low-air-pressure tire on the all-wheel-drive system?
Auto review: Maserati Quarttroporte GTS is part luxury sedan and part race car 06-29-2015
Maserati, one of Italian auto racing’s most storied brands, celebrated its centennial last year. The Bologna company founded by brothers Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore and Ernesto is now owned by the massive Fiat Chrysler conglomerate, along with its Italian brothers Alfa Romeo and Ferrari.
Under the Hood: Wait till problem occurs again, then take it back to shop 06-29-2015
Q: We have a 2013 Hyundai Genesis with a 3.8-liter engine. When I started the car on a recent morning, the engine’s rpm reading shot up.
Auto review: Silverado 1500 returns for 2015 with new 8-speed automatic, other features 06-29-2015
For model year 2015, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 offers some new standard and available features, just a year after a complete makeover.
Under the Hood: Oil pressure and 10-year-old tires 06-22-2015
Q: I am having trouble finding out what’s wrong with my oil pressure gauge. My motor home is a 36-foot 1997 model with a Chevy V-8 block.
Motoring Q&A: Owner has two choices to address balky Caravan 06-22-2015
Q: My wife has a 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan with 76,000 miles. We have had an ongoing problem over the past two years with the vehicle not starting.
Auto review: VW and Audi diesels reach out to US drivers 06-22-2015
Why do people buy diesel-powered vehicles? Should you consider one? The 2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen TDI station wagon and the 2015 Audi A3 TDI sedan (I give them both three out of four stars) provide some answers to those questions.
Auto Review: Dodge Viper's still defiantly incorrect - and we should celebrate 06-22-2015
Forget politically correct. In these silent tweet-and-text times, the brash, brutal Dodge Viper bellows down the street like some sort of satanic delivery.
Auto review: Electric 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf 06-15-2015
The 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf (I give it three out of four stars) is a stealth electric car, an alternate-energy wolf in the sheep’s clothing of an unassuming compact hatchback.
Auto review: Is the 2016 Nissan Maxima a four-door sports car? Almost 06-15-2015
If I would ask you what attributes make for a really great sports car, most likely you’d reply, "a powerful motor, aggressive styling and two doors." If you’re a motorhead, you might add, "not to mention rear-wheel drive and a manual transmission."
Motoring Q&A: If noisy engine will keep running, keep your car 06-15-2015
Q: I have a 2007 Camry V-6 that has an engine knock when cold but goes away as the engine warms up. The dealer said this was normal and would not affect the life of the engine. The car now has 80,000 miles on it and the noise seems more pronounced.
Mark Phelan: GM restoring sinkhole damaged 1 millionth Corvette 06-15-2015
The crumpled wreckage of the 1 millionth Corvette is well on its way back to museum quality as experts at General Motors’ design center repair the damage done when the car plunged 30 feet into a sinkhole in the floor of the National Corvette Museum, in Bowling Green, Ky., more than a year ago.
Auto review: Alfa Romeo 4C defies logic, defines fun 06-15-2015
Seven-hundred pound motorcycles on ice seem a bit extreme — figure-eights with no skates or tutus. "Did I get extra points for the 360 on the entrance ramp?"
Mark Phelan: New premium-plus gas offers lower wear, for a price 06-08-2015
A new, more expensive grade of premium-plus gasoline that goes on sale at Shell stations nationwide Monday could signal a new round of competition as oil companies add new features to their fuels.
Motoring Q&A: Keep trusty, 10-year-old Malibu or buy new? 06-08-2015
Q: I own a 2005 Chevy Malibu with 75,000 miles on it. I have kept up with oil changes religiously since buying the car new.
Auto review: 1st look 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata 06-08-2015
Mazda will deliver a present to convertible lovers this July, and I just had a sneak peak. I spent a few hours driving the all-new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata roadster around some of Detroit’s most scenic, historic and obscure attractions.
Auto review: Jag F-Type has classy moves and a hot-rod attitude 06-08-2015
Hot rods shred the night with high-octane outbursts that sound like a civil war erupting in the front yard. The great ones thunder and pop with back-alley malice, occasionally singeing streets with an errant flame or two from their open, oversized exhausts.
Auto Review: 2016 Sonata marks Hyundai's entry into plug-in hybrid market 06-08-2015
It’s a predictable truism of gas prices that what goes down eventually climbs back up. In the last month alone, gasoline has increased 75 cents per gallon in California, nudging it over $4 for the first time since last year.
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