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...


Used car prices spike to more than $21,500 on average in July

 

2017 Ford F-150Used car prices skyrocketed in July due to factors related to the coronavirus pandemic, Edmunds found in a study published Wednesday. The average used car price for 2017 model year vehicles jumped $708 from June to $21,558 to July. Listing prices typically decrease with depreciation at this time of year, with new models filling dealer lots and...

2021 Hyundai Kona overview, special edition 'Vette rumors, Audi E-Tron price drop: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

2021 Hyundai Kona2021 Hyundai Kona review The 2021 Hyundai Kona would like your attention, please. Now. Used car prices spike to more than $21,500 on average in July The average transaction price for a used car ticked up in July, led by pickups and overall demand. 2021 Audi E-Tron SUV starts for $8,800 less, gets more range The 2021 Audi E-Tron electric SUV will...

2021 Audi E-Tron SUV starts for $8,800 less, gets more range

 

2021 Audi E-TronThe 2021 Audi E-Tron electric SUV will be available in a less expensive base model with more electric range compared to last year, the automaker announced Wednesday. New for 2021 is an entry-level Premium trim that matches the trim hierarchy of other Audi vehicles. It starts at $66,995 including $1,095 destination fee, which is a $100 increase...

What's New for 2021: Honda

 

2021 Honda OdysseyThe biggest changes for 2021 Honda models are as much about what's being removed as what's being added. The family haulers get upgraded with a refreshed 2021 Honda Odyssey minivan and special editions of the 2021 Honda Pilot three-row SUV, but the Honda Fit and Civic Coupe join other small cars in the discontinued car graveyard. Several models...

2021 Hyundai Palisade overview, Gordon Murray's superlative car, 2021 Toyota Venza first drive: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

2021 Hyundai Palisade2021 Hyundai Palisade review With a TCC Rating of 7.3 out of 10, the 2021 Hyundai Palisade picks up points for value, comfort, and style. What's New for 2021: Honda The biggest changes for 2021 Honda models are as much about what's being removed as what's being added. Honda recalls 608,000 newer Odyssey, Pilot, Passport crossovers and minivans for...

Honda recalls 608,000 newer Odyssey, Pilot, Passport crossovers and minivans for multiple issues

 

2020 Honda OdysseyHonda announced Tuesday it would recall three of its more popular models for four issues. Honda is recalling the 2018-2020 Honda Odyssey minivan, 2019-2020 Honda Passport mid-size crossover SUV, 2019-2021 Honda Pilot three-row crossover SUV. The four recalls encompass 608,000 vehicles, but since the Odyssey needs multiple repairs, Honda estimates...

Review update: 2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro rocks, rolls its way into the wild

 

2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD ProEndearing is not the same as good. Ask anyone who’s had a puppy and they’ll tell you as much. Endearing is puppy smells and wagging tails, the spots on the carpet? Another thing entirely. The 2020 Toyota 4Runner is endearing. It’s also objectively good—and I mean that in the way that pretty much any showroom-fresh anything...

2021 Kia Telluride overview, best flaws of the C8 Corvette, fading the Kia Soul EV: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

2021 Kia Telluride2021 Kia Telluride review With excellent safety ratings and strong value, the 2021 Kia Telluride earns a TCC Rating of 7.5 out of 10. Review update: 2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro rocks, rolls its way into the wild Endearing is not the same as good. Ask anyone who’s had a puppy and they’ll tell you as much. The 2020 Toyota 4Runner is...

2021 Mazda 3 starts just over $20,000, but top Turbo can cost nearly $40,000

 

2021 Mazda 3 2.5 TurboThe 2021 Mazda 3 compact sedan and hatchback gets simultaneously cheaper and more expensive with a broader lineup that includes a new entry-level model and a new range-topping turbocharged model. The 2021 Mazda 3 2.0 sedan with the small 155-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-4 new for 2021 starts at $21,445, while the top 2021 Mazda 3 hatchback starts...

4 fast facts about the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid

 

2021 Toyota RAV4 PrimeThe police officers stopped where I was parked on the sidewalk in front of one of Chicago’s landmark attractions. I hustled to get one last picture of the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid, and told them I’d be on my way. “Is that the electric one?” One officer asked. I explained it was a plug-in hybrid with a gas...

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime driven, Shelby GT500 gets 800 hp, Tesla Model Y raises the bar: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime4 fast facts about the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid crossover SUV uses an efficient has engine and two motors to make it the most powerful and most efficient RAV4 yet. First drive: 2020 GMC Sierra 3500 Denali eclipses its former self Until the GMC Hummer EV makes its debut in the fall, the 2020...

First drive: 2020 GMC Sierra 3500 Denali eclipses its former self

 

2020 GMC Sierra 3500 DenaliUntil the GMC Hummer EV makes its debut in the fall, the 2020 GMC Sierra Denali Heavy Duty pickup truck totes the truckmaker’s banner as a flagship. It’s suited to the task. Up to three tons of anything can be heaved into its boxy rear bed, or it can tow up to 15 tons—roughly equivalent to the weighty expectations ahead for...

Review update: The 2020 Lincoln Navigator reserves its best for the highway

 

2020 Lincoln NavigatorSince air travel ranks with drinking molten gold on my want-to-do list this year, I've piled on thousands more interstate miles than I'd planned in January. Some 1,200 of them happened this month in a 2020 Lincoln Navigator Reserve, which easily beat down the existential dread of I-85 with square feet of soft leather, crisp Revel audio high notes...

First drive: 2020 Tesla Model Y charts an electric crossover-SUV course

 

2020 Tesla Model YThe Model Y compact crossover might not be the best Tesla, but it’s the one that best advances Elon Musk’s goal of the mass adoption of electric vehicles. With a sporty crossover profile that’s all the rage, strong performance, plenty of range, and an advanced but simplified interface, the Model Y is so convincing that it might...

2021 Toyota 4Runner SUV starts at $37,515, gets new lights

 

2021 Toyota 4Runner TrailThe 2021 Toyota 4Runner SUV gets brighter with LED headlights and fog lights, and the price gets stronger to boot. The average price increase for the 4Runner is about $300, boosted by an increase in the mandatory destination charge from $1,120 in 2020 to $1,175 in 2021. Toyota announced the 4Runner's price Thursday. Toyota spruced up the venerable...


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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