Automotive Blog


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 Electric Cars: Quick Guide For Getting The Best Deal

 

2012 Nissan Leaf electric car - net pricing shown on Nissan websiteIf you think that electric-car ownership is beyond your financial reach, think again. Due to a matter of supply and demand, and a flood of used models entering the market, electric vehicles (EVs) like the Nissan Leaf are remarkably affordable. This summer, and likely into the fall, there’s a surplus of electric cars being returned from two-...

Feeling Patriotic? GM, Ford Vehicles Top Made In America Index

 

GM Renaissance Center American flagAmericans are increasingly rediscovering the importance of buying local, or buying U.S.-made products. And for some households, that value system extends to their family vehicle. Yet it’s not entirely clear what constitutes ‘made in America’ for a car or truck. There is no 100-percent American model on the market; every vehicle...

May Lease Deals: Five Smart Vehicle Picks

 

2015 Toyota Avalon LimitedFor a certain kind of shopper, leasing can be a smart option. If you’re the type who wants a new vehicle with the latest look and features every few years, it can often give you more car for the money. Yet it’s worth laying out the numbers first, to see if leasing adds up in your case—or even makes sense versus buying. ALSO SEE...


Ford recalls new Ranger pickups for fire risk

 

2019 Ford RangerFord is recalling its brand-new midsize Ranger pickup for a potential fire hazard, the company announced Monday. The risk stems from the climate control system's blower motor, which may have been built without enough clearance between its base plate (which is conductive) and an electrical terminal. The two can make contact, resulting in a short...

A more affordable Porsche Taycan drops, Tesla Pickup still on track, and the GTI's plaid seats headline The Car Connection news

 

Plaid seats in the Volkswagen GTIHow the Volkswagen GTI got those plaid seats and golf-ball shifter VW designer Gunhil Liljequist discusses how the Golf GTI's plaid seats and golf-ball shifter came to be. More than 366,000 Subaru Foresters recalled for faulty front airbag sensors A front-seat sensor may fail to detect an occupant and may not deploy an airbag if the SUV is...

More than 366,000 Subaru Foresters recalled for faulty front airbag sensors

 

2018 Subaru ForesterSubaru will recall certain Forester crossover SUVs equipped with heated front seats, the company announced this month. A loose electrical connection can cause a malfunction in the occupant detection system (ODS), which detects the relative size of a front-seat passenger. If the ODS doesn't detect a passenger, then the passenger airbag is...

BMW recalls many of its newer cars, including Toyota Supra, for faulty rearview camera

 

2019 BMW 8-Series (M850i xDrive)BMW will recall most of its newer models, including the Toyota Supra, Rolls-Royce Cullinan and Phantom, for a rearview camera flaw. The camera settings in those cars can be adjusted to no longer project a rear image when in reverse, and that setting stays the same the next time the vehicle is put in reverse, which doesn't comply with the NHTSA...

Toyota extends battery warranty on all new hybrid and electric vehicles

 

Toyota's hybrid familyToyota is the uncontested leader in hybrid vehicles and now it has the longest warranty to back up its hybrid know-how. On Thursday, Toyota announced it would extend its hybrid battery warranty from 8 years/100,000 miles to 10 years/150,000 miles on all 2020 hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fuel-cell vehicles. Unlike Hyundai’s...

How the Volkswagen GTI got those plaid seats and golf-ball shifter

 

Gunhild Liljequist, one of Volkswagen's first female designers, shows off the GTI's plaid seatsWhile the Volkswagen Golf might not come back to America next year, the plaid seats of the Golf GTI will get another run in the legendary hatchback. Formerly known as the Rabbit in North America, the successor to the Volkswagen Beetle launched more than 40 years ago, and the plaid seats in the more performance-minded GTI trim have been winning...

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport reveal, 2021 Toyota RAV4 gets plugged in, off-roading with trucks in muck: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport fills the gap between Tiguan and Atlas Volkswagen launched the 2020 Atlas Cross Sport mid-size crossover to slot between the Tiguan compact and Atlas three-row crossovers. Mucking it up with the Jeep Gladiator, Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, and Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison The three mid-size trucks tackle an off-road course...

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport fills the gap between Tiguan and Atlas

 

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross SportVolkswagen's doubling down on crossover SUVs with the 2020 Atlas Cross Sport. On Friday in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the German automaker unveiled the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, a shorter two-row version of the three-row Atlas to take on the Honda Passport and Nissan Murano. In the Volkswagen crossover lineup, it slots between the smaller...

Mucking it up with the Jeep Gladiator, Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, and Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison

 

2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison, 2020 Jeep Gladiator, 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, from left It was rainy, the forest was overgrown, the trail was rutted with pools of mud. In other words, it was perfect for off-roading. The contenders on this typical Midwestern fall day were the refreshed 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Double Cab, the new 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, and the new Bison package on the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. While all...

2020 Toyota RAV4 comes with a higher price, better tech, and a new TRD Off-Road package

 

2020 Toyota RAV4The 2020 Toyota RAV4 gets a $200 price increase, standard Android Auto and XM radio, and a new TRD Off-Road model since its redesign last year. The 2019 redesign has propelled the RAV4 compact crossover to become the best-selling vehicle in 2019 behind the top three trucks. It’s also Toyota’s best-selling model for its balance of...

2019 Mazda 6, 2019 Mazda CX-9 earn Top Safety Pick+ honors

 

2019 Mazda CX-9The 2019 Mazda 6 sedan and CX-9 crossover both earned Top Safety Pick+ nods from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Mazda announced Monday. Both models aced the organization's crashworthiness and collision avoidance tests (including the passenger-side small overlap test), and models built after June 2019, and equipped with certain...

Pedestrian detection needs work, 2020 Hellcat Widebody first drive, 2020 Audi Q5 PHEV: What's New @ The Car Connection

 

AAA tests pedestrian detection systems in 2019 modelsStudy: Emergency braking with pedestrian detection might not actually detect pedestrians A test of automatic emergency braking systems that claim pedestrian detection showed that they failed to see pedestrians at night when turning right, or when traveling 30 mph. 2021 Chevrolet Colorado mid-size truck updated with a heavy-duty look The mid-size...

2020 Honda Civic sedan and coupe get a price bump

 

2020 Honda CivicAn updated price is still an update, right? This week, the 2020 Honda Civic coupe and sedan made their debuts with identical style as last year's model—even the same features—and a $335 price hike across the board compared to the 2019 Civic. Like last year, the 2020 Civic is available as a coupe, sedan, or hatchback, with performance...

Audi earns two more Top Safety Picks for Q3 and A7

 

2020 Audi Q3 SportbackThe Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has awarded Audi two more coveted safety awards, giving the 2019 A7 Sportback its Top Safety Pick nod and the redesigned 2019 Q3 crossover its much-sought-after Top Safety Pick+ recognition. Both awards come with asterisks, however: they were bestowed only upon models equipped with LED projector...

2021 Chevrolet Colorado mid-size truck updated with a heavy-duty look

 

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2The 2021 Chevrolet Colorado mid-size pickup truck will get minor cosmetic upgrades to the front and rear. The nameplate returned in 2015, but the Colorado needs to stay fresh against newer mid-size trucks such as the Ford Ranger, Jeep Gladiator, and a refreshed Toyota Tacoma. The tailgates on all four trims will feature “Chevrolet”...


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...

2020 Toyota Highlander unveiled: Crossover SUV juices up with thrifty, 34-mpg hybrid

 

2020 Toyota Highlander, 2019 New York International Auto ShowWith the 2019 New York auto show debut Wednesday of its redesigned 2020 Highlander, Toyota hasn’t built the Prius of three-row crossover SUVs. The automaker’s 34-mpg combined fuel-economy estimate for the 2020 Highlander Hybrid comes close, however. That figure is a hefty 6 mpg higher than last year’s hybrid combined EPA test...

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...

2020 Jeep Gladiator debuts: The off-roader's pickup truck

 

2020 Jeep Gladiator, 2018 LA Auto ShowWith the 2018 LA Auto Show debut Wednesday of the 2020 Gladiator, Jeep is back in the pickup truck game. The 2020 Jeep Gladiator pairs the Wrangler's swagger to a more utilitarian form just as the mid-size pickup wars heat up. Don't look for the 2020 Gladiator to be a back-to-basics pickup. Its Sport, Overland, and Rubicon trim levels build on...

2020 Lincoln Aviator debuts: Luxury crossover SUV takes flight

 

2020 Lincoln Aviator, 2018 LA Auto ShowThe 2020 Lincoln Aviator isn't the first time Ford's luxury brand has distilled its Navigator into something more palatable, but it's a much more thorough effort. At the 2018 LA Auto Show on Wednesday, Lincoln took the wraps off of its new, rear- or all-wheel-drive three-row crossover SUV that's set to square off against the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz...

North American Car & Truck/Utility of the Year jury announces 2019 finalists

 

North American Car of the YearFinalists for the 2019 North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year were announced Wednesday at the 2018 LA Auto Show. The jury, composed of automotive media from North America including three Internet Brands Automotive editors, narrowed the semi-finalist list to just three cars, three trucks, and three crossover SUVs.The original list of...

2019 Honda Passport debuts: Crossover SUV stamps its docs, returns to market

 

2019 Honda Passport, 2018 LA Auto ShowWith its 2019 Passport, Honda is back in the SUV game. The automaker revived the long-forgotten Passport name ahead of the 2018 LA auto show Tuesday as a new crossover SUV that slots between its compact CR-V and its three-row Pilot. The 2019 Honda Passport will hit dealers early next year with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and a choice of front- or...

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