Automotive Blog


What are the different levels of self-driving cars?

 

Cadillac Super CruiseIn many ways self-driving cars are an eventuality and a reality. As automakers approach full autonomy, several new cars now boast self-driving features that inch toward the goal of driver-less cars soon. Limited hands-free driving systems on the market now are GM's Super Cruise, Tesla's Autopilot, Ford's Bluecruise, and many other ones in various...

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...

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...


5 fast facts about the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT electric car concept

 

Dodge Charger Daytona ConceptThe future's so bright, Dodge is throwing shade. At the culmination of Dodge Speed Week on Wednesday, the American muscle car brand revealed the products of its two-year business plan in a manner befitting the performance brand's machismo. The V-8 engine will be discontinued at the end of 2023, along with the Challenger and Charger muscle cars, as...

Ford Mustang Mach-E vs. Tesla Model 3: Compare Electric Cars

 

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, left, and 2021 Tesla Model 3, rightIt’s a case of legacy versus upstart—but in the case of Ford Mustang Mach-E vs. Tesla Model 3, Tesla is the legacy electric vehicle maker, and Ford is the upstart. Today, these two choices are among the most compelling affordable electric vehicles. Which one’s the better vehicle? First, a caveat. The Model 3 is a sedan, the...

Hyundai Tucson plug-in hybrid vs. Toyota RAV4 Prime: Compare Crossover SUVs

 

2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEVThe Hyundai Tucson plug-in hybrid intends to dethrone the Toyota RAV4 Prime from its perch as king of the hybrid hill. The redesigned compact crossover chases the perennial bestseller in this class in most categories except for style, space, and most importantly, price. Squared off against each other, the deciding factor might not be the RAV4...

What's New for 2023: Dodge

 

2023 Dodge HornetDodge enters the 2023 model year in the midst of a transition. The small lineup from the American performance brand owned by the multinational conglomerate Stellantis reflects the global trends sweeping over the automotive industry. Dodge sheds its V-8 muscle car past while shifting to an electrified future that encompasses a range of vehicles...

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport recalled for engine stall risk

 

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SportNewer versions of the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport small crossover SUV are being recalled for a software glitch that can make the engine stall at high speeds, the NHTSA disclosed Monday. The issue effects vehicles with a continuously variable transmission and a mechanical key instead of a push button starter. In those 2019-2022 Mitsubishi Outlander...

2023 GMC Canyon, 2023 Cadillac XT6 top this week's new car news and reviews

 

2023 GMC Canyon AT4More 2023 models roll into dealer lots, and automakers this week disclosed the pricing on new and carryover models. Without exception and as news to no one, prices are up year over year, ranging from only $500 on the 2023 Ford Ranger to more than $7,000 on the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning. GM followed up the launch of the redesigned 2023 Chevrolet...

2023 Nissan Titan price increases to $41,495, adds Midnight Edition

 

2023 Nissan TitanThe 2023 Nissan Titan full-size and XD heavy-duty pickup trucks now offer a blacked-out Midnight Edition package and sport slightly higher prices across the board. But the trucks remain among the more reasonable values with a price delta between $41,000 and $65,000, Nissan disclosed Thursday. Sold in a choice of extended cab or crew cab bodies...

2023 Subaru Ascent SUV refreshed with upgraded tech and a $2,800 price increase

 

2023 Subaru AscentThe refreshed 2023 Subaru Ascent three-row SUV climbs into the new year with revised front and rear ends, wireless smartphone connectivity, and improved safety technology. The price also climbs between $1,100 and $2,800 more than the 2022 Ascent to start at $35,120, including a $1,225 destination fee, Subaru announced Thursday. Competing with...

2022 Top Safety Pick awards: Which cars are safest?

 

IIHS Top Safety Pick testingFor the 2022 model year, more automakers built their cars to better withstand and avoid crashes, according to the latest ratings announced Thursday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. More than 70 models earned a 2022 Top Safety Pick+ designation, which is considered the most rigorous independent safety rating in the automotive...

2023 Ford Bronco Sport channels 1960s with retro Heritage Editions

 

2023 Ford Bronco Sport Heritage EditionThe 2023 Ford Bronco Sport follows the path of its big brother Bronco once again with two new Heritage editions inspired by the original Ford Bronco that first launched in 1966. The compact crossover SUV based on the Ford Escape benefits more from its Bronco brand partner, Ford suggested Thursday. “Bronco Sport has been a hit with compact...

2023 Ford Ranger stands pat with modest price increase

 

New Ford Ranger (Global model) The 2023 Ford Ranger mid-size pickup truck carries over into the new year, contrary to speculation that a new model was due for North America. The carryover model has a price increase of up to $430, Ford disclosed in a dealer order guide released this week. A redesigned Ranger was expected for the 2023 model year but has been delayed for the U.S...

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning price increases $7,000, tops out near $100,000

 

2023 Ford F-150 LightningThe 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck receives its first price increase since launching last May, and it's a steep one. Base Lightning Pro models jump from $41,669 to $48,769, including a $1,795 destination fee, while top Platinum grades with an extended-range battery increase $6,100 to $98,669, Ford disclosed Tuesday. Steep price increases...

Older Kia Optima sedans recalled for falling ceiling plates

 

2013 Kia Optima HybridFor drivers of the 2012-2013 Kia Optima sedan, it may seem like the sky is falling. On certain models, a ceiling plate above the driver or front passenger can detach from the headliner when the side curtain airbag is deployed. The plate can strike an occupant, as it has in one case that prompted a lawsuit, and has now prompted Kia to recall...

Mercedes-Benz E-Class, CLS, AMG GT recalled for increased fire risk

 

2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Newer versions of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, CLS-Class, and AMG GT are being recalled for a short circuit that increases the risk of fire, the NHTSA disclosed last week. A corroded connector in the transmission wiring harness of all-wheel-drive vehicles ("4Matic" in Mercedes-speak) could cause a seal to loosen, which may allow water to enter the...

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2022 Tesla Model S top this week's new car reviews

 

2023 Jeep Grand CherokeeThe 2023 model year cars keep rolling into dealer lots, albeit in limited supply, and the most visited review we posted this week was the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee. A perennial Best SUV To Buy at The Car Connection, the Grand Cherokee has minor changes limited mostly to the 4xe plug-in hybrid model after last year's redesign. We finally found some...


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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