So if EVs are popular and supported here, why are many models forbidden fruit?
Kelsay recently took a senior driving class. She says she gets a discount on her insurance for attending the class, but she adds that it's nice to learn about new laws, get refreshed on existing laws and pick up some driving tips.
Subaru's all-wheel drive passion aside, the automaker crafts a fun, rear-wheel drive, sport coupe. The 2015 Subaru BRZ is surprisingly affordable, too, with a starting retail price of less than $26,500.
Work from more than 100 stylists will be on display at "American Dreaming: Detroit's Golden Age of Automotive Design 1946-1973," an exhibition running through May 2.
I've been driving a 2015 Kia Soul Electric Vehicle all week and I'm so full of electrons — or something — that I figure I must be transmitting a dozen different rays. Electric cars promise smooth, quiet, combustion-free rides — and deliver as effectively as six-figure luxury sedans.
Many yards offer a convenient, cost-effective and often environmentally conscious alternative to buying new parts.
The path to fully autonomous driving will still take years to reach consumers, but car manufacturers demonstrated at the show that they are now able to offer buyers several levels of so-called active safety features — in which the car takes over driving in certain instances.
The latest from luxury automaker Lexus is an audacious-looking sport coupe that turns heads and challenges long-held stereotypes of Lexus cars as sedate, plush rides.
Because this 650-horsepower Vette is packed with power and perks, and has the chops to keep up with and even beat McLarens, Lamborghinis and Ferraris, it ranks among the best values in production cars on the market today.
The Santa Fe is a well-designed vehicle with upscale airs. No doubt it's a decent value.
In the midst of tax season, here are some tips to help you through a future vehicle donation to a charitable organization.
Local car owners show off their wild and wonderful cars at a Redmond Town Center lot every Saturday through the fall.
A nimble, five-seat SUV — the 2015 Chevrolet Trax — is a new, commendable alternative, with a low starting retail price of $20,995, smart features, competitive fuel economy and strong crash test scores.
Thirteen years after the last Continental rolled off the assembly line, Ford is resurrecting its storied nameplate.
The latest iteration of the Sorento is a decent ride, with a modicum of style, any option you'd care for in a modern vehicle and a driving experience that's firmly middle of the pack.
For this year at least, New York is home to some of the glitziest and most important cars that the industry's big players want to show off in North America.
Today's diesel engines run as clean as gasoline engines, get significantly better fuel economy and may even save their owners money in the long run.
The new, midsize Canyon is a fine alternative for people who need to haul loads or tow on occasion but don't want a big pickup crammed into their garages.
Several luxury automakers, including Bentley, have been expanding the lines of goods they sell that have little to do with cars.
While these models never look drastically different when redesigned, their lack of visual change hides significant upgrades and the 2015 Golf is no exception.
Perhaps it's time to ditch the family truckster and get the ride you've always wanted.
If you're tired of shaking down the highway, here are a few of the more common causes of car vibrations, and how to fix them.
The roomy, fuel-sipping Toyota Camry Hybrid family sedan gets better for 2015 with more appealing exterior styling, upgraded interior, improved ride and handling and quieter passenger cabin.
This time last year, Zero Motorcycles could comfortably claim to be the world's leading electric-motorcycle maker. Then Harley-Davidson unveiled its electric LiveWire concept bike, and Polaris Industries acquired Brammo Motorcycles, positioning itself to match Harley.
You'll recognize the RC as a new-generation Lexus by its huge, blacked-out spindle grille. Everything else on the car, though, seems far outside Lexus' customary comfort zone.
From colorful mats to Mariners merchandise, here are some Seattle-flavored options for putting some spring in your ride.
When Google recently hosted a boot camp in Mountain View, Calif., for its Android operating system, there were some new faces in the room: auto manufacturers.
Nissan's stylish 2015 Murano midsize, sport utility vehicle is getting lots of second and even third looks as consumers seek the next big thing in SUVs.
Plymouth-based Humanetics has introduced a new obese dummy to reflect Americans' growing size.
The 2015 Lincoln Navigator AWD large SUV shows the brand hasn't forgotten the loyal customers who stuck with it through a nearly uninterrupted 30-year run.
To members of the Northwest VW Club, the acclaim is in line with what they know about the automaker — it has come a long way by making memorable cars.
Once mostly the province of expensive sports and luxury cars, turbochargers are proliferating in everything from budget compacts to burly pickup trucks.
Toyota's Sienna, the best-selling family van in the country this year, has refreshed styling, stiffened vehicle structure, more safety equipment and new features for 2015.
Despite the lowest gasoline prices in years, consumers still want vehicles with high fuel economy, executives from leading automakers said at the recent Chicago auto show.
For 2015, you can finally take your favorite four-wheeled feline to your favored ski slope without fear of sliding off some twisty mountain road.
If you're thinking about selling your car, you're probably considering one of two options: trade it in, or sell it on your own.
Mike Fine was perfectly happy with his 2011 Nissan Xterra. Then he got a look at his son's ride.
Cadillac's first compact two door, the 2015 ATS Coupe, is a stylish, rear- and all-wheel drive performer with nimble handling, standard rear-view camera and a starting retail price that's less than $39,000.
The Ford Rouge Factory Tour has completed a $4.7 million upgrade to better tell the story of the new Ford F-150 pickup.
Nissan did a pretty good job of smoothing a few of the GT-R's rough edges while preserving most of its sinister clanks, whirrs and whooshes.
When we asked readers to share what they'd buy if they won the lottery, their choices ranged from eco-friendly to nostalgic to extravagant.
A booming car market and an improving economy have automakers investing big in fast, fun, expensive cars.
Today's Z car — now called the 370Z to reflect today's engine displacement — ranks as America's two-seater with the most power for the lowest starting retail price.
I've tested — briefly — one of the first cars to use Apple's CarPlay and Android Auto, and I'd say smartphone users will think it was worth the wait when cars with the systems hit the road at some point this year.
Still immensely square and slab-sided, the Expedition wears a crisp new three-bar grille up front with contemporary projector-style headlamps.
Cars can take you from Point A to Point B, but music transports you to another world. Next time you're rocking out to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" in the car, marvel at what goes into a factory sound system.
Reaching an apogee of confusion, car dashboards have become a bewildering array of screens, buttons and knobs to control functions such as the radio, ventilation, advanced safety systems and Internet services.
For 2015, Volkswagen's best-selling vehicle, the Jetta compact sedan, builds on its fine road handling character and adds a nicer interior, freshened front and rear styling, new safety features and a more-fuel-thrifty diesel engine.
With a thumb swipe on a smartphone, your car one day will be able to drive into a parking garage, find an open spot and back into a space — all by itself.
A new engine and transmission transform the 2015 Honda CR-V (I give it three out of four stars), returning the SUV to its accustomed place among the leaders. The new drivetrain generates 11 percent more torque and a whopping 3 mpg improvement in the combined city and highway fuel-economy rating for an all-wheel-drive CR-V.
The Beach Boys' "Little Deuce Coupe" is rocking the jukebox at Issaquah's Triple XXX Root Beer Drive-In, setting the tone for a restaurant known to local car buffs as Hot Rod Central.
Most people think that the car hobby is based on a love of old cars. For me, it goes deeper.
The Subaru Outback, one of the best vehicles at gracefully blending car and sport utility characteristics, is revamped for 2015 with more interior room than ever, improved ride, handsome looks and more features.
Infiniti's stylish five-passenger crossover formerly known as the FX was renamed the QX70 just last year, and it continues for 2015 as one of the standouts in its class.
The Honda Civic lineup was upgraded for 2014, with the upgrades carrying over to 2015 models. The Coupe exterior was redesigned, new wheel designs were introduced, the interior was refined, a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) was added, along with numerous available premium features.
Nice is a consolation prize. Nice is the Miss Congeniality of automotive skill-sets. Seriously, when your friends talk about you behind your back, would you rather be described as a nice driver or as Seattle's own Mario Andretti?
Donna Higley often talks to her new high-tech Lexus. "I'll be in a parking lot and it will warn me of something ahead and I'll say, 'Yes, yes, I know,' " says Higley, 74.
Despite its name, there's nothing too rogue about Nissan's compact Rogue sport utility vehicle.
Blame wet feet. It took several days of rain on a Colorado family vacation to move Julianne Vanden Wyngaard from tent camper to motor-home owner.
Even with fuel prices at rock-bottom levels right now, consumers know cheap gas can't last, and they're clamoring for more-fuel-efficient small crossovers.
Recent RV buyer Stanley May of Seattle tows his 1,825-pound T@B trailer with a Lexus SUV. (Courtesy of Apache Camping Center) As the recession eases, gas prices fall and loan...
They're not getting rich working out of their cars. But with gasoline prices plunging, the road to making a living is a lot less bumpy.
With new, more powerful turbo engines, the 2015.5 Volvo S60 is a distinctive, European premium sedan that's nimble, quick and has a surprisingly comfortable driver seat for 6-footers.
Michelle Christensen wanted to get into the automotive-design program at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. So admissions officers asked her for a portfolio of car sketches.
Now in its third year since a complete redesign, the 2015 Acura RDX compact crossover continues as an upscale family hauler that's not much more expensive than some non-premium competitors.
This winter, three local motorcycle riders have been on the trip of a lifetime. Their journey: four months riding from Seattle to South America.
Jimmy Zaid says he is always looking for a deal. As he stood in the lobby of a Houston-area Infiniti dealership on the last day of December, he took satisfaction at the one he had just secured on his new sport sedan.
Toyota's lowest-priced car, the Yaris, is restyled inside and out for 2015, has an improved ride and adds new standard features — all for a starting retail price of less than $16,000.
Honda has made changes and improvements to the popular CR-V compact crossover for the 2015 model year.
Nothing in the auto industry feels younger than the Subaru Breeze, which is entering its third year of production.
The upcoming Seattle Boat Show and Seattle RV Show are bound to stir up folks new to towing. Don't be intimidated; be prepared. With some knowledge and practice, towing a boat or camper behind you can open up your world. Here are a few things to consider.
The North American International Auto Show began this week in Detroit with media and industry previews. It opens to the public Saturday and continues through Jan. 25. Here are some of the new cars and highlights from the show.
The question first popped up when the 503-horsepower Mercedes-AMG GT S roared to life one cool morning last week in San Francisco: This is from a German car company, right?
Every year, a handful cars and trucks go out of production and disappear from the market. Some become legends, like the '57 Chevy. Others disappear into history's sock drawer.
That was old Chevy. New, reorganized Chevrolet plans to make a dramatic re-entry into the segment with an all-new, much-larger Colorado.
Imagine cruising down the highway, when suddenly your car swerves into oncoming traffic as if it had a mind of its own. What in the world?
From Madonna to Miley Cyrus, from "Titanic" to "Transformers," American entertainment culture has been rolling all over the world for decades.
The first time Carl Dietrich brought his flying-car concept to the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual AirVenture gathering in Oshkosh, Wis., he had only a video to show the aviation geeks who wandered by his modest stall.
The 2015 Lincoln MKC like that driven by actor Matthew McConaughey in commercials is a comfortable haven whose interior is so quiet it invites contemplative thoughts — and not just by McConaughey.
Has there ever been a better time to ride motorcycles? Not since I started riding. The year just past was filled with fantastic bike reveals. Almost all the major manufacturers unwrapped new machines, often at lower prices, with more features, than last year.
Now cars are among the main attractions at the International CES, which opens Tuesday. The show will feature vehicles with touchscreen dashboards and others controlled by smartwatches.
In the past when gasoline got cheap, U.S. consumers became energy hogs, snapping up Hummers and other big, less-efficient cars and trucks. With gas prices at their lowest in five years, there are signs that could happen again.
Want some attention and excitement in the new year? Try the newest Dodge Challenger — the one with a 707-horsepower, supercharged Hemi V-8 under the hood.
Then I drove the 2015 update, inadvertently proving the maxim that expectations are a person's worst enemy. Like the stealthy 850-horsepower Camry dragster Toyota trumpeted at this year's SEMA show, the new Camry is quite the surprise.
You didn't get a vehicle with a big bow on it for the holidays? Maybe next year, when there will be so many exciting products coming — many of them as 2016 models. With so many great new cars coming in 2015, I'll narrow it to my top 11 choices, in alphabetical order (can you tell I just watched "This is Spinal Tap"?). Availability is estimated.
Here's a prediction you can take to the bank: Sales of compact and subcompact SUVs are about to skyrocket.
Most consumers may figure they have to pay a premium to get German engineering, European road handling and a roomy interior in a family-size sedan. But Volkswagen's 2015 Passat is proving them wrong.
You know you're onto something when Nike's design team gets so excited about your idea it inadvertently leaks it to the public.
It can be hard to find a good mechanic. That is, unless you know Stephen Larson, of Seattle.
Children who begin their vehicular life on tricycles typically migrate to two-wheelers by the time they start kindergarten, eventually graduating to four-wheelers. Now some grown-ups are returning to their three-wheel roots, although without the pedals this time around.
After a 19-year absence, Italian carmaker Alfa Romeo is back in the United States and wowing Alfa enthusiasts with the sexy, fun-to-drive 2015 4C two seater.
The Indian Scout motorcycle, favored by stunt riders, has made a daring comeback, with some reviewers saying it's a serious competitor to Harley-Davidson's Sportster lineup. The first all-new Scout in 70 years is expected to arrive at dealerships this month, with dozens of the bikes sold in advance.
Ah, the minivan. That target of stand-up comedians and patronizing waves at shopping malls, even as it performs its thankless chores with versatility and forbearance. Kind of like parents.
According to research company R.L. Polk, the average age of a vehicle on the road today is 11.4 years. Chances are, the ride in your driveway is a decade or so old. In that time, there have been some fundamental changes to new vehicles. If you've got an older car, here is some of what you've been missing.
When Marlo Dewing went shopping for a car last year, she only had one requirement: a manual transmission.
Redesigned for 2015, the Subaru Legacy is a sensible and more refined family sedan that has the best fuel economy for the lowest starting retail price among America's all-wheel drive sedans.
You can't always learn a lot about a car by looking at its spec sheet, but the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C is defined by two basic facts: It's built around a carbon-fiber tub, and its base price is $55,195.
LeMay — America's Car Museum defines a master collector as "a dedicated enthusiast whose passion for cars knows no bounds."
Remember the hydrogen car? A decade ago, President George W. Bush espoused the environmental promise of cars running on hydrogen, the universe's most abundant element.
Buick's smallest car, the Verano sedan, is a rich-looking, pleasant-riding and surprisingly quiet compact with upscale features.
Honda, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Mazda all introduced smaller entries in the booming SUV market recently at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show as the industry seeks younger buyers.
America's best-selling SUV for a decade, the Honda CR-V, is an even smarter buy for 2015 with added features, updated styling and improved fuel economy.
In this season of giving, car enthusiasts can show their generosity — and see cool rides — at these local charity events.
Used-car buyers have come to expect good deals this time of the year as dealers traditionally try to clear out their lots and hit their sales numbers. This year, however, buyers may be in the driver's seat.
We sorted through the 30 world debuts and the 30 North American debuts to find the standouts at the L.A. Auto Show.
Ferraris don't emit fumes. They blast LeMans-inspired symphonies from their oversize exhaust pipes — flat, hard growls that swell to shrieking 8,000-rpm howls under throttle.
Nissan introduced the redesigned Versa subcompact hatchback, now called the Versa Note, just last year, following the remake of the Versa sedan model two years earlier.
Send hearts racing this holiday season with these auto-centric gifts for your favorite car lovers.
One out of every 10 new vehicles sold in the U.S. last year was purchased in California. So it's no wonder that automakers save some of their most important introductions for the Los Angeles Auto Show, which opens to the public Nov. 21.
The Hyundai Sonata sedan, poised to set a new U.S. sales record this year, feels like a more premium car for 2015 and adds interior room, improved ride, more standard equipment and new, luxury-car features.
Natural gas is the neglected stepchild of the alternative-fuel-vehicles industry.
As quirky Subaru knows, eccentrics can easily stumble into the murky mainstream. It just happens, kind of like 40th birthdays. One day you wear a tiny earring and Doc Martens to work and the next, a Brooks Brothers suit and Capital One haircut.
For dog owners, the phrase "creature comforts" takes on new meaning when shopping for a vehicle.
Owners of electric vehicles have already gone gasoline-free. Now a growing number are powering their cars with sunlight.
Finally, there is an all-electric car for people who thought they would never want one.
Sergio Marchionne likes to move fast. The CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles owns a half-dozen Ferraris, has homes in three countries, and spends much of his time on a private jet shuttling between Detroit, Fiat's hometown of Turin and other outposts of his growing empire.
When Robert Reed and his family turned their all-terrain vehicles onto a dirt trail in far northern New Hampshire, he was surprised to see tracks from a bigger machine.
Naval missile technician Vincent Gomez had an ace up his sleeve when shopping for a new Audi A3. By being a member of the military — at Naval Base Kitsap on the Kitsap Peninsula — he was eligible for a $500 discount on his car.
Cellphones that warn drivers when people are crossing in front of them. Bicycles and cars that communicate with traffic lights. Sensors in cars that quickly alert other drivers to black ice, potholes or other hazards. A low-priced camera system that brings high-tech automatic braking to the masses.
The 2015 Buick LaCrosse is absolutely, positively not like the stodgy Buicks of old.
Maserati, one of Italy's classic automotive nameplates, celebrates its centennial this year in better shape than in any of its first 99.
In an automotive age where SUVs rule, station wagons are a fading market category. But Volvo has been a resolute defender of the traditional family haulers.
Ford's F-150 has been the best-selling truck for 37 consecutive years and the best-selling vehicle for 32 of them. Messing with success is unwise.
What do women want in a car? The same things men do — with subtle differences.
The full-size, 2015 GMC Yukon Denali is a no-excuses sport utility vehicle that's both capable and pampering.
The sign's message was clear enough: Please Do Not Touch. For some visitors, however, the temptation was too great.
Americans have an insatiable appetite for the SUV. The latest segment automakers are battling over is the compact luxury crossover. Lexus' entry in the competition is the 2015 NX 200t — with the carmaker's first turbocharged engine and its hybrid counterpart, the 300h. Both models are based on parent Toyota's RAV4.
It only took a second for our fun weekend to hinge on disaster. My wife and I were harvesting our Christmas tree near Snoqualmie Pass in our Subaru Forester one year, and we were taking it slow on the U.S. Forest Service roads. But an unseen icy patch sent us sliding sideways.
The engine is the heart of your vehicle. When it stops working, so does your car. Just as the human heart needs its owner to eat healthy food and to exercise for it to operate properly, your car's engine also needs you to provide it with proper care.
Despite gas prices still being over $3 a gallon, large SUVs have been making a comeback. Among them, the Infiniti QX80, one of the most sumptuous.
The muscular 2015 Chevy Colorado — new metal in the stale midsize pickup segment — may lug more bicycles and kayaks than bricks and lumber.
BMW's i8 plug-in hybrid may be as fast as a Corvette Stingray, but it made me late every time I drove it.
The Ford Model T may best be remembered for its black color, but for the first four years of production, the car was available in blue, green, gray and red. Paint may be the colorful finishing touch, but it's not just a fashion statement. It has to endure years of sun, rain, heat, cold, salt and bird droppings.
The 2015 Seattle Auto Show continues through Sunday at CenturyLink Field Event Center.
The non-hybrid new car with the best gasoline mileage rating in the United States is not a Honda or Toyota. It's a Mitsubishi that's priced less than the average cost of a used car or truck.
Stella McCartney recently showed her idea of breezy feminine ease during Paris Fashion Week. But her latest work wasn't confined to the runway.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata marks 25 years as one of the auto world's most popular and affordable roadsters. Last month, Mazda showed off the all-new fourth generation Miata, which is due out next year as a 2016 model.
The 2014 Corvette Caravan was the road trip of a lifetime for Corvette enthusiast Steve Yabroff.
Here's a roundup of what's new in the U.S. for the 2015 model year.
Fans of Honda's innovative and spacious Fit hatchback will love what the car becomes for 2015 — quieter inside, more powerful and yet more fuel efficient, more refined in its ride, roomier and better equipped.
When Joe Rundell decided to become a sculptor at age 71, he didn't get a lot of encouragement. A great-grandfather, he had already been retired for 20 years after three decades as a machine repairman at a General Motors engine plant. Also, he didn't know how to make sculptures.
Sturgill Simpson poured from the 16 Bose speakers in my new Escalade, probably leaving twangy furrows in its fine wool carpet. But that's OK in the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, a square-cut, extrovert SUV seemingly custom-built for blustery Texans such as myself.
On the outside, Aditya Ganapathiraju's Honda Odyssey looks like anyone else's. On the inside, however, it's outfitted with modifications such as an electronic gear-shifting system, a lowered floor and ramp, and hand controls for operating the acceleration and braking.
Here's a roundup of what's new in the U.S. for the 2015 model year.
A showy exterior, V-6 power, nimble handling and the lowest starting price tag of any Lexus sedan are proving to be a winning formula for the Lexus IS compact sedan.
For 2014, Land Rover's venerable LR4 gets a slightly more fuel-efficient engine, cosmetic tweaks and a new four-wheel-drive system. What hasn't changed is the midsize SUV's ability to carry seven passengers and do so off the beaten path if necessary.
In the shadow of the Santa Rosa Mountains in Southern California, a private playground for some of the nation's wealthiest gearheads is rising out of the desert heat.
Their speed, handling and cornering make go-karts adrenaline-inducing thrill machines. And a growing group of Northwest drivers are taking karting to the next level.
Sales of small crossover SUVs are booming in the U.S., and automakers are responding quickly with new entries in the 2015 model year.
Chrysler's redesigned and re-engineered 2015 200 mid-size sedan is so stylish it looks pricier than it is.
Talk about a departure: Kia, the Korean automaker perhaps best known in the U.S. market for its funky little Soul crossover or the more mainstream Optima family sedan, has just introduced a full-size, rear-wheel-drive luxury car.
Frank Hagerty was looking for a hobby, something to do in his retirement, but the business he started in his Michigan basement became the world's largest insurer of collectible cars and wooden boats.
It's been called the most prestigious car show in the nation, and possibly the world. Every summer, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance attracts the world's most glamorous, extraordinary and rare cars to California.
Last year, two Manhattan condominiums sold for more than $90 million, and a Francis Bacon painting went for $142.4 million. Now comes the $38.1 million car.
As cars age, the market usually ignores them. There's nothing new, nothing fresh, nothing exciting about a car that looks like one more goose in the flock of off-lease geese that have migrated to the used ponds. Entering its eighth year, the Dodge Challenger should be a dead duck.
If the Cadillac Escalade, once the favorite of celebrities, briefly lost its cachet, then the redesigned 2015 model should put it back on the A-list.
For Daimler, the truck driver of the future looks something like this: He or she is seated in the cab of a semi, eyes firmly glued to a tablet and hands resting in his or her lap.
A friend of mine recently complained that she couldn't keep an eye on her kids while driving her Chrysler Town & Country minivan. "Why don't you use the conversation mirror?" I asked.
A driver moves along in traffic, the forward view blocked by a truck or a bend in the road. Suddenly, up ahead, someone slams on the brakes. Tires screech.
The 2015 Kia K900 starts at $59,500. (The Associated Press) The 2015 K900, the new flagship at Kia, is an attractive, large, luxury sedan with a quiet, comfortable ride, a...
Pay no mind to the Porsche Macan's 18 cubic feet of cargo room, its capacity to carry five adults comfortably and its commanding view of the road. With 340 horsepower and reflexes that would make Catwoman jealous, the Macan S never got the memo that it's not a sports car. Porsche's speed-hunting pedigree shows in every corner of this all-new small SUV.
It was the evening of July 3, and a phalanx of American steel was arriving in Vasteras, Sweden, a town an hour or so northwest of Stockholm.
The West Seattle Car Show made its debut in 2008, drawing vintage-car buffs and locals to the bustling area along California Avenue Southwest affectionately known as the Junction.
Detroit's newest muscle car is best known by the name of the 707-horsepower supercharged Hemi V-8 under its hood. The brawniest 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT may as well dispense with the rest of its official nomenclature: As long as its power comes from the Hellcat, that's what people will call this car.
The 2015 Nissan Versa Note five-door hatchback is one of the lowest-priced new cars in the U.S. market and is affordable at the gas pump, too.
When Hyundai came out with the sixth-generation Sonata, it was a wakeup call for midsize sedans and other manufacturers' mundane styling. With its "Fluidic Sculpture" design, the Sonata dared to be different. Now for the new generation Sonata, Hyundai -- for better or for worse -- has reined in those sculptural flourishes.
He may not self-identify as a philosopher, since he's a proud gearhead and gas-station grease monkey at heart, but Mark Mendenhall was nothing if not profound when he looked around and took stock of all he surveyed.
Of all the tech features you can add to your car, one stands out as a real lifesaver: a backup camera.
Nestled in the rolling Tennessee hills and forests, the secretive lab that developed power for the Manhattan Project is working to change the auto industry and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign fuel.
The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe midsize sport utility vehicle stands out from the crowd for its attractive styling, comfortable ride, value pricing, surprising standard features and warranty.
When we drove the redesigned Lexus IS 250 last year, we were impressed with the new look, but were left wanting a bit more power under the hood. The IS 350 F Sport, with more power, may be our answer.
Jay Johnson has been on many journeys with his Harley-Davidson Road Glide, including a 600-mile round trip to Marquette, Mich., for a Big Boy hamburger that he couldn't find any closer to home.
After buying an Audi A4 sedan, Alex Schenkar was eager to learn the proper driving techniques for his sporty new car. So he enrolled in a performance-driving class at ProFormance Racing School in Kent.
On a sunny day in California's Burbank hills, Jay Leno's canary-yellow McLaren supercar shatters the silence.
Families who need a vehicle with three rows of seats have a new, roomy and plush sport utility choice this year that's high in government fuel-economy ratings.
For decades, Subaru's all-wheel-drive vehicles have delivered people to the trail head, campground and ski slope safely. Now the brand is turning to technology to give drivers an extra measure of security.
With its pioneering front-wheel drive, low-slung silhouette and cat's-eye headlamps, the multicolored Ruxton automobile seemed destined for greatness in 1929.
At first glance, Lisa Hasegawa, of Columbia City, doesn't seem like your typical motorcycle enthusiast. She has a slight build, seems a little bit nervous and sports a Honda Rebel that she's been riding for less than a year.
By now, most used-car dealers have done two-thirds of their business for the year, according to one industry expert. So if you're in the market for a car and want to buy used, it may be a good time to start doing your research with an eye toward buying in the fall.
The 2014 BMW M235i is the best temptation yet for American car buyers to get back into sporty, two-door coupes.
We drove the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL550 roadster in 2012 when it first came out, and were impressed by its design and ride. Now, after driving the performance version, the fully loaded SL65 AMG, we're even more impressed.
Dave "Hayseed" Thomssen is 79 years old, a retired geologist, who, thanks to recent back surgery, walks with a cane.
There was the Apollo 11 moon landing, President Nixon's resignation and the fall of the Berlin Wall — and now this piece of history: For the first time ever, SUVs and crossovers outsold sedans in the U.S.
Driving straight through, it'd take a little more than 15 hours to go from Kirkland to Pebble Beach, Calif. But the auto enthusiasts who took off from the Woodmark Hotel courtyard Tuesday will make it there in eight days, taking time to savor the trip in their thoroughbred cars.
The big, 2015 Tahoe sport utility vehicle is thriving at Chevrolet, thanks to updated styling, a more powerful V-8, improved second-row legroom, more towing capacity and new features.
When Toyota introduced the Highlander in 2001, it was one of the first true ''crossovers,'' and the midsize SUV has had a long and successful run. For 2014, the Highlander has been redesigned with a bolder look and higher-quality cabin. Our tester was the hybrid version, which gave us a case of sticker shock for a nonluxury family hauler.
Should you care whether a new Chevrolet is less than 1 percent more likely to have a problem than a new Toyota? Whether a new Honda is 2.8 percent more likely to have a problem than either?
Stephen Johnsen calls it the "EV grin." It happens when a driver first gets behind the wheel of an electric vehicle and steps on the gas, er, the accelerator.
Ford and Heinz are trying to turn tomato skins into floor mats.
The flagship of the Jeep line — the five-passenger Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicle — is both a grand and high-mileage traveler for 2014.
Here's a tire-kicking experiment: Pay a visit to your BMW dealer. Weave through the sleek wares on display — but tiptoe around that strange blobby thing called a 5 Series GT. Now, stop when you see a window sticker that's less than $40,000.
They are rolling symbols of wealth and excess, starting at $263,000 a pop, with most buyers choosing custom options that can easily double that price. And they are more popular than ever before.
The Northwest might have the best summers on the planet. Where else can you find the combination of moderate temperatures, majestic landscapes and mercilessly few mosquitoes? The season practically demands transportation that puts wind in your hair. (And no, I don't mean a boat.)
When Maggie McNally-Bradshaw and her husband, Curt, hop on their electric motorcycles and twist the throttles, they get a rush like no other.
The 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid sedan doesn't amaze and daze with its mainstream looks, nice cloth seats and pleasant ride. Its "wow" factor is, simply, how few times a driver may need to stop at a gasoline station in a year.
Another fuel-sipping alternative is available to motorists weary of yo-yo pump prices: the gasoline-electric hybrid version of Honda's popular Civic compact sedan.
For years, auto designers lavished attention on the grilles of cars, both for their function and for their brand identity. Now designers seem to be lowering their sights.
When the sun is shining, it's a great feeling to roll down the car windows and set off for a day of exploring on scenic roads. Here, seven Seattle-area car buffs share where they like to let the highways take them.
Think of it as the hive approach to car navigation systems: One driver, like a worker bee, finds the quickest way from Point A to Point B and then shares that route with other drivers. It's the basic idea behind all crowdsourcing, the sharing of free user-generated content to create information such as restaurant ratings and contractor recommendations. Now it's poised to become the main strategy for keeping the maps of route-guidance systems current. Fortunately, you don't have to wiggle and buzz to join in — just use your smartphone.
Land Rover's capable and rugged LR4 mid-size sport utility vehicle is more fuel efficient for 2014 and has refreshed exterior front styling and new standard features such as a rear-view camera.
We've driven a few generations of the Honda Civic Si coupe, but this is the first opportunity we've had to drive the four-door version. The Civic, of course, comes in several different trims, but the Si choice is simple: with navigation or without.
To step into Kevin Marti's garage is to travel back in time, to reset the dial on the WABAC Machine for 1970 and the destination for the Ford dealership in Anytown, America.
Since 1926, Route 66 has been as much a tourist destination as a highway that stretches from Chicago to Santa Monica, Calif. The highway is being celebrated in the exhibit "Route 66: Dream of the Mother Road" at LeMay — America's Car Museum, in Tacoma, through the end of the year. In the spirit of summer driving, we asked readers to send in their favorite memories of the road. Here are some of their stories.
Faulty parts aren't the only reason a moving car can suddenly stall. It happened to Bill Van Tassel recently, as he was steering his Mazda Miata around a turn on an interstate on-ramp.
There's a new little secret under the hoods of some 2014 Ford Fiesta small cars.
Despite its love affair with trucks and its flirtation with Euro-style subcompacts, the United States is first a nation of family sedans. Of every five new-vehicle buyers, one will drive home in a practical, unpretentious midsize sedan like their parents and grandparents before them. At which point their children will say, "Oh, Dad. Another Toyota Camry?"
Hot competition among pickups has inspired automakers to seek every possible edge, in style as well as technology. So like such disparate trendsetters as downtown club kids and "Duck Dynasty" fans, trucks are now stepping out in camouflage.
While growing up in the Midwest, Josh Lloyd loved racing, repairing and restoring BMX bikes. But everything changed when Lloyd and his grandfather spotted a 1957 Thunderbird being rolled out of a college auto shop in McPherson, Kan., where students were learning about collector car restoration.
Soon after I climbed into the back of a Google self-driving car recently, we drove through a yellow traffic light.
After just a few months on the U.S. market, Audi's new, entry luxury 2015 A3 sedan is on track to make the German brand fashionable with a new group of customers — young millennials.
When Hyundai dipped a toe in the luxury-car waters in 2009, it followed an underdog formula set by Toyota's Lexus division two decades earlier: Mimic the established brands' design, undercut them on price and overdeliver on features.
The 2015 Ford F-150 may be a lightweight, but the automaker has gone to extremes to ensure the aluminum-bodied successor is more durable than the steel-bodied pickup it will replace.
Here in the Northwest, most of us rejoice whenever the sun makes an appearance. But if our cars could speak, they would tell a different story.
Car windows are designed to protect you in an accident. But they won't necessarily protect you from the sun.
Mazda, the car company that gave the world the nimble, two-seat Miata roadster, makes a commendable seven-seat crossover sport utility vehicle, too.
Pull up to the 7-Eleven in this car and you feel like Leonard Bernstein arriving at Lincoln Center. Ride in the back and you're escorting Julie Andrews to the Oscars. The doors are substantial enough to repel anything Occupy Wall Street throws at them, and it's effortlessly powerful enough to outrun any Securities Exchange Commission subpoena. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550 4Matic sedan is so advanced it should be in geosynchronous orbit over Gstaad, Switzerland.
For most readers, understanding horsepower is easy; the bigger the number, the faster you go. Torque, however, is a figure that underlies horsepower. Once you understand what it is, and its relationship to horsepower, you'll find it an equally useful number to know.
In "a mile and a half of classic rides," the Greenwood Car Show will showcase cars of all kinds. Parked side by side for 23 blocks, more than 800 street rods, customs, classics, antiques, electric vehicles, motorcycles, police cars, fire trucks and hydroplanes will line Greenwood Avenue North on Saturday.
Eight years ago, Terry Yamaguchi paid $5,000 for a bright orange 1973 Datsun 240Z. A couple of years later, she sold the car for a little more than she paid for it.
Buyers of luxury sport utility vehicles keep choosing one SUV — the Lexus RX — in greater numbers than any other.
If a building contractor arrived on time, performed heroically and charged a fair price — this is a New York fantasy, stay with me — would you complain that he wasn't good-looking? Would you refuse to hire him if he didn't come with a fashionable tool belt?
Restoring a car together creates a special bond between a dad and child. In honor of Father's Day, here's a look at three dads who have passed down their love of cars.
On a recent road trip, an active app on my smartphone left me low on power. I got the low-battery warning just minutes before a critical business call.
Mercedes-Benz's new entry-level car, the CLA, is a fun-to-drive, turbocharged, front-drive, compact sedan that looks more expensive than its $30,825 starting retail price.
Electric cars, by the nature of how their motors function, are capable of dispensing right-now torque in big, satisfying jolts.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what about a book of pictures? Here are two books rich with images, plus two just for nostalgic reading. Readers of these auto-related books should find something of interest, either for themselves or as a Father's Day gift.
Shannon Elliott has been fascinated with cars since she was in fourth grade, and she hopes to study auto body and upholstery design through an apprenticeship or college program.
Jim and Jaylene Myers knew exactly what they wanted to do when they retired in 2008: Go wherever whim and chance might take them in their 45-foot recreational vehicle.
American roads are taking on a more Italian look these days.
Say "Volvo," and what image springs to mind? A station wagon, right? And not just any wagon, but one as square and imperishable as a Saltine, and as much a staple of the suburbs.
Jennifer Franz scraped a wheel on her 3-year-old Honda Accord last August in an encounter with a curb. To keep her mother from finding the damage, she made an appointment with Kelly Wheel Repair, a local business that travels to its customers in the Sacramento, Calif., area.
While standing in line at Starbucks a few months ago, I overheard a woman say to her friend, "I can't believe my old car was stolen last night." Instantly, I thought she must have a '90s Honda. Sure enough, her next sentence was: "Why not steal a Mercedes? My Civic can't be worth much."
Cars should be more like smartphones: socially engaging, highly customizable and simple to use, yet technologically sophisticated. At least that's how David Day Lee sees it.
Despite the common perception that Toyota and its luxury brand, Lexus, are best in fuel economy, it is the gasoline-electric hybrid version of Lincoln's 2014 MKZ that ranks as the top luxury car in fuel mileage.
While there are many delights in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the potholes, broken pavement and launching ramps known as "frost heaves" are not among them. But the reworked 2014 Toyota Highlander offers succor, deflecting impacts and protecting its occupants from the North Country's rough-rider roads.
In this era of cruise control, backup cameras, blind-spot monitoring and other driver assists, the Ford Model T seems primitive.
Jeremy Guthrie considers himself easygoing and comfortable with his beliefs, including how he feels about the environment.
The Ford Focus ST earned five out of five stars in federal government safety tests. (Ford) The 2014 Ford Focus ST is a fun-to-drive, spirited hatchback with turbo power, European-style...
After spending a week in the latest version of the Dodge Durango, I would urge Dodge to give it a new name. It doesn't have the best history.
If you need to know how drastically the car market has changed, consider the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2014 list of the 10 most fuel-efficient vehicles: They're all powered by electricity, not gasoline.
It's much too soon for a retirement party, but the V-8 engine seems to be losing its clout with buyers of full-size pickup trucks. For the first time in about 50 years, many big-truck customers no longer consider a six-cylinder engine to be a downgrade.
A dozen years after its start as an edgy, luxury sedan, the mid-size Cadillac CTS is evolving into a handsome, less edgy and decidedly German-feeling car with improved handling.
Attention eco-chic speed freaks: Set aside your Teslas, you have a new toy to covet.
At age 32, Jason Jia already is the kind of customer luxury automakers are seeking as competition grows in China's lucrative but crowded market.
Maseratis, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Alfa Romeos, Lotuses and other exotic cars have a special place to shine on Saturday mornings.
There's a chance now for the middle class to feel like movie stars.
Twenty-five years after its debut as a lightweight, fun-to-drive, sporty roadster, the Mazda MX-5 Miata still travels a road all its own.
If there's a 2014 Ram ProMaster van in the meatpacking district, it's packed with meat. In the garment district, it's moving garments. Nothing about this giant box is designed for comfort, style or driving pleasure. But as a commercial vehicle it's destined to become a familiar sight.
The battle for buyers of family sedans — already the most competitive U.S. auto segment — will heat up this fall when Toyota and Hyundai launch dramatically restyled versions of their respective offerings, the Camry and the Sonata.
When you buy anything expensive, you probably consult experts. Searching for a house? Call a real estate agent. Need help with stock market investing? Chat up a broker. Into wine? A sommelier can advise you on a rare find.
Clockwise from top left: a large trunk, thicker steering wheel, easy-to-read gauges and leather seats add to comfort for older drivers. While many pundits would tell you that old age...
The roomy and comfortable riding Honda Odyssey family van is starting 2014 much the way it finished 2013 — on top.
For Audi's Q5, the big news for 2014 is that the compact luxury crossover gets a turbo-diesel option, which is the model we drove. We're fans of the TDI engines — Audi calls them "clean diesels" — and this Q5 did nothing to change our opinion.
Changing technology might make car owners' driving experiences easier, but some auto repair shop owners' expenses have increased as they add new equipment to their business.
When Justin Osmer hosts his Formula 1 season-opener party each spring, he pulls out all the stops: flags, checkered plates, homemade car-shaped cookies, European car magazines as party favors — even racing attire.
It's officially spring, and you know what that means: time for spring cleaning. If your vehicle qualifies as a Superfund site, it's the perfect time to make your ride really shine. You can do it yourself in just an hour or two without paying hundreds for a car detailer.
The television ads where neighbors, friends and family can't identify a new car as a Buick are true to life.
From the moment Chevy announced that the all-new 2014 Corvette would carry the Stingray name, the expectations were high.
A modified Honda Fit EV accepts energy from solar panels at a prototype home in Davis, Calif. (Thor Swift / The New York Times) As more homeowners generate their own...
Thinking green isn't just for Earth Day. You can save some green by taking advantage of free services that'll help you protect the environment and keep your car running efficiently.
When the sleek 2015 Hyundai Genesis goes on sale this spring, the automaker will put an ambitious new telematics and customer service program on the road with it.
Sixty-five years after the first Volkswagen Beetle arrived in the United States as a distinctively shaped, little car, the Beetle keeps attracting buyers with its more-spacious-than-ever, flexible interior, turbo engine power and modernized iconic look.
Chances are, motorists who roll up next to a redesigned-for-2015 Subaru WRX won't give it a second look. Unlike the STI, a higher-performance version of the compact sedan, this WRX has no ready-for-takeoff rear wing to announce its capabilities. The wow factor comes when you drive it.
Modern car design is a difficult balancing act that weighs style against substance and price against performance. Safety, fuel efficiency and other government regulations also must be considered, resulting in vehicles that too often fail to inspire.
The Ford Mustang is turning 50 on Thursday. Already? It seems like only yesterday that the pony car was grabbing the attention of rebellious teenagers who wanted an affordable muscle car.
Up a flight of stairs from the Porsche Personal Design Studio on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Calif. — in a room of modernist sofas and chairs, low white coffee tables and oversize video monitors — is the Porsche Exclusive suite. Prospective car buyers come to this luxury lounge to optimize their accessories. Here, they can choose precisely the right options to maximize their vehicular happiness.
The 2014 Audi RS 7 checks all the boxes and then some for wealthy car buyers who want a stylish, luxury sedan that looks like a coupe, delivers 500-plus turbocharged V-8 horsepower and comes with a high-brow German pedigree.
When the Volkswagen Jetta was redesigned for the 2011 model year, it took a big step back from the carefully honed upscale aspirations of its predecessors.
Don Antilla still remembers the smell. Penned up in a barn in Indiana for 16 years, the remarkably well-conditioned 1966 Ford Fairlane 500 carried its own pungent vapor trail when Antilla had it trucked to Southbury, Conn., in 1988.
Summer wouldn't be summer without a pilgrimage to an auto show. Thousands of glittering marvels await Seattle-area car enthusiasts in the months ahead.
When it comes to test-driving a new car or truck, there's one component that few drivers consider: the audio system.
Thirty years after its U.S. debut as a utilitarian, four-wheel-drive truck with a fiberglass cover on the back, the Toyota 4Runner remains a different kind of family sport utility vehicle.
The GX 460 sits between the sleek RX crossover and the giant LX 570 in the Lexus lineup. The seven-seat GX seems more suited for the dimensions of city driving than does its big brother. The interior design may seem a bit dated, but then it is a traditional SUV that can handle light off-roading while doing so in Lexus luxury.
We Gore-Tex-swaddled Northwesterners are well-equipped to handle rainy weather. But do our cars pass the same muster when spring rains bluster?
Hand gestures from other drivers are a lot like trash talk at playground basketball games: provocative distractions from an otherwise engaging activity.
Finally, there's an electric car that rivals Tesla's eye-catching Model S.
The Toyota Avalon is a full-size sedan that can average 31 mpg on the highway. (Toyota) Peter was at a Toyota dealer not long after the redesigned 2013 Avalon hit...
Would you allow your auto insurance company to ride along every time you drive? What if doing so could save you up to 30 percent off your premiums?
Car insurers tout savings of up to 50 percent if drivers stick a gizmo in the car that tracks driving habits. But drivers can be left wondering what companies are monitoring and what they do with the data.
The animated and dapper hamsters in Kia's television ads aren't the only ones who ride comfortably in Kia's newly revamped Soul five-door hatchback.
The 2014 Volkswagen Touareg has top-notch finishes inside and out. (Volkswagen) For 2014, Volkswagen's Touareg gains a sporty R-Line trim — one of almost a dozen models — as the...
Autonomous cars are all the talk these days. But what about cars and trucks that float on water and can race at high speeds on land and sea?
Young, educated and upwardly mobile, Kristin Winn represents the ideal target for automakers trying to reach young buyers. Winn, a 24-year-old technician for an ophthalmologist, says she plans to replace her 9-year-old Chevrolet Cobalt this year.
What's not to like about a lower car payment? It's an enticing proposition, but refinancing your auto loan can often significantly increase the amount you have to pay over the life of a loan.
Nissan's well-known "Z'' rear-drive sports car that started in the 1970s still pulls at the heart strings of driving enthusiasts with its sporty, two-seat cabin, low-to-the-pavement stance, race-track-ready stiff ride and strong V-6 power.
One thing about the Viper, its reputation — difficult to drive and even unforgiving — precedes it. Having never driven Chrysler's super snake, which returned in 2013 as an SRT brand instead of a Dodge after a two-year hiatus, we were pleasantly surprised by its sophistication and refinement. But it still deserves your respect.
The only time you're likely to think about your car battery is when you turn the ignition key and nothing happens. But a little knowledge about batteries can help you get more life out of them.
When Chloe Olier started driving last summer, her parents, Dany and Virginie, installed a DriveCam, a monitoring device that records video whenever she makes driving mistakes.
Don't be fooled by the mild-looking exterior of the Volkswagen Passat sedan. This mid-size four door comes with a solid, stable ride, European-style handling, exceptional back-seat legroom and superlative fuel economy.
The five-door Lexus LX 570 is a 2014 model, but it seems to belong to another era — one when bigger was better and pump prices weren't a concern. The imposing, full-size SUV is a luxury version of parent Toyota's venerable Land Cruiser.
In an audacious reinvention of itself, Volvo Cars will replace its entire model line over the next few years, staking its immediate future on a single chassis architecture with one basic engine and transmission.
Unless you've bought or shopped for a new car lately, chances are you're unfamiliar with a technology popping up in nearly every new vehicle — the user interface.
The way many of us calculate our fuel economy is wrong, but there's an easy way to get accurate figures for how much fuel you use.
Remember when Toyota's quintessential family vehicle, the Sienna, was called a minivan? Today, the Sienna stretches nearly 17 feet in length, and with generous seating for seven or eight people and impressive cargo space, the Sienna no longer is mini.
Peter is a big fan of Audi's ''four-door coupe,'' the A7, which we drove when it first came out. He liked its luxury and hatchback practicality, as did Lyra, who was less enthusiastic about the car's profile. Now, Audi adds performance to the A7's portfolio with the all-new RS 7, which is a product of quattro GmbH, its tuner division.
In the Motor City, some of the most popular models at the Detroit auto show were, in fact, motors. Models of motors were stripped down, enhanced and made-up before hitting the show where thousands ogled their anatomy.
Who goes out on a cold weeknight to watch a movie in a warehouse just off I-405 in Kirkland — and not a premiere, but a 15-year-old movie they've seen before? Some pretty revved car nuts ... er, enthusiasts.
The next time you test drive a new car, you might be in for a shock. If you expect a place to stash your stogie or a slot to slip in your copy of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," you're in for a surprise. Most likely, that new car won't accommodate you. Call it the march of time or the onslaught of technology, but here are eight features your next new car most likely won't have.
The sportiest car in Toyota's Scion family, the 2014 FR-S, is a fun-to-drive, four-cylinder, rear-wheel drive coupe that looks more expensive than its $25,455 starting price tag.
The hybrid version of the 2014 Honda Accord gets up to 50 mpg in city driving. (Honda) We'll be the first to admit that we don't readily associate ''Honda'' and...
Today, couples will be taking a little time to celebrate romance. But some local couples make sparks fly throughout the year by sharing their connection with cars and the open road.
Heated front and rear seats are some of the optional luxury features of the 2014 Kia Forte. (Kia) The 2014 Kia Forte sedan is a stylish and roomier-than-expected four-door car...
The 2014 Dodge Caravan starts at $19,995. (Chrysler) Can a minivan really be sinister? Dodge, the pioneer of the modern minivan, thinks so. Maybe that's why the Grand Caravan SXT...
Mustang versus Camaro. BMW versus Mercedes. Camry versus Accord. These are among the biggest rivalries in the automobile world. Get ready for the next epic battle: aluminum versus steel.
Women now buy nearly half of the new cars in the U.S., a sharp increase compared with a generation ago, and the auto industry is trying to demonstrate that it's keeping up with the times when it showcases the latest models to the public.
Anyone who has owned an RV has probably turned to Gary Bunzer for advice at some point. Bunzer — aka The RV Doctor — dishes out advice to owners of the estimated 9 million RVs in the U.S. The Seattle man is the guru who can help you figure out why your propane stove isn't working, why the roof leaks or where that awful smell is coming from.
Already a commendable family vehicle with three rows of seats, the Dodge Durango gets even better for 2014 with improved fuel economy, an impressively easy touch screen and voice control dashboard system and attractively updated interior and exterior.
The new Mazda3 gets a redesign that brings the compact in line with the midsize Mazda6 and the CX-5 crossover with a wider body, longer wheelbase and, most importantly, no more Joker grin up front. In its place is the more sophisticated grille found on the 6. It's now time for this oft-overlooked compact to draw more attention.
Matt Hlavin, an entrepreneur in Cleveland who owns seven businesses — mostly in manufacturing — bought three Mercedes-Benzes last year: a $237,000 SLS AMG and a $165,000 S63 AMG for himself, and a $97,000 GL550 SUV for his wife.
For the first time since its late 2010 introduction, Hyundai's flagship Equus luxury sedan is subtly restyled for a more premium appearance and adds more safety equipment, more amenities and a retuned suspension for improved ride.
Just last year, Mazda added a new compact crossover — the five-passenger CX-5. It returns for 2014 with just one major change: a new, more-powerful engine for all but the base grade.
Lightweight and luxury are watchwords at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. From the 2015 Ford F-150's nearly all-aluminum body to a Mercedes-Benz C-Class that simultaneously grew larger and lighter to the Honda Fit subcompact, automakers showed they are working harder than ever to reduce the weight of every new vehicle they introduce.
For some, the dream of owning a car from a movie just won't quit. In the early '80s, Michael Hughes of Bethel Island, Calif., saw the film "The Road Warrior" and knew that he wanted the Ford Falcon Interceptor featured in the movie.
A race-worthy Chevrolet Corvette, a sumptuous Mercedes-Benz C-Class and other glitzy new models caught the eye at this year's North American International Auto Show, but larger trends in the auto industry were also on display.
In its first major update since 2007, the full-size Toyota Tundra pickup truck is redesigned with a bold, American-style exterior, a refined, quieter interior and standard backup camera and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel got 33 mpg during test drives. (Chrysler) Like any jerky-chewing, flannel-wrapped woodsman, authentic four-wheel-drive vehicles were resistant to change. But the Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel proves...
Holy Adam West! Somebody's been driving around Sumter, S.C., in a '73 Lincoln Continental that's been remodeled into an exact replica of the Batmobile from the 1960s Batman television show.
Everyone wants a great-looking car. But really, you only see the exterior as you walk toward it. You live with the interior, especially when stuck in traffic.
Robert Cullon, 80, has a neurological condition that makes his feet numb and forces him to rely on a walker. He thought he was driving just fine, but his six children were worried. "They kept saying, 'Are you sure you're doing all right?'" he says. "They broke me down."
Acura's luxury MDX sport utility vehicle is redesigned for 2014 with quieter interior, more cargo space, a new, more powerful engine, better fuel economy and improved handling.
Last summer, we drove the redesigned 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 and found it to be a smooth-riding, well-appointed and practical full-size pickup. The new Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is its nearly identical General Motors cousin, and we were no less pleased with it.
For some car collectors, completing a vehicle restoration with tires, wheels and paint that look period-correct is just not enough. Even such details as the license plates must be the correct vintage.
When Dan Putnam, a Woodinville-based IT professional, had a ding in the door of his 2011 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, he knew exactly how he wanted it repaired — and it wasn't through a traditional auto body shop. He used a mobile dent-repair service.
Like thick-rim glasses, Doc Martens and so many other things that fell out of favor only to spring back to popularity years later, fuel-cell cars have resurfaced.
The Toyota Corolla, the fifth best-selling nameplate in the United States, is a larger, roomier sedan for 2014 with improved ride and better gasoline mileage than its predecessor.
For car lovers, the first reaction to news that Jaguar was again introducing a proper sports car must have been, "What took so long?"
If you wake up to find a layer of ice on your car and on the road, your action plan shouldn't venture down a slippery slope. Here's the 411 on tackling icy conditions.
When Lindsay Frandsen thought about registering for gifts for her wedding, she realized that what she and her husband-to-be really needed was a car. Frandsen and Christian Burris opened an account with a startup crowdfunding platform that lets potential car buyers reach out to their social networks for gifts.
The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu starts at $22,965. (Chevrolet) The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu packs a surprise: It's the first mainstream mid-size sedan sold in the United States with standard automatic engine...
Land Rover's vehicles have a well-deserved reputation for both luxury and off-road capability. For most of us city dwellers, however, we just want the comfort and the cachet. Land Rover ups the ante for 2014, especially with the all-new Ranger Rover Sport. Both the Sport and the larger Range Rover are handsome and powerful performers.
As temperatures drop and daylight becomes more precious, there's no better time to catch up on a little reading. If a favorite topic is cars, here are a few new volumes from which to choose.
Good things are more certain in the automotive world next year. Automakers are under pressure to raise their corporate average fuel economy (or CAFE) levels; that means a lot more hybrids and electrics are coming from unexpected brands.
It happens every year. As the new model year dawns, various automobiles pass away — some fondly remembered, some ridiculed and reviled.
Ford's smallest car in the United States, the Fiesta, doesn't have a hybrid powerplant and it doesn't plug into an electric outlet. The 2014 Fiesta doesn't even come with a fuel-conscious continuously variable transmission.
Like other successful midsize sedans, Hyundai's stylish Sonata has a hybrid counterpart.
From its founding a century ago, Aston Martin created cars meant to appeal to the sporting instincts of upper-class Britons who appreciated their design, exclusivity and, perhaps, scarcity. Judging by today's models, which start at more than $115,000 and stretch to the brink of $300,000, the formula has proved durable.
Chuck and Marsha West are always looking for educational opportunities for their children. Their teenage daughter wants to be a race-car driver, Chuck West says, raising a pair of air quotes. "That's this week. Last week she wanted to be a diva."
If the spirit of giving — or treating yourself — has inspired you to buy a car this holiday season, you're in luck. Many auto dealerships are overflowing with sedans, trucks and SUVs, so there are deals to be had.
The compact, entry-level Lexus IS sedan is redesigned for 2014 with an edgy attitude.
The Toyota RAV4 is credited with being the first compact crossover SUV. Now, Toyota has given it a makeover befitting the fourth generation of the RAV4, with a sleeker, contemporary look and more modern features.
Jan Foster, of Yakima, was about to put her credit card into a pay station for $4-an-hour street parking near the downtown Seattle waterfront. But when she heard that she could park in a garage across the street for $3 an hour, she put away her credit card and hopped back into her truck.
Automakers and dealers spend nearly $33 billion a year to help you decide what kind of car to drive. But do all of those ads have any more influence than your parents' Chevrolet? Or Ford? Or Chrysler, Mazda or Buick, for that matter?
Officials at German automaker BMW did a fine job differentiating their new-for-2014 smallish coupe from last year's 3-Series coupe.
For the Ford Mustang and its loyal fans, there's only one question: Where has the time gone? A 22-year-old college graduate wowed by the first, illustrious Mustang in April 1964 would be roughly 72 today.
Like many people who are into cars and have a talent for art, Seattle's Rob Evans loves to draw far-out, futuristic automobiles.
For Monika Zych and Sandy McGill, becoming car designers for BMW started with Matchbox toy cars, racing the tiny replicas around the living room as little girls.
The Jeep Cherokee is back, though no one recognizes the 2014 model — with sleek, modern styling, a long list of safety features, pleasant handling and comfortable on-road ride — as a Cherokee.
Mitsubishi has given the 2014 Outlander a redesign from the ground up. The gaping trapezoidal grille, which still adorns the Outlander Sport five-seater, is gone. More important: The Outlander has earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and it's clear that Mitsubishi — in both its marketing and in the SUV's available options — is making safety the big selling point.
In the not-so-distant past, you'd be lucky to get complimentary floor mats, a full tank of gas and a cup of coffee to go with your new-car purchase. Nowadays, you can drive off with not only the floor mats, but also other freebies such as roadside assistance, car washes, scheduled maintenance, made-to-order lattes and even a pair of skis.
Automakers trying to reach young buyers face a conundrum: How do they sell a car to people who stay away from a showroom?
Since debuting as a new, third-generation model, the 2014 Mazda3 has been racking up the accolades -- and with good reason.
Whether the car lovers on your holiday list like rides big or small, are the practical type or are more adventurous, these gifts are sure to rev some holiday engines.
The Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the public today. Here are some of the most buzz-worthy vehicles being introduced at this year's show.
The Nissan Versa's name is Versa Note for 2014 models. (Nissan) Nissan's small Versa hatchback, renamed the Versa Note for 2014, is a low-priced, high-utility car with an attractive, fresh...
The 2014 Toyota Tundra starts at $25,920. (Toyota) Toyota has long been trying to lure buyers with macho images of its Tundra: There's the truck climbing a flame-engulfed ramp in...
Tall is highly regarded in America. It's part of the beverage sizes on Starbucks' menu. Women tend to like their men tall, dark and handsome. Few people aspire to be shorter -- unless they're tall people buying a car.
On a recent morning at Manheim Riverside, a wholesale auto auction in Riverside, Calif., more than a thousand used-car dealers gathered. Over a collective din that drowned out the auctioneers, the dealers winked, nodded or, for the less stealthy, raised a hand to indicate their bid.
Pleasantly styled inside and out and offering fuel-savvy, turbocharged power, the Ford Escape sport utility vehicle is threatening to dethrone the Honda CR-V as America's top-selling compact SUV.
The 2014 Jaguar F-Type starts at $92,895. (Jaguar) Firesand Orange is what Jaguar calls the paint that flashed from the F-Type sports car that I recently drove. The crowd-pleasing shade...
Ten years after Ford planted vegetation atop a massive truck-assembly plant, the largest living roof in the U.S. is flourishing and others have followed the automaker's lead.
Road hogs are getting high-tech. Harley-Davidson's newest models feature a voice-activated and touch-screen GPS system, the first on a production motorcycle. When the bike is getting low on fuel, the system finds the nearest filling station and maps out directions on a 6.5-inch screen the rider can control by voice, touch or joystick.
When Craig Hoi Pong darts around in his car, fellow motorists stop and stare. They check out his 17-inch rims, lowered suspension, LED blue-hued lights and yellow rear spoiler. His isn't a muscle car, classic car or hot rod. It's a two-seat Smart car -- on steroids.
With the new name of QX80 for 2014, Infiniti's largest sport utility vehicle packs some of the softest-feeling leather, shiniest burl wood and a host of other luxury items into a big, nicely crafted interior.
The Mitsubishi Lancer starts at $17,195. (Mitsubishi) The Lancer has long been a mainstay in Mitsubishi's dwindling U.S. lineup, from its no-frills economy model to the coveted high-performance Evolution. Even...
Taxi driver Abbas Ayoubi uses a 1971 Paykan for work in Tehran, Iran. (Kaveh Kazemi / The New York Times) On a recent Friday afternoon, in the upscale Shahrak-e Gharb...
The Pacific Northwest is a harsh environment for auto interiors. Mud gets tracked onto carpets, mold and mildew grow under floor mats, dogs slobber on windows and shed on seats. Then there's the spilled coffee, the fast-food remnants and all the weird things that kids leave behind: gum wads, crushed cereal and Lord knows what else.
The big SUV rolls on. Five years ago, when gas hit $4 per gallon, auto industry analysts boldly predicted that enormous SUVs would vanish like the automobile tail fin.
Don't let appearances fool you. While Chevrolet's 2014 Silverado looks a lot like its predecessor on the outside, major changes give the new Silverado better ride and handling, improved safety and a more luxurious, quiet interior with features that rival some offices.
It has always seemed to us as if Lexus' IS models were aimed at the buyer for whom comfort trumped style and, especially, performance. So for 2014, Lexus has redesigned its entry-level luxury sedans. Would more performance follow? We were eager to drive the redesigned IS 250 to find out.
Don't be fooled by the building's homely exterior of brown tile and glass, or by its location in a nondescript industrial area some 20 miles northwest of Bologna, Italy. Inside is the two-story workshop of Pagani Automobili, maker of some of the world's most advanced — and most expensive — cars.
My wife, Mariko, is 5 feet tall. No, the editor did not lop off the inches part. Mariko is as petite as she is intelligent and beautiful. I hope she's reading this.
When Jennifer Williams walked into the Nalley Lexus dealership in Georgia recently, all she needed was a salesperson to provide her a good deal on her trade-in, the keys to her RX 350 SUV and a happy wave goodbye.
The best-selling Buick in America, the Enclave, is a roomy, smooth-riding, sizable family SUV with top safety scores and a novel center air bag that deploys between the front seats in certain side crashes.
So Cadillac disposes of the Grandpa-like STS and DTS and arrives with a smart, more youthful and athletic idea: the XTS.
Ken Gross is the curator for the show "Porsche by Design: Seducing Speed." (Gerry Broome / The Associated Press) Curator Ken Gross had his first encounter with Porsches in college,...
It's 8:10 a.m., first period at King's High School in Shoreline, and the subject of the day's drivers' education class is the brain.
The Seattle Auto Show runs through Sunday at CenturyLink Field Event Center
The diesel Audi Q5 TDI gets better mileage than the gasoline-electric hybrid version. (Audi) Audi's best-selling sport utility vehicle, the Q5, gets even better in 2014 with the addition of...
Hyundai offers two models of its redesigned flagship crossover SUV for 2013: the long-wheelbase Santa Fe and the smaller Santa Fe Sport. The Sport is a five-seater. The slightly bigger Santa Fe can seat up to seven, and replaces the three-row Veracruz. Our tester was the Santa Fe configured for six passengers.
So your winning bid at the Lambrecht auction in Pierce, Neb., put a treasure on your trailer, and you've brought it home. Now what?
Whether you're in the market for a new vehicle or you just love to witness the future of the automotive world, there's only one place for you this week.
Drivers can expect to see some common threads among 2014 vehicles: soft-touch armrests and dashboards replacing hard plastic, larger touch screens and more ways to access smartphones. Here are the 2014 highlights, by brand.
The Fiat 500L gets 33 mpg in highway driving. (Chrysler) It doesn't sound like much: An extra 27.7 inches of length, nearly 6 more inches of height, two additional doors...
The Mercedes-Benz E350 Cabriolet is a car that can impress even the most jaded valet. It's elegant but understated. Classic yet modern. And did we mention it's a convertible? For 2014, Mercedes has given the midsize E-Class sleeker styling and significant technology upgrades. It adds up to luxury further refined.
The tiny Chevrolet Spark from General Motors is about as bare bones as cars come these days, with hand-crank windows, no floor mats and one of the smallest engines of any car. Air-conditioning is optional. But to the surprise of even GM itself, which has traditionally struggled to sell small cars, the Spark has become an unlikely hit as many American buyers warm to a car that is cheap to buy and to operate.
Search tools and build-your-own-vehicle options online make it seem as if the car-buying process should be as easy as browse, click and buy. Some buyers relish the thrill of an online search or going through a dealership.
Dozens of U.S. car models will be introduced or refreshed in the 2014 model year. Here are the 2014 highlights, by brand.
The 2014 Kia Cadenza starts below $36,000. (Kia) Kia reportedly has high aspirations — luxury car aspirations. So for 2014, the Korean automaker has rolled out a full-size sedan, the...
Let's make one thing clear: McLaren, the British maker of race cars and supercars like the new P1, is not the same company as Maclaren, the British manufacturer of premium baby strollers, known for its 1965 innovation of the folding umbrella model.
When automakers rolled out their electric cars three years ago, they had big plans. Even President Barack Obama, in his State of the Union address in 2011, predicted there would be as many as a million of them on the nation's roads by the middle of the decade.
Dozens of U.S. car models will be introduced or refreshed in the 2014 model year, from big-selling mainstream cars such as the Toyota Corolla to rarefied supercars such as Ferrari's $1.3 million LaFerrari.
In its first year, the Mazda CX-5 crossover sport utility vehicle won over auto critics with its driver-pleasing handling, comfortable interior and sporty looks.
Allow us to extol the joy of rear-wheel-drive sports cars, which long have been the favorites of enthusiasts for sheer driving fun and their propensity for oversteer (the rear end stepping out). Here are three we've driven recently.
A 1958 Chevrolet Biscayne is lined up with other vintage cars and trucks at a field near the former Lambrecht Chevrolet car dealership in Pierce, Neb. (Nati Harnick / The...
I drive a 1991 Nissan Sentra SER that carries a few scars earned in two decades and 160,000 miles of trustworthy service. It's white ... but is it green?
Scott Greenberg could have handled a bigger car payment. But with a baby on the way and the dealership offering a rock-bottom interest rate, Greenberg stretched the loan to 72 months, or six years — about as long as the average American keeps a new car. At 2.64 percent interest, the long term cut about $100 from his monthly payment on the Volkswagen Touareg SUV.
The re-engineered 2014 Chevrolet Impala isn't just new, attractively styled and comfortable to ride in.
Maybe you've seen Acura's conceptual "Made for Mankind" commercial that claims its quest was to build the "world's smartest luxury SUV for mankind." Wow, that's a lot of baggage for a midsize SUV to carry. We found this new-generation MDX's many strengths to be a little more down to earth.
Wayne Irving's daughter was 15 when she asked to get her driver's permit. "I was already frustrated at how addicted to texting my daughter was," says the San Clemente, Calif., father of four, who at the time had just learned a grim statistic: More than 7,000 Americans had died from texting and driving the previous year.
Pull up a chair and let's talk about automotive seating. Of all the things people take for granted in a car, seats are probably the least appreciated. More than just a comfy place to park your backside, seats can improve safety, help drivers perform better, increase fuel efficiency and even help to sell the vehicle. There are ways to tell if a seat is right for you.
An accident reconstructionist removes the air bag control module from a test-crash training session for New York State Police investigators. (Heather Ainsworth / The New York Times) When Timothy...
Technology, handling, styling and quiet ride are all noteworthy in the Lexus GS 450h hybrid, the top model of the GS line in both horsepower and price.
It seems there's always a new "minivan alternative" on the market, so it's easy to overlook the venerable family hauler. We drove two updated vans, which reinforced our view of them as the practical choice for many families.
The drivers' education simulator lab in Des Plaines, Ill., seems straight from the 1970s: A dozen teenagers tucked into low-slung black vinyl drivers' seats, their steering wheels creaking in unison as a grainy movie plays and a narrator's grandfatherly voice gently asks, "Are you identifying the potential signs of conflict?"
There's a growing sense of team spirit in Sodo, but it's not coming just from the Mariners, Sounders and Seahawks. The neighborhood is evolving into an auto dealership destination: Mercedes-Benz of Seattle joined BMW there last month, and Tesla, Honda and Toyota dealers also are planning to move to Sodo.
Seeing one of Google's experimental, driverless cars zipping down Silicon Valley's Highway 101 or parking itself on a San Francisco street is not all that unusual. As automakers such as Audi, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz make plans for self-driving vehicles, it is only a matter of time before these cars become a big part of the great American traffic jam.
Move over, Toyota Camry. It's time for Toyota's other sizable sedan, the Avalon, to get some well-deserved attention.
The WRX has long been on our bucket list. That's because the performance version of Subaru's Impreza has been a favorite of enthusiasts and on the pro rally circuit. For 2013, the WRX is unchanged. Maybe that's why fans were so excited when Subaru showed off a striking WRX concept at the New York auto show. Well, we can all dream.
Some of the most exceptional vehicles in automotive history are coming to a car show in Tacoma next weekend. But it's not just any car show — the annual Kirkland Concours d' Elegance has a reputation for drawing some of the most obscure and valuable autos from private collections in North America.
It's time to head back to school. For some students (or their parents), this means more than buying a laptop — it means buying a new set of wheels. Before deciding on a car, here are some things to consider.
Agile and poised, the new-for-2014 Mazda6 mid-size sedan is a major leap over its predecessor in styling, features and fuel economy.
You have to give Nissan credit — the carmaker isn't afraid to think outside the box when it comes to design. To wit: the Seussian-looking Cube and the Murano CrossCabriolet SUV convertible. The most recent addition to that mix is the Juke crossover, which was introduced as a 2011 model. We finally got our chance to try one with the new Juke Nismo.
The math seems so straightforward: As engines get smaller and fuel economy improves, the cost of driving will fall, right?
General Motors is the pioneer, Ford the innovator and Chrysler the sleeper in the battle for the best infotainment system among domestic automakers.
For 2014, Kia's top-selling Sorento sport utility vehicle is all about "more." The restyled Sorento with attractive new face has a more upscale interior, a more powerful V-6, a more comfortable ride and more available features and safety equipment than its predecessor.
Today's full-size truck market offers an abundance of feature-laden models, so making a decision isn't an easy one for buyers. And the truck wars among the Detroit automakers are only heating up. General Motors has upped the ante with the GMC Sierra 1500 (and its cousin Chevrolet Silverado), the last of the three domestic trucks to get an overhaul.
"Everyone on the road hates you and wants to kill you." That was a warning I heard repeatedly as I began motorcycle training this spring. It made me pause and wonder: What was I doing?
The birth of this country's classic-car Olympics took place at Pebble Beach, Calif., on the scenic Monterey Peninsula, in the simpler, quieter time of November 1950.
There are many ways to measure Tesla Motors' remarkable progress in the three years since the electric-car maker launched its initial public offering: The first-ever profitable quarter this past spring. The 99 out of 100 score in Consumer Reports' review of the Model S sedan. The stock price, up more than 500 percent since June 2010.
The 2013 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon — the only V-8-powered station wagon factory built in the United States — is a rare blend of awesome acceleration, luxury accoutrements, sporty handling and station-wagon functionality.
It's the screwiest name on any new car, a name that seems swiped from the mid-1970s heyday of the Ford Gran Torino Brougham, the Dodge Royal Monaco Brougham and the Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale Brougham.
Are drivers of electric and hybrid cars saints who reduce fuel use, emissions and global warming? Or are they freeloaders who aren't doing their part to pay for the roads and bridges they use?
The modern luxury automobile is an astonishing piece of engineering and design. Bells and whistles can include radar-assisted cruise control, Michelangelo-grade sheet metal, Starship Enterprise-grade interfaces, even pedestrian-detection systems that apply the brakes automatically.
A Ford Transit van slams its way over concrete obstacles in a test of durability at the automaker's proving grounds in Romeo, Mich., some 40 miles north of Detroit. The continuous on-road torture is punishing and could wreak havoc on both chassis components and a driver's spine, but the test driver doesn't mind.
Restyled for a new, upscale look, Nissan's Sentra small sedan for 2013 is more fuel efficient than ever and so roomy inside the government no longer ranks it as a compact sedan.
The 2013 Nissan Altima starts at $27,600. (Nissan) Competition is steep in the midsize sedan segment. So it's no surprise that Nissan has completely overhauled the Altima for 2013. With...
Dashboard technology that lets drivers text and email with voice commands -- marketed as a safer alternative -- actually is more distracting than simply talking on a cellphone, says a AAA study.
America's most iconic sports car — the Chevrolet Corvette — is having a major birthday this year, and enthusiasts are celebrating the car's milestone in a big way this summer.
Imagine shutting off your engine at every red light or stop sign, then turning on the ignition when the light turns green. Chevrolet is betting on a fuel-saving system that does that automatically.
With three rows of seats, a comfortably functional interior and pleasant looks, Toyota's 2013 Highlander is a right-sized, no-fuss vehicle for families.
The S4 is the performance version of Audi's A4. As such, the midsize sedan is more stealthy than flashy; at first glance there appears to be little to distinguish it from it's more staid cousin. But once behind the wheel, it quickly becomes apparent that this isn't a normal A4 when you step on the gas.
Ford Motor Co. figures that Atlas — a titan standing for strength and endurance — is just the right code name for the effort to create the next-generation F-150, the country's best-selling pickup truck.
Call me crazy, but here's a thought: What if people actually used their rugged SUVs and crossovers to do rugged things?
The engineers working on Honda's new Acura MDX luxury SUV were obsessed with giving customers more — more space in the rear seat, more fuel economy from a high-tech engine and, above all, more apps, maps and connectivity. But there was one feature they wanted less of: buttons.
The smooth and powerful Hyundai Sonata is a four-cylinder car that feels like it's really a V-6. (Hyundai) Family sedan buyers are moving upscale, and they're doing it by buying...
You won't get altitude sickness in Sacramento, where 20 feet of elevation is considered high ground. Drive 100 miles east, though, and you'll be in Truckee, a Wild West-flavored ski town perched in the Sierra Nevada at about 6,000 feet. Sacramento-to-Truckee is the kind of drive that can strain cooling systems and test the nerves of truckers once Interstate 80 starts heading back downhill. Over this route, with its mile-plus of sheer vertical ascent, the 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel averaged 26 miles per gallon. If you're wondering why Porsche now makes a diesel, that number probably answers your question.
The steady flow of reminders to keep tires at the automaker's suggested inflation levels — even President Barack Obama chimed in — demonstrates just how far the demands of auto maintenance have diminished. With spark plugs that seem to last forever and oil-change intervals stretching to 10,000 miles and more, many owners continue to slack off when it comes to looking after tire pressure.
All summer long, a green-and-black Dodge Challenger will sit in the atrium of the Museum of History & Industry. It's eye candy for car lovers, worth more than half a million dollars. More important, it's a piece of the region's racing history.
My stiflingly hot hell on wheels started in the summer of 2011. The air conditioning in my 14-year-old Saturn was dead. It was too expensive to fix. So I decided to suffer the consequences.
The best-selling Lexus car, the ES entry-luxury sedan, now comes as a gasoline-electric hybrid, and what a fine hybrid it is.
Automakers are sometimes pilloried, even in this space, for being too cautious with their designs. But a conservative design can suggest confidence. Perennial favorites from the Honda Accord to the Chevrolet Silverado are evidence that long-term value isn't about the flashiest body or the latest trend. The Kia Cadenza demonstrates the point.
Hyundai rolled out the first 15 of its hydrogen-powered ix35 sport utility vehicles headed to Copenhagen recently. But part of the news for U.S. drivers interested in the technology was the fact that the event was in Europe and not here.
If you're shopping for a used vehicle, there's a major item you need to check for besides price, color, make and model. It's something you don't want: evidence of water damage from a flood.
Even with low interest rates that make buying a car more affordable, many consumers are leasing a new car or truck instead. Here are six tips to get a good deal when leasing a new car or truck.
It's easy to look down on Toyota Prius drivers — if you're driving the newest and most special Mercedes-Benz G-Class sport utility vehicle.
It sometimes can seem that there are as many variants of Porsche's 911 as there are Crayola crayons. But for 2013, Porsche has winnowed down the seventh-generation model, which it introduced last year, to six versions. We drove the Carrera 4S Cabriolet — convertible — that is the new-for-'13 all-wheel-drive version.
Not everyone aspires to own a shiny new car. For some, allure is found in a '67 Corvette, a '49 Merc, a rocking '32 deuce coupe. For them, a car is as much testimony as transportation. Their mechanics understand that.
Crowds braved temperatures in the 80s to attend the Greenwood Auto Show on June 29.
It's hard to imagine, but most items on the long list of safety features offered on modern cars were developed only in the past 50 years.
American Audi fans finally can get their hands on a few — just a few — Audi RS 5 Coupes and Cabriolets.
At first glance, it doesn't look like the 2014 Kia Sorento has changed much since last year. But under the sheet metal, it is new, with changes to the chassis and suspension that have smoothed out the ride and improved handling. Our tester was the mid-level EX trim with all-wheel drive.
"We'll turn you into a monkey," Seattleite Steven Austin tells me as we chat on the phone about his new Ural motorcycle.
Let the driver beware: Not all gasoline is created equal. As the summer-vacation driving season begins, paying attention at the pump can add miles per gallon to your fuel economy, and protect your engine.
Introduced this year in time for warm weather stateside, the 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio is a fun little car for hard-charging drivers.
Mazda has refreshed its large crossover, the CX-9, for 2013, essentially giving the family hauler a new front end that carries the "Kodo" design philosophy seen in the rest of the automaker's lineup, especially the all-new Mazda 6 sedan.
As the summer driving season gets underway, it's a good time to look at car-seat, booster-seat and seat-belt safety for all road trips — from cross-country sightseeing to a trip to the grocery store.
Any parent knows that license plates aren't just a way for the state to keep track of cars. They provide hours of amusement for families on long road trips. Consider these license-plate games.
Stacy Zoern, the co-owner of Community Cars, poses with a Kenguru car in April. (Ben Sklar / The New York Times) For years, Stacey Zoern, a Texas lawyer who lives...
The bold, boxy exterior of the Ford Flex is such a forceful statement, it can distract from the other notable features of this generously sized, six- to seven-passenger crossover vehicle.
The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT has 470 horsepower and a luxurious interior. (Chrysler) There's a new Jeep Grand Cherokee from Street and Racing Technology (SRT), which has become Chrysler's...
The engineers who create gallon-squeezing cars like the Toyota Prius use every available method to comply with the ever-tightening fuel-economy standards they must meet. Those solutions may include the use of hybrid powertrains, adopting lightweight materials, cutting aerodynamic drag and minimizing the friction losses of moving parts.
I've been fortunate to have traveled the world: Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia. Exotic islands, too. Wherever I go, I'm struck by one undeniable truth — Americans love their full-size pickup trucks like no other country on planet Earth.
This year brings an unprecedented proliferation of diesel engines, a technology traditionally offered by German automakers.
The 2013 midsize sedan with the lowest starting price in the United States isn't a Kia or Hyundai. It's the Dodge Avenger, which has seats for five, a good-sized trunk and distinctive Dodge front styling — all for $20,390 including destination charge.
Honda rolled out the ninth-generation Civic for 2012, and it met with a lukewarm reception. Critics found fault with its interior quality and its new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. (We detected some cost-cutting in cabin materials, but still thought it a solid sport compact.) As a result of the criticism, Honda quickly refreshed the Civic for 2013. Our tester was the performance Si Coupe. Having driven previous Si models, we were eager to try it.
Shinya Fujimoto bought his Nissan Leaf during heady times for electric-vehicle fans.
Clockwise from top left: Firebird T-Shirt, $38; Silverlit Bluetooth Porsche, $80; Craftsman Socket Organizer Set, $12.50; Griot's Garage Starter Car Care Kit, $65; Authentic European License Plate, $30 (center). Dads...
So long as their car moves when the pedal is pressed, there is little reason for drivers of newer cars to care whether electronics have replaced the physical connection between the accelerator and the engine.
If you're weary of Mini Coopers described as "cute," the new-for-2013 Mini Cooper Paceman is for you.
The Lexus GS450h, redesigned for the 2013 model year, demonstrates how far Toyota has come in the two decades it has spent trying to electrify the automobile.
Mash the gas pedal the moment the light changes, race to the next signal and hit the brakes. That's a typical commute for some drivers. How different could drag racing be? I found out recently during a one-day session with Doug Foley's Drag Racing Experience at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.
After two years, a project to restore the first Studebaker Avanti ever sold is nearing completion. Volunteers and staff working on the car for the LeMay auto museum say that it has been fun — and a challenge.
For nearly two decades, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord have ruled the midsize car market. But now, cars such as the Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima and Kia Optima are cutting into sales of the Camry and Accord by offering combinations of sleeker designs, luxury-car features and better gas mileage.
The Subaru Forester gets up to 32 mpg in highway driving. (Subaru) The Subaru Forester, well known as a durable and eminently functional compact sport utility vehicle, adds more power,...
Perhaps it's telling that Mitsubishi's all-electric acronym, the city car known as the i-MiEV (Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle), was trucked to us from Miami.
Stop me if you've heard this one before: There's this famous car brand whose average driver is more familiar with Social Security than social media.
Passionate car collectors — and those who appreciate and enjoy looking at their hard work — will fill local auto shows this spring and summer. Here are some highlights.
The newest Chevrolet Sonic is a peppy, stylish, versatile and good handling RS hatchback with standard turbo engine, leather-trimmed seats and smartphone infotainment link — all for a starting price tag of less $21,000.
"Iron Man 3" kicks off a summer blockbuster season that will see hundreds of speeding, squealing, exploding, airborne, rolling and smoking vehicles in dozens of high-adrenaline films.
Subaru has created a new Forester for 2014 that offers more room, new features and better fuel economy, all based on the underpinnings of the redesigned Impreza introduced in 2011.
Two new factors are increasingly influencing buyers' auto choice: The kind of wireless connection a car has, and the kinds of mobile applications it runs.Noting the popularity of smartphones and the apps that run on them, carmakers are moving to make their vehicles "smarter" and more connected.
The high mark for sales of big sport utility vehicles came years ago, but don't tell that to Mercedes-Benz customers.
As if playing musical chairs, ultraluxury carmakers have scampered to find a safe perch within the global automaking giants.
Most people stare blankly when Bret Chandler starts talking about using propane as an alternate vehicle fuel. But most people haven't spent the past three years working with companies that convert cars and trucks to run on propane and setting up networks of filling stations all over California, Texas and Colorado.
Northwesterners are definitely fun hogs. Our vehicles get us to ski slopes, coastlines, mountain-bike trails and wine-country getaways. We're blessed with more recreation per square mile than nearly anyplace on the planet, and the roads that get us there are truly spectacular.
A vacuum cleaner is built into the trunk of the 2014 Honda Odyssey minivan. (Mary Altaffer / The Associated Press) Stray Cheerios, beware. The new Honda Odyssey minivan is here...
The Ford C-Max Energi can travel up to 21 miles in all-electric mode. (Ford) Ford's newest C-Max is the ultimate plug-in gasoline-electric hatchback for fuel- and environmentally conscious drivers yearning...
Mitsubishi's Outlander Sport is neither an Outlander, like its bigger SUV sibling of the same name, nor sporty. But the Outlander Sport, which has been updated for 2013, is a compact SUV that can be had for slightly less than $20,000 in its base trim.
The notion of making vehicles turn better by steering all four of their wheels has inspired engineers for decades. The U.S. Army experimented with all-wheel-steering jeeps during World War II, and the benefits to maneuverability of rear steering have long been known to firefighters assigned to hook-and-ladder trucks.
When Ferrari's biggest and baddest supercar is a hybrid, you know the world has changed. Once considered the province of techies and the eco-friendly, hybrids are catching on in almost every vehicle segment.
There are nine new cars with prices starting at less than $15,000. They come with unexpected standard equipment, and all of them possess an impressive safety list.
Buyers with a small-car budget don't have to settle for a small car when they would rather drive a sport utility vehicle. In fact, they can get a new Jeep for less than the retail price of a 2013 Toyota Corolla sedan.
This is the golden age of the midsize sedan. The family car is the most competitive class in the auto industry, and consumers reap the benefits of this one-upmanship. The latest proof of this is the stylish all-new Mazda6.
Global and Chinese automakers showcased family-friendly sedans and SUVs targeting coveted urban buyers at China's biggest auto show recently as competition intensifies in this huge but crowded market.
The members of the Pacific Northwest Metropolitan Owners Club are out to prove that collector cars don't always come in big packages — or with expensive price tags.
Winter can do a number on your car. Slush, salt and cold temperatures take a toll on everything from the tires to the wiper blades. As spring approaches, it's a good idea to give your car a thorough once-over to undo winter's damage.
The 2013 Chevrolet Volt has a lot going for it. It can travel up to 50 miles on all-electric power and has a backup gasoline engine for longer trips, is a recommended buy of Consumer Reports magazine and adds new features, including a new Hold mode that lets drivers set the Volt for gasoline-engine operation only, thereby saving the electric range for later in the trip, if needed.
Forget what you know about diesels. Forget the arguments about whether Porsche should be making SUVs. The Cayenne Diesel, especially if you can ante up for the pricey options, will change any preconceived notions.
With the luxury-vehicle market booming, automakers are rushing to fill their showrooms with expensive new models found at the New York auto show in March.
It's a no-brainer that electric vehicles get great mileage compared with cars powered by internal-combustion engines. Even so, many drivers of EVs and plug-in hybrids tweak their driving habits to achieve longer ranges on a single charge.
(Thinkstock) A common theme when trying to save money is "do it yourself," but many car owners are hesitant to take that advice and attempt basic maintenance and repairs on...
Sometimes, we get as excited over a modestly priced car as we do over the latest exotic. We're serious. An economy car has to provide more bang for the buck in areas that matter to busy families. So we appreciate when a car delivers. Kia's all-new 2014 Forte sedan does this surprisingly well. It should hit dealerships any day now.
If you find yourself in need of a new set of tires and don't know what all of those letters and numbers on the sides of tires mean, here's...
The spotlight of popularity can also divert attention away from other things that deserve it. Take convertibles. Ask people to name three, and nearly everyone answers Mustang, Miata and "the Chrysler you rent on vacation in Hawaii." You already know about the top three in top-down motoring; it's time to shed some sunshine on some lesser-known drop-tops.
What's that car that just breezed past? It's a Hybrid Air — an experimental vehicle that French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen has been trumpeting as an exemplar of energy efficiency. While some skeptics wonder whether the Hybrid Air is truly a breakthrough technology, the Peugeot and Citroen research cars powered by it were some of the more intriguing models on display at the Geneva auto show in March.
Finally, American car shoppers can get a small crossover sport utility vehicle from BMW that has a starting retail price of less than $32,000. In fact, the new-for-2013 BMW X1 five door has the lowest starting retail price of any BMW car or SUV — $31,695. The well-proportioned X1 looks pricier on the outside than it is and has great cargo- and people-hauling functionality.
In 2006, I drove a Saab 9-3 diesel convertible in Italy. Aside from an unfortunate incident when a bird guano-bombed my head near Lake Como, the top-down experience was remarkably pleasant.
As the newly installed pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis will often be seen greeting the world from the back of a rather peculiar vehicle. It's taken many shapes over the past three decades, but the classification is one we've become pretty accustomed to: the popemobile.
Local companies, such as NorthWest Auto Salon in Lynnwood, are taking vinyl wraps to protect and transform luxury vehicles and sports cars such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis.
Can a small car be a luxury car? It might sound like an oxymoron, but high-end manufacturers don't think so. In an effort to meet future federal fuel economy requirements, premium automakers are creating some of their smallest vehicles ever.
The 2013 Buick Verano Turbo is a stealth car. It looks pretty and rides comfortably. But stomp on the accelerator and this newest Verano sedan takes off.
The Hyundai Genesis Coupe has more horsepower and a sportier look than previous versions. (Hyundai) Hyundai introduced its Genesis coupe in 2010 as a traditional rear-wheel-drive performance car for the...
In this age of mass production and global distribution, have we seen the last taillights of cars with personality?
The speedometer on the Toyota Yaris says the tiny car can go 140 miles per hour. In reality, the subcompact's 106-horsepower engine and automatic transmission can't push it any faster than 109.
Nearly a year after race car driver and car designer Carroll Shelby died, his spirit lives on in a 2013 Ford Mustang with the most powerful series production V-8 in the world and unmistakable Shelby Mustang styling.
Buick's image is so ingrained in the national consciousness that the name has become shorthand for a U.S. road barge with ample proportions. That moose, someone might say, "is as big as a Buick."
As someone who grew up in a series of Lincoln automobiles, I am heartened at Ford Motor Company's belated attempt to revive this legendary luxury brand, even if it's odd that they use the former U.S. president in its advertising. And while there have been some remarkable Lincoln automobiles, you can't say the same for Washington, a name one associates with character and strength, but not for memorable cars.
Megan Ellingson, who had never won a divisional race, last year took first in the Sportsman's Class at the National Hot Rod Association's Northwest Nationals drag races. With that win, she became a part of racing history: part of a three-woman sweep of a national NHRA event.
During a frustrating rush-hour jam, drivers of an experimental car from Audi will be able to take their hands off the wheel, lift their feet from the pedals and focus on things other than the road, such as a movie or a newspaper. The car will take care of the driving.
The 2013 Buick Enclave is a V-6 with more than 115 cubic feet of cargo space. (General Motors) The Buick Enclave, the best-selling, seven-seat, premium- or luxury-branded sport utility vehicle...
The 2013 Volvo XC60 has a high stance, elegant roofline and a curvy rear end. (Volvo) The stylish XC60 puts Volvo's Scandinavian style into a small luxury crossover SUV. The...
Japanese automakers are building North American assembly plants at a breakneck pace to regain lost U.S. market share and reduce their dependence on a homeland that's become prohibitively costly.
As more electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids hit the streets — and with at least a dozen new models poised to enter showrooms this year — the competition to "fill up" at the more than 300 public charging stations in Washington state could send sparks flying and tempers flaring.
I, like many owners of the country's 260 million registered vehicles, rarely drive. Yet the bills keep on coming. I lease my car for about $200 a month. Add in the costs of fuel (electricity in my case), insurance and AAA coverage in case I crash, and the monthly bill is closer to $450.
The 2013 ATS is Cadillac's smallest and lightest-weight car. (The Associated Press) The smallest and lightest-weight car from Cadillac, the ATS, is a sharp-looking, smart-handling, rear- or all-wheel drive sedan...
The Toyota Yaris now comes as a two- or four-door hatchback, starting at $15,165. (Toyota) Considering Toyota's expertise in democratic, affordable transportation — Corolla, Camry, Prius — you'd think it...
While mass-market automakers are struggling in Europe with bloated inventories, falling sales and red ink, many luxury brands are reporting record sales and profits. Hence an unprecedented number of ultraexpensive new cars are mixed among the 130 or so premieres at the 83rd International Motor Show in Geneva.
If it's been a few years since you last shopped for a new car or truck, there are technologies that have changed the way a car operates, sounds and feels. Misunderstand them and you could make a buying mistake.
While electric vehicles continue to grab the green-car spotlight, an older technology has quietly emerged as a player in the fuel-economy wars: turbocharging.
The 2013 Toyota Avalon's base retail price is some $2,200 less than the starting retail price for last year's Avalon. (Toyota) Toyota's flagship sedan, the Avalon, is stylishly elegant for...
The 2013 Honda Civic looks more like its bigger sibling, the Accord. (Honda) The 2012 Honda Civic was a goof: a dull all-new car that wasn't better, in any significant...
Mark Reuss, president of General Motors Co.'s North American operations, and Mark Fields, the newly appointed chief operating officer of Ford Motor Co., address key issues facing the industry, including the future of in-dash technology, fuel economy, electric cars and the prospects for the industry at large.
The future has arrived for innovative safety technology, making cars smarter and safer.
OWNER: Karen and Eugene Penix, Quincy OCCUPATION: Retired CAR'S MAKE AND MODEL: 1960 Triumph TR3A "I LOVE MY CAR BECAUSE ... I love the old-school sports-car feel, the sound...
Production for the Porsche 918 Spyder is expected to start in September. The hybrid, which offers nearly 800 horsepower, will cost $845,000. (Porsche) An $845,000 Porsche. A McLaren supercar likely...
For 2013, Ford's full-size and attractively restyled Taurus includes an optional, turbocharged, EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. (Ford) Don't expect to find a four-cylinder engine in a big, roomy, 17-foot-long sedan? You're...
The 2013 Ford Focus ST shown here features a roof spoiler, 18-inch wheels and a paint color called Tangerine Scream. (Ford) About a decade after sparking up its fondly recalled...
Aimed at young buyers, the Dodge Dart Registry allows potential Dart owners to solicit donations toward the purchase of a new car. That's right, you can get other people to buy the car for you.
When it comes to pickups, loyalty runs deep. There is no model more important or more zealously defended by Detroit.
Drivers in the U.S. are discovering what Europeans have known for years: Diesel engines are powerful and still get eye-popping fuel economy, especially at highway speeds.
The 2014 RLX luxury sedan replaces Acura's flagship RL sedan this year. (Honda) The 2014 RLX luxury sedan is the most sophisticated Acura production car in history, topping even the...
The 2013 Ram 1500 offers an efficient new V-6 engine and other significant refinements. (Chrysler Group) Some latter-day puritans contend that excess is a moral abomination and just plain wrong....
The year 2012 is over, but one last vestige of it will linger deep into 2013 -- the "best of" automotive lists. Winners of the more prestigious titles will brag for months, if not the entire year. Modesty is not a virtue in the automotive world.
Engineers from General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and other companies have been working together to develop advanced crash-test dummies that can more accurately gauge vehicle safety. Their efforts are close to producing smarter dummies.
The 2013 Honda Civic EX-L Sedan has been redesigned after last year's updated version was criticized by reviewers and consumers. (Honda) The Honda Civic is back as a smart-to-buy compact...
Now 275 pounds lighter, the new SL-Class has the first mass-produced aluminum structure on a Mercedes-Benz production car. (Mercedes-Benz USA) Mercedes-Benz couldn't have known it at the time. But from...
(New York Times News Service) Irecently installed a small wireless gadget under my car's dashboard that would monitor my driving. I wanted to see how it felt to have my...
I have here on my computer unbiased, definitive data about how to enhance your love life. It comes to me compliments of a company called YourTango, which bills itself as "the digital leader in love and relationships." I know, not exactly Masters and Johnson, but better than Click and Clack. Maybe.
Automakers are racing to ramp up their digital offerings, linking in-dash systems to smartphones and services such as traffic monitors faster than you can say Pandora.
After decades of top reliability ratings, the Lexus LS 460 remains the quintessential serene, no-fuss, pampering, large, luxury sedan.
The 2013 Fiat Abarth is colorful and stylish. (Chrysler) We've driven a few different models of the Fiat 500 since its U.S. debut in 2011 and enjoyed the little Italian...
The TrailerTail is designed to reduce the aerodynamic drag generated at the rear of trailers. The reduction in turbulence can raise gas mileage. (ATDynamics) Perhaps you've recently been surprised to...
Offering summer-fun inspiration, the upcoming Seattle RV Show promises to be a respite from the damp Northwest winter.
This year, automakers will return to the Super Bowl in full force, hoping to make big impressions with their cars. Here's a rundown of who's selling what during the big game.
The 2013 Nissan Altima is slightly larger and has more power than its predecessor and is restyled inside and out for a more upscale appearance.
The Ford C-Max comes in two flavors: a plug-in version, called the C-Max Energi, and a standard gas-electric C-Max Hybrid. (Ford) For many Americans, the basic compact car stands as...
The Tesla Model X was among the new electric options at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit. (The Associated Press) The greenest cars on the market --...
Despite having no experience, one father ordered a British roadster kit, purchased an engine hoist plus a few basic tools, and, with his teenage son, spent 160 hours during the next six months figuring out the instructions.
The cost of fueling a new car should be a major consideration while shopping for a new car. These tips can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
Volkswagen's newest Jetta has the highest mileage rating ever -- a combined 45 miles per gallon in city and highway travel. But, it doesn't use diesel fuel, as previous high-mileage Jettas have.
Cobo Center in Detroit has 723,000 square feet of exhibition space, enough to spotlight hundreds of new cars. Mysteriously, as journalists gathered there last week for press previews of the North American International Auto Show, it seemed as if there was room for only one vehicle: the 2014 Corvette.
The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was revealed at the Detroit auto show last week. (Paul Sancya / The Associated Press) As automotive events go, the arrival of a new Corvette...
The North American International Auto Show began last week in Detroit. Here are some of the exciting new cars and experimental concept vehicles unveiled at the show.
Mini-crossovers — small SUV-styled vehicles that share parts and systems with compact and subcompact cars — could be the auto industry's next boom.
For 2013, the Nissan Pathfinder sport utility vehicle is longer, wider and has a roomier interior than its predecessor. At the same time, this new Pathfinder is 500 pounds lighter. And with a 30 percent boost in fuel economy, it tops all other mid-size crosso
"Put it in low range," says the guy at the starting line of the off-road racecourse. "It doesn't have low range," I reply, gesturing vaguely toward the console of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL350 Bluetec.
In a scene that could have come from the television series "Mad Men" — except Don Draper didn't have the large flat-screen monitor — Olivier Francois is puffing on a cigarette and reaching for a mouse to unleash a blitz of images.
Since the apocalypse didn't happen last month, perhaps you're planning to celebrate humanity's survival by buying a new car. Being 2013, it seems appropriate to look at a baker's dozen of the most significant models arriving this year. Some are in showrooms, some will be out soon. Be patient — it's not the end of the world.
Lighting is the stuff of drama, in cars as well as on stage. More and more, dramatic lighting seeps from under dashboards and seats or gives a glow to the door sills. The 2013 Cadillac XTS has illuminated exterior door handles. A glowing ring surrounds the recharging port of the Ford Focus Electric.
Don't be surprised if some people assume the 2013 Chevrolet Spark is another newfangled electric car. Just 12 feet long and with an aerodynamic front end and abruptly chopped-off rear, the South Korean-built Spark could pass for an electric car.
My, my, late for the morning commute. Just a quick slurp of coffee; don't spill it on the tie again, and darn it, where did I leave those car keys? Oh, that's right: I don't actually have an office to go to. But with a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu waiting at the curb — Detroit's gray-flannel, workaday answer to the Toyota Camry — you'll forgive me for overlooking that fact.
Automobiles occupy an outsized chunk of my time. When you drive as many as three new cars a week, every week, slamming doors, pinching leather, evaluating gas mileage and figuring out how the radio works, the small stuff matters. I love the smart, outrageous and practical, and am exasperated by the wrongheaded, timid and abstruse.
Six big automakers are ready to slug it out over the next year or two in what is shaping up to be a heated competition for a prime slice of the American car market — the midsize family sedan.
The Honda Pilot remains the most fuel-efficient eight-passenger sport utility vehicle for 2013, is rated above average in predicted reliability and offers a comfortable ride and versatile cargo hauling.
When we drove the new Hyundai Veloster last year, we immediately took to the little hatchback with the odd number of doors and even odder name. We liked its funky design, but were disappointed with the "sporty" coupe's obvious lack of power. Now comes a turbo model, and all is right in the Veloster's world.
General Motors is giving its big pickups a much-needed makeover. The company unveiled new versions of its top-selling Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra recently, aiming to get them to showrooms by late spring or early summer.
Thanks to tough new federal fuel-efficiency rules, automakers must meet a fleet average of 54.5 mpg by 2025. More efficient engines and electric powertrains can't carry the whole load, so carmakers and the federal government are pouring resources into "lightweighting" cars to meet the Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards.
The love affair with the automobile has nearly been matched by consumers' passion for smartphones. So what could be better than joining the two? Automakers are introducing connected in-car systems that bring apps to the dashboard.
Wow, the Ford Explorer sure has changed. No longer a truck-based sport utility vehicle, the Explorer rides comfortably and is generously sized, with noticeable roominess.
In a year full of comebacks (and a few setbacks), memorable anecdotes were plentiful. Here are some automotive highlights of 2012.
An auction of World War II-era vehicles from the collection of the National Military History Center drew a surprisingly wide spectrum of auto enthusiasts.
For 2013, more than a dozen nameplates will not be returning, and two automotive brands have expired. Here are some of the more notable vehicles that are disappearing after the 2012 model year.
Here's a handful of new and upcoming cars and trucks that stand out for being the most important and intriguing vehicles in showrooms now and into the new year.
Often overshadowed by its showier Lancer Evolution rally car sibling, the Mitsubishi Lancer sedan is a nimble-handling, decently powered and competitive compact four door in its own right.
The BMW X1 is based on the solid 1 Series, and it may easily outstrip the popularity of that small but costly coupe. And the X1 is much more practical.
In his nearly 50 years as an avid motorcyclist, Grady Howard has roared down the tobacco roads of North Carolina and through the mountains of old Kentucky, all with his wife, Barbara, tucked behind him. But with a balky left leg and myriad other maladies, he knew the only way to stay wild was to add a wheel.
While auto manufacturers are itching to drive into the future, let's look back at this year's major themes to help understand where they're headed.
It looks like a minivan. It has sliding doors like a minivan. So why isn't Ford calling its new seven-seater -- the Transit Connect Wagon -- a minivan?
With the smaller, turbocharged engine, the Ford Taurus is now the country's most fuel-efficient large traditional sedan, even with a curb weight of almost two tons.
A legion of aging bikers -- suffering from aching joints and slowing reflexes -- have abandoned their traditional two-wheel motorcycles in favor of three-wheelers, the super-steady and seemingly safer machines commonly known as trikes.
Hailed as a game-changing vehicle that erases the drawbacks of previous electric cars, the Tesla Model S has been highly anticipated by local electric car buffs, environmentalists and techno-geeks.
As the sun sets earlier and temperatures fall, it's time to think about preparing your car for winter driving. Make sure your vehicle is ready for the onslaught that may come.
Don't let the words "large, luxury sedan" fool you. The largest sedan in Cadillac's lineup, the 2013 XTS, handles with the poise and competence of a smaller car and with a smoothness not typically found in high-end, sporty sedans.
Hyundai's Azera may not come to mind when you think of a full-size sedan, but it would be a shame to overlook it, especially because it has been stylishly redesigned for 2012. (The '13 has no major changes.)
A 2013 Ozark 250 quad is among the products that Suzuki dealers will continue to sell in the U.S. (Suzuki) To Thomas Joynt Sr., who opened his first used-car...
John Nelson of Shoreline didn't just restore an old car. He restored a piece of racing history -- the 1955 Zink Championship Race Car.
The Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the public today. Here are some of the most talked-about vehicles that will be making their world debuts at the event.
The secret is out: You don't have to be a fanatical driving enthusiast to love Scion's new-for-2013 FR-S sport coupe.
For 2013, the FX37 replaces the F35 as Infiniti's midsize sport-luxury crossover, bringing a slightly bigger engine to its already carlike performance. It's a stylish way to set yourself apart from the SUV pack in the school car line or the company parking lot.
Tanks at the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation museum in Portola Valley, Calif. (Peter DaSilva / The New York Times) A tank museum anywhere is a strange spectacle. It documents humanity's...
Treat the car lovers or power commuters in your life to a holiday gift that caters to their passion, whether it's classic cars, planning the ultimate road trip or finding ways to make the journey a little easier.
A car's attaining collector status often has less to do with its monetary value than with mojo. If a machine can make hearts sing, then there will always be a devoted following, regardless of the depreciation curve. The fact that there are still pristine Corvairs on the road speaks to the power of charisma. So which of today's cars will defy the call of the salvage yard?
While it may not be apparent from pictures, the new Chevrolet Malibu Eco has significantly new styling, including a taller hood, wider track and a 4.5-inch shorter wheelbase from the 2012 model. The styling and platform changes sweep through the entire 2013 lineup, marking the launch of the eighth-generation.
It's a word that nowadays seems to appear only in reviews of Broadway shows followed by four to eight exclamation points. It's the sort of word that, if you hear it spoken at all, is often uttered with resigned sarcasm. Maybe it's hokey and a bit archaic, but the word terrific perfectly describes the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S, twin sports cars only recently delivered and then sent to live with separate families.
When a troupe of Porsche engineers arrived in Las Vegas last month, their cars — prototypes of the 918 Spyder, a supercar that is more than a year from its market debut — barely distracted tourists from their preoccupations. Instead of stopping the show, the two otherworldly supercars slipped unobtrusively into a hotel driveway.
You'll probably use a computer, washing machine, copier or smartphone today. But nothing is more complex and amazing than the modern automobile. It's easy to take its brilliance and durability for granted. They're so reliable these days, they seldom call attention to themselves.
The Seattle Auto Show runs through Sunday at CenturyLink Field Event Center.
Honda's 2013 Accord sedan is handsomely restyled and re-engineered to be more fuel efficient and refined than its predecessor, and it offers more technology, including a standard rearview camera that's an option on major competing sedans.
After my first, shall we say, spirited ride in Nissan's top performance animal, the GT-R, I sat in the driveway for a moment waiting for that nasty grin on my face to disappear. Shutting down this twin-turbo beast sounded like a jet engine as it whirs slowly to a halt.
Fifty years ago, General Motors cast off the overchromed, tailfinned excesses of its postwar auto designs and shocked the Paris auto salon by slipping into a clean, crisply tailored new suit. The 1963 Buick Riviera made its world debut, winning rave reviews even from Europeans who had been scornful of Detroit's irrational exuberance in the 1950s.
Each year, the Seattle Auto Show displays cars that are rarely seen in person. Lamborghinis, Porsches and Ferraris can be found in the same venue as the latest fuel-efficient family cars. This mix is a main draw of the show, organizers say, because people can shop and dream at the same time.
Although sales of electric cars have remained slow since they came to the U.S. mass market in late 2010, early buyers tend to be true believers and quite likely to give their new vehicles the benefit of the doubt. For many, the honeymoon period is still on.
Who says that fuel-thrifty gasoline-electric hybrid cars have to be snub-nosed, rounded and ho-hum to look at? Not designers at Ford Motor Co., whose 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid is arguably the prettiest hybrid car in the U.S. market.
Lincoln's MKX is essentially the luxury version of Ford's Edge, a midsized crossover that we like. There's no doubt that Ford is seeking to carve out a new identity for its Lincoln brand and to remain relevant in the luxury-car marketplace. The question here: Is the MKX distinguished enough to stand out from its luxury competition?
Among the rows of gleaming classics at collector-car exhibitions like the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, a few clusters of vehicles seem decidedly out of place. These cars are not white-glove spotless, and they lack the perfect paint, flawless upholstery and brilliant chrome seen on almost every other vehicle awaiting the judges' inspection.
You've probably heard ads for free brake inspections, and you may be wondering what the companies check for and how to know if you're being sold the correct services once they make a diagnosis. Here's a primer on brakes so you can make an informed decision.
Having a hard time parallel parking? Press a button on a touch screen and let the car park itself.
The new-for-2013 Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback is a stylish, fuel-sipping, nimble car with surprisingly quiet interior and luxury touches that include a huge panoramic sunroof and a sliding center armrest.
The last time I drove a Touareg TDI, it was the muscle-bound 10-cylinder version that VW slipped into the country for a few months at the end of 2006. A rhinoceros with a saddle, that Touareg had a twin-turbo diesel that was perhaps overqualified for the duties of a luxury SUV in contemporary America.
The drive to become the world's top electric motorcycle maker has led Craig Bramscher around the globe -- up twisting roads, off-road and face-to-face with corporate heads who share belief in the future of Brammo Motorsports' Enertia and Empulse.
There's much in the automotive world for buyers to get excited about in 2013. A quick industry review: Quality and fuel efficiency are at all-time highs across the board. Technology is delivering new levels of safety, comfort and entertainment. White-hot competition makes us all winners.
After a blitz of new models hit the United States last year, automakers have slowed down this year, at least on the surface. But the new models for 2013 are in key parts of the auto market and will have a bigger impact on car buyers. Here's a rundown of what's new for the 2013 model year.
Fitted with a raised suspension, unique wheels and some bold paint colors, Subaru's new XV Crosstrek five-door hatchback gets attention.
I recently drove the Model S, a full-size sedan just introduced by Tesla, the California electric-car startup, from Lake Tahoe to Los Angeles. I covered 531 miles and the drive took 11.5 hours, during which the car consumed zero gasoline and produced no tailpipe emissions.
Toyota's return to the affordable-performance realm has arrived in the form of the all-new, rear-wheel-drive 2013 Scion FR-S sports car.
Chances are, it's been a few years (or decades) since you last cracked a driver's manual or took driver's ed. Are you keeping up with the latest laws and rules of the road?
The new models for 2013 are in key parts of the auto market and will have a bigger impact on car buyers. Here's a rundown of what's new for the 2013 model year.
Volkswagen's upscale CC compact sedan is nicely put together with a coupe silhouette, pretty lines, a taut, refined ride, well-crafted interior and for 2013, seats for five.
Recently, Automobile magazine included the Ford Flex on its list of the ''best cars that nobody buys.'' We've been fans of the crossover since we drove one for our first Daily Drivers review, and we certainly understand how its boxy styling -- not to mention its sticker price -- can limit its audience. For 2013, the Flex gets cosmetic changes.
There are so many cool features on new cars that listing them all would take too long, but here are some that could benefit from an explanation.
Northwest Fleet Lease Vice President Ron Carlsen poses with vehicles available for lease. (Jeff Layton / Special to NWautos) When local businessman Steve Brown needs a replacement pickup truck for...
The new models for 2013 are in key parts of the auto market and will have a bigger impact on car buyers. Here's a rundown of what's new for the 2013 model year.
Ford's newest gasoline-electric vehicle, the C-Max Hybrid, is so roomy, stylish and smart, it's likely to attract buyers before they see the noteworthy 47 miles-per-gallon fuel rating on the window sticker.
No, the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer SE sedan is not the fun-to-drive Ralliart we've driven in the past, or the uber-sporty Evolution. This compact sedan is more pedestrian than performance, but the rally background helps.
Driving a 1951 Allard K2 roadster is an exciting test of a driver's skill. (Allard Motor Works) If you're not the sort of person who enjoys old cars, you might...
Even if your new-car budget is small — say, $20,000 or less — you can still drive a vehicle that meets your needs and makes you smile every time you climb behind the wheel. Consider this sampling of (relatively) cheap fun.
Yet there are still some simple ways to get a great car at a relatively low price. It's all supply and demand. First, figure out what size and type of car you want, then find the cars in that segment that aren't selling.
The full-size Ram pickup truck, revamped for 2013, still has its Hemi V-8. But a new and impressively powered V-6, with best-in-class fuel economy plus towing might, is getting all the attention.
The 2012 Model S, a versatile sedan that succeeds the company's two-seat Roadster, is simultaneously stylish, efficient, roomy, crazy fast, high-tech and all electric. It defies the notion that electric cars are range-limited conveyances.
After a three-year absence, motocross has a home again in King County. In August, Pacific Raceways in Kent opened its newly revamped dirt-bike track.
Cars have gotten a lot more advanced in the past few decades, but at least one part — the humble car horn — has remained virtually untouched. Until now.
Some seven years after it left American shores, the Audi allroad returns as a more fuel efficient and quicker wagon with proper German road manners and toned-down off-road capability.
There is no vehicle more important to Mazda right now than the CX-5. The five-seat crossover wagon, which went on sale in February, has been the main beneficiary of the company's research and development efforts over the past three years, making it something of a showcase for Mazda's strategy and intentions.
Kia Motors America is finding it harder to operate under the radar these days. This year, the company, known as the other Korean carmaker, likely will sell more than 500,000 cars and crossovers in the United States for the first time since entering the market in 1994.
In the 15 years since Toyota introduced the Prius hybrid in Japan, the public's understanding of how these automotive wonders work their magic has generally ranked right alongside its comprehension of DNA sequencing.
It is a rite of American teendom, celebrated in popular culture by "American Graffiti" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High": a teenager with a driver's license piling as many friends as will fit into the car for a ride. But increasingly, states are legislating away that carefree cruise, passing laws that restrict when, how and with whom teenagers can get behind the wheel.
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL550 roadster is faster, more fuel efficient, bigger and yet significantly lighter than its predecessor and aggressively styled on the outside to evoke SLs of the 1950s. But the high-tech and luxury features of this new, sixth-generation SL could bring buyers to showrooms, too.
Since 1976, the Honda Accord has been the car for people who don't want their car to say anything about them. It doesn't boast or gossip or tell lies. It's not glamorous, showy or racy. It's a stalwart car that does everything well except call attention to itself.
Any number of racetracks hold claim to colorful back stories, their heritage of championships battled fiercely to the finish. But it is doubtful that any racecourse has a history to match that of the Bonneville Salt Flats.
On a glowing August afternoon, the rumbles and sputters of vintage motorcycles blast down Elliott Avenue in regular intervals. Commuters eye the bikers, unencumbered by stuffy interiors, as they cruise to the corner of 17th and Leary avenues in Ballard.
The ability to map out the intricate machinery and processes of a powertrain plant in 3-D is saving Chrysler money and development time while improving quality, says Brian Harlow, company vice president and head of its NAFTA powertrain operations and global powertrain manufacturing engineering.
The new-for-2013 Infiniti JX35 is a nicely sized, well-appointed, luxury crossover sport utility vehicle with impressive room for seven people and combined government fuel economy rating that equals or is better than that of some five-passenger luxury SUVs.
At the 2001 Detroit auto show, before he was pulled back into the family business like the movie mobster Michael Corleone, General Motors' godfather-for-hire, Robert A. Lutz, gravely assessed the design studies on display: "A whole family of angry kitchen appliances, demented toasters, furious bread machines and vengeful trash compactors."
Toyota Motor Corp. is scheduled to launch production this month of locally assembled small vehicles at a new factory in Brazil as part of its quest to unseat rival Volkswagen, the top manufacturer in the Latin American country.
The question automotive writers get asked most by car buyers is "What do you drive?" To which I answer, "It doesn't matter."
Volkswagen is planning to step up its presence in the crossover-SUV market in a big way as the automaker attempts to elbow its way into the mainstream of the U.S. car market.
Redesigned for 2013, the Acura RDX compact sport utility vehicle is slightly larger, with a more compliant ride, than its predecessor and has more power than ever while beating the popular Lexus RX 350 in fuel-economy ratings.
As the original owner of a fuel-frugal 2007 Honda Fit that has largely justified my faith in it, I've long wanted to get behind the wheel of its even more environmentally friendly electric sibling, the 2013 Fit EV.
One reason electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles have hit the market with a thud is that there are strings attached: Drivers of models such as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf must plug in to recharge the battery.
A breakthrough design introduced 50 years ago in a last-ditch attempt to salvage a gasping automaker, the Studebaker Avanti has been called the car that never dies.
For a long time, travel trailers came in two basic varieties: the big white shoebox or the Chiclet-shape pop-up. Airstream's iconic aluminum bubble was a notable exception.
The Ford Fiesta is a versatile, budget-conscious small car with a stylish interior and upscale car options such as heated leather seats and voice-recognition controls. The Fiesta also has higher U.S. government fuel-economy ratings than does a gasoline-powered Honda Fit.
It will be the black car waiting to pick you up at the airport. It's the Cadillac upon which hearses and limousines will be based. When Hertz runs out of midsize cars, it is the luxury sedan into which you'll upgrade.
Where have all the car names gone? I looked into my driveway recently and saw a Cadillac XTS, Scion FR-S and Jaguar XKR-S.
What has a frog's face and a shark's body, and can move with ease across land and sea? It's the Amphicar — perhaps the best way to cruise on summer's more pleasant days.
Chrysler and Ford are testing the limits of truck buyers' appetite for pickups loaded with leather, chrome and heated seats at price tags that can top $50,000.
Auto enthusiasts lusting for something new, exotic and fun to drive but relatively inexpensive have a new choice this year.
Porsche doesn't like to be rushed. But while it took the company's lab-coated obsessives 16 years to fully redesign the Boxster, the two-seat convertible has steadily evolved into one of the world's best sports cars.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally, who orchestrated a financial, cultural and product-led turnaround at Ford, turned 67 this month. Mulally -- the former CEO of Boeing -- is not expected to retire for at least 18 months, and Executive Chairman Bill Ford jokes that the architect of Ford's turnaround can continue to work as long as he likes.
Picture it: You've just bought the electric car of your dreams, but you lost track of your charge and are now stranded miles away from home or an electrical outlet. This concern is called "range anxiety," and it's the No. 1 reason consumers give for not wanting to purchase an electric vehicle.
If you're thinking about purchasing a new vehicle, an electric car might be worthy of consideration for the first time since the Turkey Trot was a national craze. While the thought of never visiting a gas station again holds appeal, there are things to consider before you take the plunge.
The 2012 Land Rover Range Rover, which is the quintessential, large British sport utility vehicle that has chauffeured Queen Elizabeth on occasion, remains a proper and luxurious expression of British transport.
I'm driving along a residential street in a Boston suburb when a woman steps off the sidewalk and beckons for me to stop. "What is that car?" she asks. I tell her it's a McLaren, the new MP4-12C.
The 300-foot sand drag strip at the Oregon Dunes Raceway in North Bend has been packed with competitors this year, growing in popularity since its opening race on New Year's Eve.
Good things come to those who wait: That's sage advice for car shoppers. Many of the most anticipated new and redesigned 2013 model-year cars are arriving now or in the next six months.
There have been the sexy horsepower wars and dull best-in-class fuel-efficiency battles. Now automakers are fighting an undeclared, escalating war over in-dash apps, worrying regulators about even more distracted driving.
Buyers of Chrysler's 200 Convertible get a lot of room and style for the money.
How deep is Lotus's obsession with handling? Well, the Evora S media materials note that relative to the nonsupercharged Evora, this car uses a larger-diameter rear antiroll bar -- a whole half-millimeter larger.
It is entirely possible that young shoppers poking around Dodge showrooms for a view of the brand's just-arriving 2013 compact sedans will have no idea of the half-century history behind the car's nameplate.
Everybody complains about the traffic, like the weather, but hardly anyone does anything about it. That may finally be changing as new technology to track cars becomes more widely used.
Cris Baldwin was 7 when she commandeered her brother's minibike on their Wisconsin dairy farm and first felt the wind in her face. More than 250,000 miles and 42 years later, it's still two wheels and a gas tank for the school administrator.
Acura's newest sedan, the 2013 ILX, looks good, is fuel-conscious and has a controlled, comfortable ride.
It is far too easy to underappreciate the Suzuki V-Strom 650 Adventure.
Reporter Susan Carpenter takes the C-1 out for a slow spin in San Francisco, flanked by a designer and engineer from Lit Motors. (Don Kelson / Los Angeles Times) Lit...
Joe Maxwell, owner of Maxwell's Metal Works, has been quietly pumping out some of the nation's finest hot rods and vintage vehicles for more than 20 years.
Life is different driving 200 miles an hour. The magnitude of what you're doing -- traveling fast enough to lift a loaded Boeing 747 off the ground -- is belied by a surprisingly calm environment. Yet at the risk of stating the obvious, a 200-mph car needs things the family sedan does not.
Not counting plug-in cars, the 2012 Toyota Prius c is the most gasoline-stingy auto on the U.S. market, with a combined city/highway rating of 50 miles a gallon, according to the federal government.
Dodge engineers and designers seem to have retained the best of the Alfa, including precise steering and driving dynamics, while improving on features that may matter most to Americans, like comfort, roominess and utility.
Nationwide, 125 youngsters have died of vehicular heat stroke since 2009, including 10 this summer, according to KidsAndCars.org, a child advocacy group. More than half were inadvertently left in the car and a third got into the vehicle by themselves.
Top: The Volkswagen Eos' hardtop convertible top also contains a sunroof. Above, left: The Hyundai Veloster features panoramic glass. Right, the Mazda Miata comes in hard or soft tops. Northwest...
Air conditioning would not become a big player in automobiles until 1953, when GM, Chrysler and Packard introduced new air-conditioning systems.
The Impreza's standout quality is its handling. The car took to curves with confidence and managed turns securely.
It appeared from nowhere, as if a wand had been waved: a steel-gray Mercedes-Benz E550 Cabriolet, practically glowing among the dusty airport vans and rental-car shuttles. We stood by our suitcases, gaping like two rubes at a state fair.
Millions of Americans have found that it's becoming surprisingly easy to borrow money to buy a car.
When I sat down in the driver's seat of the Wheego Whip that Seattle's MC Electric Vehicles loaned me for a week, I thought this little game would be fun. I could enjoy a short reprieve from ballooning summer gas prices and give myself a pat on the back for spewing fewer emissions — and then go back to my perfectly satisfied life as a Subaru Outback owner.
Summer road-trip time is upon us. Here are some tips to help ensure that your next outing is one you'll always remember, rather than one you'll want to forget.
The five-door Mitsubishi i-MiEV has an eye-popping, 126 miles-per-gallon-equivalent rating from the federal government in city driving.
Most people aren't aware of this, but since the late 1990s the Chevrolet Malibu's success has roughly tracked the career of Robert Downey Jr.
A Stanford professor is betting there's more than one way to get drivers to change their behavior. Congestion charges are sticks; why not try a carrot?
Lately, I've been thinking about how to make summer driving even better. Here are some tips for navigating the twists and turns the season brings.
While everyone loves the destination — whether it's the Grand Canyon or the beach a few hours from home — not many people relish the time spent in the car. But the type of car you choose can help ease that discomfort.
Buyers will find the 2012 Grand Cherokee is an American-built, handsome and comfortable five-seater that offers a surprisingly refined and free-of-wind-noise ride on pavement while retaining its off-road chops.
The all-electric Coda sedan carries an official range rating of 88 miles on a charge and proves sufficient for highway needs. But the ride is harsh and, inside, positions and proportions are out of whack.
Driving annoyances didn't happen overnight. In fact, it's taken centuries. So, as you sit in traffic, remember that your misfortune is far from unique. Your ancestors suffered too.
Travis and Tyler Groth, identical twins from Gig Harbor, have always wanted to race monster trucks. Now, the brothers — better known as the drivers of Captain USA (Travis) and Double Trouble (Tyler) — are living their boyhood dreams at shows around the country.
A safety demonstration at a recent transportation conference was a peek into the future of automotive safety: cars that talk to each other and warn drivers of impending collisions. This summer, the government is launching a yearlong, real-world test involving nearly 3,000 cars, trucks and buses using volunteer drivers in Ann Arbor, Mich.
To SUV purists, the five-door Nissan Xterra can be a refreshing vehicle that provides an old-school ride along with a new-car warranty.
The new XKR-S is the fastest series production car in Jaguar's history. It's another model certain to lift Jaguar's esteem, if not its bottom line.
Early adopters of electric vehicles have to dig deep into their wallets to make the purchase, but some are reaping unexpected savings on their insurance bills.
The Greenwood Car Show, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary on Saturday, June 30, is a 1.5-mile stretch of collector cars and hot rods along Greenwood Avenue North in Seattle. It draws thousands of spectators and is the biggest one-day car show in the state.
Almost 30 years after the minivan was introduced, after attacks from all sides, Chrysler remains on top. Now, CEO Sergio Marchionne will have to decide how best to sustain the success.
The 2012 BMW X3 is a handsome, compact crossover sport utility vehicle that stands out from the pack because of its honest-to-goodness, sports car-like handling, strong turbo power and premium interior.
To see what we're missing, I tested Volkswagen's Up, fresh from having been named the World Car of the Year at the New York auto show. And this cute-as-a-bug VW proceeded to charm me: buzzing through traffic, topping 50 mpg on the highway and delivering improbable four-passenger space in a car seven inches shorter than a Mini Cooper.
Everyone makes quality cars in the low- to mid-price range. Fuel economy is soaring across the board. Even affordable brands have designer sheet metal. So how do manufacturers attract new buyers? Many have begun to think about interiors.
Your next car might be able to read your text messages, adjust the suspension on a windy day or recharge itself wirelessly. Here are some of the high-tech options you'll find on upcoming cars and trucks.
For those of us who spent the boom years mostly in a car, in traffic, going nowhere memorable, news that Tom and Ray Magliozzi would retire from the airwaves in September comes as less a disappointment than a kind of reckoning.
Honda's sportiest and most fun-to-drive Civic, the 2012 Si, has freshened interior and exterior, more power than ever and higher fuel economy ratings than its predecessor.
The JX35 is a rare seven-passenger hauler that's not a minivan. (Infiniti) Infiniti's advertising tagline is "Inspired Performance." And the mission statement of the Nissan luxury brand has long been...
Chris Collins is among a group of enthusiasts who covet Japanese cars configured just as they would be in a Tokyo showroom. His Corolla is equipped as only the home-market models were, down to the steering wheel on the right side. He estimates that there are fewer than two dozen such cars in the U.S.
Father's Day is fast approaching. Don't get caught in the slow lane without a fun — or at least practical — gift to show how much you love him. These auto-related items will get him on his way to becoming king of the road.
"Car Talk" hosts Tom and Ray Magliozzi said Friday they will stop making new episodes of their comic auto advice show at the end of September. Their print column will continue.
When Honda Motor in 1980 announced its then-radical decision to build cars in the U.S., the industry collectively said, "What?" While auto buyers now take for granted that many European- or Asian-brand vehicles are made in the heart of the U.S., 30 years ago, it was a stunning notion.
Summer may be the usual time for convertibles, but the stylish, capable Volvo C70 is a car for all seasons.
The Ferrari FF's mandate is to meld the performance of a Ferrari supercar with the four-season utility of an all-wheel-drive luxury wagon. Thus the hatchback body, which identifies the FF with a once-popular class of sporting wagon known as the shooting brake.
Compact cars are on track to outsell midsize ones this year, says J.D. Power and Associates, a marketing information firm. That hasn't happened in at least two decades.
Although still optional on some midsize models, the V-6 engine is becoming scarce on smaller cars. So if you prefer a V-6, you may have to opt for a large car. Several automakers have revealed newly revamped large cars that add a needed dose of style, technology and fuel economy in an effort to woo younger buyers.
Buyers are opting for more expensive options and trim levels, driving up average car costs. (Associated Press file photo) Vehicles are fetching record average prices of $30,748, up 6.9 percent...
It may be hard to believe, but Buick sold more sport utility vehicles last year than it did Regal, LaCross or Lucerne sedans. All the SUVs were Enclaves — a high-riding, upscale family vehicle with seating for at least seven, a quiet interior, pleasant ride and decent power.
When I first heard rumors that Chevrolet was going to produce the 2012 Camaro ZL1, I thought, "Fine, GM is building a Camaro with a supercharger and more horsepower. Big deal." Now I've driven it and I know better.
Just as apps have transformed smartphones and tablets, car console screens are the next frontier. The number of apps available in vehicles is expected to multiply to dozens or perhaps hundreds over the next few years, just as they proliferated for smartphones.
Car shoppers today are less likely to end up with a lemon. In the past five years, global competition has forced automakers to improve the quality and reliability of their vehicles — everything from inexpensive mini-cars to decked-out luxury SUVs.
The new LeMay auto museum, a $60 million, 165,000-square-foot structure that sits next to the Tacoma Dome, opens to the public on June 2.
The Rogue is Nissan's top-selling SUV. (Nissan) Americans still love riding high above the ground in their vehicles, but have been opting for smaller SUVs to save on gasoline costs....
The 2012 Prius c, the newest, smallest and — with a base price of $19,710 — least expensive member of Toyota's expanding Prius family of hybrids is aimed at young, budget-wary city dwellers. This more petite Prius (the c is for city) deploys Toyota's gas-electric drivetrain in a sporty-looking four-door hatchback.
In their day, the jaw-dropping looks of concept cars merited rock-star treatment at auto shows. Today, in a more cynical age of downsized dreams and tight development budgets, the wild concept car — auto show eye candy — is becoming rarer.
Some misinformation, such as the idea that the Ford Mustang is named for the horse, is unlikely to affect you. Other myths, however, can cost you money or invite injury. Here are some common myths debunked.
The Ford Focus Electric blends in. A century ago, when electric cars were popular, they looked discernibly different from gasoline-powered automobiles. They looked more like carriages than "horseless carriages." Those...
The new-generation, 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera has the familiar, sexy shape of its forebears. But it's tastefully redone with a wider front track, a body that's a bit longer and lighter, a holistically designed interior and modern touches like light-emitting diode tail lamps.
More important than its looks, the fourth-generation Lexus GS is the most entertaining midrange Lexus sedan in memory. It defies the current midrange trend in which carmakers are prioritizing luxury over performance.
In 2008, when gas prices first reached $4 a gallon, Americans could not trade in their hulking trucks and SUVs fast enough. But today, dealers and analysts say demand for the vehicles is steady and inventories are low, causing their values to stabilize or even increase.
Carriage-house doors have been the leading style choice in garage doors for the past few years. (Clopay) It's often the first thing you notice as you pull into a driveway:...
Thinkstock Molly Helm didn't want to give her oldest son a brand-new car when he started driving. So the Enid, Okla., mom spent $500 on a 1990 Chevrolet Suburban. "We...
After 36 years, the Dodge Dart is back, and it's no retro model. The 2013 Dart five-seat sedan is modern and stylish, with European handling and heritage, fun features, 10 air bags and fuel-thrifty engines, including two turbos.
The Focus Electric looks nearly identical to the gas version, a small "Electric" badge the only clue that internal combustion has been supplanted by swift and silent electric propulsion. Sit in the low-slung, well-conforming seats and you feel oh-so normal. There are no circuit-board motifs, techno start-up sounds, weird shifter knobs or special Eco modes.
It's been a bumpy ride for the custom motorcycle business as sales of pricey, blinged-out bikes skidded with the economy. But one bike scene is thriving, and that's been a boon for Ryca Motors in Whittier, Calif.
Whether it's replacing a headlight, a battery or something more serious, asking the right questions before choosing a repair shop is essential. Here are some basic tips to help ensure that the mechanic jacks up your car and not your bill.
Chuck Saul is one of about 200 vendors that gather three times a year for The Greater Seattle Toy Show at Kent Commons Community Center. The show, which has been operating around the area for more than two decades, is a marketplace for collectible toys made before 1975, focusing on toy cars.
With European-style handling, luxury looks, surprising refinement and new features for 2013, Ford's compact sport utility vehicle, the Escape, doesn't seem like an Escape anymore.
As a car-buying choice, the Toyota Camry is like the "ask the audience" lifeline on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" The Camry, the best-selling car in America for 13 of the last 14 years, represents the wisdom of the crowd, a safe harbor for those who just aren't that interested in cars.
As the 40th anniversary of the Kitsap Destruction Derby approaches, Patrick Duncan, Robert Kirkland and Dan Harthorn are busy turning 1970s Chryslers into ramming machines.
Get ready for a new generation of cars equipped with surprisingly powerful three-cylinder engines that, according to early reviews out of Europe, have both the zip and zoom Americans expect in the four-cylinder compact sedans they buy today.
The re-engineered-for-2013 Lexus GS 350 shows that a Lexus sedan can have an overtly sporty ride, a snarly-looking front end and a noticeable exhaust note, all while hewing to the brand's high fit-and-finish reputation.
But take it from someone who has owned several underdog Volkswagens: The Golf R is the most exciting, capable VW hatch ever; a stealth fighter that will strafe many highfalutin' cars.
Ford's SUVs, from left, the Edge, the EcoSport, the Kuga and the Explorer are introduced at the Beijing auto show on April 22. (Alexander F. Yuan/The Associated Press) BEIJING —...
Assigning a name to a new vehicle is a behind-the-scenes process, often aided by outside branding agencies, that starts as much as two years before the car hits showroom floors. It must tell the story of the car, jibe with the design and styling, and sound pleasant to the ear, marketing experts say.
Sobriety, not showiness, prevailed in the aisles of the 2012 New York International Auto Show. The vehicles that typically attract less attention — sedans and crossovers — were the real news at the last of this season's major auto shows.
Hop in the new Fiat 500 Abarth, start the engine, stab the throttle and revel in the burbling growl of its exhaust. That subversively flatulent tailpipe emanation is an attention-getter, as bracing as a slap in the face, and proof that Abarth engineers have worked their mischief on the otherwise mild-mannered little Fiat.
A bare-knuckles fight is about to begin for low-end luxury-car buyers. Most of the cars will be smaller, to boost mileage, and lower-priced, in an attempt to draw a new crowd of younger buyers who'll stay with the brands long-term.
Chevrolet's Malibu mid-size sedan is a welcoming family car — revamped for 2013 with handsome styling, a quieter, refined interior and a pleasant ride.
Hyundai's redesigned subcompact, the 2012 Accent, is a simple, inexpensive sedan that works well, actually communicates with its driver and doesn't flaunt its compromises.
For many, the only thing more thrilling than the concept cars at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair was catching a glimpse of Elvis. Production automobiles already had modern monikers such as Futura, Starfire, Nova and Galaxie. But with the concepts, automakers promised that true space-age innovation was in our future.
The price of regular unleaded gasoline stays just under $4 a gallon at a gas station in Breezewood, Pa., Monday. (Gene J. Puskar/The Associated Press) Ahh, spring. The days get...
Left column, top to bottom: Tesla Model S, Mitsubishi i, Cadillac ELR. Right column, top to bottom: Fisker Karma, Honda Fit EV, Audi R8 e-tron. Less than a year ago,...
The 2012 Buick LaCrosse with eAssist gets 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. (General Motors) Finally, there's a Buick LaCrosse sedan that puts many of...
The Infiniti FX35 is a fundamentally strange beast, a crossover that shares its rear-wheel-drive platform with Nissan and Infiniti sports cars. After nine years, the styling is familiar, but let's not forget that Infiniti once described the FX as a "bionic cheetah." I think it looks like a jacked-up extraterrestrial insect, and I mean that as a compliment.
As spring break approaches, plan to give your kids the thrill of the (semi-)open road with a trip to an area go-kart track.
(Illustration by Sara Kennedy / NWautos staff) When it comes to ordering new cars, buyers are finding you can't always get what you want. But that may not be a...
The New York auto show opened to the public Friday with spring in the air — and not just because of the weather. The North American automobile market is experiencing a springlike rebirth this year, and the optimism is evident at the show: More high-profile vehicles are being introduced in New York than in recent memory.
With a starting retail price of $68,505, the 2012 Lexus LS sedan is bargain-priced compared to European competitors.
The Fiat 500C is the drop-top version of the 500 hatchback, a small and exceptionally cute car that's big on style and economy, though rather short on rear legroom.
The Ford Focus comes in a hatchback version. (Ford) The Hyundai Accent hatchback. (Hyundai) Hatchbacks are back. The hatchback — a car with a top-hinged rear door, or hatch, instead...
Clockwise from top: The 2013 Dodge Dart, the 2012 Ford Focus and the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. Gas prices are spiking. But this time, Detroit is ready. When prices soared in...
It's obvious that some cars skew female or male, in terms of both audience and overall aesthetic. Most of us can easily identify in which camp a car sits.
The new-for-2012 INfiniti M35 Hybrid pairs a gasoline V-6 to an electric motor and lithium ion battery pack and manages the power through a seven-speed automatic transmission. There's no continuously variable transmission here.
With this third-generation M-Class, Mercedes' confidence that its SUV values are the right ones has never been clearer. This is a subtle but enormously skilled contender in the midsize luxury class.
Most parents aren't using child seats correctly, says the nonprofit group Safe Kids USA. Only 30 percent are using the tether straps that keep the tops of child seats — and children's heads — secured in crashes, and many are not using the safest seats for their children's ages.
SSC North America is gearing up for production of the 1,350-horsepower Tuatara, a futuristic-looking machine with a luxury interior, priced at $1.3 million. SSC in January broke ground on its new world headquarters, a 36,000-square-foot facility in West Richland that will open to the public this summer.
The 2013 Beetle TDI goes on sale this summer. (Volkswagen) After hyping hybrids and electrics as fuel savers, automakers are about to kick off a wave of new fuel-saving diesel...
The new Hyunday Azera also has so many standard luxury features, including 293-horsepower V-6, light-emitting diode headlight accents, navigation system and rearview camera with large, 7-inch, in-dashboard screen display, that it might be confused with a high-tech, luxury sedan.
Tacking $6,600 onto the price of any new car — let alone a Korean family sedan — doesn't usually enhance its prospects. But a move to the $33,000 neighborhood seems to suit the Hyundai Azera just fine.
Three small crossover SUVs unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November point to the future of the family hauler. The Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V are all strong players for their respective brands.
Twenty-five years ago, purchasing a safe car meant buying a land yacht. But it's time to rethink what makes a vehicle safe. Huge vehicles aren't necessary for protection anymore, as sophisticated electronics, warning systems and multiple airbags are becoming commonplace.
The 2012 Edge gets 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway. (Ford) Talk about perfect timing. For 2012, Ford added a fuel-thrifty, EcoBoost four-cylinder engine to its mid-size Edge sport utility...
With the Murano, Nissan has struck a nice balance between a smooth ride and responsive handling, a crucial compromise that has tripped up many an automaker.
View image « previous | next » « previous | next » Flashy new models are vying for attention at the Geneva auto show this week. Europe's automakers are holding...
View image « previous | next » « previous | next » GENEVA — Some people go to auto shows because they're looking to buy a new car. Others want...
Queen City Plating owner Richard Frisch (in red) and head plater Dean Peterson show a chrome bumper at the Mukilteo shop. (Jeff Layton) Here's a sampling of what you'll find...
Shoppers looking for family passenger cars could be the winners of a war breaking out in the auto industry. Over the next year, rival automakers are planning to roll out at least four revamped midsize sedans packed with new features and boasting better fuel economy.
It's no surprise that another Volvo, the 2012 S60 sedan, earned top safety ratings in U.S. government crash testing. The big surprise is the newest, high-performance version of the car has an exhilarating ride.
The new Zero DS, one of five models in Zero Motorcycles' revamped 2012 lineup of battery-powered bikes, is 95 percent new. It's immediately apparent: The 2012 DS feels like a genuine production motorcycle, while the earlier version felt as if it had been built in your neighbor's garage.
Richard Petty Driving Experience is expanding its offering with the new Exotic Driving Experience at the Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla. The new attraction puts you behind the wheel of a performance car for a fraction of the cost of ownership.
If the surge in gas prices has you hyperventilating, well, you're not alone. And the experts are predicting it won't be over for a while, what with the price...
When it comes to their autos, members of Generation Y want hybrid cars stuffed with technology.
Today's top-of-the-line Regal GS is a 270-horsepower, turbocharged four door with a fine manual transmission, European-style handling, noteworthy road manners, pretty exterior and a heritage of Buick performance.
In an era of expensive gasoline and a threadbare economy, fewer young people are getting driver's licenses and more older people are holding on to them as long as possible.
At first sight, the Karma seems a concept car come to life — and, in fact, it is. Little of the design has changed since it was unveiled at the 2008 Detroit auto show.
You've seen it in the movies: A car flies down a gravel road, hits a patch of mud and slides sideways through a tight corner. Wheels spin. Pebbles spray. The driver pulls out of the turn and roars away. What you might not know is that it's possible to drive like that on a professional course only minutes from Seattle.
I'm not mechanically inclined. While I still go to the dealer for major repairs, here I am, willing to roll up my sleeves and do my own work if it will save a couple of hundred dollars. Here are tips for others who want to do their own repairs.
Forget about retro, nostalgia stuff. The 2012 Dodge Charger is an impressive, large, rear-wheel drive sedan for today's buyers who want to stand out from the crowd.
The BMW ActiveE, even in full sprint, has absolutely no exhaust noise. That's because the car doesn't have a tailpipe — or an engine, for that matter. It's the first 100-percent electric Bimmer, offered to 700 Americans who will help BMW evaluate its electric technology.
The Dodge Challenger SRT 392, left, and Dodge Charger SRT8 for 2012. (Chrysler) America is flexing its muscle. Sales of modern-day muscle cars are surprisingly strong despite gas price spikes...
Maybe a minivan is too big for you, or you need all-wheel drive (though the Toyota Sienna has it). Or maybe boxy just isn't the fashion statement you're aiming for. Fortunately, there are plenty of non-van family vehicles to choose from.
The Super Bowl is over, but there's still time on the clock for the auto ads that ran during the game. They can all still be viewed online.
The Corvette Centennial Special Edition comes in one color: black on black. (Chevrolet) The Corvette wasn't around 100 years ago when Chevrolet was born. But for 2012, the iconic two-seater...
In the midst of the creeping price inflation that seems to afflict all cars, the Dodge Charger stands out as a notable bargain, the lone rear-wheel-drive sedan (along with its cousin, the Chrysler 300) that's priced comfortably below $30,000.
The Los Angeles Times asked the editors at auto information company Edmunds.com, senior director of Consumer Reports' automotive test center and readers to put together a list of the 10 worst cars ever sold in America.
Workers train to demonstrate a battery-switching platform at the China Southern Power Grid center in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China. (Forbes Conrad / The New York Times) Three years ago, as...
A handful of cars and SUVs hitting the road this year could shake up the competitive balance among the world's top automakers.
The Veloster's looks and starting price are intended to draw younger buyers. (Hyundai) With sporty styling and standard high-tech features, the Hyundai Veloster — the automaker's fourth new car that...
The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle abandons the iconic arched silhouette of its predecessor and in the process shifts its style and personality. It is also more macho. "More power, less flower" is the slogan.
A safety standard issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Jan. 13 is intended to prevent occupants from being ejected through the side windows in accidents. The rule requires automakers to incorporate technology designed to protect both belted and unbelted passengers.
(Thinkstock and NWautos staff) For commuters, sometimes getting from Point A to Point B is easier said than done. Seattle's rush-hour traffic has been ranked between second- and fourth-worst in...
Under the shapely sheet metal and ultraglossy finishes of the vehicles introduced at the Detroit auto show last month were technical details just as captivating as the visual attractions. The advances ranged from minor interior convenience features to entirely new approaches in structural design.
Mazda, the car company known for its "zoom-zoom" marketing campaign, is selling fuel efficiency now, too. The company is applying SkyActiv, its package of fuel-saving equipment and upgrades, to the Mazda3 sedan and five-door hatchback.
Honda is meeting new competition in the compact crossover market with a carefully graduated step forward rather than a shoot-for-the-moon upgrade of its top-selling CR-V.
"Vintage Vehicle Show" host Lance Lambert's garage is a reflection of his love for collector cars. (Linda Hughes/Special to NWautos) Even after almost 20 years of hosting "The Vintage Vehicle...
The suburban Detroit museum founded by auto pioneer Henry Ford is revamping its automotive displays, offering a fresh look at its rich collection and showcasing the enormous influence of the automobile on culture and daily life in the United States.
In a world where technologies quickly come and go, automakers are pressed to keep pace. To ensure that the growing array of electronics do not become obsolete before the car's first oil change, engineers are creating vehicles that can adapt to new technologies and are flexible enough to accommodate future developments.
Nissan's Quest is a nice minivan that many people may not know about. (Nissan) Do buyers know there is a minivan again at Nissan? The Nissan Quest, which had been...
The Eos has a sunroof within its convertible top — an industry first. (Volkswagen) The 2012 Volkswagen Eos has an 8-cylinder. Not under the hood, but beneath the luggage compartment, behind...
A roundup of the most-lauded autos for 2012.
The relief and sense of accomplishment among automakers was palpable at this year's North American International Auto Show, which opened to the public Jan. 14, as automakers rolled out an impressive wave of spit-shined recruits for showrooms.
Hybrids and electric cars are hot, but what if you, well, haven't really been paying attention? Here's a primer on where we stand, so you can figure out where you're headed.
Young male drivers lock onto the 2012 Scion tC like heat-seeking missiles. Judging from the attention the test tC attracted, these guys love getting 180 horsepower at a starting retail price of less than $20,000.
Shop wisely, and you can find a small car that offers a lot of bang for the buck. Even better news for those on a budget but who still consider themselves automotive appreciators: It's possible to find such a car that offers a degree of fun. The Hyundai Accent is just that.
Didn't make a New Year's resolution? Here's one for car shoppers: Do some deep research.
Here are three trends to look for when the North American International Auto Show in Detroit opens to the public Jan. 14.
The Toyota NS4 plug-in hybrid concept was unveiled at the Detroit auto show Jan. 9. (The Associated Press) Automakers aren't easing off the throttle in unveiling new electric vehicles and...
There are three thrifty reasons why the best-selling car in the United States for the past 10 years, the Toyota Camry, is likely to stay on top.
In keeping with the Porsche tradition, the Panamera Turbo S is like a Panamera Turbo that's having a really good day. The S is a little bit brighter, a little bit sharper and a lot more expensive.
Ford is hoping high-tech features married with elegant designs will soon give its Lincoln brand an identity for which consumers will pay a premium.
They tell your garage door to go up and down; not too complicated. But garage-door openers have seen innovations lately that make up and down downright high-tech.
Examining your car insurance makes a lot of sense. Prices vary widely and, on average, car insurance cost Americans $789 per vehicle annually in 2008. Here are some ways to save.
Boldly forsaking a history of boxy, gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles, England's Land Rover now sells a compact SUV that's so stylish former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham is consulting on a special edition model.
The refreshed Mazda5 minivan has a friendly face on its smaller-than-average body. (Mazda) When Chrysler created the market for minivans back in 1983, the Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager and Chrysler...
Perhaps you never have texted or talked on a cellphone while operating a motor vehicle. But there are plenty of other activities that can make you just as guilty of distracted driving.
The goal of some automakers is make it easy for drivers to seamlessly access movies, music and other content always available via the Internet from central servers -- the so-called digital cloud -- instead of storing it on board or having to bring it with them on a personal device.
The turn of the automotive model year usually brings a host of discontinued cars, and this go-round is no exception. As 2011 winds down, some 17 models have gotten the ax, from market weaklings to long-running strong sellers.
The Chrysler 300 flagship sedan offers style on a grand scale and a roomy interior reminiscent of the big American sedans of yesteryear. But the V-8-powered SRT8 version of the 300 provides another, less nostalgic blast from the past: It guzzles gas.
Kaid Jaret Olson-Weston can barely see over the steering wheel, but at 8 years old, he is the youngest monster-truck driver.
The type of car embodied by the BMW 6 Series once commanded the highest levels of respect. Provocatively styled and emitting satisfied burps from a V-8, the classic two-plus-two luxury liner proclaimed its owner to be a lover of the good life and the fast lane.
At a time when consumers have become accustomed to buying flat-screen televisions from Amazon without seeing the picture quality and ordering shoes from Zappos without trying them on, is it any wonder that some would buy a vehicle without ever taking a test drive?
The automotive world finds itself awash in the kind of extreme two-seaters that are so quick, light and expensive that they are called supercars. More than a dozen choices, some costing upwards of $2 million, are here and more are on the way.
For 2012, the youthful Kia Soul is restyled for a more high-tech look, has more powerful, yet more fuel-efficient engines, new six-speed transmissions and more features, including an infotainment system with voice recognition.
There are signs that Buick is on the upswing, and the Verano luxury compact is the latest indication that corporate confidence is back, along with a new willingness to take a gamble.
An ill-prepared vehicle can not only jeopardize your holiday trip, but also the safety of you and your passengers. And on-the-road repairs are seldom cheap or convenient. A pre-trip check-up will ensure safe travels.
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Internal-combustion engines are by nature high-friction devices. Friction nibbles away at engine power, producing heat that is lost to the atmosphere. Limiting those losses is a goal of every automaker, with huge efforts directed toward tiny returns.
Toyota's biggest Prius, the 2012 Prius v, has arrived as a minivan-styled vehicle with 58 percent more cargo space than the current Prius and more room for passengers.
The new Subaru Impreza sedan with an automatic transmission is rated at 36 miles per gallon on the highway, a whopping 38 percent increase from last year's figure of 26 mpg.
"Green" cars and futuristic concepts rolled into the spotlight at the Tokyo auto show as Japan's automakers look to technological innovation to reinvigorate growth after tough times.
The Pacific Northwest's classic-car clubs and meetups aren't just populated by adults; kids and teens have a similar passion for antique autos. And when all the age groups come together, it can be a learning and bonding experience for everyone.
This year, more than 14 percent of new models on sale in the United States came with liquid tire sealant and a portable electric air pump instead of a spare, a trend that is growing as automakers try to shed pounds and boost gas mileage.
The 2012 Verano is a decidedly nice car with pleasing styling, quiet interior, decent fuel mileage and noteworthy ride and handling.
The redesigned, U.S.-built 2012 Volkswagen Passat has arrived — and appears to be a solid entry in the midsize-sedan segment, ready to challenge the dominance of the longtime leaders in the class, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.
Vortech Engineering has built a business helping drivers satisfy their need for speed. The Oxnard, Calif., company manufactures superchargers that force more air into an automotive engine, providing a boost of additional horsepower.
This year may go down as one of the most exciting and unpredictable in automotive history.
Despite ads showing a brand-new car (complete with big red bow) in the driveway on Christmas morning, one of the biggest sales periods of the year actually comes after Santa has headed back to the North Pole.
Thirteen years after launching its natural gas-powered Civic as a low-emission, low-fuel-price vehicle for public utilities and other business fleets, Honda is expanding availability to more consumers than ever.
Easing along the New York State Thruway in a Buick LaCrosse, I am enjoying the hushed cabin and technological amenities of an entry-level luxury car as I keep an eye out for diminutive gas hogs like the Honda Fit and the Mazda 2.
Americans have repeatedly indulged in big views: picture windows in the ranch house, CinemaScope at the drive-in, wide-screen television in the media room.
Jim Leath has driven pickup trucks since the 1960s, always powered by V-8 engines beefy enough to tow a boat or carry a load of concrete blocks.
Taming America's sport utility vehicles and turning them into new-day minivans for mainstream buyers took a toll on most classic SUVs. But the iconic Jeep Wrangler escaped the trend.
Barricaded against the financial storms, Americans aren't exactly whistling "Here Comes the Sun."
Brighten the holidays for the car nut on your list with gifts that show you've been paying attention.
The Willys-Overland Jeep had a fast start. It was invented as the U.S. prepared to enter World War II, and nearly 650,000 were used by the time the war ended.
After 42 years, the Mustang Boss 302 is back, channeling race car driver Parnelli Jones and his exhilarating 1970 Trans Am series win at Laguna Seca raceway in California.
Whether it's due to improved vehicle quality or the lousy economy, the U.S. Department of Transportation says we're keeping our rides longer than ever. These days, the average car lasts about 13 years and 145,000 miles.
Is your car ready for the cold? Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Thank goodness you don't need one of the 100 special-edition Neiman Marcus Chevrolet Camaro Convertibles to enjoy a special open-top Camaro ride.
The new Audi A6 has arrived. And from its debut on the luxury stage until the end of its days, this sedan will be the William Mapother of the Audi lineup.
Automobiles seem to want to lose their old-fashioned door handles.
--> « previous | next » « previous | next » The 2012 Seattle Auto Show runs Nov. 2-6 at Century Link Field Event Center. To learn more, read...
It's still called the Kia Rio. But the five-door hatchback for 2012 is a notable new model with sporty appearance, well-laid-out interior, a more refined and quiet ride and a government fuel economy rating of 40 miles a gallon on the highway.
Plain, ordinary and uninteresting were core competencies of the old Chrysler Corp. From Harry Truman's 1941 Chrysler Windsor, through four decades of the nearly indestructible Slant Six engine and on to, yes, the boring front-drive K-Cars of the 1980s, Chrysler delivered plain, affordable transportation for plain, budget-conscious people who saw that as a virtue. The Chrysler 200 sedan is in keeping with that tradition.
The vehicles at the 2012 Seattle Auto Show are a reflection of the times. Almost every automaker will be showing fuel-sipping hybrids, super-efficient compacts and zero-emission electrics.
Chevrolet doesn't just build cars and trucks. It creates archetypes. Close your eyes and think of a type of car or truck. It's amazing how often the vehicle in your mind's eye will be a Chevrolet.
Like its famous bowtie badge, Chevrolet's past and present intersect at several ironic points.
In the 100 years that Chevrolets have roamed U.S. roads and byways, the car has been portrayed in movies, TV and music as the modest, everyman vehicle that anyone could afford, as well as a signifier of reckless speed, eternal youth and a persistent raffishness.
If you like both kinds of music -- songs about Chevrolets and songs about Chevys -- Pandora has the playlist for you.
Where is the rest of the car? Just about everyone asked this question when they saw Scion's newest car, the iQ.
Some vehicles defy rhyme or reason. Carmakers count on that.
Rick Mack has owned woodie station wagons since the 1960s. Now he restores them. (Jeff Layton) Rick Mack shows the complicated cuts needed to replicate an original woodie exterior. He...
Revamped versions of some of America's best-known cars are out this year, along with new fuel-sippers, electrics and high-powered performance machines.
Nissan's American-built mid-size car, the Altima, is catching on with car buyers this year.
The Scion iQ stretches out just a tenth of an inch beyond 10 feet long, but it packs some slick engineering into that short space. Maybe too much slick engineering.
Two years ago, George Patterson found himself faced with a routine car-maintenance problem that came with a big price tag. The high cost of labor in the repair shop's quote got him thinking that there must be a way to make the fix for less.
Revamped versions of some of America's best-known cars are out this year, along with new fuel-sippers, electrics and high-powered performance machines. Here's a rundown of the 2012 cars on the market through next fall (all prices include shipping).
The SRX, the Cadillac of crossover sport utility vehicles, gets smart improvements for 2012 -- notably, a better engine and an "eco" mode to try to maximize fuel efficiency.
Everybody, it sometimes seems, complains about the minivan, or at least the bland, conservative image of the minivan. But despite the best efforts of marketing departments -- from Toyota's "Swagger Wagon" videos to Honda Odyssey ads pulsing with rock-concert fantasies -- tampering with the basic van formula is a dangerous business.
One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Miss -- boom! Congratulations, you've just hit 60 miles an hour. Or would have if you were piloting a Bugatti Veyron.
Everything old is new again. Revamped versions of some of America's best-known cars -- the Toyota Camry, the Chevrolet Malibu, the Ford Taurus, the Volkswagen Beetle, the BMW 3 Series -- are all going on sale in the 2012 model year. The industry hopes that as buyers return after the economic slump, they'll be delighted by new styling, significantly better fuel economy and, in some cases, lower prices.
Chevrolet improves its lineup substantially with the new-for-2012 Sonic compact sedan and five-door hatchback.
The Bentley Mulsanne, it turns out, is a pleasant car to drive. I can hear the snorts already: "Excuse me? Bentley's flagship costs $330,000. I should hope it's pleasing."
It's easy to get excited about the launch of an all-new car. Fresh sheet metal is like a newborn baby -- it commands attention while the older sibling gets ignored.
The government's tougher new fuel-economy standards are going to force automakers to go to new lengths to increase gas mileage, and many are already looking at fine details such as aerodynamics.
Luxury brand Infiniti finally joins the gasoline-electric hybrid car market with the 2012 M35h that's rated 38 percent more fuel efficient overall than its non-hybrid, V-6-powered M35 sibling.
BETHLEHEM, N.H. -- The goal in designing the 2012 Civic Hybrid, Honda executives say, was to incorporate the hybrid virtue of superior fuel economy in a vehicle that drives like a conventional car. For the most part, Honda has accomplished that.
Electric-vehicle charging stations continue to pop up like mushrooms in the Seattle area, enabling drivers to extend their driving range as they catch a football game in Sodo, enjoy a latte in South Lake Union or see a movie at the Bellevue Collection.
When Carol Grubb bought her new car, the salesman told her that the "BA" on the invoice stood for brake assist. He wasn't able to tell her much more about what brake assist actually does, or why she needed it, though. The Kissimmee, Fla., resident didn't even ask about "BFD."
The Volkswagen Beetle is back as a new, larger car with a flatter roofline, wider track, shorter windshield, better fuel economy and no bud vase on the dashboard.
When Alan Titus' car broke down, he thought about having it towed to a shop, as he usually did. But he was intrigued by a mobile mechanic's advertisement and called him instead.
As Hyundai celebrates its 25th anniversary selling cars in the United States, the brand that started out as a low-priced joke has become the fastest-growing automaker in the world.
In tough economic times, large premium cars aren't big sellers. But Hyundai is undeterred. The South Korea-based company is upgrading its 3-year-old, rear-wheel drive Genesis sedan with a new model that has Hyundai's most powerful engine -- a 5-liter, direct-injection V-8 generating 429 horsepower.
All it took was one camping trip in a borrowed trailer for Melanie and Lee Power to know that they wanted to get their own. And it took only about half a second for Melanie to know which kind she wanted.
Not noticing the usual convoy of motor homes headed for vacation spots this summer? That may be because RVs are getting smaller.
Chevrolet's best-selling sport utility vehicle, the Equinox, is comfortable, attractive inside and out, and roomy without being oversized.
When it comes to birthdays, you may have heard that 40 is the new 30. That applies to automotive fuel efficiency, too. Every manufacturer is now gunning for the big 4-0.
Those twinkling lights on the fronts of luxury cars are starting to find their way into the mainstream.
Not even major league hockey's shiny, big, Stanley Cup trophy dims the glitzy looks of the 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV.
Tony Miller sits in a 1957 Ford Fairlane he is restoring at his shop Stitches in Poulsbo. (Amanda Layton / Special to NWautos) When Tony Miller was in high school,...
Clockwise from top left: The Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Elantra. It's the best summer in years for Detroit carmakers. New 2011 models are flying out of dealer showrooms,...
The newest Kia Forte is second-best in government fuel economy ratings among 2011 mid-size hatchbacks. Only the Toyota Prius, with hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain, does better.
Websites for individual dealerships (like Renton Kia's, top left), Costco Auto (right) and eBay Motors are giving consumers a new entry-point for buying a vehicle. Beth Volk had done all...
Priced at $10,990, the 2012 Nissan Versa is the epitome of the new value car. (Nissan) It would have been easy to overlook amid the shiny cars, fashion models and...
It's easy to get people staring at the newly restyled, 2012 Volkwagen Eos -- particularly when the convertible hardtop is down and a nearly 4-foot-tall, bright yellow M&M's character is strapped into the back seat.
Clockwise from top left: The Kia Optima, Chevrolet Malibu, Hyundai Tuscon and Toyota Venza are Insurance Institute for Highway Safety top safety picks. Ford If your back-to-school shopping list includes...
(Thinkstock) In about two months my son will begin driving lessons, and I've realized that I have no idea how to choose a driving school. When I was a teen,...
Hyundai's smallest auto, the Accent, is no longer the cheapest new car in America. Instead, it's a stylish compact with class-leading fuel mileage, notable features and an interior so quiet at stoplights you might think the engine has turned off.
(Sara Kennedy / NWautos staff) "Have you seen the price of gas? It's almost five bucks a gallon!" OK, maybe it's only four bucks. Or $3.92. But whatever. If I...
The stage is set for a relatively simple and inexpensive fuel-saving technology to proliferate on vehicles in North America.
The 2012 Mazda5 is a pleasant bargain -- a nimble minivan that's smaller than others, yet has seats for six, best fuel mileage of any van, a value price and even an available manual transmission.
(Thinkstock) When your car squeaks, squeals or groans, it's asking for help. Ignoring those noises can cost big bucks later, so it's best to check them now and fix any...
Clockwise from top left: Audi A5; Chrysler 200; Mercedes-Benz SLK350; Volkswagen Eos. I'd argue that the Pacific Northwest is the best place in America to own a convertible. Don't wait...
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) Acura's best-selling car, the mid-size TL sedan, is revised for 2012 with a new, modern transmission, interior upgrades and a toned-down grille design and rear end...
An ever-growing number of road-trip-related apps, websites and gadgets help make plotting a summer adventure almost as fun as the journey itself. Whether you're bound for the ocean, mountains or desert, here are some high-tech ways to ease your expedition.
(Thinkstock) The Baby Bee Cool car seat cover, left, uses ice packs to keep the seat cool. A folding window shade, right, is convenient and effective. On a hot summer...
The attractive 2011 Hyundai Elantra sedan is arguably the best-looking smallish sedan in the country.
Custom auto-painter Josh Jones practices free-hand pinstriping (Photos by Jeff Layton) When Josh Jones was in school, there were only two things that appealed to him: cars and art. At...
James Jensen checks out a Toyota Prius while car shopping in Braintree, Mass. Some Toyota models are in short supply this summer. (Jonathan Wiggs / New York Times News Service)...
(AP Photo/Honda) The new, ninth-generation Honda Civic sedan isn't the sexiest small car. But it's surprisingly roomy for a compact, has a quieter interior and a more compliant ride than...
Summer will be prime time for these rest areas, and for every visitor there's a story.
Leah Nash / New York Times News Service A 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante waits in the Portland Art Museum's sculpture garden after being unloaded for the "Allure of the...
With stubbornly high gasoline prices, station wagons are suddenly appealing — and Acura's new-for-2011 TSX Sport Wagon should be especially so.
This photo of the "Sunset Highway" over Snoqualmie Pass is estimated to be from 1917. (Washington State DOT) If you're heading over the Cascades for warm weather or mountain majesty...
(Thinkstock) Drive, drag, dash, motor, start, run, race, roll, travel, cruise, crawl, fire it up, lean on it, step on it, on your mark, get set, go! The summer road-trip...
The Payette River Scenic Byway in Idaho (Peg Owens). Rugged mountains and crashing falls, towering forests and photo-worthy small towns are just some of the highlights on America's roads and...
The only thing missing from the 2011 Hyundai Equus luxury sedan is a traditional luxury brand badge like a Mercedes star or a Jaguar leaping cat.
A full-blown art car isn't for everyone, but anyone can add fun and personality to their ride with just a little creativity and a whole lotta hot glue. Here are some tips from participants in the Fremont Fair Art Car Blowout, held June 18-19, on how to add a piece of art to any car.
Nissan's Juke has been on the market only since October, but it's started something: a new category of mini-crossover vehicles that are a sporty blend of subcompact cars and SUVs.
(AP Photo/Lexus) Are you tired of the look of the Toyota Prius and other sensibly styled gasoline-electric hybrid cars? With a sporty exterior and arguably the most attractive styling for...
The 1960s were a golden age for automobiles. Designs became dramatic. Horsepower wars raged. Americans were introduced to oddly named companies like Toyota and Datsun. Volvo proved that safety...
It's the best time in years to sell your car. People are holding on to cars and trucks for about a year longer than they did before the recession, which has created a tight supply of used vehicles. So few are on the market that prices have risen to their highest in at least 16 years.
(Honda) The five-seat Honda CR-V sport utility vehicle is well-mannered and easy to drive, comfortable to get into and attractive without being flashy. Best of all, it keeps earning awards....
(NWautos staff) Whether he's a sports fanatic or a road-tripper, a classic-car enthusiast or a neatnik, let your dad know you're glad he's in the driver's seat this Father's Day...
Drivers tend to get nervous whenever the "check engine" light illuminates on their dashboard.
German automaker Volkswagen is making its mid-size Passat sedan affordable and accommodating for more American car buyers.
For many people, scooter experiences are limited to anemic vacation rentals.
Two pedals, inches apart, one for gas and the other for brakes. For years, a Japanese inventor has argued that this most basic of car designs is dangerously flawed.
The 2011 IS F is a Lexus, but it feels more like a sports car than a luxury car.
Whether or not gas prices are throwing a monkey wrench into your road-trip plans, it's still time to get your car ready for summer driving -- below the chassis, under the hood, in the trunk and on the dashboard.
The first modern mass-market electric cars -- the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf -- are causing a sensation, especially as gas prices top $4 a gallon. However, a quiet revolution in engines and transmissions promises to save vast amounts of oil in the decades before electric vehicles rule the road.
The Toyota Tacoma, America's best-selling compact pickup truck, continues to garner praise -- and sales.
Last May, Vicki Sutton inherited her great-grandfather's 1957 Chevy 150. She knew she wanted to restore it, but she didn't know anything about classic cars or where to learn about them. After a search online, she discovered a local organization called the Northwest Classic Chevy Club (NWCCC), a group devoted to Tri-5s -- Chevys built from 1955-57.
A form of insurance that requires electronic verification of miles driven, in return for a discount, is gaining popularity. These so-called pay-as-you-drive policies -- miles are often tracked through a GPS system in the car -- are now offered in more than half of the states and are spreading, albeit slowly, despite privacy concerns.
German automaker Audi keeps turning out elegant-looking cars, and the newest -- the 2012 A7 -- is no exception.
Save on gas. Spend more time outside. Meet a whole new community. Whatever the goal, Lisa Micone of Seattle Cycle Center has three words for would-be scooter and motorcycle riders: Get your endorsement.
Based on the advertisements, it would seem that technology has made it impossible to steal a car. Tracking systems with GPS can pinpoint any vehicle and direct the authorities straight to the crooks.
Maybe it was the bright Torch Red paint on the 2011 Ford Transit Connect van that attracted attention, or maybe it was how the very tall, yet small van moved nimbly into parking spaces labeled for compact cars.
There are high-mileage clubs for virtually every make of car, with members boasting from 200,000 to 1 million miles. Even though the average life span of a car is 145,000 miles, local auto mechanics say proper maintenance can extend that indefinitely.
Bobby Rahal and partners Peter Stoneberg and Zak Brown hope to boost interest in auto racing's past even more through Legends of Motorsports, a vintage racing series that started last year. The second season begins May 20 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.
The 2012 Fiat 500 hatchback is the newest and arguably the cutest small car in the United States, with federal government fuel mileage ratings that are at the top of the subcompact class.
Seattle's a great driving city -- just watch out for the belligerent bikers. It's also a great place to bike -- except for all the deranged drivers. ... This is Seattle's version of the Middle East conflict.
Think it can't happen to you? Dealers and locksmiths say people frequently lose one or even two of their keys. It can cost more than $1,000 to replace both on some models. So it's a good idea to get a third as soon as you buy a new car.
Cadillac's most powerful two-door model for 2011, the CTS-V Coupe, is a hard-charging gas guzzler that looks like a futuristic concept car that escaped from its auto show turntable.
Need proof that fine art exists outside museum walls? Check out a Jaguar. Sadly, like a Rodin sculpture, these cars are out of reach for the average Joe and Jane. There's good news for the paycheck-challenged, though -- refined automotive design is becoming democratized.
Imagine a world where all it took to power a car was sunshine and tap water. That isn't a pipe dream but, rather, the reality of emerging technology that someday could turn your house into a personal, zero-emission gas station.
Nissan retained the best attributes of the five-passenger, five-door Rogue. At just over 15 feet long, it handles nimbly, has high seat positions for good views out the front, is nicely sized for city driving and parking and is comfortable to drive and ride in.
John Walker's Seattle shop is filled with Porsches he fixes for clients, plus cars he modifies. (Jeff Layton) "That's the pickup they should have made," says John Walker, who has...
When it came time for Ray Hancart to choose the engine he wanted in a new Honda Accord, he decided there was no need for the bigger V-6. He picked one with four cylinders. The marketing and public relations executive from Columbus, Ohio, joined a growing trend in U.S. auto sales toward smaller engines. The trend is starting to erase what once was conventional wisdom: that a four is too small to power a midsize car, especially when it's carrying a family. Fours, boosted by turbochargers, are starting to show up even in larger vehicles such as the new Ford Explorer SUV.
I didn't build my own 2011 BMW X3 via the automaker's new custom order process, and television cameras didn't herald its arrival as they did when home maven Martha Stewart received her new X3. But the second-generation of BMW's smallish X3 crossover sport utility vehicle impressed just the same with its strong turbo power, standout road composure and quiet and upscale interior.
Drifting is a driving technique that requires controlling a car in a sideways angle at high speeds around a marked course. It's often called "drift racing," but insiders don't like the term because drifting isn't a race. Spectators often compare it to skateboarding, motocross and freestyle skating.
Performance cars have undergone stunning gains in horsepower. But the trend also raises a question: How much is too much in horses under the hood?
Chevrolet's new small car, the 2011 Cruze, is a pleasantly styled, good-handling sedan with an inviting interior and impressive government crash test results.
Whether you're a fan of vintage fire trucks, muscle cars, Model T's or DeLoreans, if it has wheels, there's probably a local show honoring it. More than just an opportunity for gearheads and collectors to show off their rides, many auto shows also offer food, music and plenty of other entertainment. Here are a few of the biggest and most interesting shows in the coming months, all of which promise a good time.
Mileage-equivalent ratings, meant to help potential buyers compare electric cars with others in their class, are befuddling to some consumers who see them as an automotive example of comparing apples and oranges.
The Subaru Forester, a trailblazer in the car-sport utility crossover segment at its U.S. debut more than a dozen years ago, still garners praise for its durability, comfortable ride and sure-footed all-wheel drive character.
While it's the sheet metal that draws us to vehicles, the interiors are fast becoming as exciting as the exteriors. Few of us spend an afternoon gazing at an automobile's fender, but the dashboard can catch our eyes for hours during a long drive.
Car washes while you shop. Car washes that come to your home or business. Greener washes. Softer cloths. Better computer technology. These are among the latest developments in the long, sudsy history of the car wash.
Gasoline-electric hybrid versions of BMW's big, 2011 BMW 7-Series sedans come with the federal government's lowest fuel economy rating of all regular-production hybrids. But the 750i and 750iL ActiveHybrids are the quickest hybrid luxury sedans in showrooms, jetting from 0 to 60 miles an hour in a sports car-like 4.7 seconds.
Take a look in your garage and you might find any number of things: the lawnmower, boxes filled with high school yearbooks, a hobby shop, your son's rock 'n' roll band -- maybe even your mother-in-law living there. But the one thing that seems to be conspicuously absent from many Seattle garages, oddly enough, is an actual car.
For more than 30 years, Formula One racecars have benefited from powerful brakes that vastly outperform the systems available on any showroom model. The gap may be narrowing, though: High-tech materials similar to those on the racetrack began showing up in exotic sports cars about 10 years ago, and some luxury models now offer them as well.
The biggest Mini in new-car showrooms isn't so mini in size and price. The new-for-2011 Mini Cooper Countryman is some 15 inches longer, from bumper to bumper, than the diminutive, 12-foot-long 2011 Mini Cooper hatchback. The five-door Countryman also is 6 inches taller and 4 inches wider than the three-door Mini Cooper hatchback.
When Andrew Putnam enrolled in a motorcycle-skills class with 2Fast Motorcycle Track Days & Instruction, he thought it would be a fun way to push his Yamaha R6 to the limit. What surprised him was that the techniques he learned might have helped save his life.
In addition to installing a charging station at home, like this one by ECOtality, buyers of electric cars should locate charging stations near work or around town. (ECOtality) Getting your...
Just in time for $4-a-gallon gasoline prices, the 2012 Ford Focus compact arrives as a handsome new model with head-turning fuel mileage, comfortable ride and luxury options not usually found in small cars.
Without oil to lubricate its many quick-moving metal parts, a car's engine eventually will wear down and literally grind to a halt. With more choices than ever on the market, here's a quick look at the benefits of the most common.
More than one in five licensed drivers will be 65 or older within 15 years, the National Transportation Safety Board says. Smarter cars and better-designed roads may help keep them stay behind the wheel longer and more safely.
With a newly styled front end for 2011, the six- to seven-passenger the Mercedes-Benz R-Class has more of a sport utility look than before. But from the side, it still looks like a minivan and station wagon.
Katie Miller / Special to NWautos In my experience, the three most beaten-to-death topics of conversation in Seattle are the weather, the traffic and the parking (or lack thereof). And...
Not long ago, I gave a ride to a kid in an old car with no air conditioning. It was a warm day, so I told him to roll down the window. He had no idea what that meant. Having grown up with power windows, he had never seen a crank handle and didn't know how to use one. It got me thinking about all the things today's kids take for granted that either didn't exist or were far less common when their parents were growing up. Here are five ways in which kids experience cars differently, starting with those windows.
(AP Photo/Volvo) Volvo's 2011 S60 T6 compact car is not cheap, and it's not the first or second car that shoppers think of when looking for a fun-to-drive sedan. But...
Coupes look great, but aging baby boomers dislike the gymnastic moves needed to crawl into the back, making two-doors less popular these days. Therefore, the best way to jump-start coupe sales is to add two more doors -- but that makes it a sedan, right? Not according to Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes invented the "four-door coupe" segment when it unveiled the CLS500 to envious eyes in 2004.
Look inside the 2011 Ford Fiesta and you will see dashboard controls that have been modeled after the keypad of a cellphone. The automaker, recognizing the challenge of keeping its vehicles' controls and instruments up to date, began in 2006 to establish a set of design principles for its automotive interfaces, aiming to improve what it called the cabin experience.
Just when you think you've seen every version of minivan possible, Nissan debuts its fourth-generation Quest with a few new ideas.
When I began shopping for a new car early in 2010, a European delivery was not in consideration. But during a visit to Habberstad BMW in Huntington, my salesman made the suggestion. Here was an excuse to travel, and it would be nifty to take possession of a new German car in its homeland, before it had been soiled by seawater and touched by strangers' hands at the port in Newark, N.J. Visions of autobahn motoring danced in my head.
The new-for-2011 Optima, featured in a multi-million dollar Super Bowl ad, is handsome and well-powered and longer and wider than its predecessor. It even has better fuel mileage ratings than the non-hybrid versions of Camry, Accord and Fusion.
In the center of the hangar lay a large tract of carpet with a maze-like course plotted out across its surface. For the rest of the night, that course would be abuzz with fast and agile radio-controlled (RC) model cars. Seattle has long been a hotbed of RC racing because of its wealth of Boeing engineering types, says Todd Mason, founder and president of the Seattle RC Racers.
Auto design has become a global profession, where Germans design Korean cars, Koreans design German cars and design studios look like U.N. lobbies. Now, with more women taking the primary role in auto purchases, auto companies are shining the spotlight on the women on their design staffs -- still a tiny percentage of the total -- and hiring new ones.
Honda's 2011 Civic retains the successful formula that has made the Civic a perennial top 10 seller in the United States -- a reputation for reliability, good fit and finish, a selection of engines and transmissions, interior comfort and good fuel economy.
Jon Hoekstra and his wife, Jennifer Steele, were among the first in the country to drive home a Leaf, the first mass-produced sedan powered entirely by electricity. Several hundred others in the region are still eagerly awaiting a Leaf of their own.
With the federal mandate that automakers' fleets average 35 mpg by 2020, many manufacturers are turning to electric and gas-electric hybrid cars as a solution. This may seem new and cutting edge, but, in reality, both ideas are as old as the automobile itself.
Chrysler's long-running Chrysler Sebring mid-size sedan is gone, sort of. The four-door, five-passenger, mid-size sedan is revamped for 2011 and given a new name -- Chrysler 200. New exterior styling gives the 200 the pleasing looks of other modern family cars. The interior is nicely upgraded, too, with better-looking plastics and other materials.
Finding used parts was once an epic adventure for do-it-yourself mechanics like Day. Buyers had to sift through printed ads, visit swap meets or spend hours on the phone tracking down rare components. But now, because many used-parts dealers in the Northwest list their wares online, searching can be done in seconds with the click of a mouse.
It wasn't long ago that American consumers were wondering whether Detroit's troubled auto companies would survive, much less prosper again. Now, with Ford leading the way, Detroit is recapturing the interest of many consumers who ditched domestic brands in favor of Asian and European models.
The 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart is a turbocharged, sporty hatchback that's tantalizingly close to a bad boy racer.
The station wagon is an automotive Rorschach test. Some people recall happy childhood memories of ricocheting around the cargo area while traveling to Grandma's house (no safety seats back then). Others remember the fake-wood cladding and cringe. Modern stations wagons have evolved from those 1960s and '70s styles, however, and should no longer be overlooked by car shoppers.
The biggest domestic auto show kicked off Monday, Jan. 10, in Detroit, with automakers displaying more cars and new models than in the past few years. Here are some visual highlights from the show.
Some of the findings were no-brainers: Drinking and driving is the deadliest combination for teen drivers. Others were more surprising, and even conflict with conventional wisdom about what's dangerous for teens.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) The innovative Chevrolet Volt is getting lots of attention. But in my home garage, the car that can travel up to 50 miles on a full...
It's smaller than a bicycle, it motors you from point A to point B without gasoline and it would cost less than a new scooter. Chris Hoffmann, a laid-off machine designer turned inventor, thinks that his electric-powered "micro-cycle" could become the new urban commuter.
Justin Williamson checks oil at Valvoline Oil Change in Albuquerque, N.M. (Rick Scibelli Jr. / New York Times News Service) I still remember learning from my father how to carefully...
Even in troubled economic times, the long-running Honda Accord remains the second best-selling car in the United States. And no wonder it stays popular. The Accord sedan is a recommended buy of Consumer Reports magazine and earned top scores recently in newly revised, tougher crash testing by the federal government. With refreshed styling, the 2011 Accord gets better gasoline mileage than its 2010 predecessor, too.
Every year brings further technological advancement, and 2011 is shaping up to be among the most innovative ever. Here are some highlights.
More automakers are offering free scheduled maintenance as an incentive for customers to choose their brand, and to encourage existing owners to remain loyal when they're ready for their next vehicle.
The name isn't the only thing that's different about Nissan's new, small, tall Juke hatchback. The only engine in the relatively lightweight Juke is Nissan's first-in-the-United-States direct-injection, turbocharged four cylinder that generates an impressive 188 horsepower and uses premium gasoline.
But eco-conscious drivers will soon turn to the matter of a final resting place for their worn-out batteries. A bulky 500-pound lithium-ion battery pack will never be a candidate for curbside recycling. And improper disposal would undo the good accrued through years of zero-emissions motoring. This situation is years away, but battery suppliers and electric utilities are already working to establish a recycling stream.
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the lot, not a model was moving -- sales were not hot. The keys were all hung in ignitions with care, in hopes that a customer soon would be there.
(AP Photo / Jaguar) The 2011 Jaguar XJ Supersport sedans are powerful, decadent -- and get the kind of gasoline mileage expected from a pickup truck. A very big...
Ford has sold more of its 2011 Fiestas as hatchbacks than sedans. (Ford) Americans, for the most part, love European stuff. We covet their cuisine, swoon over their accents, follow...
One of 29 Chrysler Imperials used as The Black Beauty in the new movie "The Green Hornet" was displayed at Comic-Con in San Diego in July. (Mick Mayhew / New...
For the first time in its 20-year history, the Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle is changing into a softer SUV with an underlying platform that's used by a car for a smoother ride.
Everyone from cancer researchers to arts organizations -- especially at this time of year -- seems to be looking for vehicle donations. Vehicle-donation programs are an important source of revenue for many nonprofits. They also provide an easy way to get rid of a car, RV, boat or other vehicle and get a year-end tax break to boot.
It was once a huge red flag: When a car's odometer would hit 100,000 miles, "it was almost a magic threshold that meant the car was probably worn out," says Kay Wynter, who runs an auto service center in Fort Myers, Fla., with her husband, Terry. But thanks to improvements in car design and maintenance, that milestone now means something very different.
The redesigned-for-2011 Honda Odyssey is longer and wider than other major minivans, but it's still tops in fuel economy. With sleeker styling and lighter weight than its predecessor, the roomy, V-6-powered 2011 Odyssey with six-speed automatic transmission is rated at 19 miles per gallon in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway by the federal government.
Behind the wheel, my son Kevin was on one of his first outings after obtaining his instruction (or learner's) permit. At 15 years old, he was soon to begin his driver's education class, and I was giving him a crash course -- er, initial overview -- in the finer points of driving.
Your teen is turning 16 and can't wait to get behind the wheel. For parents, though, it's time for a tough decision: What car should your child drive to be safe?
The first all-electric car offered in the United States by a mainstream auto manufacturer since the early days of the automobile, the new-for-2011 Leaf has seats for five, a roomy, straightforward interior and a surprisingly solid, stable feel.
Whether you're shopping for a general car enthusiast, a design wonk or a motorsports fan, auto-related gifts abound this holiday season. Here's some inspiration for all ages, from the practical to the whimsical to the extraordinary.
In the highly competitive auto industry, no detail can be overlooked. That includes odors. Ford, Toyota, General Motors and other companies have trained teams of sniffers who evaluate scents and reject or reformulate any unpleasant materials. It's a daunting task. Car interiors are made of dozens of odorous materials -- plastics, foams, rubbers, carpet, fabric, leather.
(AP Photo/Audi) High-brow luxury sedan buyers who don't want to be stodgy or predictable have a newly updated choice, the 2011 Audi A8. Audi's flagship four door isn't just longer,...
When five Seattle-area couples set out to drive Route 66 last month, they expected it to be a fun -- and maybe weird -- road trip. What they got, they say, was the trip of a lifetime, in which they found an Americana they thought was long lost.
As the days get shorter and the temperature drops, it's time to check your vehicle's emergency kit and make sure it has all the tools you need to get out of a winter roadside jam. If you're starting from scratch, you can put together a complete kit for about $60. Here are 10 basic items you should include.
Luxury car buyers don't have to pay a premium to get a hybrid anymore. The first gasoline-electric-powered hybrid at Lincoln dealerships, the 2011 MKZ Hybrid, has the same sticker price as the gasoline-only, 2011 MKZ -- $35,180. But it's the hybrid version of MKZ that can deliver more miles from every gallon of gas. The newest MKZ, which is a sibling of the Ford Fusion Hybrid, also ranks as the most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in America, even topping longtime hybrid seller Lexus.
Highlights of the Seattle Auto Show, which runs through tonight at the Qwest Field Event Center.
Photographing cars looks easy. It isn't. The challenge can be even more pronounced in a cavernous hall like Qwest Field Event Center -- where the Seattle Auto Show continues through this weekend, and where conditions are beyond the control of the photographer. Ask professionals for some guidelines to documenting an auto show and you'll get a diversity of opinions.
The 2011 Regal -- the first Regal in U.S. showrooms since 2004 -- is attractive and modern, powered by four-cylinder engines, and it rides and handles with composure not traditionally expected of a Buick.
The Puget Sound region has been a leader in embracing hybrid and electric vehicles, and this year's Seattle Auto Show will reward "green" technology fans with five cutting-edge electric cars. The show, opening Wednesday at the Qwest Field Event Center, will feature the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, Smart ForTwo Passion ED and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Seattle company Wheego also will be showing the Whip LSV.
How does it feel to go flat out into a turn at Indy with all four tires fighting for grip, or to pick your way through the traffic at Daytona with Dale Earnhardt Jr. inches off your rear bumper? In the world of virtual racing, aspiring champions -- few of whom have ever been behind the wheel of a real racecar -- are coming closer than ever to finding out.
The new-for-2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolets are stylish cruisers -- but a bit old-fashioned.
while many SUVs and crossovers can also hold seven or eight passengers, none of them are as supremely functional as the minivan. Fashion forward? Maybe not. But they're as comfortable as well-worn jeans. Six models will be available for 2011; three of the freshest are featured here.
The man behind the wheel of a minivan stuffed with children is probably doing more to announce his virility to the world than his Porsche-driving brethren. But the sliding doors, extra cup holders and all that room for child-safety seats have made the minivan a tough sell when the goal is manly cool. Sara Pines, spokeswoman for American Honda Motor Co., considers the main hurdle to be the misperception that "anything that offers so much function may not be as much fun. We think you can have both," Pines says. "I think most of our competitors in the market agree."
Known for its fine, diesel-powered vehicles with noteworthy fuel economy, Germany's Volkswagen AG is adding a gasoline-electric hybrid sport utility model for 2011.
There are probably oodles of things you'd rather do during the holidays than circle the block in search of an elusive downtown Seattle parking spot. Buy yourself some time (and save money) by heading out with a plan. Interactive maps, new electronic signs and other improvements make it easier than ever.
As the 2011 vehicles begin to roll out, we take a look at the model year's offerings. Part 1 covered Acura through Ford, and Part 2 covered GMC to Mercedes-Benz. This final installment covers Mini to Volvo.
Jeep's flagship Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicle is so improved for 2011, passengers might think they're riding in a luxury vehicle. The interior of the new Grand Cherokee is impressively quiet, with supportive seats and well-arranged controls. Exterior styling is more rounded and modern than before, and the new V-6 engine is more robust than its predecessor. Best of all, the vehicle rides in a nearly refined manner on pavement, while still capably handling rugged off-road duty when needed.
By the time Chris Jeanneret finishes customizing his '97 Nissan 240SX, roughly a year and a half of his life will have passed. But for Jeanneret, a tuner enthusiast, customizing the car's engine, suspension, brakes and more is worth the time and labor.
As the 2011 vehicles begin to roll out, we take a look at what the new model year offers. Last week, we introduced Part 1, covering Acura through Ford. Part 3 will run Oct. 22.
(AP Photo/BMW) If you envy folks who can enjoy autumn's scenery with the top down, you'll be positively jealous of anyone behind the wheel of BMW's 2011 top-level Z4 roadster....
Teensurance, a vehicle-tracking device offered in partnership with Safeco Insurance, allows Denise Johnson and her husband to be notified by text message if their son, Chris, goes over a certain speed limit or stays out past midnight. The GPS function also allows them to see his whereabouts and know whether he really went where he said he was going.
(AP Photo/Mazda Motor Co.) The bright, neon-green exterior ensured no one missed my 2011 Mazda2 test car. But it was the hatchback's maneuverable small size and fuel economy that really...
It's electric! The 2011 model year brings some revolutionary electric cars to the U.S. market, as well as more hybrids from more companies than ever. Here's a roundup, in alphabetical order, of the big changes for the 2011 model year.
We're skiers, hikers and boaters in the Pacific Northwest, so our lifestyles are very active. To haul all that gear, we need vehicles with some size. But we also want fuel efficiency. Those dueling interests haven't gone unnoticed by auto manufacturers.
We already harvest the power of the sun and the wind. Soon we may also harvest the power of potholes. A type of shock absorber under development by the Levant Power Corporation converts the bumps and jolts of vehicles on rough roads into usable electricity.
The Volvo C30 three-door, small hatchback sure isn't a "me-too" car. Three years after it came to the United States as Volvo's smallest vehicle here, the not-quite-14-foot-long C30 with distinctive, large rear liftgate glass and four seats has sold in such low volumes that it's still a rarity on most roads. And now that Volvo of Sweden has been sold to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. of China, little is changing near term for the C30, except the price, a slight styling update and stiffer suspension for an uplevel model.
South End Ryderz car club is a tight-knit group of locals who live and breathe lowriders -- cars with shortened suspensions that ride close to the ground.
The new-for-2010 S400 Hybrid is the first mass-production car to use a lithium ion battery to store and supply electric power. The 120-volt battery is more compact and adds less weight to the car than do nickel metal hydride batteries and has high energy density for its size.
Most of us start the car-buying journey expecting a lot of choices. When it comes to some types of cars, though, you might be surprised by the lack of choices. Want a midsize station wagon that starts at less than $30,000? There are two. Want a car with a bench seat? There are five, but soon only three will be available. And for an affordable two-seat roadster, you'll find just the Mazda MX-5 Miata. With that in mind, here's a look at some rare makes and styles.
Drivers who want to get creative with up to seven characters -- and who are willing to answer a lot of questions from fellow motorists -- are likely candidates for personalized plates. As of the end of August, Washington state has 81,993 cars registered with personalized plates, up from 81,143 last year.
Get ready to retrieve your jaw from the floor. The 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup trucks generate a jaw-dropping 735 foot-pounds of torque -- enough to tow more than 20,000 pounds of trailers, heavy-duty equipment and the biggest, most impressive fifth-wheel campers around.
On a list of today's best-built vehicles, you might expect to find a sleek Mercedes sedan or an iconic Porsche convertible. Even a fuel-sipping minivan from Toyota. But a pickup? Probably not. Yet these workhorses are now among the highest-quality vehicles on the road, earning better marks in key quality studies than many cars, including some luxury models.
This fall, 10 drivers from the area will caravan to Chicago, where they will begin driving the entire length of historic Route 66, ending in Santa Monica, Calif. They'll travel in four restored 1957 Ford Thunderbird convertibles and one 1956 hardtop Thunderbird.
Customers shopping for midsize cars generally have families and need space for children, yet they are budget-conscious. So to improve gas mileage, automakers are tweaking cars and trucks between model years -- especially in their midsize sedans.
The Avalon is, as Kelley Blue Book reports, eminently comfortable. At the same time, it's not ostentatious or overwhelming, the way some luxury-branded sedans are.
Clockwise from top left: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, 2011 Buick Regal, 2012 Ford Focus, 2011 Kia Optima. In the past, fall was the time when automakers theatrically unveiled their new models....
The 2011 Hyundai Sonata sedan is selling at a record pace, and why not? With styling that makes the new, sixth-generation Sonata look richer than its under-$20,000 base price, the Sonata is arguably the most stylish of America's mainstream family sedans.
Top row: Charles Stewart Rolls, Frederick Henry Royce, Louis Chevrolet, Wilhelm Maybach, Karl Maybach, John and Horace Dodge. Center: David Dunbar Buick. Bottom row: Henry Ford, Ransom E. Olds, Kiichiro...
Pete Larsen has shipped hundreds of his hand-built motorcycle sidecars as far away as Indonesia. Billy Joel owns two of them. One even made an appearance in the 2007 film "Wild Hogs." Larsen, 62, has been building his retro-styled sidecars for nearly two decades, and still does most of the work himself inside his historic, 8,000-square-foot workshop on Rainier Avenue.
A team of Italian engineers have launched what has been billed as the longest-ever test-drive of driverless vehicles: an 8,000-mile, three-month road trip from Italy to China, not in search of silk, but to test the limits of automotive technology.
Perhaps more than any previous VW Jetta, the redesigned-for-2011 five-passenger sedan is built for American tastes. It's a bigger car with a bigger back seat for the kind of legroom that Americans demand, new sheet metal that makes the car look more upscale than before, and a lower starting retail price that puts the Jetta closer to top-selling compact sedans like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.
Next weekend's LeMay Car Show and Auction in Spanaway is expected to draw more than 6,000 car enthusiasts and collectors -- people who are looking for fixer-uppers and parts cars from the auto museum's extensive collection.
Efforts to burnish the eco-friendliness of tires are growing, with an emphasis on reducing the use of raw materials -- particularly the five to 10 gallons of petroleum ingredients needed to manufacture a tire.
(AP Photo/Toyota, David Dewhurst) Toyota's top-quality reputation is tarnished these days because of a rash of safety recalls. But that's not stopping the Toyota Camry from outselling all other cars...
Twenty-one Western Washington University undergrads who built the Viking 45, a sporty and aerodynamic plug-in hybrid, surprised their competition and themselves by making it to the final round of the Progressive Automotive X Prize -- the only U.S. student team to do so. The team was eliminated from the contest on July 26, when it failed to make it through safety trials. But as the students returned from Detroit's Michigan International Speedway to a welcome-home celebration on campus the first week of August, they were anything but disappointed.
If you have five kids, a big dog and a limited budget, even the most charismatic car salesperson probably won't persuade you to buy a Porsche. Especially now, when it's possible to go online and research every aspect of a vehicle -- from the manufacturer's suggested retail price to its safety record -- before you set foot in a dealer's showroom. But while many consumers spend hours searching for a vehicle that fits their lifestyle, they devote little thought to how they'll pay for it.
(Kia) This concept, which debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March, is the same size as the gasoline-powered Venga available in Europe, but it runs on an electric powertrain....
(AP Photo/Kia Motors) The 2011 Kia Sportage is the ritziest Sportage sport utility vehicle ever, and yet it only comes with a four-cylinder engine. It's not as odd a...
Jaguar built its brand by offering a vehicle with a mouthwatering aesthetic that looked far more expensive that it really was. The company celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, and Jaguars on the Green, the local Jaguar club's big bash on Aug. 14, will bring some 50 cars, as well as hundreds more classic and collector automobiles, from hot rods to Army tanks.
Keeping your kids buckled up is the law. But so far, only a handful of states require pets to be tethered when they're in the back of a pickup truck, and no states require them to be restrained in cars. Here are some accessories to help your pet travel securely and comfortably, whether you're in a hatchback or a Land, um, Rover.
The Scion xD is a thrifty, nimble, small hatchback made by Toyota. It has more horsepower than its major competitors, and for 2010, it's a Consumer Reports recommended car with a strong reliability record. But sales are down 25.5 percent through the first seven months of 2010, and the xD is the slowest-selling of all non-luxury Toyota cars.
Dogs are people, too -- according to some people. But when it comes time to hit the road, we hardly treat them with the care we give our children or take for ourselves.
Winter driving, with its icy roads and salt buildup, can be tough on cars. But summer has its hazards, too. The heat stresses the engine, wears down the tires and makes the car work harder to keep everything cool. Here are five steps to help your car make it through any late-summer road trips.
Leave it to Germany's performance car maker, BMW, to challenge small car stereotypes. BMW's entry model, the 1-Series, is a 14.3-foot-long, two-door, four-passenger subcompact car that's smaller than a Toyota Camry. But it's the 2010 1-Series -- not the bigger, five-passenger Camry sedan -- that comes only with six-cylinder engines rather than a fuel-thrifty four banger.
No one knows the Pacific Northwest's best-kept touring secrets like the road warriors of our local car clubs. Three clubs -- the Horseless Carriage Club of America (Seattle-Tacoma region), the Puget Sound Region of the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America and the Puget Sound Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America -- have agreed to share their favorite routes with anyone looking for a satisfying summer drive.
It's a good summer to take the family on a road trip. Domestic airfares are expected to rise an average of 22 percent compared with last summer, but gas prices have stabilized -- and even dropped in some areas -- heading into the summer travel season. At the same time, an incentive war is still in full swing, holding down prices on new road-trip-ready cars and trucks. Whether you're hauling the family to Mount Rushmore or heading to the nearest lake for a picnic, here are some vehicles to consider.
It's time to stop calling the Toyota Sienna a minivan. There's nothing "mini" about the comfortable and roomy interior of this nearly 17-foot-long vehicle.
When John Rice gets an incoming call, the music on his new Kenwood stereo mutes and his hands-free Bluetooth works directly through his stereo. Car stereos are no longer about just the radio, explains Kyle Brehm, commercial district manager at Car Toys of Seattle. The new-generation stereos hitting stores this summer are loaded with some exciting technology. Here are some of the latest trends.
Rather than being shackled to the same old hits from local radio stations, dri