Category Archives: Car & Truck

Practical Matters: Every Compact Crossover SUV Ranked from Worst to Best

Practical Matters: Every Compact Crossover SUV Ranked from Worst to BestMitsubishi Eclipse Cross2017 Mitsubishi Outlander GT AWD2017 Subaru Forester XT2017 Nissan Rogue2017 Jeep Compass2017 Toyota RAV42017 Jeep Cherokee2018 Volkswagen Tiguan FWD2018 Chevrolet Equinox 2.0T AWD2018 GMC Terrain 2.0T2016 Hyundai Tucson Eco AWD2017 Kia Sportage2017 Ford Escape2017 Honda CR-V2017 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD

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2018 Honda Fit Tested in Depth: Practically Dazzling

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Honda’s Fit is aptly named: You can fit much more stuff inside it than in any other subcompact thanks to its boxy shape and multi-way folding rear seats. It also is a strong value, with class-competitive refinement and build quality and a $17,080 base price. The 2018 model adds active safety features such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automated emergency braking as optional or standard equipment on every trim level, further distancing the Fit from its humble competitors. What the Fit doesn’t fit into its mix of capabilities is fun. Although you can get it with a manual gearbox, the Fit is at best pleasant to drive—which is a bit of a disappointment considering that the previous-generation model was more engaging while being equally practical. But if impressive interior space and versatility in a tiny package are what you’re looking for, the Fit is still a car we highly recommend. READ MORE ››

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The 15 Things You Need to Know about the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The 15 Things You Need to Know about the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500Bigger Is BetterYeah, It Has a Big Back SeatDid Somebody Order a King-Size Bed?Seriously, The Bed Is So Big, We Needed Two Slides to Explain ItThe Engine-eering StoryGive Me Fuel, Give Me Fire, Cut Fuel to the Cylinders the Silverado Doesn’t DesireA New Diesel Does ItLike a Lighter Rock. . . But What about Carbon Fiber?It’s an Air WorkerIt’s All about That BaseCustom and/or Custom Trailboss trimStuck in the Middle with YouReally, a Sporty Truck?Take Me to the High Country

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2018 Volkswagen Golf R – In-Depth Review

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2019 Jeep Cherokee Premieres, Is Even More of a Baby Grand

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The Jeep Cherokee sits in an extremely important segment from a brand and sales standpoint. Compact crossovers are the top-selling utility-vehicle class, with entries such as the Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, and Honda CR-V among the best-selling vehicles in the United States. The Cherokee has been a solid performer for Jeep since it relaunched the nameplate for 2014, but there is room for growth. For 2018, Jeep has refreshed the Cherokee with a less polarizing look, an all-new turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four under the hood, and improved interior packaging. READ MORE ››

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All-New Ram 1500 Revealed! Redesigned and Hybridized

2019-Ram-1500-Placement

Say sayonara to Ram’s crosshair grille, as every iteration of the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 abandons the design cue that dates back to the truck’s Dodge-branded days. The new grille treatment is just one new element of the 2019 Ram 1500, which receives some of the most revolutionary design and technological changes the pickup has seen in a quarter-century. READ MORE ››

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Ranger Redux: 2019 Ford Ranger Revealed!

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The long rumored and highly anticipated 2019 Ford Ranger pickup has finally arrived. Officially confirmed last year, the Ranger has had a convoluted path back to U.S. showrooms that has been well documented: Customers decried its demise in 2011, Ford denied its return for a couple of years, and then General Motors released its revised Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pickups and sold more than 145,000 units combined in 2016, the second year of production. It was right around then that the return of the Ranger began to be publicly discussed in earnest. READ MORE ››

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GM to Launch Driverless Car in 2019 with No Steering Wheel or Pedals

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General Motors is poised to release a production-ready autonomous vehicle without a steering wheel and pedals in 2019. The car, to be named the Cruise AV, is a Chevrolet Bolt EV–based self-driving car that relies on technology developed by the Detroit-based automaker and Cruise Automation, a self-driving startup that GM acquired nearly two years ago.

With a goal of eliminating crashes and traffic congestion, the Cruise AV is fitted with five lidar sensors, 16 cameras, and 21 radars. The information procured from the systems allows the Cruise AV to create a three-dimensional model of its surroundings. Additionally, the array of radars, cameras, and sensors let the self-driving car anticipate the movements of surrounding objects and predict multiple driving paths, which allows the Cruise AV to change course quickly should an object cross the Cruise AV’s intended path.

Thanks to machine learning and a shared database, each individual Cruise AV will be able to share the knowledge it gains on the road with the rest of the Cruise AV fleet. As such, GM’s autonomous hatchback can accrue new insights as the group of self-driving hatchbacks rack up additional miles. GM fits the Cruise AV with a host of redundant systems as a means of ensuring passenger safety. Should any sensor, electrical component, or drive system fail, a second unit is prepared to take over at a moment’s notice. On the off chance that both units fail, the Cruise AV can pull off the road and bring itself to a stop.

Cruising U.S.A.

In order to allow public use of the Cruise AV, General Motors has filed a petition with the Department of Transportation asking the government to let its autonomous electric vehicle operate on public roads without the aid of a driver or traditional driving controls. Should the petition be granted, General Motors anticipates customers will interact with the Cruise AV in much the same way they operate with today’s ride-hailing services.

Users will request a Cruise AV by way of a mobile application, which will also allow them to customize the vehicle’s climate and radio settings to their liking. Inside the Cruise AV, GM fits a number of touchscreen tablets that are capable of displaying a variety of ride-related information to passengers. The automaker also includes a button to end the ride early.

The Cruise AV’s automated systems are reliant on data provided by detailed high-definition maps, and the vehicles will be geofenced to routes that have been appropriately mapped. Although GM didn’t reveal the scope and scale of its map data, it’s likely the initial batch of Cruise AVs will be limited to the San Francisco and Phoenix areas—the two cities where GM has tested the vehicle.

Safe Me San Francisco

Like the Bolt EV on which it’s based, the Cruise AV is produced at GM’s plant in Orion Township, Michigan. To maintain passenger safety in the event of a collision, GM has crash-tested the car to make sure the self-driving hardware didn’t physically increase the risk of harm to occupants. Meanwhile, the left front seat was engineered to meet the same safety criteria applied to the right front passenger seat.

On top of this, the Cruise AV employs a number of cybersecurity protections to prevent malware from making its way into the vehicle’s various operating systems, with the intent to limit the potential for a Cruise AV to be hacked to perform in any way contrary to its intended programming.

Look for GM to start an initial, limited rollout of the Cruise AV before the end of the decade—once the DOT grants GM’s petition—with more of the self-driving hatchbacks expected to reach the roads as additional geographic areas are mapped. Don’t plan on purchasing your own Cruise AV anytime soon, though, as the self-driving car is expected to remain a ride-hailing option for the time being.

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Ford Says Certain Ranger Pickups Should Stop Being Driven Immediately after Second Airbag-Related Death

2006 Ford Ranger

After confirming a second death related to a ruptured Takata airbag in a 2006 Ranger, Ford is telling owners of 2902 affected pickup trucks to stop driving them immediately. The automaker said Thursday that parts are available now for fixes, and it’s contacting the vehicles’ owners. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Ford will also send mobile repair teams to owners’ homes, tow vehicles to a local dealership for repair, and/or provide loaner vehicles.

Ford said it was notified on December 22 about a fatal crash involving a 2006 Ranger that happened last July in West Virginia and confirmed that it linked the death to a ruptured driver’s-side Takata airbag inflator. The automaker inspected the vehicle and found that the inflator was made by the Japanese supplier on the same day as another such part that was blamed for a fatal crash. That one was also in a 2006 Ford Ranger and occurred in South Carolina in December 2015. The affected pickups were built at Ford’s Twin Cities Assembly Plant from August 10, 2005, to December 15, 2005. There are 2712 such trucks in the United States and its territories and 190 in Canada, Ford said.

Globally to date, there have been 21 deaths (including 19 in Honda vehicles) and hundreds of injuries related to the faulty Takata part. Its inflators can explode on airbag deployment, sending metal pieces flying through the vehicle’s cabin. Although the unprecedented safety recall currently spans some 34 million vehicles in the United States, until Ford’s announcement on Thursday only Honda had singled out a specific group of its affected vehicles that should not be driven. Known as Alpha Hondas, they include the 2001–2002 Accord and Civic, the 2002 Honda CR-V and Odyssey, the 2002–2003 Acura 3.2TL, the 2003 Acura 3.2CL, and the 2003 Honda Pilot. A Honda spokesperson told Car and Driver in November that it estimates there are about 100,000 such vehicles on the road and still in need of repair.

U.S. safety regulators have otherwise said the millions of other vehicles affected by the recall are more safe to drive with the recalled airbags still active, because they are far more likely to inflate properly than to rupture in a crash. Ford Ranger pickups from model years 2004 through 2011 had already been part of the Takata airbag recall, which will span some 65 to 70 million vehicles in the United States by 2019, according to NHTSA. See our master list here.

In overseeing the Takata airbag recall, NHTSA has divided affected vehicles into 12 priority groups that correspond to the risk of airbag explosion based on a vehicle’s age and its exposure to heat and humidity. Independent testing has found that the faulty airbag inflators are most likely to rupture after long-term exposure to temperature fluctuations and moisture, so older vehicles and those located in high-humidity parts of the country are considered top priorities for repair.

Owners can check to see if their vehicle is affected and get information by entering their vehicle’s VIN on NHTSA’s online recall lookup tool.

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The New Ford Edge ST Aims to Be the Sharpest Edge Yet

The Ford Edge has always been a bit of a wallflower. Competent, capable, and a decent seller (142,603 units in 2017), it simply fails to generate much raw enthusiasm. Ford tried to change that perception when it plopped a version of its feisty 315-horse EcoBoost 2.7-liter V-6 under the hood of the second-gen Edge Sport; we appreciated the additional thrust, but never did we consider the Edge a candidate for the full ST treatment. Then again, who could have predicted a show about sweaty guys making knives would be a hit? READ MORE ››

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