by Chris Chase Eight-cylinder engines are out of fashion in many vehicle segments, thanks to modern technology that allows six-cylinder motors — and even some four-cylinders — to make as much power as V8s used to be known for. Still, a V8 remains one of the most straightforward ways to generate the power needed for... Read More.
In the last decade, the auto industry has responded to consumer demands for more fuel-efficient vehicles with a variety of technological solutions. These have included innovations like direct fuel injection, turbocharging, and engines and transmissions with low-friction internal components. And then, of course, there are hybrid drive systems, which save fuel by relying partly on... Read More.
by Chris Chase Using one vehicle platform to underpin different models is not a new practice in the auto industry. It gives a car maker a common starting point for a variety of vehicles and reduces R&D costs. A single platform might be used by different brands owned by the same parent company. Sometimes, companies... Read More.
by Chris Chase Commercial work vans are hardly a new concept, but the vans themselves have become more modern in recent years. It’s a transition that began in the mid-2000s when Dodge began importing renamed Mercedes-Benz Sprinters after the DaimlerChrysler merger. Those first Sprinter models created an appetite in North America for workhorse vehicles designed... Read More.
by Chris Chase By the mid-2000s, the crossover utility vehicle craze was well underway. Models like the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 were selling in big numbers to buyers who wanted a car-like driving feel in a rugged-looking vehicle with AWD traction. Those three models helped shape today’s crossover-centric marketplace. Fifteen years ago,... Read More.
by Chris Chase The auto industry has seen many four-wheel drive, or 4×4, SUVs come and go. These off-road-ready vehicles were more common in the 1980s, when they were frequently positioned as extensions of pickup truck models. Those early SUVs proved popular for weather-tight cargo areas. However, by the 1990s, automakers began to realize many... Read More.
by Chris Chase At the beginning of the 2010s, luxury carmakers were moving away from station wagons as the market for upscale utility vehicles grew. However, not wanting to alienate buyers who appreciate a wagon’s practicality and car-like driving feel, German brands, in particular, began introducing mid-size hatchback models to replace them. In this used-vehicle... Read More.
by Chris Chase The compact-car mainstream consists of mainly four-door sedans or hatchbacks. However, a few automakers have toyed with coupe models to appeal to drivers who feel that a two-door car looks sportier, regardless of what’s under the hood. Honda is the only carmaker that has produced a small coupe for any significant period... Read More.
by Chris Chase While the 2000s was not an especially memorable decade for the auto industry, it did introduce a handful of short-lived vehicle segments we wish had stuck around. Among them is this set of practical but weird-looking vehicles: The Scion xB, Nissan Cube, Kia Soul, and Honda Element. The Scion, Nissan, and Kia... Read More.
by Chris Chase The auto industry is a fickle one. Frequent technology innovations and the changing tastes of car buyers mean a car manufacturer has to work hard to keep its offerings relevant. In this used-car article, we’re taking a look at a handful of cars that made strong starts but fell into obscurity. You... Read More.