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Automotive

In China, owning a Buick is a status symbol akin to owning a Mercedes, BMW, Infiniti, Audi, etc., in the U.S. I’ve actually never quite understood why. However, driving the 2014 Buick Regal reconfirmed what I already knew after driving the entire Buick lineup more than once over the past couple of years — they’re much better cars now, than at any other time in my life. read more »

 

Volkswagen’s new advertising slogan debuted at the 2014 World Cup competition, promoting what VW marketeers say is the most important car in its lineup — the 2015 Volkswagen Golf. This is the seventh generation of the most successful European car of all time — the car that replaced the legendary Beetle. read more »

 

By Lary Coppola

For the KPBJ

The venerable Toyota Corolla has enjoyed the title of the world’s most popular compact for almost a half-century — 47 years to be exact — with good reason. Since debuting in 1966 as a roller skate-sized compact, Toyota has sold 40 million Corollas worldwide, with continuing strong sales. The 2014 model marks the Corolla’s 11th generation, and its first redesign since 2008.  read more »

 

By Lary Coppola

For the KPBJ

 

Both an all-new Accord sedan and coupe were introduced last year, and only minor updates have been made for 2014. However 2014 saw the debut of a regular gas/electric hybrid model and a limited-production, plug-in hybrid as well.

The benchmark for this particular market segment — which also includes the Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, Subaru Legacy and VW Passat — the Accord, much like its main competitor, the Toyota Camry, has also always been considered somewhat mundane.  read more »

 

Ford police vehiclesIn just two years, Ford has revolutionized the police vehicle market by equipping many of its Police Interceptor lineup with standard all-wheel drive, which works full-time for greater mobility and security; adding more fuel-efficient EcoBoost® engines; and introducing two new body styles — including a popular utility vehicle. read more »

 

Replacing the state gas tax with a road usage charge would mean all drivers would pay the same rate per number of miles driven, regardless of what type of vehicle they drive. (Tim Kelly Photo)Driving vehicles that get better gas mileage — whether all-electric cars, hybrids, or regular sedans, pickups and SUVs manufactured to meet higher fuel-efficiency standards — seems obviously beneficial.

However, the positive formula of people buying less gas to drive the same number of miles has a consequence for the public roads system, which is funded and maintained by the per-gallon tax motorists pay at the gas pump. read more »

 
Automotive

2014 Kia SoulWhen the Kia Soul debuted in 2009, it joined the Scion xB and Nissan Cube in that unique market niche defined by the cool factor, funky styling, low prices, and youthful spirit. A mere five years later, we’re watching xB and Cube follow the Honda Element into oblivion. Meanwhile, the Kia Soul continues to enjoy strong sales momentum.

With an eye towards holding on to the hipsters — which seemingly include as many Boomers as Millennials — Kia introduced a new Soul for the 2014 model year that’s been heavily redesigned, with updated styling inside and out, — plus a host of new features. read more »

 
Automotive

2014 Jaguar F-TypeIt took five decades for Jaguar to market a successor to the iconic ’60s E-Type, but the all-new 2014 Jaguar F-Type is a noble heir. The new F-Type is a serious performance car that’s also gorgeous. The 2014 Jaguar F-Type has all the benefits of a half-century of technological innovations packed into an evocative body. The 2014 Jaguar F-Type has it all: performance, style, comfort, luxury, and safety. read more »

 

Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors has earned the ardor of investors and the highest U.S. safety ratings. It can also add the honor of having the best-reviewed car of the year by automobile testers at Consumer Reports.

Tesla’s battery-powered Model_S beat the Audi A6, Toyota Prius and BMW 328i in Consumer Reports’ annual ranking, becoming the first U.S. car to receive a “best overall” pick, the independent product-testing magazine said this week. The reviewers singled out the Model_S for its “blistering acceleration, razor-sharp handling, compliant ride and versatile cabin.”

“It’s truly a groundbreaking car,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of auto testing who oversaw this year’s review of 260 vehicles. “You get into it, and it really stands out. It’s the very best car I’ve ever driven.” read more »

 
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