IIHS Small Car Ratings: Only the Mini Cooper Countryman Shines

IIHS awards the Chevrolet Volt with its Top Safety Pick+ rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) regularly conducts crash tests for most new passenger vehicles. These tests include a variety of categories such as a small overlap front crash test representing its latest measurement in automotive crashworthiness. Funded … Read more

Cars and Coffee: Best Informal Meet Ups Ever

What do you call a gathering of automotive enthusiasts that meets early on a Saturday morning to show off their rides? Well, if they’re drinking coffee while on site, there is a very good chance that you stumbled upon a Cars and Coffee event. Enthusiasts gather at a Cars Coffee … Read more

Porsche Cayenne: Generation Next

The original Porsche Cayenne changed the way that we look at Porsche as well as at sport-utility vehicles in general. Where Jeep and Land Rover paved the way for the earliest off-road vehicles, Porsche came to the party late, but with its guns a-blazing. Porsche’s First Sport Utility Vehicle The … Read more

At a Glance: 2.7-Liter Ford EcoBoost Engine

New EcoBoost engine makes the power grade. The 2015 model year will bring yet another new engine to the Ford product line, a 2.7-liter V-6. That engine follows four-cylinder engines displacing at 1.5- and 2.3-liters, being utilized in the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKC respectively, as well as in other … Read more

Now Competitive: 2015 Chrysler 200S

Quite easily the 2015 Chrysler 200 is the best midsize sedan ever to wear a Chrysler badge. Don’t get all giddy about my statement just yet — Chryslers offerings in this segment have included the LeBaron, Cirrus, Sebring and the 200. Under performers all and in one of the toughest … Read more

Raw to the Core: 2014 Dodge Challenger SRT

Where the fun begins. Say “muscle car and the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro immediately come to mind. These two sport coupes are the best known and the longest produced models in the segment, but they are not the only two. The Dodge Challenger is the third model, one that … Read more

American Luxury Sedan: 2014 Lincoln MKZ

The Ford Motor Company has turned its attention to reviving Lincoln, once a leading luxury brand. In the past decade Lincoln has been overtaken by three German makes, three Japanese makes as well as Cadillac, its domestic competitor. 2014 Lincoln MKZ Two new models — the MKZ and MKC crossover … Read more

Autonomous Driving: Well, Not Exactly

Autonomous driving is one of the buzzwords that piques the interest of futurists. Just the thought of driving from Point A to Point B while taking a nap has some people clamoring for the technology. Certainly the safety aspect is important too, thus insurers, regulators and manufacturers are also advocating … Read more

At a Glance: 2015 Ford Expedition

Fourth generation model debuts this year. The Ford Motor Company released updated information on Wednesday about its full-size sport-utility vehicle. The 2015 Ford Expedition is the latest version of this big body-on-frame SUV. Standard and stretched wheelbase versions are once again available; a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine is now standard. … Read more

Cars and Coffee in the Sandhills: July 2014

Anyone that has followed Auto Trends for some time knows that we look backward as well as forward. Not just to the new, upcoming and futuristic models, but at the antiques and classics that have shaped the auto industry for more than a century. Throw out information about a classic … Read more

Volkswagen Expands Tennessee Investment, Adds New Model

Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept to Become a Reality Concept vehicle to become a 2017 model year reality. The Volkswagen Group announced on Monday a commitment to build a new midsize sport utility vehicle at its sole US manufacturing plant. The automaker said that it will invest $900 million to expand its … Read more

Versatile Crossover: 2014 Toyota Highlander XLE

Toyota offers customers six utility vehicles — seven if you include the FJ Cruiser that is being retired this year. Half of the remaining six models are traditional body-on-frame sport utility vehicles; the other three are crossovers. It is in the middle of the line up where customers are best … Read more

Driven: 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T (FWD)

Behind the wheel of Hyundai’s larger, but not largest crossover. Here a crossover, there a crossover. The market is flooded with car-based utility vehicles, offering excellent room, superior body rigidity and decent fuel mileage nearly across the board. Hyundai has two offerings in the crossover department — a compact Tucson … Read more

Nissan Charging: Free Electric for Leaf Owners

Nissan program to cover up to 25 cities in 2015. Nissan has been having moderate success with its Leaf electric vehicle. Those sales are not approaching the 150,000 annual unit capacity that its Tennessee plant provides, but it is making progress. To date, more than 120,000 Leafs have been sold … Read more

Summer Dreams and Your Cross-Country Adventure

I have never driven cross country, but would seriously consider doing so if I had the time and the right car to take me there and back. From coast-to-coast, your trip would easily add more than 5,000 miles to your car’s odometer and put it through a test it likely … Read more

Acura TLX Tasked With Replacing Two Models

Incentives program announced in advance of sedan’s debut. When the Acura TLX goes on sale next month, it will replace the current TL midsize sedan and the compact TSX. Sales of both models are off by at least one-third for the year, presenting a drag on Acura’s overall sales. Even … Read more

Performance Luxury Sedan: 2014 Lexus IS F

Exploring the performance side of the Lexus house. Think “Lexus” and the usual terms such as “luxury” and “quality” come to mind. “Fuel efficiency” and “value” are other hallmarks of Toyota’s 25-year-old luxury brand. What does not come to mind all that often is “performance” or at least not to … Read more

GM Extends Supplier Discount to Educators

Big savings for teachers and their relatives. 2014 Buick LaCrosse. Last Tuesday, General Motors announced a “GM Educator Discount program” for public and private school educators. The new program is similar to the one that it offers to suppliers, by presenting deeper discounts to a select group of consumers. The … Read more

Ram Expands Product Line With ProMaster City

Third van model for Ram brand arrives in 2015. With Chrysler separated Ram from Dodge, the move was deemed by some as a curious one. Especially with a line up that consisted solely of midsize, large and heavy duty pickup trucks. The Ram Dakota occupied the midsize segment, but was … Read more