Top Story

Upgraded 2019 F-150 Raptor raises off-road performance


(May 25, 2018) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford is making its iconic F-150 Raptor – the ultimate high-performance off-road pickup – even better with upgraded technology including class-exclusive, electronically controlled FOX shocks, new Trail Control and all-new Recaro sport seats. The upgrades are focused on key components that have made F-150 Raptor the benchmark in off-road trucks for an even tougher, smarter, more capable trail runner.

2018 Bentley Bentayga

PHOENIX — The notion of purchasing a new vehicle costing upwards of a quarter million dollars is clearly out of reach for middle-class bourgeois like myself. However, if you’re among the global one-tenth of one-percent who can easily write that check, you need pay attention to this: The long black luxury sedan is so yesterday as the choice of livery servitude, pushed aside by chrome ablaze, boxy, giant ultra-luxury SUVs in all their glorious swaddled seduction and refinement.

2019 Toyota Avalon

SAN DIEGO — There’s a pretty good chance that if you’re not wearing reading glasses to read this review, don’t read newspapers or have the slightest clue what the letters AARP stand for, then you probably have no idea what a Toyota Avalon is — let alone have exciting thoughts about trading your current ride for one.
That’s because average age of a current Toyota Avalon buyer starts with the number six. But that isn’t stopping the folks at Toyota who aim to knock a decade or so off the median age of the owner by introducing the fifth-generation 2019 Avalon sedan.

2018 Ram Rebel

INDIANAPOLIS — There are 11 Ram 1500 models, ranging from the work-ready Tradesman through the Big Horn, Lone Star, Sport, Night, Laramie, and Limited Tungsten editions.  Each has a unique character that appeals subsets of the broad spectrum of full-size truck drivers.  Towards the top is the Ram Rebel, which is perhaps the most expressive of an expressive family. Rebel is big and bold with hints of Power Wagon and Lil' Red Truck. 

Vehicle of the Week

2018 Nissan Leaf — The new face of EVs

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Nissan has redesigned its all-electric Leaf for 2018, the first total remake since its introduction in the fall of 2010 as a 2011 model. Electric vehicles in general and the Leaf in particular have come a long way in those seven years. For instance, the new Leaf has a noticeable change in styling, considerably more horsepower, more range, a bigger battery, more technology and more cargo space than the 2011 model — and it doesn't cost any more.

Here's the Thing

Hyundai, Lexus top Autotrader's 10 Best Certified Pre-Owned programs

(May 25, 2018) ATLANTA — Shoppers interested in buying a new car may discover their top picks are outside their budget, and purchasing a used car is an option, but the vehicle's reliability and potentially high maintenance costs could be a concern. As a good compromise, buyers should take a closer look at shopping a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicle, which is a lightly used model with a manufacturer-backed warranty, and often comes with a big discount from the new price.

From subcompact to sedan — How the Honda Civic has changed

(May 25, 2018) A new, downloadable ebook shares more than 40 years of Honda Civic history covering the evolution of the Civic through 10 generations, from the affordable, subcompact of the early 1970s to the current high-performance trim level. The team at researched and developed this free download to celebrate the enduring popularity of Honda’s economical and reliable Civic.

GasBuddy predicts summer travel to plunge due to higher gas prices

(May 24, 2018) BOSTON — Rising gas prices have put a crimp in travel plans this summer as more Americans are planning staycations instead of hitting the road, according to GasBuddy’s 2018 Summer Travel survey.

According to the annual survey, only 58 percent said they will take a road trip this summer, a 24 percent decrease from last year, while 39 percent cited high gas prices for impacting their summer travel decisions, compared to 19 percent in 2017.

Inside the Industry

Ford moving electric, autonomous vehicle teams to historic Corktown

(May 25, 2018) DETROIT — Marking its return to the Motor City, Ford is moving its electric vehicle and autonomous vehicle business teams into a refurbished former factory located in Detroit’s historic Corktown neighborhood. Ford says much more than just a relocation, the move is a purpose-driven strategic decision, offering a new work environment and customizable workspace that will enable the acceleration of Ford’s push into electrification and strengthen its development of self-driving vehicles.

Nissan announces reservation program for Altima Edition One

(May 24, 2018) NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Nissan has announced that reservations open June 15 for the Altima Edition ONE, a limited production launch edition of the all-new 2019 Nissan Altima sedan, along with all other 2019 Altima models. The sixth generation of Nissan's best-selling sedan goes on sale this fall at Nissan dealers nationwide.The Edition ONE features exclusive 19-inch dark gray aluminum-alloy wheels, rear spoiler, external ground lighting, illuminated kick plates and Edition ONE badging and floormats.

Global Kia Sportage gets design tweaks, updated technologies

(May 24, 2018) Kia Motors has revealed the upgraded Kia Sportage introducing a range of enhancements to the brand’s European and global best-seller. The new model pairs an updated exterior and interior design with new safety and infotainment technologies. Powertrains are also fully-compliant with future emissions stanrds.

Abandoned Car of the Week

Popular mid-century tractor

This retired copy of an Allis Chalmers Model B tractor was found in a barn in eastern North Carolina. The Model B — built between 1937 and 1957 — was one of the company's most popular and versatile tractors. Over the years the Model B came in several variations, powered by a 4-cylinder gas engine.
(Photos by Jim Meachen)