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Auto review: 2016 BMW X1 feels more like a crossover, less like a compromise

Automotive / Automotive News /

"Is that the new BMW X5?" asked my neighbor. When I tell him it is actually the X1, two sizes smaller, he looks perplexed. "It has grown up!" Exactly. It has grown up -- casting a wider shadow from a body that's noticeably more sophisticated. It's pretty nice inside too. But is it a real BMW -- a legitimate driving machine?

Unlike the previous ...Read more

Auto review: 2016 Audi TT is a cute coupe with more style than power

Automotive / Automotive News /

The third-generation Audi TT is ... cute. It's a coupe that doesn't have the performance chops to compete with the thoroughbreds of the class, but has enough style to stand out from the herd.

The TT coupe has four seats, unlike the two-seat Roadster, but those rear seats are best used for a four-legged friend or to open up the hatch for more ...Read more

Mark Phelan: Smartphone app for fuel economy ratings

Automotive / Automotive News /

The best tool for comparing vehicles' fuel efficiency and annual fuel costs can now travel with you when you shop for a vehicle.

Fueleconomy.gov, the Environmental Protection Agency website that delivers fuel economy ratings and more for every car, SUV and light-duty pickup on sale in the United States is accessible on smartphones thanks to a ...Read more

Get ready to ride: Motorcycle prep for veterans and novices

Automotive / Automotive News /

CHICAGO -- As the days get longer, the urge to twist the throttle gets stronger. But before you get back in the saddle, take some time to be sure you and your motorcycle are ready.

The best way to prepare your ride for the season is to have started last season with a trickle charger and fuel stabilizer.

"If you didn't do the prep you may find ...Read more

Larry Printz: Collector duo creates Airbnb for classic rides

Automotive / Automotive News /

It's happened to all of us. Maybe it was at a car show or while walking somewhere on a beautiful day. An exotic or classic car catches your eye. Suddenly, you imagine yourself behind the wheel, reveling in the moment. Then, reality intrudes. You have kids, a mortgage, credit card debt and college bills. You have too many responsibilities and not...Read more

GM to invest $906M at Tenn., Mich. plants

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- General Motors said Wednesday it will invest $906.7 million at its plants in Spring Hill, Tenn., and Bay City, Mich., creating or retaining 904 jobs, the latest in a string of investment announcements by the Detroit Three in recent days.

GM said it will invest $788.7 million to modernize and retool its Spring Hill plant so it can ...Read more

Motoring Q&A: Can I trust my vehicle's oil change notification?

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I just purchased a 2014 Chevy Equinox that uses synthetic oil. The owner's manual tells me a light will come on when it is time to change the oil. This makes me nervous. I know someone with this same vehicle who had to replace the engine because it wasn't given oil changes regularly enough, even though they were done whenever the light came ...Read more

Under the Hood: My van keeps killing its batteries

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I have a 2005 Dodge Caravan with about 60,000 miles on it. Over the past couple of years, it's gone through three batteries. The first of those lasted about two years. Each of the others went bad in less than two months. When they went bad, it was as though there was no battery in the car. Tests of these batteries indicated internal shorts. A...Read more

Auto review: New Porsche 911 Carrera goes turbo

Automotive / Automotive News /

Porsche has been making 911s since 1963. So a new one is no big deal.

And outwardly the 2017 is just last year's model with a new paint job.

But inwardly this is a dramatically different machine. The 911 has gone turbo.

For this 911 Carrera 4S, the German car company has replaced the traditional naturally aspirated flat six engine with a twin...Read more

Fiat Chrysler recalls more than 800,000 vehicles to ensure safe parking

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said Friday it is recalling an estimated 811,586 mid-size SUVs and full-size cars in the U.S. to add a warning and mechanical safeguard aimed at preventing drivers from leaving their vehicles in the wrong gear.

The automaker issued the recall after an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety ...Read more

Larry Printz: Cars with a presidential seal of approval

Automotive / Automotive News /

If President William Howard Taft, the rotund 27th president of the United States, is remembered, it's usually for his girth rather than being the only president to become chief justice of the Supreme Court. But he also was an early automobile enthusiast and, after a fight with Congress, spent $12,000 on the first White House automotive fleet.

...Read more

Owners of emissions-cheating Volkswagens can choose buybacks or repairs, judge says

Automotive / Automotive News /

LOS ANGELES -- Volkswagen has agreed to the ground rules of a plan to compensate drivers of nearly 500,000 diesel-engine vehicles that were rigged to cheat on emissions tests, a federal judge said Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said at a hearing in San Francisco that the automaker reached the broad outlines of a deal that would ...Read more

Motoring Q&A: Resolving gripe with Toyota will come down to persistence, patience

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I own a 2014 Toyota Camry purchased in October 2014 that now has about 13,000 miles on it. I noticed that the headrests for the back seats are wearing badly. I did tell the Toyota officials that I drive my grandkids occasionally in their rear car seats. The Toyota people rejected my claim that maybe the rear seat material might be defective. ...Read more

Self-driving cars seen as a boon for people with disabilities

Automotive / Automotive News /

WASHINGTON -- As self-driving cars move toward becoming a reality for the general public, many blind or aging people and those with disabilities see a new opportunity for mobility approaching.

Advocates are pushing manufacturers and regulators to ensure that people with disabilities are included in the planning and development of automated ...Read more

Chinese firm behind Faraday Future unveils 1st sedan-type electric vehicle

Automotive / Automotive News /

BEIJING -- LeEco, the Chinese company behind the secretive automaker Faraday Future, unveiled its first mainstream-model car Wednesday in Beijing: a sleek, white four-door electric sedan with suicide doors called the LeSEE.

The company had shown a Batmobile-esque electric vehicle called the FFZERO1 at the CES show in Las Vegas in January. But ...Read more

Fixes for Takata air bags can take months. What to drive in the meantime?

Automotive / Automotive News /

LOS ANGELES -- The Takata Corp. air bag recall has become so massive that vehicle owners might wait months for repairs, which leaves many struggling to figure out how to get around in the meantime.

Dealerships are paying for rental cars, but some need to be pushed into offering them, customers complain. And drivers under age 25 or with weak ...Read more

Harley-Davidson adds Roadster to Sportster line

Automotive / Automotive News /

Seeking to capitalize on the urban custom movement sweeping the street bike scene, Harley-Davidson has added a new Sportster-style motorcycle to its lineup.

The Roadster, a 1200-cc V-Twin, features new suspension, drag-style handlebars and a chopped rear fender. Harley says this new addition to its Dark Custom division is designed in a "garage-...Read more

Charting GM's course on the road to new mobility

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- General Motors is on an acquisition and investment spree unlike anything since Roger Smith's purchases of EDS and Hughes Aircraft in the 1980s.

Mike Ableson, GM vice president of strategy and global portfolio planning, is responsible for finding the partners and younger companies that can accelerate autonomous vehicle technology and ...Read more

Under the Hood: 2012 Equinox is a real hassle to start

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I have a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox I purchased new. It immediately began to have intermittent starting problems, and they have developed into consistent problems. I took it to the dealership at 12,000 miles and 18,000 miles. Checks at those times produced no diagnostic trouble codes, and the shop workers could not duplicate the problem. The ...Read more

Auto review: Fiat 500e is pretty cool but cramped

Automotive / Automotive News /

Despite the growing appeal of the Tesla Models S and X, and excitement about a coming 200-mile-range Chevy Bolt, plug-in electric vehicles still account for a scant fraction of U.S. auto sales.

Though March marked the biggest electric vehicle sales month in history, according to industry publication InsideEVs, those sales accounted for far less...Read more