Review: 2015.5 Volvo V60 T5 AWD Cross Country
Jun15

Review: 2015.5 Volvo V60 T5 AWD Cross Country

Way back in 1998, Volvo introduced a variant of its V70 wagon that has since become nearly as iconic as the Volvo Wagon itself: the Cross Country. The intervening years saw nomenclature changes eschew the “Cross Country” name, simply calling the vehicle V70 XC, and then XC70. Seventeen years later, Volvo has revived the Cross Country nameplate in the US, with the 2015.5 V60 T5 AWD Cross Country. Based on the V60 wagon, Volvo has gone to great lengths to give the new Cross Country some SUV styling cues to differentiate it from its V60 roots- blacked out window trim and tinted the windows make window openings look larger; fender and lower body cladding emphasize the size of wheelarches to give the vehicle the appearance of being taller.

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Armchair Executive: Is There A Market For An Analog Luxury Car?
May18

Armchair Executive: Is There A Market For An Analog Luxury Car?

This is the weekly series where you, the Autosavant commentariat, are invited to take the reins of the auto industry, for at least as long as it takes you to write a comment. It’s all the responsibility, with none of the compensation!

Being a child of the 1980s, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that I have a bizarre fascination with the W126-body Sonderklasse, or as we know it today, the S-class. It was–and still is–my ideal of luxury, as dowdy and pragmatic a luxury car as has ever been imagined.

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Armchair Executive: Where Should We Move Our U.S. Headquarters?
May08

Armchair Executive: Where Should We Move Our U.S. Headquarters?

This is the weekly series where you, the Autosavant commentariat, are invited to take the reins of the auto industry, for at least as long as it takes you to write a comment. It’s all the responsibility, with none of the compensation!

Scarcely a month after being appointed president of Cadillac, Johan de Nysschen (formerly of Infiniti, formerly of Audi, formerly of a BMW dealer chain in South Africa) wasted no time shaking things up at GM’s luxury division, revealing that he would take the brand–and all its things–away from its family home, the Renaissance Center in Detroit, and pack it off to a high-rise in New York City. This is the first domestic GM auto brand to be headquartered outside of the RenCen since Saturn (next to its own plant in Spring Hill, TN).

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Review: 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium
May07

Review: 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

Back in 2009, I had the chance to review the all-new fifth-generation Subaru Legacy, and the vehicle I reviewed was the 2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium. Six years later, I found myself behind the wheel of the sixth-generation 2015 Legacy 2.5i Premium, which is all new for 2015 model year.

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Armchair Executive: What New Safety Feature Would You Push To Be Mandatory In The US?
Apr18

Armchair Executive: What New Safety Feature Would You Push To Be Mandatory In The US?

This is the weekly series where you, the Autosavant commentariat, are invited to take the reins of the auto industry, for at least as long as it takes you to write a comment. It’s all the responsibility, with none of the compensation!

Almost a year ago plus a couple days, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) put forth a requirement through its parent organization, the US Department of Transportation, that all cars manufactured on or after May 1, 2018 be sold in the US with a backup camera as standard equipment.

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Armchair Executive: Why Even Bother With Auto Shows?
Apr10

Armchair Executive: Why Even Bother With Auto Shows?

This is the weekly series where you, the Autosavant commentariat, are invited to take the reins of the auto industry, for at least as long as it takes you to write a comment. It’s all the responsibility, with none of the compensation!

Scarcely a couple of weeks before opening day, news outlets received a terse statement from MINI: they would be withdrawing their entire exhibition from the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). This is kind of a big deal; New York is a big show, one of the perennial “majors,” and MINI has never been considered a boutique manufacturer. As a subset of BMW, they represent a harbinger of new products and features from their Bavarian overlords. And they didn’t just give up floor space, either; industry insiders were expecting to see at least one major debut, most likely the convertible version of its newly renovated Cooper and Cooper S, or perhaps a look at the highly anticipated production version of its new, larger take on the six-door Clubman.

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Armchair Executive: What Would You Do If The New Car Market Imploded?
Mar27

Armchair Executive: What Would You Do If The New Car Market Imploded?

This is the weekly series where you, the Autosavant commentariat, are invited to take the reins of the auto industry, for at least as long as it takes you to write a comment. It’s all the responsibility, with none of the compensation!

I grew up in a household which, by and large, respected the value of the new car. We bought whatever had a warranty, and when the warranty ran out, it was time to start shopping again.

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Armchair Executive: Which Untapped Future Automotive Segments Are Ripe For The Picking?
Mar19

Armchair Executive: Which Untapped Future Automotive Segments Are Ripe For The Picking?

I’d like to introduce a weekly series where you, the Autosavant commentariat, are invited to take the reins of the auto industry, for at least as long as it takes you to write a comment. It’s all the responsibility, with none of the compensation!

We live in interesting times. Converging automotive technologies (like drivetrain electrification, automated driving, enhanced connectivity, etc) are advancing with frightening pace, yet the form factors themselves–the size, shape and mission of the cars themselves–have hardly changed at all in the last fifteen years. Small hatchbacks, large hatchbacks (served lukewarm and hot). Small vans, big vans (for commercial customers and large families). Crossovers of all sizes, from mini to Venti. You know the drill.

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