Mercedes-Benz (CLA), Lincoln (MKC) and Audi (A3) aren’t the only automakers searching for additional sales volume by moving
downmarket to smaller vehicles that are intended to hopefully maintain the brand’s character at a lower price point. The idea is to then keep those buyers as they move to larger, more-profitable models. The latest brand to take a play from this book is Jeep, with the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade.
It wouldn’t be a proper auto show without a new limited-edition Mustang making its debut. With an all-new Mustang about to hit the streets, Ford is eager to begin making special editions with its new blank canvas. On the occasion of the iconic car’s 50th anniversary this week, New York was the perfect place to reveal the 2015 Ford Mustang 50th Anniversary Limited Edition. It remains to be seen whether there will eventually be a GT500, Super Snake, KR, Bullitt, Mach 1, Boss 302, or even Warriors in Pink Breast Cancer Awareness model, but we’ll start with the 50th anniversary car.
Having a track record of success can lead to complacency. Success is not easy and is not typically sustainable without considerable effort. In Toyota’s case, having the Camry as the best-selling car (note: full-size trucks kill it in sales) for the past dozen years allowed it to take its eye off the ball for the past few. The new-for-2012 Camry attempted to add a nicer interior, more style, and better performance, but competitors are constantly upping their game, and the 2012 Camry was not setting the class benchmark.
I’ve always enjoyed driving the Lexus IS, certainly much more so than other Lexus models. ES? RX? Pshaw. Though I’ve never owned one, I have gotten close to doing so twice, only to have the purchase vetoed by my ever-sensible wife. Does the all-new third-generation 2014 Lexus IS 350 AWD finally appease my wife’s reservations? Read on to find out.
It’s hard to overstate what huge plans Toyota had for the its then-new Tundra pickup, circa 2007. The company spent a fortune developing their jumbo-sized 2007 Tundra, talking to people who used trucks (though every truck manufacturer says they do that), shedding the “good but small” mantra of the first-generation Tundra and going with a truck that went toe-to-toe with the dominant American-brand pickups. Toyota even built an all-new factory for the Tundra in San Antonio, Texas, in the heart of truck country. Strong initial sales tapered off, and the Tundra remained an also-ran while GM, Ford, and Ram sold hundreds of thousands of pickups. Toyota reckons it’s time to fire another salvo in the pickup wars, so we spent a week with the refreshed 2014 Tundra to see how the truck stacks up against some tough competition.
You probably know a woman who is smart, very clever, and well-dressed enough that it isn’t readily apparent she is carrying around more weight than you first might believe. She really opens herself up when she escapes in warm climates, and is otherwise buttoned down and conservative.
The Toyota Avalon is all new for 2013, having debuted earlier this year. Despite being new from the ground up, its mission remains unchanged-the Avalon is a softly-sprung, large near-luxury car geared toward traditional American-style comfort/luxury in the vein of Oldsmobile or Buick vehicles from the 1980s, rather than attempting to be sporty or aggressive. For 2013, the Avalon is available with either a 200 HP hybrid powertrain, or a 268 HP 3.5 liter V6. Both versions feature more upscale, modern styling than its predecessor, which we reviewed in 2011.
I can remember as a child riding along in our family’s Suburban when my mother would pick up my grandma to take her to an appointment. We’d either have to bring along a stool to assist with her ingress or nearly lift her into the large truck. I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of “soccer moms” who are roughly the size of my late Grandma Haak driving hulking SUVs and minivans, and you might be struck by the irony of a small person in a large vehicle. Then there is the opposite situation – big people in small cars. One of the funniest things I ever saw was a giant guy – probably 6’6″, 250 pounds – standing next to his broken down original Mini Cooper along the highway. The point is, there are just some cars that don’t seem to fit certain drivers.