With Ranger, Bronco and Wagoneer, classic cars make big comeback at Detroit auto show

By Carol Christian, Chron.com / Houston Chronicle Updated 3:59 pm, Thursday, January 12, 2017 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-10', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 10', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-15', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 15', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-20', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 20', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-25', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 25', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-30', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 30', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-35', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 35', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-40', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 40', Continue Reading

Safety and reliability define the best used cars for teens to drive that are priced under $15,000

Teenaged drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a collision than a person who is age 20 or higher. That’s what the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says, and the reasons for this are a combination of inexperience, immaturity, and in many cases, alcohol use. According to IIHS data, in 2014, a total of 1,914 teenagers died driving a car, riding a motorcycle, or riding in a car driven by a teenager. That’s 5.25 teens dying every single day, one every four hours, 34 minutes, and 20 seconds. You don’t want your kid to become one of these statistics. So you need to get your child the safest possible car to drive. Assuming that you’re not planning to buy a new car, which would be the safest but most expensive solution, you want to find a good used car for your son or daughter. You want it to be safe, dependable, and reasonably affordable to insure. We’ve compiled a list of models that meet these criteria and which can be purchased for less than $15,000 and with fewer than 100,000 miles. That’s a generous budget for a teenager, yes, but you want to buy the newest car you can, and in a country where everyone drives heavy pickup trucks and SUVs, you want to get a car that weighs at least 3,000 pounds. Unless you have no other choice, do not buy a small, light, older vehicle for your teenager to drive, because one government safety group claims that the fatality rate is four times higher in older vehicles than in newer ones. Before we get to the list, this is the process we used to determine the cars that made the final cut: We started our research with the list of recommended used vehicles for teen drivers that is compiled by the IIHS, ensuring that each vehicle below comes with stability control. Next, we cross-referenced IIHS crash-test data with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash-test data, and kicked everything off of the list Continue Reading

Crazy camping cars – BMW electrics to all-wheel-drive Lamborghinis

What does it take to go camping these days? Die-hard campers swear by nothing more than a tent and a swath of multi-tools, while some outdoor enthusiasts prefer hauling everything they own atop a camper. When a clean toilet and the occasional connection to a 4G network are seen as luxury amenities, it’s vital that your choice of camping vehicle be well thought-out. FOLLOW DAILY NEWS AUTOS ON FACEBOOK. 'LIKE US HERE.' Whether your camp site is in the hinterlands, or in your very own backyard (stocked with scary stories and a bag of marshmallows), consider these choices for a most memorable experience: All-in-one glamping: 2015 Airstream Interstate Grand Tour Who says that all camping trips must conform to be down-and-dirty affairs? After spending a limited amount of time with the Airstream Interstate Grand Tour, we can confirm that there is plenty of joy in stylishly arriving, parking, and relaxing. Although the Interstate shares fun-to-drive attributes with the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, upon which it’s based, the real pleasure is luxuriating in the rear compartment. A full kitchen offers a world of possibilities at the camp site, as does an airplane-size bathroom with a working shower. Rent or buy one, and instantly become the darling of the van contingent at every campsite. Vital Stats: 2015 Airstream Interstate Grand Tour Price: $155,060 (excluding destination fee, includes donor Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500) Powertrain: Rear-wheel drive, 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine, 188-hp, 325 lb.-ft. of torque, 5-speed automatic transmission Best camping feature: Enhancing the greater outdoors, from within. Haul any trailer: 2016 Chevrolet Colorado diesel If your idea of camping involves tailgating and long nights staring at the stars, there are few pickup trucks that do it better than the Chevrolet Colorado diesel. The standard Colorado – and its sibling, the Continue Reading

Surmount the snow with 7 of the best used all-wheel-drive winter cars for under $10,000

Whether this is your first snowy winter or your umpteenth, all-wheel-drive makes the necessary treks through the powder a whole lot easier. But if you’re not in the market for a brand new car, fret not! We’ve found 7 of the best used all-wheel-drive cars for under $10,000 that will soldier on for thousands more traction-filled miles. Grab a mug of cocoa and cozy up to the first in our 4-part series of the best winter-friendly used cars, SUVs, luxury vehicles, and trucks. 2002-2006 Subaru WRX It’s no surprise that we kick off our list with the holy grail of fun, affordable, all-wheel-drive cars. Since its introduction to the U.S. market in 2002, the Subaru WRX has been the go-to choice for rally fans, speed enthusiasts on a budget, and snowy fun-seekers around the country. Used examples will go for thousands more miles with proper care, so don’t be scared of any examples you find that boast well over 100,000 on the odometer. With the famous 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer 4-cylinder under the hood and a 5-speed manual (or 4-speed automatic, if you must), over 200-horsepower, and fuel economy to match many modern small cars, the WRX sedan and wagon make a strong case for being the ultimate winter ride. 2006-2013 Suzuki SX4 Hatchback That’s right, a Suzuki! I bet you didn’t know that for the last 7 years, before the company’s recent departure from the U.S. car market, Suzuki offered one of the most capable and affordable all-wheel-drive cars. The SX4 was available with all-wheel-drive in hatchback form only, and had the guts and capability to match Subarus and Toyotas of the time. With a 6-speed manual or a CVT, you could make the most of the SX4’s 140-horsepower 4-cylinder. Okay, it was no speed demon – but that’s why we kicked things off with the spry WRX. Models less than 3 years old with fewer than 60,000 miles Continue Reading

2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited full review and test drive

Full Car Details More Reviews Few vehicles outside of the sports car and supercar world draw this kind of buzz and attention, at least when it comes to questions from friends and family. Tell your posse you’re going to drive a Dodge Viper or Bentley Continental, and everyone wants a ride around the block. Tell the same group you’re test driving a Subaru Legacy sedan for a week, however, and those same tag-alongs suddenly want a whole lot of serious advice regarding the pros and cons of this increasingly popular, all-wheel-drive midsize sedan. FOLLOW DAILY NEWS AUTOS ON FACEBOOK. 'LIKE' US HERE. There’s a very good reason and, to borrow a phrase from the real estate market, a large part of this automotive inquisitiveness stems from one simple thing: location, location, location! Around the New York metro area, and throughout the Northeast, Subaru vehicles are seemingly everywhere, thanks to their reputation for ruggedness and all-wheel-drive capability. Remember, no matter if you’re shopping for a base Legacy 2.5i starting around $21,600, or a range-topping 3.6R Limited at nearly $30,000, Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive is fitted as standard equipment. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SUBARU LEGACY HERE. Given the wintry weather that has blanketed many parts of the country with snow, this alone can be a deal-breaker when it comes to cross-shopping the Legacy against rivals like the Camry, Accord, and Sonata – none of which offer AWD, even as an option. Only the Ford Fusion offers AWD, though you’re looking at a base price of roughly $27,000 when it’s added onto the SE trim level. The new Legacy is more than about traction on snow and slush. The balance of ride and handling isn’t what I’d call sporty, but there is more of an edge than what you’d find on most rivals. Sometimes when you feel a bump in the road, it’s not always a bad Continue Reading

6 best-handling new cars, SUVs, and crossovers on the market today

Looking for a new car that offers great handling is not an exercise in compromise. As much as enthusiasts complain that cars are becoming less fun to drive as technology and safety requirements evolve—and we push toward autonomous driving—there are still diamonds in the ever-softening rough. And they’re not out of reach for everyday driving. Think of this cadre as the antidote to unattainable hypercars and supercars. FOLLOW DAILY NEWS AUTOS ON FACEBOOK. 'LIKE' US HERE. These six cars and trucks prove that pleasure still exists in all corners of the automotive market. Read on to see why they’ve caught our attention. All-rounder: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata We’ve just driven the 2016 MX-5 Miata—the convertible that reinvented its segment—and we’re happy to say that there’s nothing quite like it currently on the market. The fourth-generation model is lighter and quicker than the brilliant-handling convertible that it replaces, and it loses nothing in the transformation. Lest you think that 155 horsepower isn’t enough pep for really spirited driving, factor in the Miata’s 2332-lb. curb weight, and you’ll viscerally feel the impact of its ability to have fun. Toss the Miata quickly into a corner, and it eagerly responds with sharpness and precision. Buy one already, won’t you? READ MORE ABOUT THE MX-5 MIATA IN OUR BUYER'S GUIDE HERE. Best at: Reminding us what it means to love driving. The one we’d have: MX-5 Club Price: $29,420 (includes $820 destination fee) Powertrain: 155-hp four-cylinder engine, 6-speed manual or automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive. Weekend track day car: 2016 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop MINI already offers a hotter version of its Cooper hardtop, called the Cooper S, but it left us wondering whether its dynamics could be sharpened to once again offer go-kart-like tightness and Continue Reading

First drive: Honda tries again with powerful new Ridgeline

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Honda, one of America’s favorite car brands, is about to take a second swing at building one of America’s favorite vehicles: the pickup truck.The all-new Honda Ridgeline pickup due to hit dealerships in June has more power, better fuel economy and a lower starting price than Honda’s first pitch to U.S. drivers, which garnered critical praise but failed to win large numbers of buyers when it was on sale from 2006-2014.Perhaps most important, the all-new 2017 Ridgeline looks like a pickup. Gone are the odd, sloping walls of its bed and the triangular buttresses that linked the roof of the cab to the sides of the bed. Honda expects the Ridgeline to compete with midsize pickups like the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma. Ford is widely expected to join the fray in a couple of years.The new Ridgeline acquitted itself well in a couple of days testing in the Texas Hill Country. The new 3.5L V6 engine delivers 280 hp and 262 pound-feet of torque. That’s competitive with other new midsize pickups and a healthy increase from the old Ridgeline’s 250 hp and 247 lb-ft.The Ridgeline accelerated comfortably in the Texas highways and hills, pulling smoothly and holding its own in traffic. The V6 and all-wheel-drive system proved capable in light off-roading that including driving through deep, soft sand up a steep dirt incline. The Ridgeline’s towing capacity of 5,000 pounds trails other V6 midsize pickups.The key combined ratings top competitive gasoline-powered midsize pickups. They trail diesel pickups.The Honda’s EPA fuel economy rating makes up for that, checking in at 18 mpg in the city, 25 on the highway and 21 combined with AWD and 19/26/22 for the base front-drive model. Honda did not offer an FWD version of the previous Ridgeline. The automaker expects it to help boost sales in southern states, where snow is not a factor.The ride is smooth, absorbing bumps and cushioning Continue Reading

15 cars and trucks that make the best family vehicles according to Kelley Blue Book

Families come in all different varieties, so the same should ring true for the ideal family car. Kelley Blue Book recently compiled a list of its 15 best family cars, and the results range from work-duty pickup trucks - like the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 - to midsize sedans, like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Honda is the big winner in the standings, with four of its vehicles making the grade. Not far behind, however, is Toyota (3 vehicles), followed by Chevrolet (2 vehicles). FOLLOW DAILY NEWS AUTOS ON FACEBOOK. ‘LIKE’ US HERE. In addition to the pair of pickups, a couple other surprising additions include the cutesy Kia Soul hatchback and the Subaru Outback, the perennial all-wheel-drive darling of Snowbelt dwellers. "Once again, we recruited families to assist our expert editors in this laborious evaluation, putting the Best Family Car candidates to a real-life test, including vehicles in two new car categories – full-size pickup trucks and compact cars," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for KBB.com. READ MORE TRUCK NEWS HERE. "Evaluated on comfort and driving, safety, child seats, cargo space, rear-seat entertainment, and extra features, this year's group of winners are deemed the most worthy of family duty." The complete list of KBB's Best Family Cars can be found here: KBB's 15 BEST FAMILY CARS OF 2015 2015 Chevrolet Impala 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe 2015 Ford F-150 2015 Honda Accord 2015 Honda Civic 2015 Honda CR-V 2015 Honda Odyssey 2015 Hyundai Sonata 2015 Kia Soul 2015 Nissan Pathfinder 2015 Ram 1500 2015 Subaru Outback 2015 Toyota Camry 2015 Toyota Highlander 2015 Toyota Sienna Continue Reading

10 Best Cars, Trucks, and SUVs for a Summer Road Trip

Gas is cheap, people are driving more, and the Great American Summer Road Trip is back in style! There’s no country in the world that does road trips better than the good old U.S. of A., and there are few better cars, trucks, and SUVs for the job than these 10 open road all-stars. From fuel-sipping hybrids to high-strung sports cars, whatever sort of adventure you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered. Check out our ten favorite summer rides below. 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Coupe Chevrolet completely overhauled the Camaro for its sixth generation, and we'd go so far as to say it's the best one yet, not to mention the best-driving muscle car out there (sorry, Ford Mustang). With a turbocharged 4-cylinder, powerful V6 or mighty V8, there's a Camaro for everyone, and hardly a better all-American vehicle to take on the open road with. 2016 GMC Canyon Diesel The Canyon is the spiritual twin of our DNA Award-winning truck of the year, the Chevy Colorado, and as such, it's the complete all-around package in a fancier suit. The Canyon gets even better with a turbocharged diesel engine, capable of pushing it close to 30 miles per gallon on the highway and up to 600 miles on one tank. Heck, it can even tow around 7,000 pounds! That makes for a truck that can do it all, and the perfect truck for gathering all your things and hitting the open road. 2016 Honda Accord Sedan The Accord has always been the midsize sedan of choice for those who want to do things a little different from the norm (read: Toyota Camry), and with a complete refresh and all-new tech features, the 2016 version is better than ever. Whether it's carving up the backroads or eating up highway miles, there are few things an Accord can't do and few places it won't go, especially with Apple CarPlay functionality at your side. 2016 Jaguar F-Type Convertible Is Continue Reading

Buying American: How to choose a car, truck, or SUV that is ‘Made in America’

During the weekend prior to America’s celebration of 241 years of independence, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) will hold a race at Daytona International Speedway. Contestants will drive vehicles that are styled to resemble the Chevrolet SS, Ford Fusion, and Toyota Camry, and after racing ‘em on Sunday, these car companies hope that NASCAR fans will buy ‘em on Monday. Here’s a red, white, and blue trivia challenge: Can you guess which member of this trio is the most American car of the three? If you think the Camry is the most American, give yourself a fist bump and grab a cold one, because you’re right. According to American University’s Kogod School of Business in Washington D.C., the Camry’s “total domestic content” measures 78.5%, while the Ford Fusion’s measures 48.5%. What about the Chevrolet SS? Now discontinued, the SS was not included in American University’s “Made in America Auto Index 2017.” Last year, however, the Chevy SS mustered a TDC of just 13.5%. So what, exactly, is going on here? After all, the Camry is a Japanese midsize sedan, right? It’s not as easy as that. People realize that no vehicle sold in the U.S. is 100% American. People also realize that it is almost impossible to quantify which of the parts came from where, and what percentage of the total effort involved in creating the vehicle, from the sketch on the drawing board to the final product rolling off of an assembly line, qualifies as “American.” Therefore, consumers simplify the definition of what makes a car American, ultimately qualifying any given vehicle by where the profits from the sale will flow. Thus, a Ford Fusion built in Mexico is American, but a Toyota Camry made in Kentucky is not. Then there is the conundrum of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which Continue Reading