Ford Woo’s Baby Boomers and Dog Owners


(Photo: Ford Motor Company) By: Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press Ford is to unveil its redesigned 2019 Transit Connect Wagon on Thursday at the Chicago Auto Show, positioning the seven-passenger vehicle as an affordable alternative to the minivan for entrepreneurs, pet owners and grandparents. “Not everybody needs the DVD player and built-in vacuum,” saidContinue reading “Ford Woo’s Baby Boomers and Dog Owners”

A Window into the Future? Record number of car buyers ‘upside down’ on trade-ins


Record number of car buyers ‘upside down’ on trade-ins BY:Greg Gardiner/Detroit Free Press The wave of easy credit and longer auto loans has left a record percentage of consumers trading in vehicles that are worth less than what they owe on their loans. In auto finance parlance, these folks are underwater, or upside down. They already are affectingContinue reading “A Window into the Future? Record number of car buyers ‘upside down’ on trade-ins”

Minivan Chic? 2017 Chrysler Pacifica


  By: Mark Phelan/Detroit Free Press   Early talk about the ★★★★ 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan focused on risk. Chrysler gambled when it revived the Pacifica name and dropped Town & Country. It rolled the dice by breaking from the looks of previous minivans and announcing it will eventually discontinue the Dodge Grand Caravan. ValidContinue reading “Minivan Chic? 2017 Chrysler Pacifica”

Mark Phelan @ Detroit Free Press Say’s 2016 Cadillac ATS-V leaves luxury rivals in dust


The fast and luxurious ★★★★ 2016 Cadillac ATS-V coupe continues Cadillac’s assault on the BMW M Sport and Mercedes-Benz AMG high-performance brands. Those factory super tuners are the only other nameplates that are in the game with the sleek ATS-V. The Caddy hits 60 m.p.h. in 3.8 seconds, has a terminal velocity of 189 m.p.h.Continue reading “Mark Phelan @ Detroit Free Press Say’s 2016 Cadillac ATS-V leaves luxury rivals in dust”

Automakers’ dependence on China sharpens share declines


A man reacts as he looks at stock markets at a brokerage house in Shanghai China, Monday.  The Shanghai Composite index fell by 8.5 % Monday.  Photo Associated Press On what is shaping up to be one of the ugliest days ever on financial markets, General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler are taking body blowsContinue reading “Automakers’ dependence on China sharpens share declines”

VW and Audi diesels reach out to U.S. drivers


Why do people buy diesel-powered vehicles? Should you consider one? By Mark Phelan/Detroit Free Press The ★★★ 2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen TDI station wagon and the ★★★ 2015 Audi A3 TDI sedan provide some answers to those questions. Both cars combine excellent fuel economy with lively performance, features that have long made diesels popular inContinue reading “VW and Audi diesels reach out to U.S. drivers”

Do good auto quality scores produce sales and profits?


By: Mark Phelan/Detroit Free Press Should you care if a new Chevrolet is less than 1% more likely to have a problem than a new Toyota? If a new Honda is 2.8% more likely to have a problem than either? Some people who follow the auto industry carefully found themselves asking those questions recently afterContinue reading “Do good auto quality scores produce sales and profits?”

Underwhelming Mercedes-Benz CLA250 compact falls short on refinement and finish


By:Mark Phelan/Detroit Free Press Based on the serving-platter-sized badge in the grille, Mercedes-Benz doesn’t want there to be any question about whether the two-star 2014 CLA250 compact sedan is a “true” Mercedes. But it takes more than a three-pointed star to make a luxury car. The new baby Benz comes up short on refinement andContinue reading “Underwhelming Mercedes-Benz CLA250 compact falls short on refinement and finish”

2013 Ford Fusion has elegance, but also small flaws


The ambitious  2013 Ford Fusion comes tantalizingly close to setting a new standard for midsize sedans. A number of nagging little flaws hold it short of that, but there’s a lot to like about the elegant and advanced new Ford. In almost any other year, the new Fusion would be a jaw-dropping achievement. Arriving withinContinue reading “2013 Ford Fusion has elegance, but also small flaws”