2,593 miles in a 2015 Hyundai Elantra…

With a starting price of only $17,250, the 2015 Hyundai Elantra is more of a starter car than I usually drive, but when I realized I needed to head up to the Glacier National Park area and was going to be behind the wheel, I figured it’d be smart to rent a car rather than put all those miles on my own trusty Highlander. Fortunately, Hertz had a killer deal through AAA and it worked…Read More

Can College Kids Afford a New Car?

When Ford Motor Company approached me about a campaign tied to young adults buying their first car, I turned it into an interview with Greg Cerise, Ford Credit sales and marketing manager. here’s what we talked about… Q: College kids affording new cars? Is that even possible? Yes, it’s possible. It’s important to put as much research and effort into financing as you put into choosing a vehicle. There are ways to start building a…Read More

Learning about Ford Smart Mobility

I seem to be doing a lot with Ford Motor Company recently. First it was the terrific 2016 Platinum Adventure Tour through Yellowstone National Park, and yesterday it was a tech demo for the Front Range Bloggers group on Facebook that I run. The demonstration was part of Ford’s Smart Mobility Tour where the company highlights some of its amazing smart assist tech that’s making cars smarter and safer (even as we drivers are getting dumber,…Read More

Cruisin’ Yellowstone with the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum

I was already heading up to Montana when Ford asked if I’d like to be part of the Platinum Adventure Tour campaign that the company is using to roll out the 2016 Ford Explorer’s new Platinum edition. The leg I’d be driving would be Big Sky, Montana to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a modest 200 miles or so, but through some of the most beautiful parts of the United States: Yellowstone National Park and Grand Tetons National…Read More

Fun at the SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition

It’s been a busy weekend, but I made sure to find time to pop by the headquarters of robotics startup and tinker headquarters SparkFun in Niwot, Colorado for the seventh annual Autonomous Vehicle Competition, or AVC. The main attraction is a competition open to the public to create autonomous model cars that can successfully navigate the company’s parking lot and make it to the finish line. This is nowhere near as easy as it sounds…Read More

My auto vacation with a BMW 528 from Budget

When you think of renting a car, you probably think of finding something inexpensive, an economy car from the lowest price rental company listed on Travelocity or Expedia. I do that too if I’m heading into town on a business trip and seek to minimize expenses. That’s all good. But it turns out that a lot of rental companies have pretty, sleek, sexy cars available for rent on a daily basis for not much more…Read More

Driving the luxurious 2016 Kia Sorento

After having a fun week driving the 2016 Mazda CX-5, the car agency dropped off a 2016 Kia Sorento and I have to say that from the first moment I opened the driver’s door, I was impressed. The Sorento in this configuration — SXL AWD — is one of the most luxurious SUV’s I’ve ever sat in, with its plush leather seats, beautiful interior color scheme and big, bright, eminently capable touch screen navigation and…Read More

The 2016 Mazda CX-5, a very nice compact SUV

I’ve spent the last week behind the wheel of a beautiful red 2016 Mazda CX-5 as part of a loaner program and have really enjoyed driving this smaller crossover SUV that competes directly with the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 (even the name is similar). I usually drive a larger SUV, the Toyota Highlander, so that’s of course the vehicle that I use for comparisons. It’s probably not entirely fair as the Highlander is about $20k more…Read More

A Week Behind the Wheel of a Mitsubishi Outlander

Kudos and props to the team at Mitsubishi for loaning me one of their newest SUVs, the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander, a 4-door sport utility vehicle. The one I got to drive for a week here in Colorado priced out at $29,645 according to the Monroney, and featured a fuel efficient 2.4L 4-cylinder engine and split third row seats. It also had the optional “SE” package ($2600) that added a sunroof, leather seats, roof fails, power driver…Read More

An Afternoon Driving 2015 Toyota Cars…

Toyota kindly invited me to a test drive event featuring its 2015 cars, for which they rented space at the beautiful Coors Field baseball park. Separately, I’ve shared some photos from the behind-the-scenes tour of Coors Field, but I also want to write about the cars themselves. I have driven almost exclusively Toyota cars since I was an undergrad, including a Prius, a Tercel, a Supra convertible, a Sienna and my current car, a Toyota Highlander…Read More

You’re Always Connected with Chevy 4G LTE

I should start right out by saying that I’m not a fan of non-stop always-on Internet access. Sometimes ya just gotta take a breather from the Web, skip the latest email update and take some time off from those favorite websites or Internet-enabled games. If nothing else, it’s essential for your mental health. At the same time, there are also times when you are far away from a Starbucks, public library or other Internet hotspot…Read More

Teaching my daughter how to parallel park

As my 17yo A- gets closer and closer to the driving test — she’s less than two weeks away from when she can go in and get that glorious license that will let her drive solo! — we realize that while she’s done a ton of driving, she hasn’t really had any practice parallel parking. I tend to take this particular skill for granted because my Dad taught me eons ago and I’ve parallel parked…Read More

Review: Ten Days with the 2014 Ford Escape

As part of our great spring Southern California holiday, the kind folk at Ford Motor Company arranged for us to have an extended evaluation drive of a shiny new 2014 Ford Escape, enough time to really put the car through its paces. While we had the vehicle we drove all around Orange County (southern Los Angeles), along the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway, in heavy traffic (of course) and down to San Diego for some extended…Read More

Is Your Car Ready for Summer Driving?

Here in Colorado we have a very specific task that’s required when the weather finally transitions away from the icy grasp of King Winter and into Spring, with all its chaos and unpredictability: take off the snow tires. Some cars just seem to have less traction than others, so it’s common for Coloradoans to have studded snow tires on their vehicles. While they offer considerably better bad weather (read “ice”) traction, they’re expensive and not…Read More

In Colorado, we’re now done with booster seats

I just realized this morning as I looked around my garage and counted one fancy car seat and two car booster seats that I don’t need them any more. My little one, K-, turned 8 last week (I even hosted a party for her pals at the local bowling alley. Solo. Yikes!) and the Colorado law for children needing to be in a booster seat states that “under 8” is the criterion. So we’re done….Read More

My Week with a 2011 Chevy Cruze

Thanks to the fine folk at Chevrolet, my recent road trip from Boulder, Colorado to Santa Fe, New Mexico ended up as a chance for me to have an extended test drive of the popular Chevy Cruze, a cute little four door compact. The trip itself was about 800 miles: 320 miles, Boulder to Taos, NM. An overnight at the cool Dobson House “earthship”, then a pleasant 70 miles to Santa Fe, NM, where my…Read More

Thoughts on a week with a 2010 Chevy Equinox

As a participant, speaker and co-organizer of the Modern Media Man Summit last weekend in Atlanta, I was perfectly positioned when Chevrolet signed as a premium sponsor to get one of their loaner cars. I got on the list and a week or so before the conference, got a call from the Chevy team asking where we should rendezvous for the hand-off. Nice! I was originally considering a drive from my home in Boulder to…Read More

The economics of driving a taxi in Las Vegas

I’m in Las Vegas right now for the Blogworld and New Media Expo and took a cab, as I often do, cruising around from hotel to hotel, party to party. This time the driver, Frank, was in a talkative mood and revealed some very interesting information about the economics of being a cab driver here in Las Vegas. Wondering how these guys get paid? Turns out that one of their biggest sources of revenue is…Read More

My thoughts on the new 2010 Ford Taurus

Had a nice party invitation yesterday via Facebook: a reception introducing the new 2010 model year Ford Taurus redesign, with Ford Exec Director of American Products Frank Davis in attendance. Now, I’m not a big car nut (like a few friends of mine) but I am still interested in cars and concerned about the long-term health of the American car industry as a bellwether for the national economy, so I RSVP’d yes and showed up…Read More

The 100 Hour Test Drive: 2009 Ford Mercury Mariner Hybrid

Since I started driving, I’ve owned 10 cars: a Chevy Nova, a Chevy Malibu, a Mazda RX4, a Toyota Tercel, a Toyota Supra, a Chrysler Town & Country, a Volvo C70, a Volvo XC90, a Toyota Prius and now, a Toyota Highlander Hybrid. That’s a lot of cars. I’ve been to auto shows and certainly have the basics of car ownership down, though I’m definitely not a car nut or fanatic. In fact, there are…Read More

Banning cell phones in cars: good idea or bad?

I don’t know if it’s just me trying to compensate for having gone to an undergraduate school where we didn’t have a community around us (UC San Diego), but I’ve always really loved college towns. From my experiences in West Lafayette, Indiana where everything was Purdue-centric to our current home town of Boulder Colorado, built around the University of Colorado, college towns are my favorite sort of places. That’s one reason that a story about…Read More