Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

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275

May 5, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

Ford F-150 expanded portfolio: Harley and Raptor

If it seems like reviews of certain brands seem to come in waves it is because I get the vehicles by brand in waves. There are five companies regionally located here in north Texas that rep for the major automakers. A couple of them only handle families of brands, i.e. the Ford office delivers Ford/Lincoln/Mercury …

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209

May 3, 2010 • Autos, Events

Chevrolet celebrates diamond anniversary of Suburban

I attended an event today at the General Motors Assembly Plant in Arlington, Texas, that gave me cause for deeper reflection. Chevy is celebrating the 75th year of the Suburban model. A single product with three-quarters of a century lineage – now that is something. It got me to wondering: In this modern era of …

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125

April 22, 2010 • Reviews

WiebeTech ToughTech Mini pocket drives: Functional portability

For many, portability is a key determiner when considering new technology, and functional portability is an absolute priority. Myself, I chose to ditch the behemoth desktop computing system years ago in favor of a highly capable new generation of laptops. And as has been the case for my workstation at home, I am ladened with …

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294

April 16, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

2010 Jeep Liberty offers bit of freedom from the day-to-day

Photos courtesy Jeep While Jeep heritage has been going strong for more than half a century, most of its product lineup is still in its infancy. Compass and Patriot are actually more like adopted children – loved by their new parents but not sharing any DNA. Then there is Liberty. The Jeep Liberty was first …

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279

April 9, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

2010 Toyota 4Runner the “Miley Cyrus” of SUVs

Photos courtesy of Toyota The State Fair of Texas hosted the world debut of the fifth-generation 4Runner midsize SUV this past fall. The event marked the 25th anniversary for 4Runner, and celebrating more than 1.5 million units sold since launch. “Backed by a quarter-century of heritage combined with the integration of the latest comfort, convenience …

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236

April 7, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

Ford’s EcoBoost a real “Ego”Boost

Ford’s new engine technology – dubbed EcoBoost – might be a bit misleading to some underestimating driving enthusiasts. “The power of a V-8 with the fuel economy of a six” may not have motoring maniacs lining up at Ford and Lincoln dealerships, but it should. My first experience with EcoBoost was in the new Taurus …

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119

March 25, 2010 • Autos

Ford SYNC Technology Hits Milestone

photo courtesy of Ford The Ford SYNC voice-controlled communications and infotainment system made headlines this week with the 2-millionth installation. While all new Ford/Lincoln/Mercury vehicles I have been testing over the past couple of years include this feature I must admit I rarely, if ever, use it. For one, I don’t talk on the phone …

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369

March 22, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster

For some strange reason (dumb luck I suppose), my time behind the wheel of the new 370Z from Nissan has been met with frustrating limitations. When first released in coupe form last year, I found myself only getting to spend an afternoon with the vehicle and most of that during rush hour. More recently, Nissan …

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123

March 11, 2010 • Autos, Events

Chevy launches social media vehicles at SXSW

Austin, Texas, home to the “Keep Austin Weird” campaign, is preparing for one of the hottest gatherings around – the annual South By Southwest Film, Interactive and Music festival – March 12-21. The breakdown is such: Interactive: March 12-16 Film: March 12-20 Music: March 17-21 Corporate sponsors have jumped on board and this year that …

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261

March 8, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

2011 Ford Super Duty the answer to the $64,000 question

Didn’t Ford just give us a new Super Duty, like, two years ago? Yes they did. So why a complete makeover for this segment? The government. Yes, lawmakers in our nation’s capitol have mandated stricter emissions guidelines for the (diesel-powered) heavy duty pickup segment for 2010 and automakers have hit the end of their “grace …

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190

February 26, 2010 • Autos

Suzuki makes Grand Vitara a bit, well, grander

The (possible) internal memo from Suzuki management to product team: “Make our sport utility Grand Vitara a bit grander.” Under the mantra of “Travel light and live fully,” Suzuki positions the Grand Vitara (along with some of its other vehicles) as a “lifestage” vehicle, not a move up or a move over.

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134

February 11, 2010 • Autos

Snow Day with the Nissan Z Roadster

Nissan sent me the all-new Z roadster to test this week. Woohoo!

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126

February 5, 2010 • Autos

As the wheel turns

With all of the headlines screaming recall, stuck pedals and brake failure, what is a driver supposed to do or think? First, don’t listen to the headlines or the top of the hour teasers as gospel, they are only there to hold your interest. Second, hit the good old internet, but take all commentary with …

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642

February 1, 2010 • Autos

2010 Chevy Camaro RS

, I admit I am old school and I apologize … for nothing. I learned to type (originally) on a manual typewriter and perfected that craft on an IBM Selectric. I learned to drive in the family station wagon, before I had to wear a seatbelt. I still look forward to receiving the National Geographic …

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170

January 21, 2010 • Autos

10 for 2010

Once again automakers rolled out some eye candy at the annual North American International (Detroit) Auto Show. And once again it leaves many of us wondering which of the vehicles on display will actually make it into production, will they be affordable and are they really practical. Inspired by this, I am rolling out a …

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198

January 15, 2010 • Autos

Mercedes E Coupe and Honda Insight

I am going to wrap a pair of vehicles into this Grinding Gears entry. As we head down the 2010 highway I need to do a bit of housekeeping left over from the last decade. This time around I offer a coupe from across the Atlantic and a hybrid from across the Pacific.

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113

January 11, 2010 • Autos

Detroit updates: Keep up with all the 2010 NAIAS news

For those wishing all the latest news from media days at the 2010 North American International Auto Show here are a few suggestions: Follow: @NAIASDetroit or @FreepAutos Automakers will be generating lots of news at breakneck speed at this year’s shortened media preview event today, Jan. 11 and tomorrow, Jan. 12. When it is all …

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228

January 8, 2010 • Autos, Reviews

2010 Ram Heavy Duty

As the automotive industry prepares for the 2010 North American International Auto Show I thought I would lead my ‘teen’ reviews with the vehicle that garnered truck of the year honors, the 2010 Ram Heavy Duty. Notice I did not say “Dodge Ram” as the vehicle brand. Chrysler has chosen to spin its truck division …

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156

December 30, 2009 • Autos

Grinding Gears top nine from 2009

This past calendar year has been an active one in the automotive industry. The federal government moved in to assist two of Detroit’s brands survive into the new year. We saw severe budget cuts, inventory and dealership reductions, reorganizations and a renewed push towards a “greener” future. As we prepare for 2010, much is still …

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168

December 16, 2009 • News

OnStar Connects Children to Santa with the Push of a Button

NORAD partnership provides location information for subscribers; Santa’s sleigh gets fitted with OnStar technology DETROIT –Santa Claus is getting a technology upgrade this Christmas season. This Christmas Eve for the first time, OnStar subscribers will have the ability to follow Santa’s journey around the world using their OnStar system thanks to a new partnership with …

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245

December 11, 2009 • Autos, Reviews

Jaguar and Land Rover spice things up but hold the curry

They may not be serving hamburgers at the corporate cookouts anymore, but luxury marques Jaguar and Land Rover still have the heart and soul of the British Isles. The 2008 purchase by India’s largest automaker Tata is yet to be readily apparent and each luxury brand is still about two-thirds UK sourced and about one-fifth …

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