March 25, 2015

Confession #61: The loss of Top Gear as I know it stings like the loss of a show about gays

I hesitate to write about Jeremy Clarkson. There was something inevitable about his lashing out and subsequent firing from the BBC and Top Gear. But the fact the effective end of the car show as I was introduced to it came almost at the same time as the cancellation of Looking, the show I loved to hate. And suddenly, two shows I loved were done.

January 26, 2015

Confession #60: Better car dealers are not made with better decor

Photo: Creative Commons/Flickr

How important is a marble floor, free coffee and some nice chairs? Or an off-road test track and consistent branding? And is any of this important for your local car dealership?

Not if the dealers are hard to get to and still difficult to deal with once you get there.

January 8, 2015

Confession #59: The SUV-sedan is the strangest combination that won't go away

Most wagon fans have come to terms as much as possible with jacked-up wagons, if only as a way of keeping the breed alive somehow. With successes like the Subaru Outback, you can't really argue with it – and it's about all of the SUV many, many people need.

But the offshoot of this wagon-with-cladding trend is the curious sedan-with-cladding, the likes of which haven't been seen since 2007. Thanks to Volvo and the S60 Cross Country, it's back and as charmingly confusing as ever.

November 25, 2014

Confession #58: Mercedes now makes the wildest hot hatches, or whatever they're called

Look, Daimler. I don't know where you're hiding the old Mercedes-Benz, but I'm starting not to care. I longed for the days of the stoic W124s, but Stuttgart has embraced its lunatic side and it's having startlingly seductive results.

Case in point is the newly announced Mercedes CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake. Dear God, it's pretty much everything I've ever wanted.