Key to the Highway

Observations about cars and the auto industry

2012 MPG Track Day: 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

The quirky looking Veloster arrived last year and was well received for the most part. One criticism was the sporty look didn’t deliver when it came power. Enter the turbo version, with 201-horsepower from the 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine. That puts it squarely in the ring with the Honda Civic Si and VW GTI. I wanted […]

2012 MPG Track Day: 2013 Mazda CX-5

Built entirely with Mazda’s new Skyactiv vehicle technology, the compact crossover boasts some best-in or class-only features: smart key with pushbutton start, 29 mpg combined fuel economy, 35 mpg highway, and a fold-flat 40/20/40 back seat. The 2.0-liter, 150-horsepower engine mates to a six-speed manual or automatic. While the CX-5 isn’t going to win a […]

2012 MPG Track Day: 2013 Buick Verano Turbo

Verano is one of Buick’s comeback cars, created to revitalize a brand many thought wasn’t going to survive. A premium compact isn’t a new idea, but it’s a segment automakers didn’t pay any mind until recently. With the 2.0-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder engine the Verano gets to speed quickly, but it would be quicker if the […]

2012 MPG Track Day: 2013 Honda Fit EV

It’s been said that if you sit still in an anechoic chamber – that’s a soundproof room for the less nerdy – that you can hear your blood circulating. The Fit EV isn’t that quiet, but the lack of noise is eerie, and not just when cruising at parking lot speed, but all the way […]

2012 MPG Track Day: 2012 Coda Sedan

Don’t feel bad if you just asked yourself, “What’s a Coda?” The electric car company was founded in 2009, which makes it a newcomer in a new vehicle segment. It’s an ambitious undertaking to be sure. You want to make a car? Great. Spend all the design, development and pre-production costs to make a few […]

2012 MPG Track Day: 2013 Dodge Dart

It wouldn’t have taken a lot of effort for Dodge to have made a better compact vehicle than the awkward looking, awkward driving Caliber. Even an SRT version failed to elicit much excitement. Enter the Dart; based on a successful Fiat sedan, it brings a higher level of techno look and feel to the interior […]

2012 MPG Track Day: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Aimed at buyers who want something that can leave the pavement but has city manners, Subaru’s new Impreza-based crossover replaces the Sport model of its platform mate. Ground clearance is the same as the Outback, giving it the ability to deal with more than just a gravel road, but less than what a Jeep Wrangler […]

2010 L.A. Auto Show

The Los Angeles Auto Show opens next weekend, and nearly all the manufacturers are back with something new to introduce. Given the dour mood of the past two years the atmosphere might be downright giddy.

Only 52.25 Percent from Here to the Good Ol’ Days

Half the year is gone, and with June’s auto sales figures out the annualized number for the U.S. market is 11.1 million vehicles. Sure, a lot of automakers posted big increases from June of last year, but the reality is the industry has a long way to go.

2011 Infiniti M Driving Impressions

What makes up a sport-touring sedan? Everything the 2011 Infiniti M has and nothing that it doesn’t.