What Are The Most Popular Ragtops In America?

Posted in Car Buying, Lists by Kurt Ernst | July 21st, 2011 | 5 Responses |

If you’ve ever owned a convertible, you understand their appeal. In good weather, it’s hard to beat the feeling of the wind in your hair as the sun plays through the branches of the trees overhead. Drive along the coast, and you can smell the sea air; sometimes, you can even taste the salt. At night, few things rival a top-down bast up your favorite road, with nothing but a sky full of stars overhead. Read More…

What Cities Are The Most And Least Domestic Brand Loyal?

Posted in Lists, News, Rankings by Kurt Ernst | July 14th, 2011 | 3 Responses |

Buying American used to be the only reasonable choice when purchasing a new car. Back in the 1950s, 1960s and even early 1970s, foreign car dealerships were few and far between, and most cars built elsewhere had spotty reputations for safety and durability. To generalize, British cars all suffered from electrical maladies, Japanese cars rusted through just as the warranty expired, Italian cars were only reliable until you need to be somewhere at a specific time and German cars were for the rich. Except Volkswagen, which was for hippies and college students. None of them fared well in collisions with big old American Iron, which typically had a 2x or 3x weight advantage. Read More…

Five Ways That Cars Are Like Women

Posted in Expensive Cars, Fast Cars, Favorite Cars, Lists by Kurt Ernst | July 2nd, 2011 | 3 Responses |

These two things are more alike than you realize...

I’ve been married for a long time, and yes, it’s to the same woman. In my case that’s a good thing, since she puts up with all my bad habits and we seem to get along just fine. I’ve also been driving cars for a long time, which makes me something of an expert on both cars and relationships. I won’t call myself an expert on women, because the most important rule you can learn as a guy is that particle physics is far more understandable than women. Try to picture rebuilding a six speed gearbox blindfolded, with your toes, while shocked at random intervals by a cattle prod, and that should give you an idea of the average woman’s complexity. Read More…

Five Tips For Staying Safe Behind The Wheel

Posted in driving, How To, Lists, Rants & Raves by Kurt Ernst | June 28th, 2011 | 6 Responses |

A friend of mine had his brand new Mazdaspeed3 totaled on Friday night. He hadn’t been drinking, he wasn’t racing and it had nothing to do with conditions. Turning left at a four-way intersection, he had the misfortune of being the first car in line. An oncoming Volkswagen Tiguan, driven by a 23 year old unfamiliar with the vehicle, ran the red light and broadsided my friend’s car somewhere north of 40 miles per hour. Thanks to the design and construction of the Mazdaspeed3, he walked away from the crash with a sore ankle. I don’t have all the details yet, but I’ll assume that there was driver distraction involved. Read More…

Good News: Car Theft Is Down. Bad News: Not In California.

Posted in Lists, News, Rankings, Safety by Kurt Ernst | June 27th, 2011 | 3 Responses |

Image: Jesse Bikman, Creative Commons 2.0

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, car theft fell for the seventh consecutive year in 2010, and is now at levels not seen since 1967. Overall, car thefts fell by 7.2 percent from 2009 to 2010, but the news isn’t all good. Car thefts in the top five hotspots actually increased from 2009 to 2010, and four of those top five hotspots are located in California. In fact eight out of the top ten are located in the Golden State, with the remaining two high theft locations in Washington. Read More…

The Automotive Bucket List: Five Cars You Have To Drive

Posted in BMW, Jeep, Lists, Mazda, Porsche, Volkswagen by Kurt Ernst | June 24th, 2011 | 8 Responses |

Image: IFCAR

Whether you admit to it or not, we all have some sort of a bucket list. There are things in our minds that we have to do, regardless of whether or not we’ve put them down on paper. When it comes to cars, there are certain models you have to drive at least once in your life; some are sports cars, some aren’t, but all have a certain amount of hype about them. The good news is that most can be snapped up on the used car market for blue-collar wages, as long as you’re willing to do some digging. I’ve driven all of the cars below and have even owned most of them, so I’m well versed on why they’re included. Read More…

Top 5 Burnout Cars

Posted in Best of, Burnouts, Featured, General, Hoonage, Lists, Rants & Raves, Top of the Heap, Videos by MrAngry | June 20th, 2011 | 2 Responses |

Ford Mustang Burnout
*Photo Credit:

Listen, like the donut, doing a burnout in an automobile is like a right of passage for a car guy. Now granted some cars are better then others, but that doesn’t change the fact that if you’ve never done one, you should come forth and turn in your “Man Card” immediately. Not only are they fun, but they’re completely irresponsible, bad for the environment and a total nuisance to all those around you. Quite honestly though… who cares. The following group of cars will let you shred pavement, incinerate tires and pollute the air quality at will. They’re also all American, because let’s face it, there are no better cars on earth to smoke the hides in then something with a big ole’ American V8.
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Less Is More: Five Cars Better In More Basic Trim

Posted in Car Buying, Lists by Kurt Ernst | June 17th, 2011 | 8 Responses |

The 2011 Mazda MX-5. Image: Mazda USA

As a guy, I naturally gravitate towards the biggest engine, the stiffest suspension and the nicest interior whenever I’m shopping for cars. Sometimes, I’ve learned, it’s best if you skip the deluxe model and go with a more basic one. Why? Because sometimes, less is more. Sometimes, a lower model captures more of the car’s spirit, in addition to saving you thousands of dollars on the purchase. I discovered this phenomenon when I bought my FJ Cruiser; it was meant to be a truck, so I wanted the cheapest 4wd version I could find. Later, I learned that that was a smart move, since the most important feature of the “off road package”, Active Traction Control, could be added for the cost of a $60 switch. Read More…

Akatuki4 Top Five: Worst Rental Cars Ever

Posted in driving, Lists, Rankings, Rants & Raves by Kurt Ernst | June 16th, 2011 | 9 Responses |

My God, we sent these to Europe? I'm so sorry. Image: Ruben de Rijcke

Back in the days when I worked for big companies, business travel was a way of life. I spent a lot of years missing birthdays and anniversaries, and I’ve driven hundreds of rental cars in the United States and Europe. Most are just like the hotels you stay in on business, and by that I mean over-priced and utterly forgettable. The days of scoring a rental car that your co-workers will envy are long in the past; these days, you lucky if you get a rental car that’s been vacuumed since entering the fleet. Read More…

Five Worst New Car Trends, Summer 2011 Edition

Posted in Design, Featured, Lists, Rants & Raves by Kurt Ernst | June 10th, 2011 | 7 Responses |

Infotainment systems: begone, ye spawn of Satan. Image: Chrysler Group LLC

A while back, I wrote a piece on the worst new car trends, intending it to be a one-time-deal. Drive enough cars, though, and you soon realize that there’s an endless supply of things automakers do that leave you scratching your head, contemplating just what the hell they were thinking. If the past year is any indication, this trend isn’t reversing any time soon; in fact, I generally cringe when I get into the latest, greatest models these days, wondering exactly what automakers have improved to death over the last generation. Read More…