For two years in a row, the Daily News Autos team has voted the Mazda Mazda6 as the best Family Car you can buy. From its alluring design and top-notch crash-test ratings to its fuel-efficient engine and engaging driving dynamics, the Mazda6 sets the standard in the midsize sedan segment.
Go big or go home, as they say. Or, in the case of Volkswagen, go to Texas where large personalities flourish. The rolling hills of Texas Hill Country served as the backdrop for our first outing in the German brand’s biggest vehicle yet: the all-new 2018 Atlas. This is the manufacturer’s first midsize crossover as the brand looks to become a full-line, family-oriented automaker. And from our short stint behind the wheel, the competition better be on the lookout as the latest seven-passenger people mover has got a loaded barrel of goods.
The performance sedan universe has repopulated several times since the initial generation of BMWs that forged the field in the 1970s. Over these past several decades, there have been many defining examples of the genre, but for now, let’s turn to the wallflowers. Those hot four-doors not in your face with monstrous power, enormous bling, bellowing exhausts, or military price tags. The quiet thrillers like the redesigned 2018 Audi S4.
In the automotive world, there are minivan drivers, and there are crossover SUV drivers. Minivan drivers blithely go about their day and extol the virtues of their functional vehicle while making stops at the school, the playfield and the big box store before packing up for the big annual road trip to the family cabin.
As full-size trucks become fuller and fuller (I swear I can plop my dad’s 80s Toyota pickup into the extended bed of a current-generation Tundra—or close), they have also become less brutish and more civilized. This isn’t to say today’s load-and-go haulers are any less capable. With average towing capacities easily surpassing 9,000 pounds and powertrains lead by fuel-efficient V6 and V8 engines, heavy workloads have never been easier to move and manage.
Let’s turn the dial back almost 16 years to June of 2001.
You may have come to this realization already, but none of us are getting off this planet alive, which may be one of the reasons Volvo does its darned best to keep the folks who ride in its vehicles across the Earth’s surface as safe as possible for as long as possible. As proof, consider that Volvo is a leader in developing and introducing safety features, beginning with the auto industry’s first 3-point front-seat safety harness, which the company began installing in its cars in 1958.
A classic episode of “Cheers” has resident know-it-all Cliff Clavin finally putting his arcane knowledge to the test as a contestant on “Jeopardy.”
What is luxury? Is it merely the whiff of supple leather and the click of highly technical features? Is it knowing that your object is composed of upscale materials that are expensive to obtain and perhaps difficult to maintain? Surely it must include the experience of possessing a name brand that others know is expensive and out of their reach, inspiring envy.
George Jetson, patriarch of the futuristic 1960s cartoon “The Jetsons,” commuted to work in a flying car that emitted a tiny puff of white steam, likely a by-product of the cooling system attached to the space vehicle’s miniature nuclear reactor.