Car and Driver, Road & Track, Motor Trend… They seem to be fading out. Motor Trend as a brand is doing the best, thanks to the YouTube video efforting… but I’m talking about the pulp magazine articles.
The latest issue of Car and Driver had a head to head comparo between the Toyota Taco and Chevy Colorado. With the outrageously imaginative idea to drive the two trucks from Tacoma Washing to Colorado. Whoever had that idea – demote them to Spell Checker. Because that’s just… not even trying.
But what’s worse about that idea, is that they missed the opportunity. They didn’t write about the Journey. If you take a long road trip like that – tell the story of the road trip and then talk about each truck helped or hindered that trip. Instead they just made it a long linear road test that’s about as interesting as watching the gauges on an emissions test. Tell a story and work the review into it.
Most articles I’ve been reading have been like this. Again, Motor Trend seems to be doing the best job of Creative Non-Fiction.
But Car and Driver and Road & Track are just boring to read and disappointing. Good photography though.
Between the two trucks though… The Toyota has had some slight upgrades but is still very outdated inside. It wins on the outside though, hands down. It has the right stance… some ground clearance and can handle bigger tires. The Colorado is just the opposite. It’s great inside the cab, and while handsome on the outside, it pretty much just an Equinox with a pickup bed. It needs more ground clearance and tires better suited for all terrain work. But then again, Chevy is just playing to the truck’s strengths – it’s a street truck. Chevy knows that. So Chevy isn’t even trying. But it needs to.
Toyota’s small work-truck reputation is built on being able to go anywhere and do just about anything. World wide. Chevy needs to build that reputation.
And how is it going to do that?
It needs the Automotive Press to push that narrative. Chevy needs to make a version that looks like it’s a tough SpecOps Warfighter that eats rocks and spits gravel. Then Chevy needs Auto-Writers who have no damns to give, and will take these trucks on some Orc-Hunting Adventures. Write about that and write about how the Colorado tanked through it all like it just didn’t care and would rather be on top of some summit. And they need to take that Colorado, maybe a couple Colorados… and go Everywhere. Do All kinds of crazy stuff. Write about the Journey. The Adventure. And how those trucks got them through. Write about it. Video it. The Long Way Around Style – with Midsized Trucks. Look what The Long Way Around did for BMW Motorcycles. You can’t have any conversation about Adventure Bikes without talking about BMW Motorcycles. Chevy needs to get that Reputation by getting out there and DOING IT.
Car and Driver is not going to give you that kind of article. Road & Track is certainly not going to give you that kind of article.
Maybe Motor Trend can. Maybe.
Let me ask you guys a question. What is America’s greatest car? What car is the icon of all that is America? Maybe we should ask those that don’t live in the USA… What car do they see in the American Dream? The symbol of the United State… The 4 wheel statue at the top of the flag pole. Eh, who cares what Jeremy Clarkson thinks… This is our car we’re talking about. America’s car. What is that car to us?
Is it the Mustang?
The Mustang is now 50 years old. And it’s been mostly a good 50 years. Never mind the Mustang II years… 1973 to 1978… Those were terrible years and I am not convinced anything good came out of those years. Interestingly, ’73 to ’78 were the very same years as the run of Kojak. Telly Savalas may have single handedly saved The 70’s, I’m not sure, but it sure wasn’t the Mustang II. Side note, according to the Wiki, Consumer Reports recommended the Gremlin over the Mustang II. Ouch. That stings.
Maybe America’s Car is the Corvette.
The Corvette is now well over that 50 year mark. It too has a long and storied history marred by that awkward time through the 70’s. But overall, the Corvette weathered that storm and really never forgot what it was quite like the Mustang. The 2015 Corvett’s styling is brilliant… it blends hallmarks over everything the Corvette always was, with everything the Mad Men at Chevy want the Corvette to be. Then they put in the best interior that the Corvette has ever had. The best seats, the best dash layout, the best cockpit area… It’s the promise of the Corvette finally fulfilled. Driving one, just for a few minutes, tells you that the Corvette has finally arrived. For it to be any better than this – It will have to run on a Mr Fusion and fly.
Both the Mustang and the Corvette share one thing in common for me. I never really wanted one until the 2015 Model year for both the cars. If you look at the development of these cars, you see a progression of development, with both cars getting better with every year… but 2015 marks what is probably the pinnacle for both platforms. Maybe overall the Mustang had a lead. Especially in 1968… Because of one man. No, not Carroll Shelby*. But Steve McQueen.
I think overall this is what saved the Mustang through those lean 70’s years. That and the fact there really were not a lot of good options during that time anyway.
In 2004 is when Ford started taking the Mustang seriously though. That’s when Carroll Shelby came into the scene, bringing with him the Cobra packages. Mustangs all the sudden became something more than just a habit for Ford. It became a real thing again. Something that they could actually show some pride in. They had gone past the Fox Bodies – which really were not all that bad – into that newer clam shell topped car that was just… not all that inspiring. They were like a place holder car until Shelby bolted in an Awesome kit. Come on, Ford’s Special Vehicle Team couldn’t do anything with it… The best work that they had done in some time before or since with any car was the Contour. When automotive journalists compare the SVT Contour to a BMW M3, that really says something. Too bad nobody paid attention to those journalists. Come on, SVT’s biggest idea for the Mustang was a 4 cylinder turbo. They should have put that in the Contour and supercharged the Mustang. Or something. I will give them credit for the Lightning… because that was awesome… and the Raptor… because that was even more awesome. But without Shelby, the SVT guys were just lost.
Okay, now here’s the thing though… America’s best selling car isn’t a car. According to AutoBlog, the top 10 vehicles sold doesn’t even have an American car in the list. You see that the #1 rig is the Ford F-150, and #2 is the Chevy Silverado. It’s been said that Ford sells about 6 F-150’s every Minute. But best selling doesn’t necessarily mean best vehicle. Motor Trend (my favorite American’ Auto-Rag) named the Ram 1500 as the Truck of the Year for 2014. I have to say, that’s a good choice. I drove a Ram 1500 from Vernal, Utah to Las Vegas, Nevada and I have to say… it was incredibly comfortable and incredibly smooth. It was a joy to drive. And that was, what, a 2012 model? The newer ones have got nothing but better. I especially love the storage boxes above the wheel wells along the sides of the beds. That’s smart. And the fact that you can get 28 MPG’s on the highway – thats’ incredible.
More than Car Guys – Truck Guys can get seriously argumentative over who has the best truck. Ford – Chevy – Dodge – Toyota… They battle like the families in Game of Thrones. I’ll let you guys decide which Family is which Brand. For me, there is something wrong with Ford F-150 that I can’t put my finger on. Maybe it’s the looks. I HATE the look of these new F-150’s. They look like they were designed by Mayan-Cylon Architects. That’s not a good look for a truck. I’m not a fan of the dual turbo V-6… Ford’s EcoBoost. Sure, it’s popular and guys that have it love them. But I’d rather have the 5.0 Liter… Now, the Ford’s 5.0 is said to put out more power than the 5.3 Liter Chevy V-8, but the Chevy’s has Cylinder Deactivation for more efficient highway driving. When trying out both trucks, I really can’t feel a difference.
As I have mentioned before, I do like the Chevy interior better than the Ford’s. The Ford’s feel like you are flying in Coach Class by the Emergency Exit. You might have plenty of leg room, but you don’t really want to be there. The Chevy’s is more comfortable, with a better layout all around. So I think between the two I’d take the Chevy**.
Overall, in my opinion, America’s Car for 2014 is the Chevy Silverado.
*The fact that Dodge locked up Shelby to merely gussy up some ulgy hatchbacks is something America should never forgive Dodge for.
**Actually most likely I’d take the new 2015 Chevy Colorado. With a V-6 of course. For economy reasons. This is a class of Truck that Ford has ignored for some time now. But that’s another topic. But if I was rich and could just buy whatever I wanted – The Silverado High Country edition with that 6.2 liter engine… Just because.
Continuing my Armchair Quarterbacking of Chevy; it’s time to look at the SUV’s and Trucks.
This is my ride. A 2013 Equinox 2LT. I own this. I got it brand new last May in 2013. I added a trailer hitch to it and other than that, it’s bone stock. This is a great car. Well, it’s really a crossover SUV according to the Auto Industry, an SUV/Truck according to Chevy, and a Station Wagon according to my friends. It’s got a direct injected, 3.6 liter, multi-fuel, V-6 engine that cranks out over 300 horses. It can really haul ass. I love the big bore looking dual exhausts. I’ve got 15,000 miles on it now, and the only problem I’ve had was a bad battery that was replaced under warranty at 8,000 miles.
Here’s the problem though. I keep calling it a car because it doesn’t feel like an SUV at all. SUV/Truck? There is nothing truck-like about it and there never well be. It’s a Station Wagon. Even the All Wheel Drive versions… are just all wheel drive station wagons. So let’s improve upon what it really is.
What I don’t like about the EQ is the lack of testosterone in the Shifter. When in Manual Mode, to up and down shift you have a tiny toggle think on the shifter. Come on. Let me play with that stick. I want to move the stick to shift. Not toggle the button. And also, when in manual mode, make it stay in the gear until I manually shift it. And if I want to down shift – let me down shift it. The EQ’s Manual mode has no control over anything – it only takes your command as a suggestion that it will consider later, down the road. Manual Mode should also involve a sport setting. An SS version would be nice too, because… Reasons. Really there should be an SS version of everything. Because having the option of More Power should always be available.
Keeping up with Chevy’s evident idea of taking one thing and making it a bit bigger… The Chevy Traverse is to the Equinox what the Sonic is the Spark. Basically the same damn thing a bit bigger. Again, this is supposed to be an SUV. What it really is, is a Mini-Van. Anyone telling you differently is selling something. The Traverse really is a nice vehicle. They sell very well, as I see millions of them on the road, just like the EQ’s. But they should be called the Transverse because it’s just a cross-dressing Mini-Van trying to look a little more butch. It even has Eyeliner.
Not that there is anything wrong with that…
What Chevy really needs to do though, is get off it’s ass and bring back the Trailblazer. Here’s a rendering of what that could look like:
Now THAT is a freaking SUV. And Chevy, when you do this. Don’t make it like how Dodge did the Durango and Ford did the Explorer… That’s what the Traverse is… a huge bloated Station Wagon. No. Base it on the Colorado. Truck First. What you need to do is make it something that can compete with Toyota 4Runner. Something that has some actual Off Road capability instead of the rival’s Dirt Road capability. Make the Trailblazer live up to it’s name. Give it the comfort of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, but the clearance and ruggedness of 4Runner. That’s the target. People would go BONKERS for it. I’d trade my EQ in on it. Engine options would of course have to start out with the 3.6 Liter V-6, but then give it that 5.3 Liter V-8 option. Because – BALLS. That’s something missing in the Off-Road market.
I’m loving the new Colorado… or what I’m seeing of it. Dropping it was a mistake. I really liked the last one. I did. I had a friend who got one and I was jealous. A great little truck. But it was rather gutless. You had rather weak engine options in it.
Chevy really needs to do something to answer to the Ford Raptor. Toyota brought out some cosmetic upgrades to make their truck look like a Raptor type Rig… but it’s only weak sauce. So here is what you do, Chevy… Go to YouTube and watch every video on something called the King of Hammers. Eat Bacon. Listen to Heavy Metal. Go shooting. Grow a beard. And then eat some more Bacon… and then let your engineers do a version of the Colorado called the Hammer. Give it some serious performance chops, and make it a freaking Off Road Super Hero. And put one in every Dealership. Get the Hammer Pro Team out and run it to the North Pole like what Top Gear did with the Toyota. Run it around the Nurburgring like what Ford did with the Raptor. Promote the hell out of it and show the world that Chevy has it.
One last thing, Chevy. Remake the Avalanche on the Colorado platform instead of the Silverado.
This is where MagPul comes in, as everyone knows, MagPul makes one of the very best magazines for AR-15 rifles. Some say the best. I have several and yes, they are indeed very good magazines. But now Colorado has basically said they can’t make them anymore. MagPul’s only options are to either A, comply with the law, or B, leave the state.
MagPul has said that if this law passes, they would be forced to leave Colorado. And since it did pass, I think it’s time get to moving. I think as Industry Leaders, MagPul has to. A solid message has to be sent to these Anti-Gun states. You can not be Anti-Gun, and yet enjoy the wealth that resident Gun Companies provide. MagPul gives a huge amount of money to the State of Colorado. Through Taxes directly, and through the Taxes paid by MagPul’s Employees via State Income or Sales Taxes. These Employees also cycle the businesses of others… because they need food, drink, shelter, entertainment, and everything else that people spend their money on. And Colorado as basically said “We don’t want you, but we don’t want to lose your Money.” That’s nice.
I’d like to see MagPul pull up their stakes and head out. Utah would be a great place to go, but I believe Texas has been mentioned. Doesn’t matter. Just go. Show Colorado that their stupid legislation as cost them and the MagPul’s community a great loss. I’d like to see all of MagPul’s employees move too. I know this is hard, but it would show the rest of the country what happens when they legislate a company out of business. This would send a message to the other Anti-Gun States, and Companies effected, such as Remington and Kimber behind enemy lines in New York.
Don’t reward Anti-Gun States with your Money.
This is Voting with your Feet. Rewards States that value your Rights, and Punish those that want to infringe on your rights. We need all of our brothers across the industry to look at a Relocation if they are in a State that wants to crush our Liberty. The Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade industry is almost a 5 Billion Dollar Industry. That’s a pretty big pull if it could be used wisely and all together. Thousands of small companies and employees. Some pretty big companies as well. Anti-Gun States should not get any slices of this pie.
And what is this 15 round limit supposed to accomplish? I can reload a Magazine in my AR in about a Second Flat. Same with any number of my handguns. Is this limit supposed to slow me down? Slow down a Crazed Psycho? How is this supposed to be of any benefit for the people of Colorado?
You know what happens when people are limited on the number of rounds they can have? They opt for bigger rounds. If I can’t have 30 rounds of .226, I might as well have 15 rounds of .458 or such. This is what we saw during the utterly pointless Clintonian AWB… High Capacity 9mm’s were limited to 10 so what did people do? They went to .45’s and we saw a huge resurgence of popularity for the 1911 pistol. Generally they only hold 8 rounds, but they are 8 rounds of a potent and military proven ordinance. So instead of limitations the American Gun Owner ramped it up and went with as much power as they could handle. This is going to happen again. Trust me. Go ahead and do an outright ban on AR-15 type rifles. A rifle that uses ammunition with pictures of Rodents on the box. And people will opt for rifles such as the Marlin Guide Gun that is fast handling and easy to use… and fires a round that damn near causes the Genocide of America’s Buffalo and can Curb-Stomp damn near everything that lives and breathes, walks and crawls, on this planet. From Prairie Dogs to African Elephants. .45-70 is a Monster of a Cartridge. But that’s okay, because it’s not fed through the rifle by a Box with a Spring in it… Whatever, you Liberal Idiots, you do what you feel you must. As will we.
Limit me to even one shot. And I’ll use a rifle that fires projectiles the size of Coke Bottles that could punch through Armor Plate like it was tissue paper.
Here’s the other thing about the AWB. Their are millions of these high capacity magazines out there. All a Ban does is make them a little more expensive and you change where I get them from. Because during the AWB, I still bought, sold, and traded many a High Capacity Gun. It really didn’t effect me. And I’m nothing special.
Prohibition didn’t effect people from getting a Drink either. For all it’s Liberty Crushing Efforts, what turned out from Prohibition was that it became more popular than ever to Drink and it ushered in a new form of Organized Crime into the USA to supply the demand of Booze. I remember staying at a big house in Northern Illinois some time ago. Big nice house. Had a huge – HUGE – ballroom and Bar. This house was a “Speak Easy” during the Prohibition Era. So you couldn’t go to the local bar that had to close down, that was almost closing anyways… you came to this house… which was bustling with people enjoying what they were not supposed to be enjoying. The owners of this house did quite well for themselves.
Much like the Drug Trade is doing now. Prohibition hasn’t stopped illegal drugs. In fact, you can now have former illegal Drugs in Colorado, Weed, and you can smoke it all you want. But you can have a Magazine that holds 16 rounds or more. How is that working out? Considering that we now have Drug Cartels warring for control of Mexico and Central America, openly, taking on the Mexican Government head to head.
This is all especially stupid considering that with a cheap 3D printer you can PRINT your own 30 round Magazines. You can make one as easy as clicking “PRINT”. Come on. Use some Common Sense, People. Gun Laws put people in Danger. If Gun Laws worked, Chicago would be one of the Safest Places in the World. Chicago would be a Utopia of Peace.
Because Gun Laws don’t work.
So many people out there wringing their hands about gun control again. These poor frightened, misguided idiots. I’d like to slap the shit out of all of them… because it’s people like them that have lead us to where we are now as a nation now that has incidents like these. I blame the Shooter for doing the evil deed, but I blame Liberals for creating the environments where these things can happen.
This Theater that the Colorado incident happened, was a Gun Free Zone. Trolley Square, was at the time of the shooting spree there, a Gun Free Zone. Columbine High School, a Gun Free Zone. Every place these Shootings happen – they are in Gun Free Zones or in Cities where the Police actively harass Legal Gun Owners who are Legally Carrying their Guns. Places where Guns are accepted – These things don’t happen. You Create a Gun Free Zone, you INVITE this sort of thing to happen there. Because these Psychos are not going to do this at a GUN SHOW – where I am sorry but the “No Loaded Gun Signs” are disregarded by damn near everyone with a CCW Permit.
Just one guy could have offered some resistance and could have stopped this event from going on like it did… One guy could have cut this spree short like the incident a few years ago at Trolley Square in SLC. The argument against an Armed Citizen Response is that the CCW Holder could have hit someone else. Well, yeah, that’s true… by Accident. Because the Evil Psycho Shooter sure as hell wasn’t hitting anyone by accident. This becomes a War of Good vs Evil here… collateral damage does have it’s risks. But evil isn’t stopped by running away from it. Evil is stopped when Good Men (or women) stand up against it.
The incident in Florida where one 71 year old guy stopped two thugs who had evil purposes… He fought back and no innocent people were injured. None. This old guy is a Hero. He was armed. He was not afraid. He took action. Right or Wrong – Taking Action is the right thing to do. Rolling over and taking one in the back of the head does no one any good but the Evil Doer. It serves his purposes…. that’s why he was there.
The Cops responded as fast as they could. We can not shake a finger at them. They are always behind the 8-Ball in things like this because they have to respond to the call. See, Bad Guys generally don’t do Bad Things right in front of Cops who could put a stop to them. Sometimes they are stupid enough to do this… but generally they try to avoid cops. So Police have to go to where the action is and then try to stop it. Usually they get there after the fact…. after innocent people have been killed. Also, the US Supreme Court has ruled that the police have no obligation to protect you. This means you are responsible for your own safety and the safety of your loved ones. You are the one that must make that stand in the face of Evil. No one else is going to do that for you.
Taking away guns from Good People only serves the purposes of Evil People. Even if the Evil People had no Guns… they would have used other means. IED’s are very popular in many places in this world now. Knives. Hammers. Clubs. If an Evil Person wants to kill – he will. He could have just got a big heavy truck and rammed into the line of people waiting to get into the movie. But because he used firearms – Liberal Idiots are making this to be a Gun issue. It’s not a Gun Issue – it’s an EVIL issue. We already have laws against Evil Acts… fat lot of good they are doing, eh? Killing innocent people is already against the law, is it not?
The fact of the matter is that Guns Save Lives. Dr. John Lott’s book “More Guns, Less Crime” should be required reading in every school as soon as the children are old enough to read.