I just finished writing a review of the Dodge Journey. As I did so, I was appalled by what Daimler did to Chrysler, and how that affected the products created by pre-Fiat, pre-Cerberus Chrysler. I was again reminded of, as an American, how offensive I found Volkswagen’s most recent move downmarket to larger, de-contented vehicles that were intended to be more appealing to American tastes. Is this how German automakers view Americans? Easily tricked by spec sheets and a “bigger is better” mentality? Time to see if a bigger 2013 Passat SE TDI 6MT indeed means that it’s better.
I’ve always been a little weird about iPhone cases. I am one of those guys who upgrades my phone every year, and the excellent resale value of the iPhone is higher if the phone is in great condition when finding its new owner. I have spent at least $50 or $60 every year on cases for my phone; I’ve tried clear plastic cases, minimalist cases, silicon cases, the iPhone 4 bumper, leather pouch cases, a BookBook wallet case – almost the entire spectrum of choices. But it’s only for the past year that I have been interested in in-car mounts for my phone.
Don’t think for a second that I am not aware of how fortunate I am to have an outlet in which to write almost anything I want to about cars. Plus, I get to drive nearly every new car that’s been introduced over the past year, sometimes on racetracks, and I often enjoy the perks of press cars provided by manufacturers. In return for “coverage” (a review, either written or video), we are given use of a new car for a week, including a full tank of gas and insurance. It’s a great gig that has kept many miles off of my own daily driver, a 2008 Cadillac CTS with just over 50,000 miles on the odometer.
When I was 16 and first started to drive, I of course began by driving a used car. It wasn’t a particularly fancy car – it was a five year old Pontiac Grand Am that my parents paid $4,000 for, and that they made clear was not actually my car. A car titled in my name did not come for several years later, but I remember at the time being glad that I had a Grand Am SE, not just an LE or a base model. At that time – 22 years ago – I decided that I would prefer to have a well-equipped used car instead of a bare bones new car.
Merriam-Webster defines ‘dust’ as “fine particles of matter (as of earth). The funny thing about dust is that it is quite literally nearly everywhere. Our bodies are equipped with mechanisms to deal with it (that’s what those awful nose hairs are for) and left untouched, almost every surface in your home, office, or car will accumulate a layer (or more than one layer) of dust.
As our regular readers may know, I own a 2008 Cadillac CTS. In August 2008, I fell for that car’s charms, and it has been a pleasant ownership experience, though not without some annoyances. Now that my car is five years old, I feel like I’m ready to move onto something else. I very much looked forward to spending some seat time in the ATS with the 2.0 liter turbo and six speed manual transmission as a possible candidate for the coveted left-hand parking spot in the Haak garage. But for reasons of cost, practicality, and in-car technology, I’m just not ready to start another few years of car payments for a car that’s arguably better than mine in almost every way, with the exception of two big demerits.