Showing posts from October, 2019

Controversial! Manual Transmissions are Over-Rated

By: Anthony Fongaro Original Post: *Note: this isn’t my opinion. This article is more to spark a discussion. I love #savethemanuals. With that, please enjoy a controversial article. Some people are fans of electric cars. Others regale the days of the glorious V12s which are now few-and-far in-between. The same goes for interiors. While the days of analog gauges, non-infotainment systems, and simple controls hearken back to an easier time, trends are making those just memories. Most people, car lovers or not, accept changes to vehicles. Fuel economy, safety, performance, and technology are constantly evolving. However, there is one aspect of vehicles that isn't sport or performance-based that needs to go away. The manual transmission.  If you’re reading this and are a #savethemanuals fan, you probably hate me for talking about ditching the manual transmission. I’m sure the comme

Son of a Niche! SUV Coupes

By: Anthony Fongaro Original Post: In my previous article, I praised  four-door coupes . I love how they look in exchange for lost practicality while making up for the latter with charm and class. This is fine because they’re usually based on regular coupes or sedans. Great. Unfortunately, BMW had to mess things up. They had the excellent X5 and thought to themselves with a German accent: “We need to appeal to even fewer people. What if… we make the X5 ugly and harder to see out of?” Hence, the BMW X6 was born. Excellent, thank you, BMW. It sold well and now Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Acura at one point, and even Lamborghini have SUVs with raked rooflines. There must be a reason why I like sedan to coupe to four-door coupes compared to these SUV-coupes, right? When BMW first introduced the X6,  Top Gear  had Jeremy Clarkson review it on their show. He said the same things I was thinking. The X6 is a worse versi

Niche Time: Four-Door Coupes

By: Anthony Fongaro Original Post: Thanks, Mercedes-Benz. You created a car that literally no one asked for. What did they do? Well, in the early 2000s, they went to their E-Class, removed the hideous body, and replaced it with a different body. The new body looked like a coupe, but it had…four doors. With this, Mercedes-Benz created the “four-door coupe.” Let’s be honest—this vehicle, called the CLS, was beautiful. AMG created powerful versions that made the CLS even more appealing. Mercedes-Benz created a segment that nobody really asked for, but it worked. Granted, it cost more than the E-Class and was less practical. Both cars have been redesigned within the last few years, but these vehicles pose a question: Is a four-door coupe worth it? Audi, BMW, and Porsche saw that people liked the CLS and decided to create their own four-door coupes. Some of them are labeled as “coupes.” some are labeled as

Please Stop Using CVT Transmissions!

By: Anthony Fongaro Original Post: A friend of mine has a 2016 Subaru Legacy 3.6R. It’s a very safe car, has a good interior, and a rather weak engine. Oh, it also has a CVT or continuously variable transmission. When I talked with him while he took me for a spin, he told me he doesn’t mind the CVT and it is smooth for his Lyft passengers. While being a passenger in his car, the CVT did act like a conventional transmission, although it did dip in the rev range lower than usual. Then he floored it. Drone. It stayed at 3,000 RPM for at least five minutes. It was extremely annoying, but not surprising. Let me explain how a CVT works, and how I think manufacturers need to stop using them. Nerd moment approaching. You will learn many facts and you are welcome. As a surprise, a CVT is an automatic transmission. Manufacturers use this to improve fuel economy. What isn’t surprising is how they work. Ins