Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Test Drive: 2018 Honda Accord Touring 2.0T

I'll be the first to admit that we're a bit late to the party when it comes to reviewing the all new, 10th generation Accord. The car with the 1.5 liter turbo four cylinder has been out since late last year, and the 2.0 liter engine version has been around since about February. As the owner of a 2016 Accord Touring V6 though, I still felt it was relevant to review this car, as East Brother and I are considering it as a potential replacement for our current Accord. So how does it stack up to our current Accord?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Editorial: Ford Phasing Out Small Cars and Sedans Except Mustang and Focus Active

Image courtesy of IMCDb.org
It's been some time since we've posted anything, but after reading that Ford announced it will be axing nearly all of its small cars and sedans in favor of CUVs and SUVs, something needs to be said. If you haven't seen or heard the news yet, check out this article from Autoblog:

https://www.autoblog.com/2018/04/25/ford-cancels-all-cars-mustang-focus-active/

Or this one from Jalopnik:

https://jalopnik.com/ford-will-phase-out-all-its-small-cars-in-north-america-1825544784

This is a HUGE mistake. Not everyone wants a tall and ponderous CUV or SUV. There are those of us that still prefer the stable, low center of gravity offered by a traditional sedan, coupe or wagon. People constantly argue the reason for getting a CUV or SUV is because of growing family needs or space needs. Wagons are perfect for that purpose! Unless you find yourself driving over large, irregular obstacles on a normal basis, what need do you have for a lifted vehicle? Are you an actual off-road enthusiast? Do you actually use the bed of your pick-up to haul things on a daily basis? Go nuts! Buy all the big vehicles you want! The rest of us will do just fine with regular sedans, coupes, and wagons.

Another issue is the fuel consumption equation. The cost of gasoline in the United States is lower than in most other developed nations, and we seem to take this fact for granted. As the supply of petroleum becomes lower and lower, and the price of gasoline steadily rises, consumers who jumped on the SUV bandwagon are going to regret their decision. Unfortunately for these people, trying to get rid of their inefficient SUV or CUV will be difficult since no one will want them anymore. So why do we do this to ourselves? Who knows...

The CUV/SUV apocalypse is upon us, and Ford has chosen to herald the demise of the small car. If FCA and GM jump on the bandwagon along with Ford, then we know we're doomed.

At least the Mustang will still remain.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Product Review: Anker Roav Dashcam A1

Ah...dash cams...an often unlimited source of entertainment, but also a Godsend when the inevitable accident occurs. There are all sorts of different types of dash cams available now. You have ones that replace your review mirror, ones you mount directly to you windshield, even ones with back-up camera capability. I've been driving my S2000 for quite some time without a dashcam, but the fear of getting hit while I'm on the road now that I'm driving my S2000 a little more often again prompted me to get a dashcam. The S2000, being a small car with a low and wide windshield meant finding a dash cam that would be low profile enough to not eat up too much real-estate and become a distraction. Thanks to after Christmas sales, I had plenty of options to choose from.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Happy 2018 and Happy 5 Years!

OK, so it is a little late for a "Happy 2018" post, but I decided to intentionally wait until this day because January 21st marks the fifth year that my brother and began actively working on this blog. I wanted to take the time to thank everyone who has been following us, and that has been reading our blog regularly. I know that we both haven't been posting as regularly as we did in the past, but we're both trying to work around our personal schedules to try and bring you more content. Thanks again for continuing to follow us through our wheeled adventures, and thanks for being patient while we write (and  maybe even film) more material to post. Until then, here's to a better year for all in 2018!

(And here's a pic of my washed and waxed S2000 to celebrate!)

- West Brother

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Looking Back at 2017

2017 has admittedly been a somewhat slow year for us. With lots going on in our personal lives, it's been hard to post regularly. Still, 2017 was still an eventful year for us in automotive terms. As East Brother is currently on vacation, I will share some of my favorite automotive moments from 2017.

Cadillac Truth + Dare 

Earlier this year, East Brother and I attended an event put on by Cadillac called the "Truth + Dare" driving event. It was an event put on to highlight some of the technological and performance aspects of Cadillac's newest crop of vehicles. This wasn't something we covered here on the blog, but ended up on our own personal Instagram accounts instead. Still, despite the coverage, we had a blast at the event. The highlights being getting to floor both an ATS-V and CTS-V down a 1/8 mile course, and getting to flog some cars through a small autocross course.


Instagram

Speaking of Instagram, we finally have an Instagram account! I know, it only took us a few years to hop on the bandwagon. You can find us @eastwestbrothers.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

2017 marked the year Alfa Romeo was serious about returning to the mainstream American auto market with the Giulia mid-size luxury/sport sedan. East Brother and I managed to snag a test drive a few months after it hit the market at our local Rusnak Fiat/Maserati/Alfa Romeo dealership. While we both walked away impressed with how the car drove and looked, the interior was well below our expectations of a car costing north of $50k (as equipped). Of course, there was also Alfa's "legendary" reliability issues constantly nagging us in the back of our minds. 
A few months ago though, I had noticed that the dealer had vanished. Considering that at the time of testing, the Giulia was probably only doing about 2,000 units per month, it was really no surprise that Rusnak decided to abandon ship. It's a fantastic car, and I really want to like it and recommend it to people, but the reliability issue and company longevity issue really makes it hard to like and recommend. Damn shame too because it's such a fantastic driving and gorgeous looking car. 

East Brother's Chevy Bolt

East Brother acquired a new vehicle this year with a new Chevy Bolt EV. I was never a huge fan of his Ford Focus EV, but the Bolt, despite looking funny, impressed me with its performance and level of technology. Funny how we now have two cars in our fleet in a shade of  "pull me over" blue. I think we've agreed to stick with the theme and possibly get our next car in a similar shade of blue.

Vehicle Retirements

2017 also marks the year we sent two of our long term cars back to their respective manufacturers: our 2014 Acura RLX and 2014 Ford Focus EV. You can read about our respective final thoughts on both of these vehicles here and here.   
I hope that 2018 proves to be an even more exciting year for us. 

Stay safe everyone, and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Test Drive: 2017 Hyundai Elantra SEL

A few months ago, I wrote about how crowded the mid-size luxury sedan class was when I reviewed the Alfa Romeo Giulia. If you really want to talk about "overcrowded," take a look at the compact sedan class. Every single large volume manufacturer has a competing vehicle in this class (except for Chrysler, who abandoned that market - Ed.), so the number of choices can be...overwhelming, to say the least. There are a few standouts in this class though: the VW Golf, the Honda Civic, the Mazda 3, and the Ford Focus, to name a few. Hyundai's Elantra usually ranks relatively well when compared to other compact sedans, but just doesn't seem to sell quite as well. Heading out to Baltimore during Veteran's day weekend, I needed a rental car, and decided on an Elantra, as it was the most appealing vehicle available at National's "Emerald Aisle" lot at Baltimore/Washington International. Let's see if I can figure out why the Elantra ranks well in reviews, but lags its competition in sales.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Long Term Test: 2014 Ford Focus Electric wrap-up

One of our first pictures of the Ford Focus Electric
After three years and over 24k miles of service, it is finally time to bid farewell to our daily driven Ford Focus Electric. This was the first electric car that my wife and I have owned and was the start of what will likely be a legacy of electric car ownership going forward. While it was not a perfect car, the Focus Electric has quite a few charming characteristics that made it a fantastic daily driver and with a little bit of forethought, it became a perfect vehicle for how we live our lives. The ownership experience was largely a positive one, but also not without a few flaws. However, for a first generation electric vehicle, it served us well during its three years in our garage.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Road Trip: Brooklyn

Brooklyn is a part of New York City that, for no particular reason, I have completely managed to ignore for pretty much the entirety of my adult life. No matter how many times I have been to NYC since becoming an adult, my trips have always kept me within Manhattan or, at furthest, Queens. It really wasn't so much of a conscious effort to avoid Brooklyn, but rather the simple reality that I never had a reason to go there. And there is simply so much to do in NYC that unless you are staying for a good stretch of time, it is really easy to not even think about traveling to the other boroughs. But our recent trip to New York this summer gave us our first ever reason to visit Brooklyn and I realized that by having kept to Manhattan, I had missed out on what is a truly thriving and vibrant part of New York City.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Long Term Test: 2007 Honda S2000 post #8

Seven. Seven is the number of years that I have owned my S2000. I have never owned a car longer than I have had my S2000, and I see myself owning it for many more years to come. But in the meantime, has anything new happened with my S2000? Nothing major. With Android Auto now available to use directly through your phone, I have been looking for a proper mount for my phone to use in the car.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Comparison: 2014 Ford Focus Electric vs 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Before we had to return the Focus, it seemed prudent to take a moment to see just how much electric vehicles have progressed in the last three years. When we first acquired the Focus in 2014, it was a competitive, albeit with a few shortcomings, vehicle among the rather small class of available EVs. During that time, we have gotten to see the EV landscape evolve significantly as the cars have gotten a lot more capable and the availability of charging infrastructure has improved dramatically, both in terms of more available Level 2 and both the speed and availability of Level 3 DC fast charging. Comparing our outgoing Focus Electric with our newly acquired Bolt EV allows us the opportunity to really examine just how significant those changes are and what that means for the future of EVs as we see more manufacturers make commitments to joining the EV marketplace.