Jul 12, 2019

What we're driving: Dodge Durango SRT

Dodge Durango SRT. Photo: FCA

Over the long holiday weekend, my family and I were tooling around the New Hampshire Lakes region in a white Dodge Durango SRT with bright blue racing stripes and black wheels.

What they're saying: The consensus of family and friends: it's one of the ugliest cars they'd ever seen (though it's not hard to see that my family is not the target audience for this vehicle.)

  • The Durango SRT is a hot-rod version of a family-hauling SUV, with a 475-horsepower HEMI V-8 engine — maybe a way to appease Dad when Mom wants a minivan.

Driver assistance technology is an afterthought: You have to pay $2,395 extra to add adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning and lane departure warning.

One feature that really helps drivers but is often overlooked in any car are the headlights.

  • The Durango SRT's excellent automatic high-beams were a big help at night spotting deer and a bear on the winding backwoods roads.
  • They come with an auto-leveling system that adjusts the beams based on the pitch of the car and automatically dim when they detect an oncoming car.

The bottom line: At $76,645, however — the kind of money you'd spend on a Volvo equipped with more safety and driver-assistance technology — there are probably more practical choices than a tricked-out Durango.

Go deeper

Self-driving cars could be more fuel-efficient than human drivers

Photo: Volvo Cars

The expected benefits of self-driving cars are widely touted: They will be safer than human drivers and improve access to transportation for people with disabilities, the elderly and the poor.

One other potential benefit: They will be better for the environment (and not just because most AVs will be electric).

Go deeperArrowAug 7, 2019

What we're driving: 2019 Kia Niro EV

2019 Kia Niro EV. Photo: Kia

This week I'm driving the 2019 Kia Niro EV, a battery-powered compact with a 239-mile driving range.

The bottom line: As with most Kia brand vehicles, the Niro packs in a lot of features ordinarily found in more expensive cars. The sticker price on my tester, outfitted with the top-of-the-line EX Premium trim plus a $1,080 cold-weather package and $1,000 worth of other extra goodies, is $47,155 before a $7,500 federal tax incentive for EVs.

Go deeperArrowAug 2, 2019

What we're driving: 2019 Toyota Tundra Limited

2019 Toyota Tundra. Photo: Toyota

This week, I'm driving a 2019 Toyota Tundra Limited double cab pickup truck, which came in handy for hauling our old refrigerator to Habitat for Humanity.

The big picture: Like all Toyotas, the Tundra gets high marks for reliability. The problem is it hasn't received a complete makeover in more than a decade. Up against giants like the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado, the Tundra just can't compete.

Go deeperArrowJul 26, 2019