Not really the base models. Just the base engine. You can get a Forester 2.5i 6-speed with Premium trim and sunroof. It's similar for the Impreza and XV Crosstek. Premium and Premium Sport trims can be had with a manual. But the Limiteds are CVT only, I think. » 2/27/15 10:49am 2/27/15 10:49am

Not really a huge waste of cash. The entirety of the FCV program has generated IP totaling 5,680 patents, all of which has been made freely available. This Toyota acting like a Bell Labs or, more accurately, an IBM, which functions more as a contract research company these days. I'm willing to bet at least some of… » 2/25/15 9:27am 2/25/15 9:27am

Great point. The difference between what a dealer will offer and what a private party sale will realistically fetch is well worth an hour or two of aggravation. Dealerships charge a *lot* for the convenience of not having to unload an old vehicle. It's a raw deal for the consumer. On my last private sale, that… » 2/23/15 11:30am 2/23/15 11:30am

Good lord, the same SM is still there?! It's a white car from what I remember. I'm no longer in Maine, so I haven't been back to that area (although I'm occasionally Downeast). I'm glad the shop is still up and running. The DS19 I saw was claimed to have been the one used in a Mel Gibson movie. » 2/23/15 11:10am 2/23/15 11:10am

At idle, the typical 4-cylinder engine burns 0.01L/min, or maybe 0.02L/min in extreme cold. So you're saving pennies, even at 8USD. The benefits of letting a frigid car warm up to operating temperature have been well covered here recently, and could easily offset the fuel being burned at idle. » 2/20/15 12:39pm 2/20/15 12:39pm

The tough part to determine is average person. Drivers in the 19-aughts were wealthy and elite white Europeans and Americans. If you count them, then you could argue for that decade. At least one Darracq and several Benzes were making more than 200 hp in that decade. » 2/20/15 12:09pm 2/20/15 12:09pm

I looked closely at one of these recently but we went with an almost new Saab at similar money. This is a good choice, and so is the E46 wagon, which has a pre-xDrive system. The only caveat when comparing this to an E30 is weight: the E91 is about 800 lbs heftier than even the heaviest E30. The E91 is still a lot… » 2/19/15 9:31am 2/19/15 9:31am

Good point about aircraft businesses, but Hispano-Suiza and Lorraine-Dietrich both made high-end automobiles for many years before the war started. The aircraft industry was a side business that became a big deal for Hispano-Suiza, but . However, Voisin (purely aviation) and Salmson (compressors and pumps, and later… » 2/18/15 4:23pm 2/18/15 4:23pm

The difference with the Porsche engines is that they are more "square" than "long". The issue with the size of the flat-12 showed up in the Ferrari BB cars, where they had to mount the transmission under the longer V12 engine, which spoiled any advantage the cars might have gotten from a lower center of gravity. » 2/13/15 9:21am 2/13/15 9:21am

Interesting retro-fit. Certainly not stock since I've driven several Syncro Quantums and have never seen one with a front locker. As for "best", the quattro I system (which is what all Syncro Quantums were given from the factory) is very, very good. But without a front locker it's not perfect, and the viscous coupler… » 2/12/15 5:52pm 2/12/15 5:52pm

I agree, but the Mirage is priced too high. If it started at 11 or 12K I could see the sense. But starting at $13K ($15K in ES trim) puts it against cars like the Yaris, Versa Note, Accent, etc., and the Mirage loses out in all ways except fuel mileage. It's an oxcart compared to a good car like the Mazda2. » 2/11/15 12:15pm 2/11/15 12:15pm

The $40K figure was given in today's dollars. The MSRP on the SVX in 1992 was under $25K, topping out at $28K or so. I think that's well below what BMW was charging for its 3-series at the time, let alone the pricier M3. Of course, the economy tanked around that time, sending the yen into a tailspin that drove prices… » 2/09/15 3:28pm 2/09/15 3:28pm

The PCV system was redesigned for 2004+ 9-5s. The featured listing is a good one. My 9-3 with the B205R had the same potential issue, but it went over 200K without issue thanks to full-syn oil, 5,000-mile changes at a Saab garage, and plenty of WOT to help burn the sledge. » 2/04/15 11:56am 2/04/15 11:56am

Great post, especially, calling out the BS on rum, but leaving out dry vermouth? It's pretty much the only thing to use with a "classic" martini so I would never consider omitting from my cabinet. As for Antica, that's great if you're loaded and drink through an entire bottle in 1-2 months before it goes bad.… » 2/02/15 2:09pm 2/02/15 2:09pm