Road Test: 2019 Ford Ranger Lariat

Most of the time, I’m interested in either Volvos, 1970s-era Broughams and modern Lincolns and Cadillacs. This is of course reflected here on this fine site. However, I do try from time to time to expand my horizons. Like last year, when I test drove a new 2018 Subaru Outback Limited, in between reviews for a 2015 Lincoln MKZ 2.0H and 2018 Lincoln Continental.

For instance, recently I decided to try out the all-new Ford Ranger. I thought it would be a good topic for a road test, as a lot of folks have been interested in the return of the smaller Ford pickup, ever since the original was discontinued after the 2011 model year.

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Late Model Review: 2017 Volvo S90 T6

On September 22, 2016, I drove the then-new grande dame of Volvo’s lineup, the all-new S90 sedan. It replaces the S80, which itself replaced the good old boxy Volvo 940/960/S90 Series in 1999. I miss those boxy Volvos, owned a couple of those boxy Volvos, and was curious to see what the new, non-boxy, sleek new Volvo flagship was like.

So, what’s new? Pretty much everything. Including the engines. Gone is the venerable 3.2L straight six and the T6 twin-turbo, replaced with a four cylinder, 2.0L turbocharged, supercharged engine with 316 hp. Confusingly, the two available engines, despite being four-cylinder powerplants, are labeled T5 and T6. If you speak Volvo, you know that used to designate five or six cylinders. No idea why that was done. I blame marketing.

And now, let me pause for all the know-it-alls to go, “AUGH! A four cylinder in a $65,000 Volvo! What?!” But let me tell you, the only way I knew this was a four-cylinder was reading the brochure. If you told a test-driver that it was a six, you’d probably get away with it if they weren’t car guys. But first, a walkaround. However, I still miss the 3.2 six in the S80. It was, as Ferris Bueller once said, so choice…but I digress. Onward!

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Accord At 66,666: The Thousand-Dollar Service Bill That Wasn’t

The grinding noise started as I backed out of the paddock garage at NCM Motorsports Park. Well, that’s probably not correct. At some point during what turned out to be a half-hour lapping session in monsoon conditions, my rear brake pad must have given up the rest of its low-cost lining and started contacting the brake disc directly. So it would have been grinding even as I entered pit lane and drove to the garage; it’s just that the noise of the weather was too much to hear it.

That was October 8th. In the nearly two months since then I’ve put about 1,700 miles on my Accord, passing the magic 66,666-mile mark in my fifty-sixth month of ownership. This morning I noticed that my right rear wheel was covered with fine-grained particles of iron oxide from the high-speed interface of iron disc and steel backing plate. Time to change the rear pads and rotors, even if it was twenty-eight degrees and cloudy outside. (No, I couldn’t fix my car in my garage like a normal person — I have 830 square feet of garage space and it is filled with two race cars, one Porsche 911, five motorcycles, and what looks like two tons’ worth of tires, wheels, and spare parts.) It took me a while to do it, mostly because I had to drill out the rusted-together setscrews that Honda uses to hold the rear discs on during the assembly process. Yes, that’s right: I made it through almost five years and perhaps a dozen on-track sessions on the original back rotors.

About two hours after I’d started, I was frozen but content. After all, I’d just saved more than nine hundred dollars. Or had I?

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Review: 2018 Ford Edge Titanium

What’s this? A car review on Riverside Green? Well, once upon a time I wrote rental reviews for a site called “The Truth About Cars”. (Readers who are coming back to this piece from the year 2020 or afterwards: I’m referring to the site that is now known as Autoguide Jr. Presented By The Midwestern Automotive Motorjournalist Association In Conjunction With Kia..) Since I no longer write for TTAC, but I do continue to rent cars, it seemed reasonable to toss you maniacs a bit of red meat.

The Car: 2018 Ford Edge Titanium AWD, with 20,200 miles on it
The Price: Approximately $38,500. A 2019 Edge Titanium AWD would be $39,700.
The Drive: From Columbus, Ohio to Monticello Motor Club and back, then down to Cincinnati and back, for an approximate total of 1,400 miles.

Alright, let’s get to it. At the very least, you’ll want to hear about the deer in the middle of the freeway, right?

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