News: Chrysler and Volvo Recalls: Engine Fires, Airbag Non-Deployment

Chrysler logo

Volvo logo

No, it's not just Toyota....Chrysler and Volvo are announcing recalls too. In Chrysler's case, it's leaking brake fluid that could cause an engine fire. For Volvo, it's airbags that might not deploy as intended.

Full story from The Detroit News.

News: Toyota Recalls 1.5 Million Cars

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Just when the hysteria over unintended acceleration died down for lack of any evidence, Toyota has a real problem on its hands...a huge recall of a million and a half vehicles worldwide for brake fluid and fuel pump issues.

Details from the Associated Press via The Detroit News.


News: Arizona Man Sues For $8 Million Over Photo Radar Ticket

Full disclosure: This report is from ABC15 in Phoenix, my fulltime employer.

2011 Mazda CX-7 Review

Front 3/4 shot of 2011 Mazda CX-7
Rear 3/4 view of 2011 Mazda CX-7
As impressed as I am with the Mazda CX-9, the smaller Mazda CX-7 may be the better vehicle for the largest number of people.

Shorter and seating five rather than seven, the CX-7 is a strong alternative to small SUVs and more expensive crossovers.

Mazda's attention to detail and focus on fun are what seal the deal. Not to mention economic factors. Opt for a CX-7 and $22,340 buys you a 16-valve four with a five-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension, dynamic stability control, traction control, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, 17-inch alloy wheels, power locks, windows and mirrors, air conditioning, Bluetooth, a multi-function information display, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote keyless entry, and a better-than-average four-speaker AM/FM/CD/mp3 audio system.

I'll repeat. That's standard. For the base price of $22,340. Stop there, pay the $750 delivery fee and you've just barely crossed into $23,000.

Interior shot of 2011 Mazda CX-7

Mazda sweetened the press tester with a cargo net, fog lights, a retractable cargo cover, Sirius Satellite Radio, scuff plates and a convenience package that included heated front seats, a moonroof, a rear-view camera, power driver's seat and an upgrade for the air conditioning to automatic climate control.

And the bottom line was still only $25,990.

This, my friends, is a deal.

But wait! There's more!

As in five-star frontal and side crash ratings, four for rollover....and an EPA estimated 20 city, 28 highway miles per gallon.

And because of that fun factor I mentioned earlier, it's like driving a sports sedan. The CX-7 breezes onto the TireKicker Top 20 Cars list. It's that good.

UPDATE: Just did a week in an uplevel turbo version of the CX-7...yeah, you're boosting the bottom line to $30K or better...but you're also boosting the horsepower to 244...which makes a major difference in the fun factor. And you're only giving up 2 mpg city and 3 highway (18/25).