Last updateWed, 29 Jun 2016 8am

Sporty Scion FR-S still moves the needle

courtesy of Scion
The 2015 Scion FR-S sports coupe is fun to drive, offering quick turning and responsive handling.

We had a blast checking out the latest Scion FR-S sports coupe, even though it’s received just a handful of primarily cosmetic upgrades since we drove the 2013 version.

Good grief, Charlie Brown, where are the Snoopy plates?

Q: I read that the DMV is going to issue license plates featuring Snoopy (from the “Peanuts” comic strip). How do I apply?

A: Before the DMV can implement a specialty license-plate program, 7,500 fee-paid applications must be submitted to the California Cultural & History Endowment Agency. To pre-order the Snoopy plates, visit snoopyplate.com.

State launches traffic ticket amnesty program

California’s new amnesty program to assist qualified drivers with paying unpaid traffic or nontraffic infraction tickets is under way.

Launched in October and set to run 18 months, the California Courts Traffic Tickets/Infractions Amnesty Program reduces fines by 50 or 80 percent, depending on income or receipt of specified public benefits.

A whole lot of truck

courtesy of Ford
The 2015 Ford F150 4x4 Supercrew Platinum sells for nearly twice as much as the base model, but the additional $30,000 provides the buyer with rear seats, four-wheel drive, 360-degree cameras, active cruise control and much more.

Driving the brand-new Ford F150 a few weeks ago, we often got a “You’re kidding!” response when we told friends that the pickup truck outsells every other motor vehicle in the North American marketplace.

First introduced in 1948, the F150 has been the best-selling vehicle – truck or car – for the past 32 years.

Hybrid cars remain at forefront of innovation

Last week a customer asked me which car I thought had the most innovative features. It’s a difficult question to answer – there are so many new platforms.

The automobile industry has been innovating so fast that it’s hard to keep up with everything going on. But when people ask me this question, hybrids are always the first innovators that come to mind.

Tradition still gets lots of likes

courtesy oF Fiat Chrysler
The Jeep Patriot, in its last year of production, has the traditional Jeep look and feel – different from the newer models.

To almost everything, there is a season, and this is the last season for the Jeep Patriot and its chiseled edges, round headlights and traditional seven-toothed grille right out of those old military movies.

A smarter Smart Fortwo

Courtesy of Mercedes-benz Cars
The Smart Fortwo – available in four trims – has been dramatically redesigned for 2016. The engine and transmission are vastly improved, increasing mileage and torque. The Smart Fortwo’s top-of-the-line model sells for just under $20,000.

The Smart Fortwo is at the low end of the affordability scale for a practical, energy-efficient car that can be used primarily for local transportation.

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