Wed09172014

On The Road

BMW 535d xDrive comes up short


Courtesy of BMW
The 2014 BMW 535d xDrive Sedan offers great fuel efficiency and styling, but it lacks a backup camera, blind-spot warning, parking assist and lane-departure warning.

The 2014 BMW 535d xDrive Sedan is fun to drive and fuel efficient, but it left us wanting. Here’s the rundown of our experience testing the car.

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Three Feet for Safety Act takes effect next month

Q: I am going to start riding my bike to work. I know there are rules for bicyclists. Where can I get information on bicycle rules and road safety?

A: Bicycles on public roads have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists and are subject to the same rules and regulations. Information on bicycle rules and important safety tips are available online at dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffdl37.htm.

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Two-door delights: Despite price gap, new BMW and Volkswagen models have similarities


courtesy of BMW
The 2014 BMW 435i features a 3-liter, inline six-cylinder engine that churns out 300 horsepower. The sporty convertible, which sells for approximately $65,000, gets 20 mpg city, 30 highway and 24 combined. It features a folding hardtop that goes up in less than a minute.

Sometimes you need a serious vehicle to get your family, clients or stuff from one place to another. Other times, it’s just you – or a friend or two. In that case, you may prefer a car that’s more fun to drive and ride in.

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Outback's whining noise proves to be slippery issue

I had a customer last week who complained about the lack of power and a high-pitch whining noise in his 2008 Subaru Outback XT Turbo.

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Toyota tale of the tape: 4Runner vs. Sienna


Courtesy of Toyota
The Toyota 4Runner Limited doesn’t offer great fuel efficiency (17 mpg city, 21 highway, 18 combined), but it does boast plenty of power. The V-6 engine is powerful enough to tow 4,700 pounds.

When buying a new primary vehicle, families are often torn between a mid-sized SUV and a standard minivan.

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Reviewing DMV policy on releasing license photos

Q: I have noticed photographs that appear to be taken from California DMV driver licenses on TV news programs. Does the DMV release driver license photos to the media or other parties? If so, under what circumstances are the photos released?

A: The department’s policy is not to release DMV photographs unless the person is deceased and notification of next of kin has been verified. In those events, photos are released only to law enforcement – not to the public.

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Hot-wiring is easy, and other car myths

Cars are more and more complex, yet many of us still believe some of the myths perpetuated by Hollywood – and our well-meaning parents back in the day. I’ve heard many car myths during my time in the industry and I’d like to put four of them to rest.

1. Hot-wiring a car is easy. How many times have we watched a movie in which an unsophisticated bad guy spends 20 seconds breaking into a car and hot-wiring it? Unfortunately – or fortunately, for all of us – this is most definitely a myth. Hot-wiring a car requires a lot more than a few simple twists of a wire.

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