Getting more for less

courtesy of Mitsubishi
Fully equipped, the new Mitsubishi Outlander sells for approximately $32,000.

Those looking to buy a solid, standard-size sport utility vehicle with seating for seven and a full range of safety features will spend at least $50,000 if they choose a luxury SUV with Japanese or German nameplates.

Consumers who don’t care about the nameplate, however, can purchase a fully equipped 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander with a 4-cylinder engine for just more than $32,000.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek is practical for families

Courtesy of Subaru
The Subaru Crosstrek has all the safety features of higher-priced vehicles.

Some vehicles we test don’t scream their virtues or demand attention – they just do a good job of doing what they were designed to do and quietly flatter the owners’ good judgment.

The Subaru Crosstrek, redesigned for 2018, is such a vehicle. It may be the most practical vehicle a family could buy in terms of price, utility and safety, and it’s pretty comfortable and attractive as well.

The lost art of the clutch adjustment

As December ended, I was doing my best to manage the shop, my family and my life. I had been thinking about all the complex problems we solved in 2017 and was trying to pick one to write about.

As I sat contemplating what I was going to write about, a longtime customer walked through the door and asked me if I could take a look at his clutch pedal.

How to get from here to there on a bicycle

Chris Hoeber/Special to the Town Crier
Cyclists and motorists need to be careful and look out for each other where the bike lane ends on Springer Road in Los Altos.

I have been cycling in the Los Altos area since 1975 and witnessed many changes – most of them better for cyclists.

Yes, there is friction between cyclists and motorists, but my belief is that there is less outright animosity. It’s been many years since I have had anything thrown at me, and the frequency of motorists deliberately swerving to scare me while passing has decreased.

2018 Mustang GT and Shelby GT350 are a pleasure to drive

Courtesy of Ford
The refreshed 2018 Ford Mustang GT comes in an array of new color choices, including Orange Fury, pictured.

My first job out of graduate school in 1969 was with Ford Motor Co. in Michigan as a product planner. One of the perks was that we often got to drive one of the new Fords home for the night, provided we wrote a critique of it the next morning.

Subaru's 2017 BRZ is more than A-OK

Courtesy of Subaru
The 2017 Subaru BRZ, boasting a 205-horsepower engine, delivers 29 mpg highway and 21 mpg city.

If we were young and single again, just starting our professional careers in Silicon Valley, we would be driving the 2017 Subaru BRZ.

And as soon as we got it, we would enroll in a good track-driving program like to learn how to drive a high-performance car properly. The nice thing is that we could still drive it on an everyday basis, with solid coupe comfort, space for shopping bags or dry cleaning in the trunk and even the ability to squeeze in three other friends on a quick trip out to lunch.

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