How to keep batteries alive & well

On a recent family ski trip to Kirkwood, I pulled out my smartphone to take a video of my son on the slopes. The temperature was 25 degrees, however, and my phone died.

That situation reminded me of how cars can do the same thing in cold weather.

Lexus LC500h is a thing of beauty


Mike Hagerty/Special to the Town Crier
The Lexus LC500h costs nearly $100,000, but it’s well equipped.

Meet my current dream machine. It’s the “If I had all the money in the world, I’d buy …” car. As I wrote in May when I reviewed the gasoline version of this car, I’m a beauty addict. It’s why I love living in Northern California. Beauty surrounds us.

And for my money, the Lexus LC500h is the most beautiful car on the market. It’s the kind of car that people stop and stare at. I walked outside on a recent Monday to find a neighbor I had never met before standing in my driveway in alternating states of awe and bliss. I have a new friend now. We bonded over the LC500h.

Review: New Cadillac SUV, BMW sedan make the grade


Mike Hagerty/Special to the Town Crier
The Cadillac XT6, above, and BMW M340i, below, include plenty of high-end features and offer an array of options.

Cadillac XT6 Sport AWD offers power & elegance

Cadillac buyers who wanted a three-row SUV but didn’t want the super-sized Escalade have had to look elsewhere. There was a big gap in size and perceived prestige between the Escalade and the XT5.

That’s over now.

Pataky's picks for best cars on the road

There are plenty of technical things I could write about, but this month I decided to instead just focus on cars I like and like to work on.

Because I have been immersed in the automobile industry for most of my life, I look at cars differently than most people. I look at reliability first, then safety and finally comfort. I’ve learned over the years that comfort and reliability do not always go hand in hand.

How do kids learn to ride safely on the street?

I think that if you ask most adult cyclists how they learned to ride a bike as a kid, they would answer as I do: “I don’t know.” My only related memory before fifth grade is my younger brother crashing on a steep hill, and I had to somehow get both his bike and mine home two blocks away.

We wouldn’t allow our kids to drive a car without some instruction, and because nearly every adult in this area knows how to drive, it is natural to teach your kids about safety as they ride along with you. Even if they have professional instruction before getting a license, it’s a safe bet that you and the instructor agree on most of the basics.

Highlander reaches new heights


Photos by Mike Hagerty/Special to the Town Crier
The 2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum, above, comes with a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine. Standard equipment includes navigation and multiple USB ports, below.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – you don’t really know if you love a car until you’ve lived with a car for a bit.

Hours and miles are the best way to know just how good the machine to which you entrust your life and your family’s lives really is. Five minutes in a test-drive around the block with a salesperson at your side doesn’t cut it. And even the typical car reviewer week around town isn’t the same as getting out on the open road for an extended period of time.


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