Can the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata make a good family vehicle?

I am in my early forties. I am married and I have two kids. I have a nice home and a decent family vehicle. I have something resembling a career and a sweet side gig writing about cars. You’d think I’m living the dream, but I’m not. I have a secret deep down inside me – I always wanted a Miata. But somehow, for various reasons, I never bought one. But I always wanted one. Badly.

But realistically it won’t work for me. How would I drop my two kids off at two different schools every morning in a Miata? And then there are the guitars, lacrosse sticks, hockey equipment, and volcano projects that need constant moving. My dream of a daily driver Miata simply isn’t possible.

Or is it?

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Review: Ford F-150 King Ranch with Power Stroke Diesel

The vehicle pictured here might look like a pickup truck but it isn’t. It is a sedan. It is a proper large American luxury sedan, a true descendant of land yachts from decades ago. Really, it is. Like those land yachts, it has huge amounts of interior space. That space is filled with incredibly comfortable heated, ventilated, and massaging seats. The rear seat passengers have more leg and head room than in any of those puny European luxury sedans. That thing in the back, that’s not a pickup bed. Put a cover on it and it becomes a huge trunk. Put a cap on it and you have the modern large American station wagon.

This begs to define what a pickup truck is. A pickup has a vinyl bench seat for three people. A pickup has a huge bed that easily swallows an eight–by-four plywood planks or 3000-pounds of manure. This Ford F-150 large luxury sedan cannot do these things. It has a power tailgate, like a Range Rover, power folding mirrors, and automatically deploying sidesteps. Driving this to a construction site would be like hiking in your ’s.

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Redusernab Asks: Least expected vehicle on a Buy Here Pay Here Lot?

Kamil Kaluski October 5, 2018 Redusernab Asks

A friend of mine (hi, Joey!) was driving by a local and noticed something that didn’t quite belong there – a yellow Lambo. How strange, right? A bright yellow Lambo among a sea of gray and black mid-level mid-size vehicles that are totally not salvaged, poorly repaired, and have original odometers. There has got to be an interesting story there. 

That made me think – what type of vehicle does one never see at a Buy Here Pay Here lot?

Van transforms a Speedster into a speedboat

Kamil Kaluski October 4, 2018 All Things Hoon

It is my opinion that the worst drivers in America drive cars that have ZipCar stickers all over them. Like my worst enemy, I pay close attention to them. I also try to stay away from rented vans and trucks as many people driving them don’t have a lot of experience with larger vehicles. I’ve seen some crazy stuff. It turns out that in Europe, or at least U.K., I don’t even know if they’re still part of Europe or what’s going on there, isn’t much different. 

A replica of the classic Porsche 356, a 2004 , was peacefully parked along the Regent’s Canal in north London. Then, a wham and bam, and the speedster becomes a speedboat. Someone backing-up their rented cargo van simply did not see it. 

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How not to overland

Kamil Kaluski October 4, 2018 All Things Hoon

Those that are not aware, overlanding is the hottest current trend. The idea is to take an off-road capable vehicle and transform it into something that is even more capable for increased payload and ability to conquer more difficult trains. Recovery and emergency gear is part of the deal. The vehicle then has to be able to carry the essentials, and not much else, needed multi-night camping. Call it hiking in your car – it has a lot of appeal. 

See the Jeep above? That is the exact opposite of what overlanding is supposed to be. This very stock-looking JK Sahara is clearly significantly overloaded. The custom looking, if sketchy AF, roof rack seems to have everything on it and the kitchen sink, probably literally. But what can’t been seen in the above picture is the hitch mounted rack. Click below…

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Pictures: New 2019 BMW 3-series

Kamil Kaluski October 1, 2018 All Things Hoon

Whatever your opinion of modern BMW is, a new 3-series is always a big deal. This is BMW’s halo car, their bread-and-butter, and their mass production model all in one. Think of BMW and you’re thinking of a 3-series. Think of a sporty BMW and you’re thinking of an M3. BMW has to get it just right. 

The issue is that the last few generations of the 3-series seemed to have lost their touch a bit. Competition from its domestic German rivals has become tighter. Even Japanese, and soon Korean, brands are offering a serious alternatives. BMW themselves have promised that the new G20 3-series a step toward what the E36 and E46 were. Will they succeed? 

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Remembering Tony Swan, Auto Journalist and Racer

Kamil Kaluski September 28, 2018 Hoonobituaries

Growing up in the days before the Internet, many of us lived in monthly anticipation of new issues of Motor Trend, Car and Driver, or Road & Track arriving in our mailbox. We’d read the letters to the editors and their snarky responses, latest news, and we’d bite into the chunks of featured articles while procrastinating on our homework. Over the years we have come to know these auto-writers almost as friends, regardless of whether they knew it or not. 

The name Tony Swan should ring a bell for anyone over thirty amongst those of us who were reading about cars before the Internet took over our lives. His articles and commentary were second to none. His work appeared in Car and Driver, AutoWeek, Cycle World, The New York Times, and many others. In addition to being an auto writer he was also a passionate auto racer, competing in everything including many 24 Hours of Lemons race events. 

Rest in peace but don’t slow down, Tony. You have inspired many of us to do what we are doing. Head over to to read more about Mr. Swan. 

[Image courtesy of 

Mystery Car

Kamil Kaluski September 28, 2018 Mystery Car

Congratulation, children! You were on your game last week and it took you only two days (this is sarcasm if it is’t painfully obvious) to figure out what the Mystery Car was. It was a first generation Miata, of course. Congratulations to  for correctly identifying it. You are, of course,… The Person of the Moment

Now we get to today’s Mystery Car. As you can see in this rather unaltered image, I took this picture with my phone, because you can see me actually see ma taking the picture. It’s almost a damn selfie. There was something really intriguing about this mystery car. I am hoping that you can tell me what make and model it is. Good luck. 

Review: 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SEL

Having attended high school and college in the northeast in the 1990s, and having been a car geek, my exposure to the import scene was quite formative. Some of the most iconic vehicles of that era were the Diamond-Star Motor cars. The sport cars of that joint venture were the Eagle Talon, the Plymouth Laser, and the Mitsubishi Eclipse. All three varied in form from a basic econo model to turbocharged all-wheel-drive slayers. In appearance they were rather similar with differences being limited to lights, spoilers, and wheels.

Those days are over. Also over are the Plymouth and Eagle brands. Mitsubishi is still here but the company has had better days. To its credit, Mitsubishi is trying to recover. With minor tweaks, each of the variants of the Outlanders keep improving while remaining a budget conscious choice. The Outlander Sport, while aged, is not a bad vehicle. The company is also venturing into plug-in electric hybrid powertrains. A solid move. And recently they brought back the Eclipse name.

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Redusernab Asks: What was the weirdest thing stolen off your car?

Kamil Kaluski September 26, 2018 Redusernab Asks

So I’m casually browsing the book of faces while consuming my low-carb dinner when I notice an intriguing post in the section (yes, there is such thing). Someone posted five security camera pictures of someone stealing a bolt off a roof rack off his friend’s Toyota FJ Cruiser. That is weird but the weirder thing is that the person who did it drove up in a lifted FJ Cruiser, one with  a snorkel, off-road bumpers, and over-sized tires. Clearly a so-called enthusiast and definitely a member of some FJ Cruiser online forum. And . 

But here is where it gets weirder. I was mounting my Yakima HighRoad bike rack onto my factory 4Runner (similar to FJ Cruiser) cross-bars recently. I noticed at the time that one side of the front cross-bar was missing one of the two bolts that secures the bar to its bracket. How weird, I thought, making no real issue of it. But because I mount my cargo box to these very same cross-bars about four times per year, I would have noticed that before. I remember even checking them for tightness once. But now I wonder if I was… [mystery music]… a victim of the Roof Rack Bolt Bandit!??!?! [Ta da dooommm].

From my googling it seems that these bolts cannot be bought without buying the whole damn cross-bar kit. Perhaps that’s why he was stealing them. What the hell do I do now? These bolts must have other uses in the vehicle, somewhere…

Review: Yakima HighRoad upright roof bike rack