Author Archive: John Matras

John is a veteran auto writer, first published in Custom Rodder magazine in 1980. Since then, he has been published in all the big car magazines, including Car and Driver, Road & Track, Motor Trend, Auto Week, Automobile, plus a variety of others, including but certainly not limited to Automobile Quarterly, Collectible Automobile, and Special Interest Automobiles. John’s work has also been featured in a number of consumer and general interest magazines such as Consumers Digest, Popular Science and others.

John has written four books, including a history of the Mazda RX-7 (selling for more out-of-print than it did new), buyers’ guides for Mazda, Datsun/Nissan and Volvo cars, and is co-author of 365 Cars You Must Drive with Motor Trend editor Matt Stone, and his work has been translated into Italian, Estonian, Portuguese, Russian, and Bulgarian. John is recipient of the prestigious Ken Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism, awarded by the International Motor Press Association, and the Golden Quill from the Washington Automotive Press Association.

John has three adult daughters and has been married for more that four decades to Mary Ann, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.

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GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado lead latest round in light-duty diesel applications, but not the only action

GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado lead latest round in light-duty diesel applications, but not the only action

The GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup trucks will be available with an all-new 2.8-liter Duramax diesel for the 2016 model year when they goes on sale this fall. They’re part of a new wave of light-duty pickups available with diesel engines, including the full-size Nissan Titan, all new for 2016, and the Ram […]

July 30, 2015 | By | Reply More
2015 Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop first drive review: My speed

2015 Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop first drive review: My speed

There we were, stuck in Friday afternoon gridlock on Interstate 84 just west of Danbury, Connecticut. Neither my driving partner nor I was pleased with our situation, nor that we couldn’t agree on the radio station. She liked XM’s 1stWave, while The Bridge was more my speed…though speed was only a memory. But not distant. […]

July 28, 2015 | By | Reply More
2016 Honda HR-V Navi review: Smaller scale CR-V

2016 Honda HR-V Navi review: Smaller scale CR-V

The Honda CR-V has been a hit since its introduction as a major player in the crowded compact SUV/CUV, in no small part because of its versatile interior, unmatched by any other vehicle in its segment. The same utility has been present in the Honda Fit, but the Fit lacks all-weather capability of the Honda […]

July 22, 2015 | By | Reply More
2015 Lexus RC 350 F Sport review: When two doors are more than four doors

2015 Lexus RC 350 F Sport review: When two doors are more than four doors

At first blush, the 2015 Lexus RC 350 to be simply a coupe version of the Lexus IS sedan, and there is some justification for that assumption. After all, they’re about the same size and they share the same powertrain, a 3.5-liter V-6 with an eight-speed or six-speed automatic transmission, with a choice of rear […]

July 21, 2015 | By | Reply More
2016 Fiat 500X Lounge AWD review: The Italian un-crossover is a winner

2016 Fiat 500X Lounge AWD review: The Italian un-crossover is a winner

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised, but we were impressed by the overall quality feel of our test 2016 Fiat 500X Lounge. Admittedly the Lounge is the more luxury-inspired trim level of the 500X, but still, there was a noticeable…quality…feel to it we didn’t expect. The Fiat 500X is Fiat’s compact crossover model, going head to […]

July 15, 2015 | By | Reply More
2015 Lexus IS 350 F Sport review: It grows, but remains the same

2015 Lexus IS 350 F Sport review: It grows, but remains the same

When we first drove the 2014 Lexus IS, we noticed the size increase even without a tape measure. It’s surprising how much such a little added wheelbase—what’s four inches among friends—results in a much larger car. In fact, calling the Lexus IS a compact luxury car is somewhat misleading. Not that it isn’t a luxury […]

July 9, 2015 | By | Reply More
1967 Chevrolet Corvette L89 was the rarest, if not quite the fastest, ‘Vette of its time

1967 Chevrolet Corvette L89 was the rarest, if not quite the fastest, ‘Vette of its time

If this were 1967 and you were able to ask Ed Cle, then general manager of General Motors, for the hottest, meanest street-drivable automobile in the GM fleet, he would have suggested this, the 1967 Chevrolet Corvette with Regular Production Option L89. We know, because some is reputed to have done just that. A friend […]

July 6, 2015 | By | Reply More
2015 Volkswagen Jetta GLI SE Automatic review: Still smitten

2015 Volkswagen Jetta GLI SE Automatic review: Still smitten

The last time we drove the Volkswagen Jetta GLI was in 2012, and we were smitten by it then. Its best feature, we said of VW’s sport compact, was its agility. Nothing’s changed. At least nothing that hasn’t been changed. The Jetta GLI is VW’s performance version of the Jetta, the equivalent of the GTI […]

July 2, 2015 | By | Reply More
Ford approaching autonomous car function by function, not all at once

Ford approaching autonomous car function by function, not all at once

The arrival of the autonomous car, says Ford, will be more like Chanukah than Christmas. Not that the carmaker went theological, Ford indicated that instead of getting everything on one day, presents will come over a period of time. (Yes, we know gift-giving isn’t part of Chanukah, but technically, neither is Christmas, but rather than […]

June 29, 2015 | By | Reply More
2015 Dodge Charger Hellcat review: Today’s show brought to you by the letters O, M and G

2015 Dodge Charger Hellcat review: Today’s show brought to you by the letters O, M and G

Putting it simply, the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is the reason the letters O, M and G were invented. Why? This is not a confession, but we know of a Charger Hellcat that, well, let’s just say that it made the leap into hyperspace just about as fast as anything we’ve experienced. And without […]

June 25, 2015 | By | Reply More
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