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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2016 Kia Sorento SXL 2.0T AWD first drive review: Upping the notch

2016 Kia Sorento SXL 2.0T AWD first drive review: Upping the notch

Think of the new 2016 Kia Sorento as the Korean carmaker notching up its game. Well, yes, again. But for the third generation of Kia’s crossover, it means bigger, stronger and a lineup of three engines, and it’s improved in just about every way. It’s something that shows up behind the wheel. The 2016 Kia […]

December 18, 2014 | By | Reply More
2015 Chrysler 200C review: Even with a four-cylinder still a winner

2015 Chrysler 200C review: Even with a four-cylinder still a winner

Automotive journalists, as a group, are power mad. Not that we want to take over the world or anything like that, at least not this week. But given the choice, we move towards the muscle. Our first two reviews of the 2015 Chrysler 200 were of the Chrysler 200S and the Chrysler 200C AWD, both […]

December 15, 2014 | By | Reply More
Ferrari leaving Italy? Say it ain’t so

Ferrari leaving Italy? Say it ain’t so

Would a Ferrari made anywhere but Italy still be a Ferrari? It’s a question that won’t have to be answered. While Jeep, Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s booming all-American icon, sees manufacturing spread overseas, Ferrari production as well as its tax residence will remain in Italy. Chrysler remains headequartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan and Fiat in Turin, […]

December 12, 2014 | By | Reply More
2015 Mazda Mazda3 s Grand Touring 5-door review: Manual, not labor

2015 Mazda Mazda3 s Grand Touring 5-door review: Manual, not labor

It’s one thing to be able to talk the talk and yet another to walk the walk, but better yet, Mazda has been able to zoom the zoom. We said so in our reviews (here and here) of the 2014 Mazda Mazda3 i. But the Mazda3 i, by its designation, has the smaller engine of […]

December 6, 2014 | By | Reply More
Buzz On/Buzz Off: Let buyers ‘delete option’ airbags?

Buzz On/Buzz Off: Let buyers ‘delete option’ airbags?

Airbags and the mandate: Can we please have some restraint? Airbags have been part of the automotive and legislative lexicon for more than a quarter century. And while not a big fan of an explosive device sitting but a few inches from my face, I have (begrudgingly) recognized their importance to both the public at […]

December 1, 2014 | By | Reply More
2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD review: We with the Genesis…with all-wheel drive

2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 AWD review: We with the Genesis…with all-wheel drive

  As we write this, computer models are showing with typical meteorological accuracy, anywhere from five to 16 inches of snow in our area. (If they can’t be more accurate than that for a few days out, how can they tell us how deep the ocean will be 50 years from now? But we digress). […]

November 25, 2014 | By | Reply More
2015 Kia K900 V-8 VIP follow-up review: A closer look

2015 Kia K900 V-8 VIP follow-up review: A closer look

This is our third look at the 2015 Kia K900 V-8—fourth if you count the brief exposure we had while experiencing Kia’s free-meal promotion program—which makes this a follow-up to the one-day K900 first drive and another K900 evaluation that left us so impressed. And looking forward to spending more time in the K900 for […]

November 22, 2014 | By | Reply More
2015 Honda Fit EX review: Two, two, two cars in one

2015 Honda Fit EX review: Two, two, two cars in one

With a two car household, it’s possible to own vehicles that can serve different purposes. For example, a compact fuel miser can be paired with another that’s big enough to take on Costco, IKEA and the farmers’ market without breathing hard. But with only one car, the task becomes more difficult. Of course, those who […]

November 20, 2014 | By | Reply More
Is your E-15 GMO-free? And does it matter?

Is your E-15 GMO-free? And does it matter?

Perhaps you’ve seen the above meme floating about Facebook, warning about the hazard of using E15 gasoline made with GMO corn in your pre-2012 automobile. According to the meme, the GMO-corn E15 will “DAMAGE YOUR CAR AND VOID YOUR WARRANTY.” As is quite often the case with breathless alarms on the internet, that’s only a […]

November 10, 2014 | By | Reply More
Mazda MX-5 Global Cup race series to begin 2016: Just like Formula 1

Mazda MX-5 Global Cup race series to begin 2016: Just like Formula 1

Question: What do the Mazda MX-5 Miata, and Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari have in common? Answer: They all compete in a global racing series. At least the latter three do right now in a race series called Formula 1. The Miata will…but not until the 2016 race season, however. Plans are being made now for […]

November 6, 2014 | By | Reply More
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