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.
It would help if your name is Antonio—not Tony—and you actually look good with your shirt unbuttoned three or four from the top. And oh yeah, if you drive Formula 1 for Ferrari. Then, guy, you can drive the 2014 Fiat 500 1957 Edition. But if your name is Gina, Sophia or Francesca and you [...]
Whether she was reenacting Homer’s Odyssey or just driving her Honda Odyssey into the ocean isn’t clear from the report on WFTV.com, but a woman drove her Honda minivan full of kids ages 3, 9 and 10, into the waves at Daytona Beach, Florida. Alert lifeguards—how alert does one have to be to see a [...]
One needn’t look very far on the internet to find the Dodge Avenger on a “worst cars” list or find some other pillorying of Dodge’s midsize sedan. And alas, it’s not all that undeserved. But compared to where it was a few years ago, the 2014 Dodge Avenger is a diamond. Back then, even a [...]
What do you think? Should Toyota build a Highlander SE? We think that something like that might be in the works. We’re not mentioning names, just in case, but were we told by someone high enough in Toyota to know that Toyota would need something for its mid-cycle refresh, and what, we were asked, about [...]
Well, there’s the all-new 2014 Toyota Highlander. And then there’s the all-new Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Except that Highlander Hybrid really isn’t really all new. Although the Highlander Hybrid gets the new body and chassis of the next generation, with the new look inside and out and all the trim changes the gasoline-fueled Highlanders also receive—see [...]
It looks like a concept from the ‘50s, of futuristic illustrations of families riding on remote controlled highways, Mom, Dad, sister and brother playing Parcheesi, the parents in their swivel seats, backs to the highway ahead. It’s one step away—except for the ‘50s obligatory tailfins—according to office space supplier Regus, and Rinspeed, the concept car [...]
The new 2014 Cadillac CTS isn’t as shocking as the first Cadillac CTS. That CTS, which arrived way back in 2002 as a 2003 model, introduced Cadillac’s Art & Science design theme, an edgy motif that shattered the bland and bulbous styling of the Opel-based Cadillac Catera—forgotten until we mentioned it just now. Since then, [...]
The Cadillac CTS has suffered, if that’s the right word, a gap between the regular CTS models, powered by a two-liter four-cylinder engine, or a V-6 of 3.6 liters, and the V-8-powered Cadillac CTS-V. The four-cylinder engine, turbocharged and making 272 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, is not the anomaly-in-a-Cadillac one might expect. And [...]
First off, the Mazda3 i isn’t the fastest Mazda3, powered by the smaller 2.0-liter four, rated at 155 horsepower rather than the 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque of 2.5-liter of the Mazda3 s models. But the smaller engine is in some ways more technologically advanced than its big brother, fully engaged with what [...]
This is the kind of weather that owners of four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles live for. Don’t kid yourself. When the owner of a 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander bemoans only the latest snowfall, it’s only to draw attention that he—or she—can get home from work, and you, sucker, good luck with the white stuff in your [...]