2014: Year in Review

| Dec 31, 2014

We woke up from our naps just in time to throw together this list of the Best and Worst Auto News Stories from 2014. Without further ado, here are 10 or so of our favorites.

Worst: Plummeting Gas Prices
In our opinion, falling gas prices will only mean one thing: a return of over-sized, over-powered behemoths on the road*. We thought these resource guzzlers were a thing of the past, but used Hummer sales are bouncing back already.

Polar bears, it’s been nice knowing you.

*When they’re entirely gratuitous, that is. Tow a yacht every day? You have our blessing.

Best: Arachnophobia Anyone?
Almost one million vehicles from three automakers were recalled this year because of . . . spiders. Turns out certain Mazdas and Suzukis, and Toyotas were extra appealing to the eight-legged web-slingers, causing problems from potential fire risk to spontaneous airbag deployment. Enjoy the nightmares! 

Best: Aluminum Ford F-150
Back in January, Ford announced an aluminum bodied Ford F-150 to shave weight and boost gas mileage. And we were the first to report it! Thanks Ford, for dropping your most important press release of the year during the hour we actually had a blogger on the scene.

So will the gamble pay off in terms of fuel economy? If not, we’ll refile this to “worst”.

(Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)Best: Real Life James Bond Villains
Nine cars destined for the next James Bond flick were stolen in Germany this year. We don’t condone grand theft auto, but we’re glad to know those anti-pursuit missiles, cloaking device and "convert to submarine" features are being put to good use.

Worst: GM’s 39 Million Vehicle Recall
We’re against corporate greed, incompetence and malfeasance, of which there was plenty to go around in never-ending GM recall drama this year. We just wish, for the sake of those injured and killed, someone with a conscience at GM had been paying attention.

And Tom.
We said goodbye to Tom this year. We’re fortunate to have had his company for all these years in person and on the radio. We’re grateful for all of you who wrote in to share your thoughts. It buoyed us more than you’ll ever know.

Thanks for everything, Tommy.

… And this brings us to Car Talk Plaza’s New Year’s Resolution:
Drive with the windows open.

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