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Mark Kennedy

Stories by Mark

Toyota’s successful Highlander crossover SUV enters its third generation for the 2014 model year with more space, interior refinements and more purposeful sheet metal.

All things considered, would you rather be charming or driven?

The Dodge Avenger gets my vote for “Best Name” in the four-door sedan segment. You’re tired of your bland life and somebody has to pay, right? So, who you gonna call? The AVENGER!

Whether you're talking birthday parties or SUVs, extra punch is good.

I've always known that I was linguistically challenged. A child of the South, I've dropped enough "l's" and "g's" in my life to fill a sinkhole.

Buick's mid-size Regal sedan gets a standard 259-horsepower, turbocharged engine for 2014 -- an upgrade that makes it a scorching-hot competitor in the sport sedan world.

Sometimes you think you have an original idea, but Google begs to differ.

Any discussion of the new breed of plug-in hybrid cars such as the Chevy Volt starts with the bottom line.

People, back away from the table.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second in a two-part series featuring Test Drive columnist Mark Kennedy's list of 10 most notable new vehicles of 2013. Go to to see the full report. This article contains excerpts from previous columns.

There's a brand of mania that afflicts some children the week before Christmas. Symptoms may include giddiness, hyperactivity, insomnia and/or weeping.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Today and next Saturday, Times Free Press "Test Drive" columnist Mark Kennedy will highlight 10 of the best vehicles of the year. This article contains excerpts from his previous columns.

The other day, I asked one of my sons to put stamps on some utility bills while I went back to my bedroom to get my jacket.

The small-SUV market is so vast that you can literally make a check-list of your must-haves and pretty much assure yourself that your wishes will come true.

Kia, the feisty South Korean car company, needs its redesigned Forte compact car to be a hit in order to continue its climb as one of the fastest-growing nameplates in America.

I don't fear getting old. I do, however, fear forgetting how to dress myself.

It's going to take some time for Kia to roll off the tongue when you're listing luxury brands. Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, Kia. ... See?

The key to a happy marriage is knowing your place.

Teresa Molnar, a counselor at East Hamilton High School, is old enough to remember the 1980s anti-drug catch-phrase "Just Say No."

The new, subcompact Mitsubishi Mirage gives the scrappy Japanese brand a city car with near-hybrid fuel economy.

My dad, a former U.S. Army master sergeant, might have been the least spontaneous person on earth, bless his heart.

The Ford Edge is the stepladder of SUVs. It's good for small families climbing up in size, or empty-nesters easing down.

Two boys, two birthdays.

Cadillac's new television commercials feature a car full of high-spirited 30-somethings headed out for a night on the town.

As anniversaries go, 15 years is no biggie.

Buick's full-size LaCrosse sedan has been significantly upgraded for 2014, and now is a legitimate contender in the mid-size luxury class.

Car trips have changed a lot in 50 years.

I was excited to read two recent editorials by Weston Wamp.

Last week, we examined the starter Mercedes-Benz — the new, reasonably-priced CLA-class sedan with a base MSRP of under $30,000. (About the cost of a VW Passat TDI.)

Is college worth it?

The television ad for the sexy new Mercedes-Benz CLA-class sedan features a 20-something young man seated at a diner -- with the devil.

About 10 months ago I moved from a cubicle to an office. Both work spaces have their advantages, but the office is growing on me.

For years, the nomenclature of the most popular BMW sedans was like counting by odd numbers in kindergarten: 1-3-5-7.

So Chattanooga's Mayor, Andy Berke, (tried to give) the boot to the Delta Queen.

I'm a big fan of texting.

Among car enthusiasts, the arrival of the new Mazda 3 is a much-anticipated event.

When Indian-American Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America on Sunday night, minutes after performing a traditional Bollywood dance, Vladimir Putin along with the rest of the world got a good long look at American Exceptionalism.

  • Sept. 18th, 2013  |
  • By Weston Wamp

My 6-year-old son has joined the Cub Scouts.

Earlier this year, total sales of the Toyota Corolla (introduced in 1966) topped 40 million worldwide. So how do you re-design one of the world's best-selling cars? Very carefully.

I don’t spend a lot of time in the back seat of our Toyota SUV. Usually, I’m in the driver’s seat, the daddy position.

The GOP will do any sneaky trick possible to keep "Obamacare" from being fully implemented.

Mild-mannered. Adjective. "Gentle and not given to extremes of emotion." — Oxford American Dictionary

There’s nothing that says “empty-nester” like a two-door coupe.

I've been looking for a missing link between baby boomers and millennials. Apparently it was right under my nose.

Whipping down Ochs Highway in the Lincoln MKS — in a driving rainstorm, no less — reminded me how mass inspires confidence.

Ashley-Rose Lynn, 13, has an idea worth sharing.

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is legendary in the high-performance world as one of the hottest pocket rockets on the planet.

On Monday, I had to help my 11-year-old son make it through middle-school registration. Days earlier, I had asked him if he was nervous about making the leap to sixth grade. “Not really,” he said flatly. I chalked his nonchalance up to a lack of life experience and proceeded to be anxious for him.

The Army of Tennessee lost four brigade commanders in the Battle of Chickamauga: Brigadier Generals Preston Smith, Hardin Helm and James Deshler along with Colonel Peyton Colquitt.

  • Aug. 11th, 2013  |
  • By Lee White
  • Comment  |

If the new Infiniti Q50 Hybrid were a prizefighter, it would be Sugar Ray Leonard.

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