Survey Says

Do you name your car? If you do, you're not alone

Skoda recently sponsored a poll of 2,000 U.K. car owners to find out what they've named their vehicle.

Photo courtesy of Skoda

Rhonda the Honda? Jack the Cadillac? Mamba the Mazda? Bullet the Mustang? Some of us have chosen to name our cars just for the fun of it while others have been pushed into it by registering their vehicle with the manufacturer's website to schedule maintenance.

A March 2020 poll of 2,000 motorists in the U.K. revealed that nearly a third of respondents have named their car. Thirty-two percent said that they have given their car a name, with a quarter of those saying that they have named three or more vehicles in their lifetime.

GOodyear car name generator graphic Goodyear has provided a helpful car name generator.Photo country of Goodyear

Some of the respondents divulged their vehicle names with 450 examples given. Some were repeats including: Betty, Freddie, Daisy, and Rosie. Other answers were more unique with Beyoncé, Harrison Ford, and Elvis Presley all being listed. Bubbles, Beast, The Brussel Sprout, Zorro, and Ketchup were also shared.

Other owners revealed that they had named their vehicles after family members or loved ones.

Why did they choose the names? The most popular reasons given was simply because it made the car owner chuckle (29 percent). Twenty percent of drivers picked a name because they thought the car looked like that particular name.

The survey also found that female drivers were almost twice as likely as male drivers to name their car, meanwhile, men were much more likely to use the name of a loved one or relative (12 percent) compared to women (six percent).

Where people live dictates how likely they were to give their vehicle a nickname. Thirty-seven percent of those living in the West Midlands named their model while 25 percent of those living in Scotland and Wales were likely to have the same behavior.

It's not unusual for owners to be attached to their vehicles but 10 percent of motorists surveyed said that they love their car more than their spouse or partner. One in seven said that the love of their vehicle superseded their love for their parents or siblings.

The survey was sponsored by Skoda.

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Two new Toyota Tacomas are on their way.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

With a new, next-gen Tacoma still a few years away, Toyota is bringing two new special edition versions of the truck to market for the 2022 model year. The adventure-ready trucks were teased in a split image the Japanese automaker released this week.

The Tacoma debuted in 1995 and in the three generations since then the truck has gained a solid following across the world. The midsize Toyota Tacoma is the best-selling truck in its class. It sells better than most of the full-size truck offerings, including Toyota's Tundra.

Expect these new versions of the truck to have body styling similar to the current version of the truck. Toyota recently sought a trademark for the word "Trailhunter" and the 2022 Toyota Sienna Woodland Edition might be a naming clue for a new version of the Tacoma.

2022 Toyota Sienna Woodland Special Edition The 2022 Toyota Sienna Woodland Special Edition goes on sale this year. Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma is available in six trim levels: SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited, and TRD Pro. Models with "TRD" in their name are traditionally more rugged with the TRD Pro able to scurry up rocks, easily get through mud, and hit the trail in a hurry. It's sold with either a Double or Access cab, depending on trim level, with either a five- or six-foot bed.

Buyers have their choice of a 2.7-liter four-cylinder or a 3.5-liter V6 under the hood making up to 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque with the larger power plant. Both engines come paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Two- and four-wheel drive are available.

Industry analysts expect the Tacoma to be redesigned for the 2023 model year though the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing chip shortage may push those plans back another model year. Ahead of that truck's debut, the new version of the Tundra will debut. Expect to see that model in the next few months with production kicking off shortly thereafter.

An all-electric SUV and two new larger SUVs are also coming down the pipeline as the Toyota brand begins a busy few years.

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New Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra tires provide the right amount of stopping power and stability on the road.

Photo courtesy of Goodyear

Testing vehicles is a great privilege and is also great fun, but having an opportunity to test a tire is almost better, as it brings the ability to dig deep on details and features from the comfort of my own vehicle. I was offered the opportunity to test the new Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra and jumped at the chance.

Before moving to Maine, I'd never given winter tires more than a passing thought, but they've quickly become an important part of my annual automotive maintenance schedule. So, before the weather warmed completely, I installed the Goodyears and got rolling.

Late winter and early spring here in Maine seem to drag on forever and can offer up weather that ranges from snow in the morning to deck-worthy sun in the afternoon. It's a tricky time of year to be a driver, because there are frequently times where tires can end up being drastically mismatched to changing conditions. This was the context in which I was able to test the new Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra.

A move to a new house and other challenges made it hard to coordinate a tire delivery, so the test was later in the season that I'd originally intended. In a way, I'm glad that the review took so long to come together, because it gave me the opportunity to try the tires in slushy snow, rain, and a warm sunny afternoon, all within the course of a couple of weeks.

It was 46 degrees and sunny the day I had the tires mounted to my 2015 Subaru Outback, and the first thing that stuck out was how quiet they are on the road. I usually rush to get the winter tires off once the snow slows down, because the tread patterns make a ton of noise on dry pavement. There's some noise here, to be fair, but far less of the typical winter tire "hum" than I've seen with the Bridgestone Blizzaks from winters past.

A couple of days after that blissful afternoon, the weather slipped back into a more typical cadence for March in Maine. Nearly eight inches of heavy, wet snow landed just in time for a run to kids' doctor appointments and an ill-timed shopping tip. We hit the road before the plows had been out in force, which meant inches of packed snow and slush. The Blizzaks I ran last season would feel planted and solid in these conditions, and surprisingly, the WinterCommand Ultras are nearly on that level.

We can debate whether or not winter tires are needed for all-wheel drive vehicles, but I'll always argue that winter tires are needed to improve stopping distance and traction on hills, and the WinterCommand Ultras did just that.

Of course, spring in Maine wouldn't be a thing without plenty of rain to make everything muddy. The Goodyears handled themselves well in the wet as well, and felt surprisingly confident in the near-freezing weather. There is no noticeable increase in hydroplaning or slipping under acceleration, and the tires retain their grip when driving quickly and cornering at higher speeds.

When it comes to pricing, the WinterCommand Ultras bring the value. Looking at Tire Rack, the Goodyears land at $171.92 per tire for my Subaru. Comparable Bridgestone Blizzaks start at around $180 and range up to $240 per tire. Michelins are also more expensive, starting at around $186 per tire. Though budget is important, price shouldn't be the only deciding factor when buying tires. In many cases, installation is free, and some tire shops offer free seasonal tire changes or tire storage.

The bottom line on the WinterCommand Ultra? It's a great tire for people who live in places that see varied weather in winter, especially if there are prolonged periods of dry weather. It's easily one of the quietest and most comfortable winter tires I've tested on dry pavement and it its snow/slush traction is lightyears ahead of even the best all-season tire. The Goodyears handled late-season Maine without complaint, and I suspect they'd be just fine in the thick of a nor'easter as well.

NEW! Goodyear WinterCommand® Ultra Winter Tire Product Launch Video www.youtube.com

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