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Mark Kennedy

Stories by Mark

Last Saturday, my 12-year-old son propped his right leg on the coffee table to show me his flesh wounds.

Pretend it’s 1995 and all of your friends have big old cellphones the size of Claxton fruitcakes.

Trampoline parks are the new skating rinks.

If your impression of Audi automobiles is that they are just gussied up VWs, please turn your attention to the five-passenger Audi A7 hatchback.

My first sleepover at a friend's house was in second grade, and the only thing I remember is getting a volcanic tummy ache on canned barbecue.

There are some luxury vehicles I'd described as SINOs. My acronym — a total contrivance — stands for "SUVs-in-name-only," and you know the type.

Last Sunday, I was at a family gathering in Knoxville when one of my wife's stepbrothers sat down beside me on a couch. He immediately began to make small talk.

Assume for a second that you could buy a car with a highway mpg rivaling a Toyota Prius, but that's also capable of bursts of low-end power that surpass a six-cylinder Chevrolet Camaro.

Mark my words: A hundred years from now, getting injured in a car accident will seem far-fetched.

Lost in the hubbub over the union vote this week at the Volkswagen assembly plant is an important fact: Workers there continue to churn out some of the most solid, practical sedans made in North America.

It’s a weekday morning. I’m sitting at our dining room table. My laptop computer and iPhone are buzzing with incoming texts and emails. Meanwhile, the outline for tomorrow’s Opinion pages is growing, line by line on my computer screen.

It's only February, but 2015 Kias are already hitting the ground here.

My 7-year-old son starts begging for a bedtime story at breakfast.

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

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