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Mark Kennedy

Stories by Mark

Some of the specs on this week's test car, the Volvo S60 T6, almost look like misprints.

Growing up, my nemesis was Mrs. R.

The Super Bowl television ad for the 2015 Hyundai Genesis shows a dad with quick reflexes saving his accident-prone son from the perils of childhood: nearly colliding with another child on a swing set, almost running into a flaming-hot charcoal grill, and practically falling into a lake.

When news hit last month that the Chattanooga Lookouts were being sold to a Georgia businessman, a lot of fans could finally exhale.

When the first-generation Kia Soul hit the market in 2009, it was part of a wave of boxy, urban commuter cars (think Nissan Cube and Scion xB). But it has since emerged from the pack as the sales star of the segment.

I once heard a minister say that his only God-given talent was the “gift of encouragement.”

Porsche dealers have longed for a baby sibling to the midsize Cayenne, which virtually created the market for high-performance luxury crossover SUVs.

She was standing in line in front of me at a voting precinct on Walden's Ridge on May 6. She was older, in her late 60s or early 70s, I'm guessing, and she had three — count them, three — IDs in her hand.

When you've been around the block a couple of times like some of us, you learn to connect the dots on seemingly random events.

Steven Crane, 21, is a gamer.

The Ford Mustang GT convertible with its snarling 420-horsepower V-8 motor gets my vote for the most mood-altering car on American highways.

Now that the union vote at VW has been certified, sides should back away from that donnybrook and make way for a new Chattanooga-made SUV.

In the latest USA Today/ comparison test of three-row-seat SUVs, the first-place winner was the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited.

I used to think the TV show "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" was fake.

Chevrolet’s full-size Tahoe SUV is the official pace car of the Chattanooga Area Soccer Moms’ Grand Prix.

I read the other day that Warren Buffett, arguably America's most gifted investor, plans to use a plain, vanilla S&P 500 index mutual fund for the bulk of his wife's trust fund.

Honda’s new Civic TV spot features a gritty product anthem called “Today is Pretty Great” by blues-rock band Vintage Trouble.

My family is — in a word — quirky.

It’s Audi’s corporate strategy to “become the leading brand worldwide in the premium car segment.”

As a middle-class, middle-age moderate from middle America, I couldn't be any more in the center of things if I were the jelly in a doughnut.

If the new Chevrolet SS Sedan is not a wolf in sheep’s clothing, it’s at least a tiger in a turtleneck.

My 12-year-old son will soon be a teenager, and I can feel change coming.

Bad weather is good news for Subaru.

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.

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