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A typical engineer's salary can vary widely, from around $50,000 to $150,000. But engineers who happen to design revolutionary innovations within the automobile industry can expect to earn a lot more. For instance, designing everyday vehicles that come equipped with more than 700 horsepower, that kind of innovation is surely sought after in the auto market.

Manual transmission vehicles are outnumbered by automatic transmission vehicles 10 to 1 on U.S. roads. Though the majority of American drivers prefer automatic automobiles, manual vehicles are still quite popular and have a strong following.

Manual transmission, also known as a manual gearbox, standard, or stick shift, is a type of transmission used in motor vehicle applications. It uses a driver-operated clutch, typically engaged and disengaged by a foot pedal or hand lever, for regulating the amount of torque transferred from the engine to the transmission. A conventional 5-speed manual transmission is the standard equipment in a base-model automobile, though some vehicles come equipped with 6-speed transmission instead.

If you're a millennial mom, though four-door sedans with automatic transmission might be perfectly suitable, there are plenty of SUVs and crossover vehicles you can find with manual transmission. Here are some of the best manual SUVs or crossovers on the market today:

  • Kia Soul -- The 2019 Kia Soul can come equipped with a six-speed manual transmission in its base form: Soul Base. This model comes with a 130-hp 1.6-liter non-turner four-cylinder engine. Additionally, each model is front-wheel drive, but can still act as a subcompact crossover. Later in the year, the Soul will likely be replaced by an all-new model that also will offer manual transmission.
  • Mini Cooper Countryman -- Mini pretty much offers manual transmission on just about every vehicle model it manufactures. This Mini Cooper comes standard with a six-speed manual and can even come with a third pedal.
  • Jeep Compass (pictured top) -- Jeeps are great for just about anyone, but if you have kids who play sports -- they are perfect. Jeeps come equipped with both stick shift transmission and all-wheel drive. Additionally, they have standard front-wheel drive options, too, but you aren't restricted to front-wheel, as all-wheel is available. These manual Jeeps come with a 180 horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine.

Just because you have only driven automatic throughout your driving career doesn't mean you can't pick up on how to properly drive standard. If you have the right model and are serious about learning how to do it, you'll probably enjoy a standard transmission might more.

The crew over at Volo Auto Museum are known to buy-and-sell vehicles on a regular basis, including hundreds of "star cars" - those made famous on-screen. While there may have been occasional regrets on letting one go, now they're bringing one back that they so fully regretted selling that they've bought it for a third time - and they were willing to pay more than they made on its sale: Dominic Toretto's 1970 Dodge Charger R/T from 2001's The Fast and The Furious. It's not a replica, and it's not a stunt car - it's the real-deal hero vehicle.

When I shared the news in November that Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live would be making the rounds for its inaugural U.S. tour, one tantalizing possibility I discussed was the original "King of the Monster Trucks" joining the party... Bob Chandler's BIGFOOT. Turns out, the rumble on the horizon was true, and the iconic blue Ford will be on the tour in 2019! But what version of BIGFOOT will we see? If the artwork above is any indication, looks like a modern spin on the classic BIGFOOT 1.

Thursday, November 29 2018 22:58

Stop Wasting Gas Money with These Smart Driving Tips

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Whether your daily driving consists of a two-hour commute to work or a twenty-minute errand run, saving a little money on gas can significantly impact your budget. With gas prices well over three dollars per gallon in some areas, a gallon saved is a gallon earned. And, as new studies continuously warn of the planet-wide dangers of CO2 emissions, there's never been a better time to make gas conservation efforts.

Though driving fewer miles is the best way to cut back on fuel consumption, for some commuters, driving less is simply not an option. Luckily, there are ways to conserve fuel even while behind the wheel.

If you'd like to increase the miles your car gets per gallon, try the following conservative driving tips:

Friday, November 23 2018 09:02

Holiday Wish Guide: The Simplay3 My Buddy & Me SUV!

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As the holiday gifting is on everyone's mind, those looking for something new and exciting for little ones ages 18 months-5 years should check out this fresh spin on the classic push/foot-to-floor vehicle. The Simplay3 My Buddy and Me SUV transforms from child's push car to kid's ride-on with patented 180° floor rotation. The best part is that this ride is designed for two children, solving a problem we once had when our girls were smaller - no more fighting to get in since it's designed for two to ride! A 2018 Holiday Wish Guide™ Pick, the My Buddy and Me SUV is available in red or blue, and makes a perfect WOW gift for little ones that are ready to rock the road (the sidewalk). Simplay3 Black Friday Cyber Weekend Sale: Use Code GIFT10 for 10% Off + Free Shipping at Simplay3.com through 11/26/2018

Wednesday, November 21 2018 14:04

Top Upholstery Tips For All Of Your Vehicles

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Whether you're an expert with vehicles or a beginner who's never worked on a car, reupholstering your vehicles can be intimidating. How do you know which fabric to pick, and how do you know when you actually need to get the seats reupholstered anyway? Luckily, upholstering your seats doesn't have to be complicated. Use these simple tips to make sure your vehicle's seats are ready to go.

GreenLight Collectibles has been expanding in recent years, locking-down new licenses as they continually roll out new, authentic diecast vehicle replicas. Now they've inked a deal with Turtle Wax to develop a new line of collectibles ahead of the brand’s 75th anniversary celebration.

The Hess Corporation knows Christmas, and following-up the incredibly fast sell-out of their most-limited toy ever, the Collector's Edition First Hess Truck, they've issued their annual Holiday Hess Toy Truck. Officially released on November 1, the 2018 Hess RV with ATV and Motorbike is a beautiful, 3-in-1 set that kids and collectors will love, packed with cool features and 73 LED lights - the most ever offered on a holiday Hess Toy Truck. The folks at Hess sent us a review sample again this year, allowing The Rock Daughters™ and I to go hands-on with the latest addition to a rapidly-expanding fleet. Let's take a look at this Holiday Wish Guide™ pick below!

There's some new MONSTER competition coming to town next year. Earlier this summer, I was one of the first to highlight Mattel's new collection of Hot Wheels Monster Trucks, but in 2019 they're jumping from toys into arenas with Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live! Created in partnership between Raycom-Legacy Content Company and Mattel, this new nationwide tour will create an immersive experience for Monster Truck fans. This new live entertainment tour will visit arenas and stadiums throughout the U.S. beginning in January 2019 - with one of the first events scheduled for the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. 

Wednesday, November 07 2018 12:21

Holiday Wish Guide Giveaway: Magic Tracks Turbo RC

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There's a pretty good chance that you've seen Magic Tracks at some point in the past year or two - colorful, snap-together tracks with battery-operated cars that blaze along them. Now, just in-time for the 2018 Holiday Wish Guide™, there's Magic Tracks Turbo RC - the next evolution of the popular racers. The best part? These new sets work with all older Magic Tracks, allowing kids to grow and expand their raceways for endless fun! Just snap any track pieces together and create your customized speedway that moves like magic! Grab a remote and press go! The cars zoom around the neon colored track, and kids can slam on the brakes, shift into reverse, honk the horn and more as they navigate twists, turns, ramps and straightaways... even going into Turbo mode! Check out a preview and all the details below, along with a chance to win a set,  brought to you in collaboration between OnTel Products Corporation and The Rock Father™!

Last month, more of Mattel's iconic Hot Wheels rides started to make appearances in Drive Ahead! - the action-packed gladiator-style car-battling mobile game. Downloaded over 100 million times, Drive Ahead! is available for iOS and Android devices and turns players into arena superstars, where they go to battle with off-road vehicles, garbage trucks, racing cars and more. Now the game is getting infused with more Hot Wheels action on a regular basis with Hot Wheels Wednesdays - a brand-new weekly event introducing collectible new Hot Wheels cars into the Drive Ahead! arena. During Hot Wheels Wednesday, players battle over 24 thrilling hours to beat the boss and fight for the chance to win exclusive Hot Wheels die-cast cars. This brand new feature introduces an exciting new way to play and progress in Drive Ahead! Use Hot Tickets to play events, win Hot Bolts to craft cars or purchase exclusive Hot Wheels items. During the October update (issued just before Halloween), players also got their first taste of the new Nemesis Arenas that will be introduced each month, and these are locations familiar to many kids... because they're based on real-world Hot Wheels City toys! Now, Drive Ahead! and Hot Wheels have teamed-up with The Rock Father™ to give you a chance to win the actual Spider Park Attack Play Set - the inspiration for the first new Nemesis Arena in Drive Ahead!

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