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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

Watch The Mini Countryman Brave Desert Sand And Alpine Snow (Video)

On: Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 1:15PM | By: Chris Weiss

Watch The Mini Countryman Brave Desert Sand And Alpine Snow test 2

If you were planning a desert off-roading trip or ski trip past flashing "mandatory tire chains" signs, the brand Mini would probably be one of the last on your list for a vehicle source. But in advertising its new Mini Countryman with John Cooper Works package, those are exactly the two types environments that Mini filmed at.

Mini begs us to "Expect the Unexpected," and seeing a Countryman - even an upgraded AWD version - skate across hot desert sand and deep, powdery snow is definitely unexpected. It's also great automotive advertising.

Car Owners Holding Onto Their Cars Longer Than Ever

On: Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 10:30AM | By: Chris Weiss

Car Owners Holding Onto Their Cars Longer Than Ever test 2

New research reveals that car owners are eeking out every last mile of their vehicles. The record-breaking levels of car ownership duration are the result of both poor economic conditions and better-built cars.

According to a recent study by market research firm Polk, the average length of US vehicle ownership has risen to a record 71.4 months - just shy of six years (72 months). That figure relates to vehicles that were purchased as new. Ownership for used vehicles averages 49.9 months. Together, the average length of ownership for new and used vehicles is 57 months. That's an increase of 23 percent since the third quarter of 2008, a time period that equates to the economic downturn.

Jaguar Close To Giving The C-X16 Hybrid The Thumbs Up

On: Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 10:59AM | By: Chris Weiss

Jaguar Close To Giving The C-X16 Hybrid The Thumbs Up test 2

Jaguar already has one sporty hybrid on the way in the C-X75. But that model will be way out of the price range of most car owners. For those looking for a sporty, sexy hybrid with a little more of an affordable price, they may get it in the way of a production C-X16.

Inside Line reports that Jaguar is close to a decision on the C-X16, which it showed in concept form at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show. If it gets the green light, the C-X16 could go on sale in 2014. Jaguar has done several months’ worth of market research on the model, and it sounds as though Jaguar is already making production plans, with the green light a mere formality.

Saturday Night's Just Alright For Buying: An Ex-Elton E's Upstaged At "Only" $130k

On: Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 5:26PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Lot 338 -- Ex-Elton 1965 E-Type test 2

What’s a butt-print worth?

Fame’s a funny thing. The mere fact—or supposition, really—that someone even somewhat famous had owned/driven/sat in/looked at a car means big dollars to the person who can convince someone downstream in the selling process that what might otherwise look no better or worse than any other car of its type is in actuality better for its having been associated with said “star.”

So which do you think would pull down more money at auction: A rockin’-red roadster owned by a Sir-ed musical superstar or a buttercup-colored bit of Corgi-inspiring car show stand-candy?


Presidential Endorsement: Obama Will Buy A Chevy Volt

On: Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 3:54PM | By: Chris Weiss

Presidential Endorsement: Obama Will Buy A Chevy Volt test 2

The Chevy Volt may have struggled to convince 7,671 buyers to take it home last year, but at least one prominent buyer is sizing the car up for the future. Most certainly a mix of politics and business more so than earnestness, President Obama recently told the United Auto Workers that he plans to buy a Volt himself when he's out of office.  

President Obama was addressing the UAW conference in Washington in regards to the state of the automobile industry, when he made the comment last week. In a briefing with the press, White House press secretary Jay Carney told skeptical media that the speech wasn't a campaign speech, but given the prominent role that auto bailout is playing in the upcoming election, politics was certainly at play.

During the speech, President Obama told the union workers about the Volt: "I liked sitting in it. It was nice. I’ll bet it drives real good. And five years from now when I’m not President anymore, I’ll buy one and drive it myself.”

Subaru Clear-Cuts Entire Electronic Forests For Its 2012 "Dynamic Brochures"

On: Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 11:30AM | By: Andrew W Davis

Sorry, Subaru, but you were asking for it.

I'm a die-hard paper man—in most senses of the term—and as such I would rather get covered in toxic inks and be buried beneath tons of dried tree pulp than stare into this soulless flickering picture-box and “Face” or “Twit.”

So imagine my surprise when I discovered—admittedly via an online press release—that you are happy as all get-out with yourselves and your spiffy new “Dynamic Brochures” despite the fact that all you still have no way to even approximate the paper brochure “experience” electronically!

Surprise, Surprise: Volt Production Halts

On: Tue, Mar 6, 2012 at 2:34PM | By: Chris Salamone

Chevy Volts in transit test 2

Last week General Motors announced a five week production cease and desist order on the Chevy Volt, informing 1,300 workers that production would resume April 23rd. Back in January the Volt managed a meager 603 sales which was possibly linked to rough media attention and the vehicle’s federal safety investigation. But the five month sales slump was quickly forgotten in February as Chevy managed to sell 1,023 units.

Even with redoubled efforts and recent sales pseudo-success, the good General still has 6,300 Volts sitting in inventory – a fact which shouldn’t come as a surprise. Last year company executives forecasted the sale of 10,000 Volts in 2011 and 60,000 in 2012 – numbers which have been recently dropped from consideration. Now we’re stuck with at least 154 days of inventory.

That is, assuming Volt sales can climb or remain at the February level. But, in an incredible twist of fate, the Volt has yet another major sales hurdle: California.

Toyota Blasts CNN's Revisiting Of "Unintended Acceleration" Issue As "Irresponsible" And "Grossly Innaccurate"

On: Tue, Mar 6, 2012 at 9:53AM | By: Andrew W Davis

Toyota Blasts CNN's Revisiting Of

Here’s how Toyota put it in its March 1 press release:

“In the face of overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, CNN has irresponsibly aired a grossly inaccurate segment on Anderson Cooper 360 that attempts to resurrect the discredited, scientifically unproven allegation that there is a hidden defect in Toyota’s electronic throttle control system that can cause unintended acceleration.”

And it gets uglier from there....

McLaren P12 Coming This Spring

On: Mon, Mar 5, 2012 at 4:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

McLaren P12 Coming This Spring test 2

We've been hearing things - good things - about the McLaren P12 for a long time now. The P12 is the spiritual successor to the F1 - one of the greatest supercars of modern times, so suffice it to say, anticipation is high. That anticipation won't last too much longer if new rumors about a spring debut prove true.

GTSpirit reports this week that the P12 will be revealed at the Monaco Grand Prix event in May. While a May debut sounds enticing, don't get your hopes up. It's not clear if the Monaco unveiling (if it even happens) will be a public unveiling or one of those quiet, shadowy showings for ultra-wealthy clients. So we may have to scour the Internet for leaked information and photos rather than official details. Hopefully, we'll get something in May, though.

Subaru And Toyota Score Big In Consumer Reports Best Cars List

On: Mon, Mar 5, 2012 at 2:22PM | By: Chris Weiss

Subaru And Toyota Score Big In Consumer Reports Best Cars List test 2

If you hadn't heard, Toyota is back. Not that it ever really went anywhere, but a short misstep in its history that we'll call the Unintended Acceleration Debacle of 2009-10 had people questioning whether it was still a leader in quality automobiles. The Japanese automaker and its familia (Lexus and Scion) have rebounded back with such recent accolades as most dependable vehicles around. While it doesn't take the top score overall, Toyota does occupy half of the spots on Consumer Reports' Top Picks list.

In its April automotive issue, Consumer Reports analyzes and ranks cars of all makes, models and styles. The automaker with the best overall score is Subaru, replacing Honda at the very top of the pack. It receives a score of 75, including a road-score of 82, the highest in testing. Subaru benefits from improved scores for the 2012 Impreza, Legacy and Outlook models to jump two points and top this year's list. The Impreza takes home the Top Pick for "small car."

Gas Price Hikes And Used Car Blues

On: Mon, Mar 5, 2012 at 12:03PM | By: Chris Salamone

Gas Blues test 2

A particularly savvy reader recently submitted an interested query: “I would love to see a blog about the rapid moving stats of trade in SUVs and compact car purchases. The gas hike is early this year, how is it impacting the pre-owned market.” As you might expect, nailing down market trends relative to gas price influence is a difficult task – especially so early in the year. But we’re always up for a challenge.

Fortunately or not, depending on your perspective, the premature gas price increases we’ve experienced have generated more than just oodles of critical media attention. Fuel efficient new car sales have also soared.