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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

Gas Mileage A Primary New-Car Consideration, Says J.D. Power

On: Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 10:36AM | By: Chris Weiss

Gas Mileage A Primary New-Car Consideration, Says J.D. Power test 2

J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Avoider Study indicates that gas mileage was the biggest factor influencing car buyers' purchasing decisions last year. Fuel economy surpassed such factors as reliability, price and styling in the survey.

The new study is based on responses from more than 24,000 owners who registered a new vehicle in May 2011. JD Power conducted the survey between August and October of last year.

While the study focuses primarily on reasons that consumers avoided particular models and brands, JD Power's press release includes the observation: "The study finds that gas mileage is the most influential reason for purchasing a particular vehicle model in 2012, surpassing the influence of other key reasons such as reliability, the deal and exterior styling, which were the most influential purchase reasons in 2010."

Late-Surging Prius V Beats Chevy Volt

On: Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 12:34PM | By: Chris Weiss

Late-Surging Prius V Beats Chevy Volt test 2

All last year, the automotive world watched the sales race between the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf unfold. Which technology - series hybrid or all electric - would win the hearts and minds of early adopters?

In the end, neither one really made a clear statement. The Nissan Leaf performed very closely to company goals of 10,000 with 9,674 units sold in the US. The Chevy Volt fell a little shorter of the same goal with 7,671 sales. While the Volt lost by 2,000 units, it ended the year beating previous month sales over the last four months of the year and Nissan Leaf sales over the last three.

So the 2011 sales totals left the question of series hybrid v. electric vehicle inconclusive. What is conclusive is that consumers prefer a third option: parallel hybrids. The Toyota Prius V, which was only on sale for a fraction of the year, beat out the Volt in total sales.

Automakers' Green Strategy Switching From Hybrids And EVs To Small Gas Engies

On: Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 9:42AM | By: Chris Weiss

Automakers' Green Strategy Switching From Hybrids And EVs To Small Gas Engi test 2

Hybrids and electric vehicles are great at making headlines. Because they're new technology, these vehicles make headlines on technology blogs and magazines that could care less about the latest small turbocharged gas engine. Problem is, while everyone likes reading about new technology, not everyone is as quick to buy it, especially when it proves more expensive. Automakers are starting to respond to consumer apathy to hybrids by putting more emphasis on building efficient gas vehicles.

According to the Detroit News, the expense of equipping cars with batteries and electric motors combined with the increasing fuel economy of small gas engines has convinced some automakers to spend more resources on increasing the efficiency of gas cars. A few auto retailers quoted in the article explained that hybrids start a nice conversation about eco-friendly automobiles in showrooms, but the conversation often ends in the customer deciding that hybrids are too expensive.

Dodge Recalls 9,600 Police Chargers

On: Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 5:16PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Dodge Recalls 9,600 Police Chargers test 2

Dodge has issued a recall to bring back 9,688 Chargers built in 2011 and 2012 equipped with its police package. It seems these criminal catchers have multiple issues. One problem has to do with the low-beam headlamps, which can burn out due to the bulb harness connector burning out. The second issue stems from the power distribution center having the propensity to overheat and shorting out the ABS and electronic stability control systems.

Obviously, being able to see the road as well as having the aid of safety systems are all paramount to any kind of high speed pursuit and Chrysler has said they will begin the recall as early as March.

Read on for the full report from Safercar.gov ...


Nissan Recalls 36,000 Versas!

On: Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 4:12PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Nissan Recalls 36,000 Versas! test 2

If you are one of the 36,608 owners of a Nissan Versa produced between June 9, 2011 and January 13, 2012 you may want to get it back to the dealership with some haste. It seems that because of a factory defect in how the shifter rod and shift knob interact, drivers may inadvertently shift the car out of park and into gear without warning.

Obviously, this can have severe and potentially fatal consequences to not only the driver and passengers, but also to those walking by and around the cars. Nissan will notify all owners, but owners may contact them at 1-800-647-7261 with any questions or to set up an appointment.

Read on for the full report from Safercar.gov ...

Smoldering Kia Soul 'Red Rock' Edition Oozes Style

On: Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 2:29PM | By: Chris Salamone

Kia Soul Red Rock Edition test 2

Unfortunately for most subcompact or compact car buyers, the range of vehicle color options is usually pretty limited. There are exceptions, of course, with Mini and Fiat. But for the most part we’re stuck with vehicles offered in Satin Pearl While, Radiant Red, and the like. Kia, on the other hand, has taken some big risks with their most youthful vehicle, the Soul: from highlighter green, appropriately labeled Alien, to the last six special edition Soul variants which offered wacky colors and accessories to boot.

And the company’s latest seventh special edition Soul tops them all. Just a few days ago, Kia Motors America announced the production of an all-new Red Rock Soul which takes inspiration from the epic rock formations found in the Southwest United States – featuring a snazzy color theme and premium features.

Major Failure: Maybach Lost $440,000 On Every Model

On: Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 9:59AM | By: Chris Weiss

Major Failure: Maybach Lost $440,000 On Every Model test 2

The fact that Daimler's ultra-premium Bentley competitor Maybach has been struggling is not a news story. Daimler has barely managed to sell a couple hundred Maybachs a year while Bentley approaches five-figure sales. What is somewhat surprising and newsworthy, though, is just how bad Maybach has been doing. A new report puts some figures to the soon-to-be-defunct brand's struggles.

Based on its own calculations, CAR magazine estimates that Daimler has been losing about 330,000 euros on every model sold. That's about $440,000 by today's rates, which coincidentally, puts the loss figure neatly between the cost of the Maybach 62 ($430,450) and the 62 S ($470,350).

Obama's All-American Auto Tour Angers Foreign Car Companies

On: Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 4:55PM | By: Chris Weiss

Obama's All-American Auto Tour Angers Foreign Car Companies test 2

The Washington Auto Show is typically lost among bigger, more important shows like the Detroit Auto Show and Chicago Auto Show. This year's show made some headlines, though. It's not for crazy concepts or big debuts, but instead for an incident involving Washington's most famous resident.

According to Bloomberg, President Obama angered foreign automakers when he focused his tour of the show entirely on domestics. Despite the fact that White House staff told automakers including Honda, Kia and Mercedes-Benz that the President wanted to see green cars and planned to ask them questions, Obama focused all his attention on American automakers and took photographs with decidedly non-green models like the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and Corvette ZR1.

All-New Mitsubishi Outlander To Debut At Geneva

On: Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 12:23PM | By: Chris Salamone

Mitsubishi Outlander test 2

From March 6 through March 18, Mitsubishi will debut an all-new global version of the company’s much-adored Outlander model at the 82nd Geneva International Motor Show. Which, as it turns out, is great news for Outlander enthusiasts and converts alike – the new model will be built with an eco-friendly focus on fuel efficiency, low CO2 emissions, and enhanced storage space functionality.

Launching this summer in Russia, the latest Outlander will then go on to markets in Europe, Japan, Oceania, China and North America.

In the same bold maneuver, Mitsubishi will also unleash an EV-based Outlander which will utilize the same charge system found in the company’s already-to-market MiEV.

Ferrari 599 Successor To Be 'F620'

On: Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 11:20AM | By: Chris Weiss

Ferrari 599 Successor To Be 'F620' test 2

If you've been following Ferrari, you knew that the 599 GTB Fiorano was destined to be the last in a line of "500" models. It succeeded the 575 M and 550 Maranello, and given that there isn't another whole number in the 500s, it was bound to be the last model in that lineage starting with a 5.

Well, if rumors are true, not only will the 599 successor be the first of the 600 models, it will also use a slightly different naming structure.

Nissan Unveils 2013 370Z

On: Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 5:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Unveils 2013 370Z test 2

Nissan whipped the cloth off the all-new 2013 370Z sports coupe the day before the Chicago Auto Show. The new car isn't radically updated, but it does receive some minor styling and options changes.

The main revision to the 2013 Z is the updated front fascia defined by vertical LED daytime running lamps. A red reflector on the rear of the car replaces a black center cover on the current model. Nissan added two new color options - Magma Red and Midnight Blue.