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Perfectly Plum Fit, Still Sitting Pretty

On: Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 4:35PM | By: Chris Salamone


2013 Honda Fit test 2

Whenever subcompact car comparisons pop up, and the Fit is listed as an entry, the outcome can – more often than not – be predicted in favor of Honda’s most true-to-form econo hatchback. Even without a substantive update since the vehicle’s introduction in 2006, except minor aesthetic improvements in 2007, the Fit has continued to be a fan favorite amongst an increasingly popular segment.

So, you’d think that 2013 might be some kind of watershed or big update year for the Honda Fit, especially in light of recent subcompact makeovers coming from Hyundai, Chevrolet, Fiat, et al. Whether it’s because of last year’s series of catastrophes or the company’s continuing market success, Honda has chosen to stay the course and maintain the 2012 Fit, nearly in the vehicle’s present form.   

There is, however, one change worthy of note. Consumers will have a few color choices aside from the usual subcompact classics (blue, red, white, and black), including the new-for-2013 color Midnight Plum Pearl.


2014 Aston Martin Vanquish: The Next Ruler Of All The Lands

On: Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 2:40PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


2014 Aston Martin Vanquish test 2

The king is dead, long live the king!  For those of you who can afford the most expensive cars in the world, you might find yourself chanting this same mantra when it comes to the newest Gran Turismo. Of course, you could just be like us and like to keep up with the current world of extreme automotive luxury and performance cars, even if they may still be just a bit out of our price range. That being said, whether it comes as simply news, or a change in your next purchase considerations, Aston Martin has decided to axe their flagship DBS model and replace it with a name from the not-so-distant-past, the Vanquish.  

In typical Aston Martin style, they've taken the former model, and made it into a car that is bigger, badder, and bolder than ever before. Borrowing extensively from the One-77 show car that made its rounds on just about every circuit in the world, the new Vanquish is a bit sleeker, while accentuating its aggressive rear fenders, while trumping the outgoing DBS in length, height, and width. Of course, that is not necessarily a good thing when it comes to being a car, but thankfully physical dimensions are not the only realm the Vanquish bests the DBS.


Haunted Highways: A Series Exploring The Ghosts of Cars Gone By (Quickly)

On: Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 12:22PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Shelby Series 1 test 2

With the recent passing of one of this writer's personal heroes, we thought it was time to take a look back on one of Carroll Shelby's greatest creations. Although it was only built for one model year, the Shelby Series 1 may be one of the most underrated sports cars of all time.  

The Series 1 was the first car that Carroll Shelby created from scratch. Really? Yes, really. Think it over -- all of the other cars Shelby is known for were already in production: the Cobra was originally an A/C Ace, the GT350 and GT500 were Mustangs, even the Dodge GLH was an Omni before it became one of the first pocket-rockets. The Series 1 however, was nothing before it came into existence  It was an idea, at best and then became one of the crown jewels in the king's garage.


Ford Recalls F650 & F750 Trucks

On: Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 9:56AM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Ford Recalls F650 & F750 Trucks test 2

Ford has issued a recall of 783 of its 2012 F650 and F750 models. Although that number may sound low, keep in mind that the F650 and F750 trucks are purpose built work trucks that are not built in the same quantities as say, the F150 or Explorer, so the amount proportionally is enough to cause concern.

It seems that at the factory, these trucks may not have gotten the correct bonding material between the truck and the windshield. This lack of bonding can cause some severe consequences, like the windshield falling off of the truck. Considering the work that these trucks are usually employed for, that seems to be an even higher concern than one would normally assign for this type of problem.

Owners can contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332 to schedule a free fix of their windshield as soon as possible or wait to be contacted by Ford. Read on for the full report.


 

Ford Recalls 8,200 New Escapes

On: Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 2:57PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


2013 Ford Escape test 2

Ford has just announced a recall of 8,266 Escape models for a very unusual reason. It seems the carpet in these cars may have been aligned wrong underneath the driver’s seat leading to the center console. This misalignment may reduce the distance between the floor and the pedals, which could cause the driver to catch the brake pedal while moving from the gas pedal.

This obviously could cause a host of problems for those on the road, most notably, a crash. Owners can contact Ford at 1-866-436-7332 to schedule a free fix of the carpet and console panel, or wait it out until Ford initiates their recall beginning July 23.  

Read on for the full report.


Dogged Dallas-Man Finds Stolen Car, 42 Years Later

On: Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 1:39PM | By: Chris Salamone


Robert & Cynthia Russell test 2

This one’s for the record books. After almost 42 years of grim pursuit, Dallas resident Robert Russell finally located his stolen 1967 Austin Healey 3000 – which was originally taken from his Philadelphia apartment in 1970. And, most humorously, Russell actually spotted the car on an eBay auction.

“Ever since eBay showed up, I’d check it periodically,” Russell said to The Dallas Morning News. “I checked it on Friday May 11, and there it was.”

That’s what we call persistence.


Lamborghini Opens A New Facility For Concepts And Special Editions

On: Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 11:31AM | By: Chris Weiss


Lamborghini Prototype Center test 2

If you're hoping that Lamborghini will continue to bring the wow factor to auto shows with stunning special edition models like the Sesto Elemento and Aventador J, it looks as though you'll get your wish. The Bull announced that it is opening an entire facility for developing and building prototypes, concept cars and special edition models.

Lamborghini's new prototype and concept center includes a mini assembly line designed to fine-tune building standards and catch problems before they hit the main production lines. The aim is to develop the best manufacturing processes and standards so that your $400,000 doesn't go to waste at the dealership. That assembly line will also be used to build low-volume special edition models like the Sesto Elemento.


Aston Martin Says SUV Is A Go

On: Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 10:14AM | By: Chris Weiss


Aston Martin Says SUV Is A Go test 2

Everyone from Maserati to Lamborghini to Bentley has an SUV or an SUV concept, so why not Aston Martin - especially since Aston already showed an SUV concept several years ago. While we've heard mixed reports as to that concept's fate, Aston says this week that it's been working on an SUV based on the 2009 Lagonda.

You can argue about the beauty of the Lamborghini Urus and Bentley EXP 9 F, but it's really hard to make a case for the Lagonda. It's just a horrible, boxy design that shows none of Aston Martin's prowess with curvy, fast-looking supercars. The only Aston Martin that it appears related to is the Toyota-iQ-based Cygnet, which is the last car in Aston's line that any future model should bear resemblance to.


Consumer Watchdog Sues Hyundai Over 40 MPG Claim

On: Mon, Jul 16, 2012 at 4:04PM | By: Chris Weiss


Consumer Watchdog Sues Hyundai Over 40 MPG Claim test 2

A California non-profit consumer advocacy group is suing Hyundai based upon the "40 mpg" claim of the Elantra. The group says that the Korean automaker didn't comply with Federal Trade Commission regulations in advertising the number.

The Elantra may be good enough to boast Car of the Year honors, but apparently it's not good enough to stay out of the crosshairs of the legal system. Hyundai advertises a 40 mpg rating on the model. That rating is highway only - the city rating is a much more modest 29 mpg, and the combined rating sits at 33 mpg. Of course, advertising either of those figures would cut into the impressive 40 number.


Next Nissan Z To Get Lighter, Debut In 2014

On: Mon, Jul 16, 2012 at 2:08PM | By: Chris Weiss


Next Nissan Z To Get Lighter, Debut In 2014 test 2

The trend with the Nissan Z has always been to go larger: larger engine, larger output and larger model number. Nissan is on the brink of reversing that trend with the next generation Z. It will cut weight, add a smaller engine and try to broaden the sport car's appeal.

According to a conversation between Inside Line and Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura, a concept version of the next generation Z is under development. Nissan wants the next generation Z to enjoy more success than the current 370 Z has. In order to do so, Nissan will shave some of the 370 Z's 3,300 lbs. to make a lighter, presumably more fuel efficient sports car.


New Chevy Promotion Gives Money-Back Guarantee

On: Mon, Jul 16, 2012 at 10:10AM | By: Chris Weiss


New Chevy Promotion Gives Money-Back Guarantee test 2

When it comes to many products - clothes, electronics, sports gear, etc. - you can typically return items that you don't like. While the nature of those returns varies wildly by product and retailer, it's always nice to know that you have a remedy should a purchase not work out the way you'd hoped. Unfortunately, when it comes to the most major purchases in life - homes and vehicles, for instance - you don't have any such leeway. We've all heard the line about a car losing half its value the minute you cruise off the lot, so a return is usually out of the question.

For a limited time, Chevy is extending an unusual opportunity. It's calling it the Chevy Confidence program, and participants will be able to buy, drive and return any new Chevy vehicle.