One of the most interesting aspects of being an automotive writer is discovering the back-story behind the technical, physical, and design elements of creating a better vehicle. Like fashion, electronics, and other industries, automakers update their products every year. But, how and why do they do it?
Continue reading "2014 Acura MDX: Updated According to Consumer Feedback" »
It begins with green electricity, water, and carbon dioxide.
The end products are hydrogen and a synthetic methane Audi calls “e-gas.” It
is virtually identical to fossil natural gas and is climate neutral.
Audi opened an e-gas plant in Germany this week, making it the first automobile
manufacturer to develop its own sustainable energy chain, but major
German energy utilities have since taken up the idea of power-to-gas
cogeneration and are following Audi with initial projects of their own.
Continue reading "Speaking Of Alternate Fuels, Have You Heard Of “E-Gas”? " »
What do car sales patterns tell about regional
consumer preferences? More than you might think. According to Ford sales data
on the new Escape and Explorer, San Francisco
residents are tech geeks, Philadelphia residents are more eco friendly than the
rest of the nation, Seattle seems to be the leader in mindful driving, and New
Yorkers are stargazers.
Those are just a few of the findings from
Ford’s annual look at U.S. car-buying preferences. Analysis of its U.S. sales
data helps Ford identify buying patterns and to better understand unique
consumer preferences by region. The analysis helps Ford ensure it is
delivering the specific vehicles and options to those parts of the country
where they’re most in demand.
“Across America – from its most sprawling
suburban areas to its largest industrial centers – technology now plays a
defining role in millions’ lives,” said Scott Steinberg, technology analyst for
strategic consulting firm TechSavvy Global. “Going forward, from better ways to
connect and communicate to more energy-efficient travel, innovative and
eco-friendly solutions are only expected to have a growing impact on how we
live, work and play.”
Continue reading "Infographic: What Do Car Buying Patterns Say About Your Neighborhood? " »
launched its 2014 IS sports sedan at the notorious “Rock” (Rockingham Speedway) outside of Raleigh/ Durham, North Carolina. The track opened as a flat, one-mile oval in 1965. It has since changed its length, shape, and altitude and has hosted two NASCAR Cup Series
races, last known as the Subway 400 (1966–2004) and a significant list of other races. Used as the spot for movies and TV filming, the track is currently home to Fast Track High Performance Driving School and is utilized extensively for NASCAR testing.
Continue reading "Driving the 2014 Lexus IS from The Speedway to a Farm-To-Table Dinner" »
By Sue Mead
Knibbe Ranch, Spring
Branch, Texas: This celebrated cattle ranch in the Hill Country of Texas was
the perfect place for ‘The General’ to get back in the saddle! Now launching
its next-generation pickup trucks, General Motors is truly back in the truck wars and hosted the
first drive of its all-new 2014 Chevy Silverado at this working ranch that has been used for a
handful of years as the proving grounds to evaluate the country’s top trucks
each fall, in an annual shoot-out sponsored by the Texas Auto Writers
Continue reading "Driving The General’s Next-Gen Pickup: The All-New 2014 Chevy Silverado was Well Worth the Wait!" »
It’s stunning to me that many American consumers have such a negative response to diesel automobiles. They still have the mindset that diesel fuel is something out of a gothic novel—smelly, toxic, smoky, expensive, and bad for the environment.
It’s not, I assure you. Let me educate you to the future of clean diesel. In this case, it's Mercedes-Benz’ version called BlueTEC.
Continue reading "2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK250 4MATIC: Clean Diesel via BlueTEC" »
It's a bonus! Earth
Day and Car Care Awareness Month, all rolled into
one multimedia post.
In this video, Jody DeVere, CEO of AskPatty.com, joins Easy
Does It host Ereka Vetrini to shine some light on what's really going on
under your hood. When it comes to car care, DeVere says
that the biggest mistake people make is "really not
understanding what your car needs." To combat this, she says, "Crack
open that dusty manual that's usually in the glove box of your car and
understand the basic needs of your car and the intervals that those should be done.
And then do it to the letter of the law. That's going to prevent a lot of
costly, long-term, expensive problems." Click here to watch the Easy
Does It Segment on Yahoo!Shine.
Continue reading "Go Green on Earth Day with Car Care and Fuel-Saving Tips from AskPatty" »
Brasada Ranch, Redmond, Oregon: Attractive new styling, more powerful and efficient engines and some of the latest creature comforts, even at the entry-level model, define the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander; it’s a crossover sport utility vehicle that seats seven. Mitsubishi says the third-generation Outlander has some “ground-breaking safety features for its class”—and we agree. It is also the only SUV at its price in its segment with three-row seating that comes standard. The new model also gets improved aerodynamics and better sound insulation; high-end technologies include adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and a crash-mitigation system. While Mitsubishi has not announced exact pricing, the new model will be priced close to the outgoing version, with an impressive array of added content over the previous generation.
Continue reading "The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Gets Complete Makeover: New Features and Prices Make it a Standout in its Class" »
The 2014 model year marks the 10th time Chevrolet has introduced a new Impala – and this little antelope, born in the Year of the Snake, is a refined, modern take on “The General’s” iconic five-passenger sedan. Its looks have not always been consistently stunning-in fact, the outgoing model was growing a bit long-in-the-tooth. However, the 2014 Chevy Impala’s design team has hit it out of the park with a gorgeous design that is equal parts American muscle and European sculpture.
Continue reading "2014 Chevrolet Impala: Chevy’s Iconic Flagship Takes Flight at a New Level" »
: For the 2013 model year Toyota is giving RAV4 customers a little less and a little more for their money. The “more” category includes a complete interior and exterior redesign, a new engine, new six-speed transmission, and new all-wheel-drive system. Under the “less” heading, Toyota has filed its V6 motor, which was previously available as an option on this compact SUV, as well as removed the optional 3rd-row seat. The 2013 RAV4
starts at $24,145, including destination. The 4th generation RAV4 is significantly more refined and distinct from the first models that came to market in 1994 as ’95 editions with little competition; since Toyota has sold 1.7 million RAV4s in 150 countries and says some 80 percent are still on the road. The latest edition now joins 45 crossovers, including its direct competitors, the Ford Escape
, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue and Chevy Equinox. Toyota’s California design team penned the new model for the U.S.; it gets 8 standard airbags (including driver side knee airbag, front passenger seat cushion airbag and side airbags for front and second row) and a standard backup camera, as well as optional goodies like Blind Spot Information System (BLIS)
and a height-adjustable power liftgate.
Outside, the all-new RAV4 has the profile of an Olympic cyclist, with a low front bumper shape that wraps up from below like handlebars and a roofline that slopes steeply back from the A-pillar like a hunched-over speed racer. Glistening headlamps have an asymmetrical shape that slants inward toward the nose, which features a V-shaped grille that emphasizes this “cute ute’s” more aerodynamic look.
The rear of the ute, which features an integrated spoiler with LED lights, has a bulbous shape that belies the cargo space inside. We’re thrilled that a liftgate replaces the swinging rear door of previous model years which also held the spare tire; standard steel wheels are 17 inches, with 17- and 18-inch alloys available on higher-end trim lines. The spare is now tucked under the cargo floor.
Continue reading "2013 Toyota RAV4: Large Update for a Big Player in the Small-Sized Segment by Sue Mead" »