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.
I always keep ChapStick in the cup holder of my car for a lip fix. A quick swipe is the extent of my makeup ritual. However, after observing a friend apply a full face while I was driving one day, I started thinking about what I should keep in the car for an instant touch-up.
In truth, your car can serve as the perfect dressing room. There’s enough natural light to see what you are doing and there’s a built in vanity mirror for close-ups.
However, before you read on, know that the following tips are not meant for when you are driving, stopped at a light or in a traffic jam. Putting makeup on is for those times when you are sitting in the car waiting for your kids to get out of school, parked in a lot waiting to go in for an appointment or clocked into a meter. Bottom line: NO APPLYING MAKEUP WHILE DRIVING.
Noted. Facebook works for everything from keeping up with friends, keeping track of trends, to learning about great deals on cowboy boots.
Facebook also works for philanthropic outreach. Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good, a Facebook initiative, launched in 2011 and repeated in 2012, awarded 100 cars to 100 nonprofits over the period of 100 days to charitable organizations. In 2012, you helped Toyota give 100 vehicles to nonprofits. Daily winners were determined by popular vote on 100carsforgood.com. Now those vehicles are on the road and helping those in need.
Toyota is currently in discussions about how to repeat the plan for 2013. A representative from Toyota just this week explained that "the program will be placed on hold until further notice due to internal changes. We're pleased that the program has helped many organizations and will continue to build on the program’s success while supporting nonprofit organizations. "
Five nonprofits were profiled each day at www.100carsforgood.com. Facebook users voted for the cause they feel would do the most good with a new vehicle. At the end of each day, the winner received a new vehicle and the four runners-up will receive a $1,000 cash grant from Toyota.
“The average person doesn’t think about a non-profit needing a vehicle to get its work done,” remarked Michael Rouse, Vice President of Diversity, Philanthropy and Community Affairs for Toyota Motor Sales USA.
Rouse explained that the idea for 100 Cars for Good – a Facebook site for voting–was the result of a brainstorming meeting at the end of 2010. “We looked at what was going on in social media with non-profits and realized that, while we didn’t have a dollar budget to contribute, we do have cars and trucks. This program puts our products as the star of the show to help keep non-profits going.”
“Over the past 20 years, Toyota has contributed more than half a billion dollars to non-profits throughout the United States. 100 Cars for Good allows us to build on that commitment in new ways, putting the public in the ‘driver’s seat’ as we work to help community organizations make an even bigger impact,” offered Jim Lentz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Toyota Motor Sales.
In the past, local causes included Central Vermont Humane Society, A Child’s Place of Charlotte (helps local homeless children with school work, socialization and more), All Hands Volunteers (aids communities struck by natural disasters), Special Olympics Illinois, and Abby’s House (provides women and children across Central Massachusetts with shelter, housing and advocacy).
“In year one, when we announced that we were giving away 100 cars, perhaps people didn’t realize it was the real deal. Now everybody knows that it’s a legitimate program,” explained Rouse.
To learn more visit: www.100carsforgood.com. You can also see a short film at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjjeHoJbv1Y&feature=youtu.be
Carefree, Arizona: 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.
“It was a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hat- boxes and supper boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of wind-shields that mirrored a dozen suns. Sitting down behind many layers of glass in a sort of green leather conservatory, we started to town.”
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
The year was 1922 and it was nine o’clock in the morning when Gatsby drove up to Nick Carraway’s bungalow in his Rolls Royce. At this particular time in history, Bentley had not yet come across the pond. But, most certainly, if it had been available in the US, Gatsby would have owned one.
In fact, nearly a decade later, in 1931, Rolls Royce acquired Bentley. The companies eventually parted ways in 2002. (It is said that Bentley aficionados refer to these six decades as "the blackest of all.")
Several years ago when I visited the Body Assembly Hall in Crewe, England, the factory where Bentleys are handcrafted, my guide Slim proudly explained, “Bentley Motor Cars, in operation since 1919, started off with the 1920 2 Litre, a vehicle which went on to win the Le Mans in 1924. Bentleys have been making beautiful history ever since.”
Everyone from royalty to Ian Fleming, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Kobe Bryant have owned Bentleys. And even if these vehicles do not assume the same bloodlines as the Rolls-Royce, it is fair to say that driving in a Bentley evokes the same kind of sentiment as Fitzgerald’s poignant quote from The Great Gatsby.
Austin, Texas: Jeep’s update of its 2014 Grand Cherokee model makes it new; there are new drivetrains, more luxury and a bevy of options for off-road prowess define it and its sizzling sibling- the high-performance, lap-of-luxury 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT. One of the original mid-sized luxury SUVs to come to market in 1992, the newest version seats five and is an authentic competitor to VW, Land Rover, BMW, and other high-end sport utes. It’s priced from $28,795 to $50,995; the Grand Cherokee Limited with Jeep’s new EcoDiesel V6 is the lowest priced diesel SUV in the market at $40, 295, says Chrysler.
The exterior strikes a nice visual balance between refinement and ruggedness, with a grille that has been redesigned to give more luxo character overall, with distinguishing trim around each of the signature vertical slots. Slimmer headlamps and a shorter upper grille put a check in the “more refined” category, while 17-inch all-season tires (standard on base Laredo models) and a beefy lower grille have “rugged” cred – plus, depending on the trim level, tires get as big as 20 inches.
The rear has new, larger tail lamps with smart LED lighting, a larger, more aerodynamic rear spoiler, and a re-sculpted tailgate. Dual exhaust tips are standard on all Limited, Overland and Summit models. Front and rear LED lighting, including bi-xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps on higher end models, make Grand Cherokee grandly bright on the road.
For its fourth birthday as a unibody crossover SUV, the Kia Sorento is getting the equivalent of a pony, a piñata party and a wardrobe of amazing new clothes all at once. Among its gifts: a completely new chassis, a new V6 engine, a redesigned interior and some vamped-up, top-of-the-line features including an entirely new high-end trim line. Kia wants to be known for design, safety and value.
The Sorento’s facelift freshens its design, while inside you’ll find improved conveniences, upgraded materials and more amenities. A top IIHS safety pick, Sorento seats five or seven (there are 2-row and 3-row versions), and comes in front-wheel drive and all-wheel-drive models that start at $24,950, including destination charges.
In case you have not noticed, there are a lot of vehicles in the competitive compact and medium-sized utility vehicle (CUV) segment – and they start to all look alike after awhile. Although Sorento doesn’t look radically different from its contemporaries, it has a few distinctive features that help it stand apart. Among them: a beefy grille and deep front air dam with black hexagonal grille inset behind chrome trim. Vertically set rectangular fog lamps offset sleek, slanted headlamps.
The rear end sits high and is capped at the bottom by a kickplate with a sweet-looking oval tailpipe.
Auto shows have a personality and the Chicago Auto Show is described by automakers and autowriters as a “down-home” show—and they love it! There’s even an event sponsored by all the automakers for the press and other early attendees called “Sweet Home Chicago”! But, don’t let its slower pace and more comfortable setting make you think it’s small. In fact, the Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America and this year’s show marked the 105th annual event, which makes it the longest-running and one of the best-attended shows in the world. Sponsored by the Chicago Automobile Trade Association dealers, the show is held at the McCormick Place Convention Complex where the enormous amount of space on hand brings an ease for car makers to offer free concerts and set up experiential test tracks. There’s also a ‘social media day’ now held annually that draws a wide variety of presenters and consumers to come together to evaluate and promote this new landscape and its effect on the automotive industry. AskPatty.com was one of the presenters this year, helping to showcase the exciting and rapidly-growing arena of Marketing to Women.
But, at the end of the day, an auto show is really about new sheet metal and the introductions of new models soon to hit the streets along with the unveiling of concept vehicles that are experiments in design and technology and are meant to take the temperature of the audience, plus help automakers make decisions about whether to move forward with a particular model or technology. There were a number of both-new models that will be in dealerships soon and a few hot concepts. My personal favorites were the 2014 Toyota Tundra, the 2014 Ram Promaster, the 2014 Nissan Juke NISMO and Nissan NV200, and the Kia Crossover CUT Concept.
The Nation's longest running auto show in Chicago opened it's doors for a media preview of this year's latest and upcoming redesigned and brand new models. Here is a sneak peek at what we saw at this years show:
Jaguar introduced their latest XJ and XF models which will feature AWD 3.0 Liter V6 engines. The XF will also be available in RWD and XFR-S. The XFR-S is 550 hp and, "is one serious motorcar," said Jaguar and Land Rover President, Andy Goss. Meanwhile the manufacturer also introduced their fourth generation Range Rover which will feature an all aluminum body. "Everything about this Range Rover is new except the engine," Goss added. They will also be releasing a two seater F-type sports car, "which is our most important new car we have released in many years."
Also in the new car mix is Kia who introduced a very svelte concept crossover and their new Superhero, DC Comics inspired line. Michael Sprague Executive VP of Kia's Marketing and Communications gave a glimpse of models with superhero paint, logos, and trims. The Optima Hybrid and Sorento will be available in this line and Kia's 'hero' theme ties in with their Builtforjustice.com program which helps those located in the Horn of Africa. Kia will also have, "seven all new significantly redesigned vehicles to go on
sale this year," Sprague said. The Kia Forte is one of those redesigns which will be available in March. The Forte will offer two trims and
will be a turbo charged compact which features 201 hp.
Nissan's VP Joe Castelli introduced the manufacturer's expansion of their Nismo option which now includes a Juke Nismo and 370 Z Nismo. There will also be a Nissan GTR track edition which will sell 150 units. This highly anticipated GTR track edition will feature an even greater level of high performance components.