Category: New Cars

By on August 15, 2016

2017 Nissan Titan Crew Cab

Nissan’s second-generation Titan arrives in crew cab, V8 form with a U.S. base price of $35,975, including $1,195 for destination and handling.

A terribly long run for Nissan’s first full-size pickup truck effort resulted in only 471,242 U.S. sales between 2002 and 2015, roughly the total number of Ford F-Series pickups sold every seven months. Nissan has forged a unique strategy for the Titan’s relaunch, with the heavier-duty — though not quite Heavy Duty — Titan XD already on the market with a 310-horsepower Cummins 5.0-liter V8 diesel powerplant.

Now the regular-duty 2017 Nissan Titan is arriving in concert with an upgraded full-size pickup truck warranty that matches Nissan’s commercial van coverage: bumper-to-bumper, five years/100,000 miles.  Read More >

By on August 15, 2016

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback front three quarter

American Honda has wisely revealed studio images and announced a level of detail regarding its 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback. After pictures (from an unfortunate angle) of the new car’s early shipment filtered to America last week, the tenth-generation’s third body style looks significantly better in Honda’s official shots.

Honda’s 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine will power all U.S.-bound Civic Hatchbacks across LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Sport Touring trims. The LX, Sport, and EX will be available with a six-speed manual transmission. Until now, the 1.5T upgrade in the tenth-gen Civic was linked exclusively to a continuously variable transmission. Read More >

By on August 12, 2016

2017 Lincoln MKZ Reserve Hybrid

With your left hand’s thumb, scroll through the steering wheel-mounted controls and select Settings. Move up to Driver Assist. Proceed to Drive Control. Then select Comfort.

Now your 2017 Lincoln MKZ Reserve Hybrid is a good ol’ fashioned barge of an American car, with enough rear end float to make pregnant women seasick. Firm? Far from it. That dip in the pavement half a mile ago is still causing the rear occupants’ bellies to teeter-totter as the MKZ attempts to locate its equilibrium.

Pair this menu selection with a prod of the Eco button to the right of the central touchscreen and you now have a modern Lincoln that mostly ignores throttle input, steers with remarkable lightness, and turns potholes into pillows. That sounds like the perfect Lincoln for a customer base that has all but gone extinct.

Fortunately, the refreshed MKZ Hybrid does not need to be driven in Comfort/Eco mode. In fact, the 2017 MKZ is at its best when, as is often the case, Lincoln allows the MKZ to manifest its deep-seated Ford Fusion roots.

So why not buy a Ford Fusion instead? Read More >

By on August 11, 2016

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, Image: FCAThe fourth-generation ND Mazda MX-5 Miata is undoubtedly, indisputably, undeniably the best addition you could make to your garage.

Some people disagree.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported 480 U.S. sales of the Fiat 124 Spider in July 2016. The Spider is a thoroughly transformed version of Mazda’s fourth Miata: different body, distinct suspension tuning, unique powerplant.

With the 124 Spider’s arrival in the United States, 13 months of Mazda MX-5 Miata sales growth came to a screeching halt. Read More >

By on August 11, 2016

2017 Mazda 3 red

Mazda sales representatives across the United States finally have the golden ticket for all of those eventual Honda Civic buyers who walked out the door before even test driving a Mazda3.

“When the driver maintains a constant steering angle, GVC immediately recovers engine drive torque, transferring load to the rear wheels to enhance vehicle stability,” Bill will tell his next up, quoting Mazda USA’s press release. Says Joe to the young couple expecting their first child: “The extremely subtle amount of deceleration force added by GVC normally amounts to 0.01 G or less.” Tom, with a patronizing over-the-glasses glance at the fixed-income senior citizens across the desk, says, “GVC demonstrates its effect consistently over a wide range of driving situations, regardless of the driver’s level of skill.”

GVC, or G-Vectoring Control, is the next step in Mazda’s Skyactiv-branded technology. G-Vectoring control debuts on the refreshed 2017 versions of the Mazda6, a chronically unpopular midsize sedan, and the increasingly uncommon Mazda3, sales of which have tumbled by nearly a fifth since the car’s 2012 peak. Read More >

By on August 9, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Camaro

Yes, Camaro sales figures. They’re not attractive, not what General Motors was accustomed to achieving when the reborn Camaro returned in 2009 as a fifth-generation Ford Mustang fighter. Not for the first time, we told you that story yesterday. Much as we all expected that the Camaro, in its final year, would be outsold by the high-production sixth-gen Mustang in its first year, 2015 is over. This is 2016. The Camaro is the new car. The Mustang could be resigned to Yesterday’s News status.

Instead, the Mustang is outselling the Camaro by huge margins, the Dodge Challenger has outsold the Camaro in each of the last three months, and Camaro volume is down 37 percent since May, year-over-year.

What’s an automaker to do? Read More >

By on August 8, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

General Motors just released pricing and performance figures for its 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and unless Ford comes up with a hotter Mustang, it looks like Dodge still holds the domestic performance crown.

Billed as the most powerful production Camaro ever, the 650-horsepower ZL1 comes with an MSRP of $62,135 for coupe models, $69,135 for drop-tops. Lower-end models stand to benefit from Chevy’s 1LE performance package. Read More >

By on August 8, 2016

Money (Frankleleon/Flickr)

As our own Tim Cain reported this morning, if not for the mid-sized truck sector, total U.S. new vehicle sales volume would have risen by less than one-tenth of one percent. Now, forecasters are reducing their outlook for the remainder of 2016, leading some automakers to start fighting the stagnating market by deploying aggressive incentives.

Sound dangerously familiar? It should. A quote from George Santayana is very appropriate at this juncture: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Read More >

By on August 8, 2016

2016 Dodge Challenger SRT 392

U.S. sales of America’s three pony-muscle car coupes slid 2 percent in July 2016 despite meaningful gains from both the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger.

Blame?

Cast it all in the direction of the Chevrolet Camaro, sales of which plunged 26 percent, a loss of nearly 2,000 sales for Chevrolet dealers compared with July 2015.

Camaro sales declined in 7 of the last 12 months, diving by 9,517 units during a span of three consecutive year-over-year decreases between May and July. After the Camaro outsold the Ford Mustang in five consecutive years, it now appears certain that 2016 will be the second consecutive year in which the Mustang easily outsells the Chevrolet Camaro.

One might even say the Mustang is going to win, “by a lot.” Read More >

By on July 28, 2016

Mercedes E-Class ad

A glitzy Mercedes-Benz commercial that touts the 2017 E-Class as a vehicle that “can drive itself” has consumer and safety advocates fighting mad.

A number of groups are calling on the Federal Trade Commission to take action against the automaker, saying Mercedes mislead the public. In a letter to FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez, the groups claim the E-Class doesn’t come close to being a self-driving vehicle, and fine print doesn’t cut it. Read More >

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