The Truth About Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 28 May 2015 20:00:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com 2016 Chevrolet Volt On Sale In California, Google, Apple Systems Coming This Summer http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/2016-chevrolet-volt-on-sale-in-california-google-apple-systems-coming-this-summer/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/2016-chevrolet-volt-on-sale-in-california-google-apple-systems-coming-this-summer/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 20:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1077578 California consumers will be the first to buy the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, which will have Google’s and Apple’s infotainment systems beginning this summer. The second-gen PHEV is available for ordering in California starting Thursday, Inside EVs reports, with deliveries set for August. Oregon and the Northeast will join in late August with delivery in early […]

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2016 Chevrolet Volt

California consumers will be the first to buy the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, which will have Google’s and Apple’s infotainment systems beginning this summer.

The second-gen PHEV is available for ordering in California starting Thursday, Inside EVs reports, with deliveries set for August. Oregon and the Northeast will join in late August with delivery in early October, while the rest of the nation can put their orders in beginning October 1 for deliveries starting in November. Price of admission begins at $33,995 MSRP.

When those Volts are delivered, they will be among the first in Chevrolet’s lineup to have Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay systems, Autoblog notes. Joining the Volt will this summer will be the 2016 Cruze, Camaro, Spark and Malibu equipped with MyLink and seven-inch touchscreen. Overall, 14 2016 models will have the systems across all trims.

The decision to offer both systems came down to providing consumers choice, GM’s connected-vehicle experience chief Alicia Boler-Davis said, adding “no two customers are alike, and we cannot expect a single solution that works for every driver in every situation.”

The announcement follows Hyundai’s move to introduce Android Auto to the 2015 Sonata Tuesday, with CarPlay to follow later.

[Source: Chevrolet]

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FCA US Reducing Powertrain Warranty To 60K Miles For 2016 Models http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/fca-us-reducing-powertrain-warranty-to-60k-miles-for-2016-models/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/fca-us-reducing-powertrain-warranty-to-60k-miles-for-2016-models/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 19:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1077546 Those shopping for a new Charger, 300, Wrangler or 1500 because of the powertrain warranty may need to pull the trigger soon due to an upcoming mileage cut. According to the following statement, FCA US is cutting the warranty down from the current 5-year/100,000-mile guarantee to a new 5-year/60,000-mile term for the 2016 model year, […]

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21015 Dodge Charger RT Road and Track Exterior-007

Those shopping for a new Charger, 300, Wrangler or 1500 because of the powertrain warranty may need to pull the trigger soon due to an upcoming mileage cut.

According to the following statement, FCA US is cutting the warranty down from the current 5-year/100,000-mile guarantee to a new 5-year/60,000-mile term for the 2016 model year, Automotive News reports:

Following changes already made by competitors, FCA US is adjusting powertrain warranty coverage for 2016 model year vehicles to be more consistent with industry practices. For 2016MY, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram Truck vehicles with gasoline engines will be covered by a 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty.

An FCA representative says the company’s 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty will remain unchanged, while diesels, Alfas and Fiats are not affected by the policy change; Fiat has its own 4-year/50,000-mile powertrain warranty.

The move follows General Motors’ decision in March 2015 to cut-down its 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty for its Chevrolet and GMC products to a 5-year/60,000-mile policy.

[Source: Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars]

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Jeep Grand Cherokee To Receive Hellcat Power As Trackhawk http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/jeep-grand-cherokee-to-receive-hellcat-power-as-trackhawk/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/jeep-grand-cherokee-to-receive-hellcat-power-as-trackhawk/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 18:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1077482 Looking for a Jeep Grand Cherokee with more altitude than the Altitude? How does a Hellcat Cherokee sound? By the middle of next year, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will hitting showrooms ready to do to Mid-Ohio and Pomona what the Trailhawk does to Moab, Car and Driver reports. Power for the high-performance SUV will […]

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2015 jeep grand cherokee altitude front

Looking for a Jeep Grand Cherokee with more altitude than the Altitude? How does a Hellcat Cherokee sound?

By the middle of next year, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will hitting showrooms ready to do to Mid-Ohio and Pomona what the Trailhawk does to Moab, Car and Driver reports. Power for the high-performance SUV will come from either a naturally aspirated 6.4-liter Hemi V8 found in the current Grand Cherokee SRT — good for 475 horses — or an optional supercharged Hellcat V8, whose 707 horses and 650 lb-ft of tire-destroying torque could likely take the Trackhawk from nil to 60 in under four seconds.

The Trackhawk could also do away with four-wheel drive, as engineers are facing difficulties blast-proofing the Grand Cherokee’s driveline against the raw power the Hellcat V8 delivers; electronically limiting torque in lower gears is also under consideration.

Price of admission is expected to begin at $65,000, with competition to include the Range Rover Sport SVR, Mercedes ML63 AMG, BMW X5 M, and Porsche Cayenne Turbo S.

[Source: Kamil Kaluski/The Truth About Cars]

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Buick Introduces Regal, Verano 1SV Base Models For Entry-Level Luxury Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/buick-introduces-regal-verano-1sv-base-models-for-entry-level-luxury-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/buick-introduces-regal-verano-1sv-base-models-for-entry-level-luxury-market/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 17:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1077338 In the market for a new Buick Regal or Verano? The brand introduced a new pair of base models aimed at the entry-level luxury market for consideration. The Buick Regal 1SV and Verano 1SV begin at $27,990 and $21,990 respectively, knocking off $2,295 and $2,315 from the prices of the next models in line (Regal […]

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2015 Buick Verano Turbo

In the market for a new Buick Regal or Verano? The brand introduced a new pair of base models aimed at the entry-level luxury market for consideration.

The Buick Regal 1SV and Verano 1SV begin at $27,990 and $21,990 respectively, knocking off $2,295 and $2,315 from the prices of the next models in line (Regal Turbo and Verano) in so doing, CarsDirect reports. The prices are meant to help the two sedans compete in the entry-level luxury market against the likes of the Mercedes CLA, Acura ILX, Audi A3 and BMW 320.

What does one get for saving a couple of thousand? For the Regal, a 2.4-liter Ecotec four-pot from the now-defunct fleet version of the sedan, which lacks stop-start and pumps out 182 horses to the front. Meanwhile, the Verano makes do with only an AM/FM radio instead of one with satellite radio included.

Whether or not the Regal and Verano 1SV models will help the brand fight alongside the Encore subcompact crossover against the downstream current of falling sales remains to be seen. Low-end models such as these usually are excluded from incentives General Motors offers for other models, a decision not likely to help the brand in the long run should this latest move fizzle.

Further, dealers may not be too thrilled to have more than a handful of Verano 1SVs on the lot at a time, while $28,000 may be too much to pay for a Regal with leather and 4G yet little power under the hood. Of course, one could wait a year until the first 1SVs hit the used lot for 32 percent off the original sticker, but only if power isn’t an issue on the used lot, as well.

[Source: Buick]

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Marchionne Hearing Wedding Bells By 2018, No Marriage With Opel http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/marchionne-hearing-wedding-bells-by-2018-no-marriage-with-opel/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/marchionne-hearing-wedding-bells-by-2018-no-marriage-with-opel/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 16:00:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1077282 FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne believes consolidation will occur as early as 2018. Meanwhile, Opel won’t be taking FCA’s hand in marriage. Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann stated a merger between his company and FCA was not going to happen, though he agreed with Marchionne in principle regarding such mergers, Reuters reports, especially in regards to volume, […]

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Fiat Cinquecento Ready For The Wedding Circa July 2011

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne believes consolidation will occur as early as 2018. Meanwhile, Opel won’t be taking FCA’s hand in marriage.

Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann stated a merger between his company and FCA was not going to happen, though he agreed with Marchionne in principle regarding such mergers, Reuters reports, especially in regards to volume, scale and utilisation.

Opel’s decision to remain within the General Motors family follows a similar rebuff by GM CEO Mary Barra, who received an email from Marchionne in March suggesting the two combine forces. When asked about the email on a recent visit to FCA’s factory in Melfi, Italy, Marchionne said he writes “lots of emails,” adding he doesn’t talk about such major decisions as consolidation via email.

Meanwhile, Marchionne is holding onto the idea of consolidation overall, believing the industry will see the first occurrence as early as 2018. He didn’t specify his company would be the one heading down the aisle in said consolidation, however.

[Source: neekoh.fl/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

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Tesla Ownership Vignettes http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/tesla-ownership-vignettes/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/tesla-ownership-vignettes/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 15:00:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1064642 We’ve owned our 2013 P85 Tesla Model S since December, putting maybe 3,000 miles on it, so I thought TTAC readers would appreciate a long-term update. Overall it’s still the grin-inducing ride that all owners like to be smug about. That said, there have been more than a few unusual experiences. To that end, I thought it […]

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Tesla Model S

We’ve owned our 2013 P85 Tesla Model S since December, putting maybe 3,000 miles on it, so I thought TTAC readers would appreciate a long-term update.

Overall it’s still the grin-inducing ride that all owners like to be smug about. That said, there have been more than a few unusual experiences. To that end, I thought it would be useful to present this update as a series of individual stories, or vignettes, of the Tesla ownership experience.

tesla-handles

The Fused Door Handle
My daughter is fascinated with the door handles pushing themselves in and out. She was standing there, leaning on it before I got to the car, and once the car detected my key fob, it tried really hard to push out the handle. The car handle won, but then it wouldn’t actually open the door nor would it retract again. Arrggh! A quick search via Google, the Interwebs told me to pull fuse #40. Sure enough, that reset everything back to normal again.

Pulling the fuses on a Tesla, on one of the very few days of the year I happened to be wearing a proper suit and tie, made me a bit nervous. The last thing I wanted was car grease on my nice pants. The only hard part of the operation was pulling the plastic cover (between the frunk and the windshield). After that, pull and push back the fuse and *poof*, problem solved. I did the work while sitting cross-legged in the nicely carpeted frunk. My nice wool dress pants were unscathed in the operation and now my daughter hopefully understands not to do that again.

tesla-fusebox

Anti-Gymkhana Mode
I hate valets. When I go to restaurants or whatever that have mandatory valet, I’ll typically have a conversation like:

“Can I please park my own car?”

“But we’re a valet lot, sir.”

“Can I please park my own car?”

“Umm, okay.”

I’ve complained early and often that one of the big missing features from the Tesla was any sort of Valet Mode to restrict what valet nutjobs can do with the car. Finally, with the 6.2 software update, Tesla has responded. You select “valet mode” from the same drop-down menu where you might otherwise pick a driver. It asks for a four-digit pin and it’s locked in*. In addition to setting a max speed of 70 mph and limiting the power output to disable serious hoonage, valet mode also disables the frunk and glove box from opening and hides personal information (home address, etc.) from the nav system. It even disables the HomeLink garage door opener. Not bad.

Feature request: Teenager mode. Doesn’t need the privacy features, but does need the anti-hoonage. My daughter’s probably going to drive my Tesla one day, without this mode, and I don’t want her wrapping it around a telephone pole.

* Of course, being the paranoid sort, I initially put in “1234” to make sure it worked properly. Later on, when I wanted to change it to something non-trivial, it turns out that it’s a pain to change. You have to do the “oops, I forgot my PIN” dialog, which has you enter your username/password from the Tesla web site. Not that you’d know that without hunting around, once again, on the nets.

Unintended Drive-bys
I was driving home, around the corner from my house, and I came up behind a neighbor walking her dog in the middle of the street. I was crawling forward, waiting for her to notice me and get out of the way, but she didn’t hear the car. Eventually, she turned around and did a double-take. In hindsight, I guess I could have hit the horn, or maybe opened the windows and pumped up the jams, but the Tesla is just too damn quiet for these low-speed scenarios where there’s neither tire noise nor anything else coming from the Tesla. Something like this seems to happen about once a month.

You’ve probably heard that having some amount of car noise is about pedestrian safety. Much has been written about how it’s necessary for electric cars to make suitable noise to notify pedestrians and blind people. After watching Lieberman’s Tesla vs. Hellcat video, I’m firmly convinced that low-speed Teslas should be quietly playing The Girl From Ipanema. That conveys the chill vibe that says “it’s cool, but you know, I’d like to drive through, but hey, whatever.”

Tesla sunshade vanity mirrors

The ‘S’ Stands For Service
Tesla service is its own weird world. I called the local Houston shop and they said I had to call the national number. Because Texas. Really? Fine. After ten minutes on hold, I finally got to list my “concerns” (not “repair requests”, not “work orders” – no, they’re concerns). In this case, it’s fixing the cracked vanity mirror covers, fixing an annoying windshield wiper clicking noise (a well-known defect, err, concern), and installing the rear carbon fiber spoiler (ordered way back when the car was new in 2013 and only now finally arriving for me, the new owner). Fine – after a day, I get a call back from the local shop. Three weeks hence, they were to pick it up from my office, at no extra charge. They claimed the repairs would be done in a single day, but were giving me a loaner Tesla, just in case.

And indeed, they met me in the parking lot of my office around 9:30 a.m. and gave me a S85 (not as fast as my P85, but with the latest AutoPilot features my Model S lacks). Sadly, I still have my day job thing, so I didn’t have the time to give it a spin. I told the Tesla dude I was in meetings until 3 p.m. No problem, sir. They called around then and said they were on the way back with the car. I met them in the parking lot at 3:30 p.m. Everything fixed. Car washed, vacuumed, and charged. And while they had it, they did a bunch of courtesy things (tire pressure, fresh wipers, etc.). All covered under warranty, no charge.
Tesla lacks so many things that are seemingly obvious, like door map pockets, decent interior lighting, rear seat power ports, etc., but you let it slide because hey, I’m driving something special. Here’s the exception.

We park our Tesla in the garage, as one might, to charge it at night. My wife, for the Nth time, went out to the car to grab something she forgot to bring in, but the car’s locked. Arrrgghhh! You see, for me, my car keys are always in my pocket. Always. For my wife, they’re in her purse, which tends to stay on a counter or other flat surface when she’s inside, so she can’t get into the damn car without it. Feature request: if you can do geo-fencing for the suspension settings, then you should also be able to come up with geofencing options for when you’re at home, charging, in a locked garage. Then it’s safe to leave it unlocked.

(Good security ninjas will suggest that advanced bad guys can spoof GPS signals with cheap equipment, and could thusly trick your car into unlocking itself. Other security ninjas would point out that radio-based car keys are generally not robust against attackers with radios either. Anyway, there are lots of ways the car can know it’s in my house, such as the fact that it’s paired with my WiFi. Also, even if you leave the doors unlocked, you still don’t need to let somebody turn the car on and drive away. Principle of least privilege vs. psychological acceptability, baby. Saltzer and Shroeder know what’s up.)

tesla-powerwall

(Free) Power To The People
Tesla recently announced their PowerWall home energy storage battery. I did a detailed writeup for a Houston-local buddy’s political blog, where I presented numbers from my rooftop solar system. Bottom line? If you want to go completely off-grid, you would need to radically super-size your solar system for cloudy/rainy/awful days, and you’d then be wasting all of that excess capacity on sunny days. On the other hand, if your electric utility would offer you variable-pricing, a storage battery would let you avoid paying the high dollars in hot afternoons, instead time-shifting your grid power draws to the evening when power is cheaper. Too bad, despite the 300+ different electrical plans available to me in Houston via Texas electricity deregulation, precisely none of them offer anything like this except for TXU’s “free nights” plan. I figure it’s a goner, since a battery storage system plus that plan equals totally free electricity. Yee haw, deregulation!

Speaking of electricity usage, I give you a preview of coming attractions. In my last Tesla piece, I mentioned how the previous owner of my car upgraded from a P85 to a P85D. After several months of driving it the same way he drove the P85, the net change in his mileage seems to be about 1%. Once he and I have had our respective cars for a year each, I’ll write up a longer discussion of electric car mileage. The long and the short of it, though, is that the mileage penalty for upping the RWD P85 to the AWD dual motor P85D is small enough to be negligible. No matter how you slice it, that’s an impressive feat.

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2016 Mazda2 European Review http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/2016-mazda2-european-review/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/2016-mazda2-european-review/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 14:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1077026 The Mazda2 is another car whose absence in the US market will bring tears to the eyes of driving enthusiasts – and rightly so, because it’s a great little car. At the same time, it was probably the right call by Mazda not to import it to the States. This car can truly shine, but wide open […]

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2016 Mazda2 European Spec

The Mazda2 is another car whose absence in the US market will bring tears to the eyes of driving enthusiasts – and rightly so, because it’s a great little car. At the same time, it was probably the right call by Mazda not to import it to the States. This car can truly shine, but wide open American roads are not the right place for it, no matter how much canyon carving petrolheads would like them to be.

Ask a typical automotive enthusiast or petrolhead about modern cars and you’ll probably hear they are rubbish and the older cars are “just right”. You’ll hear modern cars are too full of electronics. They’re too bloated. The driver is isolated too much from the task of driving. With everything being focused on comfort, safety and economy, the joy of driving suffers.

Try to explain this to the typical car buyer and you get a blank stare in return, which is why the Mazda2 won’t be a sales hit in Europe, and would be a flop in America. It’s is a shame, really, because it’s a wonderful little car.

So, why won’t people buy one over, say, the Citroën C4 Cactus or Škoda Fabia? Or some tiny little crossover, which is actually less practical, but more expensive? Let’s explain it on the Fabia, which I tested recently, and which is a direct competitor to the 2 on European market.

2016 Mazda2 European Spec

As I mentioned several times in the review, sitting in the Fabia feels like you’re in a bigger car than its dimensions suggest. It uses the architecture and interior design language of bigger Volkswagen products and drives in a very “grown up” and confident manner. While a decade or two ago, a supermini was something you bought only to drive around town, the Fabia is a perfectly capable highway cruiser – or it would be, if it had more power.

The Mazda, on the other hand, feels and drives like a small car. Truth be told, the 2 I borrowed for this review was a poverty-spec example with the base 75 hp 1.5L four-cylinder engine while the Fabia esd equipped with its available top-of-the-line 110 hp 1.2 turbo plant, but that doesn’t change much about the way both cars feel.

The first difference is obvious: the Fabia is just larger inside. This is to be expected, as Fabia plays the “half a class above the competitors” game that’s typical for Škodas. However, the Mazda is a bit small even when compared to the average of its class, with cramped rear quarters and a relatively small boot. If you want to use your supermini as a family car, this will not work as well as the Fabia.

2016 Mazda2 European Spec

Then there’s the interior ambiance. The Mazda’s cabin is quite pretty to look at and everything feels slender, smooth and stylish. The Mazda’s “sports car feel” is in contrast to the Fabia and its direct competitors offering up their “big car” interior atmosphere. It’s in the details: a tiny rev counter in the corner of the dash instead of proper dial. Radio or infotainment system sticking out of the dash like a sore thumb. And, of course, the slightly tinny sound made by closing doors.

Don’t get me wrong – the Mazda’s interior doesn’t feel cheap or ugly. It’s just a tad too obvious  the main concern was saving weight and not creating a luxurious experience for those inside. Today’s customers want to be pampered.

What they do not appreciate are the finer things in automobile that we as enthusiasts hold supreme, like sublime suspension tuning or a lovely, naturally aspirated engine paired with a precise, delicate manual transmission. Which is sad, because those count among the main reasons for buying a Mazda2.

2016 Mazda2 European Spec

Let’s start with the engine first. As I already mentioned, my press loaner was powered with the least powerful, least sophisticated version of the 1.5 SKYACTIV four-cylinder. It lacks the trick 4-2-1 headers, crazy compression ratio and – on paper – it looks seriously underpowered. Compared to both superminis I drove before and after the Mazda2 (the aforementioned Fabia 1.2 TSI and Corsa 1.0 Turbo), its 75 hp seems almost like a joke.

Trust me, it isn’t. Having driven a few cars with N/A engines neutered by EU5 emission standards lately, I started to think that turbocharging is the only remaining way to go. Mazda proved me (and probably many others) wrong. There is nothing neutered about this engine. Thanks to its large displacement (for a base engine in an EU-market supermini), it’s not lacking torque in the low range, and it somehow keeps the rev-happy characteristics of a classic Japanese four-pot. I’ve never been a great fan of revvy four-cylinders and I actually like the diesel version of Mazda6 more than the gasoline one, but the four-banger in the Mazda2 is a delight. I found myself revving it right to the redline just for fun and, of course, sometimes out of necessity because 75 hp isn’t really much. That’s not to say the 2 is unbearably slow. On the contrary, it was much quicker than I expected and at normal pace it was perfectly fine. I was surprised by its ability to overtake at A-road speeds (around 60-65 mph in CZ), as well as its relative stability and bearability near the top speed of about 110 mph.

2016 Mazda2 European Spec

Which neatly brings us back to the suspension. The example I tested is probably the least sporty Mazda2 that can be ordered. Small, 15 inch steel wheels with plastic hubcaps and narrow, tall tires. Couple that with a relatively soft suspension and light, city-biased steering with almost no feel or weight whatsoever, it doesn’t sound like a “sporty” small hatchback. As you’ve probably guessed, though, the opposite is true. The 2 represents what I would call the “English school of suspension tuning”. It isn’t low and stiff like German sports cars, designed for impeccable Teutonic roadways. Instead, it uses its suppleness and light weight to be quick and nimble even on broken surfaces – and to be comfortable enough that you don’t get scared off a “spirited drive” by the jolts and jittering.

If I were to distill the previous paragraphs into one sentence, it would sound like this: Unlike the Fabia, which tries hard to feel like an Octavia or Passat (and succeeds to a remarkable degree), the Mazda2 tries really hard to feel as much like a Miata as possible (and succeeds as well). It’s a pretty, lightweight little hatchback with a lovely engine that’s a hoot to drive. The problem for you, our readers from US, is the typical American buyer has precious little appreciation for things like balanced handling or a sweet, revvy, naturally aspirated engine. It’s nice that it gets great fuel mileage (over 30 mpg even in a bit of a rush), but it probably won’t really shine when coupled with its available automatic transmission. Also, the great, nimble suspension will be of little use during typical American commute.

2016 Mazda2 European Spec

The good news? The CX-3 crossover shares a platform with this car. The first CX-3 reviews promise that it may provide much of the things that are great about the 2 while looking large and substantial enough to allure a typical American customer. Considering the base CX-3 with 120 hp 2.0L SKYACTIV engine costs about the same money on the Czech market as the Mazda2 with a 90 hp SKYACTIV 1.5 and only marginally better equipment is probably the real (and quite understandable) reason why Mazda is pulling the plug on the Mazda2’s U.S. sales. Both cars probably cost roughly the same money to build, with the CX-3 being much more interesting to a typical American and only marginally worse for a driving enthusiast.

@VojtaDobes is motoring journalist from Czech Republic who previously worked for local editions of Autocar and TopGear magazines. Today, he runs his own website, www.Autickar.cz. After a failed adventure with importing classic American cars to Europe, he is utterly broke, so he drives an Alfa 164 Diesel he got for free. His previous cars included a 1988 Caprice in NYC Taxi livery, a hot-rodded Opel Diplomat, two Dodge Coronets, a Simca, a Fiat 600 and Austin Maestro. He has never owned a diesel, manual wagon.

Photography: David Marek

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Junkyard Find: 1984 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, Spray-Foam Rust-Repair Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/junkyard-find-1984-toyota-corolla-hatchback-spray-foam-rust-repair-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/junkyard-find-1984-toyota-corolla-hatchback-spray-foam-rust-repair-edition/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 13:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1074322 Let’s follow up 21st Century Junkyard Find Week and Volkswagen Junkyard Find Week with Rusty Junkyard Find week, shall we? On Tuesday, we saw this ’83 Toyota pickup with not-so-effective fiberglass-and-Bondo cover-up-the-rust-and-hope-it-goes-away repairs, and today we’ll be looking at a thoroughly used-up Corolla with similar squeeze-another-few-months-out-of-this-heap repairs done by someone who knew he or she […]

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14 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee MartinLet’s follow up 21st Century Junkyard Find Week and Volkswagen Junkyard Find Week with Rusty Junkyard Find week, shall we? On Tuesday, we saw this ’83 Toyota pickup with not-so-effective fiberglass-and-Bondo cover-up-the-rust-and-hope-it-goes-away repairs, and today we’ll be looking at a thoroughly used-up Corolla with similar squeeze-another-few-months-out-of-this-heap repairs done by someone who knew he or she would be the vehicle’s last owner.
43 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAmericans didn’t much like the look of the AE82 Corolla hatchback, although we bought a fair number of its NUMMI-built Chevy Nova siblings.
51 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee MartinDoes this rust mean that important structural components are likely to fail soon? You bet!
32 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSo close to that magical 300,000-mile mark, but another 38,868 miles in this hooptie would have been pretty miserable.
36 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee MartinEven if the structure held together, there is no quantity or type of air freshener that could cover the stench of the fast-food-detritus-and-bodily-fluids-caked interior of this car.
13 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee MartinPlus it’s a real hassle to have a hatchback with a nonfunctional hatch.
09 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee MartinCrab Spirits is sure to find inspiration about this Corolla’s previous owner via the large number of stickers on the back glass. For example, he or she was a fan of Propaganda E-Liquid.
10 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis retailer of smoking accessories also gets a shout-out on the Corolla’s rear glass.
47 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou could get a diesel version of this car, but few did. Wikipedia editors believe that the 4A-LC engine was sold only in Australia, Switzerland, and Sweden, but you’ll see plenty of these two-digit-horsepower cockroaches in US-market Corollas.

US-market ads for Corollas and their kin seldom employed the word “sexy.”

San Franciscans— hundreds of them, lining the streets— doubted that the ’84 Corolla sedan could do anything.

John Davidson pitched a special New Zealand version of this car.

49 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 25 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 26 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 28 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 30 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 31 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 32 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 33 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 34 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 36 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 37 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 38 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 39 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 40 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 41 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 42 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 43 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 45 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 46 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 47 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 48 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 51 - 1983 Toyota Pickup Junkyard Find - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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U.S. Midsize Car Volume Is Down 4% In 2015 – Camry Growing Its Lead http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/u-s-midsize-car-volume-4-2015-camry-growing-lead/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/u-s-midsize-car-volume-4-2015-camry-growing-lead/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 13:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1076602 U.S. sales of midsize cars tumbled 7% during the month of April and are down 4% through the first four months of 2015. On the whole, America’s appetite for passenger cars is in decline. Overall demand for cars is slightly south of flat in the early part of this year even as the auto industry […]

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2015 Toyota Camry XSE red

U.S. sales of midsize cars tumbled 7% during the month of April and are down 4% through the first four months of 2015.

On the whole, America’s appetite for passenger cars is in decline. Overall demand for cars is slightly south of flat in the early part of this year even as the auto industry posted 5% year-over-year expansion between January and April.

As more American car buyers become buyers of small and midsize utility vehicles, the vehicle groups most obviously paying the price are family sedans. The Toyota Corolla-led compact car category, for instance, is up 7% this year. But Chevrolet Impala-class cars have fallen 13% and the segment up for discussion has lost nearly 30,000 sales in the first third of the year.

Exceptions aren’t uncommon. In some cases, the exceptions are noteworthy. Sales of the best-selling car in America, Toyota’s Camry, fell 10% in April but are up 2% so far this year. As a result, the Camry’s share of the midsize category grew a full percentage point to 18%, year-over-year, through the January-April period.

The Chrysler 200’s 96% year-over-year improvement is somewhat less impressive when the Dodge Avenger’s demise is taken into account. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles went from selling two midsize nameplates to one. Jointly, their sales are up 8%. In terms of year-to-date volume, the 200 ranks fifth in the category, ahead of the Hyundai Sonata and Chevrolet Malibu, and three spots up from its position at this time a year ago.

USA best-selling midsize car sales chart

The Subaru Legacy’s 68% year-over-year improvement translates to an extra 7,977 sales for Subaru, but the Legacy is still a niche player in the U.S. market. Over the last four months, Subaru sold 2.4 Outbacks per Legacy.

The Mazda6’s recent improvements were covered in detail one month ago. 6 sales have now increased in twelve of the last thirteen months.

Hyundai’s Sonata posted a 3% uptick over the first four months of 2015. Like the Camry, that growth period was brought to a sharp halt in April, as Sonata sales fell by 2,581 units, a 13% loss, compared with April 2014.

Meanwhile, the remaining rivals posted declines ranging from the Kia Optima’s 4% drop to the Volkswagen Passat’s 20% slide. Upmarket segment outliers, the Buick Regal and Volkswagen CC, declined 26% and 50%, respectively.

The Optima, Altima, Fusion, Malibu, Accord, and Passat combined for a loss of 47,000 sales between January and April, a 10% decrease.

On the other hand, a class of smaller SUVs and crossovers led by the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4 posted 12% gains in the same period and roundly outsold the midsize car category.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Vellum Venom Vignette: Styling the Shark Jump? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/vellum-venom-vignette-buffalo-butts-saggy-schnozzes/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/vellum-venom-vignette-buffalo-butts-saggy-schnozzes/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 12:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1075194 Bob writes: Hi Sajeev. I’m annoyed by styling that makes the trim height look wrong. Most cars today look like the front is sagging or the rear is too high. The stylists even slant side creases and trim strips down toward the front (Man, I hate that. – SM) to create this look even though a close look […]

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Capture

Bob writes:

Hi Sajeev. I’m annoyed by styling that makes the trim height look wrong. Most cars today look like the front is sagging or the rear is too high. The stylists even slant side creases and trim strips down toward the front (Man, I hate that. – SM) to create this look even though a close look at the rocker panel shows that the car is level.

Why are they doing it? Does the public really like it?

Sajeev answers:

The delicate balance of physical + visual trim height adjustment is standard practice, proving itself over decades for both aerodynamic and stylistic enhancement. The problem? Jumping the shark.

Confused fender? (photo courtesy: speedhunters.com)

But uber radical trim height adjustment must be awesome, because people love the new super-slashy-buffalo-butted Corvette. Even if it gives me violent diarrhea faster than poorly cooked, low-grade beef.

FWIW, the Corvette’s hyper-slashed profile makes sense if the front wheels were 16″ tall. Because that slash, starting subtle and (too) low in the fender and going up to a critical element of the quarter panel, is a mouth writing checks that the body can’t cash.

IMG_4904

Here are two insurance vans inspecting my leaky roof, clearly showing the sadness of over-styled side profiles. (They weren’t parked close enough for a side shot with my phone, sorry.) It’s clear that Chevrolet Nissan over-styled their vanlet while the older Ford retains the logical, rational, and wholly boring contouring of another era.

So, remember: “side styling that looks faster” is a necessary ingredient to car styling. While my professors at CCS demanded rocker panels perfectly parallel to the ground, adding anything (short of a sine wave) along the side profile was fair game, because creativity shouldn’t be hindered by stamped sheets of metal (or plastic). As long as the rockers do not appear pre-bent (that’s less than reassuring to shoppers) from an accident, it’s all good.

Even if we hate the look, others will love it. Or they won’t care enough to stop a new vehicle purchase to replace their clunker!

And opinions are like assholes, hence why this asshole takes forever to justify/publish his Vellum Venom critiques: first complain, then show specific problems and offer “better” alternatives. Half-ass the assholery and prepare to face even more wrath than an end of semester critique at CCS. And I ain’t going through that again.

Thank you for reading.

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QOTD: What’s Wrong With Buick? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/qotd-whats-wrong-with-buick/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/qotd-whats-wrong-with-buick/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 10:50:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1077178 As Tim Cain alluded to earlier this month while speaking of Encore sales, Buick is in a bit of a rut. In a market that’s growing with many brands seeing best-ever sales periods, Buick is being propped up by a single model, its cute-ute Encore. That’s not enough to stave off the downward sales trend of its […]

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2015 Buick Regal GS red

As Tim Cain alluded to earlier this month while speaking of Encore sales, Buick is in a bit of a rut. In a market that’s growing with many brands seeing best-ever sales periods, Buick is being propped up by a single model, its cute-ute Encore. That’s not enough to stave off the downward sales trend of its other offerings as the brand as a whole is down 5 percent year-to-date.

Armchair analysts and pool chair pundits – this is your time to shine. Let’s fix Buick in 24 hours.

While the Encore continues to garner the attention of the buying public, other models – Verano, Regal and LaCrosse – aren’t keeping up in this SUV and truck driven automotive market. Even the Enclave, once lauded as the savior of Buick when dealers couldn’t keep them on the lots, has taken a hit versus newer competition and other models sharing the same platform, the Traverse and Acadia.

What about the Buicks actually finding homes? Even those seem to be problematic. The Regal wears its orphan status badge back to the dealer more so than any other vehicle on sale within the first year of ownership. Buick is continuing on with their “That’s a Buick?” campaign, one they say is a success yet isn’t backed up by its sales figures. Also, the brand exists in a no-man’s land previously occupied by Oldsmobile, Mercury, Plymouth and Saab. All of those are gone now.

Is it the market? Does Buick cut too thin a niche between volume and luxury? Or is it the product, and not the marketing or positioning, responsible for the brand’s lack of sales?

Personally, I think they should just call it Opel and get it over with.

What do you think, Best & Brightest? How would you fix Buick?

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While You Were Sleeping: Cadillac Minuses V8 ATS-V+, Volkswagen Picks Boring Font and Ford Releases Patents into the Wild http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/while-you-were-sleeping-cadillac-minuses-v8-ats-v-volkswagen-picks-boring-font-and-ford-releases-patents-into-the-wild/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/while-you-were-sleeping-cadillac-minuses-v8-ats-v-volkswagen-picks-boring-font-and-ford-releases-patents-into-the-wild/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 10:25:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1077130 The ATS-V+ rumored by Motor Trend is definitely not happening according to Cadillac spokesperson David Caldwell. The proposed new model would encroach too much into CTS-V territory for comfort. Here’s what happened overnight. No V-8-Powered ATS-V Plus In The Pipeline, Says Cadillac (Motor Authority) A big, emphatic “no” was uttered by Cadillac spokesperson David Caldwell […]

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Cadillac ATS-V

The ATS-V+ rumored by Motor Trend is definitely not happening according to Cadillac spokesperson David Caldwell. The proposed new model would encroach too much into CTS-V territory for comfort.

Here’s what happened overnight.

Cadillac ATS-VNo V-8-Powered ATS-V Plus In The Pipeline, Says Cadillac (Motor Authority)
A big, emphatic “no” was uttered by Cadillac spokesperson David Caldwell when speaking to Motor Authority about the possibility of a V8-powered ATS-V+.

Johnnie Walker sponsor wallTodt says F1 will not ban alcohol sponsorship (Motorsport.com)
Despite a report from the European Alcohol Policy Alliance suggesting F1 fans were exposed to alcohol brands to an excessive degree, FIA head honcho Jean Todt has said the sponsorships will continue unabated.

BSK Elise K20An Unquestionably-Japanese Lotus (Speedhunters)
Fluffy leopard upholstery, RAYS’ Volk Racing TE27 wheels, and a Honda K20 to give it motivation, this Elise is as Japanese as it gets.

145640_cars_KJH_10 dealership terms you may not know (Detroit News)
“Be back”, “mini deal”, “pack” and “skate”. These are 10 dealership terms all customers should know.

Ford Focus Electric. Photo courtesy Wikipedia.orgFord to make EV technology patents available to rivals (Automotive News)
Ford is following Tesla’s lead and opening up its portfolio of patents for competing products.

GM First Day as a Public Company CelebrationJudge puts GM suits on hold pending appeal (Detroit News)
The question of bankruptcy immunity will be the deciding factor in a number of ignition switch lawsuits filed against General Motors. A federal judge has put the suits on hold as they await a ruling from another court.

Volkswagen FontVW Changes Their Corporate Font To Something Less Interesting (Jalopnik)
Even Volkswagen’s marketing is becoming more beige as the German automaker adopts a new font for sales materials.

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Tokyo 2015: Toyota Three-Seater Concept Set For Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/tokyo-2015-toyota-three-seater-concept-set-for-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/tokyo-2015-toyota-three-seater-concept-set-for-debut/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 20:00:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1076986 Coming to the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota is set to bring a three-seater open-wheel concept based on the Lotus Seven which could see production. Power for the concept is said to be from a 1.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid pushing 100 horsepower through a CVT to the back wheels, Motoring.com.au reports. Dimensions include a weight of […]

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Toyota i Road and Other Car in Grenoble

Coming to the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota is set to bring a three-seater open-wheel concept based on the Lotus Seven which could see production.

Power for the concept is said to be from a 1.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid pushing 100 horsepower through a CVT to the back wheels, Motoring.com.au reports. Dimensions include a weight of 1543 lbs — thanks to carbon fiber — an overall length of 146 inches, and an overall width of 68 inches.

The publication’s source on the matter says the vehicle’s competition would include the Mazda MX-5 and Honda S600/S1000 should the concept hit the assembly line, a scenario which could occur if the concept proves to be a hit among the press and public alike. Pricing would start at $30,000 AUD ($23,000 USD), with the showroom-ready version bowing at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show before global sales kick off in 2018.

[Source: Toyota]

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General Motors Receives Patent To Sell ‘Geoboxed’ Radio Presets At Auction http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/general-motors-receives-patent-to-sell-geoboxed-radio-presets-at-auction/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/general-motors-receives-patent-to-sell-geoboxed-radio-presets-at-auction/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 19:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1076946 General Motors recently received a patent allowing the automaker to sell your radio’s presets to the highest bidder at auction. The patent — titled “System and method for auctioning geoboxed flexible, semi-locked or locked radio presets” — would let GM sell the presets to various bidders on different vehicles, Jalopnik reports, with each preset being […]

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2016-Cadillac-ELR-OnCue

General Motors recently received a patent allowing the automaker to sell your radio’s presets to the highest bidder at auction.

The patent — titled “System and method for auctioning geoboxed flexible, semi-locked or locked radio presets” — would let GM sell the presets to various bidders on different vehicles, Jalopnik reports, with each preset being geo-fenced.

Thus, if one were to be out on the road listening to NPR, the preset could switch abruptly from the sleepy sounds of “Morning Edition,” to the “wacky” antics of Scumdog McTatertot and the Mötley Breakfäst Crüe once the motorist entered the winning bidder’s geo-fence. Another scenario could have McDonald’s hijack your navigation settings when you were looking for Starbucks for breakfast.

Though GM has the patent to do this to its consumers to bring in revenue from the connected-vehicle space, whether it acts on the patent remains to be seen.

[Source: Cadillac]

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China’s SUV Boom Fueled By Road Rage Concerns, Other Factors http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/chinas-suv-boom-fueled-by-road-rage-concerns-other-factors/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/chinas-suv-boom-fueled-by-road-rage-concerns-other-factors/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 18:00:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1076922 A handful of factors are fueling China’s current SUV boom, with road-rage protection at the top of the list. SUV registrations rose 48 percent during Q1 2015 while accounting for 27 percent of all registrations during the period compared to three years ago, Bloomberg reports. Sanford C. Bernstein senior analyst Robin Zhu says the boom […]

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Great_Wall_Haval_H6_01_China_2012-06-02

A handful of factors are fueling China’s current SUV boom, with road-rage protection at the top of the list.

SUV registrations rose 48 percent during Q1 2015 while accounting for 27 percent of all registrations during the period compared to three years ago, Bloomberg reports. Sanford C. Bernstein senior analyst Robin Zhu says the boom is in part due to increasing incidences of road rage, prompting “sane” motorists to buy SUVs “for self defense” against “the angry ones” on the road.

Other contributors to the boom include rough roads (of the literal sort) outside the nation’s cities, lower fuel prices, and the introduction of low-cost SUVs and crossovers with prices beginning at ¥130,000 ($21,000 USD); 49 such models were or will be introduced by domestic automakers during 2014 and 2015.

[Source: Navigator84/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0]

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Hyundai On Track To Sell 760K In US For 2015 Despite Low CUV, SUV Sales Volume http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/hyundai-on-track-to-sell-760k-in-us-for-2015-despite-low-cuv-suv-sales-volume/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/hyundai-on-track-to-sell-760k-in-us-for-2015-despite-low-cuv-suv-sales-volume/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 17:00:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1076890 Hyundai says it’s on target to sell 760,000 units in the United States by the end of 2015, though crossover and SUV sales are lacking for now. Hyundai’s overall USDM sales through April were up 6.2 percent compared to last year, with 240,038 units leaving the lot, Ward’s Auto reports. The figure bests the automaker’s […]

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2016 Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai says it’s on target to sell 760,000 units in the United States by the end of 2015, though crossover and SUV sales are lacking for now.

Hyundai’s overall USDM sales through April were up 6.2 percent compared to last year, with 240,038 units leaving the lot, Ward’s Auto reports. The figure bests the automaker’s projected 5 percent increase for 2015 thus far.

However, Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski says most of the success comes from car sales, whereas crossover and SUV sales need improving. Though the vehicles made up 21 percent of the automaker’s 68,009 units sold in April alone, the overall U.S. crossover/truck/SUV market made up 55.3 percent of the 1.45 million new vehicles sold during the period:

We’re up 6 percent in cars in a segment that’s down a little bit, (but) we’re up 6 percent in trucks in a segment that’s up almost 11 percent. With us (having) limited capacity of trucks and the truck market representing 56 percent of everything that’s sold, we can hit our number and still potentially lose share just because of the influence of the truck market.

The automaker aims to remedy the issue by introducing a B-segment crossover and the production-ready version of the Santa Cruz crossover pickup, along with boosting inventories of the Tucson, thanks to the upcoming arrival of the 2016 model from South Korea. At least 65,000 Tucsons are set to arrive this year, with 90,000 to be shipped in 2016 due to Hyundai adding 50,000 more of the crossover to the assembly line in Ulsan. More Tucsons could be brought over in 2015, however, if the automaker’s negotiations with the unions fall in the former’s favor.

Hyundai’s share of the U.S. market gained a tenth of a percentage for the first four months of the year, climbing to 4.5 percent compared to 2014.

[Source: Hyundai]

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Lamborghini Officially Enters High-End SUV Game http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/lamborghini-officially-enters-high-end-suv-game/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/lamborghini-officially-enters-high-end-suv-game/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 16:00:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1076866 It’s official: Lamborghini is entering the high-end luxury SUV game with a model set to hit showrooms by 2018. The new SUV will be assembled in Lamborghini’s home of Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, and is the result of a joint collaboration between the Italian automaker, national and regional governments, Volkswagen and Audi, and union representatives. The […]

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Lamborghini Urus at Pebble Beach

It’s official: Lamborghini is entering the high-end luxury SUV game with a model set to hit showrooms by 2018.

The new SUV will be assembled in Lamborghini’s home of Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, and is the result of a joint collaboration between the Italian automaker, national and regional governments, Volkswagen and Audi, and union representatives.

The SUV will be the third model in Lamborghini’s lineup, a feat CEO Stephan Winklemann says “endorses the stable and sustainable growth of the company,” while also signifying “the beginning of a new era” for the automaker.

To bring the yet-to-be-named product to the showroom, Lamborghini said it would invest “hundreds of millions of Euros” over the SUV’s lifecycle toward factory development and expansion. The factory where it will be assembled will go from an area of 80,000 square meters to 150,000, and will see a new assembly line and warehousing. R&D is set for an expansion, as well as the addition of 500 new jobs plus opportunities for the national and international supply chains as a result of the SUV.

[Source: 72Dino/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0]

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County Officials Seek New Partner For Miller Motorsports Park http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/county-officials-seek-new-partner-for-miller-motorsports-park/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/county-officials-seek-new-partner-for-miller-motorsports-park/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 15:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1076754 Earlier this month, Miller Motorsports Park said it would cease operations this October. Now, Tooele County, Utah officials intend to keep the track open. The Tooele County Commission is seeking a partnership with a new operator possessing a “core competency” in operating the 500-acre facility about to be abdicated by the Miller family, The Salt […]

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Miller Motorsports Park Circa May 2008

Earlier this month, Miller Motorsports Park said it would cease operations this October. Now, Tooele County, Utah officials intend to keep the track open.

The Tooele County Commission is seeking a partnership with a new operator possessing a “core competency” in operating the 500-acre facility about to be abdicated by the Miller family, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. The county owns the land Miller Motorsports Park rests upon, and would sell to a new owner if possible, according to County Commissioner Sean Milne:

I would say there have been dozens of potential suitors of one fashion or another [who are] interested in the entire facility down to specific parts of the facility.

Meanwhile, tenants at Miller were given a notice to vacate by the end of this October, though both the county and the Miller Group want them to stay. Milne says the county will “figure out a way to bridge that gap” during the management transition, going as far as to sign the tenants onto new leases meant to carry tenancy past October should new management not be in place by October 31.

Of the parties interested in operating Miller Motorsports Park, Milne says several were “quickly dismissed [as] not serious, not capable of taking care” of the track and surrounding property. However, a decision as to who will operate Miller — or when the decision will be made — remains too early to say, as discussions with potential suitors are in the early stages.

[Source: Mike Renlund/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

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Theft Alert: 1980 Toyota Celica Supra MkI Curbside Classic http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/theft-alert-1980-toyota-celica-supra-mki-curbside-classic/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/theft-alert-1980-toyota-celica-supra-mki-curbside-classic/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 14:15:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1076554 This 1980 Toyota Celica Supra Mark 1 – previously featured as a Curbside Classic right here on TTAC – has been stolen in Eugene, Oregon. Let’s help its rightful owners get it back. This single-family, multi-generational Toyota Celica was stolen sometime between the night of May 20th and the morning of May 21st from the […]

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1980 Toyota Celica Supra Mk1

This 1980 Toyota Celica Supra Mark 1 – previously featured as a Curbside Classic right here on TTAC – has been stolen in Eugene, Oregon.

Let’s help its rightful owners get it back.

This single-family, multi-generational Toyota Celica was stolen sometime between the night of May 20th and the morning of May 21st from the driveway of Lois Harvick and her son, Kelan Enos, in Eugene, Oregon. Lois’ father bought the car new in 1980, a purchase Lois says “was a big deal for my parents to splurge on a sports car.”

Lois’ father eventually passed the car down to her and her son six months ago after the father suffered multiple strokes and was unable to drive. This way, at least the car would stay in the family. Unfortunately, some dirtbag has put a wrench in those plans.

If you see this Celica Supra around Eugene or anywhere in Oregon, please call the Eugene Police Department at (541) 682-5111 and reference case #15-15884.

1980 Toyota Celica Supra Mk1

1980 Toyota Celica Supra Mk1

1980 Toyota Celica Supra Mk1

1980 Toyota Celica Supra Mk1

1980 Toyota Celica Supra Mk1

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Toyota Pitchman Riley B. King Passes Away at 89 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/toyota-pitchman-riley-b-king-passes-away-89/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/toyota-pitchman-riley-b-king-passes-away-89/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 14:00:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1069434 Riley B. King, a blues musician who starred in a commercial launching the 2015 Toyota Corolla last year, passed away at the age of 89 last week in Las Vegas. Wouldn’t it be terrible if that’s the way car enthusiasts looked at the world, solely through headlight shaped lenses, with things outside the automotive sphere […]

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Riley B. King, a blues musician who starred in a commercial launching the 2015 Toyota Corolla last year, passed away at the age of 89 last week in Las Vegas.

Wouldn’t it be terrible if that’s the way car enthusiasts looked at the world, solely through headlight shaped lenses, with things outside the automotive sphere only mattering when they interact somehow with cars?

Riley King was of course better known as B.B. King, a foundational player in the pantheon of electric guitarists, one of the “three kings” of the blues, along with Freddie and Albert. A star on the blues circuit since 1950s “3 O’Clock Blues”, King was an indefatigable performer, performing hundreds of gigs a year. He dressed the blues up in a suit and, after Michael Bloomfield encouraged rock impresario Bill Graham to book his mentor King and other black bluesmasters into his Fillmore auditoriums in the late 1960s, B.B.’s music was exposed to a new and much larger audience. That led to his huge crossover hit “The Thrill Is Gone” (producer Bill Szymczyk‘s shimmering strings added to King’s uptown version of the blues). Regularly performing well into his 80s, the suit eventually became a tuxedo and he became the ambassador to the world for America’s indigenous art form.

As it happens, King’s last public appearance was the Toyota commercial that started airing last October after King withdrew from what turned out to be his final tour that month due to exhaustion and dehydration. The ad, part of the ’15 Camry launch’s ‘One Bold Choice Leads to Another’ ad campaign, was titled “Guitar”. It portrayed a young woman who took a risk at a storage auction and ended up with one of King’s famous “Lucille” Gibson semi-hollowbody electric guitars. The ad shows her driving her Camry to meet King backstage, where he was supposedly reunited with his guitar, which he autographed for her.

B.B. King's famous Lucille

Also, as it happens, just a short while ago I was actually planning on writing about the B.B. King Camry commercial. At the Chicago Auto Show in February, Toyota’s stand had a display case devoted to that commercial, complete with a Gibson “Lucille” and the brocade tuxedo jacket King wore in the commercial. I think guitars are pretty cool, so I took a few photos as best as I could (I don’t have a polarized filter so it was tough avoiding reflections from the display case glass). I was kind of surprised the guitar in the display wasn’t the actual guitar from the commercial. That guitar had a “burst” finish, while the one in the display case was a production black Gibson 65th Anniversary edition ES-355 Lucille in black. The plaque on the case said it was “B.B. King’s Gibson Guitar, Lucille”, but I’m at least a little bit skeptical it was ever Mr. King’s personal instrument. More likely it was loaned from Gibson. The brocade tuxedo jacket in the display, however, was the actual one King wore in the commercial, similar to the one he was buried in, a signature element to his later stage appearances.


“I gave you a brand new Ford, but you said ‘I want a Cadillac.'” When was the last time you heard a blues song about a Toyota?

When I first saw the ad, I wondered if it was based on a true story. Real celebrities appear in commercials with fictional themes all the time. Intrigued, though, by the combination of the actual jacket and a quasi faux Lucille, I found out that it was based on a true story. Toyota’s ad agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, and the ad’s producers, Smuggler, may have plagiarized the plot.

By now you may have heard how B.B. King came to name his guitars Lucille – about a fire in a juke joint, B.B. rushing in to save his guitar, later finding out the fire started with a fight over a woman named Lucille. He told other stories about his Lucilles in his act. This being a car site, one of the stories King told about Lucille was about how the guitar saved his life by keeping his car from crushing him after he flipped it (not likely to have happened in actuality because one of the semi-hollowbody Gibsons that King preferred would likely have been crushed itself). I said guitars and Lucilles, because King used a number of guitars in his career and more than one was inlaied with the name Lucille. One of those was ES-355 prototype for a commemorative production Lucille made by Gibson’s custom shop to be presented to King on his 80th birthday in 2005. King used it in performances until 2009, when it was stolen from his home in Las Vegas.

One of the sayings attributed to B.B. King is “a guitar can’t play the blues if it ain’t been in a pawn shop,” reflecting the economic tribulations of working musicians. Eric Dahl is a guitar player and collector who had been checking out pawn shop guitars for decades before coming across a Gibson with “Lucille” on the headstock in a Las Vegas pawn shop in 2009. As indicated above, Gibson made production versions of the 80th birthday Lucille, so the pawn shop and Dahl likely had no way of knowing that it was stolen. Dahl paid $2,161.99, slightly under market for a production Lucille (one of King’s personal ES-335 Lucille’s is currently advertised at $55,000).

Inspecting the guitar, Dahl found the word “prototype” and researching its provenance led him to Gibson verifying that it was the first prototype for the commemorative 80th birthday Lucille, the same guitar that King played in concert with for years. In November 2009, Dahl arranged to met with King personally and agreed to return the guitar to its rightful owner without compensation. It was, after all, stolen from King. In appreciation, King had arranged for Gibson to provide Dahl with his own Gibson Lucille, which King autographed and presented to the guitar collector. While not quite as valuable as one of King’s personal Lucilles, King’s gift to Dahl has it’s own unique provenance and value.

Dahl didn’t just get a very cool collectible guitar with unmatched provenance out of the story. He also wrote a book about the guitars King had used called B.B. King’s Lucille and the Loves Before Her. Three of the copyrighted book’s chapters tell the story of the stolen and returned Lucille.

After the Corolla commercials started airing, Dahl filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court over copyright infringement, saying that Gibson personnel who were consulted by Toyota and the ad’s producers were aware of his book and those same Gibson employees later confirmed the commercial was based on the account in Dahl’s book.

Toyota filed a motion to dismiss arguing Dahl was suing over an uncopyrightable idea rather than the author’s expression of that idea. “Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, methods of operation, and/or any expression that is not original to the author,” the automaker’s lawyers wrote in the motion.

“Fatal to his claim, Mr. Dahl conflates the concept of the expression of the story (protectable) with the basic idea of the story (not protectable). The concept of a musician who loses a musical instrument which is later found and returned is not unique to plaintiff nor can he claim copyright protection over all such stories. Nor does the fact that the musician in both stories is Mr. King change that result; as a matter of law, plaintiff must point to the expression of his own story in the ad, not some common facts, to make out a claim,” Toyota argued.

In March of this year, U.S. District Judge James Mahan disagreed, saying that while a general idea cannot be copyrighted, the unique manner in which it is expressed can be protected. “Defendants misapply this rule of law to plaintiff’s complaint. Although general themes and ideas are not copyrightable, parallels to more specific elements of a particular expression are protected,” the federal judge ruled in his opinion. Judge Mahan further ruled that Dahl “adequately alleges similarities between the plot, characters and sequence of events, among other factors, of the two works” and allowed the case to proceed, also denying Toyota’s motion to not have to cover Dahl’s legal expenses in case he wins.

B.B. King was not a party to the lawsuit, so that’s one issue his estate won’t have to resolve. Eleven of King’s 15 children survived him and some are fighting with King’s longtime business manager over control of his assets. When the Toyota commercial was shot, King was an old man who had told a story or two about his guitars, some of them not completely true, and he likely figured it was just another good story and a good paycheck. My guess is Toyota was also not the worst actor here, but rather the party with the deepest pockets. Toyota is currently displaying a Spongebob Squarepants Sienna minivan at comic cons and auto shows. They’re obviously not adverse to licensing deals. Hiring King to do the ad probably wasn’t cheap either. Licensing and crediting Dahl’s story would likely have been less expensive than King’s fees. Most likely, if the topic of copyright infringement came up, Toyota was probably reassured by someone (Saatchi & Saatchi, the ad agency’s legal staff, or Toyota’s own lawyers, or a combination of the above) that the story was far enough removed from Dahl’s as to have been in the public domain.

I don’t know if B.B. King ever drove a Toyota Corolla. Cadillacs and Rolls-Royces were more his style (King started out sharecropping which may also explain his fondness for the Chevy El Camino), but regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, B.B. King sure knew how to play the blues.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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Can Hyundai USA Sell 50,000 Copies Of The Santa Cruz Per Year? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/can-hyundai-usa-sell-50000-copies-santa-cruz-per-year/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/can-hyundai-usa-sell-50000-copies-santa-cruz-per-year/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 13:20:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1075706 “There is a very high probability we get the approval of the truck soon.” – Dave Zuchowski, CEO of Hyundai Motor America. In a sense, the debut of the Santa Cruz Concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this past January was surprising because of its level of production readiness and execution. On […]

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Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept“There is a very high probability we get the approval of the truck soon.” – Dave Zuchowski, CEO of Hyundai Motor America.

In a sense, the debut of the Santa Cruz Concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this past January was surprising because of its level of production readiness and execution. On the other hand, to those who were aware Hyundai had for years been contemplating the idea of a pickup truck, the Santa Cruz wasn’t a shock at all.

Now, with word that Hyundai is likely to soon green-light production, the case for marketplace success is quickly called up for debate. Even with the arrival of new midsize pickup trucks from General Motors, the non-full-size pickup truck market remains relatively small at just 15% of the overall pickup truck category and 2.2% of the overall industry’s volume through the first four months of 2015. 

ALL THOSE IN FAVOUR
But, the advocates will say, a production Santa Cruz wouldn’t be a traditional pickup truck. Hyundai knows better than to whittle a decade away in the full-size genre like Nissan has with the Titan. The Santa Cruz will likely be a sibling to the third-generation Hyundai Tucson.

Forget V8 power, the Santa Cruz wouldn’t likely even see a V6. In fact, the concept was fitted with a 2.0L four-cylinder diesel engine pumping out 190 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. (A 2.2L four-cylinder diesel, standard in the Hyundai Santa Fe across the pond, generates 194 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque.) It’s what the truck market’s been missing, Santa Cruz proponents will say. The reason trucks account for 14% of U.S. auto sales now, down from 19% in 2004, is because truly small pickups like the Ford Ranger and Subaru Baja are dead and buried.

Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept

After all, Americans will likely register more than 2.5 million new pickup trucks in 2015. If Americans could buy 670,000 non-full-size pickups this year as they did in 2004 (rather than the 380,000 they’re likely to), pickups would be just as common now as they were then. If only they could buy them, say the supporters of truly small trucks, they would. The buyers are out there, if only there was a product that suited them to a tee. Not a nearly-full-size truck like the new Colorado, but a truck that’s more suitable for weekend fun than it is for week-long work.

They may be right. Hyundai Motor America boss of product planning, Mike O’Brien, believes the Santa Cruz could do Tucson-like sales volume in the United States. That won’t provide the crazy full-size figures of the Ford F-Series or even GMC’s Sierra, but Hyundai averaged 46,300 annual Tucson sales over the last four years. In a market that’s eating up high-riding vehicles, Hyundai is a car-focussed company that could certainly use another 46,000 sales from its “light truck” portfolio.

DOUBTERS LINE UP
But, naysayers point out, isn’t 46,000 a big number for a small truck in an America that loves full-size pickups?

Subaru sold 33,132 Outback-based Bajas in total over more than five years. True, the Subaru of 2002 was not the force that Subaru is now, but the Baja is as much a comparable historical vehicle with the Santa Cruz as there is. You can also consider the Honda Ridgeline: like the Hyundai concept, the Ridgeline isn’t a body-on-frame vehicle, but it was sold by a large automaker with proven underpinnings. The Ridgeline’s best sales year: 2006, when 50,193 were sold. But even during its healthiest span of time, between 2005 and 2007, Honda averaged only 45,000 annual Ridgeline sales.

Indeed, other automakers have considered the idea and set it aside. Remember the Dodge Rampage Concept, the GMC Denali XT Concept, and the Toyota A-Bat Concept? They didn’t make it, and the business case likely had an awful lot to do with it.

MURANO CC OR OUTBACK?
Depending on your perspective, history is either firmly on the Santa Cruz’s side or completely against it. As presented in Detroit, the Hyundai Santa Cruz undoubtedly is not like anything else. That’s a formula that buried the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet but exalted the Subaru Outback.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Piston Slap: The Body Control Module Electric? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/piston-slap-body-control-module-electric/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/piston-slap-body-control-module-electric/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 12:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1074898 Gary writes: Good Afternoon, Today when I got into my 2002 Saturn SL2, the power door locks started chattering. Each door, over the space of about 45 minutes, had the same thing happen. Sometimes it would be one at a time, other times it would be two or more. I also noticed that the inside […]

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Gary writes:

Good Afternoon,

Today when I got into my 2002 Saturn SL2, the power door locks started chattering. Each door, over the space of about 45 minutes, had the same thing happen. Sometimes it would be one at a time, other times it would be two or more. I also noticed that the inside locks – the “up/down” button, not the little lever you use to manually unlock the car – would not work, only later to work. For now I have removed the lock fuse and that stopped the problem. I wait and plug the fuse back in, and the sporadic chattering once again begins. Sometimes it is completely quiet. Any thoughts?

Thank you!

Sajeev answers:

Whenever a problem like this occurs, I blame something Body Control Module like. When guidance systems break down? When there’s a struggle to exist? To resist?  That’s not a mere switch panel or short in chassis wiring. Oh no, Son, this is some heavy duty FAIL right here.

A body control module that’s scared out of its wits is the only culprit behind such berserk behavior. My apologies to the TTAC mothership (and all Torontonians) for such a shameful riding of RUSH’s coattails.

 

bcm

1-0-0-1-0-0-1… (photo courtesy: saturnfans.com)

If I’m right, the video (below) is helpful. Ditto this Saturn forum link, complete with the body control module’s pinouts for your testing pleasure. A replacement is over $200 at Rockauto, rebuilders on eBay want over $150 for the privilege. So you’d be wise to test the wiring, get a factory shop manual and perhaps learn the proper BCM diagnosis method.

And don’t forget the BCM recall, too!

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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QOTD: What Wagon Version of a Non-Wagon Car Would You Actually Buy? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/qotd-what-wagon-version-of-a-non-wagon-car-would-you-actually-buy/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/qotd-what-wagon-version-of-a-non-wagon-car-would-you-actually-buy/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 11:34:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1076658 This, my friends, is the Golf SportWagen TDI (Sportwagon in Canada) currently taking residence in my driveway this week. It’s a brilliant little car, even if it isn’t manual, brown, or all-wheel drive. Even though it’s wonderfully good – the DSG is sharp and smooth, the ride is firm yet svelte, and the torque, oh the […]

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Golf SportWagen

This, my friends, is the Golf SportWagen TDI (Sportwagon in Canada) currently taking residence in my driveway this week. It’s a brilliant little car, even if it isn’t manual, brown, or all-wheel drive.

Even though it’s wonderfully good – the DSG is sharp and smooth, the ride is firm yet svelte, and the torque, oh the torque! – I still wouldn’t buy one.

This past week, I’ve been inundated with different versions of a similar question: are there any modern vehicles I’d actually buy? This is opening up Pandora’s Box and finding a can of worms inside.

Proving the Pandora’s Box part of the above metaphor, automotive journalists are weird degenerates and we desire cars that are truly horrible. Case in point: the Crown Victoria. Sajeev’s unending love for one of Ford’s worst creations, powered by the modular 4.6L V8, is proof of his masochistic ways. Also, he lives in Houston, further cementing his devotion to being eternally uncomfortable, whether it be on sitting on a bench seat or sweating in 95 percent humidity. Or both, assuming the Vic’s air conditioning is on the fritz.

The can of worms part is simple. As an automotive journalist, saying you would buy a particular car, truck, or SUV is akin to endorsement. There are literally tons of vehicles I would buy for myself but would never suggest to others. Much like Sajeev’s “beaten spouse” acceptance of the Panther platform in its many guises, I love one of Ford’s other forgotten heroes: the Bronco. Oh, do I love the Bronco. Not even the cool old Broncos upon which ICON does its magic. I (again) want a plastic-adorned Bronco of the ’90s emblazoned with XLT or Eddie Bauer on the side.

However, I won’t tell anyone else to buy a Bronco. They’re thirsty, problem prone, and completely impractical. A two-door SUV with a removable roof (held down with tamper-proof Torx bolts, no less) powered by, not one, but two V8 engines spitting out very similar horsepower figures? Yup, that’s for me. Give me that, please.

That said, if there existed a long-roof version of some of today’s sedan or hatchback offerings, I’d probably switch my tune.

Impreza? They used to do a wagon. And I would buy it, too. With real money. The hatchback? Not a chance.

Focus? You can get it in Europe. Yet, bringing it to North America would put it in competition with the Escape.

Impala? Oh god. This used to exist in the ’60s and whenever I see one I get that feeling. The nostalgia might push me over the edge.

So, B&B, what wagon version of a normal car would you buy with real non-Internet-commenter money?

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While You Were Sleeping: Mad Max, Maria de Villota’s Mad Family and Mad Funny Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/while-you-were-sleeping-mad-max-maria-de-villotas-mad-family-and-mad-funny-comedians-in-cars-getting-coffee/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/while-you-were-sleeping-mad-max-maria-de-villotas-mad-family-and-mad-funny-comedians-in-cars-getting-coffee/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 11:03:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1076570 Mad Max has been tearing up the box office since mid-May. To capitalize on George Miller’s latest explogasm that’s putting Michael Bay in his place, Warner Brothers has made a video game, too. Rolls-Royce Takes Aim At Younger Customers (GTspirit) Rolls-Royce has a new strategy: get ’em while they’re young. New models like the Wraith […]

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Mad Max Video Game Trailer Screenshot

Mad Max has been tearing up the box office since mid-May. To capitalize on George Miller’s latest explogasm that’s putting Michael Bay in his place, Warner Brothers has made a video game, too.

2014 Rolls-Royce WraithRolls-Royce Takes Aim At Younger Customers (GTspirit)
Rolls-Royce has a new strategy: get ’em while they’re young. New models like the Wraith and Ghost are doing just that by attracting customers on average 10 years younger than those buying Phantoms.

Maria de VillotaMaria de Villota’s family is considering legal action (GMM/Auto123)
While Marussia (now Manor) was cleared of wrongdoing in the freak accident involving one of its cars driven by de Villota, her family is considering bringing a case against the team in an attempt to “assign civil responsibility.”

Buick CascadaGM Extending Run of Buick’s Candid Ad Campaign (WardsAuto)
The “That’s a Buick?” campaign, seen as successful by some and not so by others, will be extended with a new focus on individual features versus schlepping its overall model range.

BYDChina’s BYD says plans fundraising to boost battery capacity, new models (Reuters)
BYD will fundraise through a private placement in order pay for future development. The company is trying to “expand its share of the electric and hybrid vehicle market.”

Comedians in Cars Getting CoffeeStephen Colbert and Jim Carrey are the latest Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee (AV Club)
The new season will also include Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jim Carrey, “and a heavily bearded Stephen Colbert.”

Mad Max Video Game Trailer Screenshot‘Mad Max’ the game has crazy cars, murder and a story (Engadget)
Following the long tradition of great video games based on movies, here’s the first trailer for the interactive playable version of Mad Max.

The post While You Were Sleeping: Mad Max, Maria de Villota’s Mad Family and Mad Funny Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

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Ford Otosan Ceases Production In İnönü Amid Ongoing Industrial Action http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/ford-otosan-ceases-production-in-inonu-amid-ongoing-industrial-action/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/ford-otosan-ceases-production-in-inonu-amid-ongoing-industrial-action/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 20:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1076338 Remember when we said all was well for Ford Otosan regarding recent industrial actions? It’s no longer the case, as one plant ceases production once more. Ford Otosan said it ceased production at its İnönü facility “until further notice” — where the Ford Cargo commercial truck is assembled — as a precaution after some of […]

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Ford Cargo Rolling Out Of Container Port

Remember when we said all was well for Ford Otosan regarding recent industrial actions? It’s no longer the case, as one plant ceases production once more.

Ford Otosan said it ceased production at its İnönü facility “until further notice” — where the Ford Cargo commercial truck is assembled — as a precaution after some of the strikers did not leave the plant, Reuters reports.

The industrial action over working conditions and pay — also affecting Ford Otosan’s plant in Gölcük, as well as operations belonging to Fiat (Tofaş) and Renault-Nissan (Oyak-Renault) — began last month when union Turk Metal negotiated a 60 percent wage hike for workers at a Bosch Fren factory, but failed to do the same with the rest of Turkey’s auto workers.

Renault-Nissan offered to pay striking workers ₺1,000 ($370 USD) to resume production by midnight May 25, only for workers to reject the deal when the automaker’s employer union made revisions said not to benefit employees.

[Source: Ford Trucks/Facebook]

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