Category: News Blog

By on August 22, 2019

On Saturday, Nissan’s North American dealerships found themselves with a problem. A power outage at the automaker’s data center in Denver disabled a system dealers use to order vehicles, procure parts, check on recall statuses, obtain rebate information, and file warranty claims. As a result, the manufacturer’s communications in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico were disrupted. “Some of our dealer business applications have run in a reduced capacity using manual processing,” Nissan said on Wednesday.

Dealers were not pleased. Read More >

By on August 22, 2019

With BMW and Daimler already getting cosy via their autonomous vehicle partnership, the duo plans on bringing self-driving (SAE Level 4) tech to the masses by 2024. While other automakers have promised more advanced autonomy on a shorter timeline, the reality of the situation is that true self-driving capabilities are proving difficult and expensive to produce. By partnering up, the Germans believe they can continue their quest while sharing the financial burden of development.

The more the merrier, apparently. According to Germany’s Wirtschaftswoche, Audi will be the next guest to arrive at the party. Daimler and BMW’s previous release stipulated that the pair would focus on the joint development of next-generation technologies for driver assistance systems, automated driving on highways, and automated parking — with the goal of seeing those technologies adapted for passenger vehicles by 2024.  Read More >

By on August 22, 2019

We talked up the amazingly real Toyota Avalon TRD recently, making note of its lofty, second-from-the-top price point, but now the second TRD sedan shoe has dropped.

According to pricing guides seen by CarsDirect, those of you salivating at the thought of taking a Camry to the next level — and frankly, who isn’t — can expect to pay significantly less for the smaller of Toyota’s two testosterone-fueled sedans. Five figures less. Read More >

By on August 22, 2019

Hyundai is bringing a retro-future concept vehicle to the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. Called the 45, the car appears to be an electrified hatchback and has the stated mission of helping the brand shape future EV designs. While we’ve only seen a single teaser image of the model thus far, we like where this is heading.

The automaker says the 45 was “inspired by looking back at the brand’s first model in the 1970s,” meaning the Ford Cortina is (and probably always was) off the table. The South Korean manufacturer is likely referencing the rear-drive Pony subcompact. It certainly appears to be the correct shape and the taillight location is similar enough for us not to rule it out. However, the total package seems to be more inspired by the DeLorean DMC-12 and 1980s concepts like the Citroën Karin or Ford Maya.  Read More >

By on August 22, 2019

Herbert Diess Jetta 2017

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess shot down rumors of a potential investment in electric car maker Tesla on Thursday, shortly after a German magazine claimed the VW boss was hot for the idea.

Manager Magazin, whose English translation is unknown, reported that the American automaker’s battery and software prowess had Diess thinking of a share buy, with an unnamed VW manager claiming the CEO “would go in right away if he could.” Read More >

By on August 22, 2019

Electric concept cars are often a snoozefest, nothing but vaporware bait aimed at the techie crowd, but a vehicle coming to Tokyo’s annual auto show in October will likely herald a production vehicle. Specifically, the Lexus brand’s first EV.

Both Toyota and its premium division plan to field a total of 10 electric models by the middle of next decade. If a report detailing the Lexus concept is anything to go on, the brand’s first electric offering might be boxy, modestly sized, and — if Lexus designers really do plan on emulating an older concept — possibly pretty ugly. Read More >

By on August 22, 2019

VW logo, Image: Volkswagen

The blue oval. The three-pointed star. The roundel. The four rings. When it comes to cars, some logos are more identifiable than others, but Volkswagen’s glistening chrome emblem ranks near the top of the easy recognition chart.

It’s classic, simple, and maybe a little dusty. Which is why VW plans to change it.

While reports arose last year of a looming, “colorful” change to the highly visible logo, we now have a better idea of what to expect when the automaker shows its new face in Frankfurt next month. Read More >

By on August 22, 2019

The year is 1990, and you live in Utah or someplace similar and find yourself with plentiful offspring. The only solution here is a full-size van that seats 15. Which extra-long BOF box goes home with the Buy?

Read More >

By on August 22, 2019

1993 Volvo 240 Wagon in Colorado junkyard, LH rear view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

We know, we know — you aren’t. Almost no one is, which handily explains why new wagons are now rarer in North America than sobriety on the first night of Woodstock. Or virginity on the last. It wasn’t always the case, though, as once upon a time a great herd of long-roofed family haulers roamed freely across the vast expanses of pre-Millenium America.

We’re left with premium niche models, and that’s that. Deal with it. This Question of the Day isn’t designed to make you pick favorites from among the skimpy crowd of remaining estate cars, but to think back to those halcyon (or perhaps traumatizing) days before you earned your driver’s license. Read More >

By on August 21, 2019

China’s Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd said on Wednesday that its first-half net profit slipped 40 percent due to the extended economic downturn impacting in the region. According to Reuters, the manufacturer posted a net profit of 4.01 billion yuan ($568.5 million) during the most recent half vs the 6.67 billion yuan it made over the same period a year earlier.

Sales growth is also down. Between January and June, Geely sold 651,680 vehicles — roughly 15 percent less than in the same period in 2018. Finding something to attribute that to will be easy, however. China’s automotive market has been on a downhill slope for 13 consecutive months and we know of at least two reasons why.  Read More >

By on August 21, 2019

This week, General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Ford CEO Jim Hackett were among 181 corporate executives claiming their companies need to do more than just deliver value to shareholders. If you just blacked out, we’ll reiterate — chief executives around the country are suggesting businesses need to do more than pad their share price.

We’re wondering why the sudden change of heart.  Read More >

By on August 21, 2019

honda

Not surprisingly, one change bound for the 2020 Honda Civic Si is its price, but fans of Honda’s sensible middle ground between Civic Sport and Civic Type R won’t be driving away empty handed.

For the coming model year, the bearer of Honda’s hotter 1.5-liter gains a mild change in appearance, additional content, and a nod towards improved performance. Read More >

By on August 21, 2019

According to recent reports, there’s trouble with the White House’s fuel economy rollback. The Trump administration is said to have been meeting with automakers, asking them to stand behind its proposal to freeze economy standards at about 37 mpg until 2026. The New York Times indicates it was an act of desperation, spurred by claims that Mercedes-Benz was on the cusp of supporting the California compromise. Based on existing standards, which would raise the average fuel economy of new cars and trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, the deal would delay its targets by one year.

Honda, Ford, Volkswagen, and BMW previously agreed to support California’s proposal in July. However, the deal is non-binding if the White House decides to push through a rollback, and most of the rhetoric being used by the industry seems more focused on a joint standard.

“A 50-state solution has always been our preferred path forward and we understand that any deal involves compromise,” read the automakers’ joint statement.”These terms will provide our companies much-needed regulatory certainty by allowing us to meet both federal and state requirements with a single national fleet, avoiding a patchwork of regulations while continuing to ensure meaningful greenhouse gas emissions reductions.”  Read More >

By on August 21, 2019

2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e blue - Image: Toyota

Confusion still reigns in the minds of auto consumers, especially when it comes to the murky world of electrification. Past studies have shown that years of misleading terminology and boasting about the capabilities of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles resulted in a public that knew little about the changing auto landscape, or what a hybrid car even does.

“What will happen when my hybrid’s battery depletes?” is a question too many people still ask themselves.

The same murkiness is at play in a recent study by Cox Automotive, in which we learn that Toyota has earned a reputation it doesn’t deserve. Read More >

By on August 21, 2019

One of the greatest singers of our generation, a young lady from Mississippi who goes by the name Britney Spears, once posited that if you want a Bugatti, or a Maserati, you better work.

Pure poetry, that.

Sarcastic references to mediocre pop-music lyrics aside, the song does hide a good point under its generic dance beats. Work usually does need to come before success. Like the old cliché says: “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”

Hard work preceding success is not news, I know, but we can all use a reminder now and then. And there aren’t as many reminders as visceral as watching a pro driver sling a racecar around a track at full speed, sans competition, as he and his co-drivers and crew prep for a race that won’t take place for almost another month.

Read More >

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