Wednesday, October 7, 2015

2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk 4WD: The Brand’s Baby Wrangler

Highlight: The Jeep Renegade shares a platform with its Italian sibling, the Fiat 500X.

Test vehicle’s MSRP: $29,330 (base model $18,990)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; 4-wheel disc brakes; all-speed traction control; daytime running lights; electric stability control system; a hill start assist system; a passenger assist handle; and a tire service kit

Standard Equipment (base model): 16-inch tires; a 6-speed manual transmission; cargo tie down loops; cloth bucket seats; manually adjusted front seats; electric parking brakes; electric power steering; front center sliding armrest; a rear window defroster; a remote keyless entry system; steering wheel mounted audio controls; a manually operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; and a 3.5-inch screen   

Monday, October 5, 2015

Its Recall Mondays: Honda, Nissan And Toyota Are In The Hot Seat

1. AUTOMAKER: Toyota

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain model year 2009-2012 RAV4 vehicles manufactured October 27, 2008, to December 19, 2012 and 2012-2014 RAV4 EV vehicles manufactured July 24, 2012, to August 29, 2014. In the affected vehicles, water may drip onto the joint that connects the wiper linkage to the wiper motor.
Over time, the dripping water may cause corrosion and wear at the joint, potentially resulting in the separation of the wiper linkage. Once this occurs, the wipers would not function, reducing driver visibility and increasing the risk of a crash.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

October's Guest: James Anderson, One Of The Leading Authorities On Self-Driving Vehicles, Talks To Auto Trends with

James Anderson, a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, joins Auto Trends with for a two-part conversation in October, discussing autonomous vehicles. Anderson was a member of a think tank which was responsible for creating a guide for policymakers on autonomous vehicle technology. 

In our two-part conversation, we'll discuss everything from how it feels to be a passenger in a self driving vehicle to the two types of self driving vehicles to what infrastructure needs to be put into place to make this a viable driving option to how it will impact mass public transportation to the obstacles facing this technology to how it will impact personal insurance in case of an accident to how it could change driving age restrictions to how it will impact those who are physically-challenged to when the first vehicles will become available for consumer purchase.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Its Recall Mondays: GM And Hyundai Are In The Hot Seat

1. AUTOMAKER: Hyundai
Hyundai Motor America (Hyundai) is recalling certain model year 2011-2012 Sonata vehicles manufactured December 11, 2009, to April 12, 2012 at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama and equipped with either a 2.0 liter or 2.4 liter Gasoline Direct injection engine. In the affected vehicles, metallic debris may not have been fully removed during manufacturing of the engine crankshaft. If the debris was not completely removed, oil flow may be restricted through the connecting rod bearings, causing connecting rod damage. A worn connecting rod bearing will produce a metallic, cyclic knocking noise from the engine and possible engine failure.
Engine failure would result in a vehicle stall, increasing the risk of a crash.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Can The Pope Lift FIAT's Ailing Sales?

In the world of advertising, the folks over at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles couldn't have stroked a check larger enough to pay for all of the free mentions they received this week as it relates to both the Fiat and Jeep brands -- since Pope Francis' arrival in the United States. 

While Pope Francis could have been the nudge the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, needed to resign, will the 'Heavenly One' be able to lift the Italian brand ailing sales? Through the first eight months of the year, sales for the brand are down 12 percent, when compared to the same period last year. 

Ironically, a few years ago Jennifer Lopez was hired to serve as the brand's ambassador. Most brands yearn to be associated with the entertainment and fashion industry. Unfortunately, for the average consumer, it was hard to believe that Lopez would be tooling around town in a quirky looking Fiat. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Auto Trends with Resumes In October


Auto Trends with resumes in October with several all new shows. Our next two shows will focus on autonomous vehicles. We'll talk with one of the leading experts on autonomous vehicles, discussing how it could change our driving habits, how it could possibly impact our personal insurance coverage, how driverless vehicles could alter mass public transportation (buses and trains) and how it could change the travel patterns of seniors and those who are deemed physically-challenged. Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Garage Preview: 2016 Nissan Altima

Nissan's CEO Carlos Ghosn with the revamped 2016 Nissan Altima.
On Sale This November: 2016 Nissan Altima

New Changes: 
  • Wears new grille like the Maxima and exterior design
  • New interior changes to the center stack instrument panel
  • A predictive forward collision warning system
  • A radar-activated cruise control system
  • A forward energy braking system
  • A rear cross traffic alert system
  • 39-mpg on the highway with 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine
  • New SR trim model (18-inch wheels, smoke headlights, paddle shifters, rear spoiler and unique suspension tuning)
  • Standard Siri Eyes and Nissan ConnectSM 

Monday, September 21, 2015

VW Releases Statement After Manipulating EPA Test Procedures On Diesel Vehicles

Wolfsburg, September 20, 2015 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board (EPA and CARB) revealed their findings that while testing diesel cars of the Volkswagen Group they have detected manipulations that violate American environmental standards.
The Board of Management at Volkswagen AG takes these findings very seriously. I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public. We will cooperate fully with the responsible agencies, with transparency and urgency, to clearly, openly, and completely establish all of the facts of this case. Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation of this matter. 

Its Recall Mondays: The Ram 2500 And 3500 Trucks Are In The Hot Seat

AUTOMAKER: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain model year 2014 Ram 2500 trucks and 2013-2014 Ram 3500 trucks and cab chassis manufactured October 9, 2012, to July 29, 2014. The affected vehicles may have inadequate welds securing the front track bar frame brackets, which may result in the bracket components separating from the frame.
If the bracket components separate from the frame, the vehicle may be more difficult to steer and control, increasing the risk of a crash.