It’s back to the drawing board for Hyundai’s marketing team. They can no longer boast of a lineup proliferated by 40 MPG cars, because after today’s news, there are none of them remaining. It seems that Hyuundai What’s more, Hyundai and Kia now have to apologize for the error, replace all mileage numbers on unsold cars, and reimburse owners for the lackluster mileage.
Sometimes, with our minds almost completely immersed in the car business, we forget that not everyone reading this site pays as much attention to cars and the car business as we at Autosavant tend to do. This reality landed in my inbox this morning with a comment pointing out that I referred to the acronym CAFE without defining it in the article about the 2015 F-150 moving to a mostly aluminum body. Let’s take a step back and explain what CAFE is, in the context of the auto industry. (If you want to know what it is in the context of a place to eat lunch, you’re on the wrong website).
By Chris Haak
By now you’ve surely heard the story of Heather Peters, a disappointed Honda Civic Hybrid owner who took Honda to small-claims court in California and won a $9,800 judgment against the company. In California’s small-claims court, neither side may use a lawyer. Ms. Peters sued Honda because her Civic Hybrid didn’t get anywhere near the numbers posted on her car’s window label (which, for pre-2008 Civic Hybrids, was a whopping 49 MPG city/51 MPG highway/50 MPG combined. She won her case, but Honda has vowed to appeal, if for no other reason than to stem a tide of copycats who also want a pound of flesh from Honda.
By Kevin Miller
Over the years, Subaru has carved an interesting niche for itself in the new-car marketplace. Its vehicles all come with standard all wheel drive (aside from the upcoming BRZ sport coupe codeveloped with Toyota). They also tend to cater more to the function-over-form school of design. Subarus aren’t typically noted for the beauty of their designs, but many of the company’s models have a “small on the outside, big on the inside” feel. Aside from subjective design issues, the knock against many Subarus has been that their all wheel drive hardware makes them somewhat thirsty, and their interior materials are a bit polymer-heavy. I was anxious to try out the all-new Impreza, which promises to address some of those issues, and hopefully – for Subaru - broaden its appeal beyond its traditionally strong markets in the Pacific Northwest and cold-weather states.
By Chris Haak
Back in the dark ages, there were cars and trucks. Then there were cars with cargo beds and trucks with seats. Then there were vans. Then there were hippies in custom vans. Then there were minivans, built on a car’s platform. Then over several generations, those minivans grew to be almost 17 feet long and weigh more than two tons. With its new-for-2012 Mazda5, Mazda is banking on the idea that perhaps we need a reset of the definition of the word ‘minivan.’
By Chris Haak
It’s not the sixties anymore, kids. Though certainly there are still high-horsepower holdouts, the days of the V8 and even V6 (or inline six)-powered family sedan are numbered.
The latest data from auto industry research firm IHS Automotive shows that four cylinder engines made up 43 percent of all new-vehicle registrations during the first half of 2011.
By Roger Boylan
Press the Prius’s ignition button and the info screen on the dashboard reads “Welcome to PRIUS,” as if flinging open the gates to a mythical kingdom–which in some ways it is. The Toyota Prius has acquired an almost mythical status, worshipped as a lifestyle statement by preening greenies and scorned for the same reason by the diehard SUV- and pickup-driving class. I fall into neither category. Although I have owned, and enjoyed, gas-guzzling SUVs and pickups, I was impressed by my previous exposure to the Prius (the Plug-In version), and I have no greater affection than any other citizen of the West for the Saudi oil sheikhs who hold us hostage to their whims.
By Chris Haak
That retail gasoline prices have been on the rise over the past few months, and that crude oil is concurrently on the march. You may have also heard something about a war in Libya, an oil-exporting state in the Middle East. Crude oil, which hit an all-time high of $147.27 per barrel on July 11, 2008, only to collapse to less than a third of that just a few months later, is now about $110 per barrel.
However, that’s about 32 percent below that July 2008 high. News out of the most-recent Lundberg Survey of nationwide gasoline prices found that the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular is $3.76. Three weeks ago, the previous Lundberg Survey found that the average price was $3.57. A similar $0.19 gain in the coming three weeks would put gasoline prices at $3.95 per gallon. Even so, Trilby Lundberg, the survey’s publisher, noted that even $3.76 is “within striking distance” of the record. Indeed, that’s just 9.3 percent below it.
By Charles Krome
Frankly, I didn’t hold out much hope for the success of GMC when General Motors decided to make the truck-only division one of its core brands. Not only did I think truck sales in general would begin slipping, but I also thought it would be particularly difficult to make a go of things in the post-bankruptcy auto industry with a lineup that essentially duplicates the Chevy Truck roster. Well, I was obviously wrong on the first point (at least so far), and that made me especially curious about the second.
Today, I can consider that curiosity satisfied, because I just spent a few days living with a fully loaded 2011 GMC Terrain, provided to me with a full tank of gas by the friendly folks at General Motors.
By Chris Haak
Having reviewed more than a hundred new cars for this site, and having driven several hundred more over my two decades behind the wheel, it’s kind of hard for a car to make a good impression on me. I’ve just seen too much, for better or worse. So after having spent a week in Hyundai’s all-new 2011 Elantra, I was surprised and delighted about just how good a compact car can be. It’s not perfect, but it’s clearly the best or second-best car in its class.
Hyundai entered the North American market selling cheap cars, then sold cheap cars with a long warranty that looked odd. That morphed into cheap cars with a long warranty that looked bland. And now, Hyundai is offering buyers cheap cars with a long warranty and dynamic, organic – and most importantly, original – designs.
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