Mercedes-Benz rolls out the '15 Sprinter cargo van with new technologies such as part-time 4-wheel drive and a more sophisticated electronic stability control system to mitigate the effect of heavy winds and prevent rollovers during extreme maneuvers. A model also is available with a 7-ft. roof.
The redesigned '15 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon are a pair of finely engineered and sharply styled trucks almost certain to draw buyers back into the midsize-pickup segment. (See related story: Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon Bold Move in Moribund Segment)
Kia's first all-electric powertrain in the U.S. comes in the style-heavy Soul, which carries over its internal-combustion-engine cousin's cute-squared appearance with some unique features. (See related story: Kia Electrifies Our Soul.)
The ’15 GLA CUV is based on Mercedes-Benz’s popular entry level CLA sedan. The vehicle shares the sedan’s sculpted good looks, but it has the practical appeal of a CUV, and unlike the CLA, rear headroom for adult passengers .
VWA has led the U.S. in the diesel category, where TDI take rates have hovered around 40% for the Passat sedan, 35% for the Jetta and 23% for the brand overall. So the expanded availability of the even better new 2.0L should be a hit....More
The refreshed Navigator comes with a stout new powertrain, advanced adaptive suspension, new seats, exterior cosmetic updates, a user-friendly interface and a leather-wrapped instrument panel with distinctive cross-stitching....More
The upgrades to Navigator are appreciated, although there wasn’t much budget to change the overall aesthetic inside or out or to address interior fit-and-finish shortcomings, such as the substandard trimming of the headliner.
Ford Transit earns a standing ovation for its excellent 5-cyl. diesel engine, two wide-swinging rear doors, a side slider and a full-length vinyl floor covering that is heavy-duty, sweepable and easily cleaned....More
Ford Transit van is big enough to fit Keith Richards’ wardrobe and all of his on-stage amplifiers (a wall of nine speaker cabinets and amps) and guitars, as well as the medicine chest of tonics, pain killers and other substances necessary to keep him alive.
On the outside, Acura's new midsize TLX sedan bears too close of a resemblance to the model it replaces. Inside, the brand did a fine job on fit-and-finish but the car has some inspired cues. (See related story: The TLX: Acura’s New-Old Car.)
The new C gets two excellent new gasoline engines, more space, top-notch active-safety equipment, solid driving dynamics, an available air suspension and a spot-on interior that looks and feels truly premium....More
The new C-Class sets up a showdown with the BMW 3-Series, consistently the best-selling luxury car in America and one that has pummeled the C for years. But look out, Bavaria. In the past two years, sales of the previous-generation C have been catching up with the 3.
We arrived in Traverse City with the trip computer reporting we averaged 35.2 mpg (6.7 L/100 km), just 0.8 mpg short of the official EPA number, even though the last leg of the trip has some significant hills....More
Chief Johan de Nysschen is looking to lead Cadillac out of a “no-man’s” land, where its vehicles are priced too high for legacy customers and the brand lacks the equity required to conquest Mercedes and BMW buyers....More
In 2017, California’s emissions rules will change and FCVs will carry the traveling credits automakers use to remain 50-state compliant. The rule change could lead to a shift in OEM capital investment....More
The new model should appeal to customers of high-end European makes but “who really want an American car,” says Jim Farley, Ford’s chief marketing officer. “This is an in-your-face (car); there’s nothing subtle about it.”...More
Statistics substantiate the argument too many moms and dads engage in dangerous behaviors and tasks such as driving unbelted, texting while driving and driving intoxicated. Our kids are watching....More
A very senior Toyota executive told me that if gasoline prices are around $3 a gallon in 2018, the company will not be able to meet CAFE regulations. If Toyota can’t meet CAFE targets, then who can?...More
Automotive engineers gathered recently at Detroit's Cobo Center for SAE 2014 Convergence to map the future of electronics as it enables autonomous vehicles, electric drivetrains, new human-machine interfaces, greater connectivity and faster computing speeds. The conference featured several panel sessions, and 70 companies exhibited on the show floor. IAV also demonstrated its highly automated concept vehicle on Detroit highways.
With NFC, “we can now add things like unpairing, which is something that we really, really want to promote people to do, especially if you’re driving rental cars and so on,” says Ford's Jim Buczkowski. “You don’t want to leave any of your identity in the vehicle. Often today, we’re so quick to get out of the vehicle, we don’t do that.”...More
Underwood's research suggests the first two types will be in the market by 2020, but that the era of fully automated vehicles will not begin until about 2030. In 2025, Underwood says highly automated cars that drive themselves on urban highways and surface streets should be available....More
As learning new technology comes to some buyers more naturally than others, automakers need to find ways to mimic the easy-to-use interface found in personal communication devices, such as smartphones and tablets....More
The prevailing view that automated systems first will be used in Europe and North America is being challenged by Chinese interest in what Magna International executive Frank O’Brien calls the digital lifestyle....More
With the technology a driver can get out of the car, push a button on his key fob and the car will go find its parking place. Later, after another button punch, the car comes back to find its driver....More
Older customers for premium cars are unlikely to leave their preferred German brands, but the new generation coming into money is ready to consider Infiniti, global marketing chief Vincent Gillet says....More