Archive for June, 2012
I am pretty sure that if, as a nation, we could assess and grade the driving skills of all our drivers—and we could subsequently keep folks earning D and F grades off the road during rush hour—our collective commuting times would drop by at least half.
Note: This report supplements Consumer Guide Automotive’s full report on the 2012 BMW 3-Series Sedan, a premium-compact car that starts at $34,900.
I recently spent a beautiful summer day at Ford’s Dearborn Development Center at a media event. It’s a fairly surreal place since it is basically across the street from the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. The steam-powered train in the village is often heard, providing a bit of an audio link back to the time of Henry Ford.
A bad rap can go a long way toward messing your legacy. Take the poor, ill-remembered Edsel. Rendered largely unsellable by a recession and some dubious marketing, the car is now recalled as a lemon, which is certainly not the case.
Although I’ve visited California frequently over the past 20 years—and even lived there briefly back in the ’70s—it always takes a while after arrival to acclimate to the local climate. And I don’t mean the weather. I mean the driving climate. Which, like the weather, differs from that of the rest of the country.
I like police cars. I think they’re cool, exciting, and just plain bad-ass. It’s thrilling when I see one speeding down the road with the lights flashing and the siren going. Even though the mid-1990s Chevrolet Caprices and Ford Crown Victoria-based Police Interceptors weren’t the best looking vehicles to my eyes, they still exhibited a certain measure of get-out-of-my-way authority when dressed in police livery.
Chrysler has had some great brand names in its long history, and the company isn’t reluctant to trade on its past glory. Now for the 2013 Ram 1500, Chrysler is bringing back the TorqueFlite automatic transmission.
1) Accent or Elantra?
Driving the redesigned 2012 Azera this weekend got me thinking: Boy, Hyundai’s cars sure do look alike, at least from the front. With that in mind, here’s a modest quiz designed to see if you can tell them apart. When creating the images for this particular test, more than once did I have to go back to Hyundai’s media website to make sure I had the correct cars. Maybe your eyes are a little sharper than mine are. Mystery car quiz.
Trade weekly Automotive News, citing various sources, reports that the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee large SUV will start sale next January with two notable changes: an 8-speed automatic transmission, replacing a 5-speed unit, and the model’s first diesel-engine option in North America. Both moves were expected, and Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed the diesel option last January.
And what about the 2013s? AN says that production will begin this August at Chrysler’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant, which “will forgo the usual summer shutdown to keep up with demand for the hot-selling SUV.” The facility also turns out the related Dodge Durango, which will probably get the new automatic for 2014 but not the diesel engine. Both models should be virtual reruns for 2013. The 2014s will likely see minor cosmetic and features changes as well.
Chrysler began rolling out the 8-speed automatic on 2012 V6 versions of its large cars: the 300 and Dodge Charger. It’s sourced from a Chrysler plant in Kokomo, Indiana, and built to a design licensed from German transmission specialist ZF Friedrichshafen AG. As with the 300/Charger, the 2014 Grand Cherokee should pair the 8-speed only with the base 3.6-liter Pentastar V6.