Archive for February, 2014
The following article, written by Consumer Guide Publisher Tom Appel, first appeared in the “2014 Chicago Auto Show Official Show Guide.” Thanks to the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, producers of the Auto Show, for allowing us to share the text again here.
Last year in this same space I reported that the average transaction price of a new car had risen to over $30,000 (it’s about $31,000, now). At the time I looked at a number of vehicles that could be had for around that sum of money.
2013 Dodge Dart Limited
Dates tested: 1/07/2013-1/13/2014
Miles driven: 10,926
Fuel used: 391.7 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 27.9 mpg
About six months after Dodge resurrected the Dart name for a new compact sedan, a dark-grey, top-line Limited model arrived to begin a year-long evaluation.
Folks don’t buy a lot of red cars, but they do like to look at them. According to automotive paint supplier DuPont, red was only the fifth most popular new-car color in 2012. The most popular? Plain vanilla while. Snooze.
On February 12 a sinkhole inside the National Corvette Museum resulted in damage to several classic vehicles. Below is an account of the event and the vehicles damaged provided by the museum, followed by a General Motors press release presented without editing.
Sinkhole Collapses at National Corvette Museum
It took the odd sighting of a Cordoba in traffic this week to bring about this post. It’s only now, 40 years after the fact, the this Chrysler’s chromey goodness started to appeal to me. A friend’s dad had one, and as I recall it was nothing but trouble. Still, he held onto it for years, taken with its smooth ride and handsome, clubby cabin.
Although we’ve had our long-term Mitsubishi Outlander for more than six months now, it wasn’t until I looked up some information on Mitsubishi’s website last week that I noticed this nearly invisible stunner: For 2014, most Mitsubishi vehicles – including our Outlander – are covered by one of the industry’s best warranties. For all practical purposes, it matches the famed – and widely publicized — 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and non-transferrable (original buyer only) 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty of Hyundai and Kia.
Publisher Tom recently sat down to chat with radio personality and noted pet expert Steve Dale, host of “Steve Dale’s Pet World.” The topic of that conversation was automotive dog safety. You can hear that conversation this Sunday (February 15) on WGN radio in Chicago at 6:30 AM CST. Included here are a few of the points discussed.
For decades, the Volvo name was synonymous with safety; it’s what the company promoted and how it made its mark. In recent years, however, Volvo has tried to expand its image to include performance and luxury, both likely in response to the success of rival premium brands such as Audi and BMW – which have long played the performance and luxury cards. This effort resulted in some very un-Volvo-like products that didn’t sell particularly well, and some argue did little but blur the company’s focus. (In response, BMW in particular has battled back with superlative safety claims of its own.)
CHICAGO — At the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, Volkswagen announced its plans to run in the Red Bull Global Rallycross (GRC) racing series for the 2014 racing season. The company is partnering with Michael Andretti’s Andretti Autosport and will field two cars, one piloted by multitalented stunt driver/U.S. Top Gear host/2012 and 2013 GRC Champion Tanner Foust, and the other driven by ex-Formula 1 and NASCAR star Scott Speed.
CHICAGO — Following in the footsteps of other recently released diesel models, BMW announced the first 7-Series to offer a diesel: the 740 Ld xDrive. It carries the same 3.0-liter Twin Power turbocharged inline 6-cylinder diesel as found in the 3-Series, 5-Series, and X5, along with all-wheel drive. Although EPA figures were not yet available, BMW says it should score “deep in the 30s” on the highway cycle. More established was the projected 0-60-mph time: a swift 6.1 seconds. Also established was the price. When it goes on sale this spring, the company says it will start at $83,425 including destination.