Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Hyundai Azera makes big impression

Hyundai is delighted with the sales of its new full-size Azera, which competes with cars such as the Buick LaCrosse, Nissan Maxima and Ford Taurus. Since the launch of the all-new Azera  earlier this year,  dealers have had a hard time keeping it in stock, dealers report. According to J.D. Power PIN data, the new Azera sits on a dealer’s lot for an average of 16 days before being sold, compared with a Nissan Maxima at 65 days, Toyota Avalon at 28 days, Buick LaCrosse at 63 days and the Ford Taurus at 70 days. Moreover, the new Azera is enjoying a 61 percent conquest rate.
 Hyundai executive credit both the Azera’s sleek design and new powertrain, which features  the Lambda II 3.3-liter , direct injection V6 engine, a six-speed transmission. Hyundai engineers boosted highway and combined fuel economy by one MPG to 30 and 24 respectively, making Azera the first V6 powered Hyundai to achieve 30 MPG highway as well as 293 horsepower.  In addition, the second generation Azera boasts a wide range of advanced safety equipment and outstanding fuel economy. For the 2013 model year,  By Joseph Szczesny


Monday, September 24, 2012

Buick unveils pricing for new Encore

 General Motor Co. says the new 2013 Buick Encore small luxury crossover will arrive at dealers in the first quarter of 2013 with a suggested retail price of $24,950, including a $750 destination charge.
 Standard features include Bose Active Noise Cancellation, 18-inch wheels, a rearview camera and a seven-inch, high-resolution, full-color display radio with IntelliLink connectivity.
 “Encore opens the Buick brand to new groups of customers with a compelling blend of luxury, utility and efficiency,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president of Buick Marketing. “Its versatile shape, agile size and available all-wheel drive invite owners to live active lifestyles while enjoying Buick’s signature style, comfort and refinement.”
Encore will be the most fuel-efficient crossover produced by a domestic automaker, with an EPA-estimated 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway for front-drive models.
Four different trim levels will be available, including a base model with all of the features listed above. An Encore with the Convenience Group adds dual-zone climate control, a 120-volt outlet, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote start and fog lights for $25,760.
An Encore with the Leather Group will cost $27,460 and includes all of the above features plus leather-trimmed upholstery, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a power passenger seat and driver’s seat memory functions.
Encore’s Premium Group includes all content from the Leather and Convenience Packages, along with front and rear park assist, Forward Collision Alert with Lane Departure Warning, a seven-speaker Bose premium audio system with a subwoofer, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a cargo net and area cargo mat. The top of the line model costs $28,940.
All-wheel drive is available on all Encore models for $1,500. Standalone options available for Convenience, Leather or Premium Encore models include navigation for $795, 18-inch chrome-clad wheels for $995), a sunroof for $800  and a Bose premium audio system for $595, but standard on Premium Package.  By Joseph Szczesny

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Nissan to supply New York Taxi

 The New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission has approved regulations requiring the replacement of retiring taxicab vehicles with the Nissan NV200 Taxi of Tomorrow. This milestone, which officially makes the NV200 the taxicab of New York City, comes after a rigorous review and competitive selection process. The regulation sets a new standard for vehicles operating on the streets of New York, beginning in October 2013, and will significantly improve the overall fuel efficiency of New York's taxi fleet, New York City officials said.

The exclusive agreement begins in late 2013, when the first Nissan taxis will hit the New York streets, and lasts for a decade. Powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, the Nissan NV200 is designed to reduce carbon emissions and enhance fuel efficiency across the entire taxi fleet, as old models are replaced.
"Nissan is appreciative of the opportunity to provide the City of New York with the next-generation of its iconic yellow taxi," said Joe Castelli, vice president, commercial vehicles and fleet, Nissan North America Inc. "We're looking forward to working side-by-side with the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission to deliver the safest and most comfortable taxi ever to be on the streets of New York. The Nissan NV200 Taxi will deliver unprecedented innovation and vehicle features to the 13,000-strong taxi fleet."
"The Taxi of Tomorrow is a little closer to today," said NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission Chair David Yassky. "(The) vote may have been five years in the making but feels like a new beginning and leaves us even more excited and energized about the future,"he added.
Drawing on its full range of commercial vehicle experience – including providing taxis for municipalities around the world – Nissan is in the process of conducting extensive testing for the Nissan NV200 Taxi prior to the vehicle going on sale, both at Nissan test centers and on New York city streets. Additionally, the Taxi of Tomorrow will be the first New York taxi to be crash-tested with taxi equipment installed, including the partition. By Joseph Szczesny

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Purchases of more efficient cars continues to grow

The University of Michigan's monthly fuel economy index for August indicates American opted for more fuel-efficient vehicles during August in response to an increase in fuel prices.
The average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. in August was 23.8 miles per gallon --up 0.2 mpg from July, and up 3.7 mpg or 18 percent  from October 2007, according to the University of Michigan's Eco-Driving Index. "The improvement from July to August most likely reflects the increased price of gasoline," U-M analysts noted.
   August sales figures showed that pickup trucks sales also increased during August. But while pickup trucks remain a key tool in American economic life, fuel-economy is now a key factor in consumers ultimate choice. The U-M index, despite a dip earlier in the summer when the price of gasoline dropped in many parts of the country, has continued to creep upward for most of the year, suggesting consumers are looking for greater fuel efficiency in the face of rising fuel costs.
 In addition, manufacturers such as Hyundai and Ford have promoted the efficiency of their new vehicles, touching off a what once Honda executive described recently as a 'fuel-economy arms race." Several manufacturers now offer vehicles that get better than 40 miles per gallon, a figure unheard of as recently as three years ago.
 The U-M Eco-Driving Index (EDI)--an index also indicates the average monthly emissions generated by an individual U.S. driver--stood at 0.82 in June (unchanged from May but an improvement of 18 percent since October 2007).  The EDI takes into account both vehicle fuel economy and distance drivenI.
 The average sales-weighted fuel economy was calculated from the monthly sales of individual models of light-duty vehiclesand the combined city/highway fuel-economy ratings published in the EPA Fuel Economy Guide for the respective models. For both monthly and model year averages, sales-weighted means were calculated. By Joseph Szczesny

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Consumer Reports gives Michelin, Continental high marks

 In Consumer Reports latest tests of all-season and winter replacement tires, Michelin and Continental lead the way. However, tests revealed that worthy tires were not difficult to find and many provided good overall performance.  Overall, Consumer Reports tested 78 models of All Season and Winter Tires: 20 T-speed-rated (118 mph) all-season tires, 20 H-speed-rated or 130 miles per hour  and 22 V-speed-rated or 149 mph performance all-season tires, and 16 winter tire models.
 The Michelin Defender led all T-speed-rated all-season tires that Consumer Reports tested. It has excellent tread life and scores highly in Consumer Reports' three-season driving tests, including dry braking, wet braking, handling, and hydroplaning. It was followed closely by the Continental ProContact EcoPlus. These tires are well suited for many older cars, minivans, and small SUVs.
 A number of newer vehicles come with H- and V-speed-rated all-season tires which Consumer Reports categorizes as performance all-season tires.  In the performance all-season H speed-rated category, the Michelin Primacy MXV4 was Consumer Reports' top-rated model with the Continental PureContact close behind.  The Michelin performed well in most weather tests; offers a comfortable, quiet ride; and has low rolling resistance. The Continental was impressive in Consumer Reports' wet-braking test and has a good balance of all weather performance and tread life. Another Continental PureContact model led the performance all-season V speed-rated group, followed closely by the Pirelli P7 Cinturato All Season. The Continental is an all-around good performer. The Pirelli gets top marks for handling, but its tread-life score was just fair.
Many of the 62 all-season tires scored well in the three-season driving categories, and several models performed well in snow traction and ice braking, according to  the magazine
 Almost all of the winter tires proved excellent at snow traction, and most were good to excellent at ice braking. Winter tires are desirable in places with moderate to severe snow and ice conditions. Michelin's X-Ice Xi3 and Xi2 tied for the lead in Consumer Reports' test of 16 winter tire models. The Xi3's excellent rolling resistance set it apart, but the similar Xi2 performed better in handling, Consumer reports said. By Joseph Szczesny

Friday, September 7, 2012

BMW says model with 12-cylinder engine ready

 Rising gas prices are not an issue here. BMW is rolling out a  a  special limited edition 25th Anniversary Edition 760Li V-12, whhch officials from the German automaker said reflects the  rich tradition of V-12 engines that began back in 1987 with the first appearance of the  groundbreaking BMW 750iL when BMW engineers crafted the most Ultimate Driving Machine of its day with the introduction of its first automotive V-12 engine. 
 If you think BMW will have to worry about unsold inventor, piling up on dealer lots around the country, think again. BMW plans to make only 15 of these very limited edition models  available to US customers on a special order basis only for BMW Center delivery in early 2013 at a price of $159,695 including destination and handling the company said as it announced the first details of the commemorative car this week. By Joseph Szczesny