Top Story

Two new Jeep Grand Cherokee models celebrated in ad campaign


(September 28, 2016) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The Jeep brand launched a new advertising campaign to mark the introduction of its two newest models of the Jeep Grand Cherokee — the 2017 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and the 2017 Grand Cherokee Summit. The “Free to Be” campaign features the song “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out” by Cat Stevens.

2017 VW Golf Alltrack

SEATTLE — It may or may not come as a surprise to you but the popularity of the traditional family sedan is dying with demand at a five-year low. That’s even as we are in the midst of one of the U.S. auto industry’s best sales years ever following up on last year’s record pace. Vehicles in this segment include the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and others.

2017 Audi Q7

PHOENIX — The original Audi Q7 SUV has been around since 2007, when it was introduced to compete with Mercedes-Benz GLS, BMW X5 and Volvo XC90. But sales never approached those of the Mercedes or BMW offerings.  For 2017 Audi has completely redesigned the Q7. In the process, it shed some 474 pounds, an unusually huge amount for any vehicle.

2017 Ford Fusion

LOS ANGELES — I’m not surprised to read that Ford says the mid-size Fusion four-door sedan is its second best selling vehicle — behind only the F-150 truck. What’s more surprising, in an age when it seems everyone wants an SUV, it outsells the Ford Explorer. Every time I see one on the freeway I am struck by how handsome it looks. Car buffs say it captures “Aston Martin” styling.

Vehicle of the Week

2017 Chrysler Pacifica — A truly modern minivan

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Chrysler made the right decision in abandoning the minivan names that have adorned their groundbreaking vehicles for more than 30 years. It was the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country (along with the long-departed Plymouth Voyager) that gave families a new way to travel in the mid-eighties, ushering in a segment that at its peak sold more than a million units a year.

Here's the Thing

This reviewer is not awed by the plug-in version of the BMW X5

By Paul Borden

(September 28, 2016) BMW has another entry in the plug-in parade with the 2016 X5 xDrive40e midsize SUV, or Sports Activity Vehicle, as BMW prefers. Frankly, I’m not sure why, but it has naught to do with this particular vehicle. I’m just not a big fan of the craze for plug-in versions of hybrid vehicles. Too much bother for, in many cases, little benefit.

J.D. Power forecasts drop in September new-car sales

(September 28, 2016) DETROIT — For the fifth time in the past seven months, U.S. new-vehicle retail sales are expected to drop in September, falling 1.4% from a year ago, according to a monthly sales forecast developed jointly by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. Retail sales are on pace to reach 1,185,500 units in September, while total sales are projected to fall 0.8% to 1,429,100.

Study: As autonomous technology advances, Americans still crave control

(September 28, 2016) IRVINE, Calif. — With new vehicle technologies being reported every day, autonomous (or self-driving) vehicles are capturing the attention of the automotive industry, consumers, dealers and developers alike. However, new research from Kelley Blue Book reveals that Americans are most comfortable with the vehicles currently on the road today, believing that they are significantly safer than models with a higher level of autonomy.

Inside the Industry

30 years of the BMW M3 — The story behind the legend

(September 28, 2016) MUNICH, Germany — 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of a motoring icon, one which revolutionized the mid-size sports car segment when its production started in 1986. The very first BMW M3 set a new standard by which other carmakers would be measured, and, five model generations later, are still judged today.

BMW Motorrad launches airbag riding jacket for upper body protection

(September 28, 2016) MUNICH —  BMW Motorrad is launching the BMW Motorrad Street Air by Alpinestars, an advanced airbag system offering comprehensive upper body protection and the freedom to ride a motorbike in both on- and offroad situations.

The technology is adopted from the current Alpinestars Tech-Air street airbag system — a system requiring no motorbike-mounted sensors.

Thrill-seeking drivers turning to Ford in record numbers

(September 27, 2016) DEARBORN, Mich. — Younger, more affluent car buyers are choosing Ford for its growing lineup of performance vehicles – particularly cars – that get them where they need to go with added thrill. Performance car customers view driving as an absolute emotional, positive experience and relish getting into a car to test their capability on great roads.

This year Ford will sell more than 200,000 performance cars globally, including Mustang, Focus RS, and Focus ST and Fiesta ST — nearly double the volume from just three years ago.

Abandoned Car of the Week

Old International movie trucks

These interesting International tow trucks from the 1950s were found on the lot of Troublemaker Film Studio in Austin, Texas. Apparently the 1950-era trucks were used as props in the film studio movies. The studio has  a very very cool collection of old trucks.
(Photo by Jim Meachen)