Top Story

Porsche ranks highest in J.D. Power APEAL Study for 12th consecutive year


(July 28, 2016) DETROIT— Porsche ranked highest in the annual J.D. Power APEAL (Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout) Study released on Wednesday. It was the 12th straight year that Porsche has ranked number one. General Motors received six segment-level awards and Hyundai garnered five. BMW and Volkswagen AG picked up four each.

2017 Jaguar F-PACE

ASPEN, Col. — There’s an old saying that when you’re the last one to arrive at the party, you better be wearing the prettiest dress. As one of the last automakers without an SUV in its lineup, Jaguar called on design director Ian Callum to deliver on this task. And so, the legendary British marque adds the all-new F-PACE to its portfolio.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider

SAN DIEGO — This summer, nearly 50 years after the original Pininfarina-styled Fiat 124 Spider roadster launched in Turin, Italy, Fiat revives the legendary nameplate. The original Fiat 124 Spider came to the United States in 1968, and 170,000 were sold when it was discontinued in 1983. There are 8,000 still registered in the U.S. today and 40 percent of those are owned by millennials and Gen Xers.

2017 Kia Sportage

SAN DIEGO — You only need to look around you and it's easy to see that the compact crossover SUV, or CUV as many like to call it, has become one of the most popular type of vehicle on the road. It's not surprising perhaps as these car-based SUVs are more like a car — dare we say it, they are more akin to a hatchback or small station wagon — than they are a traditional truck-based SUV.

Vehicle of the Week

2016 Chevrolet Cruze — Adding style to the compact segment

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

The first Chevrolet Cruze — which reached market in 2011 — went a long way to erase the memories of the Cobalt and Cavalier, for decades Chevrolet's rather lack-luster entries into the competitive compact car segment. So when the second-generation Cruze was introduced last year as a 2016 model it wouldn't have been surprising to see Chevrolet rest on its laurels, playing it safe with an updated clone of the first generation.

Here's the Thing

Survey: 8 In 10 consumers would be wary of automaker that had been hacked

(July 26, 2016) NEW YORK — Automakers are investing heavily in autonomous and connected-car technology, increasing potential for cyber-attacks against vehicles.  However, failure to prevent a vehicle hack could be devastating to their brands and the bottom line with 82% of consumer respondents saying they would be wary or never buy from an automaker if they had been hacked, according to the 2016 KPMG Consumer Loss Barometer study.

Despite vehicle advances, break downs at record high

(July 25, 2016) ORLANDO, Fla. — Despite advances in vehicle technology, including maintenance reminders and other dashboard alerts designed to mitigate roadside trouble, AAA rescued a record-breaking 32 million drivers in 2015, with more battery, flat tire and key problems than ever before, a new study shows.

Vehicles fewer than five years old in particular experienced a higher proportion of tire and key-related issues than older vehicles, suggesting that the trend toward eliminating the spare tire and moving to electronic keyless ignitions may have unintended consequences.

Nissan Rogue leads Kelley's 10 best new-car deals for July

(July 22, 2016) IRVINE, Calif. — For shoppers on the lookout for a hot new-car deal to kick off summer within the increasingly popular SUV market, the experts from Kelley Blue Book have assembled their list of the 10 best lease, financing and cash back deals for new vehicles available in July 2016 from a variety of auto manufacturers.

Inside the Industry

Ford bolsters availability of SYNC 3 Apple CarPlay, Android Auto platforms

(July 26, 2016) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford is expanding its SYNC 3 connectivity platform — allowing compatibility of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — throughout its entire 2017 U.S. vehicle lineup of cars, SUVs, light trucks and electrified vehicles.

Ford, using its platform-centric approach — creating a technology for its lineup versus going vehicle by vehicle — has been able to swiftly roll out SYNC 3 plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And future, over-the-air updates via Wi-Fi will help ensure it keeps up with the latest technology.

Chevy Bolt EV plant ranks 8th among green power users

(July 26, 2016) LAKE ORION, Mich. – The General Motors Orion Assembly plant that builds the Chevrolet Bolt EV ranks as the eighth largest user of green power generated onsite in the United States among the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership Partners. Over half of the plant is powered by methane captured from decomposing trash in a nearby landfill.

Ford Fusion electrified vehicle sales spike in Los Angeles market in June

(July 26, 2016) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Fusion electrified vehicle retail sales spiked in the Los Angeles market during the month of June, the first month of availability for the new 2017 model, as consumers remain charged up about the high-tech, efficient sedan with room for five.

Based on Ford June sales figures, Fusion Energi sales jumped nearly 40 percent in L.A. compared to June 2015. During the same time period, Fusion Hybrid sales jumped 35 percent. Both of these numbers are retail sales and do not include fleet sales.

Abandoned Car of the Week

Remains of a Barracuda

Plymouth jumped on the compact-sized sporty car craze in 1964 with the Barracuda, which was produced through the 1974 model year. This 1966 first-generation Barracuda has suffered considerable abuse as it rests in a North Carolina lot of used-up cars.  The Barracuda actually pre-dates the Mustang by two weeks. Three engines were offered in the first three years — a 2.8-liter inline 6, a 3.7-liter inline 6 and a 4.5 liter V-8. (Photo by Ralph Gable)