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Gas price slide continues following Independence Day weekend

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AAA photo

(July 7, 2015) WASHINGTON — Motorists paid the lowest price at the pump for Independence Day travel since 2010, saving 90 cents per gallon compared to the 2014 holiday. Monday's national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.77 per gallon, down fractions of a penny versus one week ago, according to AAA.

2016 Honda Pilot



CINCINNATI, Ohio — What exactly makes an outstanding family crossover? What traits must it possess in our ever-evolving world in the areas of safety, information, and drivetrain? We pondered this question the other day and came up with a short answer — the 2016 Honda Pilot.
The Pilot is vitally important to Honda, pointed out by the work put into developing an all-new third-generation vehicle that will put the Pilot back in the conversation when discussing which is the best full-sized family crossover on the North American market.

2016 Volvo XC90



LOS ANGELES — By early summer the all-new 2016 Volvo XC90 will be rolling into a showroom near you. Volvo is referring to the next generation XC90 as “all new” because almost nothing but its name has been carried over from the 2014 version. Some might take issue with the term all new, as opposed to “totally redesigned,” but Volvo makes a pretty convincing argument for this choice.

2016 Acura ILX



INDIANAPOLIS — Honda found out the hard way that just because it put a fancy suit and snooty logo on the working-class Civic didn’t make a luxury car.  We’re talking about the ILX, which shares architecture and assembly space with the venerable compact Honda.  Early ILXs were noisy, rode harsh, and weren’t up to their price.  In fact, many felt the Civic Si was a better all-around car for less coin.  For 2016, the ILX trades sass for substance.

Vehicle of the Week

2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country — Outdoor adventure in style



By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Volvo has endowed a version of its excellent V60 luxury mid-sized wagon with 2.6 inches of additional ground clearance, added front and rear skid plates, included standard equipment roof rails, and made all-wheel drive standard equipment. Presto! Now we have the 2015 V60 T5 AWD Cross Country for those among us who are forced to handle nasty winter weather or who want a more traditional wagon with the capabilities of a crossover to tackle light-duty off-roading.

Here's the Thing

Cars.com lists most affordable three-row crossovers

(July 6, 2015) CHICAGO — Cars.com has listed the most affordable three-row crossovers currently for sale. To determine affordability, the list combines the cost to purchase each car (including destination fee), five years of fuel costs as well as each car's residual value after five years.

To qualify for the list, each car had to come equipped with basic features that most car shoppers expect, including automatic transmission, power driver's seat, rearview camera, USB port and Bluetooth connectivity.

Survey: 72 percent of car owners performance their own maintenance

(July 5, 2015) ATLANTA — As nearly 42 million Americans prepare to hit the road this weekend for the Fourth of July holiday, many are taking it upon themselves to ensure their car is ready to handle the journey. Seventy-two percent of Autotrader visitors polled perform work on their car themselves instead of bringing the car to a dealership or shop, according to a recent survey.

Autotrader urges all owners, car-care-savvy or not, to give their vehicles a simple at-home summer check-up before they hit the road.

New-car transaction prices continue to rise, up more than 2% in June

(July 1, 2015) IRVINE, Calif. — The analysts at Kelley Blue Book kbb.com today report the estimated average transaction price (ATP) for light vehicles in the United States was $33,340 in June.  New-car prices have increased by $821 (up 2.5 percent) from June 2014, while increasing $209 (up 0.6 percent) from last month. 

"Ford showed the strongest ATP gains last month, driven largely by its all-new F-150 and a transaction price 6.6 percent higher than the previous generation F-150 last year," said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. 

Inside the Industry

BMW Motorrad achieves best six-month results ever

(July 7, 2015) MUNICH — BMW Motorrad closed the first half of 2015 with a new six-month record with 78,418 motorcycles and maxi scooters sold worldwide. The previous six-year mark was 70,978 units. This represents an increase of 10.5% over the equivalent period in the previous year.

BMW Motorrad also set a new record in June with a double-digit sales increase over the previous month up 31 percent to 15,490 vehicles.

Ford to conduct teen safe driving schools in six Midwestern states

(July 7, 2015) DEARBORN, Mich. — School may be out, but safe driving is still in session. This summer, more than 1,500 teens will attend free camps across six states where they will learn important safe driving tips that are not always taught in driver’s education, such as how to handle a vehicle on slippery pavement or react to a deer or other animal in their path.

Nissan's 'No Charge to Charge' program comes to Boston

(April 7, 2015) BOSTON — Nissan is launching its "No Charge to Charge" promotion for Boston-area Nissan Leaf buyers, providing two years complimentary public charging with the purchase of the all-electric car from Leaf-certified dealers in the Boston market.

"Nissan Leaf is an attractive option for Boston car buyers because it is fun to drive and offers significantly lower operating costs when compared to a gas-powered car," said Andrew Speaker, director, Electric Vehicle (EV) Sales & Marketing, Nissan.

Abandoned Car of the Week

An ancient Datsun lives in the wild



This rare Datsun 1000 four-door sedan was spotted returning to nature in a wooded junk yard by photographer John Harper. The little Nissan would be classified as a sub-compact (city car) in today's market with a  length of 152 inches and a wheelbase of 87.4 inches. Curb weight was just 2,039 pounds. It was powered by a small inline four-cylinder making 34 horsepower and 48 foot-pounds of torque mated to a four-speed manual transmission. The 1958 sedan was the first Nissan offered in the United States retailing for $1,695.
(Photo by John Harper)