Here's the Thing

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe rivals luxury SUVs with its features, technology

By Paul Borden

(December 7, 2019) Shopping for a family SUV with champagne tastes but burdened by a beer budget? You might want to start by checking out a Hyundai showroom for the Santa Fe. You also might finish there.

Fully redesigned for 2019 with the tag “Sport” removed for five-passenger models (the former three-row Santa Fe now goes by Santa Fe XL), the 2020 Santa Fe comes with about all the amenities you might want in a luxury model except the name cachet of a traditional luxury import brand from Europe or Japan.

New diesel options in pickup trucks deliver better mpg

(December 5, 2019) WASHINGTON — New diesel options now available for consumers in America’s most popular selling vehicles — pickup trucks — are delivering more benefits for their owners to include fuel savings and performance gains that turn into energy savings and clean air benefits across the economy.

According to new research from IHS Markit, consumers choosing a diesel engine option in full-size half-ton pickup trucks can achieve on average 33 percent more miles per gallon (24 mpg diesel vs. 18.1 gasoline, combined fuel economy) saving about 200 gallons of gasoline every year.

Edmunds: Auto loan interest rates drop to lowest level of the year

(December 4, 2019) SANTA MONICA, Calif.  — The average interest rate for a new vehicle loan dropped to its lowest level of 2019 — and lowest level seen since February 2018 — in November, according to the car shopping experts at Edmunds. The annual percentage rate (APR) on new financed vehicles averaged 5.5% in November, compared to 5.7% in October and 6% in November of 2018.

Edmunds data reveals that 21.8% of shoppers who financed their vehicle purchases in November got an interest rate below 3%, compared to 18.6% of those who financed purchases in November 2018.

Ford Bronco store helps off-roaders gear up for arrival of new Bronco

(December 4, 2019) DEARBORN, Mich. — The all-new Ford Bronco isn’t slated to make its world premiere until next spring, but Bronco lovers don’t have to wait until then to find merchandise to celebrate the legendary off-road SUV.

In time for the heart of the holiday shopping season, the Ford Bronco store on is live with an assortment of Bronco-themed items ranging from apparel and novelties to toys, collectibles and some unique vintage Bronco parts.

Average new-vehicle prices up only 1 percent year-over-year

(December 4, 2019) IRVINE, Calif. — The valuation analysts at Kelley Blue Book have reported the estimated average transaction price for a light vehicle in the United States was $38,393 in November. New-vehicle prices increased $387 (up 1%) from November 2018, while climbing $106 (up 0.3%) from last month.  

"Transaction prices rose only 1% as dealer discounts grew to move older inventory," said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

Do people actually buy giant car bows like the ones in the TV ads?

(December 3, 2019) WARMINSTER, Pa. — The holiday season is here, and once again, car manufacturers are rolling out television commercials featuring quintessential holiday scenes with snowflakes falling, the sounds of jingle bells, and vehicles adorned with giant bows.

The Car Bow Store is a family-owned company headquartered in Warminster, Pa., that has built a business of manufacturing big bows.  Founded in 2009, Car Bow Store sells mostly to car manufacturers and dealerships that use them as a marketing tool during the holiday season.

AAA urges drivers to safely secure Christmas trees

(December 2, 2019) A new survey from AAA found that this holiday season, an estimated 84 million (33%) Americans plan to purchase a real Christmas tree and will be faced with the task of getting it home safely. Just like moving furniture, appliances or other large objects, transporting a tree is no different. If not properly secured, a tree can cause vehicle damage such as scratched paint, torn door seals or distorted window frames. Even worse, it could fly off or out of the vehicle and become a danger to other drivers.

J.D. Power predicts November new-car sales will be up from year ago

(November 30, 2019) New-vehicle retail sales in November are expected to be up from a year ago, according to a forecast developed jointly by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. Retail sales are projected to reach 1,182,400 units, a 1.2 percent increase on a selling-day adjusted basis compared with November 2018.

Reporting the same numbers without controlling for the number of selling days translates to an increase of 5.2 percent over last year. November 2019 contains one additional selling day than November 2018.

Stylish 2020 Lexus NX 300h — Easy to like, hard to love

By Jim Prueter

(November 27, 2019) When it introduced the mid-sized RX 16 years ago, Lexus created a new class of vehicle: the luxury crossover. Back in 1998, Lexus originally had modest sales expectations for the RX, which was built on a Toyota Camry platform, but the vehicle quickly became the brand’s top seller.

2020 Genesis G70 gets high scores in 'small' luxury segment

By Paul Borden

(November 26, 2019) In the interest of full disclosure, I should state at the start that I have been a fan of South Korean automaker Hyundai’s products for close to 20 years now. We had a good experience with the 2003 Santa Fe SUV we bought, and it worked well for my daughter and son as well.