Here's the Thing

Phoenix Coyotes Zamboni — We drive the coolest ride on four wheels

By Jim Prueter

(September 30, 2022) PHOENIX — Snoopy drove one in the Peanuts comic strip, The Gear Daddies had a minor hit song “I Want to Drive the Zamboni,” on the television sitcom “Cheers,” Carla’s hockey-playing husband, Eddie LeBec, died when he was run over by a Zamboni, and even former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin told People magazine she thought it would be a great name for a son.

Grand Cherokee gets electrified with plug-in model for 2022

By Paul Borden

(October 1, 2022) Jeep kicks off the fifth generation of its flagship SUV by introducing its first electrified Grand Cherokee a year after the debut of the 2021 plug-in Wrangler. No, the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe is not a fully electric vehicle, but a plug-in that includes a gasoline engine to allay any fears of running out of power while on an extended trip.

September sales pace shows incremental improvement

(September 29, 2022) New-vehicle retail sales for September are expected to increase when compared with September 2021, according to a joint forecast from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. Retail sales of new vehicles this month are expected to reach 958,948 units, a 5.4% increase compared with September 2021. September 2022 has the same number of selling days compared with September 2021.

2015-19 Hyundais, Kias are favorite targets for vehicle thefts

(September 27, 2022) When it comes to theft, bargain-priced vehicles manufactured by Kia and Hyundai now rival muscle cars and luxury SUVs as top targets, a Highway Loss Data Institute analysis of 2021 insurance claims shows Among newer models, whole vehicle theft claims were highest for the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, relative to its numbers on the road over 2018-22. But among 2015-19 model-year vehicles, theft claims were nearly twice as common for Hyundai and Kia vehicles as a group as for all other manufacturers, according to a recent HLDI report.

J.D. Power — Brand loyalty strong among new-vehicle owners

(September 28, 2022) TROY, Mich. — The majority of new-vehicle owners this past year navigated the low vehicle inventory crunch by purchasing the same brand of vehicle which in turn, kept loyalty high in both premium and mass market segments, according to the redesigned J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Automotive Brand Loyalty Study, released this week. The study has been expanded this year to report on brand loyalty insights by segment categories: premium car; premium SUV; mass market car; mass market SUV; and truck.

2022 Infiniti QX60 moves into second generation with redesign

By Paul Borden

(September 27, 2022) The big brother of the popular QX50 and newer QX55, the Infiniti QX60 is back for 2022 after sitting out a year for a redesign that moved it into its second generation. It is a tad shorter, but a bit taller and sleeker than its predecessor with a high-class, roomy, and quiet cabin packed with fairly intuitive tech features. Elegant describes the stylish interior.

Gas prices rise as Ian heads toward Florida

(September 27, 2022) WASHINGTON, D.C. — Gas prices rose a nickel over the past week, as the national average pump price hit $3.72. The main reason is higher regional prices on the West Coast and the Midwest due to refinery issues ranging from planned maintenance to a fire. But low domestic demand as fewer drivers fuel up and much lower oil prices have helped to blunt some of the impacts.

IIHS study — People who combine alcohol and marijuana often drive afterward

(September 22, 2022) A third of drivers who drink alcohol and use marijuana at the same time report getting behind the wheel within two hours of consumption, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows. That’s a concern because evidence suggests the combination of alcohol and marijuana worsens driving performance more than either substance by itself.

Are we near the end of falling gas prices?

(September 20, 2022) WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fewer drivers fueling up helped the national average pump price to drop four cents in the past week to reach $3.67. But it’s the smallest weekly decline in months and may signal that the streak of daily falling national average gas prices, approaching 100 days, is nearly finished.

2022 Mercedes S580 — Elegant, adroit and an amazing driving experience

By Jim Prueter

(September 19, 2022) The Mercedes S-Class is the world’s best-selling luxury sedan and the latest generation recently introduced as expected is impressive with spectacular new features and amazing technology.  Mercedes is offering two versions of the S-Class, the base level S-500 powered by a 430-hp V6 engine or the S-580 reviewed here with a 496-hp bi-turbocharged mild-hybrid drive V8 engine. All-wheel drive is standard on both models. Of course, luxury not horsepower is what the S-Class is all about.