Here's the Thing

2021 QX50 has appeal and likability, but a step or two behind competitors

By Jim Prueter

(January 4, 2021) The Infiniti QX50, a five-passenger compact crossover utility vehicle that was completely redesigned for the 2019 model year, continues as a predominantly carryover vehicle for 2021 with a few enhancements, including additional standard content on various grade levels.

New survey reveals United Kingdom EV switchers don’t look back

(January 2, 2021) LONDON — A new poll of Zap-Map’s community of electric vehicle (EV) drivers in the United Kingdom has revealed more than 90% will not be replacing their current EV with a gas or diesel vehicle. The results are strong evidence of the fundamental shift in consumer attitudes in favor of environmentally friendly cars. In the poll, which was carried out in November with over 2,000 respondents, 91% said “no thanks” to replacing their EVs — and in stark contrast less than 1% were hankering for a return to fossil fuels. 9% said they were not sure.

2021 Mini Cooper S Convertible delivers uncommon luxuries

By Casey Williams

(January 2, 2021) Since Alex Issigonis created the original Mini back in 1959, it was an uncommon car.  Its front-drive, two-box design allowed it to carry four passengers in efficient comfort – packaging that would become the global standard for compact cars.  That became common, but London socialites soon demanded versions with leather interiors, custom wheels, and…convertible tops.  No common.  Adding power never hurt, either.  Fast forward 62 years and we have today’s uncommon Mini, the 2021 Cooper S Convertible.

Los Angeles holds title as city with the most aggressive drivers

(December 30, 2020) BOSTON — Road rage tends to creep up during the holidays given the heightened stress and anxiety the season ignites. This year being truly “a year to remember,” GasBuddy, the travel and navigation app,  reveals which U.S cities are expressing that stress in the form of aggressive driving led by Los Angeles drivers.

Kia moves on from Optima to new K5 sedan for 2021

By Paul Borden

(December 29, 2020) When it came time for Kia to update its Optima sedan after nearly 20 years of production, the South Korean automaker didn’t mess around. The overhaul was so extensive that the old Optima is completely gone, replaced by a new vehicle, the K5, for 2021 with a major upgrade in both appearance and features from its predecessor.

National gas price average at most expensive in nine months

(December 29, 2020) WASHINGTON, D.C. — Filling up is getting more expensive. On the week, nearly 20 states have gas price averages that increased at least three cents. Upward price movement at the state level has jumped the national gas price average up to $2.25, an average not seen since stay-at-home guidance was issued in mid-March, according to weekly statistics compiled by AAA.

Survey: Cars are a safe haven for Americans amid the COVID pandemic

(December 27, 2020) MAHWAH, N.J.  — In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Americans are prioritizing safety and reliability more than ever in their products and services, according to a new study from Volvo Car USA and The Harris Poll. Volvo set out to better understand how perceptions of its core pillar, safety, were changing in the midst of unprecedented behavioral shifts driven by COVID-19. Volvo also explored the changing nature of Americans’ daily commuting routines and the heightened roles vehicles serve today, along with the features people want to see implemented in cars of the future.

2021 Jeep Gladiator diesel pickup goes Overland

By Casey Williams

(December 26, 2020) There are several very nice mid-size pickups filling dealer lots, but there’s only one like the 2021 Jeep Gladiator.  It shares front styling and underpinnings with the all-capable Jeep Wrangler, but goes one trail further by adding a proper bed and the ability to do real work.  Option it correctly and it will sound just like a big Ram 3500 pickup.

New vehicle sales expected to close 2020 stronger than expected

(December 26, 2020) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The car shopping experts at Edmunds forecast that 4,036,744 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2020. This reflects a 2.8% increase in sales from the third quarter but a 5.7% decrease from Q4 of 2019. Edmunds analysts also estimate that 14,416,447 new vehicles will be sold in 2020, which reflects a 15.5% decrease in sales from 2019.

2021 Cadillac XT5 a solid effort, but outclassed by luxury brand competitors

By Jim Prueter

(December 25, 2020) In recent years, luxury crossovers have gotten wildly popular, with the segment featuring excellent vehicles like the Mercedes GLE, BMW X3, Audi Q5 and others. As the luxury marquee for General Motors, Cadillac is aiming for a large slice of the pie with its two-row, five-passenger XT5 that slots above the subcompact XT4 and below the larger three-row XT6 and Escalade.