Here's the Thing

Autotrader names '10 Best Cars for Recent College Graduates in 2020'

(May 12, 2020) ATLANTA — The class of 2020 is facing unprecedented times during this global pandemic.  While bittersweet, graduating is a tremendous achievement and worth commending students' hard work as they move on to the next phase in their lives. With many seniors preparing for the real world, they might find themselves in need of their own car. Keeping practicality and affordability in mind, the editors at Autotrader have identified the 10 best cars for college graduates.

Doppler says OEMs, dealers should look beyond a traditional sales approach

(May 11, 2020) LOS ANGELES — Despite the incredible personal and economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are starting to see some "green shoots" of an end to the total lockdown. OEMs are now starting to prepare for restarting production and dealers are preparing to be open for sales of the millions of vehicles currently on their lots. What must happen immediately is for OEMs and dealers to create significant demand.

Nissan offers tips on how to disinfect your vehicle without damaging interior

(May 7, 2020) NASHVILLE — Nissan is offering tips on how to disinfect your vehicle as we aim to stop the spread of COVID-19. Frequent hand washing as directed by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a crucial part of staying healthy, but so is disinfecting surfaces, including those in your car.

"Most people are still using their vehicles, whether they are essential employees commuting to work or someone running to the grocery store while in quarantine," said Ryan Fulkerson, director, New Model Engineering, Nissan North America.

Mercedes GLC 300 — One of the best compact luxury SUVs gets updated

By Jim Prueter

(May 6, 2020) Mercedes’ luxury compact GLC is now the German automakers best-selling vehicle recently replacing the C-Class sedan as the brand’s best-selling vehicle. Since replacing the outgoing GLK compact SUV back in 2016, GLC has received only mild updates. Now, four years into its production run, the GLC gets a heavy mid-cycle refresh to keep it competitive as it battles the likes of popular SUVs like the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Lexus NX, Porsche Macan and others. 

Ford offers self-driving dataset to spark research, development

By Tony Lockwood
Ford Autonomous Vehicle Manager

(May 6, 2020) DEARBORN, Mich. — Every second a self-driving vehicle is operating, it’s gathering information about the world around it. Cameras and LiDAR help it identify vehicles, pedestrians, signs and anything else that might be out in or near the streets. Radar helps the vehicle keep track of how fast things are moving around it.

Three big brands that started small with a Volkswagen

(May 6, 2020) Many successful companies trace their heritage to a small business that started as a passion project. Surprisingly, some of these now-famous companies credit a Volkswagen model as a key player in the early days of their business. Three of those companies are Domino's Pizza, Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, and Nike.

Average new-vehicle prices up 2% year-over-year in April

(May 5, 2020) 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 $38,060 in April. New-vehicle prices increased $763 (up 2.0%) from April 2019, while prices dropped $102 (down 0.3%) from last month.  

"Although auto sales are expected to drop more than 50% in April, average transaction prices held steady from the earlier months of the year and rose by 2% year-over-year, likely helped by the abundant incentive offers enacted by automakers and finance companies in March of this year," said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

Gas prices increase slightly as some states re-open businesses

(May 5, 2020) State gas price averages increased for less than a dozen states in the last week, but they were large enough jumps to push an increase to the national average. At $1.78, today’s average is a penny more expensive than last week, 16 cents less than a month ago and $1.11 cheaper than last year at this time, according to AAA.

“As some states begin to re-open businesses, those states will likely see demand increase and pump prices will likely follow suit,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Although U.S. gasoline demand has incrementally increased, it remains below 6 million barrels a day.”

2020 Mazda CX-30 — A refined, capable and practical small SUV

By Jim Prueter

(May 4, 2020) Mazda’s all new CX-30 fills the gap between the subcompact and tiny CX-3 and its popular compact CX-5. The CX-30 is based on the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback but feels immensely larger thanks to the taller roof and its raised driving position. If you’ve read my other Mazda reviews, then you might recall that the Japanese automaker is on a mission to move the brand more upscale and closer to brands like Acura and Infiniti.

How to self-isolate your electrified vehicle

(May 4, 2020) DEARBORN, Mich. — The COVID-19 crisis means many of us are using our vehicles much less frequently, or in some cases not using them at all. Owners of battery-powered vehicles might wonder how much charge they should keep in their batteries and whether their batteries will become depleted if their vehicle is not used and recharged regularly.

So we asked our battery expert Bob Taenaka, senior technical leader, Battery and Cell System Development, for some tips on how to keep an electrified vehicle in top condition while self-isolating.