Here's the Thing

2019 Lexus LC 500 — Sensuous good looks, grand touring performance

By Jim Prueter

(January 19, 2019) First introduced last year, the LC 500 sports coupe is a new product for Lexus and, in some ways, a new line of business. One could dispute that by citing the now defunct, high-performance 553-horsepower V-10 powered Lexus LFA coupe that debuted back in 2012 with a price starting at $375,875. But since only 500 LFAs were produced, all as a 2012 model, I’m betting most have never heard of the growling, pulsating, tire-ripping LFA and it would be unfair to compare it to the new LC 500.

Auto industry leaders debate an electric vehicle future

(January 18, 2019) Soft demand for electric vehicles and an unclear regulatory future were among the challenges facing the automotive industry debated during a variety of panel discussions at AutoMobili-D on Thursday at the North American International Auto Show.

On one hand, automakers and suppliers are busy reinventing the future with the multi-billion dollar investments in hybrid, electric and self-driving vehicles. At the same time, the industry — along with regulators and municipalities — continue to debate the most effective ways to fit all of the new forms of emerging transportation together in a way that is both profitable and benefits consumers.

GasBuddy reveals America’s 2018 top-rated gas station brands

(January 18, 2019) BOSTON — The words "gas station" may bring up thoughts of dimly lit gas pumps, and mysterious meat rotating in a display, but with gas station convenience stores being one of the only growing retail sectors in America with more than 140,000 locations, today’s top brands are reinventing the gas station experience at a rapid pace.

Autotrader lists some interesting certified pre-owned January deals

(January 15, 2019) ATLANTA — Automakers finish each year with a flurry of ads and deals, but for car shoppers who delayed their purchase, January can be a good time to take advantage of a typically slow month for dealership sales. In particular, certified pre-owned vehicles are worth checking out with most dealerships likely seeing an influx of trade-ins from the close out of the previous year.

"January can be a good time to shop for a car without all the busyness of the holiday season," said Brian Moody, executive editor for Autotrader.

National gas price average inches up for first time in three months

(January 15, 2019) At a penny more expensive on the week, the national gas price average ($2.25) increased for the first time since October. Despite the increase, today’s average is still cheaper month-over-month (-14 cents) and year-over-year (-28 cents), according to AAA.

“The price of crude oil has been slowly, but steadily increasing since the beginning of the year, which is starting to push up pump prices,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The price per barrel (WTI) increased $3 from last Monday to close on Friday to settle at $51 per barrel.”

Genesis G70, Ram 1500 and Hyundai Kona win North American awards

(January 14, 2019) DETROIT — Hyundai Motor Group won two of the three categories in the North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year competition announced this morning at the opening of the 2019 North American International Auto Show.

The South Korean automotive company won Car of the Year with the Genesis G70 and the Utility of the Year with the Hyundai Kona. The all-new Ram 1500 continued to amass awards winning the Truck of the Year category.

We spend a week with the 2019 2.0-liter Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

By Jim Prueter

(January 13, 2019) It was just over a year ago that we first drove the significantly updated and refined Jeep Wrangler at its media introduction in Tucson, Arizona. Rumors of this “new” Wrangler had been the subject of speculation for years, with loyalists cautiously optimistic that the iconic off-roader would at the very least maintain its heritage.

Ram 1500, Tesla Model 3 win Kelley Blue Book best auto tech award

(January 10, 2019) IRVINE, Calif. — Technology has blossomed into one of the last great differentiators among competing vehicles, and today Kelley Blue Book has named the 2019 Best Auto Tech Award winners that continue to push the digital envelope.

The Best Auto Tech Awards honor the models with the most advanced infotainment, convenience and active safety features at a great value to car buyers. Winners are the 2019 Ram 1500 and the Tesla Model 3.

Nothing raises the holiday spirit more than a 2019 AMG CLS 53 coupe

By Paul Borden

(January 9, 2019) MIAMI — Travel during the holidays, especially if it involves flying, can be especially trying, tiring, and frustrating, so as an auto reviewer it’s nice to know that a new vehicle will be waiting at the local Park-N-Fly when I get home. Like on my recent return from a visit to my daughter’s for Christmas.

Survey finds car shoppers optimistic about the economy

(January 9, 2019) Despite signs that the next recession is looming right around the corner, a majority of car shoppers are optimistic about the health of the economy, a recent survey by has found.

Sixty-five percent of respondents said they expected that their household would be better off financially in a year than it was currently; 16 percent said they expected to be worse off and 19 percent were unsure.

This optimism was echoed by consumers’ relatively positive outlook on a possible recession.