Here's the Thing

Drivers continue to find lower gas prices

(February 14, 2023) WASHINGTON, D.C. — The national average for a gallon of gas dropped another week, falling six cents to $3.43. Pump prices have fallen every day since January 28. Fewer people fueling up, and lower costs for oil, are behind the price dip.

Automakers provide advertising entertainment during Super Bowl

(February 13, 2023) Here's a look at Super Bowl ads from General Motors, Stellantis and Kia that appeared during the game Sunday. The Ram's Premature Electrification spot may have been the best of the car ads. But GM's Netflix-themed advertisement starring Will Ferrell is entertaining as is Kia's "Pinky Dad" that stars the Kia Telluride X-Pro All-Terrain AWD SUV.

EV charging network plagued with reliability problems

(February 13, 2023) The reliability of the electric vehicle charging network is getting worse with at least 1 in 5 charging attempts by drivers failing last year. The reliability of the electric vehicle charging network is getting worse with at least 1 in 5 charging attempts by drivers failing last year. The number of failed charging attempts climbed steadily from 15 percent in the first quarter of 2021 to 20 percent in the first quarter of 2022 and rose to more than 21 percent by the third quarter, according to a J.D. Power study released last week.

Accolades, awards keep rolling in for Hyundai's electrified Ioniq 5

Photos by Paul Borden

By Paul Borden

(February 12, 2023) After a late 2021 debut, Hyundai’s all-electric Ioniq 5 compact crossover SUV has spent the last year or so collecting awards the way Tom Brady used to pick up Super Bowl MVP trophies. And not just for automotive’s electrified segment. Recognition has come from such authoritative sources as Kelley Blue Book, which dubbed the Ioniq 5 a “watershed vehicle” for the company in naming it its “Best New Model” and “Best EV Buy” of the year.

Lexus, Genesis, Kia top J.D. Power dependability study

(February 11, 2023) TROY, Mich. — The J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), released this week, reports an industry average of 186 problems per 100 (PP100) vehicles, an improvement of 6 PP100 from 2022. Lexus is the overall leader and Kia ranks highest among mass market brands. Genesis is second overall behind Lexus and Kia ranks third overall.

Pump prices ease as oil market digests economic news

(February 7, 2023) WASHINGTON, D.C. — The national average for a gallon of gas barely budged over the past week, drifting lower by three cents to $3.47. Last week’s decision by OPEC+ to maintain current production levels and not make any cuts led to lower oil prices. But Friday’s blockbuster U.S. report of 517,000 jobs added in January, dropping the unemployment rate to a 54-year low of 3.4%, may have the opposite effect. Are recession fears fading, and could a healthier global economy lead to more demand for oil and higher prices?

Parking lot revenue recovery indicates people are driving more

(February 7, 2023) WASHINGTON — The National Parking Association (NPA), an authority on parking research, released findings from its fourth Road to Recovery Index that indicates a very strong rebound nationally. Americans are driving at levels greater than in 2019, in turn, parking operator revenue is projected to recover fully between August and December of 2023.

Auto Trader — New EV demand at 3-year low in United Kingdom

(February 6, 2023) LONDON — “Six consecutive months of year-on-year sales growth is a reassuring sign for the industry and highlights that despite the current political and economic turbulence, the new car market is running counter cyclical to the wider economy," said Ian Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader in the UK, said about December sales performance in the UK.

2023 VW Jetta SEL — An impressive 'big' small car that’s notably refined

By Jim Prueter

(February 6, 2023) Volkswagen refreshed the entire Jetta line-up for the 2022 model year, and the Jetta SEL tested here retains everything that was new for last year with 2023 bringing only minor cosmetic changes. Starting with the exterior the Jetta received a new front grille design as well as new front and rear bumpers.

Kia Soul gets good marks, but sales numbers are declining

Photos by Paul Borden

By Paul Borden

(February 5, 2023) The Kia Soul generally gets good marks from reviewers — U.S. News & World Report places it No. 2 in its class in its analysis/ratings of subcompact SUVs — but you have to wonder if boxy little hatchback-stye vehicle has jumped the shark. Sales reports show a decline of nearly 25 percent in 2022 numbers, the third straight year of under 100,000 in sales after a solid seven-year, six-figure run that hit a high of 154,768 in 2016.