Here's the Thing

AAA predicts 34 million fewer travelers over holiday week

(December 17, 2020) ORLANDO, Fla.— AAA Travel expects the vast majority of Americans to stay home this holiday season. Public health concerns and travel guidance are influencing their decisions not to travel over the year-end holidays, a period that typically sees high demand for vacations. While AAA expects at least 34 million fewer travelers compared to last year’s holiday season, as many as 84.5 million Americans may still travel from Dec. 23 through Jan. 3, a decline in travel of at least 29%.

Survey finds car shoppers' economic pessimism muted as COVID cases spike


(December 15, 2020) SAN FRANCISCO — In 2020, as COVID cases in the U.S. first surged in the summer and then tailed off in the early fall, car shoppers’ anxiety about the economy followed a similar curve. But as new cases began to reach unprecedented and alarming levels in November and December, economic pessimism this time was more muted. That’s according to the year-in-review Consumer Sentiment Survey recently published by

Gasoline demand sees four straight weeks of declines

(December 15, 2020) WASHINGTON, D.C. — Since the beginning of November, U.S. gasoline demand has softened. The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) data shows demand measured at 8.7 million barrels a day for the week ending Nov. 6. In their latest report, for the week ending Dec. 4, demand measured at 7.6 million barrels a day. That is the lowest reading since the end of May and marks four weeks of straight decline.

2021 Toyota Venza — Venza returns as an upscale hybrid only crossover

By Jim Prueter

(December 15, 2020) Back in 2008, Toyota launched the Venza, a two-row crossover utility vehicle that some described as a Camry wagon, aimed primarily at the empty nester market. It was designed in the United States, with an elevated driving position, big, wide doors and seats that were, well, a bit wider to better fit the average American consumer. But the Venza never caught on and was discontinued in 2015.

Lincoln, Mini rank highest in J.D. Power Sales Satisfaction Study

Mini Countryman

(December 11, 2020) Mini is the highest ranked mass market brands in the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index Study released on Thursday with a score of 824 out of a possible 1,000 points. GMC was second with an 804 score and Buck ranked third with a score of 803. Lincoln is the highest ranked brand with a score of 827 points out of 1,000. Lexus and Mercedes-Benz tied for second place with a score of 826.

Kia Seltos named best new model in Kelly Blue Book awards

Kia Seltos

(December 9, 2020) IRVINE, Calif. — What better time than end-of-year to expand your horizons and embark on the car shopping journey? Following head-to-head testing, evaluation and data analysis of 2021 model-year vehicles across 17 major categories, Kelley Blue Boo revealed today the 2021 Best Buy Award winners—with the coveted trophy for the Best New Model for 2021 awarded to the Kia Seltos.

Crude oil prices hit highest price point in nine months

(December 8, 2020) WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pump prices increased on the week despite U.S. gasoline demand falling below 8 million barrels a day, the lowest weekly reading since June and the softest demand reading for the week of Thanksgiving since 1997. At $2.16, the national gas price average is more expensive on the week (+4 cents) and the month (+5 cents), but cheaper (-42 cents) compared to last year at this time, according to AAA.

Make the whole world your playground with LEGO Technic Jeep Wrangler

(December 7, 2020) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The Jeep brand and the LEGO Group have revealed the newest LEGO Technic model, the one-of-a-kind Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Designed to emulate the iconic look, design and legendary off-road capabilities of the actual vehicle, this first-ever LEGO model of a Jeep SUV — the LEGO Technic Jeep Wrangler — is ready to face any epic adventure.

AAA survey finds men are more aggressive behind the wheel

AAA photo

(December 7, 2020) WASHINGTON, D.C. — Data gathered by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety confirms the perception that men tend to speed, tailgate, merge dangerously, and make rude gestures or honk at other drivers more than women. The survey finds that women also admit to some dangerous driving habits, such as running red lights. Overall, younger male and female drivers tend to be more aggressive than older drivers.

2021 Mazda CX-5 beckons drivers, elevates luxury

By Casey Williams

(December 6, 2020) So, I was sitting at my desk the other day, just dreaming of sunshine and curvy roads, when my co-worker came to visit.  Apparently, he and his wife are trying to decide which compact crossover to adopt.  She wants a luxury model from Audi or Volvo while my friend is more concerned about payments.  Both agree they want something fun to drive and ready for their first offspring.  I may have the answer for marital bliss:  The 2021 Mazda CX-5 Signature.