Here's the Thing

Few midsize cars excel in updated side crash test

(August 11, 2022) Only three of seven midsize cars tested earn good or acceptable ratings in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s updated side crash test. The Subaru Outback is the only midsize car to earn a good rating. With somewhat higher levels of occupant compartment intrusion, the Hyundai Sonata and Volkswagen Jetta manage acceptable ratings.

New-vehicle prices continue to set records — Kelley Blue Book

(August 10, 2022) ATLANTA — The average price paid for a new vehicle in the U.S. in July topped June's record and kept the average transaction price (ATP) solidly above the $48,000 mark, according to new data released today by Kelley Blue Book, a Cox Automotive brand. The Kelley Blue Book new-vehicle ATP increased to $48,182 in July, beating the previous high of $48,043 set last month. July prices rose 0.3% ($139) from June 2022 and 11.9% ($5,126) from July 2021.

Research finds dealership loyalty decreasing as car prices soar

(August 9, 2022) New research from Growth from Knowledge AutoMobility shows that loyalty toward brands and dealerships is continuing to decline as consumers pay at or above the manufacturer's suggested retail price. In May and June, 80 percent of car buyers paid at or above the sticker price, the research showed. In addition, 31 percent of buyers who paid above sticker said they would tell others not to go to the dealership they used, and 27 percent said they would not return to the dealership for service, according to Automotive News.

Gas prices fall, but not enough to lure drivers back to pump

(August 9, 2022) WASHINGTON, D.C. — Despite steadily falling gas prices during the peak of the summer driving season, fewer drivers fueled up last week. It’s another sign that, for now, Americans are changing their driving habits to cope with higher pump prices. Meanwhile, the cost of oil has edged lower on fears of economic slowdowns elsewhere around the globe. Because of these factors, the national average for a gallon of gas fell to $4.05.

Study finds hot lap track driving lifts mood more than a gym workout

(August 9, 2022) LOUGHBOROUGH, England — Loughborough University, a leading Sports Science university, and performance car brand Abarth have revealed that driving a car around a racetrack significantly boosts a person’s mood compared to a gym workout. The positive emotional benefits of physical exercise are known, however, the psychological impact of track driving isn’t as well documented.

New survey finds Americans are driving less as gas prices remain high

(August 8, 2022) In March, AAA released gas survey data examining the pump prices Americans would view as too expensive. At that time, over half (59%) said they would change their driving habits or lifestyle if the cost of gas rose to $4 per gallon. If gas were to reach $5, which it did in June, three-quarters said they would need to adjust their lifestyle to offset the spike at the pump. At that time, among Americans who said they would make changes in response to higher gas prices, a majority (80%) said they would opt to drive less. The new AAA survey reaffirms these driving habit changes.

New screen, extra features come with Infiniti's QX80 flagship SUV

By Paul Borden

(August 3, 2022) MIAMI — As the biggest vehicle in the company’s fleet, the 2022 Infiniti QX80 serves as Infiniti’s flagship SUV and has done so since debuting as the QX56 in 2004. The name change came for 2014 when Infiniti abandoned the practice of using the numbers in its alpha-numeric nomenclature to designate engine size. The QX56, for example, came with a 5.6-liter V8 engine. The new system instead reflected the vehicle’s place in Infiniti’s portfolio. The higher number, the higher the vehicle’s place in the hierarchy.

Pump prices fall again, but will the trend stall?

(August 2, 2022) WASHINGTON, D.C. — The national average for a gallon of gas fell to $4.21, down 14 cents since last week. But a slight uptick in gas demand as more people fuel up could end the steady drop in daily pump prices.

July new-vehicle sales expected to decline; profits at record levels

(August 1, 2022) New-vehicle retail sales for July 2022 are expected to decline when compared with July 2021, according to a joint forecast from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. Retail sales of new vehicles this month are expected to reach 988,400 units, a 10.8% decrease compared with July 2021 when adjusted for selling days. July 2022 has one less selling day compared with July 2021. Comparing the same sales volume without adjusting for the number of selling days translates to a decrease of 14.1% from 2021.

2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone — The Lexus of Toyota pickups

By Jim Prueter

(August 1, 2022) In the world of super luxury pickup trucks Ford boasts the F-150 Limited, Chevrolet the Silverado High Country, RAM with its Limited and all-new for 2022 the Toyota Tundra Capstone driven here. Big expensive luxury trucks are a cultural awe in America, the very embodiment of an erotic fixation having magical potency with owners willfully throwing down $75 big and more eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect or devotion.