Here's the Thing

Edmunds: Average down payment for new vehicle rises in fourth quarter

(January 8, 2021) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Consumers in the financial position to buy a new car during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic aren't holding back on upsizing their purchases in favor of bigger vehicles with more amenities. According to the car shopping experts at Edmunds, the average down payment for a new vehicle climbed to $4,734 in the fourth quarter, compared to $4,458 in the third quarter and $4,329 a year ago.

Survey finds 91% believe all vehicles will be electrified by 2030

(January 7, 2021) LISLE, Ill. — Molex, a global connectivity and electronics solutions provider, unveiled results of a global survey of automotive decision makers depicting top trends and technologies impacting "car of the future" strategies and business decisions. Survey findings validate the critical role of data, software and networking in enabling electrification and connectivity. They were identified as the two most important areas of innovation.

GasBuddy warns gas prices could hit $3 average by year's end

(January 6, 2021) BOSTON — GasBuddy, the travel and navigation app, predicts that 2021 may feature a sharp rally in gas prices by year end, warning that the national average could rise to as high as $3 per gallon should the nation broadly recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. While the risk exists for some pain at the pumps during the year, GasBuddy expects the yearly average will jump a more modest 27 cents per gallon in 2021.

National gas price average holds steady for 12 days

(January 5, 2021) WASHINGTON, D.C. — The new year has started and the national gas price average remains unchanged, holding steady at $2.25 for the last 12 days. Pump price stability at the start of the year is credited to consistent crude oil prices in late December, about $47-48/ barrels, combined with low demand. U.S. gasoline demand, as recorded by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), was at the lowest level for the last week of December in 23 years (since 1998) – at 8.1 million barrels a day.

2021 QX50 has appeal and likability, but a step or two behind competitors

By Jim Prueter

(January 4, 2021) The Infiniti QX50, a five-passenger compact crossover utility vehicle that was completely redesigned for the 2019 model year, continues as a predominantly carryover vehicle for 2021 with a few enhancements, including additional standard content on various grade levels.

New survey reveals United Kingdom EV switchers don’t look back

(January 2, 2021) LONDON — A new poll of Zap-Map’s community of electric vehicle (EV) drivers in the United Kingdom has revealed more than 90% will not be replacing their current EV with a gas or diesel vehicle. The results are strong evidence of the fundamental shift in consumer attitudes in favor of environmentally friendly cars. In the poll, which was carried out in November with over 2,000 respondents, 91% said “no thanks” to replacing their EVs — and in stark contrast less than 1% were hankering for a return to fossil fuels. 9% said they were not sure.

2021 Mini Cooper S Convertible delivers uncommon luxuries

By Casey Williams

(January 2, 2021) Since Alex Issigonis created the original Mini back in 1959, it was an uncommon car.  Its front-drive, two-box design allowed it to carry four passengers in efficient comfort – packaging that would become the global standard for compact cars.  That became common, but London socialites soon demanded versions with leather interiors, custom wheels, and…convertible tops.  No common.  Adding power never hurt, either.  Fast forward 62 years and we have today’s uncommon Mini, the 2021 Cooper S Convertible.

Los Angeles holds title as city with the most aggressive drivers

(December 30, 2020) BOSTON — Road rage tends to creep up during the holidays given the heightened stress and anxiety the season ignites. This year being truly “a year to remember,” GasBuddy, the travel and navigation app,  reveals which U.S cities are expressing that stress in the form of aggressive driving led by Los Angeles drivers.

Kia moves on from Optima to new K5 sedan for 2021

By Paul Borden

(December 29, 2020) When it came time for Kia to update its Optima sedan after nearly 20 years of production, the South Korean automaker didn’t mess around. The overhaul was so extensive that the old Optima is completely gone, replaced by a new vehicle, the K5, for 2021 with a major upgrade in both appearance and features from its predecessor.

National gas price average at most expensive in nine months

(December 29, 2020) WASHINGTON, D.C. — Filling up is getting more expensive. On the week, nearly 20 states have gas price averages that increased at least three cents. Upward price movement at the state level has jumped the national gas price average up to $2.25, an average not seen since stay-at-home guidance was issued in mid-March, according to weekly statistics compiled by AAA.