Here's the Thing

Used-car buyers facing bigger price tags, limited selection

(September 4, 2023) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Years of postponed vehicle purchases are propping up the used market despite ongoing unfavorable conditions for car shoppers. According to the latest Used Vehicle Report released by the car shopping experts at Edmunds, the average days to turn for used vehicles dropped to 34 days in Q2 2023 compared to 39 days in Q2 2019 which analysts say is a strong indicator that vehicle acquisition is a high priority for consumers regardless of those unfavorable conditions.

Dodge muscle cars once again top HLDI’s list of most-stolen vehicles

Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

(September 4, 2023) Two Dodge muscle cars, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and Dodge Charger HEMI, once again top the Highway Loss Data Institute’s list of the most-stolen vehicles for model years 2020-22. Meanwhile, a viral trend targeting Hyundai-Kia vehicles propelled four Kia models into the top 20.

Chevy tweaks off-road capability for Silverado ZR2 with Bison Package

By Paul Borden

(September 3, 2023) Four years after adding upgrades to enhance off-roading capability on its mid-size Colorado pickup, Chevrolet has made the Bison package available in ZR2 models of the 2023 Silverado 1500 pickup.

Gas prices hit pause ahead of Labor Day weekend

(September 1, 2023) WASHINGTON, D.C. —While damage assessments are still being made in the wake of Hurricane Idalia, pump prices remained in neutral, with the national average for a gallon of gas falling by a penny since last week to $3.82. Oil and gas experts have noted that overall gasoline demand this summer failed to match previous years, with consumption getting little “lift” from vacation travel this summer despite retail gasoline prices below last year’s. There is a lot of speculation as to why, but no one seems to know for sure.

2023 Mercedes EQS 580 SUV — Outselling the sedan version

By Paul Borden

(August 31, 2023) Mercedes-Benz has set an ambitious goal of going “all electric” with its vehicle fleet by the end of this decade with the caveat of “where market conditions” allow, which a cynic (ahem!) might suggest gives the Germans an out should buyers prove to be reluctant to participate in this automotive revolution.

Labor Day weekend travel is up over last year according to AAA

Road trip travelers will see
gas prices similar to last year

(August 30, 2023) WASHINGTON, D.C.  — As summer winds down, many Americans are heading out of town. AAA booking data for flights, hotels, rental cars, and cruises shows Labor Day weekend travel is up over last year: domestic bookings are up 4% and international bookings are up 44%.

IIHS commentary — Simple steps could reduce motorcyclist deaths

By Eric Teoh

Director of Statistical Services, IIHS

(August 30, 2023) In the 15 years since I began researching motorcyclist safety, evidence has continued piling up about commonsense measures that could reduce deaths. However, we have failed to fully implement these solutions, and the death toll in the U.S. has continued to rise, reaching a record high of over 6,000 in 2021, the latest year for which statistics are available. Thinking of all the motorcyclists I’ve known in the safety community over the years, this toll isn’t just a number to me. We’ve got to do more to address this aspect of our road safety crisis.

Study finds it's hard to find late-model used cars under $20,000

(August 29, 2023) Used-car shoppers who want to purchase a late-model vehicle for under $20,000 will need a time machine. Four years ago, sub-$20,000 cars made up nearly half of options in the pool of 1- to 5-year-old used inventory. Those vehicles now make up a scant 12 percent, according to an used-vehicle pricing study published this month,.

2023 BMW X4 M Competition — An SUV all about performance

By Paul Borden

(August 28, 2023) High-octane performance is not usually what you expect from SUVs, even luxury makes, but there are exceptions. Not surprisingly, a prime example of an SUV that is all about horsepower and torque comes from Germany. The 2023 BMW X4 M Competition model that the company bills as a Sports Activity Coupe and most others call an SUV sports a 503-horsepower, turbocharged inline-6 engine that produces a whopping 479 pound-feet of torque.

Gas prices edge down, but further relief could face turbulence

(August 25, 2023) WASHINGTON, D.C. —The national average for a gallon of gas dropped four cents since last week, despite growing gas demand. However, the price of oil has declined several dollars per barrel and is holding steady below $80, contributing to lower pump prices. As Labor Day approaches, gas demand and volatile oil prices, particularly during an active hurricane season, could limit how much lower prices descend in the weeks ahead.