Here's the Thing

Ford fills out truck lineup with compact Maverick pickup

By Paul Borden

(July 1, 2023) Ford resurrected the Maverick nameplate last year but not as a two-door coupe it put out in the early 1970s to compete against the import compacts that were just emerging in the U.S., but rather a small pickup to fill out the company’s truck fleet. Though not a threat to unseat the perennial top-selling full-size F-Series in the Ford stable, the Maverick is holding its own against other compact pickups, including its older company sibling Ranger and Japanese imports.

Gas prices drift lower as drivers prepare for July 4th travel

(June 30, 2023) WASHINGTON, D.C.  — Drivers hitting the road for the Fourth of July holiday will find the gift of lower gas prices across most of the country. AAA forecasts that more than 50 million people will celebrate the nation’s birthday by traveling, with a record 43.2 million going by car. The national average for a gallon of gas fell four cents since last week to $3.54.

Small pickups fall short when it comes to rear-seat safety

Nissan Frontier only truck
to earn IIHS acceptable rating

(June 28, 2023) Most small pickups fall short when it comes to protecting passengers seated in the rear, the latest crash test ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show. None of the five small crew cab pickups IIHS tested earns a good rating. The Nissan Frontier is rated acceptable. The Ford Ranger earns a marginal rating, and the Chevrolet Colorado, Jeep Gladiator and Toyota Tacoma are all rated poor. The ratings only apply to the crew cab versions.

AAA predicts record-breaking travel volumes on 4th weekend

AAA photo

(June 28, 2023) WASHINGTON, D.C. — AAA projects 50.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day weekend, setting a new record for the holiday. Domestic travel over the long weekend will increase by 2.1 million people compared to 2022. This year’s projection surpasses the previous July 4th weekend record set in 2019 of 49 million travelers.

Motorists saving $500 million daily at gas pump compared to 2022

(June 27, 2023) Good news for summer road trippers: the fireworks displays will be back this year, but the fireworks at the pump are behind us. Independence Day weekend this year will be much more affordable when it comes to fueling up, according to GasBuddy, a fuel savings platform. Gas prices this July 4 are projected to be over $1.30 per gallon less than they were in 2022, with the national average estimated to be $3.49 on the holiday this year.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 offers sportier looks, more range than Ioniq 5

Photos by Paul Borden

By Paul Borden

(June 25, 2023) A year after introducing the Ioniq 5, Hyundai has brought a sedan version of the all-electric SUV to market that has a sexier profile than the boxy crossover with the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6. The two share a platform and battery packs and have similar powertrains and comfortable, functional interiors filled with plentiful user-friendly technology.  Some analysts see it as competition for Tesla’s Model 3, pretty heady company for the South Korean automaker.

J.D. Power finds new vehicle quality at a three-decade low

Auto industry facing wide range
of quality problems in all areas

(June 23, 2023) TROY, Mich. — New vehicles are becoming more problematic, evidenced by the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) rising a record 30 PP100 during the past two years. According to the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS), released Thursday, the rise in problems is 12 PP100 greater than in 2022, which follows an increase of 18 PP100 in 2022 from 2021. In 2023, the industry average is 192 PP100. A lower score reflects higher vehicle quality.

Study finds very little brand loyalty when purchasing an EV

Edmunds says limited options
create atypical buying decisions

(June 22, 2023) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Growing demand for EVs combined with limited options in the EV market are shaking up purchasing decisions. According to a 2023 EV sentiment survey conducted by online car shopping resource Edmunds, 85% of EV car shoppers stated they were open to buying an EV from an auto manufacturer they do not or have not owned.

AMG upgrade to E53 Cabriolet adds power to fun driving experience

Photos by Paul Borden

By Paul Borden

(June 20, 2023) The E-Class has long been a staple in the Mercedes-Benz lineup though the midsize luxury car didn’t actually gain that “E” designation until the mid-1990s when the German automaker simplified its model nomenclature to the familiar alpha-numeric format we know today.

Gas prices far lower than start of summer last year

(June 16, 2023) WASHINGTON, D.C.  — The start of summer is nearly here, and drivers are finding prices far lower than last year.  Lackluster demand and low oil costs are keeping gas prices relatively stable.  The national average for a gallon of gas rose two cents since last week to $3.58, that’s $1.43 less than a year ago.