Here's the Thing

Subaru, Tesla winners in Kelley Blue Book's brand image awards

Tesla Model 3

(March 31, 2021) IRVINE, Calif. — Automotive brands are among the most recognized worldwide, capturing attention as car shoppers consider one of life's biggest purchase decisions. Brands that impress consumers generate greater interest and increased positive perceptions, which ultimately can pave the way for increased sales. Recognizing automakers' outstanding achievements in shaping and maintaining brand attributes that earn the attention and enthusiasm of new-car buyers, Kelley Blue Book today announces the 2021 Brand Image Award winners, based on annual new-car buyer perception data.

VNC Automotive says chip shortage to halt development of connected car tech

(March 30, 2021) The dwindling supplies of the semiconductors relied upon by car manufacturers, the unprecedented weather in Texas and a recent factory fire in Japan for one of the world’s leading auto chip makers, has created a perfect storm for the future of connected car technology and in-car entertainment, according to leading software provider VNC Automotive.

National gas price average decreases for first time in months

(March 30, 2021) WASHINGTON, D.C.  — At $2.86, the national gas price average has decreased week-over-week for the first time since November. Today’s average is two cents cheaper on the week. Since last Monday, 45 states also saw their averages decrease or no change at the pump, according to AAA.

2021 Toyota Camry — Now with AWD option

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

(Mach 29, 2021) Joe the car shopper who lives in a cold-weather state tells the Toyota salesman that he loves the current-generation Camry, but he's forced to choose a RAV4 or a Highlander SUV crossover because he absolutely needs all-wheel drive to negotiate his long driveway during the winter snows. Hold on a minute, the alert salesman says, you CAN have your Camry and all-wheel drive, too. Is this a great time to buy a car or what?

2021 Toyota Tacoma gets new SR5 Trail Edition

By Jim Prueter

(March 28, 2021) The Toyota Tacoma — affectionately known as the Taco by its copious fans — has been the best-selling mid-sized pickup for 16 years running, outselling its nearest two competitors by more than two-to-one last year. Tacoma is available in 33 different configurations and various models to satisfy the needs of a multitude of truck buyers. For 2021, Toyota is offering two limited production models: the Nightshade Edition and Trail Edition model tested here. Just 7,000 will be available. Otherwise, there are no major differences between the 2020 and 2021 models.

California has most aggressive drivers, highest fuel costs

(March 26, 2021) BOSTON — Last March, at the start of the pandemic, U.S. traffic disappeared overnight and gas prices plummeted to a point where the national average fell below $2 per gallon, something that happened only briefly five years ago. Gas prices have been rising over the past four months and the national average now sits at $2.86 per gallon, the highest since peak summer prices in 2019 — and consumers are also back on the roads.

Heading the wrong way with 'wrong-way' driving

(March 24, 2021) WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fatal wrong-way driving crashes on our nation’s highways are a persistent and devastating threat that is only getting worse.  According to the latest data analysis from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there were 2,008 deaths from wrong-way driving crashes on divided highways between 2015 and 2018, an average of approximately 500 deaths a year.  That is up 34% from the 375 deaths annually from 2010 to 2014. Researchers found that the odds of being a wrong-way driver increased with alcohol-impairment, older age, and driving without a passenger.

Projected 2020 U.S. pedestrian death rate on pace for record high

(March 23, 2021) WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) projects that the U.S. pedestrian fatality rate rose 20% in the first six months of 2020 as speeding, distracted and impaired driving, and other dangerous driving behaviors increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

National gas price average holds steady for five days

(March 23, 2021) WASHINGTON, D.C. — After weeks of seeing almost daily increases, the national gas price average is showing signs of stability, holding steady at $2.88 for the last five days. Still, today’s average is the highest price since May 2019 and is more expensive on the week (+2 cents), month (+25 cents) and year (+74 cents).

Auto journalist Jeanes showcases his wit and humor in 'Pickletown'

(March 20, 2021) RIDGELAND, Miss. — “The Road to Pickletown – A Southerner Confronts Cowbells, Clowns, Cuba, Christmas, and Mississippi,” written by longtime automotive and auto racing journalist William Jeanes, is not what one would expect to come from the pen of a car guy.