Here's the Thing

Smartphones lead to distraction; could they also prevent it?

By Ian Reagan

Senior Research Scientist, IIHS

(July 26, 2023) When we think about distracted driving, we automatically think of smartphones. They’re indispensable. They’re addictive. They can also be dangerous. Crash data based on police reports indicate that around 3,350 people were killed in all distraction-related crashes and 382 died in crashes involving cell phone use in 2021.

GasBuddy introduces in-app feature to locate air vending machines

(July 25, 2023) DALLAS — GasBuddy has announced a new agreement with CSC ServiceWorks to raise awareness of the importance of properly inflated tires and make it easy for drivers to find air pumps directly in the GasBuddy app. CSC ServiceWorks is an industry leader of air vending services at convenience stores and gas stations as well as the leading provider of commercial laundry solutions to the multi-family housing and education markets with more than 1.4 million machines in service.

2023 Lexus RC 350 F Sport — Long on looks, short on performance

By Jim Prueter

(July 25, 2023) For 2023 the Lexus RC Coupe, a small luxury sporty coupe is now in its 10th model year and among its competitors and peers is the senior statesman. It's quintessential Lexus inasmuch as it's well-built, has polished, sharply angled exterior styling and a conventional interior that's comfortable, well-built but otherwise staid and past its freshness date.

Mercedes adds to EV lineup in plan to build all-electric fleet by 2030

Photos by Paul Borden

By Paul Borden

(July 23, 2023) Mercedes-Benz continues expanding its all-electric fleet with EQE sedan and EQE SUV models joining the lineup this year.A long with the SUV version of the EQS, which also debuts as a 2023 model following the introduction of the EQS sedan in 2022, the German automaker now offers all-electric power in a half-dozen vehicles in its bold plan to end production of combustion engines by 2030.

J.D. Power — Owners unimpressed with new-vehicle design and performance

Porsche 911 top vehicle in J.D. Power APPEAL study

Overall satisfaction declines
in consecutive years for first time

(July 22, 2023) TROY, Mich. — Vehicle manufacturers may be collectively disappointed learning that, for the first time in the 28-year history of the J.D. Power U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, there is a consecutive year-over-year decline in owner satisfaction. According to the 2023 study overall satisfaction is 845 (on a 1,000-point scale), a decrease of 2 points from a year ago and 3 points lower than in 2021.

Heat wave lowering EV driving range by up to 31%

(July 21, 2023) Recent extreme heat across much of the Southern and Western U.S. is highlighting a problem with electric vehicles — their range wilts as the temperature climbs into the stratosphere, Automotive News reported Thursday.

Pump prices up three cents over a week ago

(July 21, 2023) WASHINGTON, D.C. — Despite another week of lackluster demand for gasoline, pump prices rose three cents since last Thursday to $3.58. The primary culprit is a higher oil price, which has recently increased to the mid-$70s per barrel.

Latest driver death rates highlight dangers of small cars and muscle cars

(July 17, 2023) American muscle cars with high horsepower and a hot rod image rank among the deadliest vehicles on the road, both for their own drivers and for people in other vehicles, recent calculations by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show.

Range Rover Sport eases into third generation with 2023 model

By Paul Borden

(July 19, 2023) Offered in four trims including the limited production First Edition model, the 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is a slightly smaller version of the company’s flagship Range Rover full-size SUV with a slightly more economical price tag. And it still has that sophisticated British air that gives you a feeling of driving not just a fully off-road capable SUV but a piece of history as well as an urge to stop in somewhere for a cuppa and scones.

Higher cost of oil nudges pump prices up

(July 14, 2023) WASHINGTON, D.C. —Despite a notable cratering in gas demand in the days since the July 4th holiday, pump prices crept higher over the past week by three cents to reach $3.55. The main culprit is a higher price for oil, which moved from the upper $60s per barrel recently to the mid-$70s.