Here's the Thing

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.

Study finds San Francisco tops in U.S. for EV uptake rate

(June 15, 2023) Electric and hybrid vehicles made up half of all new retail vehicle registrations in the San Francisco area in March and April this year, S&P Global Mobility found. It is the first major U.S. metropolitan area to achieve that level of electrified vehicle penetration. New-vehicle buyers in the San Francisco area are younger and wealthier than the average in other major U.S. metropolitan areas. People under 45 and those with household incomes of at least $75,000 buy the most EVs nationally, according to S&P.

As EV market grows, car buying process adapts to new ways

By Paul Borden

(June 15, 2023) MIAMI — How we buy cars and what cars we buy are going through a radical change as manufacturers ramp up production of electrified vehicles and online sources that allow you virtually to car shop with your smartphone continue to grow. That was the message Michael Darrow delivered to members of the Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA) at a special luncheon last week in Miami.

Average new-vehicle transaction price hits $48,528

(June 13, 2023) ATLANTA — The average price Americans paid for a new vehicle in May remained below the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for the fifth consecutive month, according to data released this week by Kelley Blue Book. The average transaction price (ATP) of a new vehicle in the U.S. increased in May to $48,528, a month-over-month increase of 0.5% ($251) from an upwardly revised April reading of $48,277.

Range anxiety? Not a problem with redesigned Outlander plug-in hybrid

Photos by Paul Borden

By Paul Borden

(June 11, 2023) The plug-in version of the Mitsubishi Outlander SUV has been around since coming to the U.S. for 2018 after its unveiling at the Paris Auto Show six years earlier, but a significant redesign makes the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid) a much-more compelling option for those shopping for a compact SUV. The Outlander is a roomy, comfortable vehicle with an attractive exterior, a refined and upgraded interior that has the ambiance of a luxury level vehicle, and a powertrain that delivers a snappy, fuel-efficient performance.

Gas prices on hold for now

(June 9, 2023) WASHINGTON, D.C.  — For the first time since 2021, domestic gasoline demand was over 9 million barrels daily for a third straight week. Yet despite the robust numbers, pump prices barely budged as the low cost of oil is countering a spike for now. The national average for a gallon of gas dipped a penny since last week to $3.56.