Here's the Thing

2024 Mercedes GLE 450e — Plug-in model relieves range anxiety fears

By Paul Borden

(November 13, 2023) An aggressive Mercedes-Benz television ad campaign pushes its electric vehicles and plans to go all-electric by the end of this decade “where market conditions allow,” according to the Germany luxury automaker. But if a bit of range anxiety is holding you back — or you often take trips that extend past the typical range of today’s all-electric models, Mercedes has the solution.

Gas prices continue to drop as oil prices decline

(November 10, 2023) WASHINGTON, D.C. — The national average for a gallon of gas dropped four cents since last week to $3.40. However, the steady, if slow, decline may gain speed after recent drops in the price of oil.  Parked in the mid-$80s per barrel a week ago, oil is now hovering around the mid-$70s.  Since it is the main ingredient in gasoline, less expensive oil usually leads to falling gas prices.  

2024 Dodge Hornet GT Plus crossover utility

Dodge's all-new compact crossover
a performance stand out in its segment

By Jim Prueter

(November 9, 2023) When Dodge first launched its all-new compact crossover utility vehicle the Hornet last year it was with gleeful anticipation that I really wanted to get behind the wheel of the first all-new vehicle in more than a decade from the Detroit automaker self proclaimed as the muscle car provider for the industry.

High car prices, loan rates fueling auto affordability crisis

By David Straughan

(November 9, 2023) With auto loan rates at historic highs, rising payments, and mounting consumer debt, the auto lending industry is facing an inflection point. With lenders continuing to tighten restrictions and some even deciding to leave the consumer auto loans market, the stage is set for what could become a full-blown auto loan debt crisis. But how impactful such a crisis would be and how the industry can navigate its way out remains to be seen.

2023 Ford Bronco Sport tailored for off-roading enthusiasts

By Paul Borden

(November 8, 2023) The Ford Bronco Sport debuted as a 2021 model to give buyers a more affordable and compact option than its larger Bronco sibling that revived the nameplate the same year to end a 15-year production hiatus. Initially offered in five trims including a First Edition model, the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport also gets a new trim level with Heritage and Heritage Limited models joining Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, and Badlands in the portfolio. It is especially targeted for off-roading ventures but is comfortable in city environs as well.

Large pickups offer strong side protection, but falter in back seat safety

(November 7, 2023) Four large pickups offer strong protection in side crashes but fall short when it comes to protecting passengers in the back seat. The Ram 1500 crew cab, Ford F-150 crew cab and Toyota Tundra crew cab — all 2023 models — earn good ratings in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s updated side crash test, while the 2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab is rated acceptable.

Ford offers hands-free driving with Blue Cruise Lightning EV

By Paul Borden

(November 5, 2022) For quite some time now I have taken a both-hands-on-the-wheel approach when it comes to driving. I have more confidence when my hands are in the 3 o’clock-9-o’clock positions in most conditions, taking advantage of convenient nodules some models have on steering wheels to help me place my thumbs on the wheel.

Slow and steady — Gas prices keep edging lower

(November 4, 2023) WASHINGTON, D.C. — Maintaining a steady if unspectacular pace, the national average for a gallon shaved off nine cents since last week, falling to $3.44. The primary reasons are flat demand at the pump and lower costs for oil. 

2024 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid XSE — Gas-sipping, budget-friendly SUV

By Jim Prueter

(November 3, 2023) Back in 2022 Toyota took one of its best known and popular vehicles, the Corolla and extended the brand by adding a SUV version to its product offering that slotted between the smaller and now discontinued C-HR and the larger, best-selling RAV4. Last year, for 2023 Toyota added the hybrid model that we review here as a 2024. Like the 2023, for 2024 the Corolla Cross remains a carryover vehicle with absolute minimal changes most notable an updated infotainment system with an 8.0-inch display screen and an updated Qi wireless charging.

Gas prices fall to lowest level since March

National average has fallen 38 cents
in the last month, projected to continue

(November 1, 2023) DALLAS — $2.99 gasoline is making a comeback at tens of thousands of stations across the U.S., a huge treat for drivers this Halloween. The national average has plunged 38 cents over the last month, according to GasBuddy, a leading fuel savings platform.  At $3.44 per gallon, the national average price of gas now stands at its lowest since March 28, and is projected to drop another 10 to 20 cents by the end of the year, while drivers in 33 states can now find at least one gas station at $2.99/gallon or lower.