Here's the Thing

Study reveals 40% of Americans overpaid for gas in last month

(February 27, 2024) DALLAS — Americans love to hate gas prices, and it’s understandable after the last few years of heightened volatility at the pump. However, most drivers don’t realize that they have some control over how much they spend on gas. GasBuddy, a fuel savings platform, has released the results of its Pump Habits survey, revealing costly behaviors when it comes to filling up.

Key findings

2024 Honda Ridgeline TrailSport — Not much of an 'off-roader'

By Jim Prueter

(February 25, 2024) Honda has made the decision to bring the pageantry of its TrailSport sub brand to its Ridgeline pickup truck for 2024. First use of the TrailSport name with its intentions to throw their hat into the off-road game came in 2022 with the Passport variant by shedding knobby "rugged-looking" tires to all four corners and a flimsy skid plate that by any stretch of the imagination wasn't a skid plate to the chassis underside with lift to the suspension or shocks. It also sported the identifying black and orange TrailSport badging.

2024 Hyundai Tucson plug-in eases way into electrification

By Paul Borden

(February 24, 2024) Hyundai seems to have hit a sweet spot in the plug-in version of its Tucson Plug-in SUV with only minor updates the last couple of years since introducing the PHEV model in the 2022 redesign. The Plug-in (or PHEV) Tucson comes with a nice catalogue of standard features and actually provides a perkier ride than gas-only versions with the 1.6-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder gas engine-electric motor drivetrain delivering a combined 261 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.

Gas prices level out on the week

(February 23,202) WASHINGTON, D.C. — After suddenly spiking more than a dime two weeks ago, the national average for a gallon of gas had a calm week by remaining at $3.27.  News that the large BP-Whiting refinery in Indiana, offline since early February due to power issues, is reopening soon may have contributed to easing pump price nerves.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Hybrid — Toyota's new, roomier family hauler

By Jim Prueter

(February 23, 2024) Ply urban and suburban America and if you pay any attention you'll immediately discover the roads are full of the ubiquitous Toyota Highlander. Thoughtful packaging, obligatory safety systems, non-offensive styling, and affordably priced, the Highlander is a quality built three-row family favorite that's easy to drive, comfortable with a sterling reputation for reliability and a decent resale value. While not flattering, I tend to classify the Highlander as an appliance, much like a refrigerator.

Grand National Roadster Show — For the love of cars

By David Boldt

(February 20, 2024) PAMONA, Calif. — If using Google, driving from the center of Los Angeles to Pomona via I-10 is about 30 miles. But if relying on historical perspective, and your destination is the Grand National Roadster Show at the Pomona Fairgrounds, the journey is closer to 60 years. The distance isn’t mileage and time; rather, it’s memories and time travel. Once you land, park and grab your ticket or pass, you’re leaving 2024 and strolling into 1964. 

National gas prices surge 12 cents in a week

(February 16, 2024) WASHINGTON, D.C. — After months of barely budging more than a few cents, the national average for pump prices moved into the fast lane, surging 12 cents since last week to $3.27.  A significant contributor is a shutdown at the large BP-Whiting refinery in Indiana, which has been offline for more than two weeks due to a power outage.  The refinery processes 435,000 barrels of crude per day, and the shutdown has caused prices throughout the Midwest to climb, pushing the national average higher as well.   

New-vehicle transaction prices continue to fall

Kelley Blue Book reports car prices
have fallen 3.5% since January 2023

(February 15, 2024) ATLANTA — The U.S. new-vehicle market sales pace slowed in January, despite lower prices and higher incentives. According to an analysis by Kelley Blue Book, a Cox Automotive company, the U.S. new-vehicle average transaction price (ATP) last month in the U.S. was $47,401, down 2.6% from December 2023 and down a remarkable 3.5% compared to January 2023.

Alfa Romeo Giulia a sports sedan for those who think outside the box

By Paul Borden

(February 11, 2024) Looking for a small luxury sport sedan that stands out from the crowd? The Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan may be just what you are seeking. Introduced as a 2017 model when the company revived a nameplate from the 1960s and ’70s, the Alfa Romeo Giulia delivers captivating performance in an attractive, distinctive package and at a competitive price.

Lexus ranks highest in 2024 J.D. Power dependability study

2024 Lexus RX

Annual vehicle study finds
deterioration in dependability

(February 10, 2024) TROY, Mich. — Vehicle owners are experiencing lower levels of vehicle dependability after three years of ownership, according to the J.D. Power 2024 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), released this week. The high number of problems owners encounter indicates a decline in long-term vehicle dependability, with increased levels of problems reported for nearly two-thirds of brands included in the study.