Here's the Thing

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.

Global tensions keep falling gas prices from picking up speed

(October 27, 2023) WASHINGTON, D.C. — The national average for a gallon of gas dipped by only three cents since last week to $3.53. Despite slackening demand, the pace of falling gas prices is being held up by the cost of oil, which is hovering in the mid-$80s per barrel.  

AAA automotive engineers put pressure sensors to the test

(October 25, 2023) WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new study by AAA found that in-vehicle tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are generally accurate, but drivers should still check their tire pressure manually. Why keep tabs on your tires? They are the only part of your car in contact with the road, and proper inflation is the key to safety and better gas mileage.

Dip in deer strikes poses a mystery for insurers ahead of peak season

(October 23, 2022) Insurance claims for animal strikes inexplicably dipped to pandemic-lockdown levels last November. Will they drop further or spike again in 2023? The rate of animal-strike-related insurance claims in November is more than twice the yearly average, according to an analysis of claims from 2013 to 2022 conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute. The peak coincides with mating season, when deer are most active. The fewest animal strike claims typically occur in August.

2024 Kia Seltos SX named winner in 2023 Affordable SUV Challenge

(October 23, 2023) IRVINE, Calif. — The 2024 Kia Seltos SX has been named the winner of the 2023 Affordable SUV Challenge by, where it beat five other popular subcompact SUVs priced around $30,000. The Seltos SX stood out among the pack with its zippy performance and received praise for its upscale interior and features that weren’t found in the other challengers.

2024 Toyota Prius Prime — Easy on the eyes, easy on the gas

By Jim Prueter

(October 22, 2023) Start with a complete redesign, add more power — a lot more power — and even better fuel economy than the outgoing model, sportier driving characteristics, 15 additional miles pure all-electric driving range from its plug-in hybrid set up, an overall much more premium feel and voila — you have an all-new Toyota Prius Prime.