December 2018

2019 QX80 Limited: Keep moving, nothing to see here

By Jim Prueter

(December 30, 2018) Last year, we did a thorough review of the QX80, Infiniti’s flagship SUV. It had just received a complete refresh that included, among other things, improved interior materials, a modestly upgraded infotainment system, and new safety systems. We concluded, based on our impressions, that QX80 still fell short of newer and thoroughly upgraded competitors like Lincoln Navigator, Mercedes-Benz GLS and Range Rover.

Gas prices fall below $2 per gallon in nine states

(December 28, 2018) Nearly 20 percent of states are currently enjoying prices below $2 per gallon. Nationally, retail averages have dropped 83 of the past 90 days. The national average for regular unleaded gasoline currently sits at $2.30 per gallon, which is six cents less than one week ago, 24 cents less than one month ago and 16 cents less than at the same time last year.

December expected to be second-best sales month of year

(December 27, 2018) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Edmunds forecasts that 1,607,724 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in December for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 17.4 million. This reflects a 16 percent increase in sales from November 2018 and a 0.3 percent increase from December 2017.

Edmunds experts note that December is expected to be the second-best auto sales month of the year, pushing full-year auto sales for 2018 to 17.3 million, exceeding 2017's 17.2 million vehicles.

2019 Genesis G70 — The Genius of the G70

By Jim Prueter

(December 26, 2018) Genesis Motors, the luxury car division of Korean auto giant Hyundai, started in 2015 as a stand-alone brand, primarily designed to compete against European luxury brands like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, not unlike Toyota’s Lexus and Nissan’s Infiniti divisions.

It was year of global awards for Bentley Continental GT

(December 26, 2018) CREWE, England — Bentley has enjoyed a year of international recognition for the new Continental GT picking up an impressive number of accolades. Designed, engineered and handcrafted in Great Britain, the Continental GT received 19 awards from a wide range of publications in countries including China, Germany, Russia and its home market of the UK.

New book shines on GM's Maestro of Fins, Harley Earl

By Casey Williams
(December 24, 2018) General Motors’ legendary leader Alfred Sloan devised a strategy of offering “a car for every purse and purpose,” delineating price and features between the automaker’s divisions.  But, Sloan knew he also needed to differentiate his brands, and General Motors itself, through design.  He eventually lured Harley Earl, who cut his teeth designing custom bodies for Hollywood elite at his father’s coachworks in L.A., to form GM’s “Art and Color Section”, the auto industry’s first in-house design group.

2018 Nissan Murano — Luxury ambiance without the luxury pricetag

By Paul Borden

(December 22, 2018) If you like the Nissan Rogue compact crossover (and many do as it is the company’s best seller) but want an SUV with a little more size, you can get it without even leaving the Japanese automaker’s showroom. Though it is actually older than the Rogue by five years, the Murano looks kind of like a Rogue that has grown up.

2019 Honda Pilot — Honda’s top-notch family hauler

By Jim Prueter

(December 21, 2018) The current generation of the Honda Pilot began back in 2016. For the 2019 model year, Honda has given its family-friendly midsized SUV a mid-cycle update.  With its flexible room-for-eight seating, easy driving nature, comfortable ride, quiet cabin and a gem of an engine all with a starting price of just $32,445 including destination charges, it’s no surprise the Pilot is in the top four of midsize SUV sales.

AAA iIlluminates dangers of driving with cloudy headlights

(December 21, 2018) ORLANDO, Fla. — New research from AAA reveals that clouded or yellowed headlights generate only 20 percent of the amount of light that new headlights do, leading to dangerous nighttime driving conditions. This decrease is caused by sunlight damage to protective plastic coatings, resulting in discoloration that considerably diminishes the headlight’s ability to provide adequate light on dark roadways.

Gas prices plunging — National average down 53 cents in two months

(December 20, 2018) BOSTON — GasBuddy has found that in the weeks leading up to the holidays, average gas prices have seen one of their largest seasonal declines with the national average price of gasoline down 53 cents per gallon over the last two months with Christmas gas prices now lower than their year-ago level. GasBuddy projects the national average to drop to $2.35 per gallon by Christmas Day.