December 2019

AAA sees year-end gas prices edging higher

(December 31, 2019) A year-end spike in road trip travel due to the holidays helped to push the national average more expensive on the week — up four cents to $2.58. Compared to last month, the national average is the same price, but 31 cents more expensive than the end of 2018.

“The majority of states saw gas prices increase in the last week — some by as much as a nickel to a dime, but any spikes in gas prices that motorists are seeing will be short-lived,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “AAA expects gas prices to decrease following the holidays.”

2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel takes the long road

By Casey Williams

(January 1, 2020) When I first started the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, the range indicator showed nearly 600 miles.  I drove it home from work and back several times before the needle even moved.  Traveling half-way across Indiana and back seemingly made the gas gauge laugh in my face.  Take a truck tanked for gas-sucking HEMI V8s, install an efficient diesel under the buff hood instead, option the crew cab to the nines, and you have a truck that can tackle very long roads and carry its peeps in serenity.

Lincoln leaves alphabet soup to others as Nautilus replaces MKX

By Paul Borden

(December 31, 2019) In a trend that we would very much like to see continue, Lincoln apparently is abandoning its “alphabet soup” approach to automotive nomenclature with only two such models, the MKZ and MKZ Hybrid, remaining in its present day lineup.

With the 2019 Nautilus taking over as the company’s entrant in the midsize segment, each of Lincoln’s crossovers/SUVs now has a full name and not a three-letter combination starting with “MK.” Its former incarnation as the MKX is no longer.

Record number of holiday motorists not affecting gas prices

(December 26, 2019) More than 100 million Americans are taking to the roadways to travel for the holidays, but that hasn’t had a large impact on gas prices. At the start of the work week, only about a dozen states are seeing more expensive gas prices with increases of less than a dime.

“AAA forecasts that 104 million Americans will travel by car — the most on record — for a year-end holiday,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.

Three-man team completes coast-to-coast run in an electric Audi e-tron

(December 23, 2019) IRVINE, Calif. — A three-man team from Ride, powered by Kelley Blue Book, successfully finished a cross-country drive mimicking the famed non-stop coast-to-coast "Cannonball Run Challenge." Unlike the dozens of other attempts during the past century, which have primarily used combustion engines, the team drove coast-to-coast in a pure-electric Audi e-tron crossover covered the 3,025-mile trek in just more than 60 hours.

Use of advanced driver assistance tech can result in distracted drivers

(December 22, 2019) WASHINGTON — Drivers with experience using advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist, were nearly twice as likely to engage in distracted driving while using the systems compared to when they were driving without the systems, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Edmunds: 2019 vehicle sales expected to end on high note

(December 21, 2019) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The car shopping experts at Edmunds forecast that 4,340,488 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of this year. This reflects a 0.3% increase in sales from the third quarter but a 0.8% decrease from Q4 of 2018.

Edmunds analysts estimate 17,145,333 new vehicles will be sold in total in 2019, marking the fifth year in a row that new vehicle sales will top 17 million.

Shopping for a 2020 Toyota Camry? Buy the TRD

By Jim Prueter

(December 21, 2019) For Toyota to have the audacity and downright adventurousness to actually slap the TRD (Toyota Racing Development — the brand’s in-house tuner division) on a Camry, let alone an Avalon, is clearly considered getting out on the skinny branches.

Chevrolet and OnStar offer real-time updates on Santa's location

(December 19, 2019) DETROIT — Santa Claus is coming to town and beginning Dec. 24, children whose families have Chevrolet vehicles equipped with an active OnStar plan can find out the location of his sleigh with a simple push of the blue OnStar button.

Chevy and OnStar, in collaboration with the North America Aerospace Defense Command, will provide real-time updates during St. Nick’s annual flight using NORAD’s official Santa-location data. NORAD uses the North Warning System radar chain and geosynchronous satellites with infrared sensors to follow Santa on his journey around the globe.

Cheaper gas prices expected for winter according to AAA

(December 19, 2019) WASHINGTON — The end of the year historically ushers in some of the cheapest gas prices of the year. This was true in 2018 when the national gas price average was recorded at $2.26 on Dec. 31. However, the national gas price average won’t go that low this month. AAA forecasts that gas prices will edge lower than they are today with the national average falling between $2.40-$2.45, which will be 15-20 cents more than last December.