February 2020

1936 Ford wins Custom d’Elegance award at Sacramento Autorama

(February 19, 2020) SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento Autorama, one of the world’s longest running indoor car shows, hosted over 500 world-class custom vehicles and handed out over 400 individual awards during its awards ceremony on Feb. 16 at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds in Sacramento.

2020 Mazda3 — One of the best compacts moves the brand upscale

By Jim Prueter

(February 17, 2020) Mazda is intent to move the brand upmarket — not unlike Acura and Infiniti. With the Mazda3, redesigned last year, it certainly does that. It has engaging driving performance, upscale interior, sharp exterior styling features, and new innovative technology. Mazda3 is noticeably more upscale than competitive rivals like Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Volkswagen GTI and Nissan Sentra, and aligns closer to a European sports sedan than a Japanese econo box.

Classic Recreations debuts new 1,000-horsepower 1969 Mustang Mach 1

(February 15, 20200 YUKON, Okla. — Oklahoma-based custom coach builder Classic Recreations has introduced its latest vehicle — a 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 nicknamed “Hitman.” The vehicle is the first Mach 1 produced as part of an exclusive licensing deal with Ford Motor Company that includes iconic Mustangs like the Boss 429, Boss 302 and the Mach 1.

Year-over-year national gas price gap is shrinking

(February 14, 2020) Gas prices may be 16 cents more expensive than last year, but that price gap has been shrinking steadily. It’s the smallest year-over-year difference seen in two months.

“At $50 a barrel (West Texas Intermediate), crude oil prices are at their cheapest point in a year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “That, plus steady gasoline stock levels and low demand have helped to push the national average lower – a dime cheaper than three weeks ago.”

Auto loan interest rates see slight lift in January, according to Edmunds

(February 13, 2020) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The average interest rate for a new vehicle loan saw a slight lift in January, according to the car shopping experts at Edmunds. The annual percentage rate (APR) on new financed vehicles averaged 5.7% in January, compared to 5.4% in December and 5.5% in November. Edmunds data reveals that the share of sales with 0% finance deals dropped to 3.6% in January, hitting their lowest level since April of 2019.

Genesis, Buick rank highest in J.D. Power 2020 Vehicle Dependability Study

(February 13, 2020) Genesis, with two nameplates, ranked highest in J.D. Power's survey of light-vehicle reliability after three years of ownership, while Buick placed highest among mass-market brands and third overall. The 2020 Vehicle Dependability Study released Wednesdday marks the first year Genesis, Hyundai's luxury arm, has been included in the survey.

GasBuddy reveals 2019’s top-rated and top-visited gas station brands

(February 12, 2020) BOSTON — No longer a last-resort for roller dogs and snacks, today's top gas stations are more likely to offer gourmet coffee or fresh salads. The $654 billion fuel and convenience retailing industry has transformed into a "one stop shop" for fuel, snacks, and yes — even meals.

Hyundai tinkers with equipment updates on Veloster hatchback for 2020

By Paul Borden

(February 11, 2020) After a redesign for 2019, not a whole lot was left for Hyundai to do with its sporty little
Veloster hatchback for 2020. It still retains the innovative three-door design with one coupe-sized door on the driver’s side and two sedan-like doors on the passenger side for easier access to a small backseat.

2020 Toyota 4Runner — Old school, but surprisingly addictive

Editor's note: This review was originally written about the 2018 4Runner. Little about the vehicle has changed since that time, but the review has been updated to include changes for both the 2019 and 2020 model years.

By Jim Prueter

(February 5, 2020) In many respects, Toyota 4Runner is a dinosaur of a vehicle, a throwback survivor that’s been roaming the earth for 36 years and five model generations since 1984, long before car-based SUVs and the term “crossover” even existed.

Volkswagen ID.R to attempt new Sonoma Speed Festival record run

(February 5, 2020) SAMONA, Calif. — The Sonoma Speed Festival will host the all-electric Volkswagen ID.R on the 2.52-mile 12 turn road course at Sonoma Raceway from May 28-31 in an attempt to set a new track record. The record lap time of 1:15.430 minutes was set by Esteban Gutierrez in the Mercedes-Benz F1 W07 Hybrid at the inaugural Sonoma Speed Festival in 2019.

The Volkswagen team will perform daily runs in the ID.R with the goal of besting the Formula 1 car by the end of the weekend.