July 2021

J.D. Power — Inventory shortages cause July sales pace to weaken

(July 29, 2021) New-vehicle retail sales for the month of July are expected to grow from July 2020 but decline from July 2019, according to a joint forecast from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. Retail sales of new vehicles this month are expected to reach 1,187,300 units, a 3.7% increase compared with July 2020, but an 8.7% decrease compared with July 2019 when adjusted for selling days.

Research — Drivers should not rely too heavily on fuel economy displays

AAA photo

(July 29, 2021) In-dash fuel economy displays estimate the number of miles a vehicle gets per gallon, including how many “miles to empty.” AAA tested the accuracy of these systems and found their estimates vary significantly over shorter trips or are dependent on the consistency of things that affect gas mileage like speed and acceleration. This means drivers could be taking an unnecessary risk if they over rely on these displays.

Study finds 70% of older adults favorable to self-driving vehicles

(July 27, 2021) ARLINGTON, Va.— The National Council on Aging (NCOA) and Volkswagen Group of America released the results of an online survey of older adults designed to better understand attitudes and perceptions about self-driving and ride hailing (SDRH) services and their perceptions about alternative transportation options.

National gas price average dips as crude oil prices fluctuate

(July 27, 2021) WASHINGTON, D.C. — Motorists saw some positive change at the pump on the week with 31 state gas price averages declining one to five cents. The national gas price average pushed two cents cheaper to $3.15. One factor contributing to the decline was U.S. gasoline demand remaining relatively flat on the week.

2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Calligraphy a near-luxury winner

By Jim Prueter

(July 27, 2021) For 2021 the popular Hyundai Santa Fe that fits above the smaller Tucson and below the larger, three-row Palisade SUV receives an update that’s less than a full-on redesign but more than your average refreshing that includes a new look, new technology, the first-ever Santa Fe hybrid and a new range-topping Calligraphy trim level tested here.

Electrified vehicle sales accelerate significantly in second quarter

(July 26, 2021) IRVINE, Calif. — While the U.S. automotive market has experienced growth this year in nearly every vehicle segment, Kelley Blue Book today reports no segment is growing more quickly and relentlessly than electrified vehicles — defined as the combined total of electric vehicles (EVs), hybrids and plug-in hybrids. New-vehicle demand is up across the board as the country emerges from the depths of last year's pandemic-ridden 2020, and while inventory-shortage challenges and supply-chain struggles remain, the general public's interest in electrified vehicles continues to grow.

Mercedes tries to disguise E450 All-Terrain, but it's still a wagon

By Paul Borden

(July 22, 2021) If the $141,000 price tag for the AMG E 63 S wagon reviewed on this site back in February was just a bit out of your financial reach, Mercedes-Benz has another wagon (though it doesn’t call it that) that doesn’t go into six figures but is quite stunning in its own right. The 2021 E450 4MATIC All-Terrain model is a real beauty and features all the bells and whistles you expect from the company with a stunning two-tone interior and a new mild hybrid powertrain that provides both power and pretty decent fuel numbers for its class.

Average new-vehicle prices hit all-time high, according to Kelley Blue Book

(July 21, 2021) IRVINE, Calif. — The estimated average transaction price (ATP) for a light vehicle in the United States was $42,258 in June, according to the analysts at Kelley Blue Book. New-vehicle prices increased $2,527 (up 6.4%) from June 2020, while increasing $928 (up 2.2%) from May 2021.  

Study finds Ford and Chevrolet hardest hit by chip shortage

(July 21, 2021) Carmakers across the globe have been struggling to meet customer demand for new cars as the shortage of critical microchips led to plant closures and left dealers with a shrinking inventory. Unfortunately, the U.S. automakers seem to be the worst hit by this situation. According to data presented by BuyShares.co.uk,  Ford and Chevrolet have taken the worst hit by the global microchip shortage, with almost 370,000 vehicles taken out of the production as of May.

Looking for Hell on wheels? Check out the 2021 Dodge Durango

By Paul Borden

(July 20, 2021) The big news for the Dodge Durango this year is the introduction of the SRT Hellcat model at the top of the SUV’s portfolio for 2021. Yes, for a limited time (more on that later), Dodge is offering the mid-size Durango with the 710-horsepower, 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8 engine under the hood. With its 645 pound-feet of torque, it zips from zero-to-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, according to the company, and has recorded a time of 11.5 seconds for the quarter-mile as certified by the National Hot Rod Association. Top speed is 180 mph.