August 2021

Ram tops J.D. Power initial quality rankings for first time

(September 1, 2021) Ram topped the industry in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study for the first time, while Stellantis stablemate Dodge landed in the No. 2 spot after last year becoming the first domestic brand to lead the ranking. Another Stellantis brand, Jeep, jumped into the eighth spot to give the automaker three brands in the top 10 in the 2021 ranking.

Gas price average could see temporary spikes following Hurricane Ida

(August 31, 2021) WASHINGTON, D.C.— The national gas price average decreased by two cents as of Sunday, the cheapest price since early July, but was back up a penny to $3.15 Monday morning following Hurricane Ida. The storm has left more than one million people in Louisiana and Mississippi without power and likely taken about 13% of U.S. refining capacity offline. There were nine oil refineries in Ida’s path; at least four were believed to have shut down operations ahead of the storm.

Shelby GT350R making one last hurrah on muscle car scene

By Paul Borden

(August 30, 2021) We are way past the midpoint of the year, football season is rapidly approaching, and any day now Christmas decorations are going to be showing up at Walmart, yet my review subject for today is a vehicle from 2020, the Ford Mustang GT350R.

J.D. Power — Inventory shortage pushes August new-vehicle sales down

(August 30, 2021) New-vehicle retail sales for August are expected to decline from August 2020 and decline from August 2019, according to a joint forecast from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. Retail sales of new vehicles this month are expected to reach 987,100 units, a 14.3% decrease compared with August 2020, and a 21.6% decrease compared with August 2019 when adjusted for selling days.

2022 M850i Gran Coupe — BMW’s high-performance, stunning Gran Tourer

By Jim Prueter

(August 29, 2021) After a 22-year hiatus BMW revived the 8-Series as its new flagship model, sitting high atop BMW’s lineup in terms of design, luxury and status. The Gran Coupe reviewed here is a four-door sedan version of the two-door 8-Series, which is available as a coupe or convertible.

2021 Ridgeline HPD — Honda Performance doesn’t develop any performance

By Jim Prueter

(August 26, 2021) For 2021, the second-generation Ridgeline now in its fourth year is taking a page out of Toyota’s playbook by introducing the Ridgeline HPD package. HPD stands for Honda Performance Development and is to Honda what the TRD brand (Toyota Racing Development) is to Toyota. The HPD package for $2,800 is available on all Ridgeline trim levels include wide flat black plastic fender flares, a unique black plastic grille, specific bronze-colored wheels that look like they were lifted from a 1977 Pontiac Trans Am and vinyl HPD graphics affixed to the rear fenders.

Toyota, BMW lead among most-shopped brands, according to Kelley Blue Book

(August 25, 2021) IRVINE, Calif. — Toyota dominates as the most-shopped non-luxury automotive brand while BMW remains on top among luxury brands, as revealed along with other new-vehicle shopping and consumer perception findings in the latest Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch Report for the second quarter 2021. In addition, amid ongoing supply-chain issues and inventory struggles throughout the auto industry, pickup truck shopping increased, traditional car shopping stabilized, and SUV shopping leveled off in the second quarter of the year.

Autotrader celebrates National Dog Day with Best New Cars for Dog Lovers

(August 24, 2021) ATLANTA — Finding the perfect, just-right car for your family can be challenging, especially when some family members have four legs and fur. Because dog-loving drivers often bring their sidekicks along on adventures, they need to consider their pups when thinking about which new car to buy. Accordingly, Autotrader makes it easy to search for and find the best car for all members of the family, pets included.

Gas demand and national gas price average decline on the week

(August 24, 2021) WASHINGTON, D.C. — Crude oil prices saw a significant decline of $5 a barrel on the week, down to $62.32 a barrel at Friday’s close. Prices are declining as market concerns grow that crude demand will decline as coronavirus infections increase across the globe. The downward crude price trend could spell good news for motorists.

Sticker Shock: Owning a new vehicle costs nearly $10,000 annually

(August 25, 2021) According to the latest research from AAA, the average annual cost of new vehicle ownership is $9,666, or $805.50 per month. The biggest factor pushing the nearly $10,000 annual price tag is depreciation. It accounts for 40% of all ownership expenses outpacing additional costs like fuel and maintenance. With low inventory at dealerships due to the semi-conductor chip shortage, AAA urges new car buyers to be aware of all the expenses associated with ownership so that they can negotiate the best deal for their budget.