June 2022

Hyundai punches up the power in N version of 2022 Elantra

By Paul Borden

(June 29, 2022) Disguised as a compact econo sedan appealing to shoppers looking to squeeze every possible mile out of every drop of fuel, the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N is a performance beast offering a driving experience commonly found in performance makes bearing luxury labels.

J.D. Power — Initial vehicle quality got sick during pandemic

Chevrolet Corvette top ranked vehicle

(June 29, 2022) In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, initial vehicle quality notably declined, according to the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS), released this week. The disruptions caused by the pandemic — supply chain issues, record-high vehicle prices and personnel dislocations — contributed to vehicle problems reaching a record high in the 36-year history of this benchmark study.

Gas prices continue to fall, but for how long?

(June 28, 2022) WASHINGTON, D.C.  — A drop in the global price of oil helped the national average for a gallon of gas to fall for a second week to land at $4.89. Economic fears of a potential global recession leading to less demand for oil dropped the price to around $107 per barrel, down from $110 last week.

J.D. Power forecasts decline in new-vehicle sales in June

(June 27, 2022) New-vehicle retail sales for June are expected to decline when compared with June 2021, according to a joint forecast from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. Retail sales of new vehicles this month are expected to reach 965,300 units, a 18.2% decrease compared with June 2021 when adjusted for selling days. June 2022 has one additional selling day compared to June 2021. Comparing the same sales volume without adjusting for the number of selling days translates to a decrease of 15% from 2021.

2022 Infiniti QX80 — A luxury SUV with a drinking problem

By Jim Prueter

(June 26, 2022) At just over 17-feet long and more than 6 ½ feet wide, and taller than my 6-6” height and weighs just over three tons, the Infiniti QX80 is a behemoth to behold. It’s also handsome with seating for seven, carries a luxury-brand cachet, and the biggest SUV offering in the Infiniti product lineup.

Study finds consumers want safeguards with partial automation

(June 24, 2022) Drivers prefer partial automation that comes with appropriate safeguards, a new survey conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows. “Automakers often assume that drivers want as much technology as they can get in their vehicles,” says Alexandra Mueller, the survey’s primary designer. “But few studies have examined actual consumer opinions about partial driving automation.”

Highest July 4th gas prices ever unlikely to curb appetite for road trips

(June 24, 2022) BOSTON — Drivers will be facing the most expensive July 4th at the pump ever this year, though the news isn’t all bad. According to GasBuddy, a fuel savings platform, U.S. gas prices are expected to drop 10 to 20 cents by Independence Day. After months of fireworks at the pump, culminating in a $5 national average recorded for the first time just weeks ago, drivers will feel a bit of relief, though many were already determined to get out on the road despite high prices.

2023 Aston Martin DBX — The new world-beating supercar of SUVs

By Jim Prueter

(June 23, 2022) PHOENIX — The days of the long, black luxury sedan is dead. The shape of prestige, social power and arrival is now the ultra-luxury, ultra-performance SUV. The bigger, the glitzier, the shinier the better. Rolls Royce now has an SUV, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini and others in all their quilted-leather, hand-rubbed African Rosewood-paneled fabulosity.

AAA predicts July 4 car travel volume to set record despite gas prices

(June 22, 2022) ORLANDO, Fla. — Summer travel is already in full swing and Independence Day will be no exception as AAA predicts 47.9 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home over the holiday weekend (June 30 – July 4). This is an increase of 3.7% over 2021, bringing travel volumes just shy of those seen in 2019. The biggest surprise — car travel — will set a new record despite historically high gas prices with 42 million people hitting the road.

Dip in oil price and gas demand gives drivers a small break

(June 21, 2022) WASHINGTON, D.C. —The national average for a gallon of gas fell below $5, bringing modest relief at the pump for beleaguered drivers. The primary cause is the tumbling cost of oil, which fell from $122 to around $110 per barrel due to fears of a global recession and its associated economic slowdown. As a result, the national average for a gallon of gas is $4.96, a nickel less than a week ago.