February 2024

Gas prices creep up ahead of potential leap

(March 1, 2024) WASHINGTON, DC — Drivers saw gas prices creep up the final week of February. The national average for a gallon of gas is $3.31 on this leap day, 4 cents higher than it was one week ago. The upward trend is likely to continue as travelers start heading out of town for Spring Break.

Increasing new-vehicle sales drives record consumer spending

(February 26, 2024) Total new-vehicle sales for February, including retail and non-retail transactions, are projected to reach 1,214,600 units, a 1.4% increase from February 2023, according to a joint forecast from J.D. Power and GlobalData. February 2024 has 25 selling days, one more than February 2023. Comparing the same sales volume without adjusting for the number of selling days translates to an increase of 5.6% from a year ago.

Study reveals 40% of Americans overpaid for gas in last month

(February 27, 2024) DALLAS — Americans love to hate gas prices, and it’s understandable after the last few years of heightened volatility at the pump. However, most drivers don’t realize that they have some control over how much they spend on gas. GasBuddy, a fuel savings platform, has released the results of its Pump Habits survey, revealing costly behaviors when it comes to filling up.

Key findings

2024 Honda Ridgeline TrailSport — Not much of an 'off-roader'

By Jim Prueter

(February 25, 2024) Honda has made the decision to bring the pageantry of its TrailSport sub brand to its Ridgeline pickup truck for 2024. First use of the TrailSport name with its intentions to throw their hat into the off-road game came in 2022 with the Passport variant by shedding knobby "rugged-looking" tires to all four corners and a flimsy skid plate that by any stretch of the imagination wasn't a skid plate to the chassis underside with lift to the suspension or shocks. It also sported the identifying black and orange TrailSport badging.

2024 Hyundai Tucson plug-in eases way into electrification

By Paul Borden

(February 24, 2024) Hyundai seems to have hit a sweet spot in the plug-in version of its Tucson Plug-in SUV with only minor updates the last couple of years since introducing the PHEV model in the 2022 redesign. The Plug-in (or PHEV) Tucson comes with a nice catalogue of standard features and actually provides a perkier ride than gas-only versions with the 1.6-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder gas engine-electric motor drivetrain delivering a combined 261 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.

Gas prices level out on the week

(February 23,202) WASHINGTON, D.C. — After suddenly spiking more than a dime two weeks ago, the national average for a gallon of gas had a calm week by remaining at $3.27.  News that the large BP-Whiting refinery in Indiana, offline since early February due to power issues, is reopening soon may have contributed to easing pump price nerves.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander Hybrid — Toyota's new, roomier family hauler

By Jim Prueter

(February 23, 2024) Ply urban and suburban America and if you pay any attention you'll immediately discover the roads are full of the ubiquitous Toyota Highlander. Thoughtful packaging, obligatory safety systems, non-offensive styling, and affordably priced, the Highlander is a quality built three-row family favorite that's easy to drive, comfortable with a sterling reputation for reliability and a decent resale value. While not flattering, I tend to classify the Highlander as an appliance, much like a refrigerator.

Grand National Roadster Show — For the love of cars

By David Boldt

(February 20, 2024) PAMONA, Calif. — If using Google, driving from the center of Los Angeles to Pomona via I-10 is about 30 miles. But if relying on historical perspective, and your destination is the Grand National Roadster Show at the Pomona Fairgrounds, the journey is closer to 60 years. The distance isn’t mileage and time; rather, it’s memories and time travel. Once you land, park and grab your ticket or pass, you’re leaving 2024 and strolling into 1964. 

2024 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 — Flagship of the Mercedes-Benz SUV fleet

By Paul Borden

(February 18, 2024) Though its roots go back to the late 1990s when Mercedes-Benz introduced its first SUV, dubbed the M and later adjusted to ML to alleviate a conflict with BMW’s M line, the GLS came into being as a 2017 model when it replaced the GL-Class that had served as Mercedes’ flagship SUV since its introduction in 2006.

National gas prices surge 12 cents in a week

(February 16, 2024) WASHINGTON, D.C. — After months of barely budging more than a few cents, the national average for pump prices moved into the fast lane, surging 12 cents since last week to $3.27.  A significant contributor is a shutdown at the large BP-Whiting refinery in Indiana, which has been offline for more than two weeks due to a power outage.  The refinery processes 435,000 barrels of crude per day, and the shutdown has caused prices throughout the Midwest to climb, pushing the national average higher as well.