A few weeks ago, I was cleaning out my email inbox – something I’d meant to do for years – and happened upon one particular old email I had written to a friend in 2002 while I was vacationing in Germany. I spoke of my rental car, a Mercedes-Benz C180 (yes, that’s a C-Class with a 1.8 liter normally aspirated 4-cylinder and about 130HP), and how the fuel prices over there necessitated these fuel sipping engines in vehicles that we Americans think of as pretty upscale. Specifically, I referred to “Germany’s $4 per gallon gasoline” and its impacts on vehicle choice in that part of the world.
Garmin is providing an integrated navigation system for the new 2009 Suzuki SX4 as standard equipment. The program marks the first time in America that a vehicle under $16,000 will include GPS navigation as a standard feature.
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It’s a fact of life that we are all “connected” more than ever today. We gab on our cellphones constantly, we check our messages both in front of computers and on the go on our smartphones, and we have more choices than ever over how we are entertained. For the most part, these are all positive changes in our lives and a clear sign of progress. We live, however, in one of those “in-between” times when society hasn’t yet figured out how to merge progress with basic safety. You know, like back when automotive engineers figured out how to make cars go really fast but hadn’t yet invented the 3-point seatbelt. To what am I referring? I’m talking about being able to use all of these devices that keep us connected safely while driving. This is a topic that’s been talked about time and time again over the last decade. Initially, people talked [...]
Tech savvy consumers made up approximately 5% of the new car buying population in 2007, up from just 2% in 2006. As Gen Y matures and enters the new vehicle market in greater numbers, AutoPacific expects these numbers to continue their growth.
LRX Demonstrates Atomization of the SUV Market Not all that long ago, we (and most other pundits) would have prescribed a pretty failsafe formula for how to create a successful SUV. Make it big, make it really upright, and give it plenty of power, OPEC be damned. Sure, everyone knows now that fuel prices are high, driving demand for more efficient means of transportation, but there are plenty of other factors driving the atomization of the once cookie-cutter SUV market. Whatever you want to call them – body-on-frame utility vehicles, crossovers, car-based utilities, whatever – SUVs as a genre have matured to the point where there is plenty of space and demand for unique niches within the larger segment. In fact, consistent with the greater overall consumer demand we see nowadays for tailored, unique products that fit every taste (how many ways can you have your Starbucks?), the SUV segment is quickly becoming [...]
BMW Joins the Effort to Spread the Diesel Gospel If there’s one company out there whose powertrain reputation is beyond reproach, it’s easily BMW. Some underwhelming 4-cylinders from the 80s and 90s aside, it’s hard to point out any BMW motors that weren’t powerful, engaging, soulful, and indestructible. Except for the indestructible part, those descriptors certainly don’t describe diesel, at least in the minds of North American drivers. In case you hadn’t heard, the Europeans are firing their first volleys in their attempted diesel revolution in the US. They’ve actually tried for years to sell Americans on diesels, touting their economy and longevity as advantages. But thanks to some really notably awful diesels from the 70s and 80s (and consumers’ long memories), the only takers have been automotive eccentrics. Today though, in the days of rising fuel prices and international instability, there is a significant increase in interest in fuel-saving technologies.