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USA sale of the 2014 Mercedes Sprinter will begin on September 1, 2013 via 218 dealers in the USA.  161 are Mercedes Benz dealers and the remainder is Freightliner dealers.  About 80% of the 20,969 Sprinters sold in the USA in 2012 were Mercedes.  The only difference between the Mercedes and Freightliner is the grille texture and badging.  Prices are the same.

Some naysayers are already preparing their eulogies for the electric car. But the Fiat 500e just might prove that thinking premature.

Silence is Golden in Slick New VW Jetta Hybrid

There are three key parts to making a successful hybrid…1) great performance, 2) a smooth powertrain, and 3) outstanding fuel economy. VW has done it all and more with their “Serene Hybridness” – the new top of the line 2013 Jetta, the slick and sophisticated Hybrid (starting at $24,995).

By now, most of you know the current generation Jetta…larger car…lower price, with more mainstream appeal than the earlier forays into sports sedan territory. To create the Hybrid, VW started with the new Jetta and added the independent rear suspension and soft touch interior from the Jetta GLI (yes, the “real” Jetta for you sports sedan holdovers). So, we know it feels good to your hands and the road feels comfortable to your bottoms, even when the pavement gets rough. To the naked eye, other than very subtle badging, it looks just like a Jetta.

There was once a time when Buick was synonymous with stodginess—an aging automotive brand out of touch with contemporary luxury car buyers. Then came the Buick Enclave for 2008 model year, a premium mid-size crossover that gave birth to a more exciting, redesigned Buick, providing styling cues that today’s luxury customers demand. So has been the theme of recent Buick entries and revivals, including its latest premium compact entrant, the Buick Verano. And for 2013 model year, Buick has made notable improvements to both Verano and Enclave.

BMW opted to bring back their M6 Convertible for 2012, and as expected, it offers up more horsepower, better looks, and increased fuel economy.

Chevrolet Corvette adds winning AutoPacific's 2012 Ideal Vehicle Award to its earlier win of AutoPacific's Vehicle Satisfaction Award. Winning both awards is an impressive accomplishment.

Who will win?  Front-wheel drive? Rear-wheel drive?  All-wheel drive?  Some don’t care who wins!  And we have the enthusiasts, who begrudge anything with front-wheel drive and performance in the same sentence.

Let’s fast forward five years…

Owners of the Volkswagen GTi give the car top satisfaction marks in its class. GTi owners gave the GTi top satisfaction ratings for 29 of the 48 attributes contributing to AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award research
Adding the Hybrid model to the Optima lineup gives Kia a price-efficient, fuel-efficient combatant in the growing fuel economy battleground among mid-size cars. The all new Kia Rio entry level car has a front seat package that rivals a mid-size car. Folks are no longer "sentenced" to drive a small car when they choose the Rio.
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