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Drivers today are shelling out nearly $4/gallon, on average, to fill up their vehicles, about 25 cents more than this time last year. But this added expense is not persuading consumers to ditch their SUVs for more fuel efficient small cars. Results from AutoPacific’s latest Fuel Price Impact Survey (FPIS) actually show SUVs being the top vehicle replacement choice, with small cars coming in third. In addition, 76% surveyed would replace their current vehicle with a similarly sized one, whereas only 18% say they would go smaller.

Only Minor Vehicle Segment Shifts: In general, US drivers would not shift to a different vehicle segment when time to replace their current vehicle. Differences from replacement vehicle segment choice and what respondents currently own range between 0-2 percentage points, according to survey results. For example, 28% of respondents own an [...]

2013 Acura RDX
The previous generation Acura RDX was a moderately successful contender in the small crossover SUV (XSUV) wars. The RDX was a bit pricey - almost $33,000 - coming from a premium Japanese brand. It was heavy. It was powered by a very thirsty turbocharged 2.3L 4-cylinder engine. Competition had left the RDX behind and with its source vehicle - the Honda CR-V - being updated for 2012, 2013 is the obvious time to re-do the RDX.
Fiat Abarth Scorpion Shield
After driving the Fiat 500 and 500 Cabriolet, I was ready to relegate it to the ranks of "chick car". Its high-style accents and accoutrements scream "feminine". But, now there is a Fiat a guy can be proud to drive - the Abarth model. Abarth Fiats have been high performance versions of Fiat car lines for decades since Austrian Karl Abarth began modifying them in the late '50s. This is America's chance to have the most up-to-date Abarth available.

Last week George asked us to share our pre-NAIAS thoughts on what the show might hold for each the VehicleVoice staffers. One of my interests centered on the reveal of the 2013 Ford Fusion, as it represents one for Ford’s single most important vehicles in maintaining momentum with US consumers. Ford’s last mid-cycle refresh of the Fusion, brought considerable attention to the vehicle and increased sales significantly. At NAIAS this week, VehicleVoice got the chance to review a completely updated model, which takes the Fusion to a new level.

North American International Auto Show Logo
An annual pilgrimage for the auto industry is to attend the press days at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit each January. Unfortunately, this year I cannot attend because my physicians caution that I should not be heaving carry-ons into and out of overhead bins and baggage carousels. So, I'm jealous.
Sometimes things start out great and end up only OK, or perhaps worse. The smell of coffee in the morning. Most Superbowls. A full bottle of Patron. We recently had the opportunity to experience the Audi e-tron and came away excited by the vehicle, but wondering why we got to see so much of it.

It was about a year ago when I first got my hands on the new-for-2011 model year Jeep Grand Cherokee.  Looking bigger, better and more refined than ever, the Grand Cherokee had a few nit picks that could have made it just the teensiest bit better.  For 2012, Jeep decided to make a few of these changes.  Let’s check ’em out.

We love getting the chance to push these vehicles in a closed setting. In this environment, the GS more than held it’s own. But most vehicles are not purchased after a run through the slalom.

If there is one thing that bothers me is the notion of guilty until proven innocent.  Go and visit other countries and this is the way of life there.  Not so in the U.S., unless you work for NHTSA.  Recent headlines have said that the Volt is basically a tinderbox on wheels…when you have a side impact with a light pole or tree.  Statistically unproven and contrary to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety findings that the Volt is a safe vehicle for the masses.

There are two things that I have daydreamed about for years.  The first is an Audi RS 4 Cabriolet in my garage.  The second is to have a place to drive that RS 4, like, say, maybe, my own personal race track?  My dream got about as close to reality as it ever will a few weeks ago in a remote part of the Catskill Mountains.   

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