The Kia Stinger is a 5-door hatchback sport sedan that ventures into an area Kia has not gone before. Kia describes the Stinger as “an inflection point that takes Kia to a different level”. Stinger is a rear wheel (or AWD) mid-size car with a long wheelbase, a large interior package and outstanding driving dynamics. Using worldwide design resources, the Stinger provides Kia with a world-class challenger to German sport sedans. The vehicle closest in concept is the Audi A7 hatchback.
Whizzing around tight corners, while rapidly shifting the gears of a manual transmission is exhilarating! However, reality dictates that I spend most of my driving time mindlessly crawling through rush-hour traffic, so the thought of constantly burying my leg into a clutch while shifting from 2nd to 3rd back to 2nd every five seconds has made me think twice about buying a car with a manual transmission. Driving an automatic now-a-days just seems more convenient for day-to-day driving. And apparently I am not alone here.
VehicleVoice recently surveyed its panel to find out how much of the vehicle-driving population still drives a manual transmission. Looking specifically at enthusiasts (after all, aren’t they primarily the ones driving a stick shift?), the data reveals that, despite a significant portion of our sample claiming stick-shift know-how (89%), only a fraction of [...]
AUTOPACIFIC ANNOUNCES 2017 IDEAL VEHICLE AWARDS – PORSCHE TOP BRAND AND TOP OVERALL VEHICLE; FORD MOTOR HAS MOST SEGMENT WINNERS
TUSTIN, Calif. (August 22, 2017) – Automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific, Inc. today announced the 2017 Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA), recognizing vehicles that best meet their owner’s expectations and desires.
The 2017 awards are based on responses from more than 54,000 owners of new model year 2016 and 2017 vehicles across all major manufacturers. Respondents were asked what changes they would make to their car or truck in 15 key categories, including ride and handling, interior storage, safety features, power and acceleration and technology. “Even the most satisfied owner would change something about their vehicle if given the opportunity,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “AutoPacific’s IVAs identify vehicles whose owners want the least amount of change – those that are truly hitting the mark with owners.”
Atomization Continues Unabated The American car and light truck market is undergoing atomization. There are 313 car and truck nameplates on sale today in the United States. By 2022 – just five years in the future – there are going to be 377. A nameplate is a vehicle name like Ford Explorer, Renge Rover Evoque or Toyota Camry.
Car to Truck Shift Permanent Manufacturers are adding new products to more tightly appeal to customers with more diverse tastes. Buyers have shifted to crossover sport utility vehicles (XSUVs) in droves. Automakers are adding more XSUVs to satisfy every whim. Trucks began outselling cars in 2001, but since 2012 when cars last had 50% of the market truck [...]
New car and light truck owners responding to AutoPacific‘s annual New Vehicle Satisfaction Survey, provide the price they paid for their vehicle. That price is what the buyer pays the dealer. A vehicle that is a strong revenue generator is golden to the health of a brand. Of course the revenue is split into many smaller and smaller pieces. Simplistically, the dealer buys the vehicle from the manufacturer and sells it at a profit. And that is about as complicated as we are going to get, because that is not the story we are chasing.
We want to know which vehicles generate the most revenue. This is analysis is rough. We use the median price paid from AutoPacific’s research and multiply that times the numbers of vehicles sold in 2016. Each of the top ten vehicles generated $10 billion or more of revenue.
F-Series Top Revenue Generator The top revenue generator was the Ford F-Series. [...]
The mid-size sedan market is extremely competitive, but has been losing sales to the booming crossover sport utility vehicle market. SUVs provide the usefulness buyers want without making the sacrifices that used to be required. Carmakers now can make their cars "cars" again.
The autonomous car puts a challenge on screenwriters to cope with the impact of more technologically advanced vehicles. Will the bad guys find ways to win? Or will autonomy yield a crime free utopia where the bad guys cannot escape using "modern" transportation and smart streets?
Having a new Jeep Renegade Trailhawk over the long July 4th weekend, I took it to Costco for the quarterly bird seed, cat food replenishment. At first I was wondering if the Renegade was up to the task. Does a small crossover SUV have the capacity to take the load?
There were fourteen bags of bird seed and two of cat food. Plus the package of 30 rolls of toilet paper. Would they fit? Plus, would they fit with the other stuff we bought? Removing the tonneau cover over the cargo area and folding the rear seats were required to fit in the load. There was room to spare. Probably could have doubled the number of bird seed and cat food bags.
The all new VW Tiguan gives Volkswagen a much needed competitor in the hot compact crossover SUV market. Competing with the likes of the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape, Tiguan has to be outstanding to win in the consideration set including those vehicles. Is it good enough?
Every two months, AutoPacific surveys drivers to determine the fuel price impact on their lives, their driving styles and their consideration for vehicle types in the future. The fuel price impact today is dramatically different from the surprise price spike to $4.15 per gallon in June 2008. Drivers reacted dramatically. They abandoned large SUVs and bought high fuel economy small cars and hybrids instead. Hybrid consideration peaked at 29% in September 2008.
Drivers took huge financial losses getting rid of their gas guzzlers, but they quickly rued that decision. By December 2008 the price of gasoline had dropped to $1.67 per gallon. (The value of $1.67 in 2008 is $1.94 in today’s dollars). This began a roller coaster ride of gas prices. By January 2011, gas prices had risen to over $3 per gallon and stayed there until December 2014. Today, the national price of a gallon of gasoline is about $2.50.