‘Consumer Reports’ picks worst cars of 2015

Consumer Reports, known for its independence when it come to auto reviews, has singled out four car models as representing the worst of the lot for 2015.

One is a familiar car, two are luxury crossovers and the last is a minivan that’s also known as a SUV. They are singled out in the magazine’s October issue. If nothing else, the picks show how the auto market has blended genres.

The magazine buys all the cars it tests, as opposed to virtually all other publications and websites, which borrow them from automakers. The goal is to buy the same vehicle that any consumers would get on their own at a dealership.

Here are the four at the bottom of the car barrel:

•Chrysler 200. It’s now dead last among its midsize car rankings. When it was introduced, the new 200 was considered a vast improvement over the one it replaced.

But Consumer Reports disliked its “raspy” four-cylinder engine, balky transmission and “klutzy” handling. The cramped rear seat is something only a submariner could appreciate, the magazine writes.

•Land Rover Discovery Sport. The SUV has a “flat footed” engine and a transmission that’s unrefined. Handling is “lumbering,” and the entertainment system seems to be from another age.

•Lexus NX 200t/300h. The new compact SUV edition form the Lexus line seems too much to Consumer Reports like the Toyota RAV4, especially the “jostling” ride. Some components feel cheap, and overall it falls short of German competitors.

See the full list here...

Originally posted on USA Today

Is This the Tesla Model X Out for a Drive?

n eagle-eyed car enthusiast spotted what may be the new Tesla Model X being road tested today in California.

Brandon Kiehne posted an image to Instagram, which was picked up by Electrek, which suggested he caught “the first photo” of Tesla’s long-awaited SUV, expected sometime next year.”I saw this one being pulled into the trailer at [Naval Air Station Alameda] at an entrance to the closed airfield,” Kiehne wrote in a caption. “The truck pulling it was a Tesla vehicle.

“After [the trailer] was closed up I asked if I could be nosey hoping to find out what the car was but I got a quick ‘not on this one,'” he said.

The 1.5-minute clip shows a Prius-like vehicle driving at high speeds, making wide loops, and braking. Its camouflaged body, TechCrunch pointed out, appears to share common design and size elements with the Model X.

Tesla did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.

In February 2012, the motor company unveiled a prototype of its third battery-powered car—a crossover vehicle described as a blending of SUV and minivan, with unique “falcon wing” rear doors (see video below).

Initially set for production in late 2013, the Model X has been delayed twice; as of November, the car is set to ship in the third quarter of 2015.

See the Instagram post and keep reading

Originally posted on pcmag.com

Aventura Mall Adds Luxury Car Rental Service

Aventura Mall, Miami’s premier fashion destination, recently partnered with Warren Henry Auto Group to debut its new luxury vehicle rental service. VIA (Very Important Automobiles) powered by Warren Henry Auto Group offers Aventura Mall visitors a wide variety of highperformance and exotic cars for rent as well as short term leases. Owned and operated by Turnberry Associates and its Co-Chairman and CEO Jackie Soffer, Aventura Mall welcomes more than 29 million visitors each year, a significant percentage from Europe and Latin America. Recently, Soffer has led an evolution of the shopping center’s luxury retail mix, adding an array of the most renowned names in fashion. In 2014, Tiffany & Co., Fendi, Brooks Brothers, DVF, Bally and Peek Kids opened boutiques at Aventura Mall, complementing Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Burberry, REDValentino, Phillip Plein, Emilio Pucci and more. Prada, adidas by Stella McCartney and Melissa are set to open in 2015.

With access to limitless vehicles, the VIA rental collection is comprised of a number of luxury vehicles, from sleek, sexy Jaguars to sporty and spacious Range Rovers, plus high-profile exotics including Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, McLaren and Rolls Royce. In addition, on-demand VIA chauffeur service will be available with the fleet of luxury vehicles. “We are thrilled to join hands with an internationally recognized property like Aventura Mall to further enhance the luxury visitor experience,” said Warren Henry Zinn, President and CEO of Warren Henry Auto Group. “The VIA service offerings are essentially an extension of the Warren Henry Advantage Program, which gives our customers more, always.” For more information, visit AventuraMall.com or ViaLuxuryRentals.com.

Cadillac releasing Rearview mirror that utilizes an HD camera

Android-Rear-View-Mirror-1The rear view mirror has been a part of the automobile for decades. For most of those decades it has been one of the simplest parts of the car. It has typically just been a mirror that is mounted on your windshield, but now Cadillac plans to change all of that. Recently Cadillac announced that they plan on introducing a rearview mirror that uses HD video.

The goal of this new HD rearview mirror is to give the driver a better view of the rear of the car. Currently, the rearview mirror is obstructed by headrests, passengers, and parts of the car. Cadillac believes that by using the HD camera they will be able to get around these obstacles. The current estimates show that the mirror will increase the drivers’ field of vision by four times. Continue reading Cadillac releasing Rearview mirror that utilizes an HD camera

New Advances in Automobile Technology


Even though the economy may still be lagging, new automotive technologies are appearing at a scorching pace. While most of the new technologies are in the area of safety, some of the advancements are just for pure convenience. Normally, most new features start out as being offered only as option on higher-end vehicles but are eventually offered on less expensive cars as costs decline and awareness and demand increases. While some technologies were offered on earlier vehicles, new advances have made the systems more helpful. Continue reading New Advances in Automobile Technology

Automating the Automotive Industry Likely to Continue in 2015


Long gone, seem the days when Henry Ford transformed the automotive industry by introducing car makers to high powered mechanization concepts like the assembly line and standardization. Today, a host of impressive new innovations lurk just around the corner. So many, in fact, that modern automobiles may resemble Model T’s in the minds of future generations. Continue reading Automating the Automotive Industry Likely to Continue in 2015