Tuesday, January 17, 2023

2024 Mazda CX-90 Coming This Year

The first-ever 2024 Mazda CX-90 three-row crossover SUV will be offered with an all-new 340 horsepower 3.3-liter inline six e-Skyactiv Turbo engine featuring a mild-hybrid system. Both the 2024 Mazda CX-90 and CX-90 PHEV are coming this year. 

2023 Lexus RC 300 Starts At $45,470 Soon

The 2023 Lexus RC 300, powered by a 241 horsepower 2.0-liter, twin-scroll turbocharged and intercooled in-line four-cylinder engine with direct injection paired to a rear-wheel drive system and an eight-speed Sport Direct-Shift automatic transmission, starts at $45,470 (including $1,150 delivery, processing and handling fee). For 2023, the RC and RC F interior have been updated with available an 10.3-inch (standard 8-inch) touchscreen multimedia display and interior touches to the instrument panels, glove box and side registers. The RC 300 AWD pairs a six-speed automatic transmission with a 260 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 starting at $48,160. It features Variable Valve Timing with intelligence designed to provide added torque at lower speeds and greater horsepower at higher speeds. 

The RC 350 ($48,400) and RC 350 AWD ($50,565) are powered by a 311-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 that features an eight-speed Sport Direct-Shift transmission for the rear-wheel drive model and a six-speed automatic transmission for the AWD. For 2023, an exclusive F SPORT Special Appearance Package ($54,745 -pictured above) is available with a bi-tone exterior color combination including an available Incognito body color paired with an Obsidian roof/hood and 19” dark finish Enkei alloy wheels. The high-performance RC F ($67,845) is powered by a 472 horsepower. 5.0-liter V8. The RC F Track Edition is $100,720. 2023 RC and RC F models are expected to arrive in dealerships in early 2023.

2023 Jeep® Cherokee

The 2023 Jeep® Cherokee, powered by either a 270 horsepower 2.0-liter I-4 turbocharged engine (Trailhawk 4x4), or a 180 horsepower 2.4-liter I-4 engine (Altitude LUX 4x4) paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission, offers the Altitude LUX 4x4 and Trailhawk 4x4 in 4x4 models. The new Cherokee Altitude LUX 4x4 trim has 17-inch Gloss Black painted aluminum wheels, LED lighting, and Gloss Black grille surrounds, accents and badging. Also includes black Nappa leather seats, Piano Black interior accents, 7-inch multi-view, full-color thin-film transistor and heated steering wheel and seats. An 18-inch Gloss Black wheel is optional. Maximum towing is 4,000 pounds.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

2022 U.S. Vehicle Sales

Total 2022 of 13,899,871 were down 7.8 percent from 2021:

General Motors (Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC) delivered 2,274,088 vehicles in the U.S. in 2022, a 2.5 percent increase over 2021.

Toyota Motor North America (Toyota, Lexus) reported year-end 2022 U.S. sales of 2,108,458 vehicles, a decrease of 9.6 percent compared to 2021.

Ford Motor Company (Ford, Lincoln) sold 1,864,464 units a 2.2 percent decline from a year ago.

Stellantis FCA US LLC (Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Fiat, Jeep, Alfa Romeo) reported sales of 1,547,076 vehicles for 2022, a decrease of 13 percent from 2021.

Tesla vehicle deliveries of 1,313,851 was up 40 percent from 2021.

American Honda (Honda, Acura) reported 2022 sales of 983,507, a drop of 32.9 percent from a year ago.

Nissan Group (Nissan, Infiniti) 2022 U.S. sales were 729,350, a decrease of 25.4 percent compared to the prior year.

Hyundai Motor America sold 724,265 units in 2022, a 2 percent decrease compared with 2021. 

Kia America sold 654,554 vehicles in 2022, an increase of 1.7-percent compared to previous retail record in 2021.

Subaru ended calendar year 2022 with 556,581 vehicles sales, a 4.7 percent decrease compared with calendar year 2021.

Volkswagen reported 2022 sales of 301,069, down 20.5 percent. Audi sales of 186,875 was down 5 percent from 2021. Porsche Cars North America 2022 U.S. retail deliveries totaled 70,065 cars for their best year ever, surpassing the previous record set in 2021 by 45 vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz USA recorded 2022 sales of 286,764 Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles, up 4 percent versus 2021, and 64,185 Vans, an increase of 20 percent versus 2021. This brings MBUSA's total year-to-date sales to 350,949, an increase of 6.5 percent versus 2021.

BMW brand 2022 sales of 332,388 was a 1.3 percent decrease while MINI brand sales of 29,504 was a 1.4 percent decrease compared to vehicles sold in 2021. 

Mazda North American Operations 2022 sales totaled 294,908 vehicles, a decrease of 11.4 percent compared to 2021. 

Volvo Car USA reported sales of 102,038 cars for the full year 2022, down 16.5 percent compared with last year. 

Mitsubishi Motors North America reported 2022 sales of 85,810 vehicles, down 15.9 percent vs 2021  102,037.

Bentley Motors reported total sales of 15,174 in 2022, an increase of 4 percent over 2021, the previous record year, and the first time Bentley has reached over 15,000 cars.

Sales will be updated as manufacturers report.

2023 Mazda MX-30 EV Starts At $35,385 This Spring

 The 2023 Mazda MX-30 EV powered by Mazda’s e-Skyactiv technology and a 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery, is for daily commuting with an EPA estimated range of 100 miles on a full charge. The MX-30 EV trim starts at $35,385 (including $1,275 for destination and handling) and the MX-30 EV w/ Premium Plus package at $38,395 and will be arriving in California dealerships this Spring. The 8.8-inch large center display features the latest Mazda Connect™ system, Apple CarPlay™, and Android Auto™. All MX-30 models offer many i-Activsense safety features including Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop and Go, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Smart Brake Support, Rear Direction Base Safety (Smart Brake Support-Reverse & Rear Cross-Traffic Braking), Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Driver Attention Alert, and High Beam Control.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Ram Revolution BEV Concept

The Ram Revolution BEV (Battery-electric Vehicle) Concept, powered by two electric drive modules for all-wheel-drive capability, previews 2024 production models that will feature four-wheel steering with up to 15 degrees of articulation for greater vehicle maneuverability, third-row jump seats, and a full touchscreen display comprised of two screens offers up to 28 inches of screen space. The Ram Revolution BEV Concept offers up to 100 miles of range in approximately 10 minutes with 800-volt DC fast charging at up to 350 kW. The Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered virtual assistant has a 3D Ram avatar that acts as the vehicle's face, responding to various voice commands from users.

BMW i Vision Dee - The Future

BMW i Vision Dee (Digital Emotional Experience ) is a futuristic mid-size sedan that showcases a multi-colored, fully variable and individually configurable exterior by applying E Ink to the body thus creating and displaying up to 32 colors. The BMW Head-Up-Display extends across the full width of the windshield which will be available from 2025 onwards in the NEUE KLASSE models. The BMW Mixed Reality Slider, in combination with the advanced Head-up Display, using shy-tech sensors on the instrument panel, lets drivers decide how much digital content they want to see on the Head-Up Display. 

2023 Honda Accord Starts At $28,390 This Month

The all-new 11th generation 2023 Honda Accord, available in six trim levels (two 1.5L turbo-powered and four hybrid), will start at $28,390 (including $1,095 destination charge) for the Accord LX powered by a 192 horsepower 1.5-liter turbo engine with VTEC® and a retuned continuously variable automatic transmission when it arrives at Honda dealerships this month. The hybrid-electric powered 2023 Accord Sport starts at $32,990.

2023 Ram 1500 TRX Havoc Edition Starts At $106,445 This Quarter

The 2023 Ram 1500 TRX Havoc Edition with new Baja Yellow exterior color, powered by a  702 horsepower 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI® V-8 engine, starts at $106,445 (including $1,895 destination). The TRX Havoc Edition features 18-inch all black bead lock capable wheels, dual pane panoramic sunroof, spray-in bedliner, cargo tie-downs, bed step and an LED cab-mounted brake light and inside Prowler Yellow accent stitching, an embroidered “TRX” seat back logo, unique carbon fiber accents, a leather and carbon fiber flat–bottom steering wheel and Head-up Display. Safety features include adaptive cruise control, Lane Keep Assist and pedestrian emergency braking. The new 2023 Ram 1500 TRX Havoc Edition models, available in very limited quantities, go on sale early in the first quarter of 2023.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Test Drive: 2022 Toyota Rav4 Prime XSE

The Toyota Rav4 Prime plug-in hybrid was introduced at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show and went on sale in the summer of 2020 as a 2021 model. The RAV4 Prime has 302 combined net horsepower. The standard 6.6kW onboard charger takes approximately 2.5 hours to charge the battery and when fully charged, RAV4 Prime has an EPA-estimated range rating of 42 miles of EV-only driving. It seamlessly switches between hybrid and EV modes delivering an EPA-estimated combined 94 MPGe rating. On our 300 mile test drive, we remained in hybrid mode and achieved good fuel economy. The JBL® Premium Audio system has 800 watts of power to drive 11 speakers in nine locations, including front horn tweeters and a subwoofer.

Starting MSRP for the 2023 Rav4 Prime SE is $42,925 (including $1,335 delivery, processing and handling fee) and for the XSE is $46,795 going higher with options like the $3,350 Premium package with headup display, panoramic glass roof and more, the $1,620 premium audio package and the $375 weather package.

Click to view video.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

2023 Subaru WRX Starts At $31,625 This Spring

The fifth-generation 2023 Subaru WRX is powered by a 271 horsepower 2.4-liter turbocharged BOXER® engine mated to a standard 6-speed manual transmission with an optional Subaru Performance Transmission available on all trim levels (standard on GT). An available option package for Premium adds an 11-speaker Harman Kardon® Speaker System plus Power Moonroof for $1,875. The 2023 WRX arrives in retailers this Spring and offered in four trim levels: Base starting at $31,625 (including $1,020 destination and delivery), Premium from $34,125, Limited starting at $38,515 and GT starting at $44,415.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

2022 LA Auto Show Video: Ford F-150 Lightning Pickup Truck Update

Jason Turnbull
, Senior Marketing Manager for the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck gives an update on vehicle improvements and price increases since its reveal in May 2021. 

2022 LA Auto Show Video: Hyundai IONIQ 6 EV

The all-electric Hyundai IONIQ 6, "Electrified Streamliner", is for the EV sedan buyer as Hyundai Motor America Senior Manager, Product Planning Mike Evanoff discusses in this interview from the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show. 

The IONIQ 7 Concept was shown at the 2021 LA Auto Show along side the IONIQ 5 EV SUV. (Click to view.)

2022 LA Auto Show Video: 2024 Kia Seltos Refresh

The Kia Seltos, which debuted at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, is getting a refresh for the 2024 model year as Kia America Product Manager Jenny Chang discusses in this interview. 

Click here to watch interview.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Test Drive: 2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro Prestige

The all-new 5th generation 2023 Kia Sportage subcompact SUV, which hit the roads in Spring 2022, has many driver assisted features and a slightly more powerful new 187 horsepower 2.5-liter I-4 engine with a new 8-speed automatic transmission. It's 7.1 inches longer than previous generation on a 3.4-inch longer wheelbase. This 353 mile test drive, mainly on the highway, delivered 24MPG. This top-of-the-line X-Pro Prestige AWD, with 1.5-inch increased ground clearance, is priced at $38,815 (including $1,215 freight and handling charge). It was very impressive and the Lane Keeping Assist worked as well as it did on the previous generation. Operating the climate controls on the same knobs as the audio system took some getting used to, otherwise, intuitive function management. 

Click here to view video. 

Monday, November 28, 2022

Toyota bZ SUV Concept

The Toyota bZ (Beyond Zero) Compact SUV Concept full battery-electric vehicle.

Jeep Avenger 4x4 Concept EV For Europe Next Year

The Jeep Avenger 4x4 Concept, delivering a targeted electric range of 248 miles from the second-generation 400 Volt electric powertrain that supplies 115 kW, corresponding to 156 horsepower, and 260 Nm of maximum torque. The new 54 kWh battery is made up of 17 modules and 102 cells utilizing NMC 811 Lithium-Ion chemistry which becomes 341 miles in the urban cycle*. 24 minutes are sufficient to charge the batteries from 20 to 80% charge. The Jeep Avenger is positioned in the growing B-SUV segment, Europe's second biggest in terms of volume, arrives in showrooms early next year and joins a portfolio of Jeep vehicles which are 100 percent electrified in continental Europe.

2023 Jeep® Compass Loaded With Features

The 2023 Jeep® Compass, powered by a 200 horsepower 2.0-liter direct injection turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, features an available Highway Assist semi-autonomous driving system, parallel and perpendicular park assist and Traffic Sign Recognition systems, plus a 360-degree Surround View camera. For 2023, the all-new Jeep Compass lineup consists of Sport (4x4 only), Latitude (4x4 only), Altitude package available, Latitude LUX (4x4 only), Limited (4x4 only); (RED) Edition and High Altitude packages available, Trailhawk (4x4 only) trim levels. Other features are up to 19 inches of water fording and up to 2,000-lb. towing capability (when properly equipped). All trims include Drowsy Driver Detection, Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking, Pedestrian/Cyclist Automatic Emergency Braking, Active Lane Management, Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection systems.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Video Interview: Mike Darrow, CEO, TrueCar

TrueCar, an automotive digital marketplace connecting buyers to dealers (ticker: TRUE), continues to adjust its mission as new CEO Mike Darrow tells us in this interview. Separately, TrueCar's recent survey shows consumer's interest in purchasing an electric vehicle has grown from 52% in March to 59% nationally in August and 31% are "much more likely" to consider an EV. Los Angeles residents, who pay the highest price in the country for a gallon of gas, are 68% more likely to consider buying an EV with 38% "much more likely" to purchase an EV.    

Click to view interview. 

Friday, November 18, 2022

2022 Los Angeles Auto Show - On Now Through Nov. 27th

The 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show has been a manufacturers auto show in the 30 plus years that I've been covering it. It's typically preceded by two media days packed with as many as twenty press conferences with numerous global vehicle debuts, not this year. Subaru with their usual outstanding forest display provided the only global vehicle debut, the all-new 2024 Subaru Impreza. The other scheduled media conferences staged by recognized manufacturers were Hyundai, Kia, Fiat and Genesis for North American market unveilings. If you want a theme park - you've got it. 

Where are they? Manufacturers noticeably absent from this year's LA Auto Show are luxury brands BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volvo, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Acura, Bentley, Rolls Royce and others like MINI and Mazda. Honda's display is put on by their Southern California dealers. 

Why lack of participation? Internet virtual debuts, the EV theme, Covid, crime fear, return on investment for expensive displays, shortage of product specialists, supply chain & chip issues?

Subaru with their usual outstanding forest display provided the only global vehicle debut, the all-new 2024 Subaru Impreza.  

Other than Detroit, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles which are traditionally manufacturer shows, most auto shows around the U.S. and Canada are staged by local market dealers. L.A.-based dealer group Galpin, which has always had a presence at the L.A. Show with their Hall of Customs, stepped up this year displaying Lincoln, Mazda and Volvo vehicles. To fill the huge vehicle absence, Toyota has an interactive Sports Festival, while Ford, Ram, Jeep offer indoor electric vehicle rides and there's virtual reality driving simulators. EV-only brands like Polestar and Vinfast have displays along with EV charging companies like EVgo and Blink. 

If you're shopping for a luxury vehicle, Porsche, Lexus and Genesis are at this year's LA Auto Show, that's about it. There are some gems despite lack of manufacturers, like the all-new Ford Mustang Dark Horse (above) has a new 500 horsepower 5.0-liter V8 engine. 

Vehicles to check out include the Ford Lightning pickup truck (above), Chevrolet Corvette, the new Toyota Prius, Subaru Impreza, Hyundai and Genesis concept vehicles.