2012 Toyota Camry earns approval from Consumer Reports

Toyota’s 2012 Camry comes out of the gate with a recommend from Consumer Reports. Just a few years ago this wouldn’t be news but the world certainly has changed in the last few years! Regardless the new Camry could be the car that gets Toyota back on track and if recent sales figures are any indication things are looking up for Toyota in 2012.

From AutoNews.com:

LOS ANGELES (Bloomberg) — Toyota Motor Corp.’s revamped Camry, the best-selling sedan in the U.S., won a “recommended” review from Consumer Reports magazine, which has been critical of some of the Japanese automaker’s models.

The 2012 Camry, which went on sale in October, was evaluated for the February 2012 issue of the magazine published by Consumers Union, a non-profit group.

“The Camry has a nicer interior, more responsive handling, and better fuel economy than before,” the review said. “In fact, the four-cylinder model’s 27 mpg overall ties with the Hyundai Sonata for the best fuel economy among conventional gasoline-powered family sedans.”

Carmakers seek favorable reviews from the magazine as they are considered among the most objective because of its policies of accepting no advertising and buying every vehicle it tests. While Toyota has historically fared well in Consumer Reports reviews, the magazine said in 2007 it would scrutinize the brand more closely due to problems it found in the Tundra pickup, Lexus GS luxury car and previous V-6 engine Camry sedan.

Read the full review.

The competition has certainly changed for Toyota, as companies like Hyundai have really set the bar high, and older competitors like Ford and GM are also gunning for leaders like the Camry. American Toyota dealers and Toyota Canada dealers must be happy to get this positive news about the Camry.

2012 Infiniti FX50 Review on Bullz-Eye.com

Not all luxury cars and SUV’s are built alike, and after spending some quality time in a 2012 Infiniti FX50 AWD S, you know you are driving something special.

The revised front grille and fascia design for 2012 is the topper for an already very impressive looking vehicle. Our test model looked sleek and elegant in moonlight white paint and sports car-like 21 inch 6 spoke alloy aluminum wheels. The FX50 S was already loaded before you add in the sport package. Some of the notable exterior features included a new grille design, double wave hood, strong front-to-rear shoulder line, integrated rear spoiler, power sliding moonroof, standard automatic on/off High Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-functional xenon headlights and integrated front fog lights, aerodynamically designed rear LED taillights, Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) with auto-leveling headlights, distinctive functional side air vents which reduce front end lift by five percent, lightweight aluminum-alloy hood and doors, standard power rear lift gate, chrome window moldings and door handles, available aluminum roof rails, power folding, heated outside mirrors with courtesy lights and available reverse tilt-down feature, and dual outlet exhaust with chrome tailpipe finishers. The overall look of the 2012 Infiniti FX50 AWD S is basically a blend of high performance design and luxury that can put a smile on many discerning persons.

Read the full review.

Nissan Pathfinder Concept – First Photo

The Nissan Pathfinder has a long rich history and at the 2012 NAIAS the all new re-imagined Pathfinder will debut. The new Pathfinder will sport a new platform, dramatic new aerodynamic body, thoughtful technology, comfortable seating for seven and ample cargo room. Visit this site if you want to see more after viewing the first released image above!

Tablet computers will change road trips

One of the big push for carmakers in recent years has been in-vehicle entertainment. Having a video player in the back seat so kids could watch movies has become a critical component of cars and minivans aimed at families.

But now with the explosion of gadgets like smartphones and tablet computers, you wonder whether in-car wi-fi will become even more important in the coming years.

Even younger kids now expect gadgets like the iPod touch, and many families will now have multiple tablet computers. The iPad is still a huge hit, and now you have newer and cheaper entries like the Amazon Kindle. So instead of having the kids fight over which movie to play in the back seat, each kid can entertain themselves with their own movie or TV show. This is particularly true as kids get older.

But it’s not limited to kids. Guys love to play poker and some women love things like bingo. So if you have wi-fi in the car, your son can be playing online chess or poker with friends while your wife is playing online bingo. You daughter meanwhile might be streaming a vampire movie on Netflix. Anything is possible.

Of course this raises safety issues as well, as we need to make sure drivers don’t participate! That’s where Pandora comes in handy . . .

Lexus LF-LC Luxury Sport Coupe Concept is a winner

Lexus already has some gorgeous cars but the Lexus LF-LC Concept is off the charts sharp! Take a look at these pics and if you’re lucky you can see the LF-LC live at this year’s NAIAS in Detroit! No doubt Lexus will find a way to incorporate the design of this sport luxury coupe into future models.

From InsideLine.com:

TORRANCE, California — Lexus on Wednesday released an official photo of its LF-LC luxury sport coupe concept, after images of the car surfaced late Thursday on the Web.

Lexus earlier had released teaser images of the previously unnamed concept, including one of the left front corner and another of the interior.

Lexus said the concept was designed at Calty, Toyota’s design studio in Newport Beach, California, and that it was “conceived as a design exercise to explore the future of Lexus design.”

In a statement released Wednesday with the latest photo — a full side view of the 2+2 coupe — Lexus confirmed the name of the concept, adding: “Crafted from a clean sheet of paper at the request of Lexus headquarters in Japan, the LF-LC blends both high technology and organic shapes to connect the driver to the machine. The clean lines of the vehicle emphasize motion, creating a distinctive look for this futuristic sport coupe.”

Read the full article.

More Prius, More Giving: Last Chance to Donate a Toy on Behalf of Toyota to Toys for Tots

Wanted to let everyone know that Toyota’s “More Prius. More Giving.” toy drive on Facebook is closing this Friday (12/23) and it’s your last chance to donate a toy on behalf of Toyota to Toys for Tots! And with participation as easy as a simple click and share on the Toyota Prius Facebook Page, there’s no excuse not to. If you haven’t already….

Donate A Toy With A Click.
Visit the “More Prius. More Giving.” tab on the Prius Facebook page (www.facebook.com/prius) and click to select one of five toys to donate on behalf of Toyota (completely free on your end!). The toy will then be virtually loaded into the Prius v and added to the total donation count. That’s it!

Chevy steadily growing sales around the world in 2011

You might not think it was possible this soon but Chevy is on pace for an all time sales record in 2011. That is a great sign for the global recovery and an even better sign that GM is on it’s way back as well. If the economy can continue to grow it will be interesting to see how high GM and Chevy in particular can go in regards to U.S. and Global sales!

From the Detroit Bureau:

With its 100th birthday barely fading in the rearview mirror, Chevrolet is on pace to set an all-time global sale record in 2011, having sold 4.8 million units through the end of November and with December off to a strong start.

Meanwhile, Chevrolet’s global market share has increased by nearly one half of a point this year, Russ Clark, Chevrolet’s marketing manager for midsized and performance cars, told TheDetroitBureau.com, while suggesting General Motors’ largest marque is steadily advancing towards its goal of becoming a truly global brand.

Sixty percent of all Chevrolets are now sold outside the United States, which had been the bowtie brand’s primary hunting ground for most of the past century, according to statistics cited by Clark during a conversation about Chevrolet’s business plans.

Read the full article.

2012 Dodge Durango Review on Bullz-Eye.com

If you’re looking for a large vehicle with three rows but you prefer a true SUV over a large crossover, the Dodge Durango should be on your list of options. But you also ought to drive one if you’re looking at the crossovers, as the Durango offers all of the luxuries you’ll find in the crossovers, but with the practical advantages of a truck like towing capacity. This time we tested the 2012 Citadel AWD version, which is the top of the line Durango with all the amenities you would expect from a luxury vehicle.

We were very impressed last year when Dodge reintroduced the Durango for the 2011 model year. The designers hit a home run with an exterior design that was more refined, but retained the muscular feel of its predecessor. The big Dodge crosshair grille still stands out and the look of the vehicle matches the power one wants from a large SUV. One quick look tells you that you’d be just as comfortable pulling up with the Durango at a nice restaurant as you would be taking it off-road or to a construction site. But look more closely and you’ll see a nice attention to detail that we’re learning to expect from the new Dodge since the restructuring that put Dodge and the rest of Chrysler under the control of CEO Sergio Marchionne. The 2012 exterior is essentially the same as there’s no need to make changes to this new and winning design.

Read the full review.

ACB: Saabs on Ice

Saab may not be long for this earth, but the brand’s future didn’t always look so grim. Here’s a look back at some of their prouder moments in rally racing.

Bankrupt Saab Suspends Warranty Coverage

It has been a long time coming, but Saab’s curtain call seems to be just around the corner. Yesterday, Saab filed with the Swedish courts for bankruptcy proceedings. Today, Saab North America announced that all Saabs sold from December 19th forward will not have warranty coverage. This move follows a significant period of financial turmoil for the brand as they continue to struggle after being sold by General Motors in 2010. It is not known at this time what will happen to Saab post bankruptcy, but suspending warranty coverage is not a promising sign of Saab returning to produce cars any time soon.

Read the rest of this entry »

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