On January 23, 2000, a famed American football player, Derrick Thomas, lost control of his 1999 Chevy Suburban on a main road that was covered with snow and ice, and the car rolled. His friend, Michael D. Tellis, was declared dead at the scene, while Thomas died two weeks after from a pulmonary embolism.
Thomas’ mother initiated a lawsuit against General Motors, claiming that flaws of the Surburban’s design were at fault. In 2004, a jury declared the Thomas family to be due no money. Neither Thomas nor Tellis had been wearing seatbelts, while a third passenger, John C. Hagebusch, had used a seatbelt and suffered only minor injuries. Witnesses attested that Thomas had been driving excessively fast and weaving between traffic.
While the SUV was surely clearly not at fault in this instance, it caused “SUV” and “safety” to be mentioned in the same sentence. The scandal of the tyres of the Ford Explorer SUV from 2000 to 2002 was firmer cause for concern over the safety of SUVs. People came to believe that SUVs were unsafe, which is something anyone contemplating which are the best SUVs will wish to settle conclusively.
The Safest SUV
The Ford Ranger, arguably the safest SUV around
It can be strongly argued that the Ford Ranger is the safest SUV. It made motoring history when it received a five star rating from both the European New Car Assessment Programme and the Australian New Car Assessment Programme. A Ford Ranger review by Motoring will provide full details.
The Safety of SUVs
Figures released by the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) showed that large and mid-size SUVs are safer than regular cars. An SUV’s size and weight entail that any car with which one collides will probably be more at risk. Car makers have greatly changed SUV design, making the centre of gravity lower. Some safety features are as desirable in SUVs as in any car, but three are particularly useful.
Rollovers, and One Way to Prevent Them
According to another US body, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in excess of 10,000 people – over a third of fatalities – die yearly from rollover-related crashes, and most occur in SUVs. Technology, however, has improved this, and the fatality rate of SUVs has fallen by two thirds in the space of a decade.
Electronic stability systems can prevent some of the circumstances that cause rollovers by applying anti-lock brakes when control of the SUV is lost. The IIHS reported that these can reduce the risk of rollover by as much as 75 percent. Manufacturers proliferated this safety feature even before the US government made it compulsory in all vehicles for models built from 2012 onwards.
Rollover Prevention Systems
Dedicated rollover prevention systems are also available. These are widely considered to be the Holy Grail of SUV safety. They detect an impending rollover and trigger the electronic stability system to avoid the prospect.
Side Curtain Airbags
Side curtain airbags deploy downwards from the ceiling to cover side windows. While other vehicles are more likely to strike the doors of an SUV, these airbags protect occupants in the event of a rollover over several rolls. To be worthwhile, the airbags should be designed to deploy during a rollover, and the third row of seats should also be protected, if one is present.
Anyone wishing their SUV to be safe should ensure that the SUV they purchase possesses these features.
Check out this video and you’ll see the next innovation that will shake up the auto industry. Hybrids and plug-in hybrids are driving up fuel mileage, along with more efficient gasoline engines. But now by incorporating compressed air technology into the formula, we have a new source for clean power.
If you’re looking for a hybrid with superior mileage per gallon, then compressed air may be your thing. PSA Peugeot Citroen says its new C3 VTi 82 hatchback–which it unveils at a motor show next month–will go 81 miles, in optimum conditions. That’s compared to the Toyota Prius’s roughly 45 mile performance. And there’s no need for expensive, and heavy, lithium batteries. The compressed air system provides power as well as storage: as with other hybrids, it recovers energy from a gasoline engine when you brake or slow down.
We’re now in an era where Super Bowl ads debut online instead of during the game, so I guess that’s one of many reasons why Mercedes chose the beautiful and incredibly popular Kate Upton to star in its new ad for the Mercedes CLA. Many have commented, however, that the ad is rather boring. Yes, Kate looks great as usual, but is this the best they could come up with for the CLA, which looks like an impressive vehicle?
The political ads are over, so now we can be bombarded with ads for luxury cars during the holiday season.
Car shoppers will see so-called “loyalty” and “conquest” discounts in this year’s holiday sales campaigns. These deals essentially reward consumers for shopping the competition, even if they intend to stay with the brand they already drive. For example, a customer who owns a Mercedes could get an additional $750 discount for agreeing to buy or lease another. If the same owner went to a BMW showroom, he or she would likely be offered a similar amount to switch teams.
About 20% of shoppers on Edmunds.com who looked at a Mercedes C-Class during the last week of October also looked at a BMW 3 Series, according to data from the site. Among those considering the 3-series, 10% looked at a C-Class, and 10% looked at the Audi A4.
Dealers say discounts specifically tied to retaining existing customers have an impact. “It gives us something else to discuss, to look at a customer and let them know they are special to us,” says Robert Camastro, owner of Mercedes of Danbury, Ct.
The loyalty and conquest discounts vary by model and brand. Some Audi dealers are advertising discounts of up to $2,500 if you are trading in a rival luxury brand.
Lincoln, a brand of Ford Motor Co., is offering no-money-down lease deals on its MKX sport utility. Cadillac’s deals vary, but the brand is offering no-money-down, $399-a-month leases on its just-launched ATS model, which is designed to compete with the 3 series and Mercedes C Class.
It’s interesting to see Lincoln get in on the action, as their ad looks very similar to ads for the other luxury brands, but they need to do something.
The 2013 Santa Fe has been completely redesigned by Hyundai and it comes in two versions. The Sport model, which is out now and has been reviewed by the car sites, and the longer wheelbase model that will be out in January 2013.
Bentley introduces the 2013 Bentley Continental GT at the Concours D’Elegance.
“Pebble Beach and the spectacular scenery of the Monterey Peninsula provide the perfect venue for automotive connoisseurs and enthusiasts from around the world to display and celebrate the very best of motoring,” said Christophe Georges, president & COO of Bentley Motors, Inc. “It also serves as an ideal backdrop for Bentley to showcase not only its latest production model, the Continental GT Speed, but also, with the EXP 9 F SUV concept, to provide a glimpse into Bentley’s future.”
There are few things quite as exhilarating as driving a muscular sports car on a track. Driving on the open road or through winding mountain roads can be great, but pushing a beast like the Mustang Boss 302 around the tight turns of a racetrack and then flooring it on the straightaway will give you a thrill you’ll never forget.
Times are good for Chrysler, which provides some good economic news for the administration on a day that the lame job numbers came out.
Chrysler sales jumped 30% in May, which extend an incredible steak of 12 consecutive months where the company has exceed 20& year-over-year sales growth. This is excellent news for the company and for anyone who defended the auto bailout.
And things might get even better for Chrysler soon:
And it comes as Chrysler prepares later this month to roll out its key new car introduction for the year, the Fiat-based Dodge Dart, above, that it aims to get the company back into the small-car game. Dart is an enlarged, Americanized version of Fiat’s sporty Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
All the company’s brands — Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat — posted year-over-year gains in May. Fiat was up most, 128% to a record month as the tiny 500 finally gains some traction.
But the Chrysler brand was heroic — up 81%, as the 200 sedan zoomed 87% and the big 300 rocketed 140% for its best May since 2007.
If the Dart is a hit, then Sergio Marchionne and his team can really celebrate.
Check out the entire article for news on the other automakers.
The guys from Bullz-Eye.com just reviewed the 2012 Buick Verano – check out what they had to say about the ride below!
Buick is a star brand of General Motors these days, so we were looking forward to the newest offering from Buick to see where they are headed. The 2012 Verano educated us on how far Buick has strived and the depth at which Buick has recreated a storied American brand.
As with all Buicks, the waterfall grill greets you, and then you quickly notice the sleek and aerodynamic design of the Verano FWD 1SL, and from there, it’s thumbs up for the next week. Our test model had a striking white diamond tricoat paint and 18-inch machine-faced alloy wheels. The good looks don’t end with the overall design, either, with little things like solar-tinted glass, body color chrome strip door handles, power adjustable heated outside mirrors, chrome exhaust tips, front fog lamps and projector beam halogen headlamps for a complete package that all comes together with ease. Sometimes, compact sedans are designed for function or efficiency only, but the new Verano has all of that with an exterior that is as sharp as any compact sedan on the market.