Dodge Dart GT will hit dealerships soon

2013 Dodge Dart GT

Dodge Dart sales have been rather disappointing for the brand, so the arrival of the GT version has to be a relief to the dealers. Production started up recently and the vehicle is now available for ordering.

The vehicle debuted at the 2013 North American International Auto Show and looks pretty sharp as you can see in the photo above. Here are some additional details:

– the GT is powered by the 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir2 four-cylinder engine, which produces 184 horsepower and 174 lb.-ft. of torque

– premium Nappa leather

– sport suspension with frequency-sensing damping shocks, including standard 18-inch aluminum wheels

– standard class-exclusive features include racetrack LED taillamps, integrated dual exhaust, 8.4-inch touchscreen, 7-inch TFT display, and in-seat storage

– MSRP of $20,995

Let’s see if this helps raise the profile of the vehicle.

  

Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid looks badass

Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid
© General Motors

GM showed off this new Caddy at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year. It looks pretty awesome and it’s basically a luxury version of the Chevy Volt as Cadillac brings plug-in hybrid technology to the Cadillac brand.

When General Motors (GM) decided to make a plug-in hybrid several years ago, there was a lively discussion behind closed doors about whether the first model to showcase the expensive technology should be a Chevrolet or a Cadillac. The Chevy advocates won and the Volt was born. History suggests that may not have been the right choice. The Volt—the first car to mix all-electric capabilities with an auxiliary gas engine to extend its driving range after the battery’s depleted—has had disappointing sales. Republicans during the presidential campaign pilloried it as a symbol of the failings of President Obama’s auto-industry bailout.

GM has decided to take a second stab at Volt technology, and this time it’s heading upmarket, with the Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid, introduced Jan. 15.

That may be going a bit too far, as there’s nothing to indicate that a Cadillac would have fared any better as GM’s first plug-in option. The technology is just getting started, and the Volt’s price point was always an issue.

  

Nissan introduces new 2014 Versa Note

Nissan has been a leader in the compact car segment with the Versa as it can offer the four-door sedan along with a hatchback. With the 2014 Versa Note we’re finally seeing the promised redesign for this vehicle, which looks much different that the four-door sedan.

As you can see the vehicle looks stylish, but it’s not overly quirky or funky. Nissan is much more focused on practicality and fuel economy with this vehicle, targeting mostly couples without children.

You can see a video review below, and here are reviews from Edmonds, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and Bullz-Eye.com.

  

Truck sales are booming

2014-F150-Tremor

With the rebound in the construction industry, we’re starting to see truck sales surge around the country. Ford continues to dominate with the F-150 with sales increasing 31 percent in May, while other brands like Chevy are reporting increased sales as well.

We can expect Ford to continue its sales dominance with products like the 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor coming out this fall.

At first, you might just discount the 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor as another F-150 trim level offered by Ford. But look a little closer, and you’ll see that there’s more than meets the eye!

The 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor is the first-ever EcoBoost-powered sport truck that addresses the needs of street truck enthusiasts looking for high-performance V8 power with V6 fuel economy.

With both power and fuel economy as selling points the new Tremor should help Ford continue to push sales in this hot truck segment.

  

The Safety of SUVs

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.

  

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