Fuel efficient compact cars are a hot segment right now. After having been largely neglected by domestic automakers for the last decade, cars like the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze and upcoming Dodge Dart are now offering US consumers thoroughly modern small cars, with up-to-date in-vehicle technology and efficient powertrains delivering up to 40 MPG highway. The Ford Focus was all new for 2011 in the US, after having languished on an aging platform that was introduced in the late 1990s as a 2000 model year vehicle.
If you have ever had the chance to use a car with ten year old navigation you know that in car electronics do not age gracefully. For those who have not, think about attempting to use a ten year old smart phone. Even the most bleeding edge technology that is available today will be antiquated in the not too distant future. The question that remains is what should manufacturers do to help mitigate this problem? Yesterday, GM released a new in-car infotainment system that will be able to remain up to date by keeping the brains of the system out of the car. Read on to find out how.
We are officially a week away from the New York Auto Show and the pre-show news has started to flow in force. One of the items that caught our attention is all of the in-car technology news that Cadillac has been readying for their upcoming models. Both the new ATS and XTS are going to be available with a stack of technology that could potentially vault them back into a leadership position in the industry (from the brand’s current position that is anything but a leadership one). Read on for new on just some of the features that are going to be available and stay tuned for in-depth coverage from the NYC show as we have some one-on-one time planned with GM.
It took me a week of banging my head on the steering wheel, but I think I finally figured out how to express my feelings about a modern Honda. Hondas are like BlackBerry smartphones. They are reliable, sturdy, and feel a bit stuck in the past. If you really need to get your e-mail and you need the highest grade of security pick the Honda. If you’re interested in embracing the future? Lets hope that Honda has some rapid innovation up their sleeves. The 2012 Honda Fit Sport does everything a car needs to do. It does these essential car activities very well and I am convinced that it will keep doing them for years to come. My concern is that in the market today it seems like the competition is innovating faster and bringing more exciting products to market.
As an automaker, how do you take a good – but slow selling – car and improve its sales by two or threefold? Volkswagen faced this very question during the development of the new-for-2012 Passat. Some people – my father-in-law included – really liked the Passat. But many more other potential buyers were unwilling to pay a premium price for a car from a non-premium brand. That Volkswagens had a run of reliability issues over the past several years didn’t help either. The solution? Remove a significant amount of cost from the car to dramatically drop its price, while disguising as much of the cost cutting as possible.