Archives For October 2012

The Chevy Aveo, or Sonic.
Credit: Wikipedia.

For you dealers: You want to know what kind of cars you’re likely to work on in the future?

It’ll probably be a subcompact or compact.

Now you may say that owners of those types of vehicles wouldn’t want to spend the extra money on aftermarket gear because they bought smaller cars in order to save their loot in the first place! An analyst at TrueCar.com says that’s no longer the case.

Take a look at the Cruze, Sonic, the Fiat 500, the new Dart, along with the already established models in the category. What you see aren’t necessarily only economy cars. They could easily be seen as stylistic choices, if you will.

Laugh if you want … but major hallmark brands like Honda, Chevrolet and Toyota are cashing in on small cars — which, according to AutoNews.com, are helping push the biggest sales month in four years and are also capturing the biggest segment of the U.S. auto market since 1993.

(Let’s face it, soaring prices at the pump haven’t helped this trend, either.)

The U.S. automakers aren’t slacking, although Honda and Toyota still lead the small-sized pack. AutoNews.com was quick to point out that Chrysler’s Fiat set a second straight monthly record, Ford rolled out more small cars than any other September in a decade, and GM’s Chevy last month won the subcompact segment with the Sonic and the compact with the Cruze.

Read more about the “Small Wonder” car trend from AutoNews.com below:

Small Car Sales May Capture Largest U.S. Share Since 1993

Coming up down the road … is there a bright future coming up for in-car tech?

Yet another sign that the car is going gadget.

Now Linux is joining the bandwagon with its Automotive Grade Linux Workgroup. Members of this group that includes automotive and tech heavyweights will work on Linux-based standards for devices and services that will run on them.

Samsung’s Tizen is part of this collective. A further indicator that the electronics giant will be moving away from the Android OS.

I mean, if we’re all one day going to be carted around by Google’s robot-driven driverless cars, we might as well have some cool in-car apps to at least keep us interested, right?

Tech companies that have signed up are Tizen (the Linux-based platform that’s supported by Intel and Samsung), Texas Instruments, Harman, Intel, NEC, NVIDIA, and, of course — Samsung! Toyota, Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover are among the auto companies that have jumped on the train.

Keep in mind, Linux is not even close to the first company to move in this direction, far from it. The last few years have seen various “cars of the future” moves from Google, Ford and Honda — and there has even been some speculation that Apple is working on concepts (omg! Don’t tell us … the iCar?).

Read more about the Linux car-gadget move from TechCrunch below:

Coming to a Car Near You: Linux Goes Automotive, Signs Up Harman, Intel, Toyota, Samsung’s Tizen, More

The 2013 Ford Fusion.
Credit: Ford.com.

Chrysler has been pretty successful with its Bentley-inspired 300.

Many are expecting a similar reception for Ford’s Aston-like 2013 Fusion. The poor man’s ultra-luxury ride should now be even a stronger contender for top mid-size sedan going into the future.

The 240-hp Titanium version of the car offers paddle shifters and has a claimed 0-60 of 6.9 seconds. Looks like after two decades of dominance, the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry just may continue to slip.

Experts are calling Ford’s new Fusion rollout “a bid to win, rather than just show up.”

More from Motoramic here:

“Based on a new platform Ford will build worldwide, the 2013 Ford Fusion rides on front McPherson-strut and rear multi-link suspensions. Compared to the outgoing model, the new Fusion’s rear multi-link has been revised to improve ride quality, while keeping the car’s overall European-inspired handling characteristics. Much of that on-road responsiveness is thanks to Ford’s electric power-assisted steering, one of the best in the industry, providing a confident weighting and progressive effort while dampening the excessive feedback from tortured roads.”

Check out a full photo gallery of the 2013 Ford Fusion here.

For full coverage from Motoramic on the 2013 Ford Fusion, click below:

2013 Ford Fusion, aiming for the top: Motoramic Drives

This is not exactly the most scientific test we’ve ever seen, but it still seems likely that the new iPhone 5 is a little more robust than Samsung’s Galaxy S III.

Even after a swim in the pool, the former functioned more or less as it should while the latter seemed to have drowned. Consumers probably care more about features and technical functionality but some may see this as an additional selling point — or a reason to stay away.

The Galaxy quickly went kaput after both smartphones were dunked underwater while playing Psy’s “Gangnam Style” music video. The water apparently only causes the iPhone screen lock up at first — but it keeps playing the tunes.

In a final exhibition, the testers drop rock-hard household items like canned goods and TV remotes onto both smartphone models. The iPhone seems to emerge from the abuse unscathed, while a smack from a glass bottle puts the GS3 down for the count again.

Yeeeeeeeaaaaah …. not the most scientific survey.

Let us know what you think in the comments, and read more coverage from Mashable here.

Watch the full video of the crazy smartphone torture test below here:

The Dodge Avenger
Credit: Wikipedia.

Here’s a story for those of you that are superstitious.

But then again, if you are, this may be exactly the type of story you want to avoid reading. Scared? Well maybe you should be: “Bad luck” on the road sure isn’t anything that we want to contemplate.

CNBC actually compiled a list of “bad luck” cars based on info from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. You can read their report here: http://www.iihs.org/.

Smaller vehicles tend to dominate the list as you might expect but there are some solid reasons for that other than size.

We were surprised that the Dodge Avenger was there in 8th place. Perhaps that’s because of its class-leading 283 horsepower V6 engine.

Apparently a lot of drivers can’t handle a little power!

Check out full coverage of this “bad luck” story from CNBC.com and Yahoo here:

10 Bad Luck Cars