Archive for December, 2011

NTSB Proposes Nationwide Ban of Handheld Device Use While Driving

This week the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) called for a nationwide ban on the use of cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. Spurred by a deadly crash in Missouri last year that killed two and injured 38 due to a driver’s texting, the new law proposal would be the most aggressive effort yet and would go far beyond what any state currently prohibits.

Although the NTSB’s action is only recommendation, not implementation, the board has a strong track record of influencing many changes in support of transportation safety.  And they’re backing up their recommendation with some astonishing statistics.  Their analysts estimate that at any given daylight moment, some 13.5 million drivers are using handheld devices, and that over 3,000 driving fatalities last year involved drivers distracted by handheld devices.

If the NTSB’s recommendation is translated into action, this could mean a drastic lifestyle change for those accustomed to being technologically connected at all times, even behind the wheel.  The upside is, however,  that the laws would not apply to devices installed in the vehicle by the manufacturer. Features like General Motors’ OnStar, Hyundai’s Blue Link, and built-in Bluetooth and navigation screens would give drivers access to technology and convenience without breaking the proposed law.

And luckily there is no shortage of vehicles offering these features.  Most models on the Hyundai lineup, including the 2012 Hyundai Veloster, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata, and the 2012 Hyundai Tucson, offer Bluetooth hands-free calling and GPS navigation screens. Similarly, most GM vehicles, such as the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze, the 2012 Buick Lacrosse, and the 2012 GMC Acadia, come with OnStar Turn-By-Turn Navigation and Bluetooth capability.

While it’s not quite certain whether the NTSB’s nationwide ban on electronic devices will go into effect, it is reassuring to know that there are plenty of options out there for those who want to remain connected on the go.

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Bloomberg Names Hyundai Veloster “Best Economy Car”

In its recently published “Best Drives of 2011,” Bloomberg recognized the 2012 Hyundai Veloster as “Best Economy Car.” This is the third annual vehicle roundup for the nationally renowned financial and news powerhouse, and it is no small honor that the Veloster has earned this prestigious title.

Jason Harper, Bloomberg’s auto critic, praises the Hyundai Veloster for being “the most out-and-out fun” and “crammed with amenities.”  He gave special mention to its 40 mpg highway rating, which impressed him much more so than other “green” cars he has reviewed this year, such as the Honda Civic Hybrid.

It’s no wonder the Veloster is catching the eye of big-name players like Bloomberg.  This innovative compact coupe features a ground-breaking design with a unique third door for easy rear-seat access, a wealth of technology including Blue Link and Pandora radio, and not to mention its outstanding fuel efficiency.  All this won’t break the bank either; the Hyundai Veloster price tag starts at just $17,300.

Bloomberg’s recognition is gratifying enough on its own, but when you take a look at the other esteemed winners on the Best Drives list, you’ll see that the Veloster is in very prestigious company.  Bloomberg chose the Range Rover Evoque as “Best Crossover,” the Lamborghini Aventador as “Best Supercar,” the BMW 1M as “Best Sports Car,” and the Audi A7 as the “Overall Winner.”

Hyundai’s Director of Product Planning, Scott Margason, says, “”We recognize that Bloomberg’s reporters and readers are among the most financially savvy and astute car buyers in the world. With this in mind, it’s a tremendous honor that the publication appreciates all of the Veloster’s outstanding qualities in the compact coupe segment.”

As a premier Chicago Hyundai dealer, we here at Rogers Auto Group couldn’t agree more with this recent accolade of the 2012 Hyundai Veloster Chicago.

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Buick’s eAssist Technology Brings Compact-Like Fuel Economy to Premium Cars

Well into its second century of existence, the Buick brand has always had a long-standing reputation of premium elegance and dependability.  When you think of Buick, you probably envision a comfortable ride in a cushy luxury sedan.  But do you immediately think of fuel economy?  Probably not.  You might want to think again, though, because Buick’s latest eAssist technology is on track to be a game-changer for this premium brand.

Buick’s eAssist Technology adds a compact electric motor and lithium-ion battery to a 2.4L four-cylinder ECOTEC engine, which all work in sync to improve fuel economy by an estimated 25%, with highway performance reaching 36 mpg. A standard feature on the 2012 Lacrosse and optional upgrade on the 2012 Regal, features of this innovative engine system include:

  • An automatic start/stop technology that shifts from gas to electric power to conserve fuel
  • A process called regenerative braking, which transforms the vehicle’s forward momentum into energy when it slows down or comes to a stop
  • A state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery pack which uses the energy created via regenerative braking to power vehicle accessories

No matter how you explain it, the eAssist engine translates into huge fuel economy boosts, all of which can be monitored on the Power Flow Display in the center of the vehicle’s instrument cluster.  The technology even beats out hybrid competitors, with the Lacrosse outperforming the Lexus HS Hybrid and Infinity M Hybrid. The Regal with eAssist also bests its competition, getting better fuel economy than the Acura TSX, Audi A4 and Volkswagen CC.

And the best part about eAssist is that you don’t have to give up style and comfort for great fuel economy.  The Buick Lacrosse and Regal offer the type of refinement that you expect from Buick, with the type of fuel economy that is normally only offered in a compact car.  Not to mention, the price tag won’t break the bank like most hybrids.  It’s clearly a winning combination for customers across the country.  In fact, the 2012 Lacrosse is spending just 14 days on dealer lots nationally before being sold, and Buick retail sales through November are projected to be up more than 17 percent year to date.

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Is TrueCar Accurate as a Reliable Price Quote for New Cars?

Purchasing a new car should be exciting, not stressful. You should be able to drive off in your new wheels without worrying about whether you got the best price or if you “haggled” properly.  At Rogers Auto Group, we’ve been in the car business for over 70 years with four new car dealerships and have always stood by our “No Bologna Low Price Guarantee” to ensure that our customers have a comfortable no-pressure buying experience. And now we’re taking that concept one step further by partnering with TrueCar, the industry leader in up-front new car pricing.

What is TrueCar?

TrueCar is an automotive resource dedicated to making buying a car simple, fair, and fun, for both the customer and the dealer.  TrueCar has revolutionized the car-buying process by providing, free of charge, a wealth of information about new car pricing, including:

1. MSRP/Sticker price of a vehicle
2. Factory invoice price
3. Dealer cost
4. Average price of what others paid for a particular car in your area
5. Unbiased figures on what a “good” or “great” price really is

Where does this pricing information come from?  TrueCar gets its data from a wide resource of car dealers, and well-known data aggregators, along with comprehensive data on vehicle configurations, customer and dealer incentives, loan and financing information, vehicle registration, and vehicle insurance.

But exercise caution as you conduct your TrueCar search.  You might see prices from some dealers that seem too good to be true.  You’ll print out your Price Protection Certificate and bring it in to those dealers only to be hit with surcharge after surcharge, inflating your price well beyond the expected TrueCar price.

At Rogers Auto Group, however, we share the same values as TrueCar in wanting to ensure a purely simple and fun car-buying experience.  Keep in mind that Rogers will not only honor your TrueCar price quote, but we will also ensure that you won’t get hit with unnecessary fees and upcharges like other dealers might impose.  In other words, your TrueCar price is the true price.  Honesty and reputability are at the foundation of our family business that spans four generations, and we strive to uphold those values through ever partnership we make.  Visit TrueCar.com today to get your price quote from Rogers Auto Group, and see just how easy and stress-free buying a new car can be.

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The New 2012 Buick Verano

Buick’s solid lineup gets a new family member this winter.  Joining the Regal, Lacrosse, and Enclave comes a brand new compact luxury sedan called the Buick Verano.  Its moniker meaning “Summer” in Spanish, the Verano brings a fresh option to the Buick line and is the third all-new model for Buick in the past three years.

The 2012 Buick Verano falls in a niche all its own in the automarket.  It competes at the luxury level of brands like Audi, Lexus, and Acura, but its price tag starts at a very reasonable $22,985. This positions the Verano to reach an entirely new set of consumers who want a luxury driving experience at an affordable price.

The luxury experience starts before one even sits down at the wheel.  Just at a glance, the Buick Verano has an elegant look, with sculpted design, signature waterfall grille, and sporty blue halo headlights.  Under the hood, the Verano boasts a 2.4L dual overhead cam 4-cylinder engine, variable valve timing and E85 capability, with an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 21 MPG city and 32 MPG highway.

Stepping into the cabin, you’ll find premium craftsmanship and design everywhere you look.  Rich leather appointments, warm wood tones, metallic accents, pleasant ambient lighting and intuitive technologies make the Verano’s interior a standout.  The seat comfort is exceptional, and even though the vehicle is classified as a compact, the 109 cubic feet of combined trunk and passenger space provide plenty of room for both passengers and cargo.

Take the Verano out on the road, and you’ll find even more to love about it. This luxury sedan was thoughtfully engineered to grip the road with full-function traction control and responsive maneuverability.  The acceleration is reasonably strong for its engine size, and the vehicle steers with supreme response and precision thanks to its electric-assist power steering technology.

Not only does the ride feel good, it sounds good too.  A dozen noise-reducing and noise-cancelling technologies are used in more than 50 areas of Verano’s body structure for increased cabin isolation and quietness.  In fact, it’s the only vehicle in its class with laminated side glass. Combine that with an isolated engine cradle, aero panels underneath the car, triple door seals, and a fabric-wrapped headline, and you’ll be able to carry on a conversation at a whisper, even at highway speeds.

The Verano is offered with three equipment groups to suit desires of any type of driver.  The base group has a multitude of features on its own, including a 7? color touch radio with Buick Intellilink, 18″ wheels and fog lamps.  Upgrade to the Convenience Group for options like a 6-way power driver’s seat, heated outside mirrors, auto-dimming rear view mirror and rear parking assist. Or splurge on the Leather Group and enjoy luxuries like leather-appointed, heated seats, Bose Premium Audio System, leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel and E-Z Key Passive Entry with Push Button Start. Even with all the bells and whistles, the Verano still weighs in under $27,000, making it a veritable competitor in the luxury market.

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