Archive for March, 2012

EPA Names Hyundai Leader in Fuel Economy and Low Emissions

Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its EPA 2011 Light-Duty Automotive Technology and Fuel Economy Trends Report, an annual report that ranks automakers’ fuel economy and CO2 emissions.  Coming in at number one in both categories was Hyundai, who earns this honor for the second time after first achieving these top ranks for the 2008 model year.

The report listed Hyundai as the top brand for the 2010 model year, with an adjusted fuel economy rating of 27.0 miles per gallon, and the lowest fleet-wide adjusted composite CO2 emissions performance of 329 g/mi. While impressive numbers on their own, this distinction for Hyundai is also noteworthy as they outperformed traditional fuel economy leaders Toyota and Honda, whose 2010 fuel economy averages weighed in at 25.4 and 24.9, respectively.  The Trends Report also projects that Hyundai will maintain its fuel economy leadership for the 2011 model year with a projected fuel economy rating of 27.5 mpg.

The results of the report come as no surprise to this quickly-growing automaker whose “Blue Drive” strategy represents a comprehensive overhaul of thinking green, with an aim focused on making environmental efficiency more affordable.  Even a cursory glance at Hyundai’s model lineup, which includes the Elantra, Sonata Hybrid, Accent, and Veloster M/T, all achieving 40 mpg, is a telling indication of the brand’s commitment to fuel economy.   Not to mention, Hyundai is currently the only manufacturer with four models achieving 40 mpg on the highway.

Hyundai is clearly an industry frontrunner in fuel economy at the present time, and it shows no sign of losing this momentum.  In fact, Hyundai aims to achieve a corporate average fuel economy rating of at least 50 mpg by 2025, which is no small feat.  Judging from their recent progress, though, it seems certainly within reach.

At Rogers Auto Group in Chicago, we’ve got a full stock of Hyundai’s fuel-efficient lineup, including compacts like the 2012 Hyundai Accent, 2012 Hyundai Elantra, and 2012 Hyundai Veloster, sedans like the 2012 Hyundai Sonata and 2012 Hyundai Azera, crossovers and SUVs like the 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe and 2012 Hyundai Tucson, and performance cars like the 2012 Hyundai Genesis.  Rogers also houses a state-of-the-art service department to maintain your Hyundai vehicle, and we were named “Number One Service Satisfaction Hyundai Dealer” in the Central region.

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Chevrolet Equinox Tops Forbes’ List of Best Cars for New Parents

Forbes.com is one of the leading sources of business and consumer information on the web, and when it publishes one of its famous “lists,” you can count on unbiased and thoroughly researched information.  For car shoppers, Forbes’ lists can be an extremely helpful resource not only because of the quality of the information, but also for the unique aspects of cars that they explore.

In a recently published list, Forbes researchers put themselves in the shoes of couples undergoing the life-changing experience of becoming first-time parents.  With all the uncertainties that come with adding a baby to your family, Forbes takes the guesswork out of adding a family-suited car to your household as well.

To compile their list of The 10 Best Cars for New Parents, Forbes researched vehicles according to the following criteria:

1.    Price:  For new parents on a budget, price is of utmost importance, and all cars on the list retail for under $25,000.
2.    Interior:  Careful consideration was made for vehicles with roomy interiors, easy rear seat access, and family-minded features.
3.    Safety:  All vehicles on the list are a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Coming in number one on the list of 10 Best Cars for New Parents was the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox.   Forbes says that the Equinox “does just about everything right.”  It’s got a powerful engine with an “Eco” mode to boost fuel economy (22/32 MPG), a roomy comfortable interior with flexible seating and cargo options, and not to mention a slew of safety features including all-wheel-drive, lane departure and front-collision warning systems, and child safety locks.  Forbes researchers also noted that the SUV/crossover style of the Chevrolet Equinox was not only well-suited for getting little ones in and out of their car seats, but it also has a more youthful quality than the stereotypical family minivan, making it a great choice both practically and stylistically.

Also making Forbes’ list of 10 Best Cars for New Parents were the Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda CR-V, Honda Fit, Kia Soul, Scion xB, MINI Cooper Countryman, Nissan Cube, Subaru Forester, and Volkswagen Jetta.

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Chevrolet Is America’s Top Performance Brand

Having just reached its 100th anniversary last November, Chevrolet now has another reason to celebrate.  According to 2011 sales statistics, the Chevrolet Camaro and Chevrolet Corvette were the top selling cars in their segments last year, accounting for one out of every three sports cars sold in the United States in 2011.

In the sports-car segment, the Chevrolet Camaro sold 88,249 units, surpassing its nearest competitor, the Ford Mustang, by over 18,000, and accounting for 37% of the market share.  In the luxury-sports-car segment, the Chevrolet Corvette took top spot at 13,164 units and 28% of the market share.  Not to mention, the Corvette was the only domestic car in the segment and more than doubled the sales of its nearest competitor, the Porsche 911.

To back up these impressive sales numbers, Chevrolet recently put real-world production models of the Camaro and Corvette to the test on the “Grand Course” at Virginia International Raceway.  This 4-mile course is world-renowned for providing the ultimate testing conditions for a vehicle’s performance capabilities, including power, brakes, steering, tire grip and chassis balance.

The 2012 Corvette ZR1 finished the course in 2:45.6, making it the fastest production car to ever lap the course.  The 2012 Camaro ZL1 didn’t do too shabby either, clocking in at 2:52.4, more than six seconds faster than the 2011 Ford Shelby GT500.  Experts say that breaking a three-minute lap on the Grand Course is a notable accomplishment for any car.

Along with this undeniable evidence of popularity and performance, both the Corvette and Camaro were recently recognized in IntelliChoice’s 2012 Best Overall Value Awards, making them a great overall pick for consumers shopping the performance segment.  The future indeed looks bright for the Corvette and Camaro as Chevrolet embarks on its second century!

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Sneak Peek of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai will debut the redesigned 2013 Santa Fe at the New York Auto Show next month, but thankfully we don’t have to wait until then to get a sneak peek.  This week Hyundai released two teaser images of its top-selling crossover/SUV, which will go on sale later this year as a 2013 model.

The all-new Santa Fe will be the first model to incorporate Hyundai’s emerging “Storm Edge” design concept, which Hyundai says “captures the strong and dynamic images created by nature during the formation of a storm.”  The 2013 Santa Fe has sharper and more pronounced creases than the “Fluidic Sculpture” design of current Hyundai models, boasting a futuristic new hexagonal grille, a two-tone body, and wider front and rear bumpers.

No technical details have been released regarding the powertrain, fuel economy, or pricing of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, but if Hyundai’s track record is any indication, we can expect the Santa Fe to be a high performer with great gas mileage and a competitive price tag.

 

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The Chevrolet Volt: Charging Forward in 2012

The Chevrolet Volt has been in the hot seat in the news lately.  Stories are circulating that assembly line production has been temporarily suspended and that a battery fire has compromised the vehicle’s safety.  But don’t believe everything you read.  GM spokesman, Chris Lee, explains that the 4-week temporary production shutdown scheduled for this spring is simply “to maintain our proper inventory levels as we align production with demand.”

Furthermore, the post-crash-test battery fire that made headlines late last year was fully investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which found the Volt to pose no more fire risk than other cars.  In fact, what most reports failed to mention was that the fires occurred two days or more after the crash tests, and after the cars had been left sitting without the post-crash storage steps recommended by Chevrolet.

After you wade through the hype of the headlines, the Chevrolet Volt still stands strong as one of the most revolutionary cars of our time.  While it’s fully functional as an electric vehicle, it also carries its own gas-powered generator so when the battery runs out of charge, the car can continue up to 375 additional miles on a tank of regular gas.  The electric motor on its own will carry you up to 35 miles on a charge that only costs $1.50 extra on your electric bill.  The result of this revolutionary technology translates into heavy savings on fuel costs and peace of mind that you’ll never get stranded looking for an outlet.

When you’re done being mesmerized by the Volt’s fuel capabilities, you’ll find a complete package of safety, comfort and technology.  The Volt is equipped with a comprehensive system of safety features, including air bags, rear-vision camera system, and high strength steel cage, all of which helped it earn a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS and a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Safety score from the NHTSA.  Inside the vehicle, you’ll find a comfortable and intuitively-designed cabin, with two interactive LCD screens displaying real-time reports on energy usage, power flow, efficiency, and remaining battery charge.

While the Volt clearly looks good on paper, the real test comes from Volt owners themselves, and across the board, the Volt has received nothing but glowing reviews.  Here is feedback from real Volt owners who couldn’t be happier with their purchase.

From Yahoo! Autos:
“We love our Volt!  Drove 9600 miles and used 1.5 gallons of gas!!”

“The acceleration is amazing and the technology is second to none.”

“Coolest car I have ever owned.  Not only have I gotten 239 MPG in the first 3 months, the ‘cool’ factor of the car is the icing on the cake.”

From Cars.com:
“The Volt is an awesome car.  I can never go back to a gasoline-only car, with their fumes, noise and vibration.”

“This is the very best car I’ve ever owned.  Buy a Volt and enjoy life.”

“The smooth and quiet drive cannot be matched by anything with pistons, including ordinary hybrids. I’m getting 600 mpg in my mix of commute and errands! Every minute behind the wheel is so satisfying.”

From MSN Autos:
“The Volt has exceeded our expectations in every respect. It is fun to drive, the hatchback makes it surprisingly practical, it is nice looking and incredibly cheap to operate.”

“The Volt is an amazing vehicle that is better than anything else available on the market (and I have driven both the Prius and Nissan Leaf on more than one occasion).”

“The more I drive this car, the more I enjoy it. Over a month already and still no need to buy gas. Chevy did this car right.”

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Hyundai and Chevrolet Make Consumer Reports’ Top Picks for 2012

Consumer Reports, one of the most trusted resources for consumer information, recently published their annual Top Car Picks, naming the best all-around models in 10 class categories.  Their experts tested over 260 vehicles and ranked them using the following criteria:

  • Road test:  Conducted by Consumer Reports experts
  • Reliability: Predicted-reliability rating is based on the problems Consumer Reports subscribers reported on 1.3 million vehicles in the publication’s latest Annual Auto Survey.
  • Safety:  Data obtained from crash or rollover tests conducted by the government or the insurance industry.

Coming out on top in the “Affordable family sedan” category was the Hyundai Sonata.  Consumer reports praised the sedan’s roomy, well-equipped cabin, supple ride, nimble handling, and great gas mileage.  Also noted was the Sonata‘s rear-seat space and great rear visibility, even with its sleek coupelike styling.

Another noteworthy winner in Consumer Reports’ Top Picks was the Chevrolet Avalanche in the “Pickup Truck” category.  Consumer Reports had rave reviews for this truck, touting that it “provides the best combination of utility and versatility of any pickup we’ve tested.”  It’s got a comfortable and quiet ride, with innovative cargo flexibility options.

Consumer Reports’ other 2012 Top Picks were:

Family Sedan: Toyota Camry Hybrid
Sporty Car: Ford Mustang
Small SUV: Toyota RAV4
Family Hauler: Toyota Sienna
Sports Sedan: Infiniti G
Green Car: Toyota Prius
Small Car: Subaru Impreza
Family SUV: Toyota Highlander

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