Archive for August, 2012

5 Ways New Auto Technology Will Improve Your Life

The forthcoming Buick Encore is not due in dealerships until early 2013 but already this subcompact crossover SUV is catching eyes of auto enthusiasts.  Forbes.com, well-known for their business and consumer news and their world-famous lists, recently published their overview of the “Hottest New 2013 Cars,” and the 2013 Buck Encore made the list alongside new offerings from the likes of BMW, Audi, and Infiniti.  Forbes cites some of the highlights of the all-new Buick Encore, including its 140-horsepower engine, 18-inch wheels and tires, with extra praise for its “smooth ride” and “whisper-quiet interior.”

We’ve still got a few months before the Encore is here, but it’s looking like this crossover will be worth the wait.  Finely crafted, tech-savvy, and nimbly agile, the Buick Encore is set to raise the bar in the small SUV segment and compete with luxury models without the luxury price tag.  The Encore comes stacked with ten airbags, premium materials, flexible storage and available innovative technologies like forward collision alert, lane departure warning, parking assist, remote start, and rearview camera, among many others.

As the Forbes reviewer mentioned, one of the highlights of the 2013 Buick Encore is its extremely quiet ride.  It’s the first Buick to use the Bose active-noise-cancellation system, paired with laminated glass, triple-sealed doors, quiet-tuned tires and alternator, and sound absorbing material from front to back.  This is slated to be one of the quietest vehicles in its class.

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Forbes Names the Buick Encore One of the Hottest New Cars for 2013

2013 Buick EncoreThe forthcoming Buick Encore is not due in dealerships until early 2013 but already this subcompact crossover SUV is catching eyes of auto enthusiasts.  Forbes.com, well-known for their business and consumer news and their world-famous lists, recently published their overview of the “Hottest New 2013 Cars,” and the 2013 Buck Encore made the list alongside new offerings from the likes of BMW, Audi, and Infiniti.  Forbes cites some of the highlights of the all-new Buick Encore, including its 140-horsepower engine, 18-inch wheels and tires, with extra praise for its “smooth ride” and “whisper-quiet interior.”

Click here for the full story.

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2012 Chevrolet Sonic Dominates Top 10 Lists in its First Year

The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic has only been on the road since the end of last year, but already it’s making a huge splash in the small car segment, racking up award after award and dominating one top ten list after another.  It’s no wonder.  This subcompact covers all the bases, with an extremely fuel efficient 40 MPG, sporty 138 horsepower, class-leading 10 airbags, stylish options, and low price tag.  Here’s an overview of some of the noteworthy consumer and automotive sites that have been taking notice of the Chevrolet Sonic since its recent debut.

Kelley Blue Book
Kelley Blue Book is one of the most trusted resources for car pricing and expert advice.  The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic ranked #5 in KBB’s “10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000” and #3 in its “10 Best Back-to-School Cars of 2012.”  KBB reviewers praised the Sonic’s sporty design, vibrant colors, peppy yet fuel-efficient engine, and said that it “booms with exuberance.”

Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com provides information for car shoppers and car owners alike.  The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic ranked in two of this site’s top ten lists, scoring high in the “Best Family Vehicles for 2012” and “Best Cars for College Students.”  Edmunds touts the Sonic as having “a winning blend of power, comfort and fuel efficiency.”

About.com
An affiliate of The New York Times Company, About.com provides a valuable resource of expert, quality content for consumers.  The Chevrolet Sonic appeared in two of its recent lists, with solid rankings in the “Ten Best Cars for Teens” and “Best New Cars of 2012.”  Auto reviewer Aaron Gold had great things to say about this vehicle: “It’s good looking, enjoyable to drive, and it has a simple, straightforward control layout that promotes distraction-free driving.”

Car and Driver
Car and Driver is one of the most iconic automotive enthusiast magazines in American history.  Its online version, caranddriver.com, recently conducted a study of “Best Small Cars,” with the Chevrolet Sonic ranking number two.  Testing the Turbo LTZ version, caranddriver.com loved the Sonic’s light and quick steering, refined drivetrain, unique instrument panel, and most comfortable driver’s seat of all the cars tested.

Time Magazine
A trusted news source for many generations, Time.com’s overview of the “Top 10 Most Buzzed-About New Small Cars” brings with it the clout of the publication’s firm stance in history.  It’s no surprise, then, that the Chevrolet Sonic would make this prestigious list.  Time.com cites the Sonic’s booming sales as proof enough, with record-breaking sales figures for 2012 and accounting for a whopping 14% of the subcompact segment.

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What’s New on the Redesigned 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is due to arrive at Rogers Hyundai any day, and as the anticipation builds for its arrival, so does our enthusiasm for the new features and options of this redesigned SUV.  Already a very popular vehicle since its introduction in 2001, the third generation Santa Fe offers some exciting changes and improvements.

Starting with styling, the new Santa Fe offers a choice of both a 5-passenger (Santa Fe Sport) and 7-passenger model, with the latter boasting an extended wheelbase rather than just simply adding the third-row seat.  The exterior look incorporates Hyundai’s new Storm Edge design concept for a sharper and sportier look.

Under the hood, the new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe offers more power and fuel efficiency than its predecessor.  The base engine is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers 190 horsepower and 181 lb-ft. of torque (compared to 175 horsepower and 169 lb-ft. of torque in the 2012 base model).  Even with the performance boost, fuel efficiency also increases, with estimates at 23 mpg city and 33 mpg highway (compared to 20/28 in the 2012 model).  Engine upgrades include a turbocharged 4-cylinder as well as a 3.3-liter V6 engine with up to 290 horsepower!

In the safety department, the 2013 Santa Fe carries over some important standard features of its predecessor, including electronic stability control, traction control, and anti-lock brakes. New standard safety features on the 2013 model include Hill-Start Assist and an additional driver’s knee airbag for a total of 7 airbags, along with an optional blind-spot monitoring system.

For bells and whistles, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe offers a long list of standard features, including a 40/20/40 split rear seat, Hyundai BlueLink, keyless entry, cruise control, full power accessories and six-speaker stereo. Available options include heated rear seats, heated steering wheel and panoramic sunroof.

From front to back and inside out, the new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is slated to make a big splash when it arrives on the Rogers lot. 

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Wireless Pedestrian Detection Technology in Development by General Motors

General Motors announced this week that it’s developing a new technology to help drivers detect pedestrians and bicyclists, with hopes of incorporating this feature into the infotainment systems of future Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles.

The technology relies on Wi-Fi Direct, a peer-to-peer wireless communication system that lets devices connect directly with each other rather than through a shared access point like a cell phone tower.  This makes the transfer of data much quicker, a crucial factor in a potential accident situation where seconds count.

GM researchers are working with a means to integrate Wi-Fi Direct with other sensor-based detection and driver alert systems already available in their vehicles.  Pedestrians and bicyclists carrying smartphones equipped with Wi-Fi Direct would be able to directly communicate with the vehicle’s system.   Nady Boules, GM Global R&D director of the Electrical and Control Systems Research Lab, says “This new wireless capability could warn drivers about pedestrians who might be stepping into the roadway from behind a parked vehicle, or bicyclists who are riding in the car’s blind spot.”

Thanks to the quick transfer capabilities of Wi-Fi Direct, compatible devices would be able to connect in approximately one second instead of up to 7 or 8 seconds using a cell phone tower or other external access point.  The connection range for this technology is upwards of 656 feet, the span of over two football fields.

General Motors has always put a premium on safety in their vehicles, not just for the driver, but for the driver’s surroundings.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,280 pedestrians and 618 bicyclists lost their lives in collisions with motor vehicles in 2010.  The incorporation of Wi-Fi Direct could play a significant role in reducing these numbers, and GM is excited for the potential this technology holds.

Aside from safety benefits, the Wi-Fi Direct technology could also open doors for vehicle connectivity in other ways.  Capabilities of vehicles to communicate directly with home computers or other devices could be useful for transferring data like music files and address book.  With technology at the forefront of many consumers’ lives and jobs, this step toward increased vehicle connectivity could make a big impact on the industry.

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