The Boston Auto Show: Where You Can See Cars You Can Actually Buy (from a Dealer)

Last night kicked off the 2017 New England International Auto Show, held right here in Boston, Massachusetts. While the big event in Detroit earns the majority of attention around this time of year, New England’s exhibition this year is all about cars you can actually find for sale on dealer lots—cars you and I could actually go out and purchase, rather than a slew of concepts and debuting vehicles unavailable for months to come. Continue reading >>>

Volkswagen Pleads Guilty, FCA Accused of Cheating

A short time ago, Volkswagen executives in Germany were warned about travel to the United States. Doing so could result in arrest for criminal charges stemming from the company’s massive defrauding of the U.S. government.

Perhaps Oliver Schmidt, the former head of VW’s environmental engineering office in charge of communicating with U.S. regulators, didn’t get the memo.

The FBI pounced when Schmidt was in Miami, arresting him to face criminal charges over doctored diesel engines in more than 500,000 cars, which emitted up to 40 times the limit for nitrogen oxide under U.S. pollution standards.

Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to three felony charges and now the EPA has accused another automaker of a similar cheating scheme.

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Welcome to the 5th Generation of Transportation

Chrysler Portal concept

Family transportation all started with the station wagon. Anyone here remember riding in the “way back” seats of a Ford Granada or Country Squire wagon?

If you were lucky, your parents had the kind of wagon where the “way back” seats faced backward and you could see traffic approaching from behind while everyone else faced forward.

Station wagons were the preferred mode of family transport because they were big, comfortable, and offered plenty of room for people and their stuff. Station wagons were the first generation of family vehicles and were followed by minivans, SUVs, and then crossovers.

FCA thinks it has a direct line to the future and has introduced us to the next generation of family transport: the Portal.

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Coming Soon: A Hybrid Mustang (With V8 Power)

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People get all bent out of shape when reading about their beloved Mustang going hybrid.

“I need my V8,” they say.

“A Mustang can’t be electric,” they say.

Part of the reason for the anti-hybrid sentiment is the legacy of the Prius. The slow, emotionless Toyota has branded hybrids as unexciting and something for the performance-minded to avoid altogether.

So the idea of a hybrid Mustang, the epitome of tire-smoking V8 power, has folks, well, up in smoke.

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How’d It Do That? Tesla Predicts Crash

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Self-driving software has been highly scrutinized over the last few months because of a few high profile accidents and at least one fatality.

One incident resulted after a driver’s Model S failed to distinguish a crossing truck trailer and crashed into it, killing the driver. Still, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is adamant that autonomous cars are many times safer than cars driven by humans and is accumulating millions of miles of accident-free driving to back his claim up.

One new video is definitive proof of the power of computers, and shows a Model S in the Netherlands predict a nasty accident just moments before it happened, potentially saving lives. It’s hard to watch this video and not think that autonomous vehicles are the wave of the future.

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Faraday Unveils its Future: The FF 91

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Even though its factory is still just a patch of Nevada desert, Faraday Future has finally unveiled its first production vehicle, the flagship FF 91.

So far, the reception isn’t good.

The car is being panned online for a design that is miles short of Tesla’s sexy EV lines and mocked for failing to drive itself offstage when intended after the big reveal.

The FF 91 comes after a disappointing 12 months that has included reports of dysfunction from within the organization, financial problems, and key staff departures. The company still hasn’t announced how much the car will cost, but will happily take a $5,000 refundable deposit from folks who think they might be able to afford one.

Yes, Faraday Future faces some steep hurdles to finding success, but the FF 91 does have some positives going for it.

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The Most Hotly Anticipated Debuts at the 2017 North American Interational Auto Show

NAIAS 2017 Logo

Next week kicks off the 2017 North American International Auto Show. Although much attention has been directed at automakers’ decisions to move away from the traditional auto show format for their new-car debuts, with companies like Chrysler choosing instead to utilize the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the show in Detroit still remains one of the biggest events in the auto world, and CarGurus is excited to report on it this year. Continue reading >>>

Newsflash: Electric Cars Are Here!

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A lot of people don’t realize this, but it’s possible, right now, to head to a local dealer and drive home in an electric car. You, being an informed and educated car guru, are likely well aware of this. Up to 60 percent of the American public, however, don’t realize that plug-in electric cars are a thing.

Last summer I drove a brand new Nissan Leaf onto a local community college campus to help set up an event. The response from people that day was complete disbelief that a car could run so silently.

“It’s electric,” I said.

“Electric? Like you plug it in?”

“Yup.”

“So it doesn’t need gas?”

“Nope.”

Most of the folks I spoke with that day didn’t know about electric cars. As it turns out, most people in America don’t either.

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And the Least Satisfying Car in America Is…

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One of the strongest pieces of advice my dad ever gave me is to never, ever, buy a Chrysler. I was just a child when he told me, but the advice has stuck. His dissatisfaction with Chrysler began with the new Le Baron he bought in the 1980s, which was bad enough to skew his opinion of the automaker to this day. That’s roughly 30 years of disdain from a bad experience with one car.

I say this to illustrate the importance of vehicle satisfaction to automakers. A happy customer can mean a lifetime of car purchases while an unhappy one can negatively impact generations of car buyers.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at some results from Consumer Reports‘ annual vehicle satisfaction survey.

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Buy a Bolt and Fund a Tahoe?

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

What if the fledgling electric car industry was just a ruse to sell more earth-polluting fossil fuel-powered trucks and SUVs? The federal government’s fleet fuel-economy requirements and the California Air Resources Board’s ZEV credits aren’t just creating a small market for EVs, they’re fueling the fire for gas-powered vehicles that defeat the purpose of EVs.

Case in point is the new Chevy Bolt, a masterpiece EV that finally makes a practical vehicle with a 200-mile range accessible to the majority of the car-buying population.

Those who buy one, though, may not be saving the planet, but subsidizing the sale of gas-guzzlers.

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