Should Your Car Disable Your Phone?

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Like many other Americans yesterday, my family spent a good portion of time in the car traveling between family gatherings. Our travels were uneventful, aside from the occasional debate about what song to play. (One kid wanted Charlie Puth while another voted for Nirvana and yet another was set on Tribe Society. Thank goodness for affordable iPods.)

As the driver, I naturally kept my hands off my phone. From the high throne of my Land Cruiser, though, I could see neighboring drivers with faces buried in the soft glow of their smartphones.

Distracted driving is a major problem, and now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hopes to take another step to do something about it.

The NHTSA has released voluntary guidelines to shut down apps on phones while a person is sitting behind the steering wheel.

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What Are We Thankful For? Automotive Evolution

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Remember when Tesla was just a small startup company with a big dream? Very few people saw the potential for electric cars. GM had killed its original electric project, the EV1, and batteries were seen as an inefficient alternative to plentiful gasoline.

The Tesla Roadster was built for a very small niche of people who wanted the novelty of an electric sports car.

Compare the Tesla of 2009 with the Tesla of 2016, and it’s astonishing to see the growth of the company and the widespread acceptance of its automobiles.

Not only has Tesla represented the evolution toward electricity, it has spurred a revolution in automotive engineering.

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Winter Essentials: Key Safety Features for Your Holiday Travels

car stuck in snow


As a company based in New England, CarGurus understands that traveling at this time of year can quickly become perilous, and having the right vehicle for winter can make a world of difference. We’ve already seen our first batch of snow and expect more to arrive shortly. Of course, inclement weather can unfortunately coincide with some of the busiest travel times of the year. With the amount of traffic you’re likely to experience this weekend, and with the very real possibility of icy road conditions, we implore you to be proactive this winter and drive a vehicle that can perform well in less-than-ideal conditions. That’s the best choice for you and for other drivers on the road.

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Can Subaru and Volkswagen Compete with GM SUVs?

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Chevrolet’s monopoly on the large SUV industry might be threatened by a few up-and-coming newcomers.

We recently covered the sales explosion of full-size SUVs that’s happening over at GM. Obviously other automakers would love to tap into some of that success, but existing alternatives, such as the Toyota Sequoia and Nissan Armada, don’t have the same rabid following (or price discounts) as the GM offerings.

A couple of new vehicles will hit the market soon, but can they make a dent in the General’s market share?

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The Trouble with Self-Driving Cars: It’s the Drivers, Not the Cars

Angry driver shouting in his car


Picture yourself circling a crowded Market Basket parking lot. You see one empty spot ahead, but by the looks of it, there’s another car angling toward the same space. Your choices are simple: Politely take the high road and yield the vacancy to the other driver, or press on ahead, disregarding the feelings of your fellow motorist, and grab that parking spot while you still can.

Regardless of what they’d do in reality, I imagine most readers would profess their virtue while choosing the former. But what if you didn’t have to worry about insulting another driver? What if you only had to worry about offending an unemotional, soulless computer?

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Ford Unveils New EcoSport Subcompact SUV

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Just this weekend my wife asked about the word ‘nomenclature.’ I explained it by giving the example of Ford’s naming strategy, or nomenclature, for its line of SUVs.

There’s the Excursion, Expedition, Explorer, Edge, and Escape.

Ford likes the letter ‘E’ for its SUVs, with the one exception being the Flex, which could be classified more as a wagon than an SUV. It should be no surprise, then, that Ford’s newest SUV, unveiled over the weekend via Snapchat, will conform to that nomenclature and carry the name EcoSport.

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Changing Model Years: North American Car and Truck of the Year Finalists

2017 Genesis G90

The Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the public this weekend after three days of well-attended press events and unveilings. This week’s debuting AutoMobility LA conference also featured presentations from a wide variety of industry experts and CEOs addressing the futures of the auto business, driving, mobility, and ownership, and kicked off a competition among ten promising auto startups. The car business is never boring, and we know 2017 promises plenty of excitement, there and elsewhere.

The L.A. show effectively kicks off a new model year, but it also sort of wraps up the current one. On AutoMobiltity LA’s first morning, the field of 2017 North American Car and Truck of the Year nominees was narrowed from 30 to 9 finalists. Judged by a group of 60 journalists from magazine, TV, radio, newspaper, and online auto publishers in the U.S. and Canada, the NACTOY awards honor excellence in innovation, design, performance, safety, technology, driver satisfaction, and value.

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New Autonomous Cars to Protect Occupants… At All Costs

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Whom should an autonomous car protect: the driver or a pedestrian?

Accidents are an unfortunate consequence of driving, and, so far, even autonomous software can’t prevent them. The ethics of accident avoidance is becoming one of the drawbacks of self-driving cars. When a human is driving, he or she can quickly process information and make a decision that, hopefully, results in the least amount of harm. Most of us would take any means of avoidance necessary to avoid hitting another person.

Self-driving cars, on the other hand, may be programmed to protect the driver at all costs…even if it means a pedestrian’s life.

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Volkswagen TDI Buyback: What You Need to Know

If you bought or leased a Volkswagen TDI on or before September 15, 2015, you are probably eligible to receive a buyback offer from Volkswagen.

The buyback comes as compensation for the hassle of driving a car affected by the biggest scandal in automotive history. 2009-2015 Volkswagens and Audis equipped with the 2.0-liter diesel engine are eligible for a buyback of roughly $12,400-$44,000, depending on the year and model of the car.

Buybacks started this month and, as of October 18, about 340,000 people have signed up to accept the offer. This opens up the question:

What will happen to the hundreds of thousands of cars that Volkswagen buys back?

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What Are the Most Inaccurate Numbers on the Window Sticker?

2016_outback_windowsticker

Virtually everything on the Monroney sticker can be negotiated.

The Monroney, better known simply as the window sticker that adorns all new cars for sale, tells vital information about the vehicle, its engine size, trim level, installed options, and, of course, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).

The listed price is typically a starting point for negotiation, and the sticker will tell buyers of any added market adjustments or unnecessary options.

There’s one number, though, that isn’t negotiable and has a long reputation of not even being accurate:

The EPA estimated fuel economy.

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