Friday, 24 February 2017

Porsche, Lexus, Toyota top J.D. Power dependability study

Image result for lexus porsche
Lexus and Porsche are the auto brands that showed the fewest problems after three years of ownership, though technology troubles continue to drag down dependability ratings overall, a new survey from research firm J.D. Power finds.
On average, owners of 2014 models reported 156 issues per 100 cars in the past 12 months, up four from last year's survey, says J.D. Power in the 2017 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study.
Some 22% of the problems involved balky tech, whether it was related to audio systems, communication, infotainment or navigation. Last year, the figure was 20%.
Most problems involved smartphones and other devices that refused to pair through Bluetooth and voice-recognition systems that had trouble recognizing voices. Next came batteries that failed or wore out prematurely.
Interestingly, the 10 best-selling models also averaged fewer problems, some 134 per 100 cars. The best-selling truck, the Ford F-150, and car, Toyota Camry, led their respective categories.
"Buyers are increasingly avoiding models with poor reputations for dependability, so manufacturers can't afford to let their quality slip," says Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power, in a statement.
As for best brands, Lexus and Porsche tied for first place for fewest problems with 110 per 100 cars. Lexus has been at the top for six straight years. The worst brand was Fiat, with 298 per 100 cars, followed by Jeep and Infiniti.
Toyota and Buick came in third and fourth, respectively, marking strong showings for non-luxury brands.
"The good news is consumers don't have to spend a lot of money to get a very dependable vehicle," Sargent said.
The most improved brand was Hyundai, which shed 25 problems per 100 vehicles to come in at 133. It ranked sixth, up from 19th last year. Power says it was Hyundai's best-ever showing.
Dodge and Ford improved by 21 problems per 100 vehicles and Land Rover was up by 20.
Here are the rankings by brand and the number of problems reported per 100 vehicles:
1. (tie) Lexus 110
1. (tie) Porsche 110
3. Toyota 123
4. Buick 126
5. Mercedes-Benz 131
6. Hyundai  133
7. BMW  139
8. Chevrolet  142
9. Honda 143
10. Jaguar 144
11. Kia  148
12. (tie) Lincoln 150
12. (tie) Mini  150
14. GMC  151
15. Cadillac 152
16. Audi 153
17. Volvo 154
18. Chrysler 159
19. (tie) Subaru 164
19.  (tie) Volkswagen 164
21. Mazda 166
22. Acura 167
23. Nissan 170
24. Land Rover  178
25. Mitsubishi  182
26. (tie) Ford 183
26. (tie) Ram 183
28. Dodge 187
29. Infiniti 203
30. Jeep 209
31. Fiat 298

Top three models per segment (in order of fewest issues)
Small car
Chevrolet Sonic
Nissan Versa
Compact car
Toyota Prius
Buick Verano (tie)
Honda Civic (tie)
Compact Premium Car
Lexus ES
Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Acura ILX
Midsize Car
Toyota Camry
Chevrolet Malibu
Hyundai Sonata
Midsize Sporty Car
Chevrolet Camaro
Ford Mustang
Midsize Premium Car
Lexus GS
Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Audi A7
Large Car
Toyota Avalon
Buick LaCrosse
Kia Cadenza
Small SUV
Volkswagen Tiguan
Buick Encore
Hyundai Tucson
Compact MPV
Toyuta Prius V
Kia Soul
Compact SUV
Toyota FJ Cruiser
Chevrolet Equinox
GMC Terrain
Compact Premium SUV
Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
Acura RDX
Volvo XC60
Midsize Pickup
Honda Ridgeline
Nissan Frontier
Midsize SUV
Toyota Venza
Ford Edge (tie)
Honda Pilot (tie)
Midsize Premium SUV
Lexus RX
Lexus GX
Porsche Cayenne
Toyota Sienna
Chrysler Town & Country
Dodge Grand Caravan
Large SUV
Chevrolet Tahoe
GMC Yukon
Large Light Duty Pickup
Ford F-150
Toyota Tundra
Chevrolet Silverado (tie)
Ram 1500 (tie)
Large Heavy Duty Pickup
Chevrolet Silverado HD
GMC Sierra HD
Ford Super Duty

Porsche, Lexus, Toyota Top JD Power Dependability Study............

Friday, 17 February 2017

The Most Annoying New-Car Features

They say the devil is in the details and that's certainly the case when it comes to new cars and trucks. Most achieve admirable levels of performance, get stellar fuel economy, earn top safety ratings, and come packed with more features for the money than ever, but still no car is perfect.
Motorists and automotive reviewers alike seem to be particularly frustrated with some of the motoring world's latest high-tech features these days - particularly complex infotainment systems that require a steep learning curve, and once mastered can still be difficult and distracting to operate. Dissatisfaction with common items like Bluetooth hands-free phone interfaces and voice recognition systems is causing some models to receive lower marks in owner surveys conducted by both Consumer Reports and J.D. Power.
Feel free to weigh in with your least favorite new-vehicle features in the comments section, but here's out list of the most irritating annoyances car shoppers should be on the lookout for when taking a test drive.
• Auto Stop-Start. This well-intentioned feature, fast becoming standard on new vehicles, automatically disengages the engine while the vehicle is at a stop light or is otherwise at idle, during which time a car gets zero mpg. The engine starts up again almost immediately when the driver removes his or her foot from the brake pedal. While it's purported to save a few mpg in city driving, it's downright intrusive on some vehicles, particularly larger vehicles and sporty cars. The roar of a Porsche 911 engine on startup can be exhilarating, though it can quickly become annoying when it's repeatedly doing so in stop-and-go traffic or over a route filled with traffic signals. Fortunately, most cars allow drivers to switch off this function.
• Lane Departure Warning. Here, cameras monitor lane markers in the road and sound both an audible and visual alert (some cars vibrate the seat or steering wheel) if the car is crossing them unless the turn signal is engaged. Unfortunately, many motorists neglect to signal their intent to change lanes when there are few (if any) other vehicles within proximity, which results in an abundance of alerts. Poor weather and ill-marked roads, combined with sharp curves and stretches of narrow lanes further contribute to what drivers interpret as spurious warnings. Most drivers soon tune them out or find the switch that deactivates this feature,
• Lane Departure Intervention. Some models take the lane departure warning concept a step further and automatically employ braking and/or steering intervention to help "nudge" a wandering car back into the center of a lane if it drifts across the markers. This can be a test of nerves if the reason you're treading the lane markers on the left is to keep a comfortable distance from the big semi-trailer that's encroaching into your lane from the right. Again, this function can usually be switched off, but it then becomes a waste of money.
• Touchscreen Infotainment Systems. It seemed like a good idea at the time to combine several of a vehicles controls and functions in a touch-sensitive screen to help consolidate systems and reduce dashboard clutter, but some are easier to operate than others. Virtual buttons tend to be unresponsive and difficult to locate, and such systems often rely on complex menu-driven commands, which can be both difficult and dangerously distracting to operate while the vehicle is moving.
• Navigation Systems. As it is, most GPS systems can be cumbersome to program in a dashboard environment, but many cars disable this and a few other touchscreen-based functions while the vehicle is moving to help keep the driver's attention focused on the road. That's admirable, but it's also unnecessary if there's a front-seat passenger who can accomplish such tasks without running the car off the road. As it is, using a smartphone for GPS navigation is generally simpler to program, costs far less, and can be more easily updated than OEM systems.
• Touch-Sensitive Controls. Some cars (though happily, fewer of them of late) swap conventional knobs and buttons for odd "touch points" incorporated into the dashboard or as part of display screens that compound the problem with complex menu-driven commands. As with touchscreens, they tend to be less intuitive to operate and slow to respond. The worst are audio system volume controls that are operated not by a dial, but by a swipe on the dashboard that's hit or miss at best.
• Parking Proximity Alarms. While they can come in handy while parallel parking in a tight space, radar-guided distance alarms that go off loudly and insistently (and muting the car's audio system in the process) when a car's transmission is shifted into reverse are often more annoying than they're worth. Fortunately, they can usually be switched off. A rear back-up camera serves the same purpose and is far less unnerving.
• Knobless Radio Tuning. While some models still feature good old analog controls for the audio system, the worst involve tuning the radio via up/down buttons one station or frequency tick at a time that makes slow and irritating work of what should be a quick and simple task.
• Visibility Issues. Modern auto designs often throw up roadblocks to a driver's outward visibility. It can be difficult, for example, to spot a pedestrian crossing the street or a bicyclist riding alongside one's car if they're hidden by a too-thick front window pillar. Swoopy roof lines and tall trunk lids often make back windows so narrow that they compromise a rearward view, and virtually necessitate having a backup camera for easier and safer parking.
• Voice Commands. Here's yet another seemingly good idea meant to reduce driver distractions that's often too exasperating to operate. Many such systems force motorists to speak like engineers to execute commands ("audio system…Bluetooth…play artist…track, etc.), and at best they tend to misinterpret many commands, especially from drivers with accents or other speech affectations.
• Mammoth Key Fobs. Keyless push-button entry/start systems can be a great convenience, but the key fobs required to operate them have grown to the size of yesterday's flip-phones. They're especially huge among luxury-branded models, where we're told they're meant to be status symbols in their own right. Bigger is not necessarily better here - is that your car keys in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?
• Car Alarms. Does anyone even pay attention to auto alarms anymore, especially on busy streets where they tend to be set off more by passing trucks than thieves? The latest auto security systems can alert a motorist via his or her smartphone if the car is being tampered with, though getting a false warning remotely is no less annoying than hearing a car alarm going off from your bedroom window.


The Most Annoying New Car Features.......................  #redlinautosales

Friday, 10 February 2017

Car ownership is key to romance, says new survey

Image result for romance carsSingle vehicle shoppers may want to check out a survey exploring the role of the automobile in modern-day dating.  Released just in time for Valentine's Day by, the results show that 92 per cent of Canadians find it appealing when their date shows up in their own vehicle. Almost half find a borrowed vehicle unattractive, or "embarrassing beyond words." While expectations for ownership are high across the board, there are clear generational differences when it comes to some traditional dating customs. Millennials want their dates to text message upon arrival. Those 35 and over want their dates to come to the door.
Half of respondents 55 and older like their date to open the car door for them, but only 31 per cent of millennials agreed. Millennials were also the group least concerned with the tidiness of their date's vehicle.
"People, regardless of their age, tend to equate certain ideals with certain possessions - to many, owning a car symbolizes freedom, success and reliability, all qualities that might appeal to potential dates," says sexologist Dr. Jess O'Reilly. "However, in today's culture of mobile dating and quick swipe culture, a space that's dominated by a younger generation of 'single and looking,' there's not a lot of  time placed on those once revered, traditional notions of chivalry."
One area where generations agree, however, is on the need for safe driving behaviour.


Car Ownership is Key to Romance, Says New Survey........... #redlineautosales

Friday, 3 February 2017


Image result for kia mccarthy

Don't expect new cars and trucks to be the sole focus for automakers airing commercials for Super Bowl LI.
Half of the eight auto brands that will air commercials before, during and after the game don't feature a vehicle until the very end - or at all.
Brands such as Ford, Audi and Hyundai are among those airing Super Bowl ads that have opted to use their broadcast times to focus on their company's mission or send a message before rolling out the cars.
Hyundai is taking the most unprecedented approach to its advertising for Super Bowl LI. The South Korean automaker will shoot, edit and produce a 90-second "documentary" during the Super Bowl that features four members of the U.S. military at an undisclosed base reacting to the game.
"While everyone is telling jokes at the Super Bowl and hiring celebrities, similar to the formula we used last year, we want to 'zag' and have a different formula this year which is instead of making people laugh, making people feel something inside ... and united as an American," said Hyundai Motor America CMO Dean Evans.
The troops will be in custom built 360-degree immersive pods, which Evans described as "little IMAX theaters." The ad will air during the first commercial break immediately following the conclusion of the game, before the trophy ceremony. It features a "surprise" that Evans declined to discuss until the commercial airs.
"We've got one of the most unique, I think, ways to tell a story that our creative team has come up with, and we're really excited about it," Evans said, noting cars will be in the ad but focused on the military. "They're part of the story we're documenting."
Audi, while more traditional than Hyundai, looks to make a statement with its 60-second ad using a father daughter relationship and a Soapbox Derby race to make an emotional pitch for equal pay between genders and progress "for everyone."
The "Daughter" ad shows a young girl participating in an aggressive downhill soapbox race while her dad contemplates whether his daughter's worth is measured by her gender. His thoughts shift to optimism once she wins the race against several boys. It ends with the father and daughter walking over to an Audi S5 Sportback, as the screen fades to black to display the messages of "equal pay for equal work" and "progress is for everyone."
Ford's 90-second ad - set to air shortly before kickoff - is somewhat of an anthem, or overall, ad for the Dearborn-based automaker's mobility efforts.
The commercial features people as well as a cat "stuck" in peculiar situations such as a dog door and ski lift before showing a woman in traffic. It then showcases Ford solutions - including self-driving vehicles and ride-sharing - to help people move freely again.
"No one likes being stuck," a voice-over says as videos of Ford tech efforts are displayed before an all-new Ford GT and self-driving car pop up. "That's why Ford is developing new ways to help you move through life faster, easier, better."
Robert Kolt, a Michigan State University advertising professor and Super Bowl ad guru, says ads in the Super Bowl have to be outstanding and tell a story.
"No one is going to get up during the Super Bowl, run out and buy a car," he said. "It's not an impulse buy. ... It just needs to make an impression for whatever reason."
The move isn't unprecedented, and has worked in recent Super Bowls for automakers - particularly for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, which has not announced its plans for Sunday's game.
Kolt argues that the Super Bowl, where a 30-second ad this year is expected to average around $5 million, isn't exactly the place for a traditional ad. Hence, the move to tell stories or make statements.
"Do you have to show the product? Not the whole spot but you should show a picture of it or tease us just a little bit."
Brands such as Buick, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Kia and Lexus are looking to make an impression with celebrities - from comedians Tina Fey and Melissa McCarthy to athletes Cam Newton and Earvin "Magic" Johnson.
Honda's 60-second ad is a star-studded affair that features a celebrities - from their high-school yearbook photos and through their journeys toward success. The company relates their aspirations to the success of the company and progression of the Honda CR-V.
Celebrities featured in the "Yearbooks" commercial include Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Viola Davis, Missy Elliott, Tina Fey, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Jimmy Kimmel, Stan Lee and Robert Redford. It is scheduled to run in the first break during the second quarter.
Kia tapped Melissa McCarthy for its comedic 60-second spot in which the actress drives a Kia Niro while attempting to save trees, whales and rhinos.
Mercedes-Benz and Buick also stuck with humor.
Mercedes released a 60-second version of its commercial prior to the game that includes actor Peter Fonda, Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild" and references to the 1969 film "Easy Rider" for the AMG GT Roadster.
Buick is scheduled to air a 60-second commercial Sunday during the first quarter for the 2017 Encore and 2017 Cascada that takes place at a Pee Wee football game with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and supermodel Miranda Kerr.
Lexus' ad features movement artist Lil Buck and "Move Your Body" from recording artist Sia. The dancer is featured in the ad alongside the all-new LC 500 and its parts, drawing parallels between the shapes and movements of the human form and vehicle. The 30-second spot is scheduled to air during the second quarter.
Toyota, Lexus' mainstream sister brand, will be absent from national advertising during this year's Super Bowl. It will air a regional ad for the 2017 Mirai fuel cell vehicle in Los Angeles and San Francisco markets.

Super Bowl Ads Tell Automakers Stories................................................................