Archive for April, 2014
While we’re still a ways off from the automotive awards season proper, where things like North American Car and Truck of the Year, Motor Trend‘s Car of the Year and Car and Driver‘s Ten Best are named, that doesn’t mean there aren’t trophies being handed out to deserving automakers. Ward’s 10 Best Interiors being one of them.
As the name might imply, the magazine focuses on the very best interior treatments in the US market. Whereas some awards purposely exclude extreme, high-dollar offerings, Ward’s considers them – the only requirement is that a vehicle has a “new or significantly redesigned interior.”
Ward’s offered up the list of winners in simple, alphabetical order, and it only seems fair to do the same:
- 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray ($71,960)
- 2015 Chrysler 200C ($31,470)
- 2014 GMC Sierra Denali ($56,685)
- 2014 Hyundai Equus Ultimate ($68,920)
- 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited ($37,525)
- 2014 Kia Soul+ ($24,010)
- 2014 Mazda3 ($30,415)
- 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550 ($122,895)
- 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith ($372,800)
- 2015 Volkswagen GTI (est. $30,695)
We’ll admit to being surprised by a pair of these – the Kia Soul and Jeep Cherokee – while the rest make a fair amount of sense. What’s most remarkable is the huge range of prices, from the $24,010 Kia to the $372,800 Rolls-Royce.
What do you think of Ward’s findings? Do you agree? Are there any vehicles that should be included in this list? Post your thoughts down in Comments.
General Motors finally has something to celebrate about. The 2014 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain aced the latest round of small overlap front crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety among nine midsize SUVs, and they both scored a Top Safety Pick+ accolade. However, Honda, Mazda and Kia fared badly with their entries earning Poor ratings in the Overall safety category.
The Equinox and Terrain were the only vehicles among those tested to score Good ratings in every category of IIHS testing. The group praised updates to 2014 models that strengthened the front structure and door-hinge pillars, which helped keep the dummy’s movement in check.
The Toyota Highlander was actually tested in December 2013 but results were included in the recent test. It also scored Top Safety Pick+ rating but received only Acceptable results in the organization’s Overall, Structure and Restraints and Kinematics categories. To earn the award, a vehicle must have Good or Acceptable scores, plus offer some form of front crash prevention technology.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota 4Runner and Ford Explorer all received Marginal scores in the Overall category, and the Kia Sorrento, Mazda CX-9 and Honda Pilot had Poor scores. The Pilot showed one of the worst examples of intrusion into the cockpit in the test when the parking brake pedal moved inward more than 16 inches, and the steering column moved over 5 inches to the right.
The new small overlap front crash test replicates a collision where 25 percent of the front end strikes a barrier at 40 miles per hour. It focuses a lot of energy into a small area, which makes it a very difficult test of a vehicle’s integrity. Scroll down to see videos from each of the crash tests and read the full results.
GM midsize SUVs lead IIHS safety tests, Honda Pilot disappoints [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Apr 2014 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
You never know exactly when it’s going to come, but you know that it’s going to come, and the Automobile Magazine list of All-Stars is here. Six of the cars that were on the 2013 list have survived into 2014, just two have made the leap from the 2012 roundup, and there are three common names with the 2011 ranking. The only ‘two’ cars to show up in all of those years and this one: the BMW 3 Series – now the 3/4 Series, and the Porsche Boxster and Cayman. The mighty eleven:
- 2014 Audi A7/S7/RS7
- 2014 BMW 3 Series/4 Series
- 2014 Cadillac CTS
- 2014 Ford Fiesta ST
- 2014 Honda Accord
- 2014 Jaguar F-Type
- 2014 Mazda3
- 2014 Porsche Boxster/Cayman
- 2014 Ram 1500
- 2014 Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ (joint award)
Cars were chosen for the single reason that the magazine’s editors like them, then they took them on a road trip from Ann Arbor, MI to New Orleans, LA. You can read one rationale for why each car was chosen, you can read a second rationale for each choice in the press release below, and there’s also the story of that road trip on Automobile Magazine website if you’ve still got some time left.
It seems that Yellow Sac spiders really, really love Mazda. Three years after Mazda recalled 52,000 Mazda6 sedans over spider webs obstructing the evaporative canister vent lines of 2009 and 2010 Mazda6 models, another recall has been issued for 42,000 more of the models built between 2010 and 2012 and equipped with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.
According to the automaker, there have been nine confirmed sightings of spiders in vent lines since the original recall. It seems that covers were applied at the factory to keep the arachnids from entering, but it hasn’t quite exterminated the problem. A reflash of the ECU is required that “[changes] the logic behind how the car purges the charcoal canister during normal operation,” says Jeremy Barnes, Director, Public Relations & Brand Experience at Mazda North American Operations.
So far, Mazda has not recorded any fires, accidents or injuries due to this tangled mess of webs. Recall notices will be mailed out to owners later this month. Scroll down below for the statement from Mazda, along with the official recall notice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Mazda spiders return, 42k Mazda6 sedans recalled for webby fuel tanks originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 05 Apr 2014 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Need a break from news about the General Motors ignition switch recall? This Mazda recall should serve as a nice change of pace. It involves 88,000 cars across the globe, and focuses on the brand’s three most recent (and important) models – the Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5.
The issue rests with Mazda’s new i-ELOOP regenerative braking system. Apparently there’s a problem with the ECU program that monitors whether a capacitor in the regen system is working. Acceleration is affected, and in severe cases, the engine could stall. There have been no mention of accidents or injuries due to the issue, and the glitch itself can be cured by an ECU reflash.
As i-ELOOP is a fairly new system for Mazda, particularly in the US, the total number of affected models is rather low, with just 6,500 US cars affected. Europe is hit hardest, with 38,000 models while Mazda’s home market of Japan adds 27,600 cars and crossovers. Affected models were built between October 2012 and January 2014.