Auto News for Aug. 26

HOnda type R

Honda will show off the 2016 Civic on September 16th in Detroit and Los Angeles. It will be the tenth-generation of the car and it will ride on a whole new platform, so this will be a complete makeover. Initially Honda will offer only a sedan version with a coupe to follow later. Performance types are hoping that the hot “R” model now on sale in Europe will make it to these shores, as is. Honda claims the European spec model will launch from a standing start to 62 mph (100 km) in 5.7 seconds with a top speed of 167 mph. The 2.0-liter turbo four is rated at 306 hp @ 6,500 rpm and 295 lb-ft of torque between 2,500 and 4,500 rpm. And it comes with a six speed manual!

What do you consider the most important factors when it comes to buying a new car? A Harris poll reveals that reliability tops the list among 93 percent of those surveyed. It was followed by purchase price, safety features, fuel economy, performance, and operating cost.

Ford is said to be in talks with the United Auto Workers Union to possibly bring the Ranger mid-size pickup truck back to the U.S. market. The Detroit News, among other sources, reports the automaker is considering assembling the truck at its plant in Wayne, Michigan in 2018 when production of the Focus and C-Max possibly heads to Mexico. It would make sense with GM now churning out the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize trucks and Toyota revamping the Tacoma. Ford’s board of directors would also have to approve the Ranger’s return and that means backers will have to make an economic case for the truck. Ford now assembles a Ranger in South Africa, Thailand and Nigeria. Here at home, the Detroit News said the last Ranger rolled off the line in December 2011.

A just out report from J.D. Power concludes that automakers are investing billions of dollars to put technologies in their vehicles that are not being used. The survey measured driver experiences with in-vehicle technology features during the first 90 days of ownership. At least 20 percent have never used 16 of the 33 tech features such as concierge services, mobile routers, automatic parking systems, head-up display and built in apps. “In many cases, owners simply prefer to use their Smartphone or tablet because it meets their needs; they are familiar with the device and it’s accurate,” said Kristin Kolodge of J.D. Power. Owners who say their dealer did not explain a feature have a higher likelihood of never using it. Technologies that most owners DO want include vehicle health diagnostics, blind-spot warning and detection and adaptive cruise control. The “Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience Report” is based on responses from more than 4,200 vehicle owners and lessees.


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