Auto News for Feb. 11


The 2017 redesigned Nissan Armada has been unveiled replacing a design that first saw the light of a showroom back in 2003. A new 5.6 liter V8 provides 390 horsepower, a big step up from the current Armada at 317 hp. Also new is the 7-speed automatic replacing the existing 5-speed unit. For 2017, the Armada maintains its body on frame construction, but adds a long list of available safety and convenience features. Of course, there is a redesigned interior and additional sound proofing resulting in what the maker said is “Library level” noise levels. Nissan Navigation with weather information, an 8”color display, heated front seats and 13-speaker Bose audio system are standard equipment. Standard towing capacity is 8,500 pounds for both 4WD and 2WD models when properly equipped. The 2017 version will arrive this summer. Performance data and pricing will come later.

Ford will add four new nameplates to its global SUV lineup in the next four years in segments the company does not currently operate. It said Millennials starting families lend strong support to the ongoing SUV boom in the U.S. Ford did not disclose what the nameplates will be, or what size the vehicles will be.

Tesla will start taking orders for its lower cost, ($35,000), Model 3 on March 31 with a $1,000 deposit. Elon Musk said it is the company’s intention to begin deliveries of the sedan late next year. But Tesla has not always met such deadlines in the past. That bit of Model 3 news had investors overlooking Tesla’s 11th straight quarterly loss and earnings that missed Wall Street estimates. In after-hours trading, in fact, Tesla shares rose 9 percent.

And here is some good news. Gas prices will average $1.98 a gallon nationwide this year, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The oversupply of oil on world markets is the reason why. The last time oil averaged less than $2 a gallon was way back in 2004. Back then, the price at some stations fell below $1 a gallon. That might help boost sales of the Nissan Armada mentioned above.

More than 47 million vehicles that people are driving, buying or selling have at least one unfixed safety recall, according to Carfax. If you own an SUV or minivan, and live in Texas, Mississippi, Alaska, Utah, or West Virginia, then you are most likely to have an unfixed recall. “Many people still are unnecessarily risking their lives by not staying informed or taking action when their vehicle is under a recall”, said Larry Gamache, communications director for Carfax. Recalls reached more than 51 million last year, the most ever, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.




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