A while back I wrote about the ignition switch problems with the Chevy Cobalt / Pontiac G5, which I really didn’t think much about at the time besides trying to inform those affected. And there I was in a completely different make, my Ford Focus service loaner, just cruising down the highway, doing the proverbial minding-my-own-business. My daughter was passed out in her carseat. My wife was looking at her smartphone. I must have inadvertently stretched in a way where my knee knocked the ignition key. The key protruded from the column in what looked like the usual place. The squishy keyring the Ford dealership provided didn’t seem unusual, either. However, it was the beginning of some scary shit that worked out OK in the end.
The Buick Encore occupies a strange space in the market. It’s the size of a Nissan Juke or its platform-mate, the Chevrolet Sonic — and like those two, it features a small, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Unlike those two, it makes no sporty sales proposition. Will it resonate with shoppers of small crossovers? I can’t say. What I can say is this: It’s growing on me.
Much has been made about the Jeep Renegade shown at Geneva this week. Some — especially hardcore Jeep off-roaders here in the States — have trashed the baby Jeep as not befitting of the Jeep name. That’s a criticism I remember hearing about the Jeep Patriot and Compass when they were introduced, as well. To those critics, I say get over yourselves. The Jeep Renegade has lots of tech — off-road and otherwise — that makes it something to which we here at In-Car Tech are looking forward.
The New York International Auto Show and the Geneva International Auto Show do some co-op work. They pick some journalists to select the best of the best. They announce the finalists at Geneva. Then the winner at New York. It’s just like the preliminary nominations for the Oscars. The gold envelopes then get opened in NYC. So, with out any further ado, here is the scoop:
There will be a preponderance of VW Polo hatchbacks premiering at the Geneva Auto Show — and stuffed in the engine bay of some will be new TSI gasoline and TDI diesel engines.
Wrap your head around this: The new McLaren 650S set to be unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show gets from zero to 120 MPH quicker than most cars get from zero to 60 MPH, in just 8.4 seconds.
The Dodge Challenger Shaker harkens back to the ’60s and ’70s muscle cars that had ram air intakes called “shakers” because they would rock and shake due to engine torque. We’re not sure if it’s nostalgia for those muscle car glory days or if it’s limited production, but Dodge says it has already sold every copy slated to come off the assembly line.
I have a thing for Maseratis . I think the Ghibli is downright sexy for an “entry” level uber-luxury sedan. I also will make my mild fetish known and admit I do have a thing for leather pants. Mix the two together and BAM! The brand figured out you have the makings of an advertorial for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
So after living with the Jeep Cherokee for a week I can report on the mileage and say 23.2 isn’t too shabby. Credit the MultiAir 2.4 and the 9-speed.
Ford says the 1.0-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine we told you about in the Fiesta will come to the Ford Focus in 2015.
I have tested numerous self-parking programs going as far back as Lexus LS a little less than ten years ago. Ford then seemed to up the bar on new Lincolns in 2009. Now we are seeing the technology in a mid-size SUV! The Jeep Cherokee has Chrysler’s Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist.
The isolated Himalayan nation of Bhutan is dedicating itself to a future of zero emissions as a nation and is partnering with the Nissan LEAF to make it happen.