This week’s most watched AutoGuide videos have a bit for every automotive enthusiast or shopper. There was once a time that the thought of a four-door, hybrid Porsche would be preposterous, but that’s exactly what the Panamera S E-Hybrid is. Our readers were curious on how the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid stacks up to the competition, and if it is deserving of the Porsche nameplate. Watched this week’s AutoGuide‘s most watched videos below.
AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Three unloved vehicles battle it out
We are back with the latest installment of ‘Commute, Toy or Destroy’ where this week the choices will make you cringe with indecision.
Most Reliable Trucks
Shopping for a pickup truck and want to know what will last you over the years? Here’s a list of the top-rated 2013 pickup truck models based on how reliable they are expected to be in the future, based on data compiled by J.D. Power from thousands of vehicle owners.
SEE ALSO: Top 10 Least Reliable Cars and Trucks
The list of trucks might be a surprise to some, especially considering Ford and Ram doesn’t make an appearance at all. But for those hard-working truck owners shopping for a new pickup, here are the most reliable 2013 trucks in alphabetical order.
Once upon a time trucks were built for work. They had manual door locks, crank windows and AM radios, if they had any sound system at all. Leather seats, air conditioning and voice-activated distractions were out of the question. Like a framing hammer, pickups were simple and effective.
For decades they were purpose-made for hard-working men (and women), the kind of folks that make Paul Bunyan look like a dragqueen. But somewhere along the line these roughneck vehicles became cool with the subdivision set. People living in suburbia started to buy them en masse. With sales increasing so did the clarion call for more comfort.
Today it’s easy to push a simple truck’s window sticker well into luxury-car territory… and beyond. Sure, these vehicles can still handle a 14-hour day on the jobsite and are even more capable than their forebears, but more often than not they’re loaded with costly options that appeal to style-conscious shoppers rather than blue-collar workers. Here’s a list of 10 pricey pickups tailor-made for urban cowboys. The MSRPs are listed without incentives, so actual pricing may vary.
10. Volvo C30 - 2,827 Units Sold
After checking out the top 10 best selling vehicles of last year, it’s now time to take a look at the worst performers on dealerships lots.
It isn’t a huge surprise to see the Volvo C30 on the list at 10th place, considering the Swedish automaker decided to give the vehicle the axe at the end of 2012. The Volvo C30 was on the market for six years in North America and sold only 26,000 units.
The past 20 years were pretty stable in the automotive industry. Mostly predictable releases with a steady rate for manufacturers to introduce new models that seemed like a consistant recipe for success.
Then, suddenly with the start of the current model year, things changed. In fact, it looks like this is just the start of a serious upswing in new releases. According to a story published on CNN Money, the auto industry replaced 16 percent of its fleet annually between 1991 and 2011.
That figure jumped to 23 percent with the 2012 model year, which started in October. Apparently keeping this fresh is the snake oil for successful car companies, because next year that number will grow to 32 percent, effectively doubling the rate new models hit the market. Given this manufacturer mayhem, we decided to round up the new cars you should expect to see soon.
Honda is an interesting case as they’ve recognized that their luxury brand, Acura, is simply being outdone by the competition at every turn. They decided to completely redesign their line to quell complaints that their cars are little more than rebadged Hondas. The first to look for: their new ILX compact sedan. As for Honda, they are already planning to release a new generation Civic after the media chastised them for an uninspired release.
Next up, Nissan. While they don’t hold a big market share in the U.S., Carlos Ghosn, their CEO is making plans to expand the 8.2 percent they have now to ten by 2015. In order to do that, they are revamping half of their entire line. Nissan is targeting the burgeoning EV market with their Leaf, which first became available last year. Look for updated Altimas, Sentras and Pathfinders in the near future.
Toyota suffered after the tsunami, but is coming back with a fury. The automaker is releasing a brand-new sports car, the FR-S, developed in partnership with Subaru and set to sell with a Scion badge. The RAV-4 and Lexus ES sedan will also get updates.
Chrysler will move toward smaller cars, something the brand has historically struggled with. The shrinkage can be attributed to Fiat, their new owners, and how their new 40 mpg Dodge Dart borrows heavily from the Italian engineers.
Ford and GM are trying to hang on to their chunky market shares, 17 and 19.7 percent respectively. Both companies are following the industry strategy: refreshing their popular sellers and releasing redesigned cars in their luxury brands. Look for a re-engineered Lincoln MKZ from Ford and Cadillac‘s new compact ATS and larger XTS sedans from GM.
Finally, there are some changes in the pipeline for German luxury cars. Audi just confirmed that their compact Q3 SUV will be sold in the U.S., along with the re-release of the compact A2 sedan. Mercedes-Benz is opting to offer their smaller B-Series and A-Series cars to remain competitive in the Yankee market.
[Source: CNN Money]
Bill Kwong, Lexus Communications Specialist, said the LX 570 and Toyota Land Cruiser will feature an updated body style, but that the interior and drivetrain would remain almost completely the same.
The truth is, the LX models don’t sell very well in the U.S., meaning changes are more in tune with what European and Australian consumers, who show Lexus more love, and like the LX’s Land Cruiser-based underpinnings. For example, Yankees bought close to seven Cadillac Escalades for every LX 570 in 2010.
Fab Design, that normally specializes in customizing various Mercedes-Benz models, was approached by one of their most dedicated customers to transform his Cadillac Escalade to a true one-of-a-kind American luxury SUV. Well, we’re not too sure of the results and quite frankly we believe Fab Design should just stick to Mercedes-Benz models.
The craftsmanship looks to be top notch, and there was some originality with the modifications, but we have some question marks on why certain things were done the way they were. From the headlight covers to the oversized grille to the obscured tailgate glass, we can’t help but think Fab Design just wanted to be as big and bold as possible with the build. Or perhaps they just wanted to scare away anyone else from ever asking them to do anything to a vehicle other than a Mercedes.
Worse off, the interior is so excessive that it caught the attention of Pro Wildlife, causing Roland Rysanek (owner of Fab Design) to have to defend the build. The owner wanted the interior to be completely decked out with snake leather and imitation crocodile leather. Rysanek of course obliged, and had to state that the snake skin used came from snakes that had been killed without causing them pain – as opposed to being skinned alive.
Unfortunately whatever way we look at it, this Escalade seems to be a bad idea from any angle.
GALLERY: Fab Design Cadillac Escalade
The Cadillac Escalade was ranked first among all models in the AutoPacific’s 2011 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards as well as topping the Luxury SUV segment for the fourth consecutive year. 68,000 owners of new cars and light trucks completed a survey in the U.S selecting the Escalade as the top choice.
“It’s especially gratifying to be honored by AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Awards because they’re chosen by owners,” said Don Butler, vice president for Cadillac marketing. “Escalade’s consistent strong showing in these awards is a testament to its ability to deliver what customers want in a luxury vehicle.”
The cars and trucks were tested in areas such as comfort, safety and overall purchase/lease experience. The market research and consulting firm AutoPacific publishes a variety of studies annually within the automotive industry.
The Cadillac Escalade features a 6.2-liter V8 producing 403-hp and 417 lb-ft of torque. Pricing for the Escalade ranges from $63,455 to $85, 175.
[Source: GM News]
Remember back in the 1980s and 1990s when Mary Kay used to give their top saleswomen pink Cadillacs? Now that its 2011, they’ve upgraded to SUVs, and a lucky group of winners got to take a tour of the GM plant where their all-new pink Escalades were coming off the line.
In total, 44 of these pink Escalades were given out to lucky Mary Kay cosmetic reps. It’s great to see that the classic Cadillac incentive has been updated, we’re just not sure that we’d be seen driving a pink Escalade. Yes, it is a company car of sorts and it will be used to help promote the business, but won’t someone please think of the children and the husbands who have to be seen in it? And sure, it could be worse – the tone of pink could be a garish Pepto-Bismol hue instead of a flirty rose blush.
Here’s a question for those of you who may have some Mary Kay kind of insight – how long do you have to wait before you can paint them? Is there a stipulation that says that you must wait a year before going silver? We really want to know, so fill us in using the comment section below.