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.
It's an Automotive Vanity Extravaganza
The folks at Kelley Blue Book have released their annual Brand Image Awards. The study, now in its seventh year, honors automakers for excelling in certain areas. Categories include things like best performance brand, most refined brand and most trusted brand. Overall there are 13 winners and the results may surprise or even appall you. You’ll need to read on to find out.
But first, according to KBB this isn’t some shady survey conducted by annoying telephone marketers; awards are actually the result of “extensive research gathered throughout the year.” Shoppers using the company’s website contribute to the results; in fact more than 12,000 of them participated, and here’s what the people have to say.
Each day we strive to report the latest automotive news but not all stories are created equal. Some just have a life of our own, especially on social media.
Shared heavily on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, here are our most viral news stories from the past seven days.
Ask AutoGuide No. 42
Apparently family values matter. Conservative politicians tap-dance around these issues, pundits prognosticate about their demise and segments of the driving population make them a central issue when it’s time to purchase a new vehicle. Not surprisingly they play a starring role in this week’s installment of Ask AutoGuide.
Ask AutoGuide No. 41
Ask AutoGuide is our community outreach program. Drivers in need of car-buying assistance call on us and we respond with a helping hand, a kind word or a stern warning; if they’re lost we can provide a map and some direction. Usually we recommend sensible sedans, handy hatchbacks or miserly mini-models, but this week we get to have a little fun.
The Kings of the Big Family Haulers
Until the mid-1980s, those with large families usually bought station wagons with a who-cares-about-safety rearward facing third row of seats. But then the minivan was introduced and everything changed. For the next fifteen years, troops of kids were transported here and there in these pragmatic boxes on wheels. As is often the case though, consumer taste’s changed.
Today the three-row station wagons rival the mountain gorilla on the critically endangered species list while the minivan has become more passé than bridge clubs. Now there is a new king of big family transport – the three-row crossover utility vehicle (CUV).
And the Crossover Takes Over
After a brief foray with three-row body-on-frame SUVs in the early 2000s, the vast majority of auto manufacturers have settled on unibody crossovers to handle passenger duties of six or more. Last year, more than 1.7 million of these CUVs were sold in the U.S. compared to less than 525,000 minivans.
With nearly two million annual sales up for grabs, manufacturers are constantly tweaking their products to entice customers. Over the last year alone, all-new versions of the Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander hit the market while the Kia Sorento and Dodge Durango received significant updates. To see which CUV is the best value for the money, we gathered these five crossovers along with three older models; the large Chevrolet Traverse, the best-selling Ford Explorer and the eight-passenger Honda Pilot. Which one emerged as the victor in this stacked field? Read on to find out.
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