Welcome to the first installment of “Ask AutoGuide!” a brand-new weekly feature where we help you find the right new car or truck. Think of it as internet community service, our way of giving back to the loyal people who share so much with us. Best of all the advice comes from the heart since it’s not court-ordered and we don’t have to check in with a parole officer.
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Now, ONE DROP’s project will benefit one of the poorest regions in El Salvador aiming to ensure fresh water and sanitation are available in Morazán. That area is also one of the driest regions in El Salvador meaning the ONE DROP project will be able to help 1,800 families and indirectly benefit 22,000 people.
The project plans to provide access to water for households in addition to creating an irrigation system to ensure the area can grow two or three crops per year, rather than one. It will also provide micro-financing to farmers and small businesses so they can expand their operations.
Finally, in a Cirque du Soleil touch, the ONE DROP project will also assist local theaters to create incentive shows and entertainment to educate better water management.
“The intent is to be very entertaining, and the idea is that people will retain important information about water management, pollution, and health,” said Lili-Anna Peresa, executive director of ONE DROP.
The original assumption of Sebastian Vettel collaborating with Infiniti to produce a special edition IPL G37 Coupe may still be accurate, but now rumors are stirring that the Sebastian Vettel Edition Infiniti may actually be based on the FX model, rather than the G37. The belief is that Infiniti has already enhanced the G37 with the IPL line, and it wouldn’t make as much sense to further customize it by adding a Sebastian Vettel Edition.
In a new teaser video regarding the Vettel collaborating with Infiniti, a hint is dropped that the debut of the special edition model may occur at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Unfortunately everything is speculation right now, but Infiniti is causing some curiosity with how they’ll be taking advantage of their partnership with Vettel and whether or not it’ll pay off in the long run. Hopefully whatever model it is, Infiniti has done more than just some aesthetic changes but rather some serious performance modifications to give it a true Vettel-inspired driving experience.
Check out the video after the jump:
The Altima, Sentra, and Titan are getting long in the tooth, and even the Maxima and Murano. Those will get replaced with all new cars before 2014. Infiniti will get a new three-row luxury crossover, tenatively called the JX, and a front-wheel-drive hatchback to fight the Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series compacts. The NV200, now the official taxicab of New York City, will soon be available to Cash Cab enthusiasts. The popular G37 and G25 will get replaced, possibly without their manual transmissions, and an electric vehicle based on the Leaf will allow luxury drivers to assuage their financial guilt.
If you counted only 10 cars in the preceding paragraph, it shows that you’ve been paying attention (thank you!), and you would be right—there are still two surprises Nissan is holding from us. One is the return of the flagship Infiniti, for those lamenting the death of the unloved Q45. And one could be a mystery vehicle for Nissan that could be as wacky as the Murano CrossCabriolet—could it be a small sports car like the Urge concept? After all, the 240SX deserves to make a comeback.
[Source: Car And Driver]
Infiniti‘s entry-level G25 sedan will go on sale this in October with a starting price of $31,825, $1325 less than a BMW 328i. An all-wheel drive G25x will start at $34,825. In between the two will be a G25 Journey, priced at $33,225.
Available only with a 7-speed automatic, the G25 will serve as the base model G sedan, but come with much of the premium equipment that the G37 does, including leather upholstery, aluminum trim, power seats, a premium stereo and XM satellite radio.
While the G37 offers BMW 335i rivaling performance, the truth is that most people don’t need this level of performance, and a less power, but still generously equipped sedan will serve them quite well.
Infiniti is adding an entry level G25 model to its G Sedan range. Virtually identical to the G37, the G25 gets a 2.5L V6 putting out 218 horsepower, versus the G37′s 328 horsepower.
For $30,950, a G25 sedan will still give you features like 17-inch wheels, xenon headlamps, leather seats, aluminum interior trim, power seats, and six-speaker stereo. The upscale Journey trim level adds a backup camera, heated front seats and dual zone climate control.
The G25 is aimed at cars like the Acura TSX and Lexus IS250, both of which lack serious performance chops. The G25 should give both a good run for their money.
Infiniti‘s long-awaited G Coupe IPL was unveiled today at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance. Despite rumors of the car being a competitor to the BMW M3 and Lexus IS-F, the numbers are rather underwhelming; just 348-horsepower was extracted from the cars VQ37HR and just 276 lb-ft of torque, bumps of just 18 horsepower and 6 lb-ft.
While cosmetic features like 19″ wheels and an optional red leather interior are abound, there are also slightly stiffer springs, a limited slip differential and 4-piston front brake calipers. We still can’t help feel that this is a blown opportunity that could have been used to create a world class sports coupe.
Hit the jump for the official press release
Gallery: Infiniti Performance Line G Coupe IPL
With the press launch only a couple weeks away, Cadillac has announced pricing details for their CTS and CTS-V Coupes. With a base price of $38,990, the CTS Coupe comes in at a couple thousand dollars more than a base BMW 328i, with the CTS-V coupe mimicking the pricing structure by coming in at $62,990, roughly $4,000 more than a base model M3 Coupe.
If you want to know whether the Cadillac is actually better than the BMW 3-Series (or its other rival, the Infiniti G37 Coupe), you’ll have to come back on June 21st, when CTS Coupe driving impressions are no longer embargoed. In the mean time, check out the press release for more information.
Infiniti is set to launch its new go-fast division, Infiniti Performance Line, later this year, promising an enticing list of performance parts, set to include mundane things like air filters, and stretching all the way to “automotive engine parts, namely turbochargers and superchargers.”
The first IPL car is set to debut at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance, and rumor has it that it will be a G37 Coupe decked out to the nines. If the car ends up with forced induction, it could make for an interesting competitor to cars like the BMW M3 while serving as a 2-door alternative to the Lexus IS-F. Nissan’s NISMO division is one of the leading factory-affiliated tuners (Nissan even sells a NISMO 370Z), and we wouldn’t be surprised if they gave IPL a hand in concocting some very potent performance cars.
In a study of 25,000 new car buyers, Porsche owners are most likely to recommend that their friends buy a Porsche. In fact, according to a survey performed by marketing research firm AutoPacific, the Porsche brand gets an recommendation rating of 91 percent.
When it comes to individual models, all of Porsche’s vehicles did well, but the top spot actually belongs to Infiniti’s G37. An amazing 95 percent of new G37 buyers would recommend that their friends buy the same car. This result also gave the G37 the title of most recommended Aspirational Luxury Car.
In the luxury car category, the Premium Luxury segment was dominated by the Lexus LS. Toyota also took home the most recommended in the Large Car category for the Toyota Avalon, the Premium Mid-Size Car category for the Camry, the Luxury Mid-Size Car category for the Lexus ES, the Image Compact Car category for the Prius, the Minivan category for the Sienna, the Compact Pickup category for the Toyota Tacoma and the Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility category for the 4Runner.
In total, Toyota took the most class wins with eight, while Ford scored six “Most Recommended” wins and Honda took home three.
Not surprisingly Ford took home the top spot for Large Light-Duty Pickups with the F-150 and Large Heavy-Duty Pickups with the F-Series Super Duty. The Mustang took home the spot as the most recommended sporty car, while the Flex and Edge won for the Large Crossover SUV and Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV categories.
The just-released survey by AutoPacific includes data from over 25,000 individuals who purchased or leased a new car from September to December 2008.
“Typically, car buyers are very pleased when they first drive their new car off the dealer lot. But just as a vehicle’s worth depreciates over time, some car owners’ level of confidence depreciates,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “We have quantified their level of confidence to see which new car owners will recommend their model most and this is information which will help new car shoppers make informed, confident buying decisions. While many owners can be happy with their new cars, it takes another level of confidence to recommend it.”
More “Most Recommended” vehicles after the jump:
Japanese Automakers Dominate
The Lexus LS460, Rated the Best Overall Car by Consumer Reports for 2008
Consumer Reports has just released its list of the best cars in each class and the Japanese are dominating with 8 vehicles (out of 10) in the top spots. CR says it bases its results on three variables: Road Tests, Reliability and Safety.
For a car to be a top pick it must have ranked at the top of its class in an overall test score, which includes 50 individual tests. A Car must also have an average of better predicted reliability rating and must perform “adequately” in safety tests by the NHTSA or IIHS. Consumer Reports also stipulates that for any car to be a top pick it must have stability control (ESC).
And The Winners are:
Best Overall: Lexus LS460
-powerful, good fuel-economy,uncompromising luxury
Best Family Sedan: Honda Accord
-Roomy, well-rounded and fun to drive, plus ESC (Altima bested Accord in most tests but not all Altimas come with ESC)
Best Pickup Truck: Chevrolet Avalanche
-functional and comfortable
Best Small SUV: Toyota Rav4
-roomy and quiet, good on gas with 4 or 6-cyl, third row seat available
Best Midsized SUV: Toyota Highlander
-quiet, three rows of seats, decent fuel economy, versatile, AWD optional, Hybrid available
Best Minivan: Toyota Sienna
-versatile, seating for 8, rivals luxury cars for interior, AWD optional
Best Small Car: Hyundai Elantra
-comfortable and roomy wih good fuel economy, ESC on SE model
Best Green Car: Toyota Prius
-Prius wins six years running
Best UpScale Sedan: Infiniti G37
-Agile, great interior, AWD optional, luxury and sport all in one.
Best Fun to Drive Car: Mazda MX-5 Miata
-Tied Boxster in testing but costs half as much
[Source: Consumer Reports]