It’s always a good time when you can get $9000 off a new car…

Our Jeep

When your significant other starts hinting that a new car is on the horizon, it’s best to just go with the flow and hang on for the ride. This happened earlier this year and what a fun ride it was!

We had been talking about the Jeep Renegade since looking at them at the 2018 St. Louis Auto Show. Jeep has always been something of an interest so this seemed like a great idea! Who wouldn’t want a nice new Jeep, especially for the person who has the type of job where you have to be there, no matter the weather.

Enter the 2018 Jeep Renegade we purchased from our local dealer. When we bought it, there was nary 70 miles on the odometer. It’s mid-2019 you say? Well, this particular Renegade was sitting on the dealer’s lot for at least 6 months, hence the reason for the HUGE discount!

Before it was our Jeep

The fact that this Jeep is built in Italy, alongside its cousin the FIAT 500X, doesn’t bother me. In fact, this might be one of the better Jeeps around. There’s plenty of room for people and stuff and it’s got that Jeep look to it; seven-slot grill, bug-eye headlights, squared taillights. The funnest part of the Renegade is all the “Easter eggs”. To name a few, there’s an old-style Jeep climbing a rock at the base of the windshield, a sasquatch lurking on the rear glass (that you have to look at from the inside due to the dark tint, and the Jeep name and logo in too many places to name.

Driving the Renegade is pretty fun. It’s no handling beast, though it’ll get around a corner quickly due to the short wheelbase of 101.2 inches. Our Latitude model has the optional 2.4-liter “multi-air” (nee Tigershark) turbo four-cylinder ($1530) that makes 180 horses and 175 lb.-ft. of torques. Add to that the nine-speed transmission and what you’ve got is a vehicle that starts good off the line and does well on the highway.

2019 Jeep® Renegade Limited – Inside

Inside, the “premium cloth” seats are well bolstered and comfortable enough for long drives. The fabric seems to be holding up well and since the seats are black, there are no visible stains…yet. Cargo room is better than your mom’s PT Cruiser but not bis as the larger Jeep Compass. We’re talking about 18.5 cubic feet with rear seats upright and 50.8 with them folded. The Compass, on the other hand has 27.2 and 59.8 cubic feet. The Ford EcoSport is just slightly larger than the Renegade with 20.9 and 50 cubic feet, with rear seats upright and down, respectively.

One of my favorite parts of our Renegade is the exterior paint, in what FCA calls “Anvil”. It’s glossy and has that “wet” look, with no metal flakes so it’s not sparkly. I’ve noticed more cars and trucks with similar paint, even outside of FCA. It’s a good look and hopefully a lasting trend.

As far as detailed pricing goes, our 2018 Jeep Renegade Latitude 4X4 started life at $23,445 with a nice list of standard equipment; including Push Button Start, stability control, roll-over mitigation, all-speed traction control, hill start assist, a seven-inch Uconnect4 display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio, and dual zone automatic climate control. Then there’s the aforementioned multi-air engine and also 18-inch aluminum wheels ($595). Add a $1495 destination charge and our Renegade totaled $27,065. Take off nine grand and you get the picture.

Thanks for reading!

…See You Down The Road!

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2020 Corvette Stingray

Front Three-Quarter with gentleman trying to hug the car…

The rumors proved to be true. All the automotive world is abuzz about the new eighth-generation Corvette Stingray that was just announced. It is mid-engined with a look more like a super exclusive exotic than a mundane Chevrolet. And you will supposedly be able to get one for under $60k!

Rear Three-Quarter

Here’s what Chevy has to say about it: “The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is re-imagined to bring customers new levels of performance, technology, craftsmanship and luxury. It’s lean and muscular, with an athletic sculptural shape conveying a sense of motion and power from every angle. The Stingray’s heart is Chevy’s next-generation 6.2L Small Block V-8 LT2 engine, producing up to 495 horsepower (369 kW) and 470 lb-ft (637 Nm) of torque — the most horsepower and torque for any entry Corvette.”

Engine Bay

This complete redesign morphs the seventh-gen into a more race-car like stance with more obvious air ducting, especially for the engine. In my opinion, the front of the seventh-gen Corvette looked very Ferrari-like. Now, the rest of the car follows, looking more Italian than before.

Chevrolet is touting a new “3D” tool to help customers get their best car. It’s not unlike other manufacturers’ site and it is a bit slow but it works and I really like all the color options available!

Here’s my Ideal 2020 ‘Vette:

Elkhart Lake Blue Metallic…Too Cool!!!
Inside Ol’ Cool Blue

Or, maybe this:

Yowzaaaa!!!!

Thanks for reading!

…See You Down The Road!

3-Wheeled Wonders

We live in a great time today, where the startup culture is making life more interesting and shaking up the stodgy, entrenched establishment. Nowhere is this more evident than in the automotive industry.

The biggest player at this point is Tesla. The Model 3 is selling swiftly and the anticipation of them announcing a new, smaller SUV is growing every minute.

Elio

Another company looking to make a splash is Elio Motors. Their three-wheeled, two-person gasoline commuter vehicle was poised to make a huge impact but manufacturing setbacks have all but killed their momentum.

Elio Inside

Enter Electra Meccanica. What began in Italy as a company(Intermeccanica) built to deliver high-end custom cars(specifically Porsche 356s) has evolved into a Canadian manufacturer of electric vehicles.

Solo

Their first product is called the Solo and it’s strikingly similar to the Elio in concept but different in execution. Where the Elio has it two front wheels as open nacelles the Solo looks more like a traditional car, with the wheels under the main fenders.

Solo Inside

Another big difference is the use of electricity to propel the Solo. It’ll go an estimated 100 miles on a full charge where the Elio, with it’s small and efficient gasoline engine projected to get 84 miles per gallon. If the tank is 3 gallons, which has not been specified yet, then you can go around 250 miles on a tank. Of course, this is all theoretical since neither vehicle has made it to mass production mode as of this writing.

The other big design difference between the two is in the name…Solo. It’s a vehicle for exactly one person. The Elio sports two seats, in tandem, so you can take your bestie along for a fun time.

So what do they cost? Well, I’m glad you asked. The Elio is supposed to start at around $7500 US. Not bad for a commuter car and sometimes beach ride. The Solo, however, has a US MSRP of $15,500.

So let’s break this down…For half the price of the Solo, you can buy an Elio, have more fun because you won’t be waiting 3 hours to charge your battery, bring a friend, and use your savings to take some nice experience-minded trip.

The choice is yours.

Thanks for reading!

…See You Down The Road!

2020 Ford Explorer

Ford has done it again by enhancing their storied vehicle known as Explorer. The update brings some goodness back to the marque in the form of standard rear-wheel drive (RWD). This makes me happy and sad all at once. Happy because I’m a huge supporter of RWD. Sad because there are people out there who would rather have front-wheel drive. But I digress.

The 2020 Explorer has a slightly more aggressive look with its bolder styling and edgier lines but the overall shape hasn’t changed much. The front end is probably the most-changed, and most noticeable. A little more angular, a little more aggressive. It’s a subtle change that might put off some people.

Then there’s the profile…the creases and cuts are a striking departure from the old, more organic, styling. Think of this result as someone with six-pack abs; they worked hard to get them and want to show them off all the time.

The stance is a little more aggressive, which belies its new RWD architecture.  It’s another good change made to the vehicle.

Inside, the most noticeable  change is the addition of a tablet-looking display, not unlike the one found in the new Ram pickup. The biggest difference between Ford and Ram’s execution is the Ford tablet looks tacked on, whereas the Ram is integrated into the dash lie it was designed to go there from the beginning. An 8-inch version with SYNC 3 comes as part of the standard equipment and there’s an optional 10.1-incher in portrait (taller rather than wider) for more ways to see what you want to see. Think Navigation on top radio on bottom. There’s also Apple Car Play and Android Auto and Waze navigation. Nice.

Power delivery comes from either a 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline four cylinder (300 hp, 310 lb-ft), a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 (Platinum: 365 hp, 380 lb-ft; ST: 400 hp, 415 lb-ft), or a 3.3-liter V6 hybrid (318 hp combined output). All models come with a 10-speed automatic and either RWD or “intelligent four-wheel drive with front axle disconnect”.

On pricing, according to Ford, there are “more than a dozen new standard features for only $400 more over the previous model”. Sounds like a bargain.

Thanks for reading!

…See You Down The Road!

2019 Kia Niro

Kia has come a long way, baby. The new Nero is a cool little car that promises a lot of niceties in its hybrid packaging.

New in 2018, it carries over mostly unchanged for 2019. This means it’s a well-put-together hybrid will all the goodies you’d expect from Kia.

The nose is very Kia-esque, with the familiar, almost kidney-like grill, flanked by the headlights and turn signals. The profile is of a small hatchback, not an SUV as you might expect, with a prominent character line and lower rub strip. Out back there is a generously-sized hatch with large tail lights And a blacked-out license plate area. And don’t forget the large spoiler that finishes off the sporty look.

Inside is a comfy cabin will all the modern accoutrements you’d expect with almost any newer hybrid like a trick instrument cluster that can show you how much, or not, you are driving economically and saving the planet with bright green leaves, or barren twigs.

Pricing for the Niro starts just under $23,500 and goes up to over $32,000 for the top-of-the-line…without options.

2020 NAIAS

You may or may not have heard that the North American International Auto Show in Detroit will be moving to June in 2020!! With increasing completion from other shows and, let’s face it, Detroit in the middle of winter is no beach party, it’s about time they made this move. It’s for the betterment of the whole Detroit auto scene.

“Our show is undergoing its most significant transformation in the last three decades,” said Rod Alberts, Executive Director, NAIAS. “Detroit will continue to be a global stage for some of the world’s most significant and iconic vehicle reveals and host an unparalleled international audience of media and key industry influencers.”

Cobo Hall
Heart Plaza
Campus Martius

Check out all the info here!

2019 Ford Ranger Pricing

Announced back in January, the upcoming 2019 Ford Ranger is a stunner and the news keeps getting …better? Pricing was recently announced and it’s not great but could be a lot worse.

Base XL 4X2 models will start at $24,300, XLT at $27,940, and Lariat at $32,210. And, each comes with a $1,095 destination charge. Ouch.

These prices are a little more expensive than some of Ranger’s competitors, especially the lowest model. The Nissan Frontier, for example, starts at $18,990. The Chevy Colorado starts at $20,200. On the flip side, the Toyota Tacoma starts at $25,400 and the Honda Ridgeline, though not really a full-fledged pickup truck as we know it, starts at $29,990.

So, the new Ranger is not the least expensive option but is also not the most expensive, at least to start.

Top-end Lariat Rangers start at $32,210 and can top out above $45,000.

It’s a good-looking truck and anticipation is growing for its release.

For more information click here.

Thanks for reading!

…See You Down The Road!