Thursday, November 21, 2013

Toyota 4Runner: Remaining True to its SUV Roots

The rise in popularity of crossover SUVs in the past few years has been strong and steady. But that doesn't mean there aren't some folks out there who still enjoy an old-fashioned, body-on-frame SUV that's a little more rugged than your typical family vehicle.
That's how the Toyota 4Runner continues its successful run, five generations after it was introduced.
Among SUVs, the 4Runner seems to have always been able to fill the role of being a lot of things to a lot of people.
Need to carry a bunch of stuff and passengers?
Want something that can reliably go off road?
Got it.
Are you looking for a little bit of style to accompany that size?
Here you go.
And fortunately, the 4Runner continues to deliver in each of those areas, all these years later.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Korean Automotive Supplier to Build Georgia Plant

KOPLA, a South Korean automotive manufacturer, will open its first U.S. plant in West Point, creating 150 jobs and investing $15 million into the project by 2018, according to a news release from the office of Gov. Nathan Deal.

“We are proud that Korea’s presence in our state continues to grow,” Deal said in a statement. “Our booming automotive industry and key business resources create a perfect location for KOPLA and we have no doubt that this state-of-the-art automotive manufacturer will continue to succeed.”

The 100,000-square-foot facility will be constructed on 20 acres of the Northwest Harris Business Park, the release said. The plant will supply engineering plastics resin to leading automobile manufacturers nationally.

Georgia's automotive manufacturing industry has been spurred by the opening a few years ago of Kia's North American manufacturing facility in West Point.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Porsche Unveils New Hybrid

Porsche, with its North American headquarters in Atlanta, showed local journalists its new Panamera S E hybrid at a luncheon today. This model is a plug-in that expands the German performance brand's hybrid offerings.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

2013 Toyota Prius c: It Deserves an A+

The Toyota Prius, the granddaddy of hybrids, has expanded its lineup of models in recent years to draw more buyers.
One of the newer Prius models is the Prius c, a smaller version of the original that gets super gas mileage and comes with a lower sticker price.
The result is a hatchback that looks cool, puts up crazy-go-nuts fuel economy numbers and, despite its small size, is pretty practical.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

GM to Offer Benefits to All Gay Married Employees


General Motors made a groundbreaking policy change this week and announced that the company would extend marriage benefits to the spouses of same-sex employees -- even if the pair lives in a state where gay marriage isn't legal.
The only catch? The couple must have been legally married in one of the 14 (soon to be 15!) states in which gay marriage is legal.
“This decision is in line with GM’s efforts to find, keep and grow the world’s best talent and to offer our employees policies and benefits that are competitive with many of the largest and best-managed industrial companies in the U.S.,” said GM’s Chief Diversity Officer Ken Barrett in a statement sent to The Huffington Post.
The changes will include pension plans, savings plans and health care plans for legally married same-sex couples.


Monday, November 4, 2013

2014 Lincoln MKZ: A Sedan with Style

If a stylish, fuel-effient and comfortable midsize sedan is what you're after, you need to take a look at the 2014 Lincoln MKZ.
The MKZ got a redesign last year that gave it a serious style upgrade, with sleek lines and a sporty front grille.
The MKZ, built on the same chassis as the popular Ford Fusion, has standard 18-inch alloy wheels, with 19-inchers optional.
Also optional are rain-sensing windshield wipers and a panoramic sunroof.
The MKZ is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 240 horsepower and is rated at 22 mpg city, 33 highway. There is also an available 3.7-liter V-6 that makes 300 horsepower and is rated at 22 and 31. Both engines are linked to a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
A hybrid version of the MKZ is also available.
The inside is fairly roomy and comfortable.
However, we continue to be disappointed by the touch-pad controls on the center dash, which take a lot of getting used to and are prone to having the user make errant touches.
If the MKZ just went back to knobs and buttons, it would offer a much better driver experience.
The otherwise pleasant cabin includes leather seats that are heated up front (the rear seats can be heated as an option), and a quality audio system.
For safety, options include a lane departure warning system, backup camera, rear parking sensors and a very helpful blind spot warning system.
The MKZ starts at around $37,000 and ranges to around $45,000.
With luxury and good looks, the MKZ is a sedan worthy of consideration.