Posts Tagged ‘Explorer’
PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) — Basing a car-buying decision around a weather-related variable such as rain may not be the wisest decision, but as spring stretches toward summer it’ll seem far more sound with each passing squall.
According to the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, wet roads account for roughly 1.13 million crashes each year, 75% of all weather-related crashes and 18% of vehicle crashes overall. That number shrinks only somewhat to 707,000 crashes, or 47% of weather-related crashes and 11% of all crashes, when you narrow wet-pavement incidents down to just rain.
Still, those crashes in rainy conditions injure more than 330,000 people each year and kill 3,300. That’s roughly 50% of all weather-related injuries and deaths. To put that into perspective, that makes rain more dangerous to U.S. drivers than snow, ice and fog combined.
Even if you make it through the worst rainstorms unscathed, they’re more than enough to affect your commute severely. Light rain reduces traffic flow 2% to 13% percent in light rain, while heavier rain slows things down 6% to 17%. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, where rain is a much an absolute truth as the sun rising and setting, or in Florida or along the Gulf Coast where even storms just passing through can wreak havoc, everybody else’s spring showers are just your standard nightmare.
Despite what sunny, coastal car commercials may lead you to believe, automakers are well aware of wet weather woes and have made tweaks such as rain-sensing wipers and bigger features such as all-wheel drive part of their arsenal. We spoke with Jack Nerad, executive editorial director at Kelley Blue Book and got his take on which automobiles are best built to survive multiple outings on slick roads. With his help and a bit of digging on our own, we came up with five vehicles that can help you drive straight through those spring downpours:
As Nerad points out, standard all-wheel drive makes just about any Subaru a great rain ride.
The Legacy gets a leg up for being the standard sedan-style utilitarian-mobile that U.S. commuters love, which makes it a bit of rarity among the larger all-wheel-drive crossovers on this list. Combined with a stability control system that maintains traction by distributing steering and braking controls evenly and a brake assist feature that provides more stopping power in emergency situations, that all-wheel-drive gives the Legacy a better grip on the road than its midsized competition. In weather for which stopping and skidding are key concerns, the sturdy Legacy’s nimble braking and suspension have you covered.
So begins the parade of big, honking, all-wheel-drive crossovers.
The MDX draws eyes with its 300-horsepower V6 engine and seven-passenger seating, but it’s the Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive that keeps power distributed to the wheels that need it the most and makes the MDX a monster on slick roads. An optional Active Damper System lets drivers adjust shock absorbers to sharpen handling, while an optional Collision Mitigation Braking System warns drivers when they need to apply more pressure to the brakes. It’s Honda’s (HMC) pricey luxury brand, so you’re paying more for climate control, GPS, navigation and speakers than you are for safety, but the vehicle’s overall stability is the sweetest perk of the bunch.
Ford (F) Explorer
Tons of cargo capacity, room for seven and a variety of road-grabbing suspension features? That’s basically a rainy day school bus and grocery getter.
Its available Terrain Management System allows for a more aggressive throttle and less sensitive stability control in the mud, throws maximum torque to the wheels in sand and minimizes wheel slippage in the rain. The accompanying Intelligent Four-Wheel-Drive also includes Hill Descent Control to keep your car at a steady speed on steep grades and Curve Control that automatically slows the car on wet pavement when it senses you’re going too fast. On top of all of that, the standard AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control uses gyroscopic sensors that detect wheel slippage and rolling motion to prevent catastrophic skids in wet weather.
Range Rover Evoque
Considering it was built to ford streams, the Evoque compact luxury crossover is undeterred by a little drizzle.
The Evoque comes standard with Range Rover’s Terrain Response system that shifts power and stability when the driver chooses conditions including rain, mud and sand. The system’s stability control, traction control and Hill Start and Descent Assist keep it moving forward in the most adverse conditions and keep it from losing balance with the blacktop gets too slick. Again, this is a luxury model, so your cash is going more toward the leather interior, aluminum finish, speakers and touchscreen communications and entertainment system, but the Range Rover is built primarily for the elements. With all that stability control, you’re in good hands.
The Swedish may know just a little bit about building cars for slick surfaces. Snow is Volvo’s most hated foe and accounts for many of the safety features and stability options on its automobiles.
Even the S60 sports sedan comes equipped with all wheel drive to go with a powerful 250-horsepower engine. Options such as Adaptive Cruise controls that warns drivers about their following distance, a collision warning system that detects pedestrians and brakes automatically, a sensor that lets drivers know when they’ve drifted out of a lane and City Safety to help drivers brake automatically in stop-and-go traffic all also come in handy during a downpour.
Don’t let that sporty exterior fool you: The S60 is just as safe as its boxier Volvo predecessors.
– Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.
Sometimes being the most popular brand of auto isn’t as desirable as it might seem. For example, to thieves the most popular car brand in the U.S. continues to be Honda. Honda’s 1994 Accord came in first again among cars stolen in 2011, as it has for the past several years, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau rankings. A close second, was the 1998 Honda Civic.
Older model cars are more desirable to thieves, in many cases, because newer models have more anti-theft options including keys with embedded chips and tracking technologies. Additionally, older model parts are always in demand.
Rounding out the list of the 2011 top ten most coveted cars by thieves are:
- 2006 Ford F-150
- 1991 Toyota Camry
- 2000 Dodge Caravan
- 1994 Acura Integra
- 1999 Chevy Silverado
- 2004 Dodge Ram
- 2002 Ford Explorer
- 1994 Nissan Sentra (the only model not on the 2010 top list)
If you own one of these models, you may want to consider adding an anti-theft device. Tinted windows can also act as a deterrent to thieves. If you you want to give your car a sleek new look, while lowering your risk of theft, give us a call at Midwest Glass Tinters of Deer Park — 847-438-1133 — and we’ll tint your ride.
Despite the economy, consumers showed the auto industry some love with auto sales up for some brands by as much as 36% in September.
Pickup trucks and SUVs lead sales in September, with pickups accounting for nearly 13% of new light vehicle sales. Of the seven top-selling vehicles, four are made by the Big Three in Detroit, and three are made by Japanese manufacturers. True to historical patterns, pickup sales are often higher in the second half of the year, and incentives and advertising both contributed to increases in auto sales last month.
For those of you considering purchasing a new vehice this Fall, following is the list of the Top Five hottest-selling vehicles in September, based on sales increases and actual volume, according to The Street.com:
With dealer incentives continuing into October, consumers should still be able to get a great deal on a new car. And when you do get that great deal, we’ll be here to tint your ride.
As kids, we loved LEGOs, although for those of us not mechanically-inclined, assembling the kit the way it looked on the box wasn’t always as easy as it seemed. Now Ford has taken fun with Legos to a whole new level with a full-sized bright red Ford Explorer made entirely of LEGO bricks.
Complete with tinted windows, this amazing display was built in Ford’s Chicago assembly plant (where the Explorer is produced), and was created by 22 designers, weighs 2,654 pounds and is supported by a 768-pound interior aluminum base.
The LEGO Explorer is part of an alliance between LEGOLAND Florida and the Southeast Ford dealers, and will soon be making its way to the new 150-acre LEGOLAND Florida theme park just outside Orlando.
Ford spent several years and millions of dollars overhauling and transforming the Explorer into a car-based SUV. Was the investment worth it?
According to 2011 sales results, the answer is yes. Sales are so good at this point industry experts are predicting that that Explorer may have its best year since 2007 when Ford sold 137,817 units. Through the first 6 months of this year, Ford has already sold 5,000+ more Explorers than it did in all of last year. Those sales figures actually could have been higher — the redesigned Explorer wasn’t sold until December of 2010, and production was still ramping up at the start of 2011. Even now, dealers say they can’t keep enough vehicles in stock.
In the redesigned Explorer, Ford emphasized fuel economy, ride, handling and aerodynamics while not losing the off-road capability it’s known for. With a powerful, fuel-efficient six-cylinder engine and a lighter-weight, unibody platform, those goals were achieved. On top of that, the exterior styling has the feel of a luxury brand.
“All in all, it’s a winning combination” says Rick Kranz, Product Editor for Automotive News,