2013 Ford Escape Review

Debuted at the annual Los Angeles International Auto Show, the 2013 Ford Escape is aiming to be a compact crossover vehicle that can appeal to a wide demographic of consumers. Being a versatile car, this car comes standard with a decent amount of features. It also has an even longer list of available upgrade options; some believe the 2013 Ford Focus is trying to compete with Buicks, just as the Ford Titanium is competing against the Verano.

2013 Ford Escape Exterior

Regardless of what is under the hood, the 2013 Ford Escape’s chassis is much more modern that both American and Asian car maker competitors. Standard models feature assisted power steering and a multi-link rear suspension. While there are various wheel options, car experts recommend 17-inch models instead of 19-inch wheels because the 19-inch models seem to give a bit harder ride. However, reviewers and test-drivers of this car see an overall trend of a higher than average road noise, especially on less than smooth driving surfaces. Looking at the exterior of the Escape, one sees that it has a more aerodynamic design, losing its boxy and rigid look. However, as much as the new design is welcomed, those looking for a WOW look are sorely disappointed because it is indistinguishable when driving in traffic. However, its new design does maintain its original volume from earlier models, so all is not lost.

The 2013 Ford Escape has many amenities that are really noteworthy. The back seat has been re-designed to be even more comfortable through its additional 1.2 inches of legroom. Other improvements include a larger cargo area with and without folded seats. The MyFordTouch system has been simplified and improved in the same package. Tuning the radio has reverted back to a knob, the hands-free lift-gate is operated by sliding ones foot beneath the bumper and the stereo system sounds much richer. Additional improvements to the MyFordTouch include climate and GPS driving controls. The Sync system is updated and more accurate than past year’s models.

2013 Ford Escape Exterior

The more one delves into the interior, the more luxurious one realizes the 2013 Ford Escape really is. Standard seats are comfortable, but are not as padded and bolstered as the luxury ones are; however, the available sport seats, available through an upgrade option, are even better. The seatbacks of the driver and front passenger seats have more generous knee, back, leg, and foot room. Additionally, the sport seats recline – exactly like your favorite chair in your house. Along with the seats, there is an active park assist system and a blind spot detection system to make one’s drive a little safer.

2013 Ford Escape Interior

The 2013 Ford Escape offers customers two different options in this year’s new, revamped model. Similar to other car makers, Ford is offering two smaller engines for this year’s Ford Escape. Consumers will have an option to pick up a 1.6-liter Ecoboost engine or a 2.0-liter Ecoboost engine. The 1.6-liter engine is the new standard engine for both all-wheel and front-wheel-drive car options. This one is capable of producing 173 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. The 2.0-liter engine, along with taking the place of the earlier Focus models’ 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, produces 237 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. Ford itself says these two new Ecoboost engines will make up the vast majority of consumer sales.

Regarding fuel efficiency ratings, EPA figures give the 1.6-liter engine and the 2.0-liter engines ratings of 22/30 and 21/28 for city and highway driving respectively for each engine. Industry insiders say the fuel mileage will be better than a Toyota RAV4 six-cylinder engine. It is very competitive with other foreign makers such as Honda’s CR-V which gets an estimated 23/31 and 22/30 for city/highway driving for its front and all-wheel-drive models respectively.

The 2013 Ford Escape has ample features that enable drivers the ability to feel comfortable and confident when driving the car in virtually any circumstances. With the Escape’s smart four-wheel-drive design, its rear wheels have nearly half of the torque with anywhere from 35 to 80 percent of the total power residing in the rear wheels. Available in both all-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive, the 2013 Ford Escape also features curve control, hill start assist, computer assisted brake assist, a center of gravity stability control system, a trailer centering system, and a torque vectoring and steering control program. One benefits specifically through its curve control system because the built-in anti-lock brake system passively corrects both under-steering and over steering in tight maneuvering situations such as exiting highway ramps at high rates of speed – which is available in both front and all-wheel-drive models. This system is so good because it cannot be disabled; those who try to speed up on curves or exit ramps will certainly feel the innate correction the car performs. In comparison, Ford believes this 2013 has a much sportier response with this model in comparison to competitors such as the Honda CR-V or the Toyota RAV4

When it comes to the price of the Ford Escape, its three different trim models, S, SE, and SEL give consumers a considerable range of prices from the low $20,000s to the low $30,000s. Because the Escape has been such a great seller with past models, Ford wants to keep up their great sales pattern. Therefore, Ford has introduced the 2013 Ford Escape S model with standard front wheel-wheel drive for only $23,295. The Escape’s entry-level model features last year’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine giving drivers 167 lb-ft of torque and a decent 168 horsepower rating. Unfortunately, the based model does not offer the EcoBoost engine. However, the S model does feature a 6-speed automatic model, so one does not have to fight with Ford’s less quality clutch box transmission system. In addition to its base model, the Escape comes in the SE and the SEL trims and are both priced at $25,895 and $28,695 respectively. These two models, along with its top end model, the Titanium, is priced at $31,195. The SE and SEL have the option of either Ecoboost engine while the Titanium model is only available with the 2.0-liter engine. All three of these trim models come in either front or an all-wheel-drive drive-train option. For an additional fee, the “Curve Control” anti-skidding technology can easily be added on to this year’s Ford Escape model.

A Look at the 2013 Honda Accord

The 2013 Honda Accord has been one of Honda’s greatest selling cars for many years. The 2013 model will be no exception. As the ninth generation of the Accord model, Honda is keeping up its 10Best winner design and is adding more and more upgrades to this car. Unlike other car makers who make competing mid-size cars, this year’s Accord model is still going to be available in both a coupe and sedan design.

2013 Honda Accord Exterior

Like similar 2013 models, it seems that more and more car makers are giving existing models extensive overhauls, especially when looking at past models of the preceding few years. The 2013 Accord is not immune from this overhaul. Featuring a more compact body, the new Accord will also weight less than the current 2012 model. This year’s model will also feature less pronounced lines and display a styling the flows throughout the entire car. The hood has undergone a “hood-lift” and the revamped bottom front fascia provides this year’s model with a stronger look. These changes are in stark contrasted to past year’s models that had a backend with a more rounded off design.

Automotive industry insiders have found out that the recent and comprehensive revamp of the Honda Accord is in response to competitors. After surveying and test driving the 2013 Accord, car enthusiasts can literally see the optional LED daytime running lights in action. They speculate that Honda has included options such as the daytime running lights because it is trying to have its more budget friendly car go head to head with higher priced competitors’ cars such as the 2013 Kia Optima SX Limited, the 2013 Ford Fusion, and other sedans and coupes from Chevrolet, Hyundai, and Nissan.

2013 Honda Accord Exterior

The 2013 Accord offers its customers a bevy of engine choices that will literally satisfy any budget and/or environmental conscious customer. Bucking the trend of its competitors, Honda is sticking with a six-cylinder engine, specifically improving the power and efficiency of its 3.5-liter 6-cylinder engine. However, the vast majority of the 2013 models available will feature its 4-cylinder model. Honda’s 2.4-liter engine might seem a little lacking compared to its optional six-cylinder engine, but one should not worry because it still packs plenty of power. Its direct-injection, 181 horsepower, 177 lb-ft of torque four-cylinder engine still gives you ample power and saves you gas. Whether you drive stick or you prefer automatic, the 2013 Accord is available in either a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT) for its automatic transmission option. Honda chose to implement the CVT technology for its automatic transmissions because these can be modified with no steps through an unlimited number of measurable gear ratios between maximum and minimum values.

In addition to gas engine options, the 2013 Accord has hybrid engine options. Its plug-in hybrid version marries a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with a 161 horsepower electric motor. Drivers also have a 6-KWH lithium-ion battery that is fully chargeable in four hours or less and offers a range between 10 to 15 miles (in the city). The Accord’s hybrid models are very easy to use because they can be charged through your home’s regular 120-volt outlet. There are three different modes:  100% electric, hybrid, and “direct drive,” which means you are exclusively using gas.

As of mid-July 2012, consumers have yet to be able to purchase one, but dealers are not prohibited from ordering a new 2013 for their customers. When it comes to trims as well as standard and available options for the 2013 Accord, Honda has not spared anything to spoil their customers. This year’s trim options are as follows:  LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, V6 EX-L and V6 Touring.

Picking up a sedan model, one receives the following standard features on their new car: chrome door handles, a rear-view mirror, 16-inch wheels, independent climate zones with respective controls, a security system, Bluetooth technology, USB jacks, passive on and off headlights, and an 8-inch i-MID TFT screen that is Pandora and text message ready.

Customers purchasing Honda’s Sport trim get an Accord with standard 18-inch wheels, fog lights, a dual exhaust system, a stylish rear spoiler, paddle shifters and an 8-way power driver’s seat. Looking at the EX trim model, 17-inch wheels are standard, which can be fasted upon each corner as Honda has set it up with its proprietary LaneWatch technology – in plain English it captures and displays what is in one’s blind sport. The EX also has side mirrors featuring lighted signal indicators along with an automated moonroof.

When choosing the EX-L trim option, one receives Honda’s best four-cylinder engine, luxurious leather seats along with a full leather steering wheel, a full audio system with a generous touchscreen, a multi-angle review camera, a forward collision and lane switching warning systems, satellite radio, heated passenger and driver seats, and a fully functioning GPS system can be installed as part of an overall upgrade package. If one selects the six-cylinder EX-L they enjoy all of the standard options from the basic EX-L trim along with LED daytime running lights, a specially designed dual exhaust system that distinguishes itself from the more inexpensive four-cylinder models and Homelink.

When it comes to the V6 EX-L model, standard features include LED headlights that run all the time. This trim model also features Homelink and a dual exhaust system – both features make this model highly distinguishable from the cheaper, four-cylinder models. The Touring model seems to be left up to the imagination because all the information that Honda has released simply says it comes with all of the features on the EX-L model, plus additional car features.

A new Touring model was also noted on the release, but simply said “Includes all of the aforementioned EX-L features and some additional car features.”

When it comes to price, consumers will get a much more definitive price point on cars in the specific areas when they are available in the fall. However, general figures for this year’s model have base sedan models coming in at about $22,270, with the base coupe models starting at about $23,870 and the more luxurious and loaded models one gets, it can reach as much as $30,000. Hybrid models with all of the bells and whistles, including a high performing six-cylinder engine, are predicted to price comfortably beyond the $30,000 mark.

New Models Added – August 20, 2012

- Motorcycle / Scooter

- 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 B5

- 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet C5 Chrome

- 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet C5 Classic

- 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet C5 Military

- 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet G5 Classic

- 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet G5 Deluxe

- ATV

- 2013 Suzuki Ozark 250

- Utility Vehicle

- 2013 John Deere Gator RSX 850i

- 2013 John Deere Gator RSX 850i Sport

- 2013 John Deere Gator RSX 850i Trail

- 2012 Kubota RTV900XT General Purpose

- 2012 Kubota RTV900XT Utility

- 2012 Kubota RTV900XT Worksite Orange

- 2012 Kubota RTV900XT Worksite Orange S

- 2012 Kubota RTV900XT Worksite Realtree ® Hardwoods ® Camouflage

Statutory Red Tape

You are on your way home riding your SV-650 from a day of hugging curbs and offset formations. You’re a little tired and thinking about the barbeque which you are in route to that promises to have beer, burgers and babes. As you take the on ramp to enter the freeway you accelerate in the “acceleration lane” like everyone else accessing the freeway. You keep your eyes up and check for traffic in front and alongside your lane when all of a sudden, doot-da-do…it’s Christmas in July.  As the blues and reds light-up behind you, you look down at your cluster only to realize you’re doing 86 mph in a 55 zone. You pull over like the law abiding citizen you are and begin a dialogue with the officer, only to have him return from his cruiser with a fat ticket.

If you think about it however, there seems to be something fundamentally wrong with this picture. We have all seen the show CSI, or MCSI, or NYCSI or some deviation of the acronym CSI. The perp always has some malcontent; a motive that drives them to commit the crime. That scenario doesn’t fit here, you didn’t mean to break the law, it’s just your SV-650 accelerates faster than your average car in the allotted space given to match the speed of traffic. No, the type of law you broke is called a statutory law.

A statutory law basically means that the state doesn’t need to prove you meant to break the law for you to be found guilty of doing so. I know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry, it gets worse. Not only did you not intend to break the law, the law isn’t even applied to everyone universally. 9 states haves laws which permit cars to travel faster than trucks. If logic reigned supreme, than it would only be rational to allow motorcycles to travel faster than cars, since motorcycles are as different from cars as cars are from trucks; this seems just a little bias. All these vehicles are different and as such should be held to a different standard.

For instance, motorcycles accelerate much faster than do cars or trucks. Their power-to-weight ratio is unmatched by anything else on the road, so this is the equivalent of asking the hare to keep pace with the tortoise; it goes against its nature. Furthermore, most modern day street-legal motorcycles are equipped with a six-speed transmission which achieves peak-fuel efficiency at a certain RPM. For each model it varies, but I seriously doubt any of them thrive at 55, or even 65mph. Additionally, motorcycles are designed to travel at high speeds while retaining their maneuverability and can stop in much shorter distances then their 4, 12 or 18 wheel brethren. In fact, the biggest threats to riders are the other vehicles that motorcycles are mandated to travel the same speeds as.

How many times have you been ridding alongside a large truck when all of a sudden your motorcycle begins to drift towards it? This is because the air the truck is displacing (known as aerodynamic drag) is moving around and underneath it…and so will you if you don’t hit the throttle and lean away. Moreover, riders have to keep a safe distance away from distracted drivers. You know, the teary-eyed 18 year old who is updating her Facebook status on interstate 70 because the world can’t wait the 23 minutes it takes her to get home to learn that she didn’t get into Clemson. Now more than ever riders need to have the freedom to accelerate away from danger without concerning themselves with an arbitrary statute supported by little or no research justifying it.

How do I know that speed limits have nothing to stand on, because they have been changed multiple times with no measurable impact on safety. Some of you reading this may be too young to remember but there was a time not long ago when the highways of the United States were governed by a provision known as the National Maximum Speed Law. This provision of the 1974 Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act granted the federal government the authority to set the maximum permitted speed on state highways. This was a colossal failure as the provision failed to accomplish any of its intended goals. It did not save commuters fuel and it certainly did not make the roads safer. In fact, there is research that suggests this provision made the roads MORE dangerous. Why haven’t you newbies heard of this law? Because congress repealed the National Maximum Speed Law back in 1995…who says congress does nothing (enter joke here). But seriously, no proven safety benefit, not even a marginal one.

So, let’s break this down to its very core. All this hoopla is centered around one rationalization…speed kills. If you ask me, this is a false statement. I have been on a track and gone very fast, I’m still typing, so this statement must be false. It’s not speed that kills, it’s recklessness that kills. Every person I have known that has died on a motorcycle (or in a car for that matter) was either a victim of someone else’s recklessness or being reckless themselves…without fail. There isn’t a shred of conclusive evidence that links faster speeds to a higher body count. So what are proponents of speed laws basing the current limits on you ask? Speculation, which is all they have ever had.

So, what can we do about it? This is a point in your life where you can look to your father’s cliché half-drunken advice for guidance. Mine used to say “don’t start until you can’t stop”, I still have no idea what the hell he was talking about. Maybe your father had something more relevant to add to your life like “start from the top”. That’s exactly what you should do, contact your state governor’s office and voice your opinion. You pay their salary so you might as well let them know you are aware of their hidden bias and that Christmas should only come in December damn-it!

 

What To Look For When Buying A New Motorcycle

Riding a motorcycle is one of the most visceral experiences (short of flying a fighter plane) you’re likely to engage in.  It requires your total attention while at the same time freeing your mind from the mundane cares of the day.  And that experience is heightened when you throw a leg over a brand new bike and punch the starter for the first time.  Whether you’ve been riding for years or are just now considering your first motorcycle, we’ve compiled a list of what to look for when buying a new motorcycle.

Read this article before buying your next motorcycle

New or Used

Once you’ve made the decision to buy a new, or new-to-you, motorcycle one of the first considerations is how much you’re prepared to spend.  And it’s that element of price that often leads buyers to consider purchasing a used bike.

It’s true that there are plenty of low-mileage motorcycles on the used market, and many of them are in fair to good condition.  But unless you’re a mechanic, or have a trusted mechanic who’s willing to inspect a used bike for you, you’re never really sure of what you’re getting if you buy used, especially from a private seller.

Low mileage, especially on a motorcycle that’s several years old or older, means the bike has spent long periods of time just sitting.  Motorcycles were made to be ridden, and all kinds of bad things can be traced back to inactivity.  Fluids begin to thicken and lose molecular integrity.  Rubber parts, like hoses, gaskets and tires, begin to dry out and crack.

After you’ve plunked down your cash and ridden off, all of those problems just waiting to reveal themselves are yours and yours alone.  And that brings us to another shortcoming of buying used from a private seller; you’ll need to have the entire purchase price up front.  Many dealers who sell pre-owned motorcycles will offer financing, even on used bikes, but you generally won’t get as good a deal on the terms as you can when purchasing new.

When buying a new motorcycle the price may be a little higher, but virtually every manufacturer offers a good to very good warranty.  And many dealerships have pre-paid maintenance programs that you can roll into the purchase price of the bike and finance.  If you need new gear (like a helmet, jacket, gloves or the like) to go with your new motorcycle, dealers will often give you some sort of a discount since you’re buying a bike from them at the same time.

There is one other category of motorcycle you may want to consider that splits the difference on price between new and used.  That’s the “new, non-current” motorcycle.  These are bikes that are new but left over from previous model years.  Bikes in this category will carry the same factory warranty as other new models, but since they’ve been in the dealer’s inventory, sometimes for two or three years, you can often get a great deal on them.

Which Type of Motorcycle

Different Types of Motorcycles

Consider the type of riding you’re most likely to do.  Do you picture yourself on a cross country ride?  Will you be using your new motorcycle for daily commuting?  Are you going to hit the trails on the weekend and ride the same bike to work come Monday?  Is cruising with friends on the back roads or to your favorite eatery more your style?  There’s a new motorcycle made to fit each of those needs and more.

While there is no official standard for identifying motorcycle types, there are several classifications that are universally recognized.  Though manufacturers continue to innovate and add sub-categories, the type of motorcycle that is right for you is a major factor in what to look for when buying a new motorcycle.

Sportbikes are built for speed and handling.  The combination of high foot pegs and a relatively long reach to the handlebars on a sportbike puts the rider into a position leaning over the fuel tank.  The high ground clearance of a sportbike means that they are excellent in carving through curves, but they generally have higher seat heights which will challenge shorter riders to be able to reach the ground with both feet at a stop.  Sportbikes have high performance engines and strong brakes that must be treated with respect.

Cruisers feature a leaned back riding position and engines tuned for low end torque which makes for a more relaxing ride.  Their lower seat height makes handling the heavier bikes a little easier.

Standard, or naked bikes, have a more neutral riding position.  These are general purpose motorcycles that are often recommended for beginning riders.

Touring motorcycles are built for long rides and generally include fairings and/or windscreens and luggage.  Full dressers are touring models based on the cruiser style that usually have hard saddlebags and a trunk.  Sport touring bikes are based on sportbikes, but have a less extreme riding position.

Dual sport, or dual purpose or on-road/off-road bikes are street legal but feature many of the attributes of dirt bikes, such as a high seat height and exceptional ground clearance.

Whichever type of riding you plan to do should help you narrow down the type of new motorcycle you consider.  It’s important that you find a bike that not only fits your style but your body type and riding experience.  If this is going to be your first new motorcycle and you’re determined to buy a sportbike you may want to consider one with a smaller engine size, in the 250 cc to 500 cc range.  Likewise, if you’ve decided on a dual sport bike be sure to visit a dealership and sit on one to see if your feet can reach the ground at a stop before you buy.

Other Considerations

As you research your purchase you’ll probably consider a number of other factors.  Many of these will be limited by the type of motorcycle you decide on, but even within a certain category of bike you may find some variations.

Drive type is one such consideration.  The final drive on a motorcycle is the means by which power is transferred from the engine to the rear wheel.  The types of final drive are chain, belt and shaft.  Each type has advantages and disadvantages.  Chains are more efficient at delivering power to the rear wheel, but they also can be messy and require more maintenance.  Shaft drives are quiet and require very little maintenance, but they do add weight to the motorcycle and aren’t as efficient in transferring power.  Belts are neater than chains and require less maintenance, but aren’t available on as many types of bikes as chains.

Fuel delivery system is also something to think about.  Many motorcycles now come with electronic fuel injection (EFI) systems as opposed to carburetors.  EFI systems require less maintenance and are generally more efficient, but they will add to the cost of a motorcycle.

Some manufacturers are now offering anti-lock brakes (ABS) on certain models.  There are advantages to ABS, but it will add to the final cost of the bike.  And if you’ve been riding for years without ABS it may take a little getting used to.

Engine displacement, or size, is a big consideration.  Many manufacturers offer a variety of engine sizes within a model family.  The size of the engine is going to determine a number of things about a motorcycle, such as price, gas mileage and insurance rates.  So even after you’ve decided on a specific model of motorcycle you’ll need to think about how big an engine you need.  A bigger engine is going to provide more power, which will be a good thing if you’re a bigger person or plan on regularly carrying a passenger.  But it’s also going to add to the weight of the motorcycle, which will make it relatively more challenging to control and maneuver.

When you buy your new motorcycle can also have an impact on how much you pay.  Unless you just can’t wait another second to get on that new ride and start cruising the boulevard, if you buy during the off season, in most parts of the country from fall to very early spring, you can usually find better deals than you’ll get when demand is higher in the middle of the riding season.

Three “Must Dos”

If you’ve been riding for awhile chances are (hopefully) that you’ve already done the first two of these “must do” items.  The first, get licensed.  Every state requires motorcyclists to be licensed to ride on public roadways.  Studies have found that unlicensed motorcyclists are much more likely to be involved in accidents.

Get training.  A Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) class will do wonders for a rider’s (especially a new rider) confidence.  A beginning or advanced rider class will also equip you with skills that will not only last a lifetime, but may save your life on the road.  And most insurance companies will offer discounts to riders who have passed a class.

Read the owner’s manual.  No matter how long you’ve been riding, when you’re buying a new motorcycle it’s important to be as familiar with it as you can.  The manual will cover all of the features of your new motorcycle as well as maintenance intervals and tips for storage during the off season.

Where to Start Looking

There are a lot of things to look for when buying a new motorcycle.  So many in fact that it may be a challenge to know where to begin.  PowerSportsTV.com offers some wonderful resources to help you get started.  You’ll find reviews not only on specific model motorcycles, but also on motorcycle dealerships.

When you do a search for a motorcycle, PowerSportsTV.com will not only give you a review, but will also show you comparable models by other manufacturers and a list of dealers in your area that carry that bike.

PowerportsTV.com Motorcycle Research

Now that you’ve read this article and have a little basic information, click on the “motorcycles” tab at the top of this page to discover more of what to look for when buying a new motorcycle.

Top 125 Used-Car Dealers Groups

Rank Dealership group name Address Total
used
units
Total
wholesale
units
Total
units
Total
number of
dealerships
1 CarMax Inc. † 12800 Tuckahoe Creek Pkwy. 396,181 263,061 659,242 103
(804) 747-0422; carmax.com Richmond, VA 23238
2 AutoNation Inc.† 110 S.E. Sixth St. 171,094 111,096 282,190 215
(954) 769-7000; autonation.com Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
3 Penske Automotive Group Inc.† 2555 Telegraph Road 129,652 58,593 188,245 145
(248)-648-2500 ; penskeautomotive.com Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
4 Sonic Automotive Inc.† 4401 Colwick Rd. 102,874 26,630 129,504 119
(704) 566-2400; sonicautomotive.com Charlotte, NC 28211
5 Van Tuyl Group 1550 E. Missouri, Ste. 300 74,460 61,007 135,467 69
(602) 230-1051; vantuylgroup.com Phoenix, AZ 85014
6 Group 1 Automotive Inc.† 800 Gessner, Ste. 500 70,475 42,422 112,897 100
(713) 647-5700; group1auto.com Houston, TX 77024
7 Asbury Automotive Group† 2905 Premiere Pkwy., Ste. 300 55,805 27,204 83,009 79
(770) 418-8200; asburyauto.com Duluth, GA 30097
8 Hendrick Automotive Group 6000 Monroe Road 50,912 48,348 99,260 73
(704) 568-5550; hendrickauto.com Charlotte, NC 28212
9 Lithia Motors Inc.† 360 E. Jackson 41,422 16,976 58,398 86
(541) 776-6868; lithia.com Medford, OR 97501
10 Larry H. Miller Group of Cos. 9350 S. 150 E., Ste. 1000 30,764 31,666 62,430 45
(801) 563-4100; lhm.com Sandy, UT 84070
11 Ken Garff Automotive Group 405 S. Main, Ste. 1200 23,699 16,514 40,213 41
(801) 257-3400; kengarff.com Salt Lake City, UT 84111
12 Chapman Automotive Group P.O. Box 12375 21,462 21,462 21
(480) 970-0740; chapmanchoice.com Tempe, AZ 85284
13 Staluppi Auto Group 133 U.S. Hwy. One 19,700 23,289 42,989 24
(561) 844-7148; atlanticautogroup.net North Palm Beach, FL 33408
14 Jim Koons Automotive Cos. 2000 Chain Bridge Road 19,592 13,200 32,792 17
(703) 448-7000; koons.com Vienna, VA 22182
15 Bob Rohrman Auto Group 701 Sagamore Pkwy. S. 19,038 7,620 26,658 27
(765) 448-1000; rohrman.com Lafayette, IN 47905
16 Serra Automotive Inc. 3118 E. Hill Road 15,357 5,462 20,819 22
(810) 694-1720; serrausa.com Grand Blanc, MI 48439
17 Herb Chambers Cos. 259 McGrath Hwy. 15,261 18,538 33,799 32
(617) 666-8333; herbchambers.com Somerville, MA 02143
18 Rick Case Automotive Group 875 N. State Road 7 15,084 15,084 15
(954) 377-7400; rickcase.com Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317
19 RLJ McLarty Landers Automotive Holdings LLC 425 West Capitol Ave., Ste. 3600 15,067 13,183 28,250 25
(501) 374-4474; rljmclartylanders.com Little Rock, AR 72201
20 Swope Automotive Group 10 Swope Auto Center Drive 14,616 6,502 21,118 27
(502) 499-5000; swope.com Louisville, KY 40299
21 Suburban Collection 1795 Maplelawn 14,263 6,356 20,619 32
(248) 519-9700; suburbancollection.com Troy, MI 48084
22 West-Herr Automotive Group Inc. 3448 McKinley Frwy. 13,887 15,358 29,245 15
(716) 649-7711; westherr.com Blasdell, NY 14219
23 Green Family Stores Inc. 3801 Wabash Ave. 13,172 4,950 18,122 14
(217) 522-1222; greenfamilystores.com Springfield, IL 62707
24 Ganley Auto Group 13215 Detroit Ave. 13,016 8,874 21,890 23
(216) 228-8485; ganleyauto.com Lakewood, OH 44107
25 Mac Haik Auto Group 10333 Katy Fwy. 12,508 5,990 18,498 10
(713) 932-5000; machaik.com Houston, TX 77024
26 Greenway Automotive 9001 E Colonial Drive 12,232 12,968 25,200 19
(407) 275-3200; greenway.com Orlando, FL 32817
27 Balise Motor Sales Co. 122 Doty Circle 12,016 9,406 21,422 17
(413) 733-8604; baliseauto.com West Springfield, MA 01089
28 Rosenthal Automotive Organization 1100 S. Glebe Road 11,935 11,935 16
(703) 553-4300; rosenthalauto.com Arlington, VA 22204
29 Walser Automotive Group 4401 American Blvd. W. 11,758 7,877 19,635 15
(952) 929-3535; walser.com Bloomington, MN 55437
30 Findlay Automotive Group 310 N. Gibson Road 11,401 8,466 19,867 25
(702) 558-8888; findlayauto.com Henderson, NV 89014
31 David Wilson Automotive Group 1400 N. Tustin 11,354 8,945 20,299 15
(714) 639-6750; wilsonautomotivegroup.net Orange, CA 92867
32 Performance Automotive Group 17950 Burt St. 11,286 8,196 19,482 14
(402) 493-7800; performanceauto.com Omaha, NE 68118
33 McCombs Automotive 755 E. Mulberry, Ste. 600 11,088 7,014 18,102 7
(210) 821-6523; redmccombs.com San Antonio, TX 78212
34 Joe Machens Dealerships 1911 W. Worley 10,376 5,798 16,174 7
(573) 445-4411; machens.com Columbia, MO 65203
35 Wilde Automotive Group 1710 A Hwy. 164 10,182 5,075 15,257 7
(262) 513-2770; wildeauto.com Waukesha, WI 53186
36 Keyes Automotive Group 5855 Van Nuys Blvd. 9,883 7,279 17,162 12
(818) 907-4456; keyescars.com Van Nuys, CA 91401
37 Bergstrom Automotive One Neenah Center 9,763 9,763 23
(920) 725-4444; bergstromauto.com Neenah, WI 54956
38 Kenwood Dealer Group Inc. 9500 Kings Automall Road 9,648 9,648 14
(513) 683-5484; cincyautos.com Cincinnati, OH 45249
39 Darcars Automotive Group P.O. Box 9876 9,596 6,562 16,158 21
301-622-0300; darcars.com Silver Spring, MD 20916
40 Sheehy Auto Stores 12701 Fair Lakes Circle, Ste. 250 9,539 8,856 18,395 15
(703) 802-3480; sheehy.com Fairfax, VA 22033
41 Braman Dealerships 2060 Biscayne Blvd. 9,089 7,767 16,856 8
(305) 576-1889; bramanmiami.com Miami, FL 33137
42 Summit Automotive Partners LLC 10301 East Arapahoe Rd., Ste. 200 9,065 6,665 15,730 12
(303) 209-3965; summit-ap.com Centennial, CO 80112
43 Fitzgerald Auto Malls 11411 Rockville Pike 8,966 3,561 12,527 16
(301) 881-4000; fitzmall.com Kensington, MD 20895
44 Boucher Group, Inc. 4141 S 108th St. 8,816 5,809 14,625 16
(414) 427-4141; boucher.com Greenfield, WI 53228
45 Tuttle-Click Automotive Group 41 Auto Center Drive 8,724 8,407 17,131 14
(949) 598-4800; tuttleclick.com Irvine, CA 92618
46 Jeff Wyler Automotive Family Inc. 829 Eastgate S. Drive 8,605 5,018 13,623 11
513-752-7450; wyler.com Cincinnati, OH 45245
47 Phil Long Dealerships 1212 A Motor City Drive 8,316 5,532 13,848 11
(719) 575-7000; phillong.com Colorado Springs, CO 80905
48 Potamkin Automotive Group Inc. 6200 NW 167th St. 8,270 7,298 15,568 20
(305) 774-7690; planetautomotive.com Miami Lakes, FL 33014
49 Car Group, The 20322 SW Acacia St. 8,035 4,825 12,860 9
(562) 809-3705; thecargroup.com Newport Beach, CA 92660
50 White Family Cos., Inc. 2 Riverplace, Ste. 444 7,820 2,832 10,652 18
(937) 220-6394; whitecars.com Dayton, OH 45405


Rank Dealership group name Address Total
used
units
Total
wholesale
units
Total
units
Total
number of
dealerships
51 Gillman Companies 10595 W. Sam Houston Pkwy. S. 7,722 4,085 11,807 14
(713) 776-7000; gillmanauto.com Houston, TX 77099
52 Russ Darrow Group W133 N8569 Executive Pkwy. 7,703 5,053 12,756 19
(262) 250-9600; russdarrow.com Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
53 Fletcher Jones Automotive Group 7300 W. Sahara Ave. 7,702 7,541 15,243 17
(702) 739-9800; fletcherjones.com Las Vegas, NV 89117
54 Earnhardt Auto Centers 7300 W. Orchid Lane 7,668 5,255 12,923 11
(480) 893-0000; earnhardt.com Chandler, AZ 85226
55 Holman Automotive Group, Inc.
(formerly Holman Enterprises) 
244 E Kings Hwy. 7,586 8,518 16,104 15
(856) 663-5200; holmanauto.com Maple Shade, NJ 08052
56 Open Road Auto Group 1140 U.S. Hwy. 22 7,472 5,157 12,629 19
(732) 650-1550; openroad.com Bridgewater, NJ 08807
57 Kuni Automotive 203 S.E. Park Plaza, Ste. 290 7,450 2,933 10,383 14
(360) 553-7362; kuniauto.com Vancouver, WA 98684
58 Fox Motors 200 Ottawa Ave., Ste. 800 7,350 3,233 10,583 18
(616) 774-4044; foxmotors.com Grand Rapids, MI 49503
59 World Class Automotive Group PO Box 1047 7,340 4,831 12,171 7
214-560-1602; Planetford.com Addison, TX 75001
60 Lou Fusz Automotive Network Inc. 925 N. Lindbergh 7,166 5,859 13,025 13
(314) 994-1500; fusz.com St. Louis, MO 63141
61 Ron Tonkin Family of Dealerships 122 N.E. 122nd Ave. 6,956 3,936 10,892 17
(503) 255-4100; tonkin.com Portland, OR 97230
62 Ourisman Automotive Group 4400 Branch Ave. 6,865 6,445 13,310 17
301-423-4000; ourisman.com Marlow Heights, MD 20748
63 Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships 10 Alexander Drive 6,719 5,744 12,463 10
(570) 546-4925; blaisealexander.com Muncy, PA 17756
64 Germain Automotive Partnership
(previously apart of Germain Motor Co.)
3885 W. Dublin Granville Rd. 6,703 4,300 11,003 12
(614) 793-1990; germain.com Dublin, OH 43017
65 Bommarito Automotive Group 15736 Manchester Road 6,685 5,012 11,697 13
(636) 391-7200; bommarito.com Ellisville, MO 63011
66 Germain Motor Co. 4250 Morse Crossing 6,675 3,693 10,368 18
(614) 416-3377; germain.com Columbus, OH 43219
67 Pohanka Automotive Group 4608 St. Barnabas Road 6,573 6,555 13,128 14
(301) 899-7800; pohanka.com Marlow Heights, MD 20748
68 Hertrich Family of Auto Dealerships, The 26905 Sussex Hwy. 6,495 6,167 12,662 12
(302) 629-5100; hertrichs.com Seaford, DE 19973
69 Bob Moore Auto Group 101 N. Robinson, Ste. 820 6,396 3,327 9,723 15
(405) 605-2363; bobmoore.com Oklahoma City, OK 73102
70 Mike Shaw Automotive 50 S. Steele St., Ste. 820 6,370 6,370 8
(303) 639-6300; mikeshawauto.com Denver, CO 80209
71 Scott-McRae Automotive Group 701 Riverside Park Place, Ste. 310 6,369 4,093 10,462 9
(904) 354-4000; smag.com Jacksonville, FL 32204
72 Fletcher Auto Group 808 Silverwood Trail 6,289 4,805 11,094 12
(501) 352-3954; fletcherauto.com North Little Rock, AR 72116
73 Prestige Management Services 400 Sette Dr. 6,055 7,346 13,401 7
(201) 265-7800; driveprestige.com Paramus, NJ 07652
74 Anderson Automotive Group 9101 Glenwood Ave. 5,971 5,971 8
(919) 787-0099; anderson-auto.com Raleigh, NC 27617
75 Day Automotive Group 1600 Golden Mile Hwy. 5,965 3,333 9,298 9
(724) 327-0900; dayauto.com Monroeville, PA 15146


Rank Dealership group name Address Total
used
units
Total
wholesale
units
Total
units
Total
number of
dealerships
76 Gunn Automotive Group 227 Broadway 5,914 4,397 10,311 6
(210) 472-2501; gunnauto.com San Antonio, TX 78205
77 David Stanley Auto Group 614 SW 74th St. 5,884 3,061 8,945 3
(405) 794-0122; davidstanleyautogroup.com Oklahoma City, OK 73139
78 Performance Cos. 153 Treeline Park, Ste. 300 5,792 5,792 8
(210) 829-1800 San Antonio, TX 78209
79 Fred Haas Interests 20400 I-45 North 5,766 2,670 8,436 4
(281) 297-7000; fredhaastoyota.com Spring, TX 77373
80 Priority Auto Group 1800 Greenbrier Pkwy. 5,739 3,423 9,162 10
(757) 366-5000; PriorityAuto.com Chesapeake, VA 23320
81 Ancira Enterprises P.O. Box 29719 5,698 3,365 9,063 12
(210) 681-4900; ancira.com San Antonio, TX 78229
82 Future Automotive Group 650 Auto Mall Drive 5,643 4,742 10,385 7
(916) 786-3673; futureautomotivegroup.com Roseville, CA 95661
83 Stevenson Automotive Group 2325 N. Marine Blvd. 5,535 4,897 10,432 16
(910) 455-1555; stevensonauto.com Jacksonville, NC 28546
84 Kenny Ross Automotive Group 11250 Route 30 5,481 4,301 9,782 7
(724) 863-9000; kennyross.com North Huntingdon, PA 15642
85 Servco Pacific Inc. P.O. Box 2788 5,443 5,443 9
(808) 564-1300; servco.com Honolulu, HI 96803
86 Stanley Automotive Enterprises 3915 Lemmon Ave 5,386 5,935 11,321 16
(214) 219-4040; stanleyautogroup.com Dallas , TX 75219
87 Bobby Rahal Automotive Group 6715 Carlisle Pike 5,332 5,332 9
(717) 691-5600; bobbyrahal.com Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
88 Piazza Auto Group 401 S. Schuylkill Ave. 5,285 6,051 11,336 9
610-630-7911; piazzaautogroup.com Norristown, PA 19403
89 Ferman Automotive Group 1306 W. Kennedy Blvd. 5,273 5,695 10,968 16
(813) 251-2765; ferman.com Tampa, FL 33606
90 Ed Morse Automotive Group 2850 S. Federal Hwy. 5,255 4,294 9,549 12
(800) 336-6773; edmorse.com Delray Beach, FL 33483
91 Morgan Auto Group 1101 E. Fletcher Ave. 5,160 4,214 9,374 10
(813) 936-3125; morganautogroup.com Tampa, FL 33612
92 Phil Smith Automotive Group 4250 N. Federal Hwy. 5,083 4,272 9,355 14
(954) 867-1234; philsmithauto.com Lighthouse Point, FL 33064
93 Serra Automotive Group 9709 Pkwy. E., Ste. D 5,080 3,377 8,457 14
(205) 836-6775; serraautomotive.com Birmingham, AL 35215
94 Carl Gregory Enterprises Inc. 3000 Northlake Pkwy., Bldg. 300 5,054 1,350 6,404 10
(706) 324-2380; carlgregorycars.com Columbus, GA 31909
95 Huffines Auto Dealerships 4500 W. Plano Pkwy. 5,029 4,167 9,196 8
(972) 867-6000; huffines.net Plano, TX 75098
96 Allen Samuels Enterprises Inc. 301 Owen Lane 5,024 4,861 9,885 11
(254) 761-6800; allensamuels.com Waco, TX 76710
97 Sullivan Automotive Group 2440 Santa Monica Blvd. 5,021 1,909 6,930 7
(310) 829-1888; lacarguy.com Santa Monica, CA 90404
98 Don Davis Auto Group 2350 E. Road to Six Flags 4,785 5,776 10,561 4
(817) 588-5213; dondavisautogroup.com Arlington, TX 76011
99 Carbone Automotive Group 5700 Horatio St. 4,621 4,993 9,614 14
(315) 724-4216; carbonecars.com Utica, NY 13502
100 Jim Hudson Automotive Group 310 Greystone Blvd 4,580 2,809 7,389 6
(803) 799-1234; jimhudson.com Columbia, SC 29210

 

Rank Dealership group name Address Total
used
units
Total
wholesale
units
Total
units
Total
number of
dealerships
101 Piercey Automotive Group 13600 Beach Blvd. 4,580 2,160 6,740 5
(714) 896-9777; pierceyautogroup.com Westminster, CA 92683
102 Grossinger Auto Group 6900 N McCormick Blvd. 4,537 3,570 8,107 6
(847) 674-9000; grossinger.com Lincolnwood, IL 60712
103 New Country Motor Car Group 358 Broadway 4,514 6,511 11,025 17
(518) 584-7700; newcountry.com Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
104 Galpin Motors Inc. 15505 Roscoe Blvd. 4,467 4,992 9,459 5
(818) 787-3800; galpin.com North Hills, CA 91343
105 Tameron Automotive Group 1675 Montgomery Hwy. 4,460 1,478 5,938 5
(205) 443-7700; tameron.com Birmingham, AL 35216
106 Holler Automotive Group P.O. Box 1720 4,412 4,219 8,631 6
(407) 645-1331; hollerclassic.com Winter Park, FL 32790
107 Continental Motors Group 5901 S. Lagrange Road 4,397 3,217 7,614 8
(708) 352-6000; continentalmotors.com Countryside, IL 60525
108 Gettel Automotive 5959 E. SR 64 4,381 4,769 9,150 14
(941) 921-2655; getteltoyota.com Bradenton, FL 34208
109 Crain Automotive Team 5980 Wadley Road 4,354 4,208 8,562 9
(501) 542-5000; crainteam.com Sherwood, AR 72120
110 Colonial Automotive Group 171 Great Road 4,352 5,226 9,578 14
(781) 431-9790; buycolonial.com Acton, MA 01720
111 AutoFair Automotive Group 1477 South Willow St. 4,310 3,499 7,809 4
603-634-1000; autofair.com Manchester, NH 03103
112 Marubeni Motor Service Dealer Group 918 Providence Hwy., Rte. 1 4,166 3,746 7,912 14
(781) 278-1407; gallerygroup.com; liag.net Norwood, MA 02062
113 Ray Catena Motor Car Corp. 910 Route One 4,116 3,967 8,083 11
(732) 549-6600; raycatena.com Edison, NJ 08817
114 #1 Cochran Automotive 4520 William Penn Hwy. 4,015 7,029 11,044 13
(877) 262-4726; cochran.com Monroeville, PA 15146
115 Southwest Dealer Group 39650 LBJ Fwy. S. 3,866 3,193 7,059 5
(972) 283-9797; southwestdealergroup.com Dallas, TX 75237
116 Stewart Management Group Inc. 20844 Harper Ave., Ste. 100 3,787 1,799 5,586 5
(313) 432-6200 Harper Woods, MI 48225
117 Martin Management Group 1065 Ashley St., Ste. 100 3,773 1,835 5,608 14
(270) 783-8080; martingp.com Bowling Green, KY 42103
118 Noarus Auto Group 9670 Trask Ave. 3,753 1,825 5,578 6
(310) 258-0920; noarus.com Garden Grove, CA 92844
119 Metro Motor Group 2001 S. Federal Hwy. 3,749 5,939 9,688 10
(561) 278-7800; metromotorgroup.com Delray Beach , FL 33483
120 Chapman Auto Group 1170 Easton Road 3,734 3,519 7,253 7
(267) 960-1700; chapmanautogroup.com Horsham, PA 19044
121 Kelly Automotive Group 544 State Road 3,731 2,607 6,338 6
(610) 967-1823; kellycar.com Emmaus, PA 18049
122 Richardson & Partners 8601 Lomas Blvd. N.E. 3,722 3,067 6,789 6
505-292-0000; rich-ford.com Albuquerque, NM 87112
123 Voss Auto Network 766 Miamisburg-Centerville Road 3,713 2,081 5,794 9
(937) 428-2400; vossauto.com Centerville, OH 45459
124 Elder Automotive Group 777 John R Road 3,710 1,858 5,568 11
(248) 597-5130; elderautomotivegroup.com Troy, MI 48083
125 Dave Smith Auto Group 210 N. Division 3,555 1,498 5,053 2
(208) 784-1208; usautosales.com Kellogg, ID 83837

 


 

 

 

A Review of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu

Chevrolet is back at it again for the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. Featuring some new and notable changes, the Malibu is ready for the American and the International auto markets. Engineers have redesigned the Malibu because executives at Chevrolet have gotten serious about attempting to stave off creeping competitors Ford and Hyundai as well as attempting to knock off Honda’s and Toyota’s annually reliable Accord and Camry models from the top spots in the mid-size market. Already available for purchase, which is part of Chevy’s plan for early sales, the Malibu is slated to be available for sale in over 100 countries on six continents; Chevrolet has spared no marketing or distribution channels for this model.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu Exterior

Looking at the 2013 Malibu one will immediately see a more refined version of its exterior design. This year’s model Malibu is a greater version of the pre-existing version of General Motor’s long-used Epilson architecture which already comes standard on the Opel Insignia, the Buck Regal and the Saab-9-3. This second generation architecture gives the Malibu a sturdier body structure, a beefier suspension system and more eye-appealing interior dimensions. Bumper to bumper, the car is a half an inch shorter along with having its wheelbase 4.5 inches shorter; therefore the car is technically 2.7 inches longer when taking a comprehensive survey. Shoulder and hip room has been increased through the expanded wider track dimensions of 2.5 inches and 2.0 inches for the front and rear areas respectively.

Those who have gotten a chance to take a peek at the new model of the Malibu have commented that the exterior is really a step above its past models. Featuring a more pronounced grille, an ever so slightly creased hood and its decklid’s expertly positioned spoiler, one is easily impressed with its exterior accents. It also has dual-element LED taillights that are a spitting image of the one’s on a Camaro, and along with headlights that are projector-like, the Malibu is a modern engineering marvel. Aerodynamically, this gas-powered and hybrid car has the same sleek drag minimizing figure. Purchasers do have an option to pick up one of a variety of its five-spoke wheels varying between 17 to 19 inches in diameter.

Direct exterior improvements have indirectly led to interior improvements that have led to greater comfort and an increase in its overall rating. According to many car magazines, the reconfigured exterior enabled Chevrolet engineers to add an additional 2.3 cubic feet of space for passengers – this took the Malibu to the middle from the bottom of the mid-size class. Specifically, trunk space increased to 16.3 cubic feet from just over 15 feet, while passenger volume is now 100 cubic feet, formerly at 97.7 feet. However, the Malibu still has room for improvement because the Honda Accord offers 106 cubic feet for passenger comfort. Drivers don’t have to worry about the unintended increase in carried weight because the uni-body construction on the 2013 Malibu has extremely strong steel which provides greater support; this is yet another improvement from earlier Malibu models.

Further interior improvements have also focused on the aesthetics and convenience features. As one will see Chevrolet has invested a pretty penny into the entire car, which certainly includes this portion of the car. Visually appealing features include cool-blue lighting, contrasted stitching and luxurious upholstery. There are eight standard airbags along with optional side-impact airbags. The radio is fully adjustable through its color touch-screen which flips open and becomes a six-inch deep storage area. The Pandora entertainment system, along with Stitcher Smart Radio, is available on all models and can research practically anything with its MyLink research assistant. Optional convenience features include a fully practical navigation system, a merging and forward-collision warning systems and a built-in review camera for backing up.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu Interior

It is available in quite a few models and accordingly comes in varying prices. The base model is the LS with an MSRP of approximately $22,390. The next three steps of the 2013 Chevy Malibu come in the 1LT, 2LT, 1LTZ models with prices of $24,005, $25,240, $27,830 respectively. The top two tier models, the Eco 1SA and the Eco 2SA are the 2013’s fuel efficient models costing $25,335 and $26,945 respectively. The Eco 1SA and Eco 2SA models are specially designed with ECOTEC engines that feature Chevrolet’s proprietary eAssist technology that conserves fuel. These engines are specially designed to use fuel only when necessary because the smart system automatically switches between the gas engine and the lithium-ion battery system which provides its alternate source of power.

The 2013 Malibu has some notable things to mention about its engine and entire drive-train system. The powertrain and the bottom portion of the strut-type front suspension are supported by a rubber-isolated front cradle along with featuring an assisted rack-and-pinion steering system. The rear portion of the Malibu has a multi-link suspension and comes standard with vented-front type brakes and solid rear-disc type brakes.

Professional reviews of the power-train give it mixed results. Because Chevrolet is looking to emphasize the 2013 Malibu’s fuel efficiency, this year’s model does not come with a six-cylinder engine, even as an upgrade option. The standard engine included in this model is a dual-overhead-cam 2.5-liter Ecotec brand 4-cylinder engine that has an aluminum-block-and-head construction. The engine has standard features including a variable intake and exhaust-valve timing system, balance shafts and a seamless direct fuel injection system.

There are specifications on the Malibu’s current engine and speculation on future options. The lead engineer on the 2013 Malibu, Mark Moussa, tells car enthusiasts the standard engine should produce about 190 horsepower and deliver about 180 foot-pounds of torque. Zero to 60 tests take just under 8 seconds, while normal driving permits, on average 30 miles per gallon on the highway. The hybrid model of the 2013 Malibu is said, through the EPA’s official tests, to get 26 miles in the city and 38 miles on the highway. Rumors have it that another four-cylinder is due out in the near future, but there are no concrete details on it. However, online sources and automotive magazines speculate that the additional engine might be a turbocharged 2.0-liter Ecotec engine, capable of cranking out 220 horsepower.

As one can see, the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu has gone through quite a transformation. While one cannot predict the future, Chevrolet certainly has made the present Malibu model a different car from past models. Only time will tell for future models, but this year’s model deserves a serious look at.

The History of Honda Motorcycles

Honda is the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world.  The company began in the late 1940s modifying war surplus generator engines to be attached to and power bicycles.  The Honda Motor Company, Ltd. now manufactures motorcycles, scooters, automobiles, engines, power equipment, robots and jets.

Founder Soichiro Honda

Soichiro Honda was born in 1906.  His father was a blacksmith who owned a bicycle shop.  At the age of 15 Honda became an apprentice at the Art Shokai auto repair shop in Tokyo, working on cars, motorcycles and small engines.  By the time he was 21 Honda was running his own branch of Art Shokai.

While still running the repair shop in 1936, Honda started a company, Tokai Seiki, which manufactured piston rings for Toyota.  During World War II the Japanese government took control of the company.  Following the war Honda sold his share to Toyota and founded the Honda Technical Research Institute.  The Research Institute bought and modified 500 war surplus 50 cc two-stroke generator engines that could then be attached to bicycles.  When the surplus engines ran out Honda developed a new engine, the Honda A-Type, the first Honda product.  Soichiro Honda incorporated the Honda Motor Company, Ltd. in 1948.

Affectionately referred to as “the Old Man” by his employees, Soichiro Honda remained president of the company until 1973 when he retired, but stayed on as director.  In 1983 the company named him “supreme advisor.”  People magazine called him the Japanese Henry Ford.

In addition to running his company, Honda enjoyed race car driving, though he quit after being injured in an accident in 1936.  He held a private pilot license and even into his 70s he would ski, go hang-gliding and ballooning.  Honda died in 1991 of liver failure.  He was 84 years old.

Background

Honda produced its first complete motorcycle in 1949, the D-Type, dubbed the Honda Dream.  This first Honda motorcycle was powered by a two-stroke 98 cc engine.  Honda wanted the Dream to be easy for anyone to ride, so it gave the bike a unique two speed transmission.  The original Dream had no clutch lever.  It had a heel-toe shifter that when pushed down by the toe would put the bike into first.  Letting go of the shifter returned it to neutral.  And pressing down and back with the heel would shift it into second.  The flaw in the design was that the shifter had to be continuously depressed to keep it in first gear.  In 1951 Honda introduced its first four-stroke motorcycle, the E-Type Dream.

The following year Honda began exporting their motorcycles.  In 1955 Honda became the largest motorcycle manufacturer in Japan; by 1959 they were the largest in the world.  The company established the American Honda Motor Company in 1959.  Honda launched their U.S. efforts with three model families, the Dream, Benly and Super Cub.  Piper Aircraft held the trademark on the Super Cub name in America, so Honda called the model the Honda 50 in the U.S.

You Meet The Nicest People On A Honda

When Honda launched its sales efforts in America the market was only about one tenth of the Japanese market, with total U.S. sales hovering between 50,000 to 60,000 units per year.  Part of the reason for the anemic motorcycle sales in the U.S. was attributed to the negative reputation associated with motorcycles and bikers in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  Much of the general public viewed motorcycle shops as dark, dirty places with oil stained floors and bikers as leather clad outlaws.

To counter that prejudice Honda turned to Grey Advertising agency in 1962.  The ad men came up with one of the most successful campaigns in advertising history.  The slogan “You meet the nicest people on a Honda,” was accompanied by photos of well dressed couples, parents with children and even pets riding a Honda 50.  The print ads appeared in magazines like Life, Look and the Saturday Evening Post.  In 1964 Honda aired a television version of “the nicest people” campaign during the Academy Awards telecast, becoming the first foreign company, and first motorcycle manufacturer, to sponsor the event.  After the commercial aired Honda was inundated with requests from people who wanted to start Honda dealerships and from other companies to use the Honda 50 in their own ad campaigns.

Notable Honda Models

You don’t get to be the world’s leading motorcycle manufacturer without a few innovations and memorable models.  Honda has its share, as evidenced by the inclusion of 15 Honda models in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.  We’ll look at just of few Honda’s most notable models here, including a couple not in that Hall of Fame.

The Super Cub/Honda 50

Introduced in 1955, and still marketed in several countries today, the Honda Super Cub has been called the two wheeled Model T.  Since its debut Honda has sold over 60 million units.  Marketed in the U.S. as the Honda 50, early marketing brochures referred to it as “the thrifty, nifty Honda 50.”

The Super Cub/Honda 50 was powered by an air cooled, single cylinder, 49 cc, OHV engine.  The bike had a step-through chassis and retailed for $250 in the U.S.

Honda Super Cub

The Dream CB750 Four

During 1969, which has been called the Year of the Super Bike, Honda introduced its transverse mounted four cylinder engine on the Dream CB750.  The CB750 generated 67 horsepower and won the Daytona in 1970.

Honda CB750 Four

The CR250M Elisnore

Honda paid actor and motorcycle and auto racer Steve McQueen $1 million to appear a commercial introducing the CR250M.  The bike took its name, Elisnore, from the Grand Prix race in California.  But there are two more notable elements surrounding the CR250M.  Honda had not produced a motorcycle with a two-stroke engine since the 1952 Cub F-Type.  Soichiro Honda himself had publicly stated, “Honda will never build a two-stroke motorcycle.”

A group of Honda engineers had been lobbying the company to get into motocross, and they were tasked with developing a new four-stroke motocross bike.  But after hours they secretly were working a new two-stroke engine.  They entered the first version of the bike in a motocross race, and were outed by the press.  The engineers had little choice but to go to the Old Man, who gave his blessing to the project by saying, “It had better be the best two-stroke bike in the world.”

Between 1974 and 2004 the Honda motocross team 13 AMA Championships on the CR250M.  The bike was introduced in dealerships in 1973.

The CBX Super Sport

Honda had used a six cylinder engine on its Grand Prix races in the mid 1960s, but it wasn’t until 1979 that introduced a six for consumers, the CBX Super Sport.  The 1,0477 cc engine had six carburetors, 24 valves and a top speed of 140 mph.  The bike never really caught on with the general bike buying public and was discontinued in 1982.

The Gold Wing

The top of the line touring motorcycle is the Honda Gold Wing.  Introduced for the 1975 model year the Gold Wing sports a four cylinder engine and a full line of touring luxuries, including sound system, electric reverse and an optional airbag system which was introduced in  2007.  The Gold Wing was produced at Honda’s Marysville, Ohio plant from 1979 through 2009 when Honda closed the plant.

2012 Honda Gold Wing

The Fury

In what many saw as a surprise move, Honda introduced the first true factory chopper for the 2010 model year, the Fury.  With its 38 degree rake and skinny fork, the Fury looks like a custom.

2012 Honda Fury

Honda Today

Honda continues its dominance in the international motorcycle marketplace.  Its 2012 lineup includes nine families of street bikes and three in the off road sector.

Honda categorizes its street machines as:

Touring:                       Gold Wing

Sport Touring:             ST1300 and NT700V

Adventure:                  NC700X

Cruisers:                     The Shadow and Rebel lines

Chopper:                     Fury

Sport:                          VFR, CBR and CB models

Motard:                       CRF230M

Dual Sport:                  XR and CRF models

 

Honda’s off road lineup includes:

Dual Sport:                  XR and CRF models

Trail:                            CRF models

Motocross:                  CRF models

17,770 Dealers each selling on average 805 units in 2012

Urban Science estimates that the average number of new-vehicle sales per dealership will increase to 805 units this year.

That is based on projected year-end sales of 14.3 million new vehicles. Even if sales come in at 14 million for 2012, dealerships would still sell an average of 788 vehicles this year, said John Frith, vice president of retail channel solutions for Urban Science.

Either would be an all-time high, Frith said, surpassing the current record of 784 vehicles sold per dealership in 2005. Per-store sales dipped to 564 units in 2009, as U.S. sales collapsed during the recession.

As of June 30, there were 17,770 dealerships in the United States, a net increase of three stores since the beginning of the year. In 2011, the number of dealerships rose by 108 stores, a nearly 1 percent increase. Until 2011, the U.S. dealership count typically experienced a 2 percent annual decline, Urban Science says.

While the number of dealerships rose slightly, the number of franchises declined 1 percent to 29,233.

But 85 percent of the market areas across the United States experienced no change in dealership numbers, vs. 60 percent before the recession, Frith said. Add in markets that added or lost just a single rooftop, and 97 percent of all U.S. market areas were stable, he said. That stability bodes well for the next few years.

“We seem to be settling in about 17,770” dealerships in the United States, he said. “We’ll probably stay there for a little bit.”

2013 Toyota Camry Review

Those looking for the crown jewel of reliability, fuel efficiency and a great overall car, the 2013 Toyota Camry is the car to buy. In fact, “Camry” in Japanese translates to “crown.” For the 2013 Toyota Camry model year, virtually everything has been changed. Toyota engineers decided to revamp the Camry from bumper to bumper. It really shows because everything is more efficient and has made the 2013 Toyota a much better product. As some car enthusiasts put it, the 2013 Toyota has only built upon its Toyota reliability and has become the industry leader in the four-door, mid-size sedan class. In fact, the fully re-designed 2013 Toyota Camry will only keep it on top and further catapult it into converting more sales.

2013 Toyota Camry Exterior

Compared to other models, the 2013 Camry might be slightly lacking compared to some cars in limited respects, but when it comes to features that really matter, the Camry comes out on top by leaps and bounds. When looking at the Hyundai Sonata’s YF, the Camry is said to be slightly aesthetically challenged, however, that is a subjective comparison. When it comes to features that really matter, the Camry has it all over its competitors such as the 2013 Hyundai Sonata YF, the 2013 Honda Accord, the 2013 Ford Fusion because it offers a more comprehensive design, selection of safety, comfort and convenience features along with its ultra-competitive prices.

Looking at the 2013 Toyota Camry, one will see that it is a midsize sedan offering a spacious interior featuring plush and forgiving seating. This year’s Camry model has both a conventional gas model and two versions of the gas-electric hybrid models. Both hybrid engine options feature 6-speed automatic transmissions that feature manual type controls that are fully adjustable through its floor-based shift lever. Industry experts believe the availability of the two new gas-electric hybrid models will enable Toyota to further expand its Camry dominance in the growing hybrid market.

When it comes to conventional gas models, the base 2013 Camry model features front-wheel drive and a 6-speed automatic transmission. The standard trim also packs a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 178 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. The four cylinder engine produces ample power for this comfortable sedan, yet its efficient engine gives great fuel efficiency of 25 miles per gallon around town and 35 miles per gallon on the freeway. Reviewers have tested the 2013 Camry on the road and are happy to report that it is very agile, turns on a dime and takes off like a rocket for a family sedan, going from zero to 60 in only 8.1 seconds.

If one desires to upgrade their Camry with a little more power, higher trim options offer consumers a 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine that pumps out 268 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque. This engine is perfect for cruising fun on country roads or highways. This engine takes drivers from zero to 60 in 6.6 seconds. However, it is still a fuel sipper when taking into account the almost 50 percent increase in the engine size because it gets 21 miles per gallon in the city, 30 miles per gallon on the highway, for a combined mpg rating of 25.

Different trims have different wheel options. The L and LE trim models have 16-inch diameter wheels, while the XLE trim model and four-cylinder SE trim model both have 17-inch wheels standard, and the six-cylinder SE models have 18-inch wheels.

Regardless of the model or trim level chosen, the 2013 Toyota is very generous with options including: the Entune, which is an upgraded audio system from previous year’s models. It combines a fully setup suite to integrate one’s smartphone via Bluetooth with the Pandora music system and the Bing-supported search engine control panel. When it comes to music, one has the option of listening to satellite radio or hooking up their iPod either wirelessly or through the standard iPod connect. The Entune system is fully integrated with Internet service that offers drivers and passengers alike the ability to search for their favorite destination, restaurant, etc.

The 2013 Camry is loaded with safety features, building upon past standard features. This year’s model includes the following safety features: side and curtain airbags as part of a comprehensive 10 airbag standard design, a passive stability control system, traction control and door panel controls that are able to be moved higher. Pillars are now sleeker because past models had thicker designs which clouded the view, getting in the way of driving safely. Other safety features include anti-lock brakes with brake assist and a blind-spot monitoring system to ensure one can keep their eyes safely on the road.

When taking a survey of the Camry’s interior, one really sees the value of this car. Depending on the model one chooses, options include luxurious cloth covered seats with a leather accented shift knob to complete leather seats, console and dashboard. Toyota has really stepped it up and offered its customers a wide variety of options to cater to a wide variety of tastes.

2013 Toyota Camry Interior

When it comes to pricing, the Camry is very competitive and is priced to go toe to toe with the competition. Available in four different trim levels, starting with the L, and moving higher in price with the LE, SE, and XLE models, it ranges anywhere from $22,055 to $22,995 to as much as $24,775. Obviously, price will vary upon one’s own geographic location, negotiations and any potential discounts and/or trade-ins.

As one can see from the review of the 2013 Camry, Toyota is continuing its improvements on the interior greatly, but has not forgotten the exterior with minimal adjustments to its already classic, yet modern exterior. Toyota does have competition from both domestic and foreign car makers that have similar sized and designed cars, but as one can see from their 2013 models, the only thing Toyota has to worry about is subjective aesthetic challenges; when it comes to what is under the hood and within the interior, the competition has nothing to show.