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2015 Honda Cr-z


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How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.
Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.
Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you check it out to simplify your research process.
Learn more about how we rate and review cars here .
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Senior Editor, The Car Connection
2015 pricing not available.
Quick Take
By John Voelcker
If you want small, fun, and fuel-efficient, there are other options to consider, but if you’re looking for a two-seat hybrid hatchback coupe, the 2015 Honda CR-Z is really your only choice. Read more »
Likes
Only small hybrid with stick shift
‘Boost’ mode adds power jolt
Dislikes
Fuel efficiency not all that high
Ride deteriorates on rough roads
CVT hurts any pretense of sporty driving
Please enter your ZIP code to see used listings.
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Features
Mileage
Once you pull open the somewhat heavy door, a novel interior design awaits, a kind of cost-conscious, Honda-type attempt to deliver the arty style of a Mini or Fiat 500.
Edmunds »
While the production CR-Z lacks some of the muscularity of the concept, it still looks like nothing else on the road; that large, imposing grille and upslanting headlights start a design motif that finishes with a bold swish for a C-pillar and a sculptured rear deck.
2011 Honda CR-Z Specifications Check Inventory
The Basics:
The Honda CR-Z is a niche car that’s never really found its niche: a sporty, fuel-efficient car that’s neither very sporty nor terribly fuel-efficient, it straddles two very different categories. Its small size and two-seat interior are also turnoffs to some, as it isn’t as useful as other small hatchbacks. It has always seeemed to be a car in search of a very specific customer.
As its name suggests, the CR-Z was intended as a followup to the beloved Honda CR-X, a small Civic-based hatchback that put an emphasis on handling and low weight. The CR-Z was to take that car’s concept, add a simple hybrid powertrain for fuel economy, and keep the fun dream alive. Unfortunately, modern safety and the hybrid powertrain added a lot of weight, and the feeling that resulted just couldn’t compare to the CRX, a car from another era entirely. So the CR-Z ends up as neither fish nor fowl. By today’s standards, it’s a tiny car for just two people, with almost no cargo space. But its gas mileage–rated by the EPA at 37 mpg combined for the more fuel-efficient model–isn’t all that good. In fact, it’s walloped by the 50-mpg combined rating of the larger, more capacious Toyota Prius.
The CR-Z’s engine is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder unit that’s paired with a 15-kilowatt (20-horsepower) electric motor sandwiched between the engine and transmission. A 2013 upgrade boosted the output to 130 horsepower, and the six-speed manual version now has rated torque of 140 lb-ft. CR-Zs now also include a boost function: a “Plus Sport System” lets the driver press a steering-wheel button marked “S+” that directs the motor to deliver an extra jolt of electric torque for up to 5 seconds if the battery’s charge is sufficient. The battery pack uses lithium-ion cells–the CR-Z was the last Honda to make the switch–which are lighter and have higher energy density than the nickel-metal-hydride pack used in early CR-Zs.
To address some of the criticism that the CR-Z isn’t quite sporty enough–finally–Honda will begin offering a kit that should go a long way toward transforming the car’s character. For CR-Zs equipped with the manual transmission, the Honda Performance Development (HPD) kit includes a supercharger for the engine, an HPD clutch, a limited-slip differential, new front brakes, a sport suspension, 18-inch wheels, a sport exhaust, and several aero and dress-up parts. Engine output climbs to 187 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque. For CVT-equipped models, the engine is left alone but the other dynamic and aesthetic improvements apply. It’s likely that fuel economy will suffer a bit, swinging the CR-Z’s balance farther toward sport, but since it’s a dealer-installed kit, the setup doesn’t get tested by the EPA.
The Honda CR-Z’s styling blends elements of the classic CRX–long hood, long doors, not much behind that–with a few cues from the first-generation Insight hybrid two-seater. Those include the narrowing tail and the extra vertical rear window in the hatch. It’s a good-looking car from most angles, but its sporty looks aren’t adequately backed up by its driving character.
Inside, the two-tier instrument panel uses bright colors to convey vehicle operating information as well as the usual speed and engine revs. The seats are well bolstered, although a number of reviewers have suffered back aches as a result of their limited range of adjustment.
The 2015 CR-Z weighs 2,600 pounds–fully 700 pounds more than the CRX of 30 years ago–and its fuel efficiency ratings are notably lower than those of the original (much slower) Insight. It has a full complement of airbags for two people, and its longer front end reflects considerably more robust crash structures. The old CRX had no airbags and would likely be horrifying in today’s tougher crash tests.
Fuel efficiency depends on the transmission you choose. Get the continuously variable transmission (CVT), and the car is rated a combined 37 mpg (36 mpg city, 39 mpg highway). It’s also available with a six-speed manual gearbox–making it one of very few hybrids indeed with a stick–which gives it a sportier driving character, but reduces mileage to 34 mpg combined (31 mpg city, 38 mpg highway).
The CR-Z’s challenge is that there are sportier cars out there, but there are also more fuel-efficient models. The Chevrolet Sonic and updated-for-2014 Ford Fiesta are both five-door subcompact hatchbacks that offer more space and real-world fuel efficiency in the low 30s for less money. If you want sporty, there’s the Fiat 500 Abarth, the Chevy Sonic RS, the Ford Fiesta ST, and the standard Mazda 2. Or if you’re all about fuel efficiency, four separate Toyota Prius models are all rated higher than the CR-Z–though none of them are remotely sporty. The CR-Z has suffered from this betwixt-and-between identity since its launch, and sales have been correspondingly low.
Likes:
Only small hybrid with stick shift
‘Boost’ mode adds power jolt
Superb gauge, display graphics

For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.thecarconnection.com/overview/honda_cr-z_2015

Volvo V60

2015 Volvo V60

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new car reviews for this model by our editors
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2015
The Volvo V60, which showed up at dealerships very early in 2014 as a 2015 model, marks the return of the traditional Volvo wagon back into the U.S. market. But it’s far from the boxy Volvo wagons of the Seventies and Eighties. Instead, it’s now a low, sleek sporty wagon version of the current mid-size Volvo S60 sedan, which was launched in 2010 as a new design. It’s offered in three different… Read More Below »
New & Used Volvo V60: In Depth
By
2015 Volvo V60 MSRP From: $35,300 Specifications Get Free Price Quote
The Volvo V60, which showed up at dealerships very early in 2014 as a 2015 model, marks the return of the traditional Volvo wagon back into the U.S. market. But it’s far from the boxy Volvo wagons of the Seventies and Eighties. Instead, it’s now a low, sleek sporty wagon version of the current mid-size Volvo S60 sedan, which was launched in 2010 as a new design. It’s offered in three different powertrains, including front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and a high-performance sportier version.
But its relatively cramped rear seat and not-very-impressive cargo volume mean that it’s closer in spirit to European sport wagons from Audi, BMW, and Volkswagen than it is to its own ancestors. Volvo says it’s for buyers who want a versatile vehicle that retains the handling of a sport sedan, and the company has relatively modest volume targets for the car–although it says customers have reacted enthusiastically to the return of the traditional (non-crossover) Volvo wagon.
MORE: See our 2015 Volvo V60 review page
If you want cargo space and hauling capacity, this is probably not the Volvo for you–look toward the Swedish brand’s three different utility vehicles. The V60’s sleek, descending roofline and angled tailgate provide just 43 cubic feet of volume for luggage after you’ve folded down the rear seat, far less than in Volvo’s related XC60 crossover. The rear seat is split into three segments–40/20/40–and provides a pass-through for skis, but like its S60 sedan sibling, the V60 is tight for four adults.
As launched for 2015, the $35,300 base V60 T5 uses Volvo’s new “Drive-E” direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It generates 240 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and drives the front wheels only through a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Volvo notes that the Drive-E engine has an “overboost” mode, in which its turbocharger can boost torque to 280 lb-ft under hard acceleration for up to 10 seconds. This is the V60 model with the fastest acceleration: Volvo quotes a 0-to-60-mph time of just 6.1 seconds.
The middle of the V60 range is the T5 AWD model, which pairs an older 250-hp five-cylinder engine to a six-speed automatic and the company’s all-wheel-drive system. It starts at $36,800. Finally, the T6 R-Design offers the most powerful engine in the range, a 325-hp in-line six that’s also paired with all-wheel drive, starting at $44,300.
Ultimately, Volvo will migrate all of its vehicle lines to the new and highly efficient Drive-E engine family, but for the moment, its use in the go to website S60 and V60 will be restricted to front-wheel-drive models only due to packaging constraints in a platform that’s now in its sixth model year. That engine now includes a start-stop system as standard–it’s very quick on the restart, which we applaud. All V60 models offer three drive modes: Normal, Sport, and Eco+, which cuts off the air conditioning and remaps the throttle and transmission for more efficient performance.
Fuel efficiency for the new V60 is at its best with the Drive-E engine and front-wheel drive, at 29 mpg combined (25 mpg city, 37 mpg highway). The T5 AWD model comes in at 25 mpg combined, and the T6 R-Design at 23 mpg combined. A moonroof is standard equipment on all Volvo V60 models.
Volvo introduced models with the new Sensus Connect infotainment system as ‘2015.5’ models, so as to differentiate them in lots. The new system in the 2015.5 Volvo S60 includes Volvo On-call concierge and roadside-assistance services, cloud-based services, 3D maps for the navigation system, and new Harman Kardon premium sound. 
Gallery

For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.thecarconnection.com/cars/volvo_v60

2014 Hyundai Veloster

2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec

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new car reviews for this model by our editors
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We’ll send you an email whenever there’s new information about the Hyundai Veloster.
Alert Me!
Thank you! We will notify you when reviews, news, and incentives are released for this vehicle.
 
How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.
Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.
Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.
Learn more about how we rate and review cars here .
?
Deputy Editor, The Car Connection
BASE INVOICE
Quick Take
By Bengt Halvorson
The 2014 Hyundai Veloster is more sporty coupe than sports car; but with available turbo power and a standout three-door design it isn’t short on excitement and flair. Read more »
Likes
Way more practicality than most sports cars
New R-Spec realizes Turbo’s potential
Dislikes
Sluggish off the line (base engine)
Steering can be vague; on Turbos, heavy
Please enter your ZIP code to see used listings.
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$17,800 $23,300
3-Door Coupe Manual w/Black Int
Gas Mileage
26 mpg City/35 mpg Hwy
Engine
Regular Unleaded I-4, 1.6 L
EPA Class
Choose a Style Below for Colors and Options
STYLE
3-Door Coupe Manual w/Black Int
Regular Unleaded I-4, 1.6 L
Front Wheel Drive
3-Door Coupe Automatic w/Black Int
Regular Unleaded I-4, 1.6 L
Front Wheel Drive
3-Door Coupe Manual w/Gray Int
Regular Unleaded I-4, 1.6 L
Front Wheel Drive
3-Door Coupe Automatic w/Gray Int
Regular Unleaded I-4, 1.6 L
Front Wheel Drive
More Styles »
The Basics:
The 2014 Hyundai Veloster carries multiple identities; it’s at once a sporty coupe, a stylish three-door hatchback with innovative packaging, and a model that can almost provide the driving experience of a sports car, At best it’s a superhero of sorts, and at worst it’s a car that ends up feeling a little compromised in all those roles. 
For the 2014 model year, the Veloster gets closer to the sports-car label—with the new 2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec, a leaner, stripped-down version of the Veloster Turbo that’s configured for those who want a big step up in performance from the base model but could do without all the extra comfort and convenience features.
Relative to the Veloster Turbo, the Turbo R-Spec gets a stiffer suspension, different steering tuning, and a B&M sport shifter. Sportier interior trim and special badging are part of the new model’s presentation, and it’s offered only in Marathon Blue, Sprint Gray (exclusive to the R-Spec), Elite White and Ultra Black
The Veloster remains mostly unchanged otherwise; and that’s a good thing. As a synthesis of different types of vehicles, it’s daring when its competition isn’t, and that starts with its grabby, sport-shoe styling and arresting look that erupts from its unconventional four-door layout. There’s a hatch in back, a driver-side door, and two smaller front-hinged doors on the passenger side. Only in the most generic way does it mimic some of the shapes of the Accent and Elantra that it borrows parts from. Altogether it’s distinctive and energetic, with lots of disruptive lines and surfaces that never seems to run out of ways to entertain owners and onlookers. Inside, the Veloster is nearly as much of a trendsetter; it’s put a V-neck on the Veloster’s dash and tucked a big LCD locket in the middle—avoiding the clutter, and reconciling sporty and functional.
At the base level, the Veloster’s 138-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine has been cribbed from the Veloster. On that model, it’s teamed with a six-speed manual or a dual-clutch automatic, and they’re both good enough for us to say that you should leave it to personal preference. It’s a little short on torque off the line, but its EPA highway fuel economy of 37 mpg highway is excellent, and we saw more than 30 mpg in an extended test. Go for the Veloster Turbo and it’s a different story entirely; it packs a twin-scroll turbocharger for 201 hp in all, a 195-lb-ft blast of torque on tap at low engine speeds, and a choice between six-speed manual and paddle-shifted automatic transmissions. good for 0-60 mph times of about 7.0 seconds or less, with just a slight crimp in gas-mileage numbers.
To fit the Turbo’s greater power, these models get stronger brakes and stickier tires—which helps improve the Veloster’s handling in general. We’re not wild about the electric power steering; it’s low on feedback, and weighty when it doesn’t need to be, but it doesn’t disrupt the Veloster’s generally flat, crisp cornering, which gets unsettled only if it’s pitched over bad sections of pavement.
The Veloster is quite spacious up front for two, even with the available sunroof or panoramic roof. As for the back seat and that catchy side door, they’re more playful than practical. Anyone greater than child-size is going to find it tight back expert car care there. The Veloster just isn’t meant to be a four-person commuter; think of it instead as a versatile two-door hatch, with rear seats that fold down easily to create a very useful cargo area. And there are plenty of bins, cubbies, and nooks for stowing away smaller items.
At a base price of well under $19k, the 2014 Veloster stands out for its generous list of standard features for the money. Audio features on all Velosters include a USB/iPod interface, RCA inputs, Bluetooth hands-free, and GraceNote music display technology that allows you to request music with voice commands. Upgrades on the Turbo model, which starts around $23k, include leather seats, big wheels and tires, a rearview camera, and more. Options include a huge panoramic sunroof, a navigation system, upgraded wheels, and a 115-volt outlet. Automatic climate control is newly optional in the Turbo for 2014, and daytime running lights are a standard feature across the model line. And as part of the Blue Link suite of services, the Hyundai Assurance Connected Care service is included for three years regardless of the level of subscription.
If you opt for the edgy Turbo R-Spec, you’ll do without some features. Push-button start and proximity key; the electroluminescent instrument cluster, side-mirror turn signals, and leather heated seats are among the many items deleted in this focused performance model.
 
Way more practicality than most sports cars
New R-Spec realizes Turbo’s potential
Blue Link is standard, impressive
Great grip and poise
Sluggish off the line (base engine)
Steering can be vague; on Turbos, heavy
Ride isn’t always delightful

For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.thecarconnection.com/overview/hyundai_veloster_2014

2014 Hyundai Veloster

2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec

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Ask me later
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We’ll send you an email whenever there’s new information about the Hyundai Veloster.
Alert Me!
Thank you! We will notify you when reviews, news, and incentives are released for this vehicle.
What will I get by subscribing to email updates?
At The Car Connection we are continually striving to get you timely, relevant information about the vehicle you are interested in. Our email updates will notify you whenever we have new information on this vehicle.
For example:
new car reviews for this model by our editors
news including price changes, new models, or recall info
new incentives and rebates that are being offered for this vehicle
Our goal is to keep you informed as you research!
We’ll send you an email whenever there’s new information about the Hyundai Veloster.
Alert Me!
Thank you! We will notify you when reviews, news, and incentives are released for this vehicle.
 
How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.
Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.
Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.
Learn more about how we rate and review cars here .
?
Deputy Editor, The Car Connection
BASE INVOICE
Quick Take
By Bengt Halvorson
The 2014 Hyundai Veloster is more sporty coupe than sports car; but with available turbo power and a standout three-door design it isn’t short on excitement and flair. Read more »
Likes
Way more practicality than most sports cars
New R-Spec realizes Turbo’s potential
Dislikes
Sluggish off the line (base engine)
Steering can be vague; on Turbos, heavy
Please enter your ZIP code to see used listings.
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$17,800 $23,300
3-Door Coupe Manual w/Black Int
Gas Mileage
26 mpg City/35 mpg Hwy
Engine
Regular Unleaded I-4, 1.6 L
EPA Class
Choose a Style Below for Colors and Options
STYLE
3-Door Coupe Manual w/Black Int
Regular Unleaded I-4, 1.6 L
Front Wheel Drive
3-Door Coupe Automatic w/Black Int
Regular Unleaded I-4, 1.6 L
Front Wheel Drive
3-Door Coupe Manual w/Gray Int
Regular Unleaded I-4, 1.6 L
Front Wheel Drive
3-Door Coupe Automatic w/Gray Int
Regular Unleaded I-4, 1.6 L
Front Wheel Drive
More Styles »
The Basics:
The 2014 Hyundai Veloster carries multiple identities; it’s at once a sporty coupe, a stylish three-door hatchback with innovative packaging, and a model that can almost provide the driving experience of a sports car, At best it’s a superhero of sorts, and at worst it’s a car that ends up feeling a little compromised in all those roles. 
For the 2014 model year, the Veloster gets closer to the sports-car label—with the new 2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec, a leaner, stripped-down version of the Veloster Turbo that’s configured for those who want a big step up in performance from the base model but could do without all the extra comfort and convenience features.
Relative to the Veloster Turbo, the Turbo R-Spec gets a stiffer suspension, different steering tuning, and a B&M sport shifter. Sportier interior trim and special badging are part of the new model’s presentation, and it’s offered only in Marathon Blue, Sprint Gray (exclusive to the R-Spec), Elite White and Ultra Black
The Veloster remains mostly unchanged otherwise; and that’s a good thing. As a synthesis of different types of vehicles, it’s daring when its competition isn’t, and that starts with its grabby, sport-shoe styling and arresting look that erupts from its unconventional four-door layout. There’s a hatch in back, a driver-side door, and two smaller front-hinged doors on the passenger side. Only in the most generic way does it mimic some of the shapes of the Accent and Elantra that it borrows parts from. Altogether it’s distinctive and energetic, with lots of disruptive lines and surfaces that never seems to run out of ways to entertain owners and onlookers. Inside, the Veloster is nearly as much of a trendsetter; it’s put a V-neck on the Veloster’s dash and tucked a big LCD locket in the middle—avoiding the clutter, and reconciling sporty and functional.
At the base level, the Veloster’s 138-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine has been cribbed from the Veloster. On that model, it’s teamed with a six-speed manual or a dual-clutch automatic, and they’re both good enough for us to say that you should leave it to personal preference. It’s a little short on torque off the line, but its EPA highway fuel economy of 37 mpg highway is excellent, and we saw more than 30 mpg in an extended test. Go for the Veloster Turbo and it’s a different story entirely; it packs a twin-scroll turbocharger for 201 hp in all, a 195-lb-ft blast of torque on tap at low engine speeds, and a choice between six-speed manual and paddle-shifted automatic transmissions. good for 0-60 mph times of about 7.0 seconds or less, with just a slight crimp in gas-mileage numbers.
To fit the Turbo’s greater power, these models get stronger brakes and stickier tires—which helps improve the Veloster’s handling in general. We’re not wild about the electric power steering; it’s low on feedback, and weighty when it doesn’t need to be, but it doesn’t disrupt the Veloster’s generally flat, crisp cornering, which gets unsettled only if it’s pitched over bad sections of pavement.
The Veloster is quite spacious up front for two, even with the available sunroof or panoramic roof. As for the back seat and that catchy side door, they’re more playful than practical. Anyone greater than child-size is going to find it tight back expert car care there. The Veloster just isn’t meant to be a four-person commuter; think of it instead as a versatile two-door hatch, with rear seats that fold down easily to create a very useful cargo area. And there are plenty of bins, cubbies, and nooks for stowing away smaller items.
At a base price of well under $19k, the 2014 Veloster stands out for its generous list of standard features for the money. Audio features on all Velosters include a USB/iPod interface, RCA inputs, Bluetooth hands-free, and GraceNote music display technology that allows you to request music with voice commands. Upgrades on the Turbo model, which starts around $23k, include leather seats, big wheels and tires, a rearview camera, and more. Options include a huge panoramic sunroof, a navigation system, upgraded wheels, and a 115-volt outlet. Automatic climate control is newly optional in the Turbo for 2014, and daytime running lights are a standard feature across the model line. And as part of the Blue Link suite of services, the Hyundai Assurance Connected Care service is included for three years regardless of the level of subscription.
If you opt for the edgy Turbo R-Spec, you’ll do without some features. Push-button start and proximity key; the electroluminescent instrument cluster, side-mirror turn signals, and leather heated seats are among the many items deleted in this focused performance model.
 
Way more practicality than most sports cars
New R-Spec realizes Turbo’s potential
Blue Link is standard, impressive
Great grip and poise
Sluggish off the line (base engine)
Steering can be vague; on Turbos, heavy
Ride isn’t always delightful

For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.thecarconnection.com/overview/hyundai_veloster_2014

Judge Cuts Hyundai’s Fine To $73 Million In Montana Wrongful Death Suit

Judge Cuts Hyundai’s Fine To $73 Million In Montana Wrongful Death Suit
Judge Cuts Hyundai’s Fine To $73 Million In Montana Wrongful Death Suit
By
2,019 views Sep 24, 2014
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In May of this year, a jury in Montana ruled against Hyundai , siding with the families of two teenage boys who died in a 2005 Hyundai Tiburon. The jury set a massive, $240 million penalty, which Hyundai subsequently appealed.
According to Auto News , the judge in the case has now cut that fine by about two-thirds, to $73 million. Will Hyundai appeal again?
READ: 2015 North American Car And Truck/SUV Of The Year: Short List Announced
BACKSTORY
The families of cousins Trevor and Tanner Olson claimed that the Tiburon Trevor drove had a defective steering knuckle. That defect, they alleged, led to the fatal collision that killed not only the Olsons, but also Stephanie Nicole Parker-Shepherd, a passenger in a vehicle that the Tiburon hit.
However, there are some complicating facts in the case:
Hyundai did, in fact, issue a recall for the Tiburon in 2005. While it’s still unclear whether the Olson’s vehicle was affected by that recall, we do know that the recall didn’t involve the steering knuckle.
That said, the steering knuckle on the Tiburon wasn’t trouble-free. Hyundai admits that it received 127 warranty reports related to problems with steering knuckles. So, even though the Tiburon’s steering may not have been “officially” defective, there’s evidence to suggest that it was flawed. Whether it caused the collision is up for debate, since defective or not, steering knuckles often break in high-speed collisions.
There’s some question as to whether the teenagers’ recklessness might’ve facilitated the accident. Though it’s often a terrible idea to blame the victim in court cases, Hyundai alleges that fireworks went off in the vehicle prior to the crash, and tests suggest that the company might be right. Also, it’s clear that the teens weren’t wearing seatbelts at the time, which doesn’t paint a picture of careful, law-abiding drivers.
Despite those doubts, the jury found in favor of the plaintiffs. It set a fine of $240 million — the largest penalty ever issued against Hyundai and three times larger than the plaintiffs had sought. That figure is over and above the $8.1 million in real damages awarded to the Olsons’ families.
ALSO SEE: Uh-Oh: Police Radar Guns Could Soon Tell If You’re Texting, Too
MORE RECENTLY
Hyundai appealed the ruling, and Judge Deborah Kim Christopher has scaled back the punitive damages to $73 million, which is more in line with what the Olsons had originally wanted. Paired with the existing $8.1 million in actual damages, that put Hyundai’s payout at just over $81 million.
Hyundai still wasn’t satisfied, though, pointing to the fact that Montana caps punitive damages at $10 million. In response, Judge Christopher said that the state’s monetary cap was unconstitutional. Furthermore, she alleged that Hyundai has exhibited a decade-long pattern of negligence with its vehicles, which justified the higher fine. (And in fairness, that’s the sort of things that punitive damages were meant to address.)
Hyundai plans to appeal once again, insisting that Montana’s cap on punitive damages is, in fact, quite legal. Hyundai’s Jim Trainor issued this statement:
“Hyundai believes the rulings are erroneous and constitute an extreme outlier in the law on punitive damages. Virtually every other state court that has considered the constitutionality of punitive damages caps has held that such laws do not violate the jury trial right because the jury’s fact-finding function is preserved. Nationally, both state and federal courts consistently have upheld the constitutionality of punitive damages caps. With these rulings and the other erroneous rulings made at trial, Hyundai looks forward to its appeal in this matter.”
We’ll keep you posted as the appeal progresses.
___________________________________________

Judge Cuts Hyundai’s Fine To $73 Million In Montana Wrongful Death Suit

Judge Cuts Hyundai’s Fine To $73 Million In Montana Wrongful Death Suit
Judge Cuts Hyundai’s Fine To $73 Million In Montana Wrongful Death Suit
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2,019 views Sep 24, 2014
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In May of this year, a jury in Montana ruled against Hyundai , siding with the families of two teenage boys who died in a 2005 Hyundai Tiburon. The jury set a massive, $240 million penalty, which Hyundai subsequently appealed.
According to Auto News , the judge in the case has now cut that fine by about two-thirds, to $73 million. Will Hyundai appeal again?
READ: 2015 North American Car And Truck/SUV Of The Year: Short List Announced
BACKSTORY
The families of cousins Trevor and Tanner Olson claimed that the Tiburon Trevor drove had a defective steering knuckle. That defect, they alleged, led to the fatal collision that killed not only the Olsons, but also Stephanie Nicole Parker-Shepherd, a passenger in a vehicle that the Tiburon hit.
However, there are some complicating facts in the case:
Hyundai did, in fact, issue a recall for the Tiburon in 2005. While it’s still unclear whether the Olson’s vehicle was affected by that recall, we do know that the recall didn’t involve the steering knuckle.
That said, the steering knuckle on the Tiburon wasn’t trouble-free. Hyundai admits that it received 127 warranty reports related to problems with steering knuckles. So, even though the Tiburon’s steering may not have been “officially” defective, there’s evidence to suggest that it was flawed. Whether it caused the collision is up for debate, since defective or not, steering knuckles often break in high-speed collisions.
There’s some question as to whether the teenagers’ recklessness might’ve facilitated the accident. Though it’s often a terrible idea to blame the victim in court cases, Hyundai alleges that fireworks went off in the vehicle prior to the crash, and tests suggest that the company might be right. Also, it’s clear that the teens weren’t wearing seatbelts at the time, which doesn’t paint a picture of careful, law-abiding drivers.
Despite those doubts, the jury found in favor of the plaintiffs. It set a fine of $240 million — the largest penalty ever issued against Hyundai and three times larger than the plaintiffs had sought. That figure is over and above the $8.1 million in real damages awarded to the Olsons’ families.
ALSO SEE: Uh-Oh: Police Radar Guns Could Soon Tell If You’re Texting, Too
MORE RECENTLY
Hyundai appealed the ruling, and Judge Deborah Kim Christopher has scaled back the punitive damages to $73 million, which is more in line with what the Olsons had originally wanted. Paired with the existing $8.1 million in actual damages, that put Hyundai’s payout at just over $81 million.
Hyundai still wasn’t satisfied, though, pointing to the fact that Montana caps punitive damages at $10 million. In response, Judge Christopher said that the state’s monetary cap was unconstitutional. Furthermore, she alleged that Hyundai has exhibited a decade-long pattern of negligence with its vehicles, which justified the higher fine. (And in fairness, that’s the sort of things that punitive damages were meant to address.)
Hyundai plans to appeal once again, insisting that Montana’s cap on punitive damages is, in fact, quite legal. Hyundai’s Jim Trainor issued this statement:
“Hyundai believes the rulings are erroneous and constitute an extreme outlier in the law on punitive damages. Virtually every other state court that has considered the constitutionality of punitive damages caps has held that such laws do not violate the jury trial right because the jury’s fact-finding function is preserved. Nationally, both state and federal courts consistently have upheld the constitutionality of punitive damages caps. With these rulings and the other erroneous rulings made at trial, Hyundai looks forward to its appeal in this matter.”
We’ll keep you posted as the appeal progresses.
___________________________________________

2014 Toyota Sienna Recalled For Potential Rollaway Issue


2014 Toyota Sienna Recalled For Potential Rollaway Issue
2014 Toyota Sienna Recalled For Potential Rollaway Issue
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7 views Aug 6, 2014
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Slideshow
In some 2014 Toyota Sienna models, the transmission shift control cable could fail, leading a driver to believe that the gear lever has been shifted to Park when it’s not—and potentially causing the vehicle to roll away during or on exit.
The recall only covers 263 vehicles, built from June 17 through June 24, 2014. Many of which are likely still at the dealership; but it’s a particularly important recall, as the issue could lead to injuries of those getting in or out of the vehicles, or others in a rolling vehicle’s path.
The root of the issue is that visit here a protective sleeve for the shift cable might have been damaged during vehicle assembly. Affected vehicles will have their transmission shift control cable inspected and replaced, if necessary, at the dealership.
Owners who’ve taken delivery since then should call their dealership to check if their vehicle is affected; or they may call Toyota customer service at 800-331-4331.
___________________________________________

For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1093728_2014-toyota-sienna-recalled-for-potential-rollaway-issue

2015 Nissan Sentra

2015 Nissan Sentra

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2015 pricing not available.
Quick Take
By Bengt Halvorson
The 2015 Nissan Sentra isn’t at all the performer of the segment, but it’s certainly a comfortable, spacious car for the money. Read more »
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A roofline that maintains competitive rear headroom before sweeping gracefully back to the trunklid imparts both outward visibility and style
Car and Driver »
Nissan has gone so far as to attempt to vary the driving character a bit, offering a Sport and Eco button to increase or decrease throttle keenness, but the primary result of selecting one or the other seems to be the volume at which the engine drones at half-open throttle.
Automobile Magazine »
Adding the Leather (which also adds rear disc brakes, oddly), Premium and Navigation packages ensured that we wouldn’t go without two-stage heated front seats, Bose audio, a 5.8-inch infotainment screen with backup camera, that powered sunroof and a few more odds and ends.
2010 Nissan Sentra Specifications Check Inventory
The Basics:
For 2015, the Nissan Sentra receives an overhaul to its packaging—meaning that its options have been reshuffled into trims that Nissan hopes will attract more shoppers the brand. That’s a big deal for the car care product Sentra, since it competes in a segment filled with several excellent compact sedans—each of which attempts to one-up the competition with new technologies and features that were once only available on luxury cars—all for economy car pricing.
In its segment, the Sentra attempts to emulate the dynamics of larger, more comfortable sedans, rather than going for the small and sporty side of the spectrum. It wears a design language that we’ve seen from the Altima and even some Infinitis in recent years, making the Sentra look significantly sexier than it has in the past. However, its interior feels more economical than upscale, so it won’t fool anyone into believing that it’s more luxurious than it actually is.
The 2015 Sentra is sized in a range that might have been considered mid-size—or close to it—not so long ago. At 182.1 inches long, about two inches longer than the current car, with a wheelbase 0.6 longer, at 106.3 inches, plus an inch of additional width, the new Sentra has a longer, wider cabin. Dimensionally, the Sentra has its rivals beat in the numbers; it has the best official front headroom, front legroom, and rear legroom than other models in this class (including Cruze, Focus, Civic, and Corolla). Overall passenger room, by official measurements, is also more than any of these competing models. In all, the Sentra feels accommodating, but its seating design and seating comfort feel subpar. Flat and unsupportive seats are the biggest letdown; and while we thought by the look of them we’d get a little lateral support, it’s there in appearance alone. The Sentra does have one of the roomiest trunks in this class, and in back you can flip the the seatbacks forward (not flat) to an expanded area.
Cabin materials are merely average. Nissan lined up the armrests of the door with the top of the center console, and the contact points are a soft-touch material. We also like the base cloth seats and would probably be happier with them over the plasticky leather (it looks much better in pictures) that’s available. It’s a relatively quiet cabin at high speeds, too—by budget small-car standards.
What you will find here is performance that’s confident enough for everyday-driver, commuter-style needs. What’s missing here (and what you’ll find in many other competing models like the Ford Focus or Mazda 3) is anything close to zippy performance or an engaging driving experience. There’s also no refined, tactile reassurance, as you’ll find in the more comfort-oriented compacts like the Chevy Cruze or VW Jetta. With a 130-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and an Xtronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), the Sentra puts its best foot forward in typical commuting conditions (at up to 40 mpg highway, it’s economical, too). The CVT turns out acceptable flat-out acceleration numbers, but ask for a quick burst of power, and you’ll catch the system flat-footed almost every time; the setup feels very sluggish in real-world commuting conditions. There’s a six-speed manual transmission available, too, but it’s only offered on the base Sentra S and it feels a bit like an afterthought.
For an extra $400, you can specify a FE+ (fuel economy) package on the Sentra that adds a rear spoiler and low-rolling-resistance tires, as well as a few other aerodynamic improvements, so as to obtain the better 40-mpg highway rating.
The Sentra won’t win any awards for its handling; the setup, with a torsion-beam rear axle and rear drum brakes—plus standard steel wheels—again treads the base line for cars in this segment. But the nicely weighted, confident steering is a bright spot; it’s speed-sensitive and much like what’s used in the Altima. Ride quality is pretty good too. No matter which model or trim level you get, all 2015 Nissan Sentra models include Normal, Eco, and Sport modes that affect throttle response and transmission tuning, while Eco mode also reduces air-conditioning draw.
In safety, the 2015 Sentra is a bit below par when you add up its scores. Although it does achieve top ‘good’ ratings in most categories from the IIHS (like most cars in its class), it gets a worrisome ‘poor’ rating for small overlap frontal impact; add in four-star NHTSA overall ratings and a four-star frontal test from that federal agency–as well as some feature gaps like optional Bluetooth–and it’s no safety leader.
Looking at the equipment list and pricing, there’s a lot of value for the money in the 2015 Nissan Sentra, and it’s about in line with other models in this class, even adding a few features normally reserved for larger, more expensive models—like dual-zone automatic climate control and Bose audio on some models. But there are also some frustrating equipment choices. For instance, rear disc brakes are available only on the top-of-the-line SL or the sporty SR, while a Bluetooth hands-free interface is optional on much of the lineup and not even offered on the base S. Even at around $23k for a fully optioned SL, it’s a lavishly equipped, frugal small car–again, for those who don’t value the driving experience all that much.
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2015 Nissan Frontier


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or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.
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MSRP not available.
Quick Take
By Nelson Ireson
The 2015 Nissan Frontier is one of your best bets if you don’t quite need a full-size pickup, but maneuverability and functionality are high on your priority list. Read more »
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Hauling and towing strength (V-6)
Potent V-6 engine option
Maximum bed length my company is only six feet
Interior design showing its age
Busy, choppy ride
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2010 Nissan Frontier Specifications Check Inventory
The Basics:
The compact pickup segment and shrunk over the years, though recent announcements from GM tell us that it might be on the upswing again. The Nissan Frontier is one of very few to have weathered the storm–and successfully so–though it has grown in size over the years, too.
There are very few competitors in the market, with the Toyota Tacoma serving as the biggest competitor here. However, GM’s new Canyon and Colorado compact pickups are back in the mix now, and they will soon come with a diesel option that may also come to the Frontier. Despite all of that, the Frontier remains one of the most comfortable, functional options, even as it shows its age, a full decade after its redesign. Changes for this year are minimal, with exception to the standardization of the NissanConnect with mobile apps infotainment system to upper-trim models.
Four core trim lines are offered on the Frontier: S, SV, SL, and PRO-4X. The Frontier S is the entry point, with equipment and options increasing as you move up through SV and SL trims. The PRO-4X model has features and options selected with an eye for off-road suitability as well as on-road daily driving. 
Two cabs are offered, the King Cab and the Crew Cab. With four doors and good rear seat space, the Crew Cab is the clear choice for Frontier shoppers who need to transport more than two people regularly. For the driver, a comfortable, upright seating position is comfortable for most; taller drivers may find the high floor level requires a legs-out seating position. As with most pickups, especially shorter-wheelbase models, the Frontier’s ride can get choppy when the road–paved or unpaved–turns rough. 
When it’s the work that’s rough, the Frontier has some handy factory features: a sprayed-in bedliner, available Utili-Track cargo tie-down system, and a Value Truck Package that bundles a trailer hitch, dual-zone climate control, a bed extender, and more. 
Under the hood, there’s a choice of a 261-horsepower, 281-pound-foot 4.0-liter V-6 engine or a 152-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder. The V-6 is the star of this show, with pep and pulling power that’s almost equal to some smaller V-8s. Improvements to the engine’s internal components last year reduced friction and boosted gas mileage slightly (along with minor aerodynamic improvements), helping to keep the V-6 competitive. The four-cylinder is fine for the commuter who occasionally needs a pickup, but it’s ill-suited to heavier duty. Both 4×2 (rear-wheel drive) and 4×4 drivelines are available as well.
In 4×2 guise, four-cylinder models offer a choice of five-speed manual transmission or five-speed automatic; V-6 models can choose between a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. If you want a 4×4 Frontier, the V-6 engine is your only option, mated to either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic.
The 2015 Nissan Frontier hasn’t been officially rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but the structurally identical 2014 model earned top marks of “good” in moderate overlap front-impact, side-impact, and roof strength tests.
Despite the available four-cylinder engine and lack of a V-8 offering, the Frontier doesn’t get much better gas mileage than many new full-size trucks. Ranging from as low as 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway (4×4 V-6 automatic models) to as much as 19 mpg city and 23 mpg highway (4×2 four-cylinder manual models), the Frontier isn’t an ideal commuter vehicle in any form–but then, what truck is?
Likes:
Hauling and towing strength (V-6)
Potent V-6 engine option
Among the safest small trucks
Spacious Crew Cabs
Maximum bed length is only six feet
Interior design showing its age
Busy, choppy ride

For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.thecarconnection.com/overview/nissan_frontier_2015

Yes, Shoppers Believe That Gm Has Changed, But They’re Still Unsure About Quality

nullYes, Shoppers Believe That GM Has Changed, But They’re Still Unsure About Quality
Yes, Shoppers Believe That GM Has Changed, But They’re Still Unsure About Quality
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613 views Aug 1, 2014
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Last December, General Motors turned a corner . The U.S. government sold its last shares of GM stock, officially ending GM’s highly publicized bailout, and to mark the occasion, GM announced a new CEO, Mary Barra, the first woman to helm a major automaker.
Barra’s first few months in the corner office haven’t been easy, but a new study from KBB.com shows that she’s improved GM’s image, even if some shoppers still have doubts about the quality of GM cars.
FLASHBACK
Once upon a time, GM had a sterling reputation — one that inspired pride in its workers and confidence among consumers. As the decades passed and competition mounted, however, GM’s reputation dulled, and by the time we hit the Great Recession in 2008, the automaker had plenty of outspoken detractors.
Then came 2009: bankruptcy, reorganization, and rebirth. What was once General Motors Corporation became… General Motors Company , confounding journalists who had to keep the two names straight and putting countless monogrammers out of work. (Not to mention, quite a few GM employees and dealers.)
Those contentious days are far behind us, and the bitter taste that some experienced five years ago has been washed from many mouths — but not all.
SURVEY SAYS…
KBB.com polled visitors about GM between May 24 and July 1, 2014. Though the site doesn’t reveal how many folks responded to its survey, we know that 50 percent believe that today’s GM is a different company (metaphorically speaking) than it was in 2009. Another 24 percent feel that nothing has changed at GM, while 26 percent remain unsure.
Though that’s clearly not a perfect score, it shows that at least half of consumers see today’s GM in a more positive light, which is largely thanks to Barra. According to KBB.com’s Tony Lim, “By reinforcing the message of the ‘new’ GM and distancing itself from the ‘old,’ Barra can continue to effectively distinguish the company from its past”.
Of course, there’s plenty of room for improvement. While half of consumers may think GM has changed, fewer believe that its products are better now than before the bailout. In fact, just 39 percent believe that GM products have improved over the past five years, while 32 percent see no change at all, and 29 percent remain unsure.
Would those figures weigh more heavily in GM’s favor without the ” Switchgate ” recall? Probably. Lim explains that “GM can overcome these challenges and change perceptions by focusing efforts on new-vehicle launches and commitment to innovative in-vehicle technology”.
Thankfully (for GM, anyway), Barra and others are doing a fairly good job of convincing consumers that GM is acting aboveboard. Over 25 percent of those surveyed think that GM is being both proactive and transparent in conducting its many, many recalls . KBB.com’s Karl Brauer points out that “GM initiated the ignition switch recall versus having it ordered by the government, and the company’s proactive stance taken in the areas of vehicle safety oversight and victim compensation has enhanced the automaker’s image despite the high number of recalled models”.
How about you? What differences, if any, do you see between today’s GM and pre-bankruptcy GM (in terms of leadership, products, or anything else)? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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