SUVs

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Fire Hazard Forces GM, Isuzu to Recall 258K SUVs

Short-circuits in window cause fires

(Newser) - General Motors and Isuzu are recalling more than 258,000 SUVs after getting reports of 28 fires apparently caused by short-circuits in the cars' power windows and door locks. The recall covers many vehicle makes from the 2006 and 2007 model years, including the Chevy TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier,... More »

Today's SUVs 'Light Years Safer'

Auto industry appears to have solved vexing problem

(Newser) - Newer sport utility vehicles are significantly less deadly than those of decades past, according to a new analysis of federal data. From 2008 to 2009, the fatality rate for passengers in 3,000- to 3,499-pound cars or minivans hit by similarly-sized SUVs was 16 per million registered vehicles. That’... More »

Ford, Toyota Join Forces on Hybrid System

Partnership prompted by airport-terminal chat

(Newser) - A trans-Pacific partnership between Ford and Toyota is set to bring us a new generation of hybrid vehicles. The two companies will join together in creating a gas-electric hybrid system suited to light trucks and SUVs, the Wall Street Journal reports. The two firms already have hybrid systems that power... More »

Toyota Recalls Problem Lexus SUV

'Consumer Reports' warned of porential problems with 2010 GX460

(Newser) - In the wake of a Consumer Reports warning, Toyota is recalling the 2010 Lexus GX 460. The automaker had already suspended sales of the SUV, which the magazine rated "don't buy" because of concerns the vehicle was prone to tipping over. Toyota confirmed the problem and said today the... More »

Death Traps Vs. Gas Guzzlers Split Automakers

Are there any good choices for consumers in the car size debate?

(Newser) - In the push to curb America’s fuel intake, consumers must often make a choice between safety and fuel economy, Joseph White writes in the Wall Street Journal. The real problem, though, may be that small cars have to share the road with SUVs. “A much bigger issue is... More »

Mileage Be Damned, SUV Remains American Darling

(Newser) - Despite predictions of its demise, the SUV is alive and well at the New York auto show this year, Dan Carney writes for MSNBC. Sure, more fuel-efficient models of classic 4x4s make up the majority of the cars on display, but reports that the gas guzzler is passé, emanating from... More »

SUV, Pickup Sales Rebound as Price of Gas Drops

But big trucks are becoming scarce as automakers retool for fuel efficient models

(Newser) - Gas prices are down and the sales of SUVs and pickup trucks are accelerating, albeit only into second gear, reports the Wall Street Journal. As gas edges closer to $2, buyers are picking up bargains on the big gas guzzlers dealers couldn’t give away couple of months ago. And... More »

Top Cars We Should Scrap

Coming soon to a compactor near you

(Newser) - The possibility that one of Detroit's Big Three automakers is headed for the scrap heap left US News and World Report wondering which cars Americans could live without. Here are some top candidates:
  • Jeep Commander: This boxy model gets 16 mpg and it shows: sales are down 55%.
  • Dodge Durango:
... More »

Smart Car Scores Big on Cute

Tiny rides now trendy, even for big car people

(Newser) - Mercedes’ Smart cars are selling brilliantly—the US waiting list is 30,000 long—and the tiny two-seater's performance at the gas pump isn't the whole story. Yes, they’re the most fuel-efficient non-hybrids around, but only barely—some Hondas and Toyotas almost match their 33mpg. There's also the cute... More »

Sinking SUV Values Slap Drivers

Resale values plummet as gas price goes up

(Newser) - The end of America's love affair with the SUV is turning into an expensive divorce, the Washington Post reports. Drivers wanting to get rid of the gas-guzzlers as pump prices hit $4 a gallon are losing a lot of money on the sales—if they can even find buyers. Some... More »

Chinese Embrace SUVs, Hummers as Status Symbols

Gas-guzzlers are popular in Beijing, if not in the West

(Newser) - Demand for gas-guzzling SUVs keeps growing in China, where the vehicles have become status symbols. Even Hummers are selling fast, despite sky-high oil prices, the Financial Times reports. "There are plenty of other sources of pollution than cars, and life is short so we should enjoy ourselves anyway,"... More »

High Gas Prices Are Good for Detroit

Demand rising for electric alternatives, so makers, legislators must seize moment

(Newser) - Sky-high gas prices are finally pushing top US auto-makers to turn out fuel-efficient vehicles, and both Detroit and Washington should keep the pedal down to make a permanent change in how, and what, Americans drive, the US top car salesman tells the Wall Street Journal. "You have to tell... More »

Gas Tops $4 per Gallon After Stable Week

Prices had stabilized—until last week

(Newser) - Americans are paying more than $4 a gallon for gas for the first time, Reuters reports. The national average reached $4.005 per gallon today, up from $3.67 last month and $3.10 last year. Prices had stabilized last week, until crude oil futures jumped to record levels. In... More »

SUVs Plunge in Value as Drivers Turn to Smaller Cars

Downsizing is in as pump prices start to pinch drivers

(Newser) - SUVs are falling out of fashion fast as gas prices go through the roof, CNN reports. As drivers downsize to more fuel-efficient vehicles, gas-guzzlers are filling up used-car lots—but there aren't many buyers. The biggest SUVs—like the Cadillac Escalade, Ford Expedition, and Chevy Suburban—are dropping in value... More »

GM's SUVs May Get Smaller

Firm considers switch to car chassis

(Newser) - General Motors has long used truck chassis as the foundation of its largest SUVs: the Escalades, Tahoes, and Yukons. But with fuel costs going nowhere but up and stricter fuel standards on the horizon, GM is considering switching those models to lighter car-sized underpinnings when they come up for redesign... More »

Small Is the New Big

Automakers turn attention to the subcompact, abroad and at home

(Newser) - Ever-increasing gas prices, environmental concerns and demand in developing countries are leading worldwide small-car sales past those of larger counterparts, Newsweek reports. With cars like India’s Tata Nano set to overhaul the auto industry by offering new mobility to millions, US automakers are scrambling to retool their businesses to... More »

Are Car Roofs Tough Enough?

US regulators consider stricter strength-to-weight standard

(Newser) - Three-quarters of vehicles on the road today would fail a proposed tougher standard for automobile roof strength, reports the Wall Street Journal. The current standard, unchanged since 1973, requires that car roofs withstand a force equivalent to 1.5 times the vehicle’s weight, but it exempts those more than... More »

Nissan Murano Top Pick for Safety Among SUVs

Hummer's H3 does not fare well in industry tests

(Newser) - The 2009 Nissan Murano snagged the best safety rating out of 10 midsize SUVs in industry-run crash tests, the Detroit Free Press reports. The Murano was the only one to receive the top "good" rating in front, side, and rear crashes. The Mazda CX-7 and CX-9, and the Mitsubishi... More »

Isuzu Says Sayonara to America

Japanese automaker bailing as passenger sales fall to nearly nothing

(Newser) - Japanese automaker Isuzu, which brought the US such treasures as the SUV and fictional car salesman Joe Isuzu, is closing up shop in the US, thanks to its nearly non-existent sales. Of the 16.1 million cars sold last year, just 7,098 were Isuzus. Said actor David Leisure, who... More »

Calif. Sues EPA Over Emissions

15 states join fight to limit greenhouse gases from cars and trucks

(Newser) - California, joined by 15 other states, filed suit today against the Environmental Protection Agency for rejecting its plan to limit greenhouse gases on cars, trucks, and SUVs. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the Bush administration is "ignoring the will of millions" by ruling that Congress' recent boost in fuel-efficiency standards... More »

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