We had a day off on Monday because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. But that didn’t stop us from delivering all the news that’s fit to…digitally publish. So what did we talk about on Monday? Gas. Believe us, it’s more interesting than it sounds. But more than anything, this week was one of transitions. We were shifting away from last week’s Detroit Auto Show and moving onward to Geneva and February’s Chicago Auto Show.
And if you go back through this past week’s posts, you’ll notice it may be a little sparse. That’s because most of our staffers were all over, driving the latest wares from various automakers. Expect reviews of new, upcoming models from Subaru, Range Rover, Acura, Mazda, Kia, and Mini all within the next few weeks.
Without further ado, however, here were the big-ticket items from the week that was.
Monday, January 21
When your car says “Premium Fuel Required” inside its gas cap, have you ever wondered why? Why not just put in the cheapest stuff and play it by ear? Heck, you’ve probably accidentally put in the wrong grade of gas into your car at one point or another and nothing happened. What does it matter? Octane is what matters. In our first “Cars, Simplified” video, we delve into the topic and explain what it does and why you should care. It’s less than two minutes long, and worth the watch.
Tuesday, January 22
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulator David Strickland laid down the law–or at least the idea for the law–in an interview. Earlier this week, the administrator said his agency was looking at the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’s small front overlap crash test, which puts the force of a collision on a smaller, more concentrated area of a car. Lately, the NHTSA has been handing out top accolades for plenty of cars and trucks that pass its tests, while the IIHS has taken a swift baseball bat to the knees of the likes of Toyota and others that haven’t passed the new, stricter tests. At some point, we anticipate safety will get to a point when we’re all driving indestructable iron cubes.
Wednesday, January 23
While tiny crossovers are just taking off in the U.S. with vehicles like the Nissan Juke and Buick Encore, Europe is embracing them with open arms. That’s perhaps why Kia has chosen to debut its new small “urban vehicle” at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. While we don’t know much about it yet, it looks aggressive, moving Kia’s style forward with a new take on the “tiger nose” grille. We’re looking ahead for more details as we get closer to Geneva and wonder if something like this could make a production run.
Thursday, January 24
In another move that suggests ultimate safety is ultimately safer in the long run, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety supports the idea of redlight cameras. I mean, why wouldn’t they? They even have the word “safety” in their name. Consumers–the ones that actually drive cars on the road–beg to differ, citing drivers making emergency stops to avoide redlight tickets instead of going through when the light is about to change color. The IIHS published its findings in a new study; newspapers have come out showing opposing data. Which do you believe?
Friday, January 25
What a world we live in where Jeep is trying to make a smaller, more sophisticated Jeep Liberty replacement for international sale and Audi–a German brand–is testing a new small sedan to cater to Americans. Alas, the car market is getting tighter with more internationally bound products. Both the new 2014 Jeep Liberty replacement, now a car-based crossover design, and the Audi A3 sedan were caught testing, wrapped in vinyl so that their details escape the prying eyes of the public. We know the production version of the Jeep will be headed to the New York Auto Show at the end of March and the Audi should be headed our way closer to the end of the year.