Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com

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So far Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com has created 26 blog entries.

2019 RAM 1500 Rebel

2019 RAM 1500 Rebel RAM's budget answer to the Raptor By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | June 2018 RAM has a bit of Raptor envy. The Ford F-150 Raptor is seen as many as the ultimate off-road truck, with its upgraded suspension dampers, wild engine and bold wide-body styling. But it's an expensive proposition, with an opening ante over 52 grand, and rising quickly from there with a few option groups. So RAM thought it had a better idea: take a basic RAM 1500–all-new for 2019–and give it uprated Bilstein monotube dampers, knobby tires, and a look that sets it apart from the standard truck, and save the customer a heap-load of money. As Fiat Chrysler spokesman Scott Brown put it, "Owners wanted the lift and look," but they didn't necessarily want to go full-bore if they're not racing their truck through the desert on the regular. We got a chance to try it out off road at Calamigos Ranch outside Malibu. What is this vehicle? The RAM 1500 is the brand's full-size pickup truck, a rugged workhorse that also provides creature comforts. The 1500 is the brand's lightest-duty truck, with heavy-duty variants starting at the 2500 level. But that doesn't mean it can't handle a ton of weight...literally. It can haul up to 2,300 lbs. of payload in the bed, and tow another 12,750 behind it if equipped right. The RAM 1500 [...]

2018-06-23T21:12:47+00:00 Jun 2018|Car Reviews|

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Returning some sparkle to the triple-diamond By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | June 2018 The compact utility segment–with well-known entries like the Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape–is the best-selling in the industry, having leap-frogged the sedan segments as the family car of record for Americans. Mitsubishi wants to use its new entry in the segment as a basis for its climb back to relevance with U.S. consumers. The brand has had a tough slog, with a 10-year decline from 2002 to 2012, which saw the brand lose 83% of its sales volume. Over the past five years the tri-diamond has been growing, with 2017's sales nearly 80% above that of 2012. Nearly all of that increase has been owed to the brand's two existing crossovers, the Outlander and Outlander Sport. But to really kick up the momentum, and to introduce its new sense of design flair, Mitsubishi has resurrected the Eclipse name for a utility vehicle that tries to offer a distinct sense of sportiness in a field of crossovers that's more focused on utility and efficiency. What is this vehicle? The Eclipse Cross actually occupies the space in between the compact and subcompact segments, though Mitsubishi is positioning the vehicle against the compacts of the world. Its wheelbase and width suggest a vehicle right in the thick of competitors like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, but its [...]

2018-06-15T00:50:28+00:00 Jun 2018|Car Reviews|

Comparo: Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 vs. Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 vs. 2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Midsize off-road trucks battle for the rock-crawling crown By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | June 2018 At the Motor Press Guild’s recent Droptops & Dirt event at Calamigos Ranch, near Malibu, CA, journalists had a chance to try out a unique mix of off-road focused trucks and utilities, as well as sporty convertible models. This is an intriguing time for those who like to play in the muck, as there are several different options within the pickup segments offering specially developed off-road editions straight from the factory. We got a chance to try two of these trucks, the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, side-by-side. What are these vehicles? These are trim levels of the popular Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma. Already highly capable trucks, the brands add special equipment that allows them to be used in extreme off-roading tasks, like special suspension pieces that allow for better articulation during rock crawling, powertrain components that allow torque to be precisely controlled for optimal traction, body protection that preserves the panels even among tough terrain, and appearance pieces that announce to the world that they’re trucks to be reckoned with. Who are these vehicle for? These trucks appeal most to outdoor enthusiasts, many of whom appreciate the ability of these highly refined pickups to serve as [...]

2018-06-11T21:55:53+00:00 Jun 2018|Car Reviews|

Infotainment: Industry Roundup

Infotainment: Industry Roundup By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | May 2018 New cars these days are being filled with screens, from the central infotainment systems that sit atop the dash, to rear entertainment systems in family haulers. And screens that had previously been the domain of only luxury vehicles—like virtual instrument clusters and head-up displays (HUDs) that project an image within the driver’s sightlines—are now coming down to the less rarified air of mainstream vehicles. All of these screens are increasingly well-integrated so that they work together as a cohesive unit. With the growing number of ways we distract ourselves in our vehicles, car companies get a competitive advantage not only from creating systems that are a pleasure to interact with, but also from the ability to display information while minimizing diversion from the task of driving. The Motor Press Guild, a West Coast-based journalist group, recently gathered a host of cars together to give journalists and industry experts a chance to really fiddle around with their infotainment interfaces, and figure out how these systems really stack up. The day offered a nice mix of both mainstream and luxury systems, with a variety of features and unique selling propositions. Here’s a rundown of the infotainment systems we got to sample, and how they compare, including the following systems: Subaru STARLINK on the 2018 Crosstrek Mitsubishi Smartphone Link Thin Display Audio System on the 2018 Eclipse [...]

2018-05-30T19:23:38+00:00 May 2018|News, Research|

2019 Jaguar I-Pace

2019 Jaguar I-Pace A Worthy Adversary? By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | May 2018 The new Jaguar I-Pace kicks off a flurry of all-electric crossovers from luxury brands. It’s an exciting preview of things to come. What is this vehicle? With the prestige of the Tesla brand building so swiftly, and on the back of a single model, the luxury sector has taken notice. While the Model X crossover has not lived up to the high expectations, due to issues like cost and compromised utility, the consensus in the industry is still largely that whoever manages to create a vehicle that would combine a high-end battery-electric vehicle execution with SUV styling and space could be the first traditional brand to really break through in the electrified mobility race. And there are few brands more “traditional” than Jaguar. That’s not stopping them from putting forth a vehicle they believe will challenge Tesla for the EV crown, offering bold, sporty styling, an impeccable interior, and the type of range and performance that gets people excited about the EV experience. And because it’s been designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle, the I-Pace offers interior packaging that takes advantage of their inherent efficiencies, providing a bit more interior space and cargo room than similarly sized gas vehicles. Who is this vehicle for? The I-Pace is definitely aimed at the Tesla crowd, and other types [...]

2018-05-04T06:38:42+00:00 May 2018|Car Reviews, News|

Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester Staying a Successful Course By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | April 2018 Subaru unveiled its redesigned Forester at the New York International Auto Show recently. It's an important launch for a brand that seeks to continue its momentum in the hottest segment in the industry. What is this vehicle? The Forester is Subaru’s number-two selling nameplate, a compact crossover that is entering its fifth generation. Subaru is relying heavily on the Forester to keep its sales momentum going in the U.S. market, which have been growing for 10 years straight, so its redesign in the hottest segment is definitely something to watch. Subaru keeps the same formula, while making tweaks to size and specs to help its competitiveness against segment leaders like the Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue, and especially the Toyota RAV4, which also debuted at the New York Auto Show. Who is this vehicle for? Compact SUVs are taking over as the default choice for families, and indeed for many different types of consumers. One of the biggest flows of consumers between segments involves midsize sedan drivers trading into compact utilities, which offer similar interior room and pricing, but with better cargo space, a higher view of traffic and available all-wheel drive. This segment may have one of the most diverse buyer groups out there, attracting everyone from young people with active lifestyles who want to load it up [...]

2018-04-19T16:20:47+00:00 Apr 2018|Car Reviews, News|

Battery Electric Vehicles: What You Need To Know

Battery Electric Vehicles: What You Need To Know By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | April 2018 Over the years we’ve been taught to evaluate vehicles based on a few well-known metrics. Horsepower and fuel economy are two of the most familiar, with drivers fantasizing about the day when they draw upon the 500 horses under the hood on the way to getting 50 miles per gallon. But it was always a tradeoff, and this combination seemed beyond the realm of possibility. With our move toward electrification, however, we’re being asked to look at vehicles differently. Indeed, Tesla will sell you a Model S with over 500 hp that gets the equivalent of around 100 mpg. But there are other trade-offs now asked of us, particularly when it comes to refueling. It’s not possible to jump out of a battery electric vehicle (the category of EVs that lacks a “range extender” internal combustion engine) and restore its full range in a matter of a few minutes. But of course there are some positives, too. You can’t have your gas tank refilled overnight while you sleep, and each mile of range for your internal combustion car comes at a much higher price. With these differences in mind, we’ll lay out what the most important metrics are for evaluating BEVs, and how each one now available in new-car dealers stacks up. Range: How far can I go [...]

2018-04-11T20:14:47+00:00 Apr 2018|News, Research|

Toyota RAV4 & Corolla Hatchback

Toyota RAV4 & Corolla Hatchback Cores of the Brand By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | April 2018 Toyota debuted the new RAV4 and Corolla Hatchback at the New York International Auto Show on Wednesday. As Toyota's best-selling vehicle, the RAV4 is a particularly important launch. What is this vehicle? The RAV4 is a compact crossover, which follows a pretty similar formula to the outgoing model. It does, however, add some new features and a new approach to its trim lineup. The RAV4 invented the compact crossover segment, but as Toyota pointed out in its press conference, it wasn’t until the 3rd-generation model—when the brand really nailed the size equation, following the lead of the Honda CR-V—that sales really took off. The 2006 RAV4, which grew by nearly 15 inches in length, also more than doubled the sales of the 2005 model. The length has stayed nearly identical since then, with this new fifth generation coming down just 0.2 inches from the third- and fourth-gen vehicles—Toyota bragged that the RAV4 keeps its compact dimensions, unlike some competitors that have grown a bit unwieldy. The vehicle is now slightly lower and wider, and with a stiffer structure it should provide improved handling. Who is this vehicle for? Realistically, the new RAV4 will have wide-ranging appeal. It was the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. in 2017, aside from the domestic pickups, which indicates how complete the [...]

2018-04-05T16:47:58+00:00 Apr 2018|Car Reviews, News|

Electrified Vehicles: The Basics

Electrified Vehicles: The Basics By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | March 2018 With so many different categories, there is understandably some confusion among consumers about electrified vehicles. When we talk about “EVs” we usually mean vehicles that run only on electricity—the industry calls these Battery-Electric Vehicles (BEVs). But there are many categories of vehicles that have various degrees of electrification, and there can be overlap. If you’re thinking of electrifying your lifestyle, we’re here to help cut through the haze! What is an electrified vehicle? Before we get into the differences between all these categories, let’s talk about the similarities. Nearly all electrified vehicles have the goal of improving efficiency—there are a few that are just about performance, but you probably can’t afford one of those. Mostly they do this by keeping your car from giving off a bunch of heat, which would just be energy lost to the environment. If instead of creating heat the vehicle can use that energy in other ways, it can be much more efficient. Photo credit: Brembo Brakes are one great example. Most cars brake using friction, which heats up the calipers and rotors. Electrified cars use “regenerative braking,” which basically turns your brakes into little generators powered by the car’s momentum. While they’re slowing the car down, they’re also pumping that energy into a battery for later use. But the biggest creator of heat in [...]

2018-03-21T00:56:47+00:00 Mar 2018|News, Research|

Electric Vehicles: What’s the Deal?

Electric Vehicles: What's the Deal? By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | March 2018 The current moment seems to be quite the debutant ball for electric vehicles. Auto manufacturers have all, in turn, announced major commitments to electrifying their fleets, as a growing number of countries—largely in Europe, but including China and India—publicize plans to phase out internal combustion engines. But the picture is complicated by the demand side, where there seem to remain significant barriers to mass EV adoption. Here we’ll take a look at these developments and tease out some insights about what the future of the EV market might look like. Who’s banning traditional engines? Several countries have come out with policy stances that essentially aim to put internal combustion engines (ICEs) in the rear-view mirror. Norway is the most aggressive here, banning them by 2025, while India and the Netherlands peg the date at 2030 (this has also been proposed in Germany). Britain and France are more relaxed, with a target of 2040. China has yet to plant its own stake in the ground for a total ban, but the largest car market in the world has made regulatory moves that require its sales to comprise 10% EVs by next year and 12% by the following year. These are big jumps, considering the EV penetration in China in 2017 probably didn’t break 2%. Country Internal Combustion Ban Starts Norway 2025 [...]

2018-03-12T20:57:43+00:00 Mar 2018|News, Research|
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