Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com

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So far Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com has created 21 blog entries.

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|

Vehicle Preview: Lucid Air

Vehicle Preview: Lucid Air Setting the Definition of Luxury Mobility By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | February 2018 At the recent Los Angeles Auto Show, Car-ED had an exclusive chat with Lucid Motors VP of Design Derek Jenkins. He is what you would call "a designer's designer," with an impressive resume that shows he's helped put into place some of the most exciting and respected design languages in the industry, at brands like Audi and Mazda. Jenkins is tasked with bringing the company's first luxury EV sedan, the Lucid Air, to market by 2019, and he and Marketing Director Zak Edson gave us a thorough walk-around of their upcoming vehicle and some insight into the company’s plans for the rollout. Who is this company? Lucid has been around since 2007, at first focusing on battery technology under the name Atieva, but in the past few years has parlayed that research into developing their own car. Lucid is an electric vehicle luxury brand, and as such some see it as a challenger to Tesla. It has also lured away a decent number of Elon Musk’s employees, including Lucid Chief Technology Officer Peter Rawlinson, but the upstart is aiming to best the Silicon Valley star in a few key ways. First of all is their battery and powertrain technology. Lucid says it’s making big advances in energy density and charging speed. In fact, the company has said [...]

2018-02-08T23:01:14+00:00 Feb 2018|Car Reviews, News|

On Your Radar: Kia Rio

On Your Radar: Kia Rio Now That's What I Call Value! By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | January 2018 The Rio is one of the more underappreciated cars in the Subcompact Car segment, but with its mix of style, value and space, KIA’s most affordable model definitely warrants a look from buyers in the market for basic transportation, with a little flair. What is this vehicle? The Rio is the entry point for the KIA lineup, and while a few generations ago it matched its bargain basement price with a cellar-level reputation, over the past few years it’s gained an image of being one of the most spacious and powerful packages in the segment, offering ample feature content for not too much money. It’s a subcompact car that’s available as either a 4-door sedan or a 5-door hatch, and while many people see the Rio nameplate as basic transportation, it can give you many of the features available in more upscale vehicles, but in a space- and fuel-efficient package that’s easy on the wallet. Who is this vehicle for? Young people—and older buyers—who otherwise might be considering a used car can look to a KIA Rio to get a car that not only doesn’t come with the potential pitfalls—and smells—of the previous owners, but also includes KIA’s highly competitive 10-year/100k-mile powertrain warranty—the rest of car has 5-year/60k-mile coverage. With the subcompact car segment [...]

2018-01-31T21:18:40+00:00 Jan 2018|Car Reviews|

Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler Don’t Mess With a Good Thing By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | January 2018 The Jeep Wrangler is hitting showrooms with a major redesign, and enthusiasts are stoked. Without losing its legendary capability, the Wrangler will be more refined, with better fuel economy and more technology. With either two or four doors and a choice of 3 different roof types, plus its first ever full-time 4WD system, there’s  a Wrangler for…well, not everyone, but more people than ever. What is this vehicle? It’s exactly what you think: a rugged, go-anywhere, do-anything off-roader, with unmatched rock-crawling abilities and a whole host of removable parts, from roof to doors to its fold-down windshield. There were rumors that some of these details would go away, and that Fiat-Chrysler would go heavily aluminum with the structure, but the traditionalists have won out mostly, with only some body panels being made of soda can metal, and much more use of high-strength steel to achieve the needed weight reductions. The rear “swing gate” is actually made out of magnesium, which is even lighter than aluminum. Who is this vehicle for? Wrangler buyers tend to be a fairly diverse bunch, and its cross-shopping list would drop your jaw. That’s because for many shoppers it’s about the vehicle’s image and lifestyle statement, especially those drawn to its status as a rare four-door convertible—currently the only one on the market. [...]

2018-01-31T21:14:40+00:00 Jan 2018|Car Reviews, News|

Subaru Ascent

Subaru Ascent Rising Above the Outback By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | January 2018 A new 3-row crossover from Subaru debuted at the LA Auto Show, which will bring the brand back into one of the hottest segments in the market. The Ascent won’t hit showrooms until next year, but it should help the brand extend its reach in the U.S., and sustain its momentum. What is this vehicle? The 2019 Ascent marks Subaru’s return to the 3-row SUV game for the first time since 2014, when the Tribeca left the market. While the Tribeca was smaller and more upscale than most of its competitors—telegraphed by its swanky Manhattan neighborhood namesake—the Ascent is a more conventional approach. It’s dimensionally similar to the larger competitors in the mid-size segment, like the Ford Explorer, so it has one of the most spacious interiors in the class, and can carry up to 8 people up the mountain. Who is this vehicle for? Big families and carpoolers can finally check out Subaru, and the brand can retain even more of its fierce loyalists who might have looked elsewhere when the Outback no longer met their needs. Subarus are highly popular in the Pacific Northwest and mountainous regions like Colorado, since the brand has been built on its all-wheel drive heritage. This expansion into one of the hottest segments in the industry is likely to broaden that appeal [...]

2018-01-23T18:12:53+00:00 Jan 2018|Car Reviews, News|

Autonomous Vehicles: Hype vs. Reality

Autonomous Vehicles, Hype vs. Reality By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | December 2017 At the recent AutoMobility LA conference that led into this year’s LA Auto Show, there were a few topics that were on the lips of nearly every attendee. These included electric vehicles, the connected car, and the major future disrupter, autonomous vehicles (AVs). What will the impact of autonomous vehicles be? While EVs may change the product mix that car companies will be offering to their customers, self-driving cars have the potential to change their entire business model. And indeed, it’s not just the auto industry that autonomous technology will impact, but the countless other industries with which it’s connected, like public transit and ride-hailing, hotels and hospitality, and even media companies that seek to capture a piece of the attention that’s freed up when we no longer have to attend to the driving task. To be sure, autonomous vehicles are now considered a future inevitability, but a significant portion of the current discussion is now dedicated to teasing out when we’ll actually be seeing these vehicles on the road in any legitimate numbers. But in order to understand how these vehicles will actually impact our lives, it’s important to first define what we mean by autonomous technology. How to talk about autonomous vehicles Some people who talk about autonomous cars may assume that cars will either have the technology [...]

2018-01-23T18:23:25+00:00 Dec 2017|News|
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