Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com

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So far Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com has created 33 blog entries.

Compare and Contrast: 2019 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra

Compare and Contrast: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Sierra There's more to set these trucks apart then ever. By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | October 2018 What are these vehicles? The Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra are General Motors' two full-sized pickup entries, the combination of which allows GM to consistently outsell its crosstown rival Ford in this segment. These two trucks are capable of reporting for duty for full-scale work tasks, like hauling huge payloads and serious trailering, but like the rest of the full-sized truck segment they've become luxurious and feature-packed enough to serve as daily drivers. If you spend any time in the great state of Texas, you'll quickly realize how many people are actually doing this. While these two trucks are quite similar overall, GM has focused a lot in recent years on differentiation among its brands, and with their debut for the 2019 model year, these all-new trucks are as distinct from one another as they've ever been. While they continue to over differences in terms of styling and interior materials, GMC is now focusing on packing the Sierra full of innovative tech, much of which isn't available in the Silverado, to appeal to a different set of buyers. Who are these vehicles for? Any full-sized pickup now needs to appeal to personal-use buyers just as much as commercial customers, so these trucks focus on [...]

2018-10-19T00:13:33+00:00 Oct 2018|Car Reviews|

Autocross: 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Autocross: 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Chevy sets out to prove the Bolt can be a jolt of high-voltage fun...and puts a smile on our face. By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | October 2018 Sales of the Chevy Bolt EV have been building steadily, as more Americans discover the benefits of EV ownership. While there are still challenges to overcome in terms of charging infrastructure, Chevy is eager to make the case that electric vehicles are not only just as much driving fun as internal combustion rides, they can be even more of a hoot! The Event Chevy invited journalists to drive an autocross course in the Bolt, to show that it can handle itself during aggressive driving. There were four Bolts there, two each with both all-season tires and much grippier summer rubber. The team also brought one of the industry benchmarks for front-wheel drive hatch fun, the Volkswagen GTI, so we could see how GM's EV stacks up against a gas-powered rival. For those who haven't yet experienced the joy of autocrossing, it's generally a parking lot—find one without many light poles if you can swing it—with a bunch of cones set up in the form of a road course. The course configurators will throw in some slaloms to weave through, some tighter turns and some high-speed sweepers, so you can get a feel for all of a car's handling characteristics...and of [...]

2018-10-03T00:27:01+00:00 Oct 2018|Car Reviews|

The Art of the Sub-Brand: Eco-Friendly

The Art of the Sub-Brand: Eco-Friendly Eco sub-brands may be the new competitive battlefield By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | September 2018 When Toyota built the Prius into an entire sub-brand unto itself, it cast a green glow over the mothership. Now others are trying similar, yet distinctive, strategies in the alternative powertrain market. They range from creating different variants of a single model to planning the build-out of entire lineups. Here we'll take a look at what's out there right now and how things may develop in the future. Where did the trend start? 1st-generation Prius The Honda Insight may have beaten the Toyota Prius to the punch, as the first hybrid vehicle introduced in the United States, by seven months. But the Prius, particularly in its second incarnation, went on to become not just the most successful electrified vehicle in history, but one of the most successful single models of any type, selling over four million copies so far. Toyota realized the gold it had on its hands, not just as a financial success, but as a green halo for the entire brand. So it took the Prius nameplate and expanded it to a larger lineup, from the compact Prius c hatch to the Prius V tall wagon. It has since renamed its plug-in model the Prius Prime, seeking to further differentiate it from the plug-less hybrid, but still [...]

2018-09-12T17:00:17+00:00 Sep 2018|News, Research|

2018 Tesla Model 3

2018 Tesla Model 3 The claimed "Car of the Future" is finally here By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | August 2018 The Tesla Model 3 has been one of the most eagerly anticipated cars in recent memory. After steadily building demand (and excitement) for its high-dollar electric vehicles, like the Model S and Model X, Tesla is attempting to put into place the next step of Elon Musk's grand plan to electrify the automotive world, an "affordable" EV that can be had for less than the average transaction price for a new car in the U.S. market. That day has finally arrived...sort of. What is this vehicle? The 2018 Tesla Model 3 is the car that, in theory, finally gets us to the holy grail of EVs: an attractive, feature-filled car with long battery range and at a price accessible to the proletariat. The Model 3 takes many of the aspects that Model S and X owners love about their cars and packages them in a smaller wrapper, with innovations aimed at making it cheaper to build, but that still please most customers. The size and price of the Model 3 puts it in class with such compact luxury sedan stalwarts as the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, stiff competition that has perfected the formula over several decades. But it also goes up against an array of electrified vehicles already on the [...]

2018-08-10T23:00:02+00:00 Aug 2018|Car Reviews|

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles: What You Need To Know

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles: What You Need To Know By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | July 2018 2011 Chevy Volt, photo credit: GM General Motors introduced a radical new idea into the marketplace with the debut of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. While some brands, like Nissan and Tesla, wanted to move forward with an all-electric future as quickly as possible, GM recognized that few consumers had full confidence that a pure EV would fit their lifestyles well. Electric vehicle range was still well below that of the typical gas car, and the charging infrastructure wasn't built out to support a fleet of electric cars, giving rise to the phenomenon termed "range anxiety." The solution for this was a car that would combine the advantages of both EVs and gas-powered cars: the plug-in hybrid. The idea behind the Volt was that it would act as a pure EV for the first 40 miles—GM's research had told them that nearly four out of five commuters had a round trip of under 40 miles—but then rely on a small gas engine, dubbed a "range extender," to allow the owner to keep driving even when there was no place to recharge. The final electric range turned out to be 38 miles, however. With the Volt's launch, GM created an entirely new sales category. The company had hoped to replicate the runaway success of the Toyota Prius, which [...]

2018-07-22T18:12:29+00:00 Jul 2018|News, Research|

The Art of the Sub-Brand: Performance

The Art of the Sub-Brand: Performance Performance sub-brands give buyers something special By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | July 2018 Carmakers love to produce "special" cars that appeal to an enthusiast audience. The market abounds with models that display a certain letter that indicates they're ready to take on some of the most high-performance machines out there, and come out a winner. Many of these vehicles have four doors, or even an SUV body, yet underneath lurks the equipment that can enable a super-fast lap time at one of the world's premier racetracks. Here we'll take a look at the history of this trend, and what's out there for enthusiasts in today's market. Where did the trend start? M535i, photo credit: BMW Most enthusiasts credit BMW with kicking off the trend with its Motorsport division, which was shortened to just M. While its origins were in racing, in the late-1970s M started developing cars for the road, the first being its famous M1 supercar. But the first car that really set the template for the models that abound today was the 1979 M535i, a pumped-up version of the first-generation 5 Series. The car pictured at right displays the M division's tri-color striping. E30 M3, photo credit: Rudolf Stricker From there BMW began tuning an increasing number of its models, with some particular versions achieving legendary status, like the M3 [...]

2018-07-14T01:30:24+00:00 Jul 2018|News, Research|

Brand Deep Dive: Alfa Romeo

Brand Deep Dive: Alfa Romeo Alfa's back, and they're ready to rumble By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | June 2018 The Alfa Romeo brand—say “Alfa Ro-MAY-o”—has over 100 years of history, with a strong heritage of racing and sports cars. It’s the marque that gave Enzo Ferrari his big break before he started his own company. Jeremy Clarkson, the prominent BBC and Amazon automotive TV host, said, “you can’t be a true petrolhead until you’ve owned an Alfa Romeo.” And its badge was affixed to the hood of the flashy red convertible that Dustin Hoffman drove in The Graduate, cementing its identity in the minds of American consumers. What does this brand stand for? Image credit: FCA Alfa Romeo has always been about sportiness. From nearly the beginning, ALFA, which stands for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, was involved in auto racing, which helped to set its course through history. For most of that time it hewed to the performance car standard of rear-wheel drive, though more recently the brand’s offerings had been built with the more cost-effective front-wheel drive layout, particularly for its small hatchbacks. These were never sold in the U.S., however. Alfa has been owned by Fiat since 1986, being positioned as a step up from that more affordable Italian brand. The company’s Maserati marque competes in the higher reaches of the luxury market, while Ferrari represents the ultimate [...]

2018-08-23T18:21:55+00:00 Jun 2018|News, Research|

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|
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