Monthly Archives: April 2013

U.S. News & World Report Rank Top Family Vehicles for 2013

If you’re looking for a new family car in 2013, you might be surprised at the sheer variety that automakers are offering.

Last month, U.S. News & World Report named 19 vehicles as their 2013 Best Cars for Families in a variety of categories ranging from Best Compact Car to Best Luxury Full-Size SUV. Winners were judged based on safety, reliability, interior space, seating capacity, and the inclusion of “family-friendly” features like keyless entry and back seat entertainment systems.

GM dominated the list with six winners. The Chevrolet brand took home two awards with the Chevrolet Suburban winning Best Full-Size SUV and the Chevrolet Cruze winning Best Compact Car. Buick also took home two award with the Buick Verano taking Best Upscale Small Car and the Buick Lacrosse taking Best Full-Size Car, and the Cadillac Escalade rounded out GM’s wins with Best Luxury Full-Size SUV.

Here is the full list of winners:

Compact Car – 2013 Chevrolet Cruze
Upscale Small Car – 2013 Buick Verano
Hatchback – 2013 Toyota Prius
Midsize Car – 2013 Ford Fusion
Upscale Midsize Car – 2013 Acura TL
Full-Size Car – 2013 Buick LaCrosse
Luxury Full-Size Car – 2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Hybrid Car – 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid
Wagon – 2013 Subaru Outback
Compact SUV – 2013 Honda CR-V
Luxury Compact SUV – 2013 Audi Q5
2-Row Midsize SUV – 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee
3-Row Midsize SUV – 2013 Chevrolet Traverse
Luxury 2-Row Midsize SUV – 2013 Lexus RX350
Luxury 3-Row SUV – 2013 Lincoln MKT
Full-Size SUV – 2013 Chevrolet Suburban
Luxury Full-Size SUV – 2013 Cadillac Escalade
Hybrid SUV – 2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Minivan – 2013 Honda Odyssey

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Volvo’s New Fuel Injection Puts Other Engines to Shame

This week, Volvo made a bold statement about their new upcoming engine, claiming that it will make V8s look like “dinosaurs.”

The Volvo Engine Architecture engine family won’t be available until later this year, but Derek Crabb, the VP of powertrain engineering at Volvo Car Group, is already talking it up to the press. When their new fuel injection technology is integrated, Crabb claims, “Our four-cylinder engines will offer higher performance than today’s six-cylinder units and lower fuel consumption than the current four-cylinder generation.” Crabb also stated that the new engines will be “smaller” and “more intelligent”

How does this new fuel injection work? According to Volvo, the new engines will have individual pressure feedback sensors on each cylinder. The pressure in each cylinder will be monitored separately, and fuel injection will be adjusted accordingly. Right now, engines have a common sensor on the cylinders, so they cannot adjust the fuel injection for each individual cylinder.

There hasn’t been an official launch date announced for the new engines yet, but they will be available sometime in autumn 2013. Stay tuned to Approved Loan Store, and we will let you know if the new engines live up to this early praise.

Are you ready to get into a new or used car today? Approved Loan Store wants to help YOU! Good credit, bad credit, no credit, we will work with you to get the car you want at terms you can afford! Get started today by filling out our secure online auto loan application here, and for more auto news and buying tips, like Approved Loan Store on Facebook, follow Approved Loan Store on Twitter, and subscribe to Approved Loan Store on YouTube!

Electric Vehicles Outsell Plug-In Hybrids in March

March was a fantastic month for car sales in the U.S., but more notably, it was the best month for electric vehicles ever recorded.

Last month, there were 4,553 battery electric vehicles sold, outselling electric hybrids for the first time ever. There were 3,079 electric hybrid vehicles sold that month and an additional 46,327 hybrid units, bringing the total of electric and hybrid vehicles to 53,959 units.

By comparison, there were 2,616 battery electric vehicles sold in February and 2,022 vehicles sold in January. According to EV World News, the Nissan Leaf did quite well in March selling 2,236 units, and they outsold the Chevy Volt which sold 1,478 units in March. Nissan and Chevy both dropped their prices on the Leaf and Volt considerably last year after sales for both models were lagging, and March might be a sign of those discounts really paying off.

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Image courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Audi Slims Down 2014 A4, Adds New Features

Automakers in the past year have made an effort to trim the extra weight off their most popular vehicles, but Audi took a huge step this week by promising more features and a slimmer figure on the 2014 Audi A4.

According to a report from AutoBild, Audi is planning to cut approximately 220 pounds off the 2014 Audi A4 and give the interior a full upgrade including a new infotainment system. Additionally, insiders are predicting that Audi will offer a plug-in hybrid and diesel-powered versions of the A4, increasing the fuel economy substantially.

If Audi delivers on these promises, they will set the bar very high for other automakers. Any automaker can make a lighter vehicle, but it is incredibly tough to build a lighter vehicle that also offers more than the previous heavier model. Besides that, Audi is making major changes to an award-winning vehicle, so this is a risk for them. It will be a long time until the world will get a look at the 2014 Audi A4, but until then, we will keep you updated on any new announcements or rumors on the A4 and other new models coming in 2014.

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Study: Deadly Daydreaming Distracts Drivers

A new study on distracted driving shows that daydreaming might be more deadly than using a cell phone while driving.

According to Erie Insurance Group, daydreaming while driving cause 62 percent of distracted driving accidents. Only 12 percent of distracted driving accidents were caused by cell phone usage, even though most initiatives targeting distracted driving are specifically about cell phone usage while driving. The study also named other major driving distractions such as eating while driving, managing pets, and talking with other passengers.

This study should change the conversation on distracted driving. The question shouldn’t be how drivers can do more while driving but rather how drivers should focus only on the road while driving. People are driving and thinking about a million things, thinking they can go on autopilot and still drive safely. Clearly, they are wrong. Distracted driving initiatives will be more successful if they start early with driver’s ed classes and target older drivers using public service announcements which focus more on the attitude that drivers can multi-task rather than just cell phones.

Readers, what do you think? Do you use your cell phone while driving? Do you think these public service announcements and initiatives are helpful for stopping distracted driving? Leave a comment below, and let us know what you think!

Are you ready to get into a new or used car today? Approved Loan Store wants to help YOU! Good credit, bad credit, no credit, we will work with you to get the car you want at terms you can afford! Get started today by filling out our secure online auto loan application here, and for more auto news and buying tips, like Approved Loan Store on Facebook, follow Approved Loan Store on Twitter, and subscribe to Approved Loan Store on YouTube!

Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Automakers Turn Pranksters for April Fool’s Day

Monday was April Fool’s Day, and this year, a number of automakers pulled off some pretty hilarious pranks. In case you missed them, here’s a rundown of some of the best pranks this year.

First up, BMW decided to take on the celebrity baby craze by announcing the new BMW PRAM (Postnatal Royal Auto Mobile), designed specifically for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s baby. While the baby isn’t due until summer 2013, BMW thought they would get a jump on their competitors and build a stroller fit for royalty, complete with a paparazzi-proof hood and air conditioning.

Check out BMW’s PRAM here:

Next, Mini announced they would be branching out into matchmaker services. Mini drivers can create a profile on their in-car app Connect Us, and the app will match them with another Mini driver according to shared interests, driving style, and frequently visited locations. The in-car GPS will even suggest great date spots nearby so they can meet up right away.

Check out Mini’s Connect Us here:

Finally, my personal favorite of the day was Chevrolet’s idea for Corvette enthusiasts with a growing family. Instead of trading in the beloved Corvette for a sensible family car, drivers can now pick up an AeroWagonette for more seating space. The AeroWagonette is a trailer that hooks onto the back of Corvettes and comfortably seats 3 children. Its slick design also matches the look of the Corvette, so drivers won’t have to sacrifice style with their family car.

Check out the AeroWagonette here:

Readers, we want to hear from you! What was your favorite car-related April Fool’s Day prank? Do you wish that any of these products were real? Leave a comment below, and let us know what you think!

Are you ready to get into a new or used car today? Approved Loan Store wants to help YOU! Good credit, bad credit, no credit, we will work with you to get a car you want at terms you can afford! (No joking!) Get started today by filling out our secure online auto loan application here, and for more auto news and buying tips, like Approved Loan Store on Facebook, follow Approved Loan Store on Twitter, and subscribe to Approved Loan Store on YouTube!