2015 Escalade reveal October 7

BY GERRY MILES

2015 Cadillac Escalade Headlight

2015 Cadillac Escalade Headlight

They’ve posted two teaser photos, set the date for the reveal on Oct. 7 and now comes word that it will be done with rock photog Autumn de Wilde who shot a portrait series (guess who likely shot the teasers) and made a film highlighting the design process.

This sounds great, but what about the vehicle?

I don’t care particularly if Annie Liebowitz shot the photos, it comes down to mass of metal and how it passes the Ross Perot test after we touch it, sit in it and drive it around.

From a press release was the following quote, “I immerse myself in the world of my subjects. I suppose it’s not unlike a method actor’s approach sometimes,” said de Wilde. “My job is to give the audience even more of a reason to form a crush on this person or this object.”

2015 Cadillac Escalade Badge

2015 Cadillac Escalade Badge

Huh? Form a crush? Is this high school home run passing notes around?

After the poor slab-sided version of the Suburban General Motors trotted out, that they’re highlighting the photo work of a rock shooter causes me some concern.

GM, you did the real deal on the Corvette, why stoop to this tactic?

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Nissan keeps selling current gen Rogue as Rogue Select

2013 Nissan Rogue

2013 Nissan Rogue, which will now be known as the Rogue Select.                              (Nissan photo)

 BY GERRY MILES

Nissan has an enviable problem: it’s current Rogue that’s due to be replaced by the model announced on Sept. 10 is selling so well, it’s being held over and given a new name until the 2014 comes online.

The strategy is simple: keep both pipelines fed and the customers buying whatever they want. Think of the move as Nissan being like Baskin-Robbins – have a flavor for everyone.

Rogue, the second best-selling vehicle in Nissan’s U.S. lineup, is totally redesigned for 2014 model year – set for November on-sale

The 2013 Rogue, nee the Rogue Select will go on sale in January 2014 with a base M.S.R.P.* of less than $20,000 (USD) at its dealer network. Rogue Select complements the completely redesigned Rogue, which debuted on September 10.

In CY2012, Rogue sold 142,349 stateside units. In 2013 sales have increased 16% through August.

“As the compact SUV segment is becoming very specialized, there is an opening for a low-cost, high-content offering, which is a gap that Rogue Select will fill,” said Fred Diaz, divisional vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America, Inc. “Rogue Select will allow Nissan to continue its strong performance in the segment, which will only get stronger once the all-new, U.S.-built 2014 Rogue goes on sale.”

2014 Nissan Rogue

2014 Nissan Rogue

The all-new 2014 Rogue will be assembled in Smyrna, Tenn., while the current-generation vehicle is built in Kyushu, Japan, where Rogue Select will also be assembled.

More information about Rogue Select, including equipment levels and pricing, will be available closer to its on-sale date.

Sienna’s only minivan with optional All-Wheel-Drive

Toyota Sienna LE AWD minivan

Toyota Sienna LE AWD minivan

BY GERRY MILES

It may seem strange, given the availability and functionality of all things sure-footed in the automotive world today, yet Toyota’s Sienna is the only mom bus to offer all-wheel-drive.

The move from AWD from 4WD seems to be more natural to the smaller, popular RAV4, so why not the Sienna? Seems a natural for the sleek and stylish people hauler that boasts a standard 3.50liter, 266 hp, V-6 engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Sienna boasts a credible 18-mpg city / 25-mpg highway EPA fuel economy rating on FWD models.

Sienna can be configured in 7 or 8-passenger setups and now offers Entune multi-media and split-screen rear seat entertainment. A tow prep package is now standard on all models for anyone wishing to tow a trailer up to 3,500 pounds.

For the 2014 models, the Blind Spot Monitor is a standalone option for the SE model. Previously for the SE, it was available only as part of option packages. It also includes a cross-traffic alert and  remains standard on the Limited.

Designed specifically with North American customers in mind, the current-generation Sienna was primarily designed by Toyota’s Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif., developed in part at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., and is assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana.

The 2014 Sienna is available in five grades:

  • L
  • LE
  • SE
  • XLE
  • Limited

All-wheel-drive is available on LE, XLE and Limited models.

Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation.

Accord hybrid a treat and no tricks at the pump with EPA 50 mpgs

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

BY GERRY MILES

With the current trend of dropping gas prices – let’s hope they continue – customers might enjoy the EPA-rated 50 mpg given to the  2014 Accord Hybrid when it goes on sale nationally Halloween day on Oct. 31.

The Accord carries an MSRP from $29,155 up to $34,905 for the upscale Accord Hybrid Touring model, plus a destination and handling charge of $790.

“With advanced technologies standard on every Accord Hybrid we’ve given customers an incredible combination of fuel efficiency, technology and value,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales at American Honda. “The addition of the Accord Hybrid to the lineup will further advance Accord’s position as America’s most popular passenger car with individual buyers.”

Every new 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid is equipped with numerous standard features including Honda’s exclusive LaneWatch™ blind spot display system, a premium feature not even available on any competitive hybrid models.

Additional standard features include:

  • a rearview camera
  • LED daytime running lights (DRL)
  • Expanded View Driver’s Mirror,Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®
  • USB/iPod® integration
  • Pandora® compatibility
  • SMS text message function
  • dual-zone automatic climate control
  • alloy wheels
  • driver’s seat with 10-way power adjustment
  • 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system.

The Accord Hybrid EX-L gets  Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) along with leather-trimmed and heated front seats and the HondaLink™ cloud-based media and connectivity system featuring Aha® compatibility. Power driver’s seat memory, front passenger seat with 4-way power adjustment and one-touch moonroof are also standard on the EX-L trim.

The Accord Hybrid Touring adds the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with voice recognition and FM traffic data, LED headlights with blue tinted chrome bezels, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and hard disk drive (HDD) audio memory.

With EPA fuel-economy ratings1 of 50 mpg city / 45 mpg highway / 47 mpg combined, the 2014 Accord Hybrid is the top rated 4-door sedan in America in the EPA city cycle. Highlighting both form and function, it blends the sophisticated exterior styling and spacious interior packaging of the Accord Sedan with a highly efficient two-motor hybrid system from Honda’s Earth Dreams™ Technology advanced powertrain series.

The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid is the first Honda hybrid vehicle produced in Ohio, at the company’s Marysville Auto Plant, and joins the Greensburg, Indiana-built Civic Hybrid as the second Honda hybrid model built in the U.S., using domestic and globally sourced parts.

The Accord Hybrid is covered by a 3-year/36,000-mile Limited Vehicle Warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty, and a 5-year/unlimited-mile Corrosion Limited Warranty. The hybrid battery pack is covered by a 8-year/100,000-mile or 10-year/150,000 mile limited warranty, depending on the state of purchase/registration.

2014 Accord Hybrid Pricing:

TRIM MSRP2 EPA Fuel Economy Ratings1(city/highway/combined)
Hybrid $29,155 50/45/47
Hybrid EX-L $31,905 50/45/47
Hybrid Touring $34,905 50/45/47

1Based on 2014 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Actual fuel mileage will vary depending on driving conditions, how the vehicle is driven and maintained, lithium-ion battery age/condition, and other factors.

2MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $790 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

® The Bluetooth word mark and logos are owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any use of such marks by Honda Motor Co., Ltd is under license.

® iPod is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. All rights reserved. iPod not included.

® Pandora, the Pandora logo and other Pandora marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Pandora Media, Inc. or its subsidiaries worldwide.

Is Irv Gordon Volvo’s 3 million mile version of Peggy Lee?

Irv Gordon and his 1966 Volvo P1800

Irv Gordon and his 1966 Volvo P1800

BY GERRY MILES

Good for Irv Gordon.

Good for Volvo.

Good for all who have ever owned, driven, liked and for those especially survived a crash – and death-defying in the case of several friends several times – who have walked away with nary a scratch.

Yet for all of Gordon’s news of longevity with a fastidiousness to his near-maniacal mechanic maintenance, there’s no there “there” for the 2014 Volvo line.

Sure there’s plenty of safety stuff that I’ve written before on. The electronics will surely save the lives of both motorist(s), bicyclists and pedestrians alike. There’s so many distractions to driving today the connectivity we crave drives us – almost – crazy. No pun intended.

Yet Gordon – and I’ve seen, met and liked him immediately – and his P1800 are Volvo’s best stories for the upcoming model year. Or am I missing something?

I’ve read the Gordon legends about stopping at Waffle House for coffee but he’s never even had one.

He even likes New Hampshire’s road and their drivers. (He made no live free or die statement, smart man that he is).

Yet Irv made his achievement in Alaska, near Turnagain Arm, (a place I’ve been years ago), perhaps to be near his “turning the odo over again” and not in any place near the dealership in New York where he bought the P1800. For some reason, I thought he’d get close to the 3,000,000-mile mark and then go ’round the block or cross a finish line in Manhattan before doing talk show gigs on the morning TV shows, Kelly and Mike and more.

Volvo’s hired PR guns had tweets, fans post their pictures, all good, but now that it’s over I have to wonder, what else is there for the new model year’s excitement?

As Peggy Lee asked in a song, “Is that all there is?”

Nissan adds optional 3d row seat to 2014 Rogue; MSRP starts at $22,490

Nissan today debuted the all-new 2014 Nissan Rogue. For the first time, assembly of this vehicle moves to the U.S. at Nissan's Smyrna, Tenn. plant. More than 900 jobs were added to support the production. This is the company's fifth totally redesigned model to come out in the last 18 months.

Nissan debuted the all-new 2014 Nissan Rogue on Sept. 10, 2014. For the first time, assembly of this vehicle moves to the U.S. at Nissan’s Smyrna, Tenn. plant. More than 900 jobs were added to support the production. This is the company’s fifth totally redesigned model to come out in the last 18 months.

  • One of two global Nissan crossover SUV designs announced today, along with Nissan X-TRAIL
  • Second best-selling vehicle in Nissan’s U.S. lineup, totally redesigned for 2014 model year, set for November on-sale
  • Bold new design, featuring stylish right-sized exterior, along with flexible, roomy and inviting interior with optional 3-row/7-passenger seating
  • Extensive range of available technologies includes NissanConnect℠ with Navigation, NissanConnect℠ Apps; Around View® Monitor with Moving Object Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Warning
  • $22,490 USD starting M.S.R.P.*, reservation information available now atwww.nissanusa.com

BY GERRY MILES

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan today debuted the all-new 2014 Nissan Rogue compact utility vehicle, the company’s second best-selling model in the United States and one of a family of new Nissan global compact crossovers. The European version, called the Nissan X-TRAIL, made its world debut during a press conference at the Frankfurt Motor Show earlier today. As a high-volume global growth product built on the new jointly developed Nissan/Renault Common Module Family (CMF) platform architecture, it is projected to be available in 190 countries around the world.

The new Rogue is scheduled to go on sale at Nissan dealers in the United States in November with a starting price of $22,490 USD* for the Rogue S front-wheel drive model.

In anticipation of strong consumer interest and demand for the second-generation Rogue, a special pre-sale reservation program launched today at www.nissanusa.com. Through this program, buyers will receive a $250 gift card when they sign up to be one of the first owners of this all-new vehicle (upon purchase of the vehicle).** A special $239 USD Rogue Reservation Program lease is also being offered.**

“There is growing demand for compact SUVs around the world due to their user-friendly combination of right-sized exteriors, flexible interior utility and low environmental impact,” said Fred Diaz, divisional vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America, Inc. “With this exciting, innovative, all-new design, Nissan is aggressively targeting increased sales and share in every market. By sharing development costs, while adapting powertrains, designs and equipment offerings for each specific region, Nissan has been able to add features and technologies while keeping prices affordable. No matter the specific market nameplate, it’s a guaranteed winner.”

The 2014 Rogue’s new exterior design provides a premium, high-quality look and feel with available LED headlights, standard LED signature daytime running lights, outside mirrors with integrated turn signals and rear spoiler. Also available are a power panoramic moonroof and a power rear liftgate.

For the first time, Rogue will offer optional 3-row/7-passenger seating, thanks to its improved interior packaging efficiency. Among the many interior highlights are the innovative, class-exclusive*** Divide ‘n Hide® Cargo System providing 18 adjustable variations (two-row models) between the cargo and occupant areas. The premium Rogue interior also offers exceptional passenger and cargo versatility, with best-in-class*** front headroom. The class-exclusive*** EZ Flex™ Seating System includes a reclining 40/20/40-split 2nd row seat and 2nd row legroom of 37.9 inches and 9.0 inches of fore/aft adjustability. Standard interior features include Streaming Audio via Bluetooth® and Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant.

“Rogue’s bold, dynamic new styling is going to generate tremendous attention,” said Diaz. “And once buyers take a look inside at the roomy, premium interior and experience the long list of affordable technologies, we know they’ll be delighted.”

Available Rogue technology features include NissanConnect℠ with Navigation and NissanConnect℠ Apps; Around View® Monitor with Moving Object Detection; Blind Spot Warning; Lane Departure Warning; and Forward Collision Warning.

Every 2014 Nissan Rogue is equipped with a responsive 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 170-horsepower and a best-in-class*** 175 lb-ft of torque. Also standard are an advanced Xtronic CVT® (Continuously Variable Transmission), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), and 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and a choice of an intuitive All-Wheel Drive system or front-wheel drive. An added level of driving confidence is provided by the new suite of confidence-inspiring dynamic technologies, featuring Active Trace Control, Active Engine Braking and Active Ride Control.

Fuel economy is projected to be best-in-class**** 33 mpg highway for front-wheel drive models (2014 EPA ratings not available at press time) – representing an 18 percent improvement in highway fuel economy versus the 2013 model. The new Rogue carries the distinctive “PURE DRIVE” badge, signifying Nissan’s commitment to developing more environmentally friendly transportation for every market.

The 2014 Nissan Rogue is offered in S, SV and SL models and will be assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee. For more information, please visit NissanNews.com.

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices* (MSRP) for the 2014 Nissan Rogue: 

Rogue S FWD $22,490 USD
Rogue SV FWD $24,230 USD
Rogue SL FWD $28,070 USD
Rogue S AWD $23,840 USD
Rogue SV AWD $25,580 USD
Rogue SL AWD $29,420 USD

Destination and Handling $860.

What time is it? Time to slow down at the apex. NISMO smartwatch drives telematics to driver

NISMO concept watch

NISMO concept watch

BY GERRY MILES

One part Dick Tracy comic book wrist watch and another of the rumored iWatch from Apple, and another for motor sports, Nissan’s sports division – NISMO – debuted its concept watch at the recent Frankfurt Auto Show that connects the driver to the car.

This wearable technology is alleged to provide biometric data that helps driver performance and efficiency. While that sounds cool, I was wondering if a tried and true “heads up” display on the windshield wouldn’t be better since anyone driving a NISMO has the need for speed. If it’s not safe to glance at your radio or smartphone, what then of a similar time frame to check your biometric feedback on your wrist at a high rate of speed?

Nissan will become the first car manufacturer to create a smartwatch designed specifically for drivers of Nissan NISMO cars. The Nissan NISMO Concept Watch will be the first smartwatch to connect a driver to the car and will provide drivers with real-time biometric data.

Nissan will become the first car manufacturer to create a smartwatch designed specifically for drivers of Nissan NISMO cars. The Nissan NISMO Concept Watch will be the first smartwatch to connect a driver to the car and will provide drivers with real-time biometric data.

Nissan says the NISMO Watch will allow drivers to:

  • Monitor the efficiency of their vehicle with average speed and fuel consumption readings
  • Access vehicle telematics and performance data while on track
  • Capture biometric data via a heart rate monitor
  • Connect to the car using a smartphone app via Bluetooth Low Energy
  • Receive tailored car messages from Nissan

Gareth Dunsmore, Marketing Communications General Manager, Nissan in Europe, commented: “Wearable technology is fast becoming the next big thing, and we want to take advantage of this innovative technology to make our NISMO Brand more accessible. On track, Nissan uses the latest biometric training technologies to improve the performance of our Nissan NISMO Athletes, and it is this technology we want to bring to our fans to enhance their driving experience and NISMO ownership.”

Research at the NISMO performance lab has identified three key technologies have already been identified for future development and wearable technology:

  • ECG (Electrocardiogram) to measure the intervals of the R-R rhythm of the heart and identify early fatigue
  • EEG (Electroencephalogram) Brainwave to monitor the drivers’ levels of concentration and emotions, and help athletes to get “In the Zone”
  • Skin Temperature to record core body temperature and hydration levels

The NISMO Watch will also track and rate the user’s social performance across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram via Nissan’s proprietary Social Speed software.

The sleek NISMO Watch will be available in three colors – black, white and the flagship black and red.

Lithium battery life is pegged at seven days, and yes, you’ll need another USB cord to recharge it.