All-New 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro $40,760

2017_toyota_tacoma_trd_pro_06_49799ff6166c5112f04325e9af2522dc1a8afe95TORRANCE, Calif.,  – – It’s dirtier than ever and it’s coming soon!  It’s the highly anticipated return of the all-new Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro!  Whether tackling treacherous snow-covered terrain, driving off the beaten path, or surviving extreme conditions where roads fear to tread, the adrenaline-pumping Tacoma TRD Pro will be up for any challenge.

Based on the ninth-generation Toyota Tacoma pickup that launched last fall, the Tacoma TRD Pro will start getting down and dirty when it reaches dealerships later this month.

The Toyota Tacoma rejoins the 2017 model year TRD Pro family with all-new factory-installed off-road equipment designed by the experts at Toyota Racing Development (TRD) to make it EVEN MORE off-road capable than before.

Aimed squarely at extreme off-roading enthusiasts who know the value of body-on-frame construction, and challenge themselves and their trucks and SUV’s in some of the harshest conditions, the new 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro will raise the bar on TRD Pro performance.  Courtesy of TRD, the new Tacoma TRD Pro will add an array of new performance equipment and features, making this a truly next-generation TRD Pro product, and the new benchmark for challenging off-road terrain.

Extreme Exterior for Extreme Performance
The 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro is designed to not only look tough, but to perform in the toughest off-road environment.  Based on the Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4×4 Double Cab Short Bed model in either 6-speed manual (with clutch start-cancel switch) or 6-speed automatic transmission, the new Tacoma TRD Pro will be available in three exterior colors: Cement, Barcelona Red Metallic, and Super White.  The exterior of each Tacoma TRD Pro model will also include:

  • 16-inch TRD black alloy wheels with Goodyear Wrangler® All-Terrain Kevlar®-reinforced tires
  • TRD Pro aluminum front skid plate
  • Rigid Industries® LED fog lights
  • New projector-beam headlights with black bezels, LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), and auto on/off feature
  • New taillights with black bezels
  • TRD Pro badge on front door with diamond-pattern knurled finish
  • Black TRD Pro and 4×4 rear tailgate badging

Each Tacoma TRD Pro will also come equipped with a heritage-inspired TOYOTA front grille with color-keyed surround, blacked out hood scoop and graphic, color-keyed power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators, color-keyed door handles, black overfenders, and a color-keyed rear bumper.

Interior Sportiness Combined with Convenience Technology
Driving a truck designed for harsh off-road conditions does not mean you also have to live without riding in comfort or the latest safety and convenience technologies.  The new Tacoma TRD Pro combines performance and convenience with standard features that include:

  • Black TRD Pro leather-trimmed heated front seats with TRD Pro logo located on the headrests
  • Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth®  hands-free phone controls
  • Entune™ Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite
  • New for 17MY power sliding rear window with privacy glass
  • TRD shift knob
  • TRD Pro floor mats
  • Rear parking assist sonar
  • Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)

The new Tacoma TRD Pro also includes an analog instrumentation that features a 4.2-inch color Multi-Information Display (MID) with an integrated inclinometer and tilt gauge.  The MID also has outside temperature, odometer, tripmeters, and average fuel economy.

As in all Tacoma models, a GoPro® mount is located on the windshield for serious off-roaders who like to document their exploits with GoPro® HERO cameras.

Pro Performance
The new 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro continues to be all about off-road performance.  The Tacoma TRD Pro will be powered by a 3.5-Liter V6 DOHC 24-valve direct-injection Atkinson-cycle engine with VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide) intake and VVT-I exhaust.
Tacoma TRD Pro really earns its off-road cred through suspension and exhaust enhancements that include:

  • FOX 2.5 Internal Bypass shocks tuned by TRD
  • TRD-tuned front springs with a 1-inch lift
  • TRD-tuned rear suspension with progressive-rate off-road leaf spring
  • TRD cat-back stainless steel exhaust system

Every Tacoma TRD Pro will be equipped with 4WDemand part-time 4WD with a transfer case and Automatic Limited-Slip Differential (Auto LSD) that are both electronically-controlled.  Also standard will be a V6 Tow Package that includes a Class-IV towing receiver hitch, ATF cooler (automatic only), engine oil cooler, power steering cooler, 130-amp alternator, 4- and 7-pin connector with convertor, and Trailer-Sway Control (TSC).

The added traction of 4WD is great, but with Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), it’s even better!  Equipped only on the Tacoma TRD Pro manual, A-TRAC is a 4WD traction control system that uses the 4-channel ABS system to control power flow to the front and rear wheels, all without cutting throttle input, to help make traction no matter where you may be.

When the trail gets challenging, Tacoma TRD Pro’s Crawl Control (CRAWL) will help drivers conquer their off-road adventure.  Equipped on automatics only, this advanced system automatically modulates the throttle and brakes on five low-speed settings so you can keep your focus on navigating across difficult terrain.

Equipped on Tacoma TRD Pro automatic is the Toyota Multi-terrain Select system.  With five modes to choose from, the system helps regulate wheel spin by automatically adjusting the engine throttle and traction control.  When combined with Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain tires with tough Kevlar construction, Multi-terrain Select helps enhance traction dramatically, meaning you can get back to the fun more quickly.

Tacoma TRD Pro’s Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), equipped on automatic transmission models only, helps you safely get up those hills.  This technology helps minimize Tacoma from rolling backward when you move your foot from the brake to the gas pedal, so you can move upward with confidence.
An electronically controlled locking rear differential is also standard to help distribute engine power evenly to both rear wheels so they move at the same speed, providing more grip in low-traction conditions.

Value Pricing
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the Tacoma TRD Pro will range from $40,760 for the Double Cab with a 3.5-liter V6 and 6-speed manual transmission to $42,760 for the Double Cab V6 with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The MSRP for the Tacoma TRD Pro does not include the delivery, processing, and handling (DPH) fee of $940.  The DPH fee for vehicles distributed by Southeast Toyota (SET) and Gulf States Toyota (GST) may vary.

MODEL# MODEL GRADE MSRP
7597 Tacoma TRD Pro 4×4 Double Cab V6 6MT $40,760
7598 Tacoma TRD Pro 4×4 Double Cab V6 6AT $42,760

2017 TACOMA TRD PRO SPECIFICATIONS

Tacoma TRD Pro
Wheels -16” TRD black alloy
-Aggressive wheel offset widens the track +1.0-inch front and rear
Tires -Goodyear Wrangler® All-Terrain Kevlar®-reinforced tires
Shocks FOX 2.5 Internal Bypass shocks Tuned by TRD
– Front: TRD-tuned FOX 2.5 Internal Bypass Coil-overs with TRD coil springs
– Rear: TRD-tuned FOX 2.5 Internal Bypass Shocks with TRD Off-Road specification Leaf Springs
– 2.5-inch diameter aluminum bodies
– FOX patented Internal Bypass technology
– Position-sensitive damping
– Internal Floating Pistons (IFP)
– Hardened, oversized shock shafts are protected by redundant dust boots
– Improved suspension droop travel and bottom out resistance
Springs -Unique TRD-Tuned front springs provide a 1-inch lift
-TRD-tuned rear suspension includes progressive-rate leaf springs from TRD Off-Road models
Exhaust TRD cat-back exhaust system
– Made from 304 stainless steel; utilizes precise CNC mandrel bends
– Single right side exit with chrome-plated dual-walled tip embossed with TRD logo
– More aggressive and distinctive exhaust note
Fog Lights – Rigid Industries® LED fog lights
– Cool white (6500K) light color with high intensity, wide beam pattern
– Instant On/Off
– SAE J583 Compliant Fog Lamp (50 state compliant); RoHS Compliant
– Rigid Industries® is a registered trademark of JST Performance, LLC d/b/a Rigid Industries
Skid Plate  – TRD PRO front skid plate
– Constructed of ¼-inch aluminum
Exterior – Unique heritage-inspired “TOYOTA” front grille with color-keyed surround
– Blacked-out hood scoop and graphic
– Black bezel headlights, taillights, and overfenders
– Color-keyed mirrors, door handles, rear bumper
– Black “TRD PRO” badge on front door with diamond-pattern knurled finish
– Black TRD Pro and 4×4 rear tailgate badging
Exterior Colors -Cement, Barcelona Red Metallic, or Super White
Interior – Black TRD Pro Leather-trimmed heated front seats with TRD Pro logo (located in headrest)
– TRD Shift Knob
– TRD Floor Mats

Genesis G80 pricing starts at $41,400

  • 2017 Genesis G80

    2017 Genesis G80

    New luxury car brand Genesis announces starting price of $41,400 for its first model

  • Standardized advanced safety technology unsurpassed in the mid-luxury segment
  • Genesis G80 provides a stress-free ownership experience with exclusive service valet and maintenance programs

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., – Genesis announced pricing for the new 2017 Genesis G80 mid-luxury sedan, which offers the ultimate in refined performance, human-focused technology and first-class quality. Genesis represents a progressive step forward with a new approach to luxury, focused on providing world-class safety, unprecedented convenience and an exclusive customer experience.

Starting at $41,400, the G80 standardizes advanced safety technology with a suite of active safety features for superior passenger and vehicle protection. Even more, like all Genesis models, the G80 carries an unparalleled Genesis Experience and industry-leading warranty. The 2017 Genesis G80 is manufactured in Ulsan, Korea and will be available this month across the United States.

“The launch of the Genesis brand is an exciting time and opportunity to pioneer change and rethink luxury within the automotive space,” said Erwin Raphael, general manager of the Genesis brand in the U.S. market. “The ultimate luxury is time, and it is our goal to not only develop best-in-class products, but also create a stress-free ownership experience through thoughtful and personalized processes.”

The Genesis G80 is incredibly well-equipped in every configuration and is powered by either a 3.8-liter V6 or 5.0-liter V8 engine. To meet the needs of consumers, the V6 engine offers the option of a sophisticated AWD system, known as HTRAC®, which broadens the luxury sedan’s appeal in the snowbelt regions throughout the U.S.

2017 Genesis G80 Engine MSRP*
G80 3.8 RWD 3.8L V6 $41,400
G80 3.8 AWD 3.8L V6 $43,900
G80 5.0 RWD 5.0L V8 $54,550

*MSRP excludes $950 freight charge

Click here for more information on the 2017 Genesis G80’s Pricing & Packaging

The G80 provides an unrivaled standard suite of active driver safety technologies unsurpassed in the mid-luxury segment. These features cover the full spectrum of safety, from driver aids to prevent accidents to total occupant safety, and even the safety of other drivers on the road.

Standard Advanced Safety & Technology Highlights:

  • Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)
  • Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Lane Keep Assist (LKA) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • High Beam Assist
  • Pre-safety seat belt and nine airbags
  • Smart Cruise Control with Stop/Start capability
  • Electronic Parking Brake with Automatic Vehicle Hold
  • 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with rearview camera

The G80 3.8L also offers Premium and Ultimate equipment packages to provide customers with additional luxury and convenience features such as a panoramic sunroof, full color heads-up display, and a 17-speaker Lexicon® premium audio system. The top of the line G80 5.0L comes fully equipped with larger 19-inch wheels, quad exhaust tips and illuminated door sill plates.

To further differentiate itself within the luxury space, the Genesis G80 will launch with exclusive customer programs to truly elevate the ownership experience. From valet service appointments scheduled using the Genesis mobile app, to complimentary maintenance and Genesis Connected Services, the Genesis Experience is designed to provide time-saving conveniences that in total no other luxury brand offers. These programs will be applied to all future Genesis models.

  • 3 years/36K miles Complimentary Scheduled Maintenance
  • 3 years/36K miles Complimentary Valet Services
  • 3 years Complimentary Genesis Connected Services including Connected Care, Remote, and Guidance
  • 3 years Complimentary SiriusXM Travel Link (Traffic & Data)
  • 3 years Complimentary Map Care – map updates
  • Best-in-Industry Warranty with Enhanced Roadside Assistance and Concierge Services

Honda Ridgeline pickup marketing set with new TV spot

Honda today is introducing a new integrated marketing campaign to promote the completely redesigned 2017 Honda Ridgeline, now available in dealerships nationwide, featuring creative from the Academy-award nominated stop-motion artist PES, to bring to life the new Ridgeline and its many innovative features.

Honda is introducing a new integrated marketing campaign to promote the completely redesigned 2017 Honda Ridgeline, now available in dealerships nationwide, featuring creative from the Academy-award nominated stop-motion artist PES, to bring to life the new Ridgeline and its many innovative features.

  • Multi-channel campaign debuts during the Summer Games in Rio
  • “The Power of Ridgeline” TV spot (http://honda.us/PowerOfRidgeline) brings truck’s versatility to life
  • Creative execution developed by stop-motion artist PES, creator of Honda’s famed “Paper” spot  
  • Experiential and social activations position Ridgeline as “The Ultimate Tailgating Vehicle”

TORRANCE, Calif. – Honda is introducing a new integrated marketing campaign to promote the completely redesigned 2017 Honda Ridgeline, now available in dealerships nationwide, featuring creative from the Academy-award nominated stop-motion artist PES, to bring to life the new Ridgeline and its many innovative features. Launching today online as a sneak peek ahead of its offical debut during the Summer Games in Rio, the multi-channel campaign is led by a new 60-second TV spot, “The Power of Ridgeline,” that showcases the versatility, utility and comfort of the all-new Honda pickup truck.

“A one-of-a-kind truck like the all-new Ridgeline deserves an innovative marketing campaign to communicate how this truck stands out among its competition,” said Susie Rossick, Assistant Vice President of Marketing at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Our new campaign celebrates how Ridgeline defies convention whether used for recreation or work, to show consumers what sets it apart from the rest.”

Ridgeline TV Spot
In the campaign’s hero spot “The Power of Ridgeline” (http://honda.us/PowerOfRidgeline), Honda again partners with PES, with Ridgeline helping realize a full-scale construction project that ends in a surprising twist. The spot is a departure from typical truck category advertising and offers a visually spectacular demonstration of the Ridgeline’s innovative capabilities. “The Power of Ridgeline” showcases a unique combination of in-camera choreographed long-exposure, and stop-motion. PES and Honda previously worked together on the critically acclaimed and award-winning “Paper” ad in 2015.

The new Honda Ridgeline made its official television debut during Super Bowl 50.  The “A New Truck to Love” spot featuring Queen’s iconic hit, “Somebody to Love,” introduced America to the new Ridgeline and the industry’s very first factory Truck-bed Audio System. Expanding on that creative, the robust new Ridgeline multi-channel marketing campaign exposes consumers to the wide range of innovative features and technology that make the all-new Ridgeline the best in the midsize truck segment. The new campaign also features a strong experiential presence, as well as print and out of home media activations, social media programming, digital media and original content that showcases some of the pickup’s most unique features.

Ridgeline Gets Social

To extend the reach of the Honda Ridgeline marketing campaign, the automaker will be sharing multiple social programs to support the launch new of the new pickup. A set of four stop-motion videos will go live mid-August, with each video created to show off the Ridgeline’s various features including impressive cargo and cabin space, robust payload capacity along with the Honda-exclusive In-Bed Trunk® and Dual Action Tailgate.

Honda has also teamed up with the “Wood Whisperer” (http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/), known for constructing education and entertainment for the modern woodworker, to create “Saturday Projects” in the back of the Honda Ridgeline, which will launch in August. In a series of four videos, the Wood Whisperer will use the features of the Ridgeline including the in-bed trunk and AC outlet, to build a BBQ cart, a giant connect-four game, dog steps, and bench.  He will also demonstrate that all of these projects can be built with sheets of plywood that fit flat in the back of the Ridgeline.

Honda today is introducing a new integrated marketing campaign to promote the completely redesigned 2017 Honda Ridgeline, now available in dealerships nationwide, featuring creative from the Academy-award nominated stop-motion artist PES, to bring to life the new Ridgeline and its many innovative features.

Honda is introducing a new integrated marketing campaign to promote the completely redesigned 2017 Honda Ridgeline, now available in dealerships nationwide, featuring creative from the Academy-award nominated stop-motion artist PES, to bring to life the new Ridgeline and its many innovative features.

The Honda Ridgeline also will be featured on Tested.com created by Mythbusters star Adam Savage, this fall, with six custom builds highlighting the truck’s unique features. The Ridgeline “Features Not Standard” episodes will rollout on Facebook, YouTube and on Tested.com.

The Ridgeline Experience Continues

For consumers to experience the all-new Ridgeline as “The Ultimate Tailgate Vehicle,” Honda plans to take college football by storm this fall in a new series of “Hometown Tailgates” to be announced later this summer. As part of the program, Honda Ridgeline will present the “Battle at Bristol’s Tailgate Party” staring Kenny Chesney and The Band Perry and will be a part of the largest college football game in history the following day.

Honda also has launched a new Hispanic marketing campaign that debuted with the Ridgeline’s official sponsorship of the Univision Deportes’ broadcast of “Campeón de Campeones,” the emblematic Mexican soccer championship match between the winners of the two most recent Liga MX seasons that took place in Los Angeles and aired on Univision. A new Ridgeline Hispanic TV spot, “NO ES NADA” debuted during “Campeón de Campeones,” featuring the all-new Ridgeline as a ‘mid-size truck with a big-sized heart’


Additional Campaign Elements and Media Placements

National media will run on network cable, broadcast, and online video within top-rated programming and fall premieres. To create greater impact at launch, the Ridgeline campaign will include portal homepage takeovers, such as on Yahoo! and MSN. Large-scale outdoor units will boost visibility on the local level within select major urban markets. To extend the campaign’s presence, it will be featured in men’s lifestyle titles, surrounding sports / fitness, technology, and auto enthusiast magazines.

About the Redesigned and Re-engineered 2017 Honda Ridgeline

The all-new Ridgeline, now available in Honda dealerships, builds on the unique and still industry-exclusive features that debuted in the award-winning first-generation Ridgeline in 2005. With superior on-road manners and a spacious, flexible interior — the 2017 Ridgeline adds the truck bed audio system to the already industry-first In-Bed Trunk® and Dual-Action Tailgate. Ridgeline joins Honda’s expanded lineup of innovative light-truck models, including the HR-V crossover, the CR-V and Pilot SUVs and the Odyssey minivan.

The Ridgeline was developed by Honda R&D Americas in Ohio and California, and is produced exclusively at Honda’s Lincoln, Alabama, auto and engine plant, alongside the Pilot and Odyssey.

Honda today is introducing a new integrated marketing campaign to promote the completely redesigned 2017 Honda Ridgeline, now available in dealerships nationwide, featuring creative from the Academy-award nominated stop-motion artist PES, to bring to life the new Ridgeline and its many innovative features.

Honda  is introducing a new integrated marketing campaign to promote the completely redesigned 2017 Honda Ridgeline, now available in dealerships nationwide, featuring creative from the Academy-award nominated stop-motion artist PES, to bring to life the new Ridgeline and its many innovative features.

Toyota Announces 2017 Mirai Pricing: $57,500

2016_toyota_fuel_cell_vehicle_022TORRANCE, Calif.  – Toyota Mirai drivers – COME ON DOWN!! While drivers may not see the trailblazing Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle in a game show showcase anytime soon, they can see every day value in new model year pricing. Toyota Mirai 2017 model year offers competitive, flexible pricing options and the opportunity to be a part of automotive history.

The Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle combines hydrogen and oxygen to make electricity onboard, while emitting nothing but water vapor. It is a zero emission vehicle with an EPA estimated driving range of 312 miles, and refuels in around five minutes.

MY17 MSRP remains $57,500 plus an $865 destination fee. Mirai customers also may qualify for an $8,000 federal tax credit and $5,000 potential California rebate along with access to the coveted California HOV carpool lane.

To recognize our Mirai drivers leading the way, qualified customers will be eligible for the Mirai trailblazer support program. The trailblazer program enhances the purchase and ownership experience with the following choices:

  • Trailblazer Lease: $349 per month for 36 months, $2,499 due at signing* with 12,000/year  mileage allowance
  • Trailblazer APR Support: 0% for 60 months or 1.9% for 72 months and
  • Trailblazer Purchase Support of $7,500

*Excludes official fees, taxes and dealer charges. See participating Authorized Mirai Toyota Dealer for details.

The new model year brings with it a new color option – Atmospheric Blue – to complement the existing Celestial Black, Elemental Silver and Nautical Blue Mirai color choices.

The Mirai comprehensive, ownership experience remains unchanged for MY17, boasting a range of world class services, including:

  • Three years’ worth of complimentary fuel [1]
  • Three years complimentary Safety Connect and Entune, including hydrogen station finder app.
  • Three years of 24/7 customer call support.
  • Mirai Complimentary Rental Experience for seven days per year for three years.[2]
  • ToyotaCare[3], our standard no cost service plan and roadside assistance, is enhanced for Mirai and includes:
    • No cost scheduled maintenance for three years, or 35,000 miles, whichever comes first[4]
    • No cost enhanced roadside assistance[5] for three years, regardless of mileage, including expedited towing service and trip interruption reimbursement at a maximum of $500 per day for up to 5 days per incident.[6]
  • 8-year/100,000-mile warranty on key fuel cell vehicle components including the FC stack and power control unit; FC hydrogen tanks; hybrid battery pack and ECU; FC air compressor, boost converter and ECU; hybrid control module (power management control module); and hydrogen fueling ECU.[4]

California customers can request a Mirai by visiting http://www.toyota.com/mirai. Production of the Mirai is limited and vehicles will be placed with select, eligible customers. After placing a request, potential Mirai drivers are contacted directly by a Toyota representative to discuss ownership and next steps.

Mirai customers take delivery from one of the eight authorized California dealers of their choosing. In Southern California, Longo Toyota, Toyota of Orange, Toyota of Santa Monica or Tustin Toyota will take care of Mirai trailblazers. Customers in Northern California will visit Roseville Toyota, San Francisco Toyota, Stevens Creek Toyota or Toyota Sunnyvale.

[1] Complimentary fuel for 3 years or $15,000 maximum, whichever comes first. Fuel program starts after receipt and activation of fuel card; fuel card is nontransferable. Fueling must be done at approved stations that meet SAE fueling interface protocols.
[2] The seven complimentary days per year will expire after each year and any unused days will not carry over.
[3] ToyotaCare covers normal factory scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. 24-hour roadside assistance is also included for two years, regardless of mileage. Valid only at authorized Mirai Fuel Cell dealers in the continental United States. See dealer for details and exclusions.

[4] Covers normal factory scheduled maintenance and is valid only at authorized Mirai Fuel Cell dealers in the continental United States. See dealer for details and exclusions.
[5] Does not include parts and fluids.
[6] Trip reimbursement covers interruptions that require the Toyota dealership to keep such vehicle overnight and such Covered Vehicle is at the time of such disablement more than fifty (50) miles from the residence of the owner of the Covered Vehicle. See an Authorized Mirai Fuel Cell dealer for details and exclusions.

Hyundai wants to see your profile #becausefootball

Hyundai is harnessing fan passion for those rivalries with its new digital and social promotion called Put Your Profile On The Line. Through the platform, fans have an exciting opportunity to challenge one another on the outcome of their favorite games, with the stakes being their Facebook profile picture.

Hyundai is harnessing fan passion for those rivalries with its new digital and social promotion called Put Your Profile On The Line. Through the platform, fans have an exciting opportunity to challenge one another on the outcome of their favorite games, with the stakes being their Facebook profile picture.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. – The NFL features some of the best rivalries in all of sports. Hyundai is harnessing fan passion for those rivalries with its new digital and social promotion called Put Your Profile On The Line. Through the platform, fans have an exciting opportunity to challenge one another on the outcome of their favorite games, with the stakes being their Facebook profile picture.

Fans select their favorite team, then identify Facebook friends that they’d like to challenge that week. Once this is chosen and the challenge has been accepted, friends put their Facebook profile picture “on the line.” Based on the outcome of the game, both fans will receive a link to the losing fan’s Facebook profile picture with an overlay featuring the logo of the winning team. Both fans will be encouraged to share the picture to their Facebook profiles. Every time fans compete in a challenge, they will automatically enter a sweepstakes for the chance to win tickets to Super Bowl LI.

Hyundai is harnessing fan passion for those rivalries with its new digital and social promotion called Put Your Profile On The Line. Through the platform, fans have an exciting opportunity to challenge one another on the outcome of their favorite games, with the stakes being their Facebook profile picture.

As the season progresses, so do the stakes — from opposing team overlays to entertaining GIFs and other challenges. On the Hyundai site, fans can keep tabs on different friends’ challenges, see how many Super Bowl entries they’ve earned and view past outcomes. The Super Bowl tickets grand prize will be awarded following the conclusion of the regular season.

“At Hyundai, we understand the NFL fans’ loyalty to their team and with the Put Your Profile On The Line challenge we’re tapping into that fan passion by providing fun ways for them to express it,” said Paul Imhoff, director, Marketing Communications, Hyundai Motor America. “Friendly competition between rivals is an important part of NFL culture and this platform allows fans to showcase their passion and have a possibility to win tickets to Super Bowl LI.”

The campaign was developed by Hyundai’s advertising agency of record, INNOCEAN USA. “For an NFL fan, there’s nothing worse than having to rep your rival,” said Barney Goldberg, VP, group creative director, INNOCEAN. “But even if that happens, we don’t ever judge.”

#BecauseFootball Twitter Sweepstakes
In addition to the Profile program, Hyundai also launched a Twitter sweepstakes. Every Sunday, Hyundai will reward fans for their loyalty and commitment to watching and paying attention to the game. When the announcer mentions the word “Drive,” fans will be encouraged to tweet #BecauseFootball and #HyundaiSweepstakes. Every fan who tweets the aforementioned hashtags will be entered for a chance to win tickets to Super Bowl LI.

2016 Subaru Crosstrek impresses

2016_ctk_photos_ext_13By Gerry Miles

In the mix of utilitarian, quasi-cute and versatile, Subaru created one of its most popular model in recent history in the Crosstrek.

A small package with an equally small starting price, the Crosstrek builds upon Subaru’s go anywhere at anytime versatility with its all-wheel-drive that supports a small yet rugged appearing package that provides the economy, surprisingly roomy interior and versatility the import firm is known for.

Given a 2016 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium to test, I found exactly why people like the heck out of this vehice. It’s size belies interior room, it didn’t squander safety features and it just looks different enough from its stablemates to make ponder what car they’re actually looking at. One look inside requires the doors to open to see if the interior is fit for clowns or accommodates humans.

Like most trendy automakers, Crosstrek is also offered with a Hybrid setup, but given its efficient 4-cylinder Boxer engine, small packaging and relative light weight, there’s really no need to empty you greenbacks on that model. With EPA estimates of 26 in the city and 34 on the highway (29 combined) you’d be hard pressed to complain when you pull up to the pump.

Back to the economy or the sticker: Priced with a base of $22,395 for a vehicle with the model name Premium is a refreshing double-take no doubt. There’s a ton of standard features that includes a rear backup camera, HD radio, Bluetooth, and the required large touch screen in the dash and leather wrapped on the steering wheel and shifter.

Adding to the sticker was a CVT transmission for another grand to handle the power sent from the 2.0-liter, Boxer engine. A five-speed manual mixer is standard. The CVT made me harken back to the days of the Subaru Justy and then-unknown star Kirstie Alley plugging it in TV commercials. The Justy was hard to justify and moreso with the underpowered motor and CVT package.

Unlike the Justy, the 2-liter powers the Crosstrek just fine in normal daily driver use. Equipped with 148 horsepower and 145 lb.-ft. of torque, it provides potent power for the masses that may not notice the sometimes hesitant nature of the CVT (critics look for such things) or the accompanying sounds of it summoning strength to surge on. It’s not overly obtrusive, yet somewhat noticeable.

16_ctk_photos_int_02Creature comforts includes the $1,995 option package that included the Subaru Starlink multimedia system, featuring an upgraded infotainment system, pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, pre-collision throttle management, and eyesight driver assist. It’s a hefty upgrade but it’s a bunch of safety stuff you’d want in a pinch and to help you out. For that complete package and comparable offerings it’s a good deal.

While I was constantly amazed at the interior room and functionality in the front and back seats I also discovered a compliant ride that sometimes felt too firm. The suspension handles the bumps and road rash keeping it from the cabin. Handling was solid, steering input was direct and road feedback was solid.

Subarus are known for laughing at winter conditions in New England and when they first appeared I asked the owners how they liked their new cars and they all responded with a single phrase: love it. With its AWD Subarus are known to saunter through snowdrifts with the footing of a mountain goat with hiking boots.

While somewhat utilitarian in its features and appearance, the ride, versatility and capabilities have clearly matriculated down the model line….as they should.

ctk_lifestyle_01Crosstrek is a very capable crossover that packs a lot into a small package with big league versatility, features and functions.

Buyers seeking more room, a taller greenhouse and creature comforts should move across the showroom to the vaunted Forester or additional upscale offerings in the showroom. With its year-round capabilities, Subaru has something for everyone.

But for those on a budget, a small garage and a car to haul a canoe, biccyles, or stow the snowshoes, the Crosstrek is a great selection.

2016 Subaru Crosstrek Premium

Base price: $22,395

Options: $2,995

As tested: $25,390