KBB Study: Drivers still multi-task while driving despite risks

 KBB.com Brand Ambassador and Professional Football Player Todd Gurley, NASCAR Driver Chase Elliott Join in 

#DriveSmart Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign


IRVINE, Calif., April 14, 2016 – Distracted driving is defined as any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. While nearly every state in the U.S., as well as Washington D.C., has laws prohibiting the use of mobile phones while driving, a new survey by Kelley Blue Book reveals that 61 percent of drivers continue to multi-task from behind the wheel.

The 2016 Kelley Blue Book Distracted Driving Awareness survey, released today by KBB.com, the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry, is part of the company’s #DriveSmart Distracted Driving Awareness campaign, launched during Distracted Driving Month. The national survey reveals that nearly half (47 percent) of respondents have used their phone while driving on roads or residential streets, 40 percent have used their phones while cruising the highway and 86 percent have used their phone while at a stop light or in heavy traffic. Talking on the phone and using the navigation system were the highest rated activities reported with 78 percent and 71 percent, respectively. Texting came in third with 67 percent, followed by using music apps (47 percent) and using social media (31 percent).

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 25 percent of all crashes involve some form of driver distraction, and drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. In fact, nearly three quarters of survey respondents (71 percent) believe that cell phone usage is the biggest threat facing today’s teen drivers, with drinking and driving (18 percent) and reckless driving (10 percent) rating as a distant second and third, respectively.

According to Distraction.gov, the average time a driver takes their eyes off the road while texting is five seconds. When traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded. Millennial drivers report the highest rates of texting (74 percent) and checking social media sites (36 percent) while driving. However, young people are not the only drivers reaching for their phones. The survey reveals that Baby Boomers lead the pack, reporting the highest rate overall of talking on the phone while driving (87 percent), followed by Gen X (83 percent) and Millenials (76 percent).

“We all know that texting while driving is a serious distraction, but it isn’t the only reason drivers are taking their eyes off the road,” said Jack Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “With the increase of in-car technology, there are more distractions vying for a driver’s attention. Whether it is in-dash navigation, music apps or voice command call or text, more and more drivers are multi-tasking behind the wheel as opposed to focusing on the road.”

Take the Pledge: “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All”

In addition to conducting the nationwide survey, Kelley Blue Book, along with NHTSA and The Conor Lynch Foundation, will host a student assembly at Inglewood High School in Los Angeles on April 21, 2016, to educate students on the dangers of distracted driving. Professional football player Todd Gurley and local officials will be on hand to bring attention to the issue. At the assembly, the students will be directed to take the “One Text or Call Could Wreck it All” pledge at Distraction.gov.

“Texting behind the wheel is dangerous, deadly and completely preventable.  Help make our roads safe for everyone and save it for when you’re not in the driver seat,” said Chris Murphy, regional administrator for NHTSA. “Working with our safety partners and organizations like Kelley Blue Book, we’re calling on drivers to take the pledge and put their phones down.  Our focus is to drive positive behavior change and encourage safe driving habits.”

Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 24 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports, also has joined the campaign by creating a digital PSA that was released earlier today to help spread the message about the dangers of distracted driving. Elliott, a champion NASCAR driver who himself is only 20 years old, is uniquely qualified to share the importance of giving your full attention to driving, helping to ensure everyone’s safety by reminding people to just drive.

Kelley Blue Book names 2016 Best Family Cars

KBB.com Conduct Extensive Tests, Determine Vehicles that Best Fit Family Needs;
All-New Car Seat Section Details How Rear-Facing & Forward-Facing Child Seats Fit 

IRVINE, Calif.  – The vehicles deemed the 16 Best Family Cars of 2016 were announced today by Kelley Blue Book, http://www.kbb.com, the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. After extensive testing and evaluation, with a keen focus on safety, comfort, convenience, spaciousness for both passengers and cargo, and fit of various rear-facing and forward-facing child safety car seats, the KBB.com expert editors recommend their choices for a diverse group of vehicles that best meet the needs of today’s modern families.

“For two weeks’ time we drove, lived-with, folded-down-seats-of, paired-phones-to and installed-baby-seats-in each and every one of the contenders,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst of Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com. “We loaded cargo, contorted ourselves into third rows, watched movies on rear-seat screens, toted rowing teams to marinas – in short, we did everything that you and your family might do with a vehicle day-to-day. And we did all this with a certain sense of what a family needs and wants, since many of our testers are simultaneously parents of kids ranging from mid-twenties to newborn. So this wasn’t just a cursory exercise, but instead it drew heavily upon our family-car experiences, needs and wants.”

After extensively testing two dozen Best Family Cars finalists, the KBB.com editors decided upon a list of 16 vehicles that they feel are befitting the title Kelley Blue Book Best Family Cars of 2016. While 16 might seem like a high number, the goal is that these vehicles can be divided into logical subsets that will make each family’s new-car shopping much easier. The list contains three minivans, six sedans, three two-row crossover/SUVs and four three-row SUVs.

Kelley Blue Book’s 16 Best Family Cars of 2016

Vehicle Type  Year    Make       Model        Model’s Best Family Car Highlights

Sedan           2016    Honda    Civic         All-around great car, KBB.com’s Overall Best Buy of 2016, generous standard equipment, loads of safety features, cool new redesign.

Sedan          2016     Honda    Accord       Roomy, high-quality interior, added style and safety from recent refresh, solid drivetrain, good economy.

Sedan         2016      Kia         Optima       KBB.com’s Midsize Car Best Buy of 2016, stylish, feature-packed, family friendly.

Sedan         2016     Chevrolet Malibu       All-new redesign, additional safety and efficiency, comfortable and accommodating interior makes it easy to stay connected.

Sedan         2016     Chevrolet Impala       Roomy cabin and trunk, technologically sophisticated, contemporary looks, multiple drivetrain choices.

Sedan         2016     Hyundai  Sonata       Value pricing and class-leading warranty combined with solid resale value and refinement all can take on class leaders.

2Row Crossover/SUV

2016   Honda      HR-V           All-new nameplate in hot segment, surprisingly roomy second row, great for a small family in the city.

2016     Honda      CR-V            Versatile, enjoyable and practical, makes excellent use of space, one of the roomiest small SUVs available, enviable resale value.

2016     Subaru      Outback       Outstanding room for both passengers and cargo, benefits of both wagon and SUV, excellent AWD and capable off-roading abilities provide peace of mind.


2016      Kia           Sedona           Style and function, modern interior, impressive available safety features at affordable price, less bulky feel compared to other minivans.

2016       Honda     Odyssey          Unparalleled combination of flexibility, seating, on-road dynamics/features, Wide Mode easily fits three car seats across 2d row.

2016      Toyota       Sienna             Versatile, flexible, capable, only minivan to offer optional AWD, high resale value and IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for minivans.

3-Row Crossover/SUV

2016      Nissan       Pathfinder        Available around-view monitor, no child seat hassle with EZ Flex & Glide system, pitch-perfect on the road.

2016       Toyota        Highlander       Solid combination of comfort, quality, space and convenience features, unsurpassed level of powertrain choice.

2016        Honda        Pilot                Totally redesigned, “the family-friendliest midsize SUV in existence,” sophisticated suite of available driving technologies, all-star accommodations.

2016         Chevrolet     Tahoe             Truck-based SUV w/ towing/off-roading capabilities, recent redesign, various connectivity features, carries up to 9 people and gear.

In addition, all-new for the 2016 KBB.com Best Family Cars list, this year the editors took specific notes about how three different types of child safety car seats (a rear-facing infant seat, a convertible seat that can be installed either rear-facing or forward-facing, as well as a forward-facing booster seat) fit specifically into each of the vehicles on this year’s list. This section details helpful information for parents who have children of car-seat age (which typically is from birth through the elementary school years), including ease of installation, how leg room and passenger fit is affected in each vehicle when using various types of car seats, and more.

The KBB.com editors extensively tested 24 potential Best Family Cars contenders for 2016 over a two-week period. Runners-up for this year’s KBB.com Best Family Cars list included the 2016 Ford F-150, 2016 Ford Explorer, 2016 Hyundai Tucson, 2016 Kia Soul, 2016 Ram 1500, 2016 Subaru Crosstrek, 2016 Toyota Avalon and 2016 Toyota Camry.

Honda cuts Fit EV lease price $130 to $259/month

  • New three-year lease term requires no down payment and includes unlimited mileage, routine maintenance and collision coverage
  • Customers receive 240 volt EV home charging station equipment as part of the lease
2013 Honda Fit EV

2013 Honda Fit EV


It may not be a free lunch, but any time anyone can save a buck, or say $130 in a new or currently held car lease, it’s a win-win situation. With that in mind, Honda recently cut the price of the all-electriv FIT EV lease from $389 per month to $259, effective today, June 1.

Honda proudly notes the new three-year lease term stretches customer’s electric dollar even further with no down payment, unlimited mileage, routine maintenance, collision coverage and a 240 volt EV home charging station equipment (not including installation),1 from Leviton.

Existing leases also get the reduction, going forward starting in June 2013. With the reduced payment, unlimited mileage, maintenance and collision coverage, this new lease program makes the Fit EV one of the most affordable2 electric vehicles available in the U.S.

“The Fit EV already is a benchmark electric vehicle with a leading-range rating, fun-to-drive dynamics and excellent packaging,” said Steve Center, vice president of Environmental Business Development at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Now it’s the only EV on the market with no down payment, unlimited mileage, collision coverage and a free home charging station, giving customers an unprecedented value that only Honda can provide and a compelling reason to get off the barrel and onto the grid.”

Further, the Fit EV online application process has been streamlined for quicker approval and delivery. Underscoring Honda’s reduced price, its network of qualified Fit EV Honda dealers in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island and Connecticut will expand from 36 to more than 200 by the end of June.

Recently named one of the Ten Best Green Cars by KBB.com , the 2013 Honda Fit EV is the most efficient 5-passenger electric vehicle on the market with a combined adjusted Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mile-per-gallon-equivalency rating of 118 MPGe3, an EPA-rated driving range of 82 miles, and a low energy-consumption rating of just 29 kilowatt hours (kWh) per 100 miles.

Fit EV customers also can take advantage of Honda’s partnership with SolarCity to install solar power with no upfront cost, allowing them to recharge their vehicle with clean, affordable power from the sun.

Customers interested in leasing the Fit EV should cyber surf over to http://automobiles.honda.com/fit-ev/. Information on the SolarCity partnership can be found athttp://www.hondasolarcity.com/.

2013 Honda Fit EV

2013 Honda Fit EV

Fit EV Competitive Lease Comparison

1Customer responsible for costs associated with installation of the 240 volt, 32 amp charging hardware, which is provided by Leviton, Honda’s preferred charging station supplier. Equipment remains with the customers after lease term.
2See chart above.
3132/105/118 city/highway/combined miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) rating; 82 mile combined (city/highway) driving range rating (adjusted). Ratings determined by U.S. EPA. Your MPGe and range will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery age/condition, and other factors. For additional information about EPA ratings, visit http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/label/learn-more-electric-label.shtml.
4Amount due at signing may include down payment, capitalize cost reduction, acquisition fee, security deposit and first month payment. Does not include taxes and title fees.
5Collision Coverage is included with the lease. This means that Honda is taking the risk and responsibility for repairs to the Fit EV, leaving to the lessee only the responsibility to obtain and carry liability insurance for at least the minimum required by the lease. There is no deductible, and Honda will evaluate and approve all repair requests submitted. The lessee will be required to call a toll free number to report all collisions/damage and receive instructions to arrange for repairs.

Connect with Honda:
For consumers: www.automobiles.honda.com/fit-ev
YouTube: www.youtube.com/honda
Flickr: www.flickr.com/hondanews
Twitter: www.twitter.com/honda
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hondafit
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/honda
Instagram: http://instagram.com/honda
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+honda

KBB.COM tabs VW Jetta Hybrid a Top 10 Green Car

WEBSITE Editors recommend the Jetta Hybrid for eco-conscious drivers 

Just in time for Earth Day, editors at Kelley Blue Book named the VW Jetta Hybrid as one of its 10 Best Green Cars for 2013.  Each year, editors at KBB.com choose 10 vehicles for “eco-friendly drivers in the market for a new car ”who are looking to “get more miles from each gallon”.
In selecting the Jetta Hybrid, KBB.com editors said: “The first gas-electric Jetta is 1) a fun-to-drive European sedan that 2) returns 45 combined mpg and 3) starts under $26,000. The Jetta Hybrid is a triple threat that lets you go green and have fun at once.”
“The Jetta Hybrid is a hybrid vehicle that doesn’t make consumers compromise—it’s a practical, fuel-efficient daily commuter infused with Volkswagen’s “fun-to-drive” DNA,” said Rainer Michel, Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “We’re honored that the expert editors at KBB.com have recognized the 2013 Jetta Hybrid as one of their top green cars this year.”
The 2013 Jetta Turbo Hybrid, starting at $24,995, is powered by the only turbocharged engine and DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission in the segment, and offers world-class audio with the available exclusive Fender® Premium Audio System.
For more information about KBB.com’s 10 Best Green Cars of 2013, visit www.kbb.com/car-reviews-and-news/top-10/10-best-green-cars-2013/

Lexus Takes Top Honors in Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com 2013 5-Year Cost to Own Award for Luxury Brand

2013 Lexus GS 350

2013 Lexus GS 350

By Gerry Miles
If it’s true that you get what you pay for, then those shopping the luxury brand of the auto market may want to read up on the recent Kelley Blue Book 5-year cost to own report that lauded Lexus, specifically honoring the 2013 GS 350 sport sedan.

While there’s a mountain of minutiae, the bottom line is that the study breaks down the models and lines that are costing the least to own over the studied time period. Maybe you can have your cake and Lexus after all. Nice!

the full presser follows … TORRANCE, Calif., Feb. 5, 2013 – Lexus earned top honors in the Luxury Brand category of Kelley Blue Book’s 2013 5-Year Cost to Own Awards.  Key models contributing to Lexus’ strong performance include the CT 200h, ES and IS models.  In addition to capturing the luxury brand award, the 2013 GS 350 sport sedan took top honors in the Luxury Car category.

“We are very proud to have won Kelley Blue Book’s prestigious 2013 5-Year Cost to Own Award in the Luxury Brand category,” said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “At Lexus, we pride ourselves on providing great value for our customers throughout their ownership experience while delivering industry-leading customer service.  This award reflects our focus and commitment to elevating the luxury experience.”

Kelley Blue Book’s 5-Year Cost to Own Awards are based on information developed using Kelley Blue Book®Residual Values to calculate depreciation costs.  Kelley Blue Book calculates total ownership costs for new vehicles by applying sophisticated valuation methodology along with critical financial data from third-party providers.  The awards exist to help shoppers make more informed new-car buying decisions by breaking down typical ownership cost details and naming the brands and models with the lowest projected five-year total.

For more information on Kelley Blue Book’s 5-Year Cost to Own Awards, visit