CR Names Chevy Avalanche and Toyota Highlander a Top Pick pickup for 2009, Marines Want Off-Road Playground, Ford Transit Connect pricing, Ford Super Duty was named the Work Truck of the Year, and the Obama administration put an end to the trucking program!
Consumer Reports named the Chevrolet Avalanche a Top Pick pickup for 2009 and the Toyota Highlander as the corresponding midsize SUV winner. Also noted were "Models To Look For" in used vehicles, and the list included the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Lexus RX, Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota 4Runner, Infiniti FX35, Acura MDX, Infiniti QX4, Lexus GX, Hyundai Santa Fe, Subaru Tribeca, Nissan Xterra (2005-2008), and Toyota Sequoia.
Marines Want Off-Road Playground
The Marine Corps says it needs more training space at its Twentynine Palms, California, base. It wants to annex nearly 190,000 acres of the Johnson Valley, which is currently used for off-highway vehicle recreation. If you want to keep your riding options open, either at Johnson Valley or a nearby site to be reconfigured by the Bureau of Land Management, let your government officials know.
New Land Rover Diesel?
Jaguar's new turbodiesel V-6, rated at either 237 horsepower/369 pound-feet or 271/443 in Jaguar cars, has been well received, some calling it capable of taking on BMW's twin-turbo inline-six diesel.
Transit Calendar Fare
The Ford Transit Connect will be priced from $21,475 when it hits dealers this summer. Chevrolet's Equinox will be priced from $23,185, about $1800 less than the outgoing version.
Not Quite an Ejector Seat
Toyota has developed another airbag location, this time in the center console of the rear seat to keep occupants from banging into each other. Perhaps we should all just wear inflated Michelin Man suits instead.
At the National Truck Equipment Association show in Chicago, the Ford Super Duty was named the Work Truck of the Year. It's the second year in a row for the Super Duty, and second year of the award. Do you think the next generation of Super Duty with Scorpion diesel and a 6.0-liter-plus gas V-8 might win again?
Michelin has developed an "active wheel" that relocates virtually every moving chassis part into the envelope of the wheel except for steering. Housed inside a wheel (that doesn't have any protruding offset like a dually front wheel) are a spring and damper, disc brake, and electric motor. Maybe it's just us, but we don't see a lot of suspension travel in that photo.
- Not long before he appointed himself de facto CEO of GM and Chrysler, President Obama, referring to the U.S. auto industry, said, "I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it." Since the U.S Library of Congress credits an 1886 patent to Karl Benz for exactly that, Mercedes-Benz quickly issued a corrective announcement: "Don't worry, Mr. President, the Germans have no intentions of walking away from it, least of all the company that invented the car."
- Oregon's governor and speaker of the house earlier this year introduced legislation to prohibit the sale and distribution of aftermarket motor vehicle parts if alternatives that "decrease greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles" are available. HB 2186 appears aimed at tires (a DOT sticker may no longer be enough), but could be applied to other parts as well.
The Obama administration put an end to the trucking program that allowed Mexican trucks to operate in the U.S. beyond the border's commercial zones and U.S. trucks to run throughout Mexico. Proponents note this was a safety issue since Mexican drivers and trucks were not held to the same standards as U.S. drivers and vehicles.