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Free maintenance, price cuts09/03/2015
Think Jaguars cost too much? Maybe you’re in the “too unreliable” camp. You’re not alone. Jag says according to J.D. Power, the main reasons customers reject a potential purchase are high prices and high maintenance costs. The company aims to fix that: Jaguar announced it is lowering prices while at the same time offering U.S. customers free scheduled maintenance. Jaguar marketing VP Kim McCullough went as far as saying over the next year, Jaguar is going to be the “most transformed” brand in the auto biz.
Jag’s free warranty/scheduled maintenance program is called EliteCare. It includes a five-year/60,000-mile scheduled-maintenance warranty that includes free roadside assistance and what Jag calls its new InControl Protect and Remote system, allowing owners to monitor the car and perform various functions using an app on a smartphone. By the way, that five-year/60K warranty is a year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW's and Cadillac's.
Meanwhile, Jag says on
Play 007 with the Bond edition Aston Martin DB9 GT09/02/2015
We imagine a fair number of Aston Martin buyers already purchase their cars because of James Bond's connection to the marque. Now the automaker is fully embracing the Ian Fleming character with a Bond edition DB9 GT.
Timed to coincide with the release of the new "Spectre" film, the DB9 GT Bond Edition will feature Spectre Silver paint, Aston Martin badges cast from sterling silver, 10-spoke gloss black diamond-turned 20-inch alloy wheels, a carbon fiber front splitter and rear diffuser as well as hood vents, side strakes and grille in bright aluminum. This special edition DB9 GT will also offer 007 Bond Edition exterior badging, just to let everyone within a mile know you're a secret agent. There are also grey brake calipers to go along with the whole silver and gray theme.
The interior will feature a Bond-themed startup screen on the AMi II touchscreen, gun barrel embroidery on the rear seat divider, and numbered sill plaques. A number of accessories will also be included, but not things like exploding briefcases or other Q-inspired tech. Bond Edition buyers will receive a 21-inch Globe-Trotter trolley case finished with an embossed leather luggage tag and an Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M James Bond Limited Edition watch (which we wouldn't mind buying separately).
2016 Nissan 370Z coupe review notes
No Nismo? No problem09/02/2015
ROAD TEST EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: I came back from
This Nissan 370Z seemed much more restrained than the Nismo version we had a few months ago, and I guess it’s supposed to. The suspension was way more livable, with only the harshest bumps throwing it off course. The Nismo banged over any imperfections. Likewise, the steering was easier than the Nismo, too. This ratio seemed the same, or at least close to it, but the effort was way down. I said I liked that Nismo but couldn’t live with it every day. I could see someone living with this one; still not me, but I like it.
2016 Smart ForTwo first drive
Keepin' it weird09/01/2015
What is it? It's the second generation of that weird roller-skate-looking thing your hippie-turned-middle-manager neighbor bought to help change the world. The original Smart was an experiment that continues to perform relatively well in Europe but never quite appealed to American tastes.
One reason for the original ForTwo’s rarity in the U.S. is that it never seemed all that smart: The car was expensive for what it offered, and fuel economy mediocre for the sacrifices required. Unfortunately, the new car continues in this tradition with a base price of $15,400 and 36 mpg combined. For comparison, an extra grand will buy both the front AND back halves of a car in the form of, say, a Honda Fit, which gets the same combined fuel economy but can carry two more people AND 4 cubic feet of more stuff (or the same number of people and more than four times the cargo: 12.2 cubic feet in the Smart vs. 52.7 cubic feet in the Fit with rear seats folded).