Consumer Car News: 12/17/01

December 17, 2001


The industry-funded Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the newest Explorer earned its top rating in crash tests, while the Jeep Liberty and Isuzu Rodeo got marginal ratings. The tests crash vehicles into a barrier at 40 mph, five mph faster than those conducted by the federal government. Ford had asked the IIHS to delay its test so that it could make modifications to the Explorer’s structure. Along with the Explorer, four other SUVs — the BMW X5, the Acura MDX, the Lexus RX 300 and the Mercedes M-Class — were awarded the highest rating.
Ford Begins Tough Struggle by TCC Team (12/10/2001)


Following a ten-year decline, car theft is on the rise in the U.S. once more, climbing 1.2 percent in 2000, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The industry-funded organization says 1.17 million cars were reported stolen last year, based on statistics from the FBI. The top ten stolen cars reads like a who’s who of the best-sellers list: the Toyota Camry was the most stolen vehicle, followed by the Honda Accord, Honda’s Civic and the Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. A complete list can be found on the institute’s Web site,
TCC Tip: Hands Off, Crooks by Bengt Halvorson (1/19/2001)



2003 Hummer H2

2003 Hummer H2

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GM unveiled the Hummer H2, the first product of its investment in AM General. The new truck is essentially a Hummer shape grafted on a heavily modified GM heavy-duty truck platform, with a 325-hp, 6.0-liter V-8 and heavy-duty four-speed transmission. A full-time four-wheel-drive system with a locking rear differential is standard; two tire packages will be offered, a softer highway set and a triple-sidewall set for extreme off-roading. A luxurious interior with CD stereos, power windows and leather seats will be standard with each H2, which is entering pilot production soon in Mishawaka, Ind., and goes on sale in July for $50,000-$55,000. Stay tuned to TCC for a full story on the H2.
Hummer Humming New Tune by Jim Burt (8/13/2001)


GM’s new Hummer H2 isn’t just pleasing Ahnuld fans everywhere — it’s also ticking off the Sierra Club. One leader of the green think tank says GM should be ashamed of offering such a truck within the context of the war on terrorism: “I think most Americans will agree that the Hummer (H2) is more appropriate for driving around Kabul than Kalamazoo,'' Dan Becker, a Sierra Club director, told Reuters. “This is a gas-guzzler par excellence. Here we've got people in Afghanistan fighting, partly because of our oil dependence.'' GM says the new Hummer will get about 13 mpg when it goes on sale in July, and expects the vehicle to sell as many as 40,000 copies per annum
Hummer H2 Unveiled: TCC’s Daily Edition: 12/12/01 by TCC Team (12/11/2001)



2003 Honda Pilot

2003 Honda Pilot

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Slated for introduction at the Detroit auto show next month, Honda’s new Pilot SUV was designed to “get the best of both worlds,” by combining the looks and AWD of a sport-ute with the eight-passenger seating, cargo capacity and overall “family-friendliness” of a minivan.  “People buying SUVs like the attributes of a minivan.  They just don’t like the image,” Frank Paluch, project leader for the team that developed the Pilot, told TheCarConnection.  Though it shares platforms with the upscale Acura MDX, the new Honda ute will be smaller on the outside yet roomier on the inside, with lots more of what Paluch called “stuffable storage.”  It will feature a less sophisticated version of MDX’s 3.5-liter V-6, and boast a 4500-pound towing capacity.  Scheduled for launch next summer, the Pilot will be built at the Canadian assembly plant currently producing both the MDX and the Odyssey minivan.
2002 Detroit Show Preview by Marty Padgett (12/16/2001)
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