Ad Radar

Week in Review: Fancy Interiors, Crash Test Failures, and One Overhyped Fire

By Keith Buglewicz | October 05, 2013
Here's a fun-fact for you: things happened in the world that had nothing to do with Obama, Boehner, government shutdowns, healthcare debates, or juvenile name calling between people who dress far too nicely for such a thing. No, really! It's true! In fact, we only covered one thing that had anything to do with this week's government shenanigans, and it wasn't even one of our most important stories. So while the world facepalmed as Washington dug itself another hole, it mostly just went along its business, even if nobody paid attention. For example, we got our first look at the 2015 Cadillac Escalade's interior, we saw how many cars everyone sold in September, and we discovered that Toyota's still struggling to pass a new crash test. What else? Click on through to the other side to find out.

Monday, September 30

We'll see what the rest of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade looks like on Monday; come back here at 4:30 pm Pacific time for the full story. But on Monday, we got to gaze upon the new interior for the 2015 Escalade. It's a feast for the eyes. Gone are the days when it was little more than a Chevy Tahoe with nicer leather and Cadillac badges. The new interior shares nothing with its GMC and Chevrolet cousins. Instead, it looks as if someone took the 2014 Cadillac CTS interior and plunked it into the big SUV. It's a move we approve of wholeheartedly.

Tuesday, October 1 Why would these two Jaguars be smiling if they could? Because Jaguar is one of the few companies in September to post a solid sales gain. The September 2013 sales numbers were disappointing, to say the least. The entire industry slipped 4 percent, which doesn't sound like a lot, but is when it had been on fire pretty much all year up to this point. Only a handful of companies showed any kind of gain, and most of those were in the single digits, with the exception of Jaguar, which showed a 31 percent gain over last year. When you're done with that, check out which vehicles won their market segments; there were a few surprises there, too.
Wednesday, October 2 Fuel economy may not be the sexiest thing when it comes to new cars and trucks, but there's no doubt it's a primary consideration among buyers. That extends even to full-size trucks, which have been showing great strides in fuel economy over the past couple years. Perhaps the best example of this is the new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado High Country and GMC Sierra Denali. Both trucks come with a new 6.2-liter V-8 engine with 420 horsepower, and both are full-size trucks with the aerodynamics of...well, it doesn't get much worse than a full-size truck, really. So imagine our surprise when the fuel economy for these big beasts was actually the same as the small V-8 versions of the old model. Granted, it's still not great by Prius standards, but for a big truck with a big engine, the numbers are pretty respectable. Click the link to see what they are.
Thursday, October 3 Oh, Toyota, you just can't catch a break from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, can you? The Japanese automaker has been having a heck of a time passing the IIHS's new small front-overlap crash tests, which mimics crashing your car headlight-first at 40 mph into something like a utility pole or a tree. After the newest versions of the Camry, Prius V, and RAV4 all got "Poor" scores, the IIHS says the new 2014 Toyota Corolla got only a "Marginal" score. Granted, that's better than "Poor," but it still isn't enough for the little Toyota to get a Top Safety Pick+ award from the Institute, the best available.  On the upside, it did ace the rest of the crash tests, earning a Top Safety Pick. But the new 2014 Corolla missing that "+" has gotta hurt.
Friday, October 4 The National Fire Protection Association says that approximately 152,300 vehicles catch fire each year, an average rate of about 17 an hour. Virtually anybody who has driven for any length of time has seen a car pulled to the side of the road, merrily in flames. And how many times have you been stuck in traffic, a column of black smoke ahead signalling the source? The point is that car fires aren't rare. However, that didn't stop everyone from flipping their lids when a Tesla Model S caught fire in Seattle after hitting a large metallic object. Why the hysteria, and accompanying stock price drop? Because the Tesla Model S is an EV, you see, and therefore anything it does must be scary, or indicative of a larger trend. It's not. It's a car. Once in a while, they burn. If you're afraid of batteries, remember that most other cars are powered by a liquid so flammable that you're not even supposed to use a cell phone when you pour it in the tank, since a static spark could ignite it. So a Tesla burned. Get over it people.