Ford Car Junkie 

The all-new 2007 Dodge Nitro

2007 Dodge Nitro

The all-new 2007 Dodge Nitro utility vehicle will start at $19,885 and will be available in dealerships this October. The top-of-the-line Nitro R/T 4x4 is priced at $27,630. Both stickers include a $660 shipping charge.

The five-seater Nitro includes features such as fold-flat first-row passenger seat and fold-flat second-row seats as well as an optional sliding rear cargo floor. Stability control, antilock brakes, electronic roll mitigation and side curtain airbags are just few among the standard safety equipments installed in the new vehicle. Options such as heated leather seats, a navigation system and an entertainment system that can store up to 2,500 songs, are included as well.

The vehicle comes in three trims: the SXT, SLT and R/T. The first two models are equipped with a 210-horsepower SOHC 3.7-liter V6, while the R/T gets a new 255-hp 4.0-liter V6. Six-speed manual or four- and five-speed automatics are choices of transmission. With 20-inch tires and chrome-clad aluminum wheels is standard on the Nitro R/T and optional on the SLT is also set to stand a run a new performance.

Ford’s V-8, Not Included in the Way Forward plan


Sadly, the planned V-8 version of the coming Lincoln MKS is not included in the Way Forward plan of Ford. Starting 2008, the 4.4 liter V-8 would have been built in Ohio and was included as a new sedan. But the budget intended for its production was moved elsewhere.

The production version of Lincoln concept MKS shown by Ford in the auto-show circuit will arrive in showrooms this coming 2008. The vehicle will be run by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine of about 250 hp, which is now being installed in the smaller Lincoln MKZ sedan.

It’s Cee’d for Kia’s new Crossover

Kia Cee

Kia’s Crossover new big wagon, which made its debut as a concept at the Geneva motor show and will go into production later this year will be adopting an unusual name of cee’d (seed).

CE stands for “European Community” and ED for “European design”. It will be shown in its final production form at the Paris show. The new midsize hatchback will be made in Slovakia at Kia’s plant and will be out in the Europe market this December 2006.

STREET legal Chinese Hatchback now available in the U.S.

Miles ZX40

In the news – Miles Automotive has begun distributing a small, battery-powered Chinese hatchback to a few U.S. dealerships in one of the first salvos from this emerging market.

The Miles ZX40 priced at just under $15,000 has a top speed of only 25 mph and a range of 40 miles. There’s more to come according to its distributor in 2007, including a new model called the XS200 – which will be capable of running on 200 miles, with a top speed of 80 mph and a price tag of around $28,500.

ZX40 targets costumers from townships, military bases, ports and research institutions, though Miles Automotive describes it as “street legal”.

KIA Optima Earns ‘Good’ Rating in IIHS

2006.5 Kia Optima

The 2006.5 Kia Optima has gained positive feedbacks since its launch earlier this year. Recently the Optima received a “Good” rating from The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for its remarkable safety features and performance earning top marks in the frontal and rear impact tests.

IIHS imposes extremely high standards in evaluating automobile safety and includes determining factors such as injury measures, structural performance and restraints/dummy kinematics that evaluate a car’s overall frontal offset crashworthiness.

Here’s what you can expect from the all-new Optima as standard safety equipment in all of its vehicles:

• The all-new Optima features six standard air bags, including dual advanced front and front seat-mounted side air bags, and full-length side curtain air bags.
• Optima is one of the only vehicles in its class with standard full-length side curtain air bags, active front headrests and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
• The 2006.5 Optima comes equipped with standard four-wheel disc brakes, with anti-lock brakes (ABS) available as an option.

JAGUAR: Hanging in the Balance

Jaguar logo

Ford has reportedly hired a team of outside analysts to assess and evaluate its assets and brands, with that of the Jaguar - a loser for Ford since it was acquired for $2.6 billion in 1989 – coming in as top priority. Media reports say that Jaguar has been dragging down the performance of Ford's Premier Automotive Group, which has in its stable Volvo, Aston Martin and Land Rover. PAG reportedly lost a whopping $162 million before taxes in the second quarter, compared with a pre-tax profit of $17 million a year earlier.

Despite Ford’s efforts to cover Jaguar's heavy losses, the brand’s sales have tanked in recent years locally as well as globally. In the U.S., Jaguar is down 30% so far this year after falling 34% in 2005. In the first half of this year, Jaguar sold about 41,000 vehicles globally; in all of 2004, it sold 118,000.

Will the cat survive this fall? We’ll just have to wait and see.

BMW soon to bring diesel cars to US

2007 BMW 328i

In the news: BMW has announced plans to follow the lead of other European automakers, including Volkswagen AG, and begin to sell diesel cars in the U.S. market within the next two years.

Meanwhile BMW also confirmed that the 2007 BMW 328i coupe will start at $35,995, including a $695 destination charge. The 335i coupe, with a 300-horsepower twin-turbo inline six-cylinder engine, will have a starting price of $41,295, including shipping. The new 328xi coupe, which features the company's advanced xDrive all-wheel-drive system, will retail for $37,795, including shipping.

Ford’s new warranty program

Ford Warranty Program

Looking to buy a new Ford car?

You’re just in luck.

Effective July 14, the powertrain limited warranty for 2007 Ford and Mercury vehicles will be five years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. That’s an additional two years or 24,000 miles of coverage for such components as the engine and transmission beyond each vehicle’s three-year or 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. The powertrain warranty improvements are part of a larger product program that includes improved standard safety equipment on Ford vehicles and a beefed-up roadside assistance program.

For Lincoln, the powertrain coverage is now extended to six years or 70,000 miles – two years or 20,000 miles beyond the basic four-year or 50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. For all three brands, there are no deductibles for repairs, and the warranties are fully transferable to future owners at no cost.

The program also includes eliminating the $100 deductible on its diesel trucks, free roadside assistance, including towing, fuel and lock-out service, for the entire warranty period on its vehicles. The new Ford warranty programs are retroactive to the beginning of the 2007 model year.

From Model Ts to Ford Concept Cars

Automobile history probably started when Henry Ford developed a buggy frame with four bicycle wheels that he called as the “Quadricycle” in 1896. Ten years later, the Model T was introduced and fifteen million units had been produced until its production was ended in 1927.

That was history, or I should say, the “past”. Now let us try to look at the Ford Motor Company’s “future” by taking a sneak peak at the latest 2007 models of Ford concept cars.

• 2007 Ford Edge CUV 2007 Ford Edge CUV
• 2007 Ford Expedition
• 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac
• 2007 Ford Shelby Cobra GT500
• 2007 Ford Sport Trac Adrenaline

One of these cars will soon be uncovered and eventually will be available on the market.
You should wait for these cars to be unveiled and grab one.

Don’t forget your kids in the car

It’s summertime once again, people and their families will again be getting in their vehicles for their favorite summer destinations. If there’s one thing you do not want to happen in the midst of all the fun, it is putting the lives of your children in danger. Maybe you’ll make that “quick” run to the grocery and leave your kids to wait inside the car. Be aware that you could be putting your children’s lives at stake.

At least 31 children die every year in the United States since 1998 because of hyperthermia – or heat stroke, with 42 each in 2003 and 2005. Tragically, it’s a scenario repeated dozens of times each year: A parent places a toddler in the back seat of a vehicle on a hot day and later becomes forgets, leaving the child inside to swelter and die.

Child In Car

A study by the Newton, Mass.-based Education Development Center of 171 child hyperthermia deaths from 1995 through 2002 revealed that 39 percent were attributed to a caregiver's forgetfulness, and that 27 percent were the result of unattended children playing in or around vehicles. All were preventable.

So aside from making sure that the inside of your car is in shape with quality auto parts from Ford Parts Discount, ensure that what the car is carrying is safe from harm. Never leave your children unattended inside your car.

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