2017 Cadillac Escalade Review

The Cadillac Escalade is the big hoss of GM’s luxury lineup. It’s more than just the high-falutin’ version of the Suburbans, Tahoes, and Yukons that almost rival it for luxury fittings; it’s probably the most recognizable Cadillac on the road today, thanks as much to its beveled edges to its imposing stance.

Available in base, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum configurations, the Escalade goes from well to lavishly-equipped with the tick of a few option boxes. 

The Escalade earns an impressive 7.7 on our overall scale thanks to its comfort and surprising performance. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

There’s no question that the Escalade boasts more bravado than just about anything else to ever hit the road, but this latest SUV is far more luxurious, refined, and capable than ever before. Straddling the line between tasteful and excessive, the Escalade’s unmistakable style is evident from every angle. At its core,

... read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/overview/cadillac_escalade_2017

The bill for Volkswagen’s Dieselgate crisis grew by $157 million (running total: $22.3 billion)

Back in the early days of the Volkswagen Dieselgate fiasco, we estimated that the crisis would cost Europe’s largest automaker at least $25 billion

As it turns out, that estimate may have been too conservative. The company’s bill in America alone has topped $22 billion, and thanks to a settlement with ten states that had sued the automaker for environmental damages, the sum has now crept up by another $157.45 million

The states in question are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Not coincidentally, all ten follow stringent emissions policies set by the California Air Resources Board–policies that have so far largely dovetailed with those of the Environmental Protection Agency but which may diverge very, very soon

(Some of those states were also included in a roughly $600 million settlement last June over illegally rigged 2.0-liter diesels from Audi and

... read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1109690_the-bill-for-volkswagens-dieselgate-crisis-grew-by-157-million-running-total-22-3-billion

2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack first drive: Playing catch-up

Deeply embroiled in one of the most complex corporate scandals ever, Volkswagen is at a crossroads—especially in the United States. The brand’s new Golf Alltrack represents a potential way out, at least if history is on VW’s side. 

Flash back to the mid-1990s, and had you been asked to wager on VW versus Subaru, picking the latter was inadvisable. But Subaru bet and won big with its Outback, a Legacy wagon with a lift kit and some rugged styling features. Today, the Outback is an icon—especially in the Northwestern United States, where VW gathered automotive media to launch a car that owes its existence to Subaru.

Follow the leader

The recipe is identical: The Golf Alltrack is a Golf SportWagen with taller springs and some styling add-ons to fit in at the REI parking lot. It’s easy to picture a green Old Town canoe or a pair of Specialized Stumpjumpers strapped to

... read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1106142_2017-volkswagen-golf-alltrack-first-drive-playing-catch-up

2017 Kia Soul EV Review

The 2017 Kia Soul EV is a low-volume electric car adapted from the very popular Soul compact tall wagon. The current Soul was redesigned for 2014, and the electric version, now in its third year, followed for 2015. The electric Kia’s three trim levels are the base Soul EV-e, the mid-range Soul EV, and the top-of-the-line Soul EV+ (plus).

The Soul may be technically a five-door hatchback, but the latest design is more comfortable, with a better ride and improved handling than its predecessor. Its space-efficient design is hard to beat for maximizing interior room to hold people and their goods in a small footprint. It’s a similar formula to the one adopted by the new Chevrolet Bolt EV, also a tall hatchback.

While the Soul EV no longer has a slight range advantage over competing small electric cars, it’s still the best of the 70- to 100-mile group in some ways.

... read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/overview/kia_soul-ev_2017

Utah takes toughest in nation stance on drunk driving

By lowering the minimum threshold of what it calls drunk driving, Utah will become the strictest state when it comes to getting behind the wheel after a drink or three—and it may not be the last. 

Last week, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert signed into law a measure that redefines the state’s definition of drunk driving from a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 to .05. The law will take effect at the close of 2018.

DON’T MISS: Just who drives drunk?

The new legislation means that a 160-pound man will likely be over the limit after three alcoholic drinks in an hour, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A 137-pound woman will, on average, hit .05 after just two drinks in the same period. 

The new law has drawn disdain from the American Beverage Institute, which took out a two-page ad in both of Salt Lake City’s

... read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1109555_utah-takes-toughest-in-nation-stance-on-drunk-driving

California unanimously votes to keep current emissions regs: another looming loss for Trump?

Last Friday was not a particularly good day for Donald Trump.

After campaigning for months on promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the president’s attempt to follow through on those vows stalled on Friday afternoon. Though Democrats were strongly opposed to the American Health Care Act, the bill’s failure has largely been attributed to irreconcilable differences within Trump’s own Republican party. 

But something else happened on Friday, something you might’ve missed due to all the healthcare headlines: the California Air Resources Board voted to maintain current emissions standards, which govern vehicles through the 2025 model year. 

That, in turn, could set the stage for another damaging showdown for Trump, not to mention the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt.

A brief recap

California has a reputation for prioritizing environmental concerns, and CARB is the embodiment of that stereotype.

For years, the agency lobbied the EPA for permission to

... read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1109574_california-unanimously-votes-to-keep-current-emissions-regs-another-looming-loss-for-trump

Here’s when the Chevrolet Bolt EV goes on sale in your state

It’s the vehicle that could finally make electric cars mainstream: the Chevrolet Bolt EV, with its ability to go upwards of 230 miles without having to be recharged. But unless you live in one of just two states, you can’t march down to your local Chevrolet dealer this week to buy one. 

As Green Car Reports uncovered, the Bolt EV is just beginning a very slow roll-out that will eventually see it arriving in all 50 states by the end of September. Initially, the Bolt EV arrived in California and Oregon late last month. By the end of February, buyers in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Virginia will also be able to get in on the game. 

DON’T MISS: Read our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV review

That state list slowly expands to include more primarily coastal states as Spring unfolds. 

Here’s a look at the roll-out: 

http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1108378_heres-when-the-chevrolet-bolt-ev-goes-on-sale-in-your-state

Every 2017 Buick Has Earned An NHTSA Five-Star Safety Rating

Final safety testing has officially been completed for the 2017 Buick LaCrosse, in which the National Highway Traffic Association awarded the sedan a five-star rating. With that, each of Buick’s six models has earned a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA.

This is the third consecutive year Buick has swept the safety ratings with each of its vehicles, which began in 2015. The 2017 Buick Cascada has also become the first convertible of the year to earn a five-star Overall Vehicle Store.

“We know safety is top of mind for buyers when shopping for new vehicles, and the recent ratings by NHTSA showcase our brand’s dedication to providing our customers with safe, reliable transportation,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick Sales, Service and Marketing. “We’ve launched four new vehicles in 2016 and we are extremely proud to continue to offer a lineup of award-winning vehicles that have NHTSA five-star

... read more at: http://gmauthority.com/blog/2017/01/every-2017-buick-has-earned-an-nhtsa-five-star-safety-rating/