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U.S. consumers are moving away from sedans and towards crossovers. Will Buick’s new Envision premium compact crossover be warmly received by GM shoppers, or will its Chinese build location and a crowded segment hold it back? (more…)
Monday brings us another batch of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalls. This week, the list of major (over 100,000-units) safety recalls includes well over 1-million units. How can you determine if your vehicle is under a current NHTSA recall? Grab your vehicle identification number (VIN) and enter it into the NHTSA website. The VIN can be most easily read if you are standing on the outside of the vehicle and looking through the lower left (driver) corner of the windshield. The VIN is stamped (or etched) onto a small metal plate. NHTSA Campaign Number: 16V029000 Nissan Recall Campaign Number: See Note Below Vehicles Affected: Certain 2013-2015 Nissan Altima vehicles manufactured from March 6, 2012 through December 31, 2014. Approximately 846,000 vehicles are expected for inclusion in this recall campaign. Cause: In the affected vehicles, the secondary hood latch may bind and remain in the unlatched position when the hood is closed. Concern: If the primary latch is inadvertently released and the secondary latch is not engaged, the hood could unexpectedly open while driving, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash. Correction: These vehicles may have been included in a previous recall, however the previous remedy plan may not have been performed consistently to remove the safety risk. To correct this issue, Nissan will re-notify all affected owners and dealers will replace the hood latch with a new one, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in mid-February. Owners may contact Nissan customer service at 1-800-647-7261. Note: This recall supersedes recalls 14V-565 and 15V-116. NHTSA Campaign Number: 16V036000 Ford Recall Campaign Number: 16S03 (See Note Below) Vehicles Affected: Certain 2004-2006 Ford Ranger vehicles manufactured from March 24, 2003 through May 4, 2006. Approximately 361,692 vehicles are expected for inclusion in this recall campaign. Cause: Upon deployment of the driver side frontal air bag, excessive internal pressure may cause the inflator to rupture. Concern: In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the driver’s frontal air bag, the inflator could rupture with metal fragments striking the vehicle occupants potentially resulting in serious injury or death. Correction: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the air bag inflators, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin March 7, 2016. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Note: This recall supersedes 14V-343 and applies only to Ford Rangers manufactured in North America.
Here is the criteria for vehicles making this list of the 8-best used high performance sports cars available for under $20K: They must be readily available in the continental U.S. They must be a 2000 model or later. They must be able to achieve 0 to 60 mph in 6.5-seconds or less. Of course, they must be available for $20k OR LESS. 1997 – 2004 Chevrolet Corvette C5 The Chevrolet Corvette is the stuff of little car enthusiast’s dreams. The truth is that this dream can become a reality for $20K or less. It comes in coupe and convertible variations and has a big old honking V8 engine with your choice of an automatic or manual transmission. 0 to 60 times: 1998 Corvette: 4.8 seconds. 2004 Corvette Z06: 4.2 seconds 2003-2011 Ford Mustang GT The Ford Mustang is often credited with being the first muscle car. Whatever your opinion, you can’t argue that this particular batch of Mustang GTs has a ton of curb appeal and they are more fun to drive than a barrel of monkeys. The last stock Mustang GT that I tested was a 2003 and it bolted from 0 to 60 mph in only 5.6-seconds. 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T Another retro-muscle car, the Challenger is loaded with aesthetic appeal and plenty of muscle. A giant 57-liter HEMI provides the muscle and the car is available with either a manual or automatic transmission. This car looks low, mean, and muscular and looks ain’t deceiving. It can rocket from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2-seconds. 2004 – 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STi This imported sports car was available as a coupe in earlier model (1995 – 2000) versions but later models were offered only as a sedan . At any rate, it is equipped with a turbocharged 4-cylinder that really makes the hay. The 2008 Impreza WRX STi can achieve 0 to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds. 2000 – 2008 Honda S2000 As the first roadster on the list, the Honda S2000 is more than capable of hanging in there on the curviest of roads. With a long front end and an athletic stance, the S2000 provides smooth and ample performance for less than $20K. The S2000 can blast from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. 2002 – 2008 Nissan 350Z Like the flagship model GT-R, the Nissan 350z uses the legendary 3.5-liter VQ engine. This is also a retro-car of sorts as it pays homage to the iconic 240, 280, and 300 Z-Cars of old. The cabin is a little cramped and there is not a lot of room for cargo but this thing will corner like it is on rails and accelerate like a demon (when equipped with the manual transmission). The 350Z is capable of reaching 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. 2010 – 2012 Chevrolet Camaro The Camaro has been called “the poor man’s Corvette” but it has recently become a performer in its own right. With a 300+ horsepower base package V6 engine and a low center of gravity, the Camaro is as much of a road car as it is a muscle car. The 0 to 60 time, with a V6 engine and manual transmission is 4.9 seconds. 2006 – 2011 Dodge Charger R/T This is the sedan-sister of the Challenger R/T. If you like your high performance with four-doors, this is the hot rod for you. It also comes with the 370hp 5.7-liter HEMI engine and this is a family car that really “pick ‘em up and put ‘em down.” 0 to 60 is accomplished in 5.2-seconds.