Archive for March, 2014
Today we heard that the U.S. Department of transportation has proposed a backup camera mandate, requiring all vehicles built after May 1, 2018 to be equipped with a rear back up camera.We wanted to share this news with our readers to find out what you think about the mandate. Do you think this is fair, do you think this will be a helpful safety feature?
The National Highway Safety Transportation agency has sited an average of 210 deaths and 15,000 injuries per year due to back up related accidents. This mandate will require all vehicles under 10,000 lbs to have a rear-backup camera that allows for visibility at least 10 feet wide and 20 feet back.The estimated cost for a camera on each vehicle is an estimated $132-$142.
What do you think about this? Do you own a vehicle with a rear-backup camera? If so what do you like, dislike about it? Could you live without it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Out with the old and in with the new! We thought to ourselves, how could we make this season’s MN C&C even better? Better coffee for our car lovers! We have partnered with Dogwood Coffee out of Minneapolis to bring you a better tasting cup of coffee to enjoy on the 1st Saturday of each month.
Dogwood coffee company is a local coffee roaster based out of Minneapolis and they have been growing within our community since they opened their doors in 2010. Dogwood aims to develop relationships with the people that grow, care for and harvest the coffee that they roast and brew. We look forward to working with a company with strong sustainable living goals and a great method of communication among their partners, wholesale customers and coffee drinkers-like you!
Make sure to stop by the Morrie’s booth at each MN C&C event this summer and grab a fresh, FREE cup of dogwood coffee. We look forward to seeing you all out at the Automotorplex this summer for another great year!
Grand Opening – Coming Soon!
We’re very excited to announce that we will be opening a new Mazda store in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota! Check out the beautiful building below that we’re moving into.
We broke ground in Inver Grove Heights in February and we anticipate a grand opening date of June 1st. Check out the photos below that show all the different phases of construction. Also, make sure to our Inver Grove Mazda Facebook page often for updates and news!
Kia blew us away last year with the unveiling of the all-new K900 luxury sedan at the LA Auto Show and we were there to get live coverage for you. “In honor of the company’s 20th anniversary, the K900 was designed as a symbol of how far the brand has come and the next bold example of the challenger spirit that has benefitted Kia over two decades of growth and maturation.” said Michael Sprague, executive VP of Sales and Marketing at KIA.
The K900 is equipped with a 5.0-liter V8 engine able to achieve 420 horsepower and accelerate from 0-60 in just 5.5 seconds. Also available is a V6 option, which will produce about 311 horsepower.
The interior includes advanced technology just as you would see in any other luxury vehicle on the market. The Head’s Up Display offers information you need while your driving projected on the windshield. The projection will also adjust depending on the brightness outside at the time of use. This new feature will help drivers to stay safe by focusing more on the road.
The interior is equipped with a Lexicon Logic7 audio system with 17-speaker surround sound. Other features inside the vehicle include adaptive front lighting, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping system, and a 16-point power adjustable drivers seat.
We look forward to the arrival of the KIA K900 here at Morrie’s Minnetonka KIA this summer! Stay tuned to our Facebook page for all the latest news and arrivals at the dealership!
Here it is, the latest update on our MN Zoo Field Research Vehicle! Back in June 2011, we presented the Zoo with a brand new wrapped Mazda CX-5 to help with their research efforts. (Check out the video here). Scientist, Dr. Kim VanderWaal, has been very busy working with radio telemetry equipment and trying to locate radio/GPS-collared deer!
Kim’s project is focusing on parasite transmission from deer to moose in northeastern Minnesota. We believe this is a factor that is likely contributing to the moose decline. Kim and her research partners have placed tracking collars on more than 10 deer so far and are looking to see how their movements overlap with those of moose in the area. Kim is also using the field vehicle to find and collect deer pellets, so that they can be analyzed for the presence of parasites that harm moose.
We’re thrilled to see how our Mazda CX-5 donation has helped the Minnesota Zoo with their research efforts. Stay tuned to our blog for more updates as researchers continue to make strides in conserving the MN Moose and endangered species population!
When the 2013 Ford Fusion debuted at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI, it was immediately clear that Ford had a hit on their hands. Following in the footsteps of 2012’s Ford Focus, the new Fusion was thoroughly redesigned with more features,power, and most importantly, refinement. For that reason, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to drive and enjoy a 2014 Ford Fusion Titanium for a weekend courtesy of Morrie’s Minnetonka Ford.
This new standard of quality is immediately obvious as soon as you sit down in the driver’s seat. The soft yet supportive leather-trimmed seat happily greets you with its warm embrace thanks to the much appreciated heated seats. The door closes with a reassuring *thunk* that makes the structure feel solid and well crafted. Gripping the supple, leather-wrapped steering wheel and looking ahead to the instrument cluster which features dual 4.2-inch screens flanking a central tachometer give the impression that this car wants to be driven.
Ford no longer offers a V6 option in the Fusion. Instead, there are five different 4-cylinder options ranging from a 2.5L making175 HP all the way up to a 2.0L EcoBoost engine producing 240 HP that comes as standard with the Titanium trim level. For those wanting the best possible fuel economy, there is also a 2.0L 4-cylinder that is paired with an electric motor as either a hybrid or plug-in hybrid vehicle. Although the Fusion Titanium Hybrid can return a claimed 47 MPG, I was more than happy with the 27 MPG I saw while driving the 2.0L EcoBoostequipped Titanium, especially considering the optional all-wheel drive I had to help get me through the snow and ice. The 2.0LEcoBoost is perfect for those who want a balance of power and fuel economy and I have no doubt that in better weather, I’d have no problem achieving the factory claimed 33 MPG on the highway.
Where the new Fusion really shines though is with the technology and safety features that are available. While the Fusion Titanium I drove was just about as fully loaded as you can get, it did offer a lot of bang for your buck too. Inside, it came equipped with a SYNC with MyFord Touch infotainment system that featured an excellent navigation system with 3D buildings and landmarks on the 8-inch touchscreen. With the Titanium, you also get things like heated seats, keyless entry and start, a Sony premium audio system and more. Overall, the Fusion can be equipped with nearly any feature you could imagine but if I had one gripe, it’d be with Ford’s decision to get rid of traditional knobs and buttons and replace them with a capacitive touch panel. I personally think the big, plastic panel looks really clean, but the problem with capacitive touch panels is that they’re hard to use in the winter unless you have specially designed gloves. It became a bit of a hassle to take my gloves off every time I wanted to adjust the temperature or change radio stations. On the flip side, SYNC is one of the few systems that allow the driver to change all of those things using voice commands so maybe I’m just being a bit nit-picky.
All in all though, I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend with the 2014 Ford Fusion Titanium. It’s quiet, comfortable, and fast which all contributes to a certain sense of confidence for the driver. During my time with the Fusion, it performed flawlessly when driving a bunch of friends to dinner or during countless errands where I really had the ability to test out just how big the trunk was. In every situation, the Fusion exceeded my expectations as a car. While the $37,475 price tag of the fully-loaded Fusion Titanium I tested may seem like a lot for a car that has a base price of just $21,970, and even though the Fusion I tested is more expensive than most of its competition, the features it offers at that price still makes it a bargain. This point is most obviously made clear when looking at the safety features offered in the Fusion. For example, the Driver Assist Package that came equipped on the particular Fusion included the Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert that uses sensors in the rear quarter panels to warn you if someone is in your blind spot or driving by as you’re backing out of a parking space. It also includes lane-departure warning with a lane-keep assist feature that will gently guide you back into your lane if you start to drift out of it. The driver monitoring system will also watch your driving patterns and alert you to pull over and grab a coffee or get some rest if it senses that you’re not paying as much attention to the road as you should for an extended period of time. Of course, you also get automatic high beams and rain sensing wipers as part of the package as well.
This package, when combined with the Adaptive Cruise Control and Active Park Assist systems, means that the Fusion is closer than nearly any other car on the road today to bridging the gap towards being an autonomous car. So while the Fusion may not be the autonomous car of the future today, the features it does have all contribute to making it feel more comfortable and stable on the roads of today. And it’s that reason that the Fusion, with its combination of high-tech features, elegant styling, and refined comfort, has become one of Ford’s major runaway success stories.
Guest blog post written by: Alex Bellus – a well-known automotive photographer in the Twin Cities area and a frequent attendee of MN C&C at the Automotorplex. He is an Automotive Analyst for IHS Automotive and has a wide range of automotive knowledge. Keep your eye out for his next Blog Post where he will highlight another popular new vehicle!
Have you ever gotten a bowl out of the cupboard, set it on the counter and wondered what you should fill it with? Maybe cereal, soup, or a delicious salad? For many folks locally and across our great country, it is a reality that they don’t have the option to fill that bowl with anything. Feed my People Food Bank has been servicing Central Wisconsin communities since 1982. They provide assistance to Hunger-Relief Programs, Weekend Kids’ Meals Programs, and Senior Hunger Programs.
Hyundai’s Intrado concept car was built to reveal the company’s capabilities and show visions of mobility as it prepared for future growth. Hyundai suggests that the Intrado envisions how cars can enlighten and enrich lives.
I can’t tell you what the previous statement really means, however I can say that Intrado is powered by a next-generation hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain that utilises a lithium ion battery that can be refueled in just a few minutes. With a range of more than 600 kilometres and emitting only water, Intrado does foreshadow what efficiency might look on future Hyundai models. In addition to increased range, Intrado promises more responsive and agile driving dynamics, thanks to the reduced weight and greater efficiency of its powertrain.
Intrados aerodynamic body-panels are backed up by a carbon fiber intensive frame built with an emphasis on lightness. This emphasis on lightweight strength will certainly be seen on future models, including new features like the super lightweight body panels created at Hyundai’s steel facility.
It was only a matter of time before the Ford Focus got the Aston Martin-esque front end treatment. The sharp looking grill debuted on the new Fusion last year and has moved up along the ranks, most recently revealed on the 2015 Mustang.
Aside from the noticeable changes upfront, the new Focus also gets re-shaped headlights more akin to those on the Focus ST. It also gets interior updates including version 2.0 of Ford’s Sync system, which promises to be more intuitive and pack more useable feature.
Ford also claims that the new Focus will offer a more comfortable and quiet ride. Obviously suspension and chassis improvements will make this happen, but Ford was rather ambiguous when it comes to details. We’re sure we’ll learn more as the year progresses.
Subaru first introduced us to the VIZIV concept last year in Geneva and it returned again this year in more production ready trim as the VIZIV 2. If you’re like me you’re wondering what VIZIV stands for —- Subaru says it stands for “Vision of Innovation.”
The concept represents what Subaru’s future hybrid crossover might look like. In typical Subaru tradition the VIZIV 2 a 1.6 liter turbocharged boxer four cylinder and in the spirit of efficiency it is coupled to a plug-in three motor hybrid system. Of course it wouldn’t be a Subaru (BRZ excluded) if it didn’t have symmetrical all wheel drive.
Since it last bowed it has sprouted two additional doors, certainly a nod to consumer demanded utility, and more production ready headlights. Front end styling aligns with that of the recently debuted 2015 Subaru Legacy.
The word on the auto show circuit is that the VIZIV 2 will replace the previous Tribeca crossover. It is unknown when or if this crossover concept will make it to production. If you like what you see and want to get updates, reach out to Morrie’s Brooklyn Park or Minnetonka Subaru.