Archive for April, 2014

Service Spotlight | Meet Scott Pobuda!

We thought it would be fun to give you an insiders look at our service departments and introduce you to the talented and friendly employees that work at each store. Starting with Morrie’s Minnetonka Kia, we have Service Advisor, Scott Pobuda!

Scott Pobuda

Here’s a little Q&A we had with him. 

 

Q: What is your name and position?

A: Scott Pobuda, Service Advisor

Q: How long have you worked here at Morrie’s?

A: 37 monthS

Q: What did you do before you worked at Morrie’s?

A: Sales Associate at Tires Plus Total Car Care

Q: What kind of car do you currently drive?

A: 2004 Chevrolet Silverado

Q: What was your first car?  

A: 1979 Ford F-150

Q: Tell us one thing about yourself that people may not know.

A: I can drink a beer in less than 3 seconds. 

Q: What does your workday consist of (service advisors)

A: Taking care of customers and service staff. 

Q: Who is your favorite co-worker?

A: Jimmy!

Q: What type of music do you listen to most?

A: Country Western

Q: What is the longest you have ever gone without sleep?

A: 80 hours

Q: Plane, train or car? Boat, subway or teleportation device?

A: Plane!

Q: If you could eat any food for the rest of your life what would it be?

A: Beef. It’s what’s for dinner!

Q: Who is your hero?

A: Ninja turtles… obvi!

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?

A: I Love the outdoors! Hunting, Fishing, Camping, Snowmobiling, fourwheeling, blowing stuff up… you know, guy stuff!

Q: Why would you recommend our service department?

A: Friendly, knowledgeable staff.

Thanks Scott!

Service Advisor Scott Pobuda with a Buy Happy Service Customer!

Make sure to stop by our Service Department next time you are at Morrie’s Kia to say hello to Scott!

Cadillac ELR | First Drive

Photos & Guest Blog Write-up by Alex Bellus

 

Cadillac ELR

With Cadillac only committing to building a limited number of these luxury electric coupes, I figured I wouldn’t have another chance any time soon to drive the ELR. When I first laid eyes on the ELR, I was blown away by the shape. It looks like it rolled straight off the stage of the 2013 North American Auto Show where it debuted. But the $75,000 ELR offers a lot more than just concept car looks. There’s also a surprising amount of technology under the skin designed to both coddle the driver in luxury and also provide smooth, silent electric propulsion without the range anxiety of other electric cars.

Cadillac ELR

Cadillac ELR

Now make no mistake, despite having a gasoline-powered “generator”, the ELR is a true electric car. The 1.4L generator is just used to keep the batteries charged up to power the motors that drive the wheels. What this means is that you always have instant torque the moment you put your foot down. While the CVT doesn’t have any gears, per say, there are four different drive modes: Tour, Sport, Mountain, and Hold. My favorite was Sport. It gives you the full amount of torque and throttle response right when you want it. Tour is great for running errands around town in full EV mode when you just want to listen to music and relax. Either way, both are so quiet and smooth and really give you the full benefit of an EV. I never had the chance to use the Mountain mode but Hold was great for cruising on the highway. Instead of using the battery reserves, the generator fires up and charges the batteries as you drive. One other really cool feature to point out is the paddles behind the steering wheel. At first, I expected them to change gear ratios or settings or something but actually, they control the regenerative braking. During my time with the ELR, I found that I could just pull back on one of the paddles as I came up to a stoplight and I wouldn’t even need to touch the brakes. All the while, the electric motors were scrubbing speed and charging the batteries! 

Cadillac ELR

Regardless of which drive mode you’re in, it’s smooth sailing in the ELR. Inside, it’s nothing but luxury. Everything you can see or touch is beautifully finished in soft leather, velvety Alcantara (similar to suede but more durable), wood, or carbon fiber. So while the drivetrain technology may be inspired by the Chevrolet Volt, the interior far exceeds anything most would expect in a Cadillac. It really is a nice place to be, and quiet too as a result of the electric drivetrain. Once on the move, all you’ll hear is some faint wind and tire noise. This was the first electric car I’ve driven and I was shocked by just how serene it was, and when the calm ambience became a little too relaxing, there was a wonderful Bose stereo system to liven things up a bit.

Cadillac ELR Interior

Cadillac ELR Interior

The stereo, as well as the rest of the in-car entertainment features, are controlled by the Cadillac User Experience, or CUE. CUE has become Cadillac’s signature infotainment platform that will be available across the entire Cadillac line as of 2015. It offers a unique and customizable, tablet-inspired touchscreen interface with proximity sensors that pull up commonly used features when you want them and hide them for you when you don’t. On top of that, the entire dash is completely button-less with a smooth black panel with touch points for things like volume and A/C controls. My favorite feature is that that panel can flip up to reveal a hidden storage compartment for your iPod or smartphone, complete with a glowing USB port to charge your device while it’s tucked away. Between that and the soft-close cover for the cup holders, the whole interior of the ELR feels just as high-tech and cutting edge as the drivetrain.

Cadillac ELR Interior

Now, the fact that the Cadillac ELR is based on the Chevy Volt while being nearly three times the cost might seem absurd to some people, but there’s more to it than that. In addition to Cadillac rebodying the Volt into the sleek, sexy coupe we’re talking about here, they’ve given it a fully luxurious makeover. While the Volt is designed for functionality first, and looks second, it’s obvious that Cadillac took a much more thorough look at the design and engineering of the ELR. Heck, it’s even more practical than I thought it would be, fitting a surprising amount of cargo after a trip to Ikea for new deck furniture. The ELR never failed to surprise me!

Cadillac ELR

 

After a weekend of driving it, and a week to ponder the experience, I’ve come to a few conclusions. At first, I didn’t think it was a particularly good value given its somewhat more pedestrian roots but after averaging 88 MPG during my time with the car and being mesmerized by all the technology, the ELR has a lot going for it. It’s not really fair to compare the ELR to other coupes in its price range. Most of them offer far thirstier, more powerful engines without anywhere near the technology under the skin. Looking at other electric cars, like the Tesla, the ELR is less practical, only having two doors. So where does that leave Cadillac’s environmentally friendly halo car? Well, I see it as a Tesla coupe for people who have a life and don’t want to be tethered to charging stations. Unlike the Tesla, you can take the ELR on long road trips without having to stop every few hours only to spend the next 8 or more hours charging your car. Instead, you can glide along effortlessly in silent, electric comfort, swaddled in luxury, not needing to worry about when and where you’ll run out of juice. Instead, you can simply plug your car in at night when you arrive at the hotel or whatever destination you want and charge it and simply fill it up like you would any other car along the way.

Cadillac ELR

So to break it down, the ELR is a gorgeous, expensive, electric, grand touring coupe that offers uncompromised luxury and technology. It may also be somewhat of a sleeper collector car given that Cadillac is planning on building so few of them. At the very least, it’s unique and you’re not likely to see one silently roll up next to you at a stop light.

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!

Morrie’s Heads to the New York International Auto Show

We’re excited to announce that we will be live at the New York International Auto Show next week getting live coverage of all the hottest model debuts! We’re proud to be the only Minnesota dealer bringing you a first look at these updated models, so make sure you stay tuned to our Facebook page and Twitter account all week for live updates.

Notable unveilings that we look forward to include the debut of the 2015 Mazda Miata (which is celebrating its 25th birthday) the redesigned 2015 Hyundai Sonata, Subaru Outback, Nissan Versa Sedan and redesigned Murano. Maserati will be making in appearance in New York to celebrate their 100 year anniversary with the debut of the Maserati GranTurismo Centennial Edition. We also plan to get coverage of other luxury debuts like the Alfa Romeo 4C and Bentley’s first ever all-electric concept vehicle. Stay tuned!

5 Tips to Prepare Your Car For Spring

5 Tips to Prepare Your Car For Spring

 

Spring has finally arrived and it seems that the community is buzzing with activity. People walking dogs, washing cars, and enjoying the sunshine and warmer temps any way they can. These warmer temperatures also give us the oppertunity to do a little spring cleaning. Just like your home, your vehicle needs to be taken care of and maintained. Here are 5 tips that will ensure your vehicle is clear of winter weather residue and ready for the summer.

 

Spring Cleaning

 

  1. Make sure to get all that leftover salt off of the body and underside of your vehicle. It is important to get it off of all the metal under the car to avoid rust. Also if you can get a nice coat of wax on the paint it can keep your vehicle looking new for years to come.
  2. Rotate your tires and make sure to monitor/check the tire pressure. Winter temperatures can effect the way the tires retain air so it is vital to make sure you have a good handle on how to check tire pressures(Check out our tutorial video here). It is important to rotate your tires especially on a FWD vehicle to avoid uneven wear of the tires. Tires aren’t always the cheapest fix on a car so save yourself the time and money by monitoring when they need to be rotated.
  3. Change the Oil and Check the levels to make sure no unnecessary damage is done. With the weather conditions we can experience here in Minnesota it is important to not push an oil change much past its change date. Also check your transmission fluid because repairing or replacing a transmission due to neglect can set you back thousands of dollars. Make sure you check brake and cooling system fluids plus your windshield washer fluid at this time as well because the roads are guaranteed to be a mess. Here is a tutorial video on how to check your oil levels.)
  4. Have the brakes inspected by a mechanic to make sure you aren’t wearing your pads or rotors thin. Safety should always be a top priority when behind the wheel and stopping is something that will matter! Neglecting the brake wear can lead to further damage and costly repairs down the road. 
  5. Wiper Blades are one of the most forgotten parts on any vehicle. You should make sure visibility is your top priority when you’re behind the wheel. Cracked or worn out wiper blades can cause for poor cleanliness of the windshield is leave you in a sticky situation.  

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks from the experts here at the Morrie’s Automotive Group! We are proud to serve the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. Head over to morries.com for more information or check out our inventory here.