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Area Car dealers weigh in on car improvements
Electronic folding and rolling seats, updated key remote technology and backup cameras are the latest gadgets found in today’s modern automobiles.
Around town, all of the dealers offer the latest in technology features many customers are seeking.
“Every year there are so many advances. Anyone who’s a car buff will have to keep reading up on what’s new,” said Vito Camat, a salesman at Porterville Ford.
Over at Porterville Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge, general manager Rick Peterson talked about the customer’s need for gadgets, especially the touchscreen gadgets.
“A lot of people are very interested in computers. [It’s] become very important to buyers,” said Peterson.
Joe Tanner, the Parts and Services director at Merle Stone Chevrolet, agrees.
“We get a lot of inquiries,” said Tanner.
At Faggart Buick, sales manager Rudy Pacheco concurred.
“The fact is that it’s [technology] new. People want to try it and have it, and be the first on the block. It’s just human nature,” said Pacheco.
At Ford, its 2013 Explorer features fold and roll backseats, operated by a button in the back of the vehicle, and other gadgets including Trailer Sway Control.
Camat explains that trailer sway is a system that will help keep a trailer in a straight line.
The vehicle, equipped with a touch screen, has cameras located in the back of the vehicle and it shows the driver a dotted black line that illustrates a trailer hitch. If the driver curves, than it will curve.
Other features include an engine braking system and keyless ignition.
“The engine actually does the braking for you,” said Camat, who added that the brakes can be activated by pushing the center stick shift without ever touching the brake pedal.
Keyless ignition means that the car has a button in which you push it and it will start up which eliminates the need for a metal key.
Gas mileage concerns has lead to improvements in the Ford EcoBoost engine.
“The four cylinder has the power of a V-6, but the mileage of a four cylinder. The V-6 has the power of a V-8, but the mileage of a V-6,” said Camat.
As to self parking-vehicles, which have been around since 2006, the 2012 Escape and Ford Focus and the 2013 Edge, contain self parking technology which allows the cars to park themselves without the need for a human hand to turn the steering wheel.
The improvements are winning over some customers.
“There are so many features. One that I believe should be on every vehicle is the light in your side mirrors alerting you that someone is in your blind spot,” answered 2013 Ford Explorer owner Ralene Clower to a question on The Recorder’s Facebook page.
Chrysler, Jeep ,and Dodge is also improving the gas mileage of their products.
“Modern injections and variable valve [in engines] get significantly better gas mileage,” said Peterson. “Today, with a 283 horsepower V-6 engine a customer can get up to 29 miles per gallon on the highways. Ten years ago you’d need a V-8 to get that kind of horsepower.”
He added that the latter’s highway mpg would only equal about 19 mpg.
One of their 2012 vehicles is ther 2012 Dodge Charger which offers many amenities.
“You can also buy tickets to sporting events from you’re car. If you’re going to change lanes there is a blind spot indicator. If you’re not using all eight cylinders it shuts the ones you aren’t using off to help conserve gas, very nice car,” answered Kassie Aguilar to a question on The Recorder’s Facebook page.
Dodge’s 2013 Dart, which is an all new model, will be able to average up to 40 miles per gallon on the highway, and will have 10 standard air bags.
Merle Stone Chevrolet with its General Motor products, including Chevy, GMC and Cadillac, have an app for a customer’s iphone in which they can start the car remotely, unlock it, and even check the level of fuel in their car.
They also use lane departure technology which uses a camera.
“It doesn’t steer the car, but it warns the driver that they may be drifting,” said Tanner, who added that it uses an audible warning and light flashes in the dash.
Faggart Buick has cars that contain Infotainment, and extra safety features including cameras and backup sensors. Pacheco explains that the infotainment aspect includes the radio, and it has the ability to access Pandora, which plays music or talk radio.
“Buick really stresses and strives for five star safety,” said Pacheco.
Like all of the other companies, Buick is focusing on fuel mileage.
“Buick is really working on that. The Verano has a highway mpg of 35 and a 26 city mpg,” said Pacheco.