Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Unveiled 2014 Honda Civic Coupe Drives Great, Looks Good Inside and Out

Honda lifted the covers off its refreshed Civic Coupe at the recent LA Auto Show. It's getting positive responses for both cosmetic and mechanical elements, for good reason. At, we think it's one of the finest compact coupes in America, in the great Honda tradition. We urge you to check it out when it debuts—timing now scheduled before the end of December.

The two biggest changes you're likely to notice in the 2014 Civic Coupe will be the new continuously variable transmission and the all-new infotainment system. The CVT replaces the ancient and out-classed five-speed automatic and does so in fine form. It's related but not identical to the new CVT in the larger Accord, but behaves the same way. It's one of the best CVTs on the market in our estimation. Even better, the automatic Civic finally has a Sport mode and even paddle shifters. As you'd expect, Sport makes the throttle calibration more aggressive and keeps the revs higher. The result is a car that feels a bit more peppy and responsive.

The other feature that will definitely grab your attention is the all new "Display Audio" (Display Audio+ if you get navigation) infotainment system. Completely replacing Honda's outdated infotainment system, Display Audio(+) is a huge step forward. Perhaps the greatest advancement of the new system is its gesture recognition. Just drag your finger across the map to move it. The screen also functions as the three-mode backup camera display and the LaneWatch display.

Sign up here for direct updates from Honda about the exact arrival date of the latest generation Civic coupe.

In addition to the slightly stiffer suspension, the coupe also gets some exterior cosmetic updates. The most notable is the new grille and headlights, which are similar to that of the new Fit compact hatch. We like the more aggressive lower fascia and the strong character line running over the tops of the front fenders. Around back, new headlights and some dimples in the bumper liven things up a little. The coupe also gets exclusive wheels.

Inside, the new Civic will boast a wealth of satisfying, soft-touch materials to go with its snazzy new navigation-infotainment system.

Right now, during Honda's Happy Honda Days Year-End Clearance, you can get amazing deals on 2013 Honda Civics before the 2014 model debuts. Give it full consideration, as the year-end savings are recognized as the very best of the year.

At, we know it will be worth your while to drive to the mecca of South Georgia-North Florida Honda dealers, Honda of the Avenues. If you can drive there in a few hours, you owe it to yourself to travel to the source of unrivaled Honda deals and the type of service that will make you a customer for life.

In Jacksonville, the Honda Giant will make sure you receive maximum savings, outstanding service and a car-buying experience that will greatly exceed your expectations.

Friday, November 22, 2013

New 2014 Kia Soul Delivers Enhanced Driving Dynamics, Ride and Handling

Let's put it this way. The new 2014 Kia Soul boasts a lot more soul in its drivetrain and undercarriage. Compared to its predecessor, the new Soul will be a lot more fun to drive.

At, we heartily suggest you check it out.

After five years on the market (really?), the Soul has very much earned a new platform, and for 2014, it gets one. That means the Soul doesn't share architecture with its Forte and Rio siblings so much as it does a toolbox and attitude.

In other words, parts are not common, but the method in which they go together are. The Soul's new body is now 28.7-percent stiffer thanks in part to increased use of high-strength steels.

Kia says the 2014 Soul is totally transformed, and we believe it is.

More room in the cabin is a result of a 0.8-inch increase in the wheelbase. It's welcomed space. On the other hand, the new Kia Soul has a much more planted look because the overall height is lowered 0.4 inches. Not significant, perhaps, but you can sense the difference immediately.

Along with more spacious accommodations, the 2014 Soul offers a more sumptuous interior, plus more cargo capacity, which now tops out at a crossover-like 61 cubic feet. Optional equipment closely follows last year's Soul, but new items include a panoramic sunroof and an upgraded Uvo eServices package that includes streaming Internet radio capability for smartphone users. And you can choose from three Soul models.

The top two picks offer the 164HP 2.0 liter—a powerplant we highly recommend.

Although the Soul doesn't feel especially sporty, it handles better than you might expect. The steering has a reassuring weightiness to its effort level at highway speeds, and it feels precise when you're driving around turns. The brake pedal has a reassuringly firm feel, too. Still, the best part about driving the 2014 Soul is its smooth ride. Even with the Soul! model's handsome 18-inch cast aluminum alloy wheels, this box-shaped wagon rides tolerably over bumps and ruts.

Hamsters or no hamsters, Lady Gaga or no Lady Gaga, the new Soul may break its most recent one-year sales record of 112,000. Pretty impressive.

If you're in the market for a Kia Soul, and you live anywhere in the midwest, we would like to steer you to Ray Skillman Kia in Indianapolis. Right now, you can purchase a brand-new 2014 Kia Soul 5-door wagon for under 18K. That's right, after $500 rebate, pay just $17,110!

While you're shopping, look into Ray Skillman's fantastic Internet Specials for both Kia and Mitsubishi models.

Always, time after time, you can trust the professionals at Ray Skillman for the best possible deals on new and pre-owned automobiles. You heard it here first at

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The New 2014 Toyota Highlander. It's a Crossover Clearly Designed to Exceed Your Expectations

At, we think the new Highlander will be the right size, with the right looks and the right capability to suit most American families.

Sign up now for updates on the 2014 Toyota Highlander release.
The redesigned, popular SUV will accommodate up to eight, plus it has plenty of cargo room, enhanced safety features and an extremely nice, comfortable interior. With prices predicted to start just north of $30K, the latest Highlander will offer legendary Toyota value for one and all.

The greatest innovation in the new model is its interior space. The third-generation Highlander can now seat eight passengers and offers 34 percent more cargo volume behind the third row, thanks to a revised rear suspension design and three inches of additional length. Toyota hasn't released final specs yet, but figure on about 14 cubic feet back there.

The 2014s looks boast a new wide-mouth grille flanked by longer wraparound headlights, LED running lights and more pronounced fender creases. Stretched rear glass alleviates any mild claustrophobia of the current model. The Highlander also gets an upgraded interior that includes a standard 6.1-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, an optional 8-inch screen with Entune apps and smartphone integration, and an available rear-seat entertainment package.

You will be able to power the next-generation Highlander with a 187HP 4-banger, but most folks will probably go for one of two tried-and-true V6s. The standard version--which produced 270 hp last year--teams up with a six-speed automatic and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. The Hybrid (280 HP net last year) pairs with an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (eCVT) and through-the-road all-wheel drive, which means the gas power goes to the front wheels, while electric power passes only to the rear wheels.

The redesigned 2014 Highlander goes on sale in early 2014, and as of mid-November,
pricing hasn't been released yet.

In the meantime, you can lock in really great deals on 2013 Toyota Highlanders at one of our favorite dealers, Stone Mountain Toyota at 4400 Stone Mountain Highway in Lilburn. You can turn to Stone Mountain Toyota for money-saving Monthly Web Specials and a great deal on new and pre-owned Toyotas, plus other fine used vehicles. Like we said, 2013 Highlanders are priced right—all you need to do is pick the right color and equipment for your family.

Always, the savings, service and selection at Stone Mountain Toyota is simply second to none. That's true whether you choose the Camry, Corolla, Tundra pickup, Highlander crossover, or any other quality Toyota vehicle.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Supercharged Hellcat Hemi V8 on the Test Track in Dodge Challenger

Challenger fans, brace yourselves for a hot new possibility for the good-looking, under-performing Dodge Challenger sports coupe. The successful, authentically retro Challenger has been trying out a pumped-up new Hemi V8 which could leap the iconic Dodge pony car into stratospheric horsepower regions.

Even its 470 horsepower is responsible for hauling over 4,200 pounds of vehicle. For comparison, the 420 hp in the Ford Mustang GT only has to deal with 3,618 lbs. Things only get worse from there, as the higher-performance variants of both the Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro are far more powerful than an SRT8 without adding on much heft.

So what are the wizards at Chrysler-Fiat thinking?

They're thinking no guts, no power, no gain. They're thinking add a whole lot more grunt to their hefty two-door and even the odds. That's where the all-new Hellcat engine comes into play.Back in May, we came to the realization that the Hellcat, a supercharged powerplant based on a 6.4-liter V8, would easily generate 500 to 570 hp and could likely
arrive boasting more than 600 ponies.

At, we now know that a number of Hellcat-equipped Challengers have been running serious and secret testing procedures with the potent new engine in several key venues in the Southwest. The hoods on these testers have been raised to accommodate the engine, and that camouflage over the fascias of these prototypes is there to hide a larger air intake. We also note what appears to be a new split grille under wraps. As for power output, dedicated spies are now suggesting a Viper-equalling 640 hp from the Hellcat-equipped cars.

Although the Hellcat is being tested in the Challenger, it certainly shouldn't be ruled out for the coupe's platform-mates, the 300 and Charger. As for when we'll see a production car equipped with the Hellcat, it remains to be seen if it will replace the current 6.4-liter Hemi V8 or serve alongside it as the new flagship engine for the Challenger, 300 and Charger.

Most important, if you're a died-in-the-wool Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram fan, sign up now for updates on when the new, highly-anticipated 2014 Jeep Cherokee will hit Chrysler showrooms. When you're ready to test drive this revolutionary model, we suggest you make a short drive to Akins Jeep-Chrysler-Dodge-Ram in Winder, GA. Drive just a little way and get the best price possible on all types of Chrysler products.

If you're ready to buy now, remember Akins' Monthly Web Specials will save you thousands on your favorite Jeep-Chrysler-Dodge-Ram models. Check them out and get the kind of savings you just won't find at a big-city dealer.

P.S. For your immediate pony-car driving pleasure, Akins has 2014 Dodge Challengers in stock—right now—at great prices!