Safety Sets the 2013 Kia Sportage Apart
The Kia Sportage has undergone a metamorphosis over the last decade. After being introduced to the U.S. market as a bit of a novelty item the crossover import has emerged as a category leader. Kia has done its best to hold off the competition like the Ford Escape, Toyota Rav4, and Honda CR-V.
The 2013 Sportage once again represents an excellent value. The new Sportage has received high praise for its safety features and crash test results. The Sportage comes standard with front seat-belt pretensioners and active headrests. In addition to the dual front airbags, side curtain airbags, and front seat-mounted side airbags the Sportage features an advanced sensor system than can respond in rollover situations. The Sportage was recently named a 2013 IIHS Top Safety Pick.
Kia has used the advanced safety features of the Sportage to stay ahead of Ford, Honda, Toyota, and the hard-charging Subaru Forrester in the crossover utility vehicle market. Kia has enabled the Sportage to predict wheel spin in slippery conditions by employing an advanced computer-controlled all-wheel drive system. When slippage is detected the AWD system can transfer up to 50% of the power normally supplied to the front wheels to the rear axle.
The base model Sportage starts as low as $19,000. The LX model allows buyers to add on the Convenience Package and Navigation Package. The convenience package features a rear camera display to assist with backing up as well as a back-up warning system that can detect objects behind the vehicle.
The base model comes equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and is rated at 20 city/27 highway mpg. The front wheel drive EX model boasts the best fuel efficiency of any Sportage offering with an EPA rating of 21 city/ 30 highway mpg. The Sportage comes equipped with USB/auxiliary input jacks as well as Bluetooth wireless technology and steering wheel-mounted Bluetooth control buttons. Voice Command Navigation with Sirius XM Traffic is offered as an add-on to the EX, LX and SX models.
If you’d like to learn more about the Kia Sportage check out Team Kia’s Sportage review and pay a visit to the friendly Team Kia staff in Concord, NH to schedule a test drive.Pin It Tweet
Porsche Sets U.S. Sales Record
Porsche reported its best ever month in terms of U.S. sales in April. The automaker sold over 4000 vehicles last month which represents a 17% increase over April 2012. The April news continues an upward trend for Porsche in 2013. Sales of the Cayenne SUV are up 27% over last year and the Boxster/Cayman sports car line has seen a staggering increase of over 350% this year. Porsche sold nearly 900 Boxsters in April alone. April marked the first time ever that Porsche sold more than 4000 cars in the United States in a single month.
Porsche offers the convertible Boxster in two models: Boxster and Boxstser S. The Boxster starts at $50,400 and comes equipped with a 265 hp engine and can hit 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. The Boxster S is slightly more expensive (starting MSRP of $62,100) but features 50 additional horsepower and an improved 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds. The Cayenne SUV is offered in seven different models ranging in MSRP from the standard Cayenne at $49,600 all the way up to the Cayenne Turbo S which starts at $146,000. Porsche offers the Cayenne in diesel and hybrid options in addition to the standard gasoline powered engine. Approximately 30% of the Cayennes sold in 2013 have been of the diesel variety.
In addition to its positive sales figures Porsche has also been turning heads with the new supercharged 911 Turbo. The new Porsche 911 Turbo can reportedly go 0 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds. The 911 Turbo has a starting MSRP of $148,300 and a litany of available options and personalization accessories. The 911 Turbo is powered by a 6-speed automatic transmission with 520 hp and boasts a top track speed of 195 mph. The Turbo S has a top recorded track speed of 197 mph and reportedly goes from 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds. The Turbo S has a starting MSRP if $181,100 and features 560 hp under the hood.
If the 911 Turbo has gotten your attention and you’re in the market for a top flight automobile contact Porsche of Towson just outside of Baltimore.Pin It Tweet
AL East Bias
A hot week from the Orioles and Yankees, coupled with a three game losing streak by the Red Sox, has resulted in a three way tie atop the American League East. New York is percentage points ahead of Baltimore so we’ll start our trip around the division with the Yankees.
New York Yankees
The Yankees continue to defy the odds, and logic, as they currently have the second best record in the American League despite employing Vernon Wells in the cleanup spot. Wells was acquired from the Angels in Spring Training in an act of sheer desperation. He’s responded by hitting .294 with seven home runs and providing lineup protection for Robinson Cano.
The Yankees benefited from an early season schedule heavy on home games. New York is 12-7 at Yankee Stadium but just 8-6 on the road. The Yankees took two of three from the Rockies in Colorado this week. New York will next travel to Kansas City and Cleveland. Ivan Nova was originally scheduled to return from the disabled list to start next Monday but he walked four in four innings in his latest rehab start and doesn’t appear ready to return. Nova has a 6.48 ERA and 1.86 WHIP in four starts for the Yankees.Pin It Tweet
Chase Utley Won’t be Orioles’ Keystone Savior
O’s second base woes continue.
The never-ending string of injuries to Baltimore Orioles’ second baseman Brian Roberts has been well documented. Roberts’ latest setback—he had hamstring surgery on Thursday—and the offensive struggles of replacement Ryan Flaherty have once again left Baltimore in search of a keystone partner for J.J. Hardy. The resurgence of Chase Utley, coupled with the Phillies’ crummy start, has led to some rumors that the free-agent-to-be could be headed to Baltimore. Don’t bet on it.
At face value the Utley to the Orioles rumor has some merit. The O’s clearly have a need and the Phillies need all the young talent they can get to supplement their bloated payroll. Utley is posting solid offensive numbers in 2013 after missing extensive time to injury over the past three seasons. Sound familiar O’s fans?Pin It Tweet
Orioles Weather Rough Early Season Schedule
The Baltimore Orioles’ success in 2012 was labeled as lucky, a fluke, or unsustainable by most media outlets. The O’s are off to a great start to the 2013 season despite a grueling April schedule and a revolving door at the back end of the rotation. It’s time to recognize that Buck Showalter’s club may just be pretty damned good.
The Orioles didn’t look so lucky when the 2013 schedule was released. Baltimore started the season with nine of its first 12 games on the road, including trips to division rivals Boston, Tampa Bay, and New York. After a 10-game homestand the Birds hit the road again for an 11-game/11-day trip to Oakland, Seattle, and Anaheim. Baltimore went 7-4 on the extended West Coast swing thanks in large part to the daily heroics of Manny Machado. The Orioles are at 20-13 after defeating the Kansas City Royals last night in just their third homestand of the season. Baltimore has played a league-high 20 road games and have gone 12-8 in those contests. Showalter’s club is just 8-5 at home but will look to improve upon that record with 12 of their next 15 games to be played at Camden Yards.Pin It Tweet
Robbie Alomar Deserved Election to Orioles’ Hall of Fame
It’s unlikely Rafael Palmeiro will follow.
The Baltimore Orioles announced on Wednesday that former second baseman Roberto Alomar had been elected to the team’s Hall of Fame. Alomar experienced incredible highs and one deplorable low during his three-year tenure in Baltimore. His induction will give Orioles fans the chance to honor and remember him for his on-field contributions and stellar play.
Alomar is one of the five best players I’ve ever seen. He could single-handedly tilt the balance of a baseball game with his switch-hitting abilities, adept base-running, and jaw dropping defensive acrobatics. If Alomar didn’t beat you by driving balls into the gaps and over walls he’d work a walk or infield single and drive the pitcher crazy as he danced off first base. When Alomar slumped at the plate his defense never failed to deliver. No second baseman went to their left like Alomar, who routinely turned would-be singles into almost routine outs as he tossed to first base from his knees in shallow right field. I’ve paid admission just to see Alomar play baseball.Pin It Tweet
Baseball’s Black Holes
Orioles, Yanks, Cubs & Tigers looking for answers.
Baltimore Orioles fans are all too familiar with the team’s struggles to find a reliable option at second base. Since Brian Roberts’ injury woes struck in 2010 the Orioles have trotted out the likes of Steve Tolleson, Ryan Adams, Julio Lugo, Omar Quintanilla, Ryan Flaherty and Robert Andino to second base. Roberts posted a solid spring, and decent first series in Tampa, before succumbing to another injury, his hamstring this time. Ryan Flaherty and Alexi Casilla (aka: New Robert Andino) have done their best to fill in. Their best has generally been awful. Flaherty has just seven hits in 52 at bats this season. He and Casilla have combined to strike out 24 times, while drawing just five walks, in 84 at bats. The best way to describe the Orioles second base output would be non-existent. Jonathan Schoop, a well-regarded Orioles’ prospect, has been splitting time between second base and shortstop at Triple-A this season but his .218 batting average suggests he may not be ready for big league action this summer. If Roberts fails again in his latest comeback the Orioles could be forced to seek an option from outside the organization.Pin It Tweet
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