Archive for March, 2012
“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” — Ken Robinson
As seen on VroomGirls.com:
This thing is huge – large enough to ferry nine people. And it’s strong – powerful enough to tow that horse you just bought.
By Holly Reich
The Big Picture
The 2012 Chevy Tahoe brings out my inner cowgirl. Let’s just forget the controversy about choosing a small SUV over a big one. If you have a posse of kids, the Chevrolet Tahoe is a good choice. The Tahoe is a full-size SUV that seats a maximum of nine (!!) and has a towing capability of up to 8,500 pounds – enough to haul a horse, or a boat, and anything else you need to move from one place to the next! Fuel economy? The 2WD models are estimated at 21 mpg on the highway; the Tahoe Hybrid has an EPA-estimated 20 MPG city /23 highway.
When I got into the Chevy Tahoe, I had a moment of, “How am I going to handle this big guy?” I quickly got comfortable. The Tahoe is easy to maneuver in the city; it has quick pick-up on the freeway and also drives quietly. Note, this is not a car; it’s a truck-like SUV with a big sounding engine and a lot of machismo.
An Inside Job
Commanding is the word that comes to mind when describing the cabin. My 2012 Chevy Tahoe 4WD LTZ model was equipped with three rows (bucket seats in the second) and stadium style seating. Stadium style means that the last row is raised so that kids can look out the front window. Basically, when they can’t, it makes them nauseous.
The center console is HUGE—so big, it fit my purse and laptop computer. The dash is two-toned plastic with smart-looking wood accents that pull it all together. While the steering wheel doesn’t telescope in and out, the plush seats adjust enough to make me feel comfortably close to the controls. The power lift gate – a standard on the LTZ – is a must. Otherwise, the door is too heavy to close with one hand. I also found that it didn’t take too much heft to flip up and flatten the back seats to get to the little ones in carseats.
The 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe has a huge center console storage bin, numerous storage compartments, and cup holders that are all designed with family in mind. For nice amenities, you’re going to have to upgrade from the base model. For instance, heated front seats are standard on the Chevy Tahoe LT; heated and cooled front and heated second row seats are standard on the LTZ model. Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard on LT and LTZ. The rear-seat entertainment system is available on LT and LTZ, including a DVD player with remote control, two sets of wireless infrared headphones, and a remote game plug-in.
The 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe comes equipped with head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for both seating rows. Seat-mounted side-impact air bags for driver and right-front passenger provide thorax and pelvic protection. The StabiliTrak electronic stability control system helps reduce the risk of rollover crashes by applying throttle, braking, or a combination of both.
Available Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist can detect certain stationary objects in the rearward path of the vehicle and beeps if there’s something in the way. It also displays lights near the rear window, in case you’re distracted and don’t hear the sound. Side blind zone alert (one of my favorite features) is standard on LTZ. It lights up and beeps if there’s a vehicle in your blind spot, just so you won’t change lanes and hit a car you can’t see. Another great feature — the standard remote keyless entry has a second function for the red panic button so that owners can locate their vehicles without setting off the panic alarm.
Gizmos and Tech
OnStar, standard on all Tahoe models, is one of the oldies but goodies. It uses GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of a crash. OnStar also has a feature called Turn-by-Turn Navigation, which sends all the directions to the car by an advisor so you don’t have to stop and program them in. Another cool feature for small kids (and mother-in-laws) is a set of power-retractable assist steps available on LTZ. For sound, the long list includes standard Sirius XM radio, Bose Surround Sound system on LTZ, Navigation radio with touch-screen on the LTZ, and power-adjustable pedals.
With gas prices going up again it’s time to think outside of the box. Leave it to women to understand that carpooling is cool.
By Holly Reich
Smartphone = smart driving
We’ve been doing it with our kids for years so why not start sharing a ride to work, grocery shopping or a trip to the airport? It saves gas, reduces carbon emissions and is just another way to network and make friends.
When carpooling.com, a European ridesharing business that is accessed over smart phones, computers and social networks, took an inventory of 2 million monthly users, 53% of them were women and 47% were men. The company, which is coming to the US later this year, has 3.5 million registered users and gives daily access to more than 650,000 transportation opportunities.
“Thanks to carpooling.com, 725,000 tons of C02 and 375 million liters of gas have been saved; not counting the millions of savings by users and the thousands of friendships created (including more than 10 marriages!),” says Odile Beniflah, Head of International Public Relations for carpooling.com.
Yes, but is it safe?
“More women use our ridesharing platform than men which many people find surprising,” notes Carpooling.com CEO Markus Barnikel. “People tend to think that women are more sensitive to security concerns and that they are less likely to consider ridesharing. As our figures show, however, this doesn’t hold to be true. Women are actually more open to sharing in their daily lives.”
“People always ask me: ‘How do you get into a car with a complete stranger?’” says Florie Dupuy, a French user from Lyon. “The fact is that you don’t get into a car with a complete stranger. After looking at their profile and talking on the phone, you start to get a feeling for the person before you even meet them.”
What if I’m picky?
The site also offers the option of female-only rides, ID authentication, a user rating system and Facebook Connect – features that further increase levels of trust and accountability. People can choose with whom they want to ride, how much space and comfort they need, where they want to meet and what they are willing to pay. With location-based technology and ridesharing mobile apps, carpooling can now be spontaneously organized on the go.
According to KPMG’s 2012 Global Automotive Executive Survey, intelligent mobility services (carsharing approaches) are considered a major global trend for the coming 10-15 years.
The survey shows that by 2026 a quarter or more of urban inhabitants will favor carpooling over owning their own wheels.?Aside from the statistics, carsharing is a way to socialize. Joanna Pepper, who lives in London remarks, “I drive home from the city every weekend and always try to take on passengers. Initially, I started to offer rides to save money on gas but over time it became more of a social thing for me. You meet such diverse people from all walks of life so you often have some fascinating conversations.”
Some other ways to get around:
Google Transit helps you plan a bus or train trip on your smartphone. In some cities, GPS-enabled apps like Nextbus track transit times to let you know if your ride is running on schedule. Cabulous and Taxi Magic are easy apps for cabs.?Smartphone car sharing companies like car2go, and Getaround use privately owned cars that rent by the hour. Zipcar’s Wheelz is for campus car sharing.
To see the entire piece visit: VroomGirls.com