Black Friday Deal: Become a Member for 50% Off! - Join for just $14.50/year

Auto News For Wednesday, March 9, 2016 – 32% Of February U.S. Auto Buyers Didn’t Buy, They Leased

2016 Smart Fortwo

Here are the seven must-read, must-watch auto news stories and videos for Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

32.3% of the new vehicles “sold” in America in February 2016 were delivered by leasing customers, more than four points higher than the percentage of new vehicles leased in 2015. Which auto brands push the highest percentage of their customers into leases? Smart, Maserati, and Infiniti. – Wall Street Journal

We’ve discussed the Chrysler 200’s slow downhill trod already. FCA’s attempt to clear out inventory required a six-week plant shutdown. Scratch that. Now it’s going to be a nine-week plant shutdown. – Automotive News

Through the first two months of 2016, Canadians have registered 18% more new SUVs and crossovers than cars. Cars now account for less than one-third of the Canadian market, down from a majority hold in 2009. – Autofocus

The only thing worse than spelling s-u-b-p-o-e-n-a is receiving a subpoena. And you guessed it: the U.S. Justice Department delivered subpoenas to Volkswagen in relation to a bank fraud investigation. – The Globe And Mail

evo magazine says the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the fifth in a long line of midsize Mercedes-Benzes, “is the most refined and relaxing car in its class by a fair margin.”

There’s a new minivan on its way, and according to the EPA, it’s neither the most efficient people carrier nor the least. The Chrysler Pacifica inherits its 3.6L V6 from its Town & Country predecessor. But in place of the six-speed automatic is FCA’s nine-speed automatic, a transmission we’ve detested in the past. This helps the Pacifica find segment-leading (tied with the Honda Odyssey, one of which we’ve paid for with our own money) highway fuel economy, though it’s not as efficient in the city as the Nissan Quest or Honda Odyssey. Want comparisons?

We told you yesterday about an early review of the 2017 Kia Sportage from Car & Driver. “Body roll isn’t extravagant, but response to driver inputs is unhurried, particularly with all-wheel drive, which is substantially—and noticeably—heavier,” Tony Swan wrote. With those impressions in mind, here’s the most thorough and detailed 2017 Kia Sportage video review on YouTube from Alex On Autos.