Instant Wheels - Riverside Automotive News

  • Sprint car racer Kevin Ward, Jr. dies when hit by Tony Stewart's car


  • Video shows electric motorcycle from Harley Davidson


  • Inland Empire Biking Alliance hosts "Fourth of July Bike Parade"


  • New York Auto Show Preview: The Best Cars Of 2014


  • GM: From $10.5 Billion Government bailout to 6.3 Million vehicle recall


  • New Jersey bans Tesla car sales direct to buyers


  • Chevy Corvette: North American Car of the Year test drive


  • Watch the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06


  • 2015 Ford Mustang Named 'Official Car' Of CES


  • Wood Streets Green Team plans holiday bike ride


  • No wheels: Amazon plans for drone delivery for 2015


  • Tesla stock drops after car-fire video


  • The new BMW i3 vs. the electric cars of the world


  • Korea has electric that car can also fold in half


  • Ford Cuts Price of 2014 Electric Focus by 10 Percent


  • Bridge hit by big rig at Perris Boulevard is being fixed


  • Watch the cheapest cars to own 2013

    Car experts on the best deals. [Watch]

  • Taxpayers to earn $1 Billion from GM stock sale


  • Tested: Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 vs Ferrari 458 Italia vs McLaren MP4-12C


  • Easier credit bringing car buyers back in the IE


  • Rising U.S. auto sales show economic improvement


  • The history behind GM's Chevrolet


  • Local sales increase for the Chevrolet Volt


  • Tips for buying a used car


  • Two parolees arrested in connection with several Inland Empire auto thefts


  • NASCAR returns to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana


  • Chevy Volt vs. Nissan LEAF: Electric Car battle


  • Electric cars energize the 2012 Detroit Auto Show


  • Luxury race heats up at Detroit auto show


  • Auto sales help Redlands earn unexpected sales-tax money


  • Battery news for Chevrolet Volt owners


  • Chevy Volt fires, Investigators ask: Is it Safe?


  • Costco selling cars


  • History of General Motors: Buick, Cadillac and Pontiac to Chevrolet


  • CHP: Tips for driving in the rain


  • World's only Jet-Powered Batmobile for sale


  • Fire destroys KNBC news truck


  • A test drive of the Chevrolet Volt


  • Lexus to lose top luxury spot in U.S.


  • Take a tour of Audio Shoppe with owner/operator Alan Hickman


  • Fiat to purchase remaining Chrysler stake


  • How safe are hybrid cars in crashes?


  • La Sierra Grand Prix in Riverside


  • Hybrids driven out of carpool lanes by electric, natural-gas cars

    Solo drivers' carpool perks switch on July 1. [Watch]

  • Get to know the business and owner of Audio Shoppe


  • Video: 2011 New York Auto Show


  • UCR researchers develop 'eco-driving' gadget to help save gas

    GPS-like gadget could cut consumption by 15-20 percent. [Watch]

  • The 2012 Ford Focus


  • The 2011 Buick Regal CSX Turbo Sedan test drive


  • Toyota's Scion iQ: Microcar for North America


  • Fritts Ford fundraiser for Poly High School features 2012 Ford Focus


  • A top GM executive leaves the auto company


  • Chevrolet Cruze combines gas mileage, safety and price


  • Hyundai needs rare substance for battery systems


  • GM and auto companies buy Super Bowl ads


  • Auto sales for Ford and GM increased in January


  • Auto sales for Ford and GM increased in January


  • Toyota recalling IS and GS Lexus luxury models


  • No raise, but Toyota workers keep jobs


  • Record sales for Rolls Royce cars


  • 2011: New laws for people who drive


  • Advice: Driving safely in the rain


  • Test drive: 2011 BMW 135i Cabriolet


  • First Chevrolet Volt to sell at public auction


  • Get behind the wheel of the 2011 Infiniti QX56


  • Vehicles designed for women at the Los Angeles Auto Show


  • General Motors to issue new stock


  • Mitsubishi to sell small electric car at appliance stores


  • Honda sales drop; company ready to show its electric car


  • Toyota announces new recall on Avalon, Highlander and Lexus vehicles


  • Woman dies Friday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana


  • Citrus Classic Bike Ride begins Sunday at the Riverside Plaza


  • Ford is focusing on electric vehicles


  • Ford CEO Alan Mulally says auto company is on track for success


  • Driving the 2011 Ford Explorer SUV


  • Fritts Ford to raise money with test drives at the Riverside Plaza


  • New GM stock price would need to skyrocket to repay bailout


  • Chinese company interested in buying new GM stock


  • Mazda reports 25 percent fewer sales; Mazda2 vehicles at dealerships


  • Update: New video from Fontana train crash


  • BMW opens motorcycle dealership in Riverside


  • 2011 Ford Fiesta is at the Riverside Auto Center


  • "Instant Wheels: 2010" program on KVCR-TV tonight


  • Deadly off-road racing crash in Mojave leads to federal investigation


  • Video of the production version of Chevrolet's Volt


  • Chevrolet Volt purchase price announced by Chevrolet


  • Chevrolet Cruze will be GM's next new car


  • An end to HOV stickers for individual-hybrid drivers to use California carpool lanes


  • Mazda2 Coming To North America


  • General Motors appears eager to return to the stock market


  • The Chevrolet Volt being tested in Arizona


  • GM recalls 1.5 million vehicles; auto company to stop using heated washer fluid systems


  • Ford to cancel production of the Mercury brand of vehicles


  • Driving the 2010 Ford Flex EcoBoost


  • Driving the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO


  • GM's Bob Lutz ends career at General Motors


  • Zipcars drive into Riverside; car rental by the hour


  • 2010 Kia Soul is small and green


  • Toyota may see $10 billion in liability; lawsuits coming


  • Zipcars drive into Riverside; car rental by the hour


  • Lexus temporarily stops sales of its luxo-SUV


  • Doug Magnon and his Riverside car museum


  • Rotolo Chevrolet seeing an increase in auto sales along with GM


  • Chinese company to invest $900 million in Volvo


  • 2010 Ford Fusion Sport


  • GM's Buick Regal GS


  • GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz to leave the company in May


  • GMC's 2010 Terrain


  • Akio Toyoda on the safety of Toyota vehicles; Capitol Hill hearing

    He is the president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, and grandson of Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda. [Watch]

  • Recording of plane crash that killed 3 Tesla electric-car company workers


  • Toyota might have to recall the Corolla

    Toyota's troubles may still not be over. [Watch]

  • Toyota recalls 2010 Prius for software problem; Lexus hybrid included too


  • 2010 Toyota Prius and Lexus HS 250h included in safety concerns

    Company answers consumer questions. [Watch]

  • 2010 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport


  • Ford posts profit; Toyota recall expands


  • Toyota halts sales of some cars because of sticking accelerator pedals


  • Former interim CEO at GM isn't leaving


  • Fox Performing Arts Center shows off auto history too


  • Cadillac reveals the XTS Platinum Concept; it's a hybrid


  • Auto show in Detroit is about electric cars


  • GM expects to make money this year


  • Does GM have a buyer for Saab?


  • Cars news that made headlines


  • GM still appears interested in selling Saab


  • 2010 Kia Soul auto review

    Good things can come in small packages. [Watch]

  • Driving the 2010 Buick LaCrosse

    Buick claims it's "the new class of world class." [Watch]

  • GM's Cruze gets some attention in Los Angeles

    A look at the Chevrolet Cruze. [Watch]

  • No Land Rover or Jaguar reviews-- here's why

    "Thank you for your interest but at this time the fleet is very small and quite busy," says their representative. [Watch]

  • GM's Fritz Henderson abruptly resigns

    He was to speak to automotive media on Wednesday in Los Angeles. [Watch]

  • 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe official pictures

    Edgy is a good way to describe it. [Watch]

  • Revealing the 2011 Buick Regal

    It was encouraging to see a lively "welcome home" to a new Buick. [Watch]

  • Driving the 2009 Dodge Ram

    There's a clear effort to smooth out the typical rough edges of its flagship truck. [Watch]

  • 2011 Buick Regal to be unveiled

    It was once the top-selling car. [Watch]

  • 2009 Chrysler Town & Country 25th Anniversary Edition

    It has more open-rectangular spaces inside than any vehicle on the road. [Watch]

  • 2011 Chevrolet Caprice made for police

    A consumer-version Caprice hit the road in 1965. [Watch]

  • Test driving the 2010 V6 Camaro

    It boasts good fuel mileage, and a lower monthly payment. [Watch]

  • GM says, 'May the best car win'

    Program gives buyers a window for returns. [Watch]

  • Japan's eco-recovery plan includes the Prius

    Japanese auto companies have struggled too. [Watch]

  • How does the Escalade hybrid system work?

    Vehicle is long on luxury and technology. [Watch]

  • Driving the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

    A very exclusive American machine. [Watch]

  • Hate DMV lines? Just go online

    Log on to take care of everything from renewals to ordering personalized plates. [Watch]

  • 2010 Camaro test drive

    It's been 8 model years, and 43 yrs since its debut in response to the Mustang. [Watch]

  • The Chevy Volt boasts 230 MPG


  • Driving the 2010 Ford Mustang GT

    The biggest changes are mechanical. [Watch]

  • Small-car crash-test results

    A group of 2009 vehicles get good marks. [Watch]

  • GM promises better performance

    Company even expects early repayment of some loans. [Watch]

  • Reviewing Ford's 2010 Transit Connect

    It gets 22 MPG in the city. [Watch]

  • Vehicles owned by Michael Jackson

    Many were on display at Neverland. [Watch]

  • Driving the 2010 Ford Fusion Sport

    It's been redesigned inside and out. [Watch]

  • GM sells Saab

    General Motors begins focus on core brands. [Watch]

  • 2009 Cadillac CTS-V has power

    This is GM at its finest. [Watch]

  • GM's recovery

    There will be more focus on fewer brands. [Watch]

  • GM to sell Hummer

    The company also says it has potential buyers for its Saturn and Saab brands. [Watch]

  • GM files for bankruptcy, Pontiac badge to leave

    Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC would become GM's core products. [Watch]

  • GM: A former auto giant

    Michigan garage owner says he never thought his business would outlast GM. [Watch]

  • GM's future: Less debt, mostly US-owned

    Bankruptcy still on the table. [Watch]

  • 2010 Lincoln MKZ uses Bowie music in ads

    It resembles the launch of a space vehicle. [Watch]

  • Glendale Chrysler dealership slashes prices

    Local dealership not on closure list. [Watch]

  • National emissions rule for cars and trucks

    New standard might shock you. [Watch]

  • 2009 Malibu Hybrid test drive

    Hybrid gets 26 mpg on the highway. [Watch]

  • 2009 Ford F150 includes new features

    Ford touts it as 'America's Best Selling Truck.' [Watch]

  • Chrysler will be forced into bankruptcy

    President Obama made the announcement. [Watch]

  • Talks to reduce Chrysler's debt break down

    The company may be forced to file chapter 11 bankruptcy. [Watch]

  • Will GM become 'Government Motors'?

    Concerns rise about GM's future. [Watch]

  • Obama: 'I don't want to run auto companies'

    President talks cars in press conference. [Watch]

  • GM forced to eliminate Pontiac

    The badge has been around for 83 years. [Watch]

  • Pontiac brand will be phased out

    GM announces tough decisions. [Watch]

  • GM expected to let go of Pontiac brand

    Formal announcement expected Monday. [Watch]

  • GM struggles; Chrysler needs Fiat merger

    The future is uncertain for two of America's largest auto giants. [Watch]

  • McCartney's Coachella staging includes Motorama footage

    'Drive My Car' visuals offers retro look at auto industry. [Watch]

  • Ford introduces MyKey to control teen driving

    It monitors driving habits. [Watch]

  • Colorado bans 'tofu' license plate

    The plate apparently can be read two ways. [Watch]

  • Lightning Hybrids' LH4 prototype at the Denver Auto Show

    It's a sporty hybrid. [Watch]

  • GM's new leader explains his recovery plan

    Instructions: accelerate restructuring. [Watch]

  • GM CEO Rick Waggoner asked to step down

    Move was requested by the White House, administration officials said Sunday. [Watch]

  • Chevy Aveo5 test drive

    It's Chevy's smallest-available car in the US. [Watch]

  • 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

    It's the blue oval's green machine. [Watch]

  • Consumer spending moods ticking up

    One survey holds promising news. [Watch]

  • 2009 Kia Borrego review

    It's easy on the eyes. [Watch]

  • 2009 Ford Flex at Fritts Ford

    My test vehicle was impressive. [Watch]

  • GM workers in Michigan worried

    Company employees talk about their concerns. [Watch]

  • GM stock tumbles to 1933 levels

    The company is at risk for BK. [Watch]

  • General Motors and banking news drive stock decline

    GM is in a tough spot. [Watch]

  • 2009 Inland Empire Auto Show

    What will we see this year? [Watch]

  • Mitsubishi Motors restructures

    The company also plans to plug into alternative fuel. [Watch]

  • Hyundai uses Assurance program to drive car sales

    Are you willing to bet you'll fail? [Watch]

  • Obama cuts plan for car czar

    Instead there will be a larger presidential task force. [Watch]

  • The Chevrolet Traverse

    Is it an SUV or a CUV [Watch]

  • See the Fisker Karma hybrid

    A new American automaker has unveiled a pricey hybrid. [Watch]

  • Chrysler leads drop in US auto sales


  • Hot Wheels sales take a dip

    Toy cars and real cars feel the economic pinch. [Watch]

  • U.S. automakers absent from Super Bowl commercials

    Ads reflect the economy. [Watch]

  • Take a sneak peek at a Super Bowl tire commercial

    Bridgestone Tires will use a familiar toy to catch your eye on Sunday. [Watch]

  • A closer look at President Obama's Cadillac limo

    Grilles most resemble Cadillac STS. [Watch]

  • The new presidential limousine

    Heavily armored vehicle is known as 'the Beast.' [Watch]

  • GM lowers minimum credit score for car buyers

    Many are slowly becoming more confident in car manufacturers. [Watch]

  • Volvo's City Safety System

    Volvo says it's making a car that can't crash. [Watch]

  • Bush approves emergency bailout

    Automakers offered $17.4 billion in rescue loans in exchange for tough concessions. [Watch]

  • GM denies rumors of merger with Chrysler

    Companies are denying report in the Wall Street Journal. [Watch]

  • Lee Iacocca saw the auto storm coming

    He's credited with saving Chrysler in the '80s. [Watch]

Driving the 2009 Ford Flex

It was kind of like a blind date. I’d seen the pictures, and heard some chatter, but the Ford Flex was a bit mysterious. It started with the
advance publicity photos. The snapshots showed off this new vehicle– without showing too much. Needless to say, when my media test version of the Flex arrived this week, we spent some quality time together.

My first impression– wow this is big. It’s about 17 feet long; yes I measured.

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It’s always exciting to see a new vehicle for the first time. It’s equally exciting to drive a vehicle that turns heads. I could see people asking themselves “what is that?” Frankly, I’m not sure I have the answer. I can tell you that it reminds me of an era of vehicles that vanished when Ford scuttled its 80’s-minded minivan segment.

“Nobody wants to drive around in a family-van or mini-van anymore.” Barnabe Lerma is the General Sales Manager at Raceway Ford in Riverside.
“It’s sturdy… heavy.” Lerma agreed that the Flex is a new category, not quite SUV and not mini-van.

The 2009 Ford Flex looks very rectangular. It sits low, and stands out. Yes, I know it will be compared to a station wagon. And yes, It does
have some station wagon DNA, without the baggage that might make people think they’re in a time warp. The Flex is modern in every way.

I review about 40 cars a year. Often they are freshly-revised versions of models already on the showroom floors. With the Flex, Ford has given
consumers a vehicle that challenges some automotive stereotypes. This is good. Most obviously, among the sea of family haulers, there’s not one
that looks like this.

The Flex has options and design features that are fun and useful. There’s what Ford calls the Vista Roof; multiple skylights that give every
passenger a chance to enjoy the view above. Sirius now offers a feature called Travel Link. It provides up-to-date traffic, weather, & fuel
prices for your area. I was also able to find movie times for the theater at the Riverside Plaza, and sports scores– all from the in-dash screen.

The radio blasts from a Sony 700 watt, 5.1 surround-sound system. When was the last time we saw Sony in a Ford?

There’s also a capless fuel filler, no more polluting fumes.

My “date” with the Flex ends on Monday. I’m sure we’ll keep in touch. As blind dates go, this was fun. I’m intrigued.

- 3.5L V6
- 262 HP
- 248 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm
- 6-speed automatic transmission
- Offered in AWD (16/22 MPG) and FWD (17/24 MPG)

Four-wheel ABS & Roll Stability Control are standard on Flex SE, SEL, & Limited. Base price is $28,295. Fully loaded versions will run near

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