2015 Honda CR V named Motor Trend’s SUV of the Year

2015 Honda CRV CT

Motor Trend held its second-largest Sport/Utility of the Year competition this year, testing out 19 individual contenders before choosing the 2015 Honda CR-V as the winner.

2015 Honda CRVTesting took place in Los Alamos, California, where judges took each SUV out for a winding road loop through hilly California countryside before debate the merits of each and, finally, casting their votes for the finalists. Finalists were taken out for a longer drive plus an off-road course with five miles of loose dirt, steep hills, and tight turns (we’ve got plenty of all of that in Connecticut as well!).

Who were the other contenders? A number of them can be found at Hoffman Auto Group, including:

2015 Porsche Macan,

2015 Porsche Macan, from www.motortrend.com

2015 Porsche Macan








2015 Ford Expedition

2015 Ford Expecition, from www.motortrend.com

2015 Ford Expedition








2015 Lincoln MKC

2015 Lincoln MKC, from www.motortrend.com

2015 Lincoln MKC








2014 Nissan Rogue

2014 Nissan Rogue, from www.motortrend.com

2014 Nissan Rogue








2015 Lexus NX

2015 Lexus NX, from www.motortrend.com

Lexus NX







Determining the Best SUV: Judging Criteria

Motor Trend’s judges evaluated each of the contenders for Best SUV for:

Design Advancement

They concentrated on well-executed exterior and interior styling, innovative vehicle packaging, and whether materials were well-selected and well-used.

Engineering Excellence

Motor Trend judges were evaluating whether each SUV’s total vehicle concept and execution were spot-on, including cost-effective technology since everyone looking for a new car wants the best in class for technology these days, of course. Judges also looked for good overall packaging, excellence in manufacturing, and well-performing dynamics.

Performance of Intended Function

The judges at Motor Trend did their best to get into the minds of those who planned, designed and engineered these SUVs. They evaluated each SUV on how well the end results honored the plans of those who brought these SUVs into production.


Fuel efficiency and carbon footprint size relative to each SUV’s competitive set was also an important judging criteria.


Both crash avoidance capabilities and occupant safety during an accident were evaluated by the Motor Trend judges.


Motor Trend’s SUV competition included an evaluation of each vehicle’s price and equipment levels as they compared to other vehicles in the same market segments.

Read more about the Motor Trend 2015 SUV of the Year competition here.

New 2015 Ford F150 is Light, Strong, and Powerful


from caranddriver.com

It’s All About that Body

There’s excitement brewing at Hoffman Ford in East Hartford over the impending arrival of the brand new 2015 Ford F150 trucks. We spoke with Charlie Hartley, Commercial Truck Manager, who just returned from a Ford training seminar all revved up about the new F150.

“The biggest news, of course, is the new aluminum body, which saves 700 pounds of body weight,” Charlie explains, “and that lighter body is military-grade aluminum. There are different grades of aluminum, and military grade is over 6000 series. This truck will be built with 6200 series. It won’t create red rust, plus it will have better fuel economy and more cargo capacity.”

Ford F150 Connecticut

Charlie Hartley, Commercial Truck Manager

Don’t worry, though. Better fuel economy won’t mean sacrificing power. “There’s a new EcoBoost engine, and I rode in a new 2015 F150 with a small 2.7 litre engine. I’ll tell you what, that truck has the performance at the very least of a big 6 cylinder engine! I rode in it, so I know,” Charlie raves. “That thing really performs well, even while giving you better fuel economy.”


Less Weight Means More Cargo Capability

With the aluminum body so much lighter now, there’s more weight available for cargo. “You don’t want to over-work your truck’s weight rating or it’s going to wear down the parts, etc., so this is very very important,” says Charlie. “The new F150 has a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating – the allowable weight of the truck plus cargo plus passengers to meet DOT guidelines) of 7,000 pounds. I watched them put four big guys plus weights equaling 1200 pounds into the truck, and it was just over the GVWR rating by 30 pounds. Then they did the same with a Chevy Silverado. They could only put 2 people in the truck because they were like 600 pounds over the limit.”

While the new aluminum body is lighter than steel, it’s also more durable. It’s also very dent-resistant, which is great for the integrity of the bed. Charlie also admires the changes that Ford made to the F150’s frame, adding 2 more cross members to make it more durable. He explains, “Last year 40% of the frame was high- strength steel. Now 70% is high-strength steel. The frame isn’t heavier, but it’s stronger. This is the strongest frame ever in an F series truck. It’s bigger, stronger, and lighter. This is the formula they’re going to use in the super duties in the years to come.”

For 37 years running now, Ford’s F series trucks have been the best-selling pickups in America. Ford says there’s a new one sold every 42 seconds in the US. The new 2015 F150 is surely going to bolster even that powerful reputation.

New 2015 Ford F150

from caranddriver.com

There’s now a flat floor in the back, and the b-pillar which used to go between the roof and the door post between the front and the back doors has been removed thanks to the new redesign. “So the door opening is much better, the door opens wider, it’s just more spacious,” comments Charlie.

The new F150 is also loaded with great new technology, including a 360 degree “bird’s eye” camera giving you a clear picture of your total surroundings on the navigation screen. It’s a feature you can really appreciate if you’ve ever had to back up with a trailer or RV on board – no more spotter required!

Edmunds.com is a fan that “notable new features include a power-locking rear tailgate with remote opening and 115-volt outlets with 400 watts of power – enough to recharge power tool system batteries.” Forbes.com says, “… the single most impressive feature is the optional 8-inch digital MyView gauge cluster, which Ford describes as a “productivity screen.” It allows the driver to configure the gauges to display a wealth of information related to fuel economy, towing, off-roading, tire pressure and a dozen other vehicle specs, all grouped and prioritized in whatever arrangement the driver wants.”

Aluminum Auto Repairs are Our Specialty

auto body shop east hartford

Tim Scribner, Hoffman Auto Body

While repairing dents and damage to an aluminum body might be new and challenging for other auto body shops, Hoffman Auto Group is well prepared to work on the new F150’s aluminum body. Tim Scribner, our East Hartford Body Shop Manager, is proud of the investment the Hoffman Auto Group has made in aluminum auto body repairs.  “We built a half million dollar stall to keep aluminum parts separate to avoid the cross-contamination that causes parts to corrode. We’re one of the only auto body shops in Connecticut that has made this kind of investment in our aluminum repair facility. We’ve already worked on lots of other vehicle models like Audis and Porsches that are constructed with aluminum parts, and we’ve had an aluminum room here since 2005. We have people working in the body shop who’ve been working with aluminum for over a decade already, so repairs on the new F150 will be like ‘old hat’ to us,” Tim says.

2015 Ford F150 frame

from caranddriver.com

Tim is also a fan of the new F150’s more modular frame. The old F150 frame was all one piece. So if you had a bad accident and the frame bent, you would always need a new one. The new frame has a front clip, which means not all serious accidents will result in having to replace the whole frame. If you get hit in the front, it’s quite possible you will be able to just replace the damaged piece, which will keep costs down for accident repairs.

from caranddriver.com

from caranddriver.com

Tim explains that full-sized trucks have a “ladder frame,” which looks like, well, … a ladder! “In most cars, if it gets hit, you have to replace the whole frame,” explains Tim. “Ford has designed this frame to be repairable, and they’re making it easier and more cost efficient to access and repair the frame. It used to cost upwards of $3,000 to swap an F150 frame. Now that repair would probably cost 15% of that. Ford has engineered the weld points so that they can be replaced, which is new. They’re doing this on the trucks and heavy equipment, making the frame more modular, and instead of it being welded on it’s bolted.”

Charlie expects the first new Ford F150s to arrive at Hoffman Ford in late November to mid-December, and several are already on order by customers bent on getting theirs first. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist the pun!)

Keep Teen Drivers SAFE

Teen driver safety CTThis week is National Teen Driver Safety Week, and we hope you’ll take some time with your teen before the weekend is out to talk to any young drivers (or drivers-to-be) about how to stay safe on our Connecticut roads.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-18 year olds in the U.S. In fact, almost half of the teen drivers involved in a crash die. Yet, a recent survey show that only 25% of parents have had a serious talk with their kids about the key components of driving. Please, Talk to Your Teen About the “5 to Drive” from NHTSA.org: 

The 5 to Drive are five important rules that teen drivers need to follow to stay safe behind the wheel. These rules address the worst dangers for teen drivers: alcohol, texting, seat belts, speeding, and extra passengers.

Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of 14- to 18-year-olds in the United States.In 2012, there were 2,055 teen drivers involved in fatal crashes, and 859 (42%) of those teen drivers were killed in the crashes. You are the biggest influence on your teen’s safety behind the wheel, but according to a recent survey, only 25 percent of parents take the time to talk with their kids about the dangers of driving, including:

  • Alcohol: Teen drivers are at a greater risk of death in alcohol-related crashes compared to drivers in all other age groups, even though they’re too young to legally buy or possess alcohol. Nationally in 2012, 28 percent of the young drivers (15 to 20 years old) who were killed in crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher.
  • Seat belts: Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest ways for teens to stay safe in a vehicle. Whether it’s immaturity or a false perception that they’re invincible—teens aren’t buckling up. In 2012, of all the young (15- to 20-year-old) passenger vehicle drivers killed in crashes, more than half (55%) of those killed were unbuckled.
  • Texting: Texting or dialing while driving is more than just risky—it’s deadly. In 2012, among drivers 15 to 19 years old who were distracted in fatal crashes, nearly 1 in 5 were distracted by phones. This age group had the highest percentage of drivers distracted by phone use.
  • Speeding: In 2012, speeding was a factor in almost half (48%) of the crashes that killed 15- to 20-year-old drivers.
  • Passengers: Teens may be very social, but the car isn’t the place to socialize. Extra passengers for a teen driver can lead to disastrous results. In fact, according to a recent survey by the Allstate Foundation, half of all teen drivers even admit that they are safer drivers without their friends as passengers.


You’ve guided your teen this far. Driving is a new chapter, a step toward independence for many teens. But your job’s not done. Surveys show that teens whose parents impose driving restrictions typically engage in less risky driving and are involved in fewer crashes. They can’t listen if you don’t talk.

October 19-25, join parents across the country in the “5 to Drive” campaign.

Get the facts about teen driving and share some of the grim statistics with your teen.

Know Connecticut’s graduated driver licensing (GDL) restrictions and enforce them.

Remind your teen that driving is a privilege to be taken seriously.

Set the Rules Before They Hit the Road.

ct-graduated-driving-lawsRemember the “5 to Drive”:

1 No Drinking and Driving.

Set a good example by not driving after drinking. Remind your teen that drinking before the age of 21 is illegal, and alcohol and driving should never mix.

2 Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Front Seat and Back.

Lead by example. If you wear your seat belt every time, your teen is more likely to follow suit. Remind your teen that it’s important to buckle up on every trip, no matter how far.

3 Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.

Remind your teen about the dangers of texting or dialing while driving, and that the phone is off-limits when they are on the road. It’s equally important to model safe driving habits for your teen—you shouldn’t text and drive either.

4 Stop Speeding Before It Stops You.

Drive the speed limit and require your teen to do the same. Explain that every time your speed doubles, your stopping distance quadruples.

5 No More Than One Passenger at Any Time.

Don’t allow your teen to drive with more than one passenger at a time. Check your State’s GDL law, though; it may prohibit any passengers.


Start your conversation during Teen Driver Safety Week, but continue the conversation every day.

Even if it seems like they’re tuning you out, keep telling them. These powerful messages will get through.

Get creative! Talking is only one way to discuss safe driving. You could write your teen a letter, leave notes in the car, or use social media to get your message across.

Get it in writing. Create a parent-teen driving contract that outlines the rules and consequences for your teen driver. Hang the signed contract in a visible place.

For more information about National Teen Driver Safety Week and the “5 to Drive” campaign, please visit www.safercar.gov/parents.


Hoffman Auto Group Sponsoring American Heart Association’s 2015 Go Red For Women

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Go Red For Women, an initiative of the American Heart Association (AHA) to raise awareness for women’s heart health. On Friday, October 17, the AHA Executive Leadership breakfast kicked off the plans for another successful campaign, “Life is Why.”

Photo by Dawn Caruso, Greater Hartford Go Red for Women

AHA Executive Leadership Breakfast. Photo by Dawn Caruso, Greater Hartford Go Red For Women

Cardiovascular disease still ranks number one as the health risk for women, taking the lives of 1 in 3 women. Go Red For Women has over 1.5 million women who have joined the efforts and 89% have personally taken action against the disease, but the numbers still need to improve. Susan Kosman, Chief Nursing Officer at Aetna discussed the AHA’s goal of reducing heart disease by 20% by the year 2020 through efforts that build communities that inform, educate and create a sustainable culture of health.

Lt. Governor, Nancy Wyman

Lt. Governor, Nancy Wyman Photo by Dawn Caruso

Second to the Federal Government, the AHA funds the largest amount of research for cardiovascular disease, which has helped to bring a 34% reduction in heart disease deaths for women over the last 10 years. Dr. Harold Paz, Executive Vice President & CMO at Aetna, reiterated the importance of education in the fight against heart disease. He stated cardiovascular disease kills more women than men and it is critical to provide early treatment for optimal success. Because the signs and symptoms are different for women and risk factors are diverse based on ethnicity and economic standing it is crucial to ensure all women have proper information to take action to live healthier lives.

Carol MacDonal, Debi Mrozowski and Kathy Palermo. Photo by Dawn Caruso

Carol MacDonal, Debi Mrozowski and Kathy Palermo.
Photo by Dawn Caruso

There are several ways individuals and corporations can get involved and help save lives. Bradley Hoffman, Hoffman Auto Group, and other members of the AHA Executive Board are pleased to present the 2015 Greater Hartford Go Red For Women Luncheon on Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Arianna Huffington will be the keynote speaker and Leigh Pechillo will share her story of survival and the impact the AHA has had on her family. Year after year this inspirational event has sold out so be sure to register your group today and prepare to walk away encouraged, informed and uplifted.

Corporate sponsorships and Circle of Red memberships in addition to volunteer opportunities provide a variety of possibilities to be part of the solution. In the last 10 years, over 627,000 women’s lives have been saved as a result of the Go Red campaign. We look forward to having you join the Hoffman Auto Group and other sponsors in making a difference.

Photo by Dawn Caruso, Greater Hartford Go Red for Women

Photo by Dawn Caruso, Greater Hartford Go Red For Women

For more information about the 2015 Go Red for Women campaign please contact Jennifer Nielson, 203-303-3325 jennifer.nielson@heart.org

Hoffman Auto Group Employees Participate in American Heart Association’s Heart Walk

Maria Garcia, Robert Schinder, Teri Vigue, Frank Pawlowicz, Laura Sears, Steve and Sandy Rovin

Maria Garcia, Robert Schinder, Terri Vigue, Frank Pawlowicz, Laura Sears, Steve and Sandy Rovin

The Hoffman Auto Group “Bravehearts” joined hundreds of other participants for the American Heart Association’s 5K Heart Walk at Rentschler Field on Saturday, October 18. The yearly event helps raise awareness of the importance and value of physical activity for cardiovascular health. Sandy Rovin from the Hoffman Auto group and her husband Steve were happy to help raise money and participate in this worthy cause, stating also “it gave us an opportunity to exercise together!”

Every year the Heart Walk raises funds to support research, advocacy and awareness of heart disease and stroke. The Hoffman Bravehearts team has raised over $800 so far and tax-deductible donations can be made through November 17 by clicking on “Give Now” at this page – Hoffman Bravehearts.

IMG_5806[1]Your donations go a long way! For example, a donation of $25 provides 50 people educational materials that teach how to personally reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke. A $50 donation delivers the message of healthy nutrition to elementary school students through lesson plans and activity guides. Your generous donation of $100 provides necessary resources for one hospital to teach patients, caregivers, and health professionals about the risks of stroke – the nation’s No. 4 killer.

Heart disease is the #1 leading cause of death and the #4 cause of stroke impacting the lives of so many people we care about. This is why we get involved … to make a difference.

Maria Garcia, from Hoffman Auto Group, who lost her father to heart disease and experienced her own heart related issues walked “in my father’s memory, to bring awareness to this great cause, and raise funds toward treatments for the disease.” Maria states, “I plan to have a long and healthy life and be around for those that mean the most to me.”

Frank Pawlowicz, Laura Sears, Maria Garcia, and Teri Vigue

Frank Pawlowicz, Laura Sears, Maria Garcia, and Terri Vigue

Last weekend’s Heart Walk was a great experience and I had a wonderful time with the Hoffman family and friends.  Although heart disease has not impacted my family directly I know people who have been affected,” says Laura Sears,  “Everyone of us needs to get healthy for ourselves and the ones we love.  We are only given one life so we need to preserve that life with healthy eating, regular exercise and quality sleep!”

We encourage you to learn the facts, get involved and partner with the largest voluntary health organization working to prevent, treat and defeat heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Find out more about the American Heart Association today www.heart.org