Small businesses are what drive the economy. According to the Small Business Administration, they employ about half of the U.S. workforce and pay 44 percent of the total income earned by private-sector workers. So what’s ‘driving’ small businesses these days?
2014 Chevy Silverado: The Silverado 1500 debuted with increased size, muscle, civility and fuel economy. An exterior designed for optimal airflow makes the Silverado more aerodynamic than ever. The biggest change is three Ecotec3 engines, a 4.3L V6, 5.3L V8 and a 6.2L V8 from which to choose. They offer power plus fuel efficient technology ranging from direct injection and variable valve timing to cylinder deactivation. All three will shut cylinders down under light loads and run on a four cylinders to save fuel. A leap forward for the pickup segment, innovation gives the Silverado an edge over the ‘13 Ford F-150 and ‘14 Ram 1500.
2014 Ford Transit Connect: If you don’t need a burly, thirsty pickup, then the Transit Connect is for you. It provides a 39’ turning radius, a standard 2.5-liter naturally aspirated Duratec 4-cylinder or the optional turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine, and a six-speed automatic transmission. As a city-based work van that can lug 135 cubic feet with a payload of 1,600 pounds, it’s ideal. The space is made more usable with a low step-in height, flat floor measuring 6’ X 4’, and a ceiling height just under 5’. All Transits have dual sliding side doors which can be deleted, as can the rear door glass. to be added to 2014 models.
2014 Jeep Cherokee: As the replacement for the Liberty, the 2014 Cherokee brings a legendary name back into the lineup as a complement to the Grand Cherokee. An all-new design, this 5-passenger, mid-size crossover SUV has a bold new look with segment-leading levels of capability, technology and efficiency. The Cherokee’s core structure uses nearly 65% high strength steel that reduces weight and adds to its rugged character. The Cherokee’s new bodywork has been aero-optimized from its cast front fascia and trapezoidal wheel arches to its cleanly rendered rear quarters complete with a functional spoiler. The exterior makeover also endows the Cherokee with a contemporary appearance that was absent from its predecessor while retaining sufficient Jeep cues to leave no doubt about its heritage.
2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class: Set to debut this Fall, the new CLA-Class is a sedan wrapped in coupe’s clothing. Bolder fascia treatments, more aggressive lighting elements and edgier body contours endow the new CLA-Class with a more youthful and dynamic character – features Mercedes hopes will entice new, younger buyers. The 2014 CLA250 and CLA250 4Matic are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged/direct-injected 4-cylinder engine with ECO start/stop that develops 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of peak torque, coupled with a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission automatic.
These vehicles, of which only the Ford Transit Connect is a carryover (albeit with two new powertrains), represent the automotive sector continuing to move forward, and with it small businesses all across America.
If you’re interested in learning more about diesel-powered vehicles designed for tough jobs, you can download Automotive Training Center’s free e-book, The ATC Diesel Emissions Checklist.