Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 02-06-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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4 ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 6-12, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER LIVING EDITION from dozens of major domes- tic and import manufacturers, including Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Honda, Jeep, Nissan and Toyota, the event gives visitors a chance to talk to product specialists and check out new cars, trucks, cross- overs, SUVs, hybrids, alterna- tive fuel options, as well as exotics and classics. The show, presented by the Rhode Island Automobile Dealers Association and pro- duced by MotorTrend Auto Shows, will include hundreds of 2019 models, such as the 2019 Jeep Wrangler (named MotorTrend's SUV of the Year) and the 2019 Ram 1500 (named MotorTrend's Truck of the Year). New car buyers can bring questions for manufacturers and will have an opportunity "to get behind the wheel," Taft said. On Friday, from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors can test drive latest models from Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram. "The great thing about this show is that everyone is wel- come to talk to manufacturers and ask questions," Taft said. "These are the experts in the industry … It's a great oppor- tunity to learn what's happen- ing and what's new." Bob Tasca Jr., presi- dent of Tasca Automotive Group, which has approxi- mately 18 dealerships throughout Rhode Island, Connecticut and southeastern Massachusetts, said the show offers buyers "one place to look at all the products," including vehicles with newer and better safety features. Today's cars, trucks and SUVs "are so much safer than they used to be," said Tasca, whose family is prepar- ing 2019 Ford and Lincoln models for viewing at the Auto Show. "There's not a bad product out there … They're all pretty darn good." While safety features used to be exclusive to luxury cars, they're being rolled out to lower-priced cars and trucks, Tasca said. "A few years ago, it was a big deal to have a backup camera," he said. "Now, there's so much technology that's being put in vehicles today." Driver assistance technolo- gies, such as blind-spot warn- ings and automatic emer- gency braking, seek to help drivers avoid collisions or at least reduce the impact of an accident. Some features come standard nowadays, while others are optional upgrades, but they all use software and hardware (such as cameras, sensors and radar) to warn motorists of safety risks that they might not have seen on their own. "The availability of safety features is amazing now," Taft said. Many manufacturers "have driver assistance programs to some level," offering fea- tures such as adaptive cruise control, parking assistance and lane-departure warning systems, she said. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website, 94 percent of all serious motor vehicle crashes are caused by human error or choices. "Driver assisting tech- nologies," the NHTSA says, "have the potential to reduce crashes, prevent injuries, and save lives." Once a driver experiences these features, "they'll never buy a vehicle without them," Tasca said. Both Taft and Tasca pointed out that cars available to the public aren't yet fully autono- mous, but "we're almost there." Not all drivers are eager for self-driving cars, but many do appreciate features that improve the way they drive. According to a 2018 survey by Consumer Reports, 51 percent of buyers looking to purchase a new car want a rearview camera or backup warning and 45 percent want a blind-spot warning system, compared to 11 percent who said they want a car with automatic acceleration, brak- ing and steering. In addition to safety fea- tures, today's car buyers are also interested in fuel efficien- cy, connectivity with mobile devices, and electric vehicles, Taft said. The majority of manufac- turers now offer all-electric, hybrid electric or plug-in electric vehicles, and if they don't, they have plans for them in the future, she said. Massive trucks are out, as the mid-sized pickup makes a return, Taft said, pointing to the 2019 Ford Ranger as an example. These trucks offer "a lot of functionality" and are more fuel-efficient than bigger counterparts. "The sedan business is getting less and less of a per- centage of the market," Tasca said. "I think people feel safer in an SUV, sitting up a little higher." He added that most SUVs now have all-wheel drive, a good feature for Rhode Islanders who have to deal with snowy winters. With a showcase by duPont Registry Ferrari & Maserati of New England, the Auto Show also offers an opportunity for visitors to do a little dream- ing, Taft said, by trying out luxury cars "without having any pressure" to buy. Admission to the show is $12 for adults, $9 for senior citizens (62 and older) and $8 for students (21 and under with a school ID). Children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. For more information, visit www.ProvidenceAutoShow. com . AUTO SHOW From Page One Yacouba Diabate, Chris Monti bring West African music to BRT CUMBERLAND – Blackstone River Theatre, 549 Broad St., will present a split concert of West African music featuring Yacouba Diabate and the Chris Monti Trio on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. Yacouba Diabate is a master kora player born in Burkina Faso, West Africa. His family, the Griot fam- ily, is well-known as musi- cians and as a young adult, Yacouba studied the kora in Mali with renown kora mas- ter, Toumani Diabate. Chris Monti is a singer- songwriter, guitarist and har- monica player whose original songs are influenced by rock 'n' roll and country blues as well as music from West Africa, Egypt and India. The Chris Monti Trio features bassist Theo Regan and drummer Matt McLaren and they play West African Music and West African- inspired songs. Chris and Matt learned many of these songs playing in the Double Decker Dance Band from band leader, singer, guitarist, Joe Paye, of Liberia. You'll hear Soka, Highlife, and Soukous beats. Admission is $15. For reser- vations, call Blackstone River Theatre at 401-725-9272. For more information, visit www. riverfolk.org . Blackstone River Theatre, 549 Broad St., Cumberland, will pres- ent a split concert of West African music featuring YACOUBA DIABATE, left, and the CHRIS MONTI TRIO on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m.

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