Archive

Archive for July, 2012

Can Charging Mats Sever the EV Cord?

July 18th, 2012

Nissan Leaf charging

Remember when you were a kid and all you wanted for your birthday was a remote-controlled car?

When the day finally arrived, your heart raced as you ripped open the wrapping paper and saw the gleaming red car under the clear plastic of the box. You, at long last, were the proud owner of a real remote-controlled car.

After tearing open the packaging and having your dad free the car of its inner restraints, a horrible realization occurred. Your car wasn’t a real remote-controlled car, it was tethered with a wire from the remote to the car. What fun is that?

The disappointment was intense, and you hung your head as you followed the car through the kitchen, maneuvering it around adults’ feet, trying to keep the wire free.

Now you’re all grown up and have finally purchased the electric car you always wanted, only to suffer the familiar disappointment of realizing you can’t go far without attaching a wire.

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You’ll Want an Extended Warranty After Reading This

July 17th, 2012

2011 GMC Acadia

How much does peace of mind cost?

While there is no specific answer, many people use the “peace of mind” reasoning to justify purchasing a new car instead of a used one. There are simply fewer unknown factors when buying new. There are no previous owners, no potential hidden damage, no abuse and no chance the car was previously totalled. Plus, the warranty on new cars gives buyers the ability to sleep easy at night, knowing they are covered for at least a few years in the event of a catastrophic failure.

Buying used offers none of those guarantees. Even late-model used cars can suffer tremendous breakdowns and cost thousands of dollars to repair. No one knows this better than my brother, the once-proud owner of a 2007 GMC Acadia.

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2013 Boxster S Grows Up, Challenges 911 as Porsche’s Best

July 16th, 2012

2013 Porsche Boxster S, front

The Porsche sat seductively, tempting me to open the door, slide in, turn the key with my left hand and ignite the potential energy sitting just behind and under the seats.

But I didn’t want to yet. I wanted to take in the surroundings first and fully appreciate what was to come. A hot, dry day. Sticky rubber wrapped around 19-inch alloy wheels. A white 2013 Boxster S with the top down and plenty of places to introduce my right foot to the Porsche’s floor.

There was just one problem: The last Porsche I drove was the new 911 Carrera S. This was just a Boxster S. There’s no way the experience could be as good, right?

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Can Athletes Pitch Cars and Trucks?

July 13th, 2012

Justin VerlanderWednesday night’s ESPY Awards, the “Oscars” of professional sports, was marked by the debut of a 2012 Buick Verano commercial featuring Peyton Manning, quarterback of the Denver Broncos. Not so coincidentally, Manning’s pitch came during the same week that arch-nemesis Tom Brady starred in a hip new ad for the 2013 Dodge Dart. It seems as though football players, and quarterbacks in particular, make the best car salesmen. Let’s look around the leagues to see who makes the grade.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, General Chat

Celebrities and Their Cars Make Us Cringe

July 13th, 2012

Flo Rida and his chrome Bugatti Veyron

On Fridays we like to lighten things up around here. Sometimes that means we’ll share some of our favorite car videos or create lists of our favorite convertibles or even give our opinion on the sexiest sedans.

Other times we shake our collective head in disbelief as we witness the crazy world of celebrities and their cars. Nothing should surprise us, considering celebs have barrels of money and like to use expensive cars as symbols of their success. Maybe becoming a celebrity should require taking a performance driving class, because the cars they buy usually have an absurd amount of power that should be left to the hands of trained professionals only.

Keep reading for some of the latest antics involving celebrities and their cars.

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Cars Coming Soon: More M Performance from BMW

July 12th, 2012

BMW 1 Series M Coupe

Don’t be fooled. That headline doesn’t mean more BMW M models are headed our way, just that more M performance cars will arrive on our shores in the next couple of years.

Confused?

You’re not alone. Cars like the BMW M3 and M5 have defined a generation of performance and have notched their share of racing successes. But more of that isn’t what’s in store. So what is? Cars with names like the M235i.

Keep reading to find out what that means.

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Buy a Chevy: Don’t Like It? Return Your Chevy

July 11th, 2012
2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1

Now with a money-back guarantee!

Just as General Motors exited bankruptcy, it rolled out a new campaign called “Let the Best Car Win.” Part of the promotion included a 60-day return policy, wherein a buyer could bring back a purchased GM vehicle for a refund if he or she became unhappy with it.

The return rate was a mere 1% or so, which showed a pretty high level of satisfaction for GM’s cars. Or at least it showed a level of satisfaction that was good enough to avoid the trouble of starting the buying process over.

Yesterday, GM announced a new take on the return policy. This time it’s wrapped into a promotion that guarantees a no-haggle price on most Chevrolet vehicles. Will it help Chevy stay ahead of surging Toyota?

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Does Brand Loyalty Still Exist?

July 10th, 2012

Leasing accounted for 76 percent of new-vehicle volume for Mercedes-Benz

In the old days, a guy drove a Chevy truck, bought his wife a Chevy car, traded in his Chevy truck for a newer Chevy truck and made sure his kids drove nothing but Chevys.

When those kids grew up and could think for themselves, though, they probably decided to rebel by buying a Camry, or if they really wanted to tick off the old man, a Sonata. Chances are, those kids leased their new cars and thus developed a loyalty to their new brand, albeit a loyalty based on the convenience of renewing a lease.

Today, the idea of brand loyalty is becoming as antiquated as the 4-speed manual transmission. With so many quality choices in modern cars, why choose to stick with one particular brand?

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Uncovering the 2013 Porsche Boxster

July 9th, 2012

2013 Porsche Boxster under wraps

The Boxster has never been my favorite Porsche. For that matter, the Boxster has never even been my favorite roadster.

I don’t have a good reason for that, other than the fact that the 911 exists and has always been a superior car. But where else can you go to find a midengine, lightweight, RWD roadster that’s as much fun to drive as the Boxster? There’s just not much in the way of competition there. For the money, though, a buyer can look at the Jaguar XK, Audi S5, BMW Z4 or even the Chevy Corvette. Each offers something the Boxster can’t, whether in the way of speed or more exotic looks.

Can the 2013 Boxster finally live up to the expectations of the Porsche name and be the purest sports car it offers?

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Beat the Drought: Wash Your Car!

July 6th, 2012

Washing a car

At last count, drought covered 56 percent of the continental United States. Crops are dying, people are sweating, and A/C units are chugging down freon like people are drinking water.

Intense heat pounds most of the country. Oftentimes, I’m shielded from triple-digit heat in my tucked-away Washington state location, but even my local weather girl has warned of hundred-degree misery come Monday. That panics me. But I have a way to deal with it.

I’m going to wash my car.

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