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Volvo’s New Plan: Bad for the Buyer?

December 17th, 2014

2016 Volvo XC90

By trying to be different, Volvo is enacting a plan that many have already tried.

In the past I’ve been in full agreement with the concept behind Volvo’s plan. It probably is time that the way we purchase cars begins to change. The thing is, the change suggested could actually end up hurting consumers financially.

News is making the rounds this week about Volvo’s new marketing plan, which cuts out most auto-show participation and introduces online car buying to customers. The theory of shoppers being able to build their ideal cars online, then order with the push of a button, makes sense. But is the convenience really a good thing?

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2015 Mustang Knocks Camaro From the Top

December 16th, 2014

2015 Ford Mustang GT

In November of 2013, a total of 5,376 Ford Mustangs found new homes. That’s not a bad sales month for a muscle car, and it’s about the range where the Chevy Camaro has held steady for the last year.

November 2014 was an entirely different story, mostly because the all-new 2015 Mustang hit the market with full force.

The result?

Let’s just say that the newly redesigned pony car has been exceptionally well received.

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Can You Return a Brand New Car?

December 15th, 2014

buyers-remorse-return-car

If your car needs normal maintenance, there’s a good chance you’ll take it to the dealer.

If you take your car to the dealer, there’s a good chance you’ll find out the car needs more repairs.

If your car needs more repairs, you’ll probably be upset about the repair bill.

If you’re upset about the repair bill, there’s a good chance you’ll think about trading your car in instead of repairing it.

If you trade your car in, you’ll probably wind up with a new car.

If you wind up with a new car, chances are, the next day you’ll wish you had your old car back.

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Dubuc Motors: Canada’s Cousin to Tesla?

December 11th, 2014

Dubuc Tomahawk

Have you ever heard of Dubuc Motors?

No. Of course you haven’t. There’s no reason why you, an average citizen of the world, would know about an obscure Canadian automaker that hasn’t produced a vehicle for sale in any mass market.

Then again, there was a time when you hadn’t heard of Tesla Motors, either.

Dubuc thinks it has a car that could rival the American electric automaker’s and is on the verge of “something huge.”

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Can Kia Compete With Porsche?

December 9th, 2014

Porsche Panamera Exclusive

This is a crazy world in which we live.

If you’ll recall, our planet was nearly knocked off its axis by the outcry of Porsche purists who derided the loss of the brand when Porsche announced the four-door Panamera.

Apparently all has been forgiven, because the latest, and most expensive, Panamera to date has just sold out. At over $300,000 each.

As if the Panamera weren’t big and bloated enough, this ultra-luxurious version has been stretched even more and priced out of the stratosphere, but still managed to sell all 100 copies in less than 48 hours.

In the meantime, Kia has taken note of the German success and wants to replicate it on a budget.

Crazy, right?

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Do We Really Need a New Ford GT?

December 4th, 2014

2005-ford-gt

The last couple of days have been intense for fans of the Ford GT. Rumors are strong that the much-loved supercar could come racing back, with a debut coming as early as next month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Why would Ford want to get back into the  supercar business? There are plenty of reasons but the biggest two, in my opinion, are the Corvette and the Viper.

Arch rivals Chevrolet and Dodge both have supercars, and the closest Ford currently gets is with the Shelby Mustang, which admittedly is almost as good. Almost.

In the game of car competition, though, “almost” doesn’t win many sales. The timing is right for the GT to come back, but does it make sense?

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Hellcat Opens the Gates of Possibility

December 3rd, 2014
New Buick GNX?

New Buick GNX?

Hellcat is the coolest and most intimidating name ever given to a car.

The Dodge Charger and Challenger Hellcat twins live up to the name and offer over 700 horsepower of fire-breathing evil. Plenty has been written about the ferocious beasts, and I think we can all agree that they’re pretty much the most impressive muscle cars ever produced.

While proudly owning that crown, the Hellcat probably won’t be the last to emerge from the now open gates to the underworld.

Another famously evil car could return, this one once associated with the dark Empire run by one Lord Vader.

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Which Is Better: The Old Acura or the New?

December 2nd, 2014

2015 Acura TLX

I remember seeing a brand new 2004 Acura TL for the first time. I worked at an ad agency and had just purchased a new ’04 Jaguar X-Type. A co-worker showed up a few days later with the new Acura, perhaps trying to one-up me. She said her purchase was just coincidentally timed, but I always had my doubts.

Regardless of her intent, I was smitten by that car. It didn’t have the curvaceous eye-catching looks of the Jag, but it was still beautiful, luxurious and most of all, felt solid and well crafted.

The Jaguar always felt a little questionable, even when it was new over 10 years ago.

When Acura refreshed the TL in 2009, the car fell a few rungs down the style ladder and sales slowly declined until it was discontinued this year. The car, with its now-infamous beak grille, had grown too big and too underpowered to take on its German rivals.

To replace the TL, Acura created the all-new TLX in hopes it could re-ignite U.S. buyers’ flaming passion for the brand.

The strategy seems to be working.

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Want a Deal? Buy Today or New Year’s Eve

November 28th, 2014

Lexus December to Remember

You don’t even need to wake up early to get some of the best Black Friday deals on the market. You won’t find them at Target, Walmart or even at Best Buy, but instead at your local car dealer.

We are entering the time of year when car deals, on both new and used vehicles, are at their best.

So instead of getting up at 3 am, sleep in until 10 and visit a few dealers if you’re even thinking there might be a new car in your future.

Here’s the scoop on what’s out there this year.

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Meet the Pickup Trucks Getting Close to 30 MPG

November 25th, 2014

2015 Ford F-150, front-view

News of a truck that gets the same fuel economy as a family sedan, and is capable of pulling 12,000 pounds of trailer, would change the game for American pickups.

Of course, we’ll never get the two of those things together. With trucks, fuel economy and towing capacity are an either/or proposition.

Trucks capable of close to 30 miles per gallon on the highway are now here, and we have trucks that can pull 12,000 pounds, but we will never have a truck that pulls 12,000 pounds while getting anything more than about 9 miles per gallon.

Ford’s new 2015 F-150 solves half the puzzle by getting an impressive 26 mpg on the highway.

With a catch, of course.

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