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Here Comes the 20-Year, 200,000-Mile Warranty

June 10th, 2015

200,000-mile warranty

I remember the day the world changed.

We tend to remember exactly where we were when momentous events mark a distinct “before” and “after” in our lives.

In this particular case, many years ago I was watching television, casually unaware my world would change with the very next advertisement.

It was an ad from Hyundai, the laughable Korean car company, promoting a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty.

“How could this be?” I thought, “Cars aren’t even supposed to last much past 100,000 miles.”

Of course, today we all know differently, as cars routinely pass that mark and even double it.

The 100,000-mile warranty has become standard fare for Hyundai and Kia and even inspired General Motors and Chrysler to add (and then revoke) 100,000-mile warranties.

Now there’s another warranty on the market that might keep pace with the life of current vehicles: the 20-year, 200,000-mile warranty.

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Can Costco Become the Largest Car Dealer in America?

June 9th, 2015

Costco auto program

Costco doesn’t sell cars, but it’s the second-biggest car dealer in the country.

That’s an oxymoron that’ll make your head explode, especially when you consider that the only organization to move more metal than Costco is AutoNation.

Costco’s wildly popular car buying service has been used by hundreds of thousands of people over the years, most of whom chimed on our blog post questioning just how good a deal Costco offers when it comes to cars.

Of course, it’s not possible to walk into Costco and drive out in a new car. The service is really just a middleman between the dealer and the consumer.

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The Surprising Fact About 10 Cars With the Highest Resale Values

June 5th, 2015

2014-chevrolet-silverado-z71-front-view-towing

Everyone knows that the value of any car you buy will plummet with every passing year. Unless you’re purchasing a 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO, you can be sure that the value of your car in 5 years will be significantly less than the price you paid.

That’s the bum deal about cars, and it’s true whether buying new or used. Leasing is gaining in popularity for this very reason. The only exceptions to the rule of depreciation are a few collector cars that go up in price every time they hit the auction block.

Any car currently for sale at a dealership in the U.S. won’t be going to a prestigious auction anytime soon, so the best we can do as buyers is to purchase cars that depreciate more slowly than average. The 10 best cars for holding their value are listed below, and they all share one common trait.

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The Pros and Cons of Leasing Your Next New Car

June 4th, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Silverado High CountryLeasing, as some have observed, is a fundamentally different way to buy a car. It lets someone who needs a car enjoy the benefits of ownership without having equity when his or her lease term ends. Leasing means you’re not buying the car so much as paying for the privilege of driving it.

Right now leasing is becoming more and more popular, with almost one-third of new cars being leased instead of bought outright. Let’s look at the pros and cons of leasing a new car.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat

The New Car That Costs $89 Per Month

June 4th, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Jetta pic-2687671922287613144

It’s like we’re living in 1963.

I honestly don’t know when the average car payment in the United States was below $100, but I do know that today it sits at just over $480. If you buy or lease a new car in this country, odds are pretty good that you’ll be somewhere in the $200-$500 per month range. The lower end of that range is reserved for low-payment leases and bottom-of-the-barrel entry-level cars.

So when one of the world’s largest automakers promotes an $89 lease, or even lower in some areas, people will pay attention.

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Toyota Prius: Most Stolen Car in America?

June 2nd, 2015

2015 Toyota Prius pic-362296487971647730

Imagine the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds” with a Prius in place of the Shelby GT500.

Not very exciting, is it?

Car theft has been romanticized in movies and video games, but the reality is far less exciting. Cars are stolen every day in this country, and it happens in plain site at grocery stores, in home driveways, and in mass-transit parking lots.

Instead of targeting brash sports cars, thieves often go for the kinds of cars that blend in and are easily taken apart so in-demand parts can be sold. The traditional pièce de résistance of thieves is the Honda Accord, which fits those criteria perfectly.

There may, however, be a new king in town.

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The Honda Mojo: It’s Not a Car

June 1st, 2015

Civic Type R

Remember the 2012 Honda Civic? Of course not. It was the most disappointing Civic in modern history.

Consumer Reports famously dissed the car by revoking its “Recommended” status, while Car and Driver summarized the changes like this:

With the latest Civic, Honda has gambled that moving away from sportiness and towards quiet comfort will suit its buyers. Honda hasn’t hedged its bets into the boring realm of the Toyota Corolla, but it’s certainly an unadventurous effort. Aside from being quieter and more efficient, the new Civic doesn’t represent improvement as we define it. The Civic lacks the passion, soul, and entertaining driving dynamics of its predecessor. Mainstream buyers may not care, but enthusiasts surely will.

Honda, once known for sporty and fun-to-drive cars that provided reliability and fuel efficiency, had morphed into the latter while forgetting about the former.

Honda had lost its mojo.

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Distracted Driving: The New Normal?

May 29th, 2015

Texting While Driving

How many times per day do you see people texting behind the wheel?

I’d venture to guess that every time you’re stopped at a light or stopped on the highway in heavy traffic, you’ll be able take a look at your fellow drivers and see at least one with his or her face buried in a phone.

It’s dangerous, and it shouldn’t happen, but we, as modern-day Americans, have outsourced our brains to our devices, and we can’t sever the connection. We text and drive, we e-mail and drive, we shop and drive, and we talk and drive. Many of us go about these activities while also eating or putting on makeup.

Driving has become the secondary or even tertiary activity while behind the wheel. Nobody can seem to stop it from happening.

So we must embrace it.

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Why Summer Is a Great Time to Buy a Car

May 28th, 2015

2015 Chrysler 200C My home base is the great Northeast. As such, this past winter I thought summer would never come. But all that snow eventually melted, and with it so have new and used car prices. Summer is a great time to buy a car.

Prices in the used car market begin to drop this time of year for a couple of reasons. Demand declines after tax season and its flood of money from tax refunds. Consumers wait until their returns are filed and IRS checks issued to make down payments.

But the bigger reason is supply grows this time of year. Private sellers get more active, and more people are buying new cars, which increases the used car supply.

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Car Industry News, Car Parts, Car Shopping, CarGurus Features and Updates, General Chat

Porsche’s Profitable Problem

May 28th, 2015

2015 Porsche 911 pic-5239915476691723324

Porsche has a problem.

It’s a problem no other automaker has but all of them would want. Most automakers build cars that live comfortable lives, sell pretty well for a while, and eventually evolve into something else or end production when they are no longer popular. If they’re lucky, perhaps they’ll spawn a fan club or two.

The cars that have managed to stay relevant for decades (Ford Mustang, Toyota Camry) are nothing like their former selves.

The Porsche 911 is different. This is one of those cars that’s been in existence for most of the last 50 years and has slowly and gracefully aged. With each passing model year the 911 gets only slight changes while retaining its trademark shape. One could argue that the design no longer belongs to Porsche, but to the legions of 911 owners and fans who have become part of the car’s epic history. The 911 isn’t just a car anymore, it’s become part of our culture.

So how does Porsche go about introducing a “new” 911 when it’s bound to keep the classic shape?

That’s the problem facing Porsche.

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