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Archive for the ‘Car Lists’ Category

So Long, Snowmageddon

March 18th, 2015

Automotion parking lot

John “Bugsy” Lawlor and the New England Motor Press Association gave one of New England’s worst winters ever an emphatic boot this past weekend. Having assembled an impressive fleet of new cars and trucks, not to mention a mouth-watering buffet, Lawlor and his Automotion crew hosted a large and varied group of auto journalists for NEMPA’s 2015 Winter Vehicle Awards testing.

Roads were relatively clear but very wet, and withering grey remnants of this year’s record-setting snowfall lingered just beyond the pavement. But having the opportunity to put a large and varied assortment of cars through its paces refreshed everyone’s perspective and attitude. We all learned a ton and had a blast, and we now eagerly look forward to ditching snow tires, opening car windows and roofs wide, and hitting the back roads in something speedy and nimble.

The list of cars available for testing included everything from hot compact all-wheel-drive hatches to full-size trucks, with a number of muscle and sports cars tossed in for good measure. My co-workers and I did our best to sample as wide a range as possible, though we’ll confess that some of our choices were driven by parking-lot logistics. NEMPA’s Winter Vehicle Awards winners won’t get announced until springtime, but here are some thoughts on the cars we drove.

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Ten Stylish Summer Convertibles Under $10k

March 13th, 2015

2008 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder

It’s that time of year again. Well, not really, but we can certainly start looking forward to it. As the days get longer, the air gets warmer, and the smells get a little sweeter, it’s hard not to dream about one thing: convertibles. The snow hasn’t completely melted here in Boston, but what’s on the ground now is a far cry from the over 8 feet we’ve gotten this winter, and that completely justifies our looking months into the future.

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Grilles: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

March 12th, 2015

2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Limited Crew Cab 4x4-front-three-quarter-03

Let’s spend a little time talking about grilles.

The face of a car defines its personality. Cars have been made and broken, praised and ridiculed, based on the front end alone. Failures include the famous Ford Edsel and, more recently, the Acura Beak.

Successes include recent Audi faces and just about anything with a BMW logo on it.

Truck grilles haven’t received a lot of attention, but one new model is at risk of falling into the category the Edsel invented.

The new 2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Limited needs to stand apart for two reasons, because the competition is fierce, and because it needs to distance itself from the Dodge brand.

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Ten Automotive Superstars of the Nineties

February 27th, 2015

1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee

We thought we would follow up our Today’s Most Popular Cars From the 1980s list with its logical sequel: ’90s cars. We looked at our data again and determined which ’90s cars garnered the most interest from CarGurus shoppers. We have to say, this list surprises us a bit less. The ’80s list featured a good number of discontinued cars, but only one car no longer in production made this one. Nineties cars are probably a bit more practical than some of the nearly ancient ’80s models (cars on this list are likely at least 11 years younger), and most of these cars haven’t quite reached collector status.

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10 Cars to Escape Snowmageddon

February 20th, 2015

2014 Jeep Wrangler

Do you know what Boston-area people are really sick of right now? Snow. There has been lots and lots of snow the past month. Too much snow—and this isn’t your everyday winter fatigue talking. We have a very good reason to be done with snow here in Boston. New England suburbs and cities are cramped enough without 7+ feet of snow. Snow currently occupies every parking space in city, traffic couldn’t be worse, and the MBTA (public transportation for the Greater Boston area) will not be able to operate at full capacity for close to a month. Bostonians are taking it on the chin, and there’s only so much more this we can take.

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Today’s Most Popular Cars From the 1980s

February 13th, 2015

1988 Pontiac Fiero

As time goes on and we look back at decades past, the ’80s become a weirder time for everyone. It was a pretty good time for cars, though, to be honest. Cars from the ’80s are still holding up to this day, and finding these 30-plus-year-old vehicles is becoming more desirable for some people. A lot of cars from the ’80s still move off sales lots pretty quickly. Not too surprising when these American classics are becoming increasingly rare and desirable. Many have long been discontinued, and that rarity has only increased their value.

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10 Cars Worthy of a Super Bowl MVP

February 6th, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

Tom Brady received a Chevrolet Colorado as his Super Bowl MVP prize, a vehicle a lot of people thought was an odd choice for such a prestigious award. This makes some sense when you consider how much of a marketing push has surrounded Chevrolet’s resurrected midsize pickup, and the resulting publicity around the choice will certainly move some Colorados off Chevy lots. Last year, General Motors gave Malcolm Smith a Silverado High Country, straying away from the trend of giving performance sports cars in the handful of years Chevy has had the contract with the NFL.

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J.D. Power’s 2014 Ten Best for Initial Quality

January 23rd, 2015

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

The auto press usually focuses on new cars this time of year, but another reason the midwinter months can be exciting is from the used car perspective. Around this time of year, some of the cars that were brand new last year are starting to appear on used car lots. 2014 models have had their time in the spotlight, and now’s your chance to try to find one for a bargain. There likely won’t be a hugely significant price change, mind you, but you can (we hope) expect a barely year-old vehicle to be in decent shape. Even if these cars are still on new lots, you can expect the dealerships to offer some great deals to move that inventory and make way for the plethora of ’15s and ’16s they’re receiving.

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Jaguar’s SVR Performance Brand: Your New Favorite?

January 23rd, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R

There are performance brands, then there are the performance sub-brands of performance brands.

It sounds confusing, but you know exactly what I mean. BMW has one. Audi has one. Mercedes-Benz has one. Cadillac has one. Even Lexus, the stalwart of comfort and luxury, has one.

Jaguar has one too, which has been denoted with an R or R-S badge on the trunk, which signifies a step up in horsepower, acceleration, and handling. Future top-of-the-line Jaguars will wear a new SVR badge, which will likely grow into a full lineup of vehicles.

Which is your favorite performance brand? Keep reading for a quick rundown.

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10 Cars Unveiled in Detroit We Can’t Wait to See

January 16th, 2015

2016 Nisan Titan

This has been quite a big week for the auto industry, as manufacturers unveil the first lines of their 2016 portfolios at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The annual auto show has a long history of being one of the most pivotal events of the year for auto manufacturers. This is the time of year to get excited. This is when we begin to have a sense of what is to come in the next 11 months of automobile production and when we get to see in what direction the industry will head. This is one of the biggest events in the auto industry for a reason.

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