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Cadillac ELR Gets the Ax, Chevy Bolt Prepares for Domination

May 24th, 2016

2014_Cadillac_ELR

Automakers, please note: The future of electric cars doesn’t include $76,000 luxury vehicles that look fast but go slow.

That seems like common sense, right?

A Cadillac that looks like the one pictured here should wrap its occupants in opulence while also delivering tooth-rattling performance.

This is the Cadillac ELR, though, a vehicle that brought everything to the table except performance. Like the 2005 Ford Thunderbird, this Caddy has failed to find a long-term home because it didn’t deliver on the promises made by its seductive design.

Production of the ELR has come to an abrupt end after just two years on the market.

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Is Anyone Aware That Tesla Will Revive the Roadster?

May 23rd, 2016

Tesla_Roadster

Perhaps people have forgotten that the Tesla Roadster is what started it all.

The innovative electric supercar stunned the auto world all the way back in 2008 and remained in production into 2012. The car, which used the body of a Lotus Elise and Tesla’s own electric drivetrain, carried a $109,000 base price and could accelerate from 0-60 in under 4 seconds. Tesla produced about 2,400 copies of the car before discontinuing it to focus efforts on the Model S sedan.

The Model S, of course, became wildly popular and quickly erased memories of the Roadster. Then the Model X hype was followed by a massive number of pre-orders for the Model 3, and the Roadster suddenly felt like ancient history.

Maybe that’s why no one has reacted to news that the Roadster is making a comeback.

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Can a Car Go Too Far? Our Highest-Mileage Cruisers

May 20th, 2016

1989 Lincoln Town Car

Summer’s just around the bend, which means many of us have long weekend drives in our near future. Leaving the day-to-day for a beautiful summer weekend away can definitely heal many wounds, but some of us will need to cover a lot of miles to really get away from it all. We polled our used-car listings to find those vehicles with the highest mileage per year, but weren’t surprised to find the top end of our list packed with cargo vans and large pickup trucks.

You don’t want to leave work on a Friday for a long drive to your summer getaway with your honey in a cargo van, do you? No, so we’re going to show you the sedans and wagons that have covered the largest average number of miles per year, in order to to find some comfortable highway cruisers. These vehicles aren’t generally fast and luxurious, but any one should fit the bill if you need a vehicle to get yourself and your loved one(s) a long way from your home base for some relaxation.

Please make sure you prepare for any long drive by getting plenty of sleep beforehand and turning off your cell phone or giving it to a passenger to avoid distraction. We’re not sure where you’ll cover lots of miles for relaxing weekends away this summer, but here’s a list of great road trips. Wherever you go, we hope you return safe and refreshed, and we hope you enjoy the drive.

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2007 Toyota Tundra Reaches 1 Million Miles

May 20th, 2016

1_million_mile_tundra

I have a 14-year-old car that’s less than 200 miles away from turning to 100,000 miles.

Victor Sheppard passed 100,000 in his first year of car ownership.

I’ve been a little nervous about the change to six digits on the odometer, but after hearing Victor’s story I’m starting to hope that this first hundred thousand is just the start of many more to come.

Victor has done something that very few people on Earth will ever accomplish. He reached a milestone with his vehicle that has only been reached a handful of times, and he did faster than anyone would have believed possible.

Victor has driven a 2007 Toyota Tundra over 1 million miles.

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The Intersection of Technology and Design Isn’t Boring

May 19th, 2016
Toyota's FCV Plus concept

Toyota’s FCV Plus concept

On May 26, the New England Motor Press Association, of which some of us here at CarGurus are members, will host a conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the theme Technology Intersecting Design. It may sound like a boring topic, but as you’ll see, it’s a compelling one.

The NEMPA conference will include prominent industry figures like Timothy Anness, head of advance design, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – North America; Mary Gustanski, vice president of engineering, Delphi; Michelle Tolini Finamore, curator of fashion arts at the (Boston) Museum of Fine Arts; Dr. Gill Pratt – CEO, Toyota Research Institute; and John J. Leonard, professor of mechanical and ocean engineering at MIT.

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Hyundai Hires Bentley Designers, Gets Serious About New Genesis Brand

May 19th, 2016

Genesis-New-York-concept

Hyundai could have a major impact on the luxury car market.

That statement may result in eye rolls and thoughts of the Hyundai Azera and Kia Cadenza, which are both are great premium cars, but haven’t succeeded at making a dent in the sales of the top luxury players.

Things are changing, though. Luxury car sales are down so far this year, which may help Hyundai’s new Genesis luxury brand put up a fight against BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi.

Sound impossible?

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BMW Introduces Quad-Turbo Engine

May 18th, 2016

2016_bmw_7_series

A turbocharger can significantly increase an engine’s horsepower without adding a lot of weight, which is partly why so many automakers today are adding turbos to their lineups. Turbocharging allows vehicles to use smaller engines and achieve greater fuel economy without sacrificing performance.

A turbocharger works by using exhaust gas to spin a turbine which in turn powers a pump that sucks in additional air that is directed back into the engine for an added boost. One of the biggest downsides of a turbocharger is that it can take time to wind up and apply the boost, a problem called turbo lag.

Lag problems are sometimes addressed through a twin sequential turbocharger system, in which one turbo handles low-RPM conditions and another kicks in for high-RPM conditions. In 2012, BMW introduced a tri-turbo system for the European market.

The third turbocharger awakens in the upper rev limits to achieve peak performance, but apparently three were still not enough.

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Fake Engine Noise Could Lead to Improved Fuel Economy

May 17th, 2016

2016_ford_focus

Shifting by ear is one of the great pleasures of driving.

For many drivers, accelerating out of a turn and shifting from second to third just as the engine reaches its peak is a feeling bested only by knowing it’ll happen again when it’s time to shift into fourth.

The only problem with shifting by ear is that it doesn’t correlate with what’s best for delivering optimal fuel economy.

That’s being addressed by Ford in new technology that includes fake engine sounds, which the automaker hopes to use to fool drivers into shifting earlier, thus providing better fuel efficiency.

Fake engine noises shouldn’t come as any surprise because many automakers, from Ford to Volkswagen, have been faking, or at least enhancing, engine noises for years.

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Buick Verano Discontinued in America, Buick Envision Coming From China

May 16th, 2016

buick-verano

It seemed for a while that Buick was on the cusp of something great. The company had successfully turned away from the stodgy brand image of decades past and started to produce cars that were sexy and desirable.

For the first time in recent memory, Buicks turned heads on the street and caused many folks to utter the words, “That’s a Buick?”

Unfortunately, good design isn’t the only factor in selling cars. In the near-luxury space, which is where Buick wants to find success, a car must be sexy, youthful, and affordable. Even more importantly, a car has to offer a value proposition that no other car can match.

That’s where Buick has struggled, and the effects are starting to show. The first casualty is the Verano.

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10 Economical Options for the Sensible Graduate

May 13th, 2016

personal_car_rental

As Boston-area folks know all too well, another year’s worth of college students will soon graduate and move on to their next stage in life. Whether that next stage will be an entry-level job, more school, volunteer or charity work, or getting right to work on their first (next?) startup, we wish this year’s graduates nothing but the best with whatever comes next.

We ran a recent survey that determined more than half of graduating college students plan to buy a car, and we were happily surprised to learn that over half of them expect to buy it themselves. Two-thirds of those getting a new car plan to buy a used one, and almost half expect to spend $15,000 or less, though we also learned that graduating college students don’t understand a car’s true costs. Over half plan to work in the city, and 71% plan to commute by car.

So here’s a graduation present from CarGurus: a list of 10 cars available used at an average cost of $15,000 or less that are all fine commuting cars and should hold their value relatively well. We deliberately avoided sports cars, which might tempt even a valedictorian to drive unsafely and would cost substantially more to insure. We hope all recent graduates plan to continue learning in their next stage of life, and we look forward to celebrating some of their successes in the no doubt impressively near future.

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