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Archive for the ‘Car Minded’ Category

Miles of Smiles Per Gallon

October 22nd, 2014

2015-mitsubishi-mirage

When gas prices hit or exceed $4 per gallon, the cost to fill up my Audi Q7 gets scarily close to $100. I drive to conserve fuel by accelerating slowly, cruising on the highway at about 60-65 miles per hour, and not letting the engine run to warm up the car in the driveway.

At my local Costco this weekend, I pulled up and saw what I thought was a price of $3.94 on the pump’s display. Closer inspection showed a price of $3.44, and I nearly jumped for joy. Fifty cents per gallon, at about 18 gallons, saved a good nine dollars and made me a happy dude.

Gas prices are falling across the country, which is great news for all of us. If you want to save even more at the pump, while driving a brand new car, check this out:

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Comparing Sound: Mustang Against Hellcat

October 21st, 2014

2015-dodge-challenger-srt-hellcat

Active Noise Control sounds like a feature you would want on your next car. The name implies that the car actively controls the noise you hear, or don’t hear, while driving.

That’s accurate, but Ford this week is catching all kinds of negative attention for the feature, which comes standard on all 2015 Mustangs equipped with the 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine.

You see, Active Noise Control doesn’t limit the sound coming into the cabin, it creates it. Since a 4-cylinder doesn’t sound like a muscle car, Ford pipes in some satisfying engine notes to make things feel like they match the 300+ horsepower the little engine delivers.

The Challenger Hellcat doesn’t require such technology.

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Porsche vs. Corvette: It Always Ends the Same

October 20th, 2014

Porsche Cayman S versus C7 Corvette Stingray

Showdowns between Porsche and Corvette always end in Porsche’s favor.

The word “always” is a dangerous one to use, but in this case it fits. There hasn’t been a time that I can recall when a Chevy Corvette has beat out a Porsche 911 or even a Cayman.

I suppose a Corvette vs. Cayenne showdown might end in Chevy’s favor, but that’s not a track competition anyone’s been too interested to complete.

European handling and balance of power simply destroys the American Corvette’s horsepower advantage. Every time.

Well, until now.

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Our 10 Favorite EVs

October 17th, 2014

2011 Chevrolet Volt

There’s been quite a bit of debate as to where electric cars will fit into the consumer car market in the next few years. Tesla’s recent announcement of their P85D shows that electric cars are starting to infiltrate even the ranks of performance vehicles. Although there have been a number of additions to the EV category in recent years, a lot of people still question the practicality of transitioning to a purely electric vehicle. Battery charge times and driving range on a single charge certainly leave a lot to be desired. These are legitimate concerns, but automakers are making strides in addressing them. With the addition of home charging stations, charge time drops drastically, and more public charging stations will certainly help extend the EV’s range. And of course Tesla is making waves with its 30-second-swappable batteries.

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Cars That Should Have a Diesel Option

October 17th, 2014

2015-ford-mustang-gt-burnout

Diesel-powered cars should be the wave of the future.

Electric vehicles have the distinction of being able to run on zero fossil fuel, but the production of electricity itself requires all kinds of dirty energy. Yes, it’s pretty cool to drive without any pollution, but how many tons of coal have to burn for the privilege?

That’s a discussion that won’t be resolved by a single blog post, but it’s the reason diesel-powered vehicles should be given a second look before buying electric.

Unfortunately there’s still a shortage of diesel cars in this country, but here’s a list of vehicles that should at least have the option.

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Kia’s Quality Up, But Buyers Haven’t Noticed

October 16th, 2014

2014-kia-cadenza

Remember the Sephia?

The oddly named Kia was one of the first cars the company sold in the United States. Its low cost and low quality quickly became synonymous with the Kia name. In the overview on CarGurus, there are “complaints of numerous repair problems, particularly with the brakes and transmission, along with a cheap plastic interior, an easily dented body, small backseat, and labored acceleration when the A/C is on.”

While the vehicles produced by Kia in recent years have increased in quality to rival some luxury automakers, the perception of Kia is still stuck on the early impressions of cars like the Sephia.

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Don’t Resist: Stop-Start Here to Stay

October 15th, 2014

2014_Chevrolet_Malibu

Do we need stop-start engine technology in this country?

Those of us who continue to drive vehicles powered by fossil fuels need every piece of technology we can get to reduce the amount of fuel we need to fill our tanks.

Stop-start technology works by automatically stopping the engine when a car comes to a complete stop, then starting it again when the brake pedal is released.

The technology has been a success in Europe, where gas prices are exorbitant. As many as 70 percent of cars sold there are equipped with stop-start, compared with just seven percent here. There’s  definitely been a lukewarm acceptance of stop-start in the States, but it’s time we readily embrace it because soon the vast majority of new cars sold here will have it.

Even if the buyer has no idea.

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What’s Better: FWD Hot Hatch or RWD Sports Car?

October 14th, 2014
2015 Ford Focus ST

2015 Ford Focus ST

Torque steer remains one of the spikes in the soul of the hot hatch.

Regardless, people love the little hatchbacks for their front-wheel drive and turbocharged engines. They are just as fast as some rear-wheel-drive competition and often have prices to match.

In my humble opinion, the hot hatch is for the guy or girl who wants a fun, fast car but wants everyone else to think they are driving something sensible and normal.

Take the Ford Focus ST for example.

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No, Porsche Shouldn’t Build an Entry Level Car

October 13th, 2014

porsche_718

Regarding the possibility of an entry level roadster, Porsche North America’s CEO Detlev von Platen recently said,

We’re not talking about entry models at Porsche. Our entry model is our pre-owned program.

Those words have dashed the dreams of many Porsche hopefuls who had hoped to get into a new Porsche for the price of a loaded Honda.

Sorry folks. If you want a new Porsche, you’re going to have to work a little harder; which is the way it should be.

Some people, though, disagree.

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Our 10 Favorite Foliage Cruisers

October 10th, 2014

2011 BMW 3 Series

The trees outside the CarGurus office are beginning to change color pretty quickly. We get to witness the life leaving these leaves from our desks. It’s a great view, and now is about the perfect time to go for a long drive on a scenic route to take in what Fall is all about. It’s still a little early in the season, but northern New England is almost at the peak of its color show. So whether you’re from the Northeast or way down South, this month is a good time to drive aimlessly and look at the foliage.

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