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Archive for the ‘Car Minded’ Category

Tesla: From Underdog to Insane Mode

May 14th, 2015

tesla-model-s-p85d

A few years ago the idea of buying an $80,000+ electric car that had limited range, few places to refuel, and no dealer network was a laughable proposition. To top it all off, the company that wanted to sell the car had very little automotive design or manufacturing experience.

Around the same time, one of the world’s top automakers had plans for a new electric car that promised to be affordable, good looking, and easy to take on a road trip anywhere roads exist without worrying about running out of range.

The winner?

Like we even have to say it.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, General Chat, Hybrid Cars , , , ,

Today’s Mistake Equals Tomorrow’s Collectible

May 13th, 2015

2015 Lexus RC 350

Today we’re going to cover a spread of two and a half decades on a single page. Specifically we are going to discuss two cars that are 25 years apart and have absolutely nothing in common except a certain attribute that can make even the most forgettable car something special.

One of these cars remains in production, though even the automaker admits it probably shouldn’t. The other car hasn’t been on a production line since the Bush administration. The first one.

What is it that links this 2015 Lexus to a 1990 Volkswagen?

Rarity.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Classic & Vintage Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , ,

The Great Controversy: Oil-Change Intervals

May 12th, 2015

oil change intervals

I’m writing this from a waiting room inside the service department of an auto dealership. I can’t say I like it here.

All the chairs are placed in a semi-circle and face a wall-mounted television, which is currently tuned to a show starring three angry judges who like to yell at people. The volume is too high. I don’t even have a television at home, so this is a bit of a shock to me.

The gentleman in the chair directly next to me has a giant sack of dealership butter popcorn, which he’s slurping and spilling all over his chest with every dive into the bag.

I don’t like it here.

I’m getting a simple oil change on a 2013 Subaru Legacy, and I really would love to come less often.

I use full synthetic oil and have it changed every 5,000 miles. Should I cut back to every 7,500 miles or more and save myself from the despair of the waiting room?

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Car Minded, Car Safety, Foreign Cars, General Chat , ,

Selling a Car? Watch Out for Scams

May 11th, 2015

cars for sale

It used to be that selling a car meant posting an ad in the newspaper classifieds, fielding phone calls, arranging test drives, and accepting a hand-written check as payment before the buyer drove happily into the sunset.

Those days have long since been replaced by online ads resulting in text-message replies and fake checks as payment.

The vast majority of private-party used-car deals go down without a hitch, but occasionally scam artists get away with conning sellers out of thousands of dollars. How can you avoid such a fate?

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, CarGurus Features and Updates, General Chat , , , ,

10 Cars to Remind Mom of Life Before Kids

May 8th, 2015

1974 FIAT 500

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching, and if you still haven’t gotten Mom that gift to show her you appreciate all those years she lost out to raising the fine individual you have become, you might want to look into some quick gift ideas. So head to the flower shop, pick up a nice heartfelt card from the convenience store down on the corner, or head over to a used-car lot and pick her up something nice. If you really wanted to show Mom how much you appreciated your childhood, maybe you should get her a car that takes her back to a time before she had kids. Get her something sporty, something fun, something that will remind her of her more carefree days.

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Car Lists, Car Minded, Classic & Vintage Cars, General Chat , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Can You Get Your Car to 200,000 Miles?

May 8th, 2015
On the road to 200,000!

On the road to 200,000!

I want to drive to the moon.

Not literally, of course. The moon is about 240,000 miles away from Earth, and last I heard, the highway there hasn’t been completed yet. I do want my car to last at least that long, though.

We’ve shared stories over the last few weeks of readers who have managed to coax their cars past 200,000 miles and even a few who have approached a quarter-million and beyond.

I want to be one of those people.

My car is a 2008 Audi Q7 that I purchased with an 80,000-mile head start. I’ll hit 110,000 in the next week or two. Earlier this week I brought the SUV to the local Audi dealer for an oil change and discovered that I need new brakes and new tires, but the rest of the rig is in tip-top shape.

That’s encouraging, because I plan on going at least another 90,000 miles. Here’s how I’ll do it, and what I’ll avoid.

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Car Minded, Car Safety, General Chat , , , , ,

Fastest Selling Cars Mean No Bargains Available

May 7th, 2015

2015 VW Golf Sportwagen photoIn the car-selling business, there is a term “days to turn.” It refers to how long a vehicle sits on a dealership lot before it sells. Cars, trucks, and SUVs with a low days-to-turn number rarely see good deals, while higher numbers work in the buyer’s favor.

What’s that mean for you as a buyer? Wait a month or two if the car you seek is on the fastest-selling list below. Passions cool, especially if it’s a recently introduced new car. You’ll never regret waiting a few months if that means significant savings.

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

New Mercedes-Benz G-Class Raises the Question of Car Color

May 7th, 2015

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG

Despite how it might look, this is not a post about the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Very few of us will ever test-drive or purchase Merc’s veritable luxury performance off-roader, and even fewer will step foot into a G63 AMG or G65 AMG.

However, the new G-Series has caught my attention not because of the G63’s mind-numbing 5.4-second zero-to-60 time or the G65’s 621 horsepower, but because the color choices are as ridiculous as the car itself. Orange, lime green, magenta, and bright yellow complement the traditional choices.

I bring this up because just yesterday a friend asked, after reading our article about look-alike cars, why more color choices aren’t offered on new cars to set them apart. Here’s what she asked:

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , , , ,

Will Chevy Follow Ford and Introduce Aluminum Trucks?

May 6th, 2015

2015-ford-f-150-04

Ford’s gamble with the aluminum 2015 F-150 could have ended two ways:

  • As an embarrassing failure
  • As a trendsetting new way to build trucks

Ram, with its little comment about aluminum’s best use being for beer cans, pretty much secured its future of steel bodies.

Chevrolet stayed pretty quiet on the issue, presumably to take a wait-and-see approach. Watching the new Ford keep its status as the number one truck in America, while scoring a 5-star safety rating, might have had a hand in convincing Chevy to join the aluminum body movement.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Safety, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , ,

2016 Mazda Miata: Saving Manuals and Inspiring FIAT

May 5th, 2015

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata pic-4558201182130151607

Could Mazda singlehandedly save the manual transmission *and* make FIAT exciting again?

Those might seem like two completely unrelated things, but the new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata has the potential to do both. It’s a tall order from an automaker that ranks 15th in size by production worldwide, but sometimes it’s the smaller guys who rise up to make the biggest impact.

Car enthusiasts in the U.S. are painfully aware of the slow demise of the manual transmission. They are also aware that driving a FIAT basically means you’ve given up on attaining any type of thrill from driving.

But fear not, friends, because the Miata is here to save the day.

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