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Archive for the ‘Car Shopping’ Category

Bostonian Back-to-School Cars, By College

August 29th, 2014

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

It’s time to welcome the new and returning students of Boston. All 250,000 of them. In Boston, the first week of September is a very important (and crazy busy) time of year. It’s the beginning of true orientation for new arrivals (and reorientation for returning students) as everyone settles into their new locations and prepares for the year to come. One thing many students may find useful in the Boston area (or anywhere, really) is a car. So why not pick a car that will accommodate the needs of your school, your neighborhood and your future career (if you’re thinking longish-term investments)?

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Car Lists, Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat

The Best Cars of the ’90s (and One from the ’80s)

August 29th, 2014

BMW E39 M5

Car designers were on their game in the 1960s, but it seems they took a two-decade vacation in the ’70s and ’80s. I’m pretty sure interns used a straight edge and T-square to churn out car designs back then.

Not until the 1990s did the real designers, and their curvalicious designs, come back, along with some quality and performance that turned the ’90s into a golden age for motoring.

That might sound funny, especially being only 15 years removed from the turn of the century, but keep reading for proof that the ’90s provided the jump-start car designers needed to propel motoring into the 21st century.

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The Most Exclusive Used Car in America?

August 28th, 2014

Land_cruiser_series_70

A couple of days ago, CarGurus posted a link on its Facebook page to an article listing the top 10 cars we can’t buy in the United States.

It wasn’t a bad list and featured the usual suspects from Seat, Citroen, Holden and Land Rover. The list neglected to mention a true international classic, though, which has soldiered on since 1984 and is still sold new. This vehicle has been marketed and sold around the world, with the exclusion of a few countries in North and South America.

It’ll never be sold new here in the States, but it is possible used versions could be imported.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Classic & Vintage Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , , ,

Has the Corvette Finally Arrived as a Supercar?

August 27th, 2014

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

In all my years on this planet, never, not once, have I done a double head turn to check out a Corvette.

Corvettes just aren’t my thing. I see them on almost every outing, whether they be models from the early ’60s on the way to a classic car show, models from the ’80s and ’90s being driven by aging gearheads or later models piloted by post-midlife-crisis 50-somethings.

Corvettes are nearly as common as Hondas around here, and their design has never left me with the desire to exert the necessary energy to look twice. In fact, I usually try to look away as soon as possible, because I’m completely turned off by the Corvette and everything it represents.

So earlier this week, when my heart gave an extra jump as I turned a corner and saw a sexy red supercar parallel parked downtown, I quickly turned my head to look again, then knew my lifetime streak was over.

I had looked twice at a Corvette.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, Exotic Cars, General Chat , , ,

The Case for Extended Warranties on Used Cars

August 26th, 2014
Audi Q7 interior

Caution: Don’t use the cupholders

Buying a used Audi seemed like a great idea at the time.

I found the 2008 Q7 on a dealer’s lot and used the CarGurus price analysis tool to determine that the car was a good value. I was smitten with the Audi’s color, strong stance, room for 7 people and pre-installed roof racks. The car was everything I needed, and I was able to negotiate a price significantly lower than the asking amount.

With 88,000 miles on the clock, I figured I had some time before things started going wrong. I was correct in that now I have 98,000 miles and a repair bill that is making me second-guess my choice.

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

Wanna Go Yenko? There’s an Auction for That

August 25th, 2014

1969 Chevrolet Yenko Camaro

Assuming you have no connection with an apparently successful but now convicted group of criminals, you could become the proud new owner of a rare American muscle car.

A group of extraordinary cars seized by U.S. Marshals are being brought to auction and sold to anyone who meets these two criteria:

  1. Can arrange financing before the sale and pay cash at the auction, along with having a $10,000 cashier’s check on hand before bidding.
  2. Can certify that the car isn’t being purchased with the intent of being returned to the convicted.

Is this you? Then get yourself to New Jersey and start bidding on one of these classics.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Classic & Vintage Cars, Domestic Cars , , , ,

The Negotiation Tactic No One Should Ever Use

August 22nd, 2014

2014_volkswagen_jetta

I’m sitting in a car dealership listening to people buy cars.

I’m here because my car is in for service, and the normal waiting area is under construction, as is the rest of the dealership. For that reason the sales, negotiations and business sides of the car buying process are unfolding before me.

It’s fascinating, because I want to High Five some people and High Five others right in the face.

To the left of me sits an older couple, negotiating for a Volkswagen Tiguan. In front of me is what appears to be a single young woman, perhaps in her late 20s. To the right is another single woman, probably in her 50s and buying a Jetta. Guess which one I want to slap?

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

Finally, an Easy Recall Lookup Tool!

August 21st, 2014

VIN locationsThere’s a 30 percent chance that the used car you’re driving has never had a defect repaired.

Automakers issue recalls on cars almost as often as they produce new models, so odds are good that your car has been recalled at some point. Thirty percent of recalled cars are never repaired, which isn’t a big deal if the recall is minor and involves something like a floor mat or trunk hinge. The missed repair could be devastating if the recall is for something more serious, like the recent GM ignition switch debacle.

Used car shoppers, until now, had to conduct difficult research to determine whether or not a car was recalled and repaired. As of this week, there’s an easy online tool that anyone can use to find out quickly whether or not recall repairs have been made on used cars.

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Audi S4 Goes for Joy Ride: Would It Bother You?

August 20th, 2014

2013 Audi S4

Remember the joyride scene in the 1963 Ferrari California Spyder from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”?

In the movie, a valet takes the classic Ferrari for an afternoon spin but has the car back in the garage before anyone notices it’s gone. The scene was a lesson in how to properly take a car that isn’t yours for the ride of your life.

Doing so in real life is wildly irresponsible, dangerous and illegal. But it happens, probably more than we know. Leaving your car and keys with a valet, mechanic or anyone else who doesn’t own it is an open invitation to “borrow” the car until you return.

One of the safest places to leave your car is with the dealer from whom you made the purchase, but a Canadian couple have found out even that can be risky.

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

Saving Fuel: New Car or Just Drive Slower?

August 19th, 2014

Canadian gas prices

Don’t be deceived by the gas signs when traveling abroad.

Gas prices here in the States are about as high as they’ve ever been, hovering just below $4 per gallon in my area. The premium stuff is $3.89 at my corner station.

That makes filling up my SUV a major account drain. In fact, there should probably be men in suits and dark glasses verifying account balances before drivers are allowed to enter a gas station’s general proximity.

Having a rig that gets 20 miles per gallon, tops, is expensive. Unfortunately, it’s also necessary when you have a family of 6 and enjoy adventurous car camping trips in another country.

A Toyota Prius just isn’t going to cut it.

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