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Archive for the ‘Car Shopping’ Category

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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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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Appreciating Classic Cars: Now’s the Time to Buy?

August 18th, 2014

Maserati MC12 Corsa

If you have a Maserati MC12 Corsa to sell, you should advertise it where potential buyers hang out.

Check your garage, loyal readers, because if you have one, you’re in luck. The Corsa is the racing version of the road-going MC12, and only 50 Corsas were ever produced.

Produced back in 2004 and 2005, the car boasts a Ferrari Enzo V12 engine that makes 620 horsepower and jumps from 0-62 mph in 3.8 seconds. The car is based on the Enzo, however it’s slower and bigger than its more attractive cousin.

It’s kind of like an Enzo in a fat suit, to be honest. Regardless, the car is incredibly rare and valuable, especially in Corsa trim.

So where might potential buyers of this expensive machine hang out?

The Pebble Beach Concours, of course.

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

Jaguar F-Type Scares Away Its Older Brother

August 12th, 2014

2014 Jaguar F-Type V8-S

Both of my little brothers outshined me when we were kids. One could pitch a fastball better than I could ever dream, and the other could jump over a 6-foot bar while I struggled to hop over a parking stripe.

It’s not a good feeling to get trumped by a little brother.

With the introduction of the Jaguar F-Type as a new little brother to the legendary XK-Series, the big XK may have come to the end of the road.

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Are Nissans Finally Better Than Hondas?

August 11th, 2014

2010 Nissan 370Z NISMO

“Whoa, what the heck was that!?”

The Nissan 370Z flew by us with only a flash of its grille, then the quickly disappearing rear tail lights.

“It’s not a Porsche. It’s not a BMW. What is that? It’s beautiful. Go faster so we can see the front again.”

I obeyed, stepped on the gas and waited as my wife discovered for herself that the object of her desire was a Nissan.

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BMW 1 Series: A Great Used Buy?

August 8th, 2014

2011 BMW 1 Series pic-2146668282087529438

Lexus has said it could never build a car priced under $30,000, because it wouldn’t be a Lexus, it would be a Toyota.

That’s a respectable position to take, because it gives the luxury brand at least a little separation from its plebeian cousin.

Other luxury automakers have decided against that strategy and built entry-level vehicles designed to entice younger buyers into their brands. That decision, though, cheapens the brand for more upscale buyers.

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The Little Trucks Are Coming Back!

August 6th, 2014

GMC Canyon Chevy Colorado

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, small trucks were seen everywhere and proudly driven by guys and gals who wanted the occasional utility of a pickup bed but not the gas-mileage penalty of a large truck.

The small trucks were inexpensive, had a tough look and often came with a capable 4-wheel-drive system.

Once the 2000s hit, small trucks all but disappeared in the U.S., because automakers decided that truck buyers should buy basic full-size trucks instead of compact trucks.

Now some are changing their tune, as GM will bring back two of the trucks we all miss so much.

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Go Find Yourself a Summer Targa!

August 5th, 2014

1967 Porsche 911 Soft Window Targa

It was the car built out of fear.

Concerned that convertibles could be banned in the U.S. for safety reasons, Porsche came up with a body style that would feel like a convertible but have the rigidity and rollover safety of a coupe.

The Porsche 911 Targa was born in 1967 with a fixed rollover hoop and a removable plastic rear window. It was revolutionary and led the way to a future of mostly topless motoring.

Of course, the convertible never was outlawed here and remains the overwhelming choice for wind-in-the-hair driving. That’s probably why the Targa has had a bumpy road here, though to this day Porsche hasn’t given up on it.

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The Greatest New Used Car Ever?

August 4th, 2014

1985 Honda Civic 500000th

I’d be shocked if this car remains available.

Yesterday I caught wind of a brand new Honda Civic, which in itself isn’t that big of a deal. However, this one’s special because it’s a 1985. Also, the seller claims that it’s the 500,000th Civic to roll off the assembly line. And it has 0 miles on the odometer.

Could this be too good to be true?

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