The words of House Stark will tell you that preparing for winter is imperative. And assuming you’ve seen a few winters in your time, you’ll know that one of the biggest adjustments you’ll need to make is winter driving. You’ll need to add some time to your commute allowance, check your antifreeze, grab some flares and road salt, and throw on some snow tires. But if you’re looking for a new vehicle to bring to battle with winter, we have some suggestions. Cars for skiing are great, but these vehicles will do you good in the everyday winter struggle.
You assume you’re safe. You’re surrounded by acres of sheet metal and protected by a sturdy steel frame. You’re riding higher than most other vehicles and under the impression that you’re nearly invincible.
Your most valuable possessions, including your new 60-inch television, your sporting equipment, yesterday’s leftovers and probably even your children, are along for the ride. You might smile to yourself, because you think you’re riding in one of the safest vehicles on the road.
But if you’re driving one of three popular minivans, you’re not.
Get it while you can, because the Chevy SS is going and going fast.
Like the beautiful and amazing GM V8 super sedans before it, the Chevy SS appears to be on the one-way track to discontinued-ville. The previous cars, the Pontiac GTO and Pontiac G8 GXP were ferocious and well-built cars, but didn’t last more than a couple of model years.
Personally, I kick myself, because I had the chance to buy a new GXP just after news of Pontiac’s coming extinction broke. A nearby dealer had one left and contacted me with a heckuva good deal, but I passed. Now, those used GXPs can go for close to 40 grand because there are so few on the market.
There are only 6 in CarGurus’ used listings as of this writing, and 3 them are flagged as overpriced. And they’ll probably sell.
The same thing could happen to the Chevy SS.
Let me be clear: I don’t think Toyota needs the Scion brand.
The initial intent in creating Scion was to appeal to a younger crowd at a lower price point with small but exciting vehicles. It worked for a little while but Scion has slowly been dying in recent years.
The cars, with the exception of the great FR-S (which should have been a Toyota) are lifeless and dull.
Regardless of this humble car blogger’s opinion, Scion trudges on and will introduce a new vehicle at the LA Auto Show this week.
The snow is starting to fall in the mountains, so it may be time for you skiers and snowboarders to start making arrangements to get out to the resorts. Perfect ski conditions do not make for perfect driving conditions, unfortunately, so it’s important to drive up to the mountains in a capable car. We all know that one person who’s been stuck in the snow, driving a front-wheel-drive Honda Fit up a snowy hill backward in a futile attempt to get more traction. Don’t be that person. Bring an appropriately equipped vehicle to the mountains with you. Nothing spoils a ski trip like not making it to the mountain.
Yes, that’s correct, you could buy a used F1 race car. For the right amount of cash, any regular guy or gal can shop online and find the perfect used racer to suit his or her needs.
I discovered this fact while reading about a car for sale: a Red Bull RB3 Formula One race car that was driven by Australian Mark Webber during the 2007 season. The car didn’t do particularly well that season, but it would sure be enough to wow your friends and win a trophy or two at your local track day.
The above 2001 Jaguar F1 car is also for sale.
There are two catches, though, when shopping for a used F1 car:
- They are incredibly expensive (upward of $400,000 for the RB3).
- Sometimes they don’t include an engine (this is the case with the Jag).
For those of us without an F1 budget, but with the desire for speed, check out one of these used cars that’ll fight the good fight on track day.
And probably come with an engine, too.
Both brands have small trucks, too, with the Colorado/Canyon twins. The Acadia and Traverse are different only because of the bodywork and the badge adhered to the front grille. So what would make a buyer spend the extra money required to get a GMC when a Chevy is basically the same car for less money?
The answer is perception, of course. GMC has built a brand out of being luxurious, professional and capable. What it hasn’t done is put out vehicles that differentiate themselves enough to uphold that image. Could change be in the air?
There are a couple of quotes we need to address today. The first is from Automotive News:
“The sports car market is roughly half of what it used to be,” Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales, said in an interview at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Munich. “Post-2008, it just collapsed. I’m not so sure it’ll ever fully recover.”
In Europe and North America, the car’s role as a status symbol has diminished, with SUVs and crossovers becoming ever more popular.
The second quote expands on the first, and comes to us by way of The Truth About Cars:
Increased congestion, urbanization and a demonization of speeding (backed by harsh, if not draconian penalties) has made the notion of a sports car an outmoded one for many people. Even the latest 991 Porsche 911 GT3 has abandoned the manual transmission.
Do we, the sports car fans of the world, have something to worry about?
The requirements weren’t easy to meet:
- Fuel efficient
- Fun to drive
- Easy to zip through traffic
- Not a 2-door, but not a lot of extra room for too many passengers
- Not a sports car
- Not a Honda, Toyota, Hyundai or Kia
- Must be new and available for lease
- Relatively inexpensive
- Not an electric car
A dear friend is moving from Washington to Los Angeles and needs a car better suited for SoCal than her current Hyundai Santa Fe. Things can get pretty snowy and cold up here in Washington, so all-wheel drive was a requirement, but front-wheel or rear-wheel drive will be preferred down south.
I set my mind loose to think up suggestions, but had a tougher time than I expected.
Driving a luxury car for the price of a Honda is an appealing proposition.
The benefits make it seem like a no-brainer. For the same money you get more luxury, more brand panache, better performance, and an all-around cooler vehicle. Everything’s great, up until your new luxury car needs some basic maintenance and repairs.
I’d like to share my personal story, so you might avoid the fate that has fallen upon me.