Archive for the ‘Car Shopping’ Category

Alternatives to Volkswagen Diesels Worth Considering

September 24th, 2015

2015 Jetta TDI 4218So, as most people know, the automotive world has been shaken by the announcement that Volkswagen has massively cheated on emissions testing for 11 million of its diesel-engine vehicles across the globe—482,000 in the United States. That scandal will effectively kill the market for Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars for months, if not years, to come.

What should you do, though, if you had your heart set on a diesel-engine car? It’s time to consider alternatives to the affected 2.0-liter turbodiesel models. Let’s look at the models included in the emissions scandal and suggest another good option. One important thing to point out, though, is that you can find all of these VW models with gasoline engines that were not subject to the illegal tampering. However, their fuel economy will be much lower.

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Could an Apple Car Change Everything?

September 22nd, 2015

Apple CarPlay Mercedes

If you have a spare few minutes, watch Steve Jobs introduce the original iPhone to the world. In that speech, Jobs said, “Every once in a while, a new product comes along that changes everything.”

There was a moment of clarity during that speech when, for the first time, it registered that one device could take the role of music player, phone, and Internet-capable search device. The iPhone truly did change everything.

That’s what Apple does, though. Or at least, that’s what Apple used to do. Since the death of Jobs, some have wondered if the company is still capable of innovation and can rock the world with technology that simplifies our lives.

Apple doesn’t invent new technology so much as it refines existing technology. That’s what the Macintosh did, that’s what the iPod did, and that’s what the iPhone did.

In just a few years, we’ll know if Apple can do for cars what it did for computers and phones.

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Volkswagen: TDI or TD Lie?

September 21st, 2015


What if it was revealed that your gas/electric hybrid wasn’t really a hybrid? Or what if Ford fans discovered their prized 5.0 V8 was actually only 4.3 liters? What if a Chevrolet claimed a 0-60 time of 4.3 seconds but was only capable of 5.2?

Automakers sell their cars with the promise that they will achieve a certain performance benchmark. Sometimes that benchmark is speed, sometimes it’s fuel economy, and sometimes it’s something a little less noticeable: emissions numbers.

As you’ve probably heard by now, Volkswagen is being accused of deliberately deceiving its customers, and the U.S. government, with cars that emit much more pollution than claimed. This is bad for a number of reasons, but the worst might be the loss of trust in its vaunted TDI brand.

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From Germany mit Love – 5 Frankfurt Show Models Worth Watching

September 17th, 2015

Kia Sportage, front dynamicSure, there are some exotic vehicles on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show, including the Bentley Bentayga and the Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 Spyder. However, there are plenty of models coming to the U.S. that made their debut overseas and could impact your buying choices in the near future.

Kia Sportage
It seems hard to believe, but the 2017 version will be the fourth generation of the Kia Sportage. The European version was introduced in Frankfurt, but there’s little reason to believe the U.S. version will look substantially different on the exterior.

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Older Cars Gaining Traction With Young People

September 15th, 2015

Breaking Bad Aztek

These are the zombie cars.

These are the cars that died ages ago, forgotten and unwanted by the American masses. They are the Chrysler Pacifica, the Dodge Magnum, the Pontiac Aztek, and the Chevy TrailBlazer. There are many more, but today it’s these cars that have caught our attention.


Because they are back from the dead and living among us once more.

The source of their surprise resurrection might be a little shocking. It’s not the original owners looking to experience the vehicles they let get away. No, this time it’s their kids.

It’s the new generation, the group known as the millennials, who are snatching up these old dead cars and bringing them back to life.

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New RX 350 Looks More Lamborghini Than Lexus

September 14th, 2015


If Lamborghini had made an SUV 10 years ago, this is what it might have looked like.

This isn’t a Lamborghini concept from the past, though. This is the modern, and surprising, incarnation of the Lexus RX, a vehicle not traditionally known for outrageous design.

There was a time in my life when I owned a 2004 Lexus RX 330, a vehicle more fitting for an aging real-estate agent than a young family man. It was a nice looking car, but quite staid and always seemed to smell like an old lady’s perfume inside.

This new RX should lead the way in bringing Lexus to a new generation, though that old-lady smell may never go away.

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10 Cars to Buy to Learn the Art of the Manual Transmission

September 11th, 2015

2013 Honda Fit

Way back in 2010, we noticed the auto world’s inconvenient truth: Manual transmissions are dying out. Any red-blooded gearhead will agree that learning to drive a manual-transmission car is a rite of passage, an art form every true CarGuru has to learn. The trouble is, how do you learn to drive a manual if you don’t own one? Many of us learned in our parents’ cars, where the sound of grinding gears didn’t incite mechanic-shop nightmares. Others had friends who cared about sharing the secrets of the stick shift more than preserving the mechanical well-being of their own transmissions.

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Could One-Dollar Gas Be on the Horizon?

September 11th, 2015

2016 Chevrolet Volt pic-7085065711858782732-640x480

A post on our page yesterday introduced CarGurus readers to the 2016 Toyota Prius, a car that will get 55 miles per gallon and a new, more aggressive look.

Five years ago a car like this would have been considered a gift from the heavens, but today Toyota is trying its best to keep it relevant. The same can be said for the new Chevy Volt, which comes with 53 miles of electric range and a gas-powered engine good for a total of 430 miles.

Cars that use fuel sparingly find themselves in a tough market now that gas is well below $3 per gallon. The battle will only get harder if predictions of sub-$2 gas hold true.

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Demand Drops as New Toyota Prius, Chevrolet Volt Introduced

September 10th, 2015

2016 Toyota PriusThe 2016 Toyota Prius had its global debut Tuesday in Las Vegas. The main message at the premiere was not fuel economy. It was looks and handling.

Sure, almost every car in the world is sold on looks and handling, but that’s a huge change in direction for the most fuel-efficient car on the market that doesn’t have a plug. Toyota didn’t totally step away from that message. After all, it expects the Prius, when it goes on sale early in 2016, to get a combined 55 mpg.

It’s not a problem unique to the Prius, either. Fuel efficiency is an almost impossible selling point when the national price for gas is $2.39, according to AAA, which predicts prices could fall below $2. That’s great for us as consumers, but lousy for Toyota as it introduces its latest and greatest hybrid vehicle.

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Leather Seats: The Beginning of the End?

September 9th, 2015

2013 Audi Q7 interior

I don’t eat animals, but I’ll sit on them.

I’m a vegetarian, because I happen to believe that a life shouldn’t be taken so that I can eat. This isn’t nearly as controversial today as it’s been in years past, and it’s far easier now to go meat-free than ever.

This comes up in conversation quite often, and I have a canned response to inquiries regarding my beliefs. There’s one recent question, though, that tripped me up.

“Don’t you have leather seats in your Audi?”

Well… *pause* Yes. Yes, I do.

And in my Subaru.

Apparently I won’t eat animals, but I’ll gladly sit on their flesh.

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