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Cars That Should Have a Diesel Option

October 17th, 2014

2015-ford-mustang-gt-burnout

Diesel-powered cars should be the wave of the future.

Electric vehicles have the distinction of being able to run on zero fossil fuel, but the production of electricity itself requires all kinds of dirty energy. Yes, it’s pretty cool to drive without any pollution, but how many tons of coal have to burn for the privilege?

That’s a discussion that won’t be resolved by a single blog post, but it’s the reason diesel-powered vehicles should be given a second look before buying electric.

Unfortunately there’s still a shortage of diesel cars in this country, but here’s a list of vehicles that should at least have the option.

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Kia’s Quality Up, But Buyers Haven’t Noticed

October 16th, 2014

2014-kia-cadenza

Remember the Sephia?

The oddly named Kia was one of the first cars the company sold in the United States. Its low cost and low quality quickly became synonymous with the Kia name. In the overview on CarGurus, there are “complaints of numerous repair problems, particularly with the brakes and transmission, along with a cheap plastic interior, an easily dented body, small backseat, and labored acceleration when the A/C is on.”

While the vehicles produced by Kia in recent years have increased in quality to rival some luxury automakers, the perception of Kia is still stuck on the early impressions of cars like the Sephia.

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Don’t Resist: Stop-Start Here to Stay

October 15th, 2014

2014_Chevrolet_Malibu

Do we need stop-start engine technology in this country?

Those of us who continue to drive vehicles powered by fossil fuels need every piece of technology we can get to reduce the amount of fuel we need to fill our tanks.

Stop-start technology works by automatically stopping the engine when a car comes to a complete stop, then starting it again when the brake pedal is released.

The technology has been a success in Europe, where gas prices are exorbitant. As many as 70 percent of cars sold there are equipped with stop-start, compared with just seven percent here. There’s  definitely been a lukewarm acceptance of stop-start in the States, but it’s time we readily embrace it because soon the vast majority of new cars sold here will have it.

Even if the buyer has no idea.

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What’s Better: FWD Hot Hatch or RWD Sports Car?

October 14th, 2014
2015 Ford Focus ST

2015 Ford Focus ST

Torque steer remains one of the spikes in the soul of the hot hatch.

Regardless, people love the little hatchbacks for their front-wheel drive and turbocharged engines. They are just as fast as some rear-wheel-drive competition and often have prices to match.

In my humble opinion, the hot hatch is for the guy or girl who wants a fun, fast car but wants everyone else to think they are driving something sensible and normal.

Take the Ford Focus ST for example.

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No, Porsche Shouldn’t Build an Entry Level Car

October 13th, 2014

porsche_718

Regarding the possibility of an entry level roadster, Porsche North America’s CEO Detlev von Platen recently said,

We’re not talking about entry models at Porsche. Our entry model is our pre-owned program.

Those words have dashed the dreams of many Porsche hopefuls who had hoped to get into a new Porsche for the price of a loaded Honda.

Sorry folks. If you want a new Porsche, you’re going to have to work a little harder; which is the way it should be.

Some people, though, disagree.

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Our 10 Favorite Foliage Cruisers

October 10th, 2014

2011 BMW 3 Series

The trees outside the CarGurus office are beginning to change color pretty quickly. We get to witness the life leaving these leaves from our desks. It’s a great view, and now is about the perfect time to go for a long drive on a scenic route to take in what Fall is all about. It’s still a little early in the season, but northern New England is almost at the peak of its color show. So whether you’re from the Northeast or way down South, this month is a good time to drive aimlessly and look at the foliage.

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Car Lists, Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat

The EV That Won’t Look Like an EV

October 10th, 2014

nissan-leaf-2017

If you want your “green” car to stand out, it should resemble something green. That’s why designers of the Nissan Leaf, an all-electric vehicle, designed it to look like a lizard.

Well, that’s the only explanation I can come up with to justify the Leaf’s bulging eyeballs and arched back.

Don’t get me wrong here, I love the Leaf. My in-laws own one and have traversed over 30,000 gas-free miles in it, while getting stranded away from home only a handful of times.

The Leaf is the world’s top-selling electric car because it’s the EV most similar to its juice-drinking cousins.

That design, though, just has to go.

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The 2015 Audi S3: Coming Soon in Manual?

October 9th, 2014

2015 Audi S3

With 290 horsepower, a 0-60 time of under 5 seconds, all-wheel drive and an MSRP of just over $40,000, the 2015 Audi S3 has only one negative mark against it: its transmission.

Why would any self-respecting driver choose such a great car, but with the concession of letting an automatic transmission put the power to the pavement?

The S3 is light and powerful, and a proper 6-speed manual transmission would turn the car from a small-and-fast family sedan into a dream machine.

With news of the manual S3 potentially arriving in the United States, it’s time to ask yourself: Would you buy one, or would you search the used listings for something a little older, and perhaps even more fun?

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Get Your Half-Price Tesla! Eventually

October 8th, 2014

Tesla Model S dealer

Remember when Tesla CEO Elon Musk personally guaranteed the resale value of the Model S to be 50 percent of its original value after three years?

That guarantee allowed the company to offer a lease with payments as low as $1,500 a month.

Today a 2014 60kWh Model S with a 208-mile range starts at just over $75,000 and leases for about $932 per month. With the first Teslas now a few years old, can they be picked up for half price? Are we now in the age of the $35,000 used Tesla?

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Will the Jeep Wrangler Go Soft?

October 7th, 2014
It just wouldn't be the same in aluminum

It just wouldn’t be the same in aluminum

The older they get, the more crotchety and overweight they can become. They can be tough as all get out, but just not quite able to keep up with the younger models.

Aging can take a toll and leave nothing but a softer, weaker version of their old selves.

I’m talking, of course, about the aging process of legendary off-roaders such as the Jeep Wrangler.

Heavy, inefficient, go-anywhere SUVs have started to fall out of favor, because newer models that weigh less and use less fuel are starting to come of age.

Should buyers jump ship from the old stalwarts and sign on to something newer and lighter, even at the expense of strength and capability?

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