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Archive for the ‘Car Shopping’ Category

Tesla Model 3: A $35,000 Game Changer?

September 16th, 2014

Tesla Model S

In 2017, $35,000 might buy you a really nice 2014 or 2015 Audi A6 or a beautiful pre-owned BMW 5 Series.

However, come 2017, the world of buying a luxury car could be very different than it is today. Keep in mind, 2017 is less than two and a half years away, and there usually isn’t a lot of change in such a short amount of time. The 2012 cars on the road today aren’t all that different from 2014 models.

Tesla, though, thinks it can usher in an era of electric driving that we’ve never seen before with its forthcoming $35,000 2017 Tesla Model 3.

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Would You Buy an Over-the-Hill Used Car?

September 15th, 2014

used car lot

Maybe a dealership near you has one.

Tucked in a back corner of the lot, behind all the expensive brand new cars, hidden behind the certified used cars, and shadowed by the traditional pre-owned vehicles might sit an ultra-bargain section of the lot. Some vehicles might have rust, some might have the check engine light on, and all have well over 100,000 miles on the clock.

There’s no warranty on these vehicles, they are sold as-is, and the buyer assumes all risk associated with ownership.

Why would a new car dealer risk a good reputation by selling these junk cars?

Because they are huge moneymakers.

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The 2014-2015 Season’s 10 Best Tailgaters

September 12th, 2014

2010 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500

The football season is officially in full swing. Now Sundays (and Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays for college, and Fridays for high school) will be spent staring at the TV, checking your fantasy lineup, and, if you’re lucky enough to actually go to the game, tailgating. Ah, tailgating—there are few things better in the world than cooking hamburgers in a parking lot on a chilly autumn day. There are two essential ingredients to tailgating: good food and a good vehicle. And here we have a list of some of the best vehicles for tailgating.

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Car Lists, Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs

Can’t Wait for the Mid-Engine Corvette? Buy One of These!

September 12th, 2014

Corvette Zora ZR1 C8

There has never been a mid-engine Corvette and, most people believe, Chevrolet will never build one.

A Corvette with power coming from behind the driver just isn’t American. We like our cars with ferocious small block V8 engines taking up the space between our feet and the horizon and we like those engines covered by hoods long enough to land a Boeing 747.

That’s why news of a potential mid-engine C8 Corvette, currently dubbed the “Zora,” is staggering.

Car and Driver Magazine has a large feature on the development of the car, which is being covered by blogs everywhere. One of them says:

Little is known about this car, and given that the Z06 chucks out 650 bhp and costs just south of $80,000; anything turned up to 11 should cause quite a scene. The revisions to the chassis will not be updates to the C7, but major changes to be realized in the C8. For this highly tuned version, the price may start around $150,000 and production numbers will be limited to C6 ZR1 levels, somewhere around 1,500 copies.

If this is true, Chevy isn’t building a Corvette, it’s building a Ferrari.

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Free Maintenance Programs: Proceed with Caution

September 11th, 2014

BMW maintenance program

“How about we throw in two years of free synthetic oil changes and call it good,” said the sales manager.

I was negotiating for a car about a year ago, and we’d reached a stalemate on price. We were close, within a few hundred bucks, but I was willing to walk if my price wasn’t met.

The sales manger claimed they were down as low as possible and couldn’t budge any further.

The free oil-change offer sealed the deal. I was thinking 3 or 4 oil changes per year, at about $70 each.

Being the type of guy who regularly dispenses auto-buying advice to friends, family and strangers, I should have thought it through. I should have asked questions. But I didn’t, and I fell for one of the newest strategies in selling cars: free maintenance.

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The Opposite Ends of Mercedes-Benz

September 10th, 2014

Mercedes AMG GT

Should You Buy a Used Unimog?

What’s a Unimog, you ask? Well, if we look to the reliable and almost-always-accurate Wikipedia, we’ll learn that Unimog is a range of multi-purpose 4-wheel-drive trucks produced by Mercedes-Benz.

With diesel power, high ground clearance, a flexible frame and a powerful off-road ability, Unimogs can be found in places where other motor vehicles dare not go.

That includes the freeways of Los Angeles, where one very famous Unimog once lived.

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The Jaguar XE’s Biggest Competition: A Used BMW?

September 9th, 2014

2015 Jaguar XE

With great fanfare and media attention, Jaguar has released official images, specs and pricing of its new XE. This is a huge deal, because the XE is a car set to compete against the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.

There’s one caveat to the above statement, though: So far specs and pricing are specific to the European market.

The info is enough to infer that the new “baby Jag” will be nothing like its predecessor, the X-Type. It’ll be lighter, faster, more fuel efficient and, to some people, better looking.

That, however, is debatable, and I wonder if the price of entry will send shoppers right back into the arms of the Germans.

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Safe Vehicles for Carpoolers and Soccer Parents

September 5th, 2014

A Ford van empties at school

The back-to-school season and fall sports have begun, and if you’re the parent of a child who plays any of the many fall sports, you know how important your vehicle will become when bringing athletes to their practices and, more important, games. Carpooling will become an essential part of your everyday commute, and you’ll want a vehicle that can hold as many teammates—and all their equipment—in the safest way possible. Well, we’ve compiled a list for you that takes all of that into account. We looked at the number of seats, the amount of cargo space available and the safety rating of all the minivans and SUVs on the market, and we found the best options for getting your athletes (and their friends) to games and back.

Every vehicle on this list has seating for at least 7 and a terrific safety rating. Seven of the 10 vehicles on this list have a perfect NHTSA 5-star safety rating, while the other three (the Dodge Journey, Lincoln Navigator and Toyota 4Runner) are just below the threshold of perfection and make up for it in other relevant ways.

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Car Lists, Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: New King of the Roadsters?

September 5th, 2014

2016 Mazda MX5 Miata, front

I’ve needed some time to digest this one.

When it was announced that Mazda would unveil its 2016 MX-5 Miata this week, part of me hoped for a design that would blow me out of the water and leave me with nothing to say except to declare Mazda the king of all roadsters.

That didn’t happen. At least not right away.

As I’ve examined the photos and compared the new Miata with past versions and with other roadsters, my thinking is beginning to change. While we don’t know a lot of details yet regarding performance numbers or price, we can assume there won’t be any problems there, because past generations have never disappointed. So for now, we’re left to compare based on design only.

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New Infiniti Concept Hints at Challenging Panamera, But Why?

September 4th, 2014

Infiniti Q80

For a long time I thought Mitsubishi would be the next car brand to die in the U.S., but now I’m not so sure, because another brand here is showing signs of slowly bleeding out.

Last month, Mitsubishi sales were actually up 29 percent compared with this month last year, while Infiniti sales dropped nearly 23 percent.

Infiniti, the luxury arm of Nissan, suffers from a bit of an identity crisis as it tries to compete with Audi, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and, yes, even Porsche.

The problem is that all of those companies do at least one thing very well, be it luxury, performance, panache or all three. Can you name what Infiniti does well?

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