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Archive for the ‘Car Shopping’ Category

The 2016 Honda Pilot Turns Into a Minivan

February 16th, 2015

2016 Honda Pilot

Back in 2004 I purchased a car I thought would last forever.

Its looks weren’t anything special, but its capabilities and features were exactly what I needed.

The car was a 2004 Honda Pilot, and it lasted all of 6 months. That’s not because anything failed on the car, it’s because it caught on fire and burned to the ground.

Now that the Pilot has been around for over 10 years, it is being revamped for the 2016 model year, but even with all the changes, I think I’d prefer to own my old ’04.

My biggest problem with the new, recently unveiled Pilot is that it’s basically a Honda Odyssey minivan without the sliding doors. The Pilot was never rugged in SUV terms, but it was at least an SUV.

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Today’s Most Popular Cars From the 1980s

February 13th, 2015

1988 Pontiac Fiero

As time goes on and we look back at decades past, the ’80s become a weirder time for everyone. It was a pretty good time for cars, though, to be honest. Cars from the ’80s are still holding up to this day, and finding these 30-plus-year-old vehicles is becoming more desirable for some people. A lot of cars from the ’80s still move off sales lots pretty quickly. Not too surprising when these American classics are becoming increasingly rare and desirable. Many have long been discontinued, and that rarity has only increased their value.

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Entry-Level Aston Martin? Nope! Buy These Instead

February 12th, 2015

2015 Aston Martin Vanquish front-three-quarter-in-motion-03

If you’ve been hankering for a new Aston Martin that will fit your mid-executive budget, you might want to look at another brand or start making more money.

Aston Martin won’t follow in the footsteps of Porsche and Maserati by adding a lower-priced car. At least not yet. The temptation to chase sales by adding a more attainable model is intense, but Aston intends to stay the course and offer only premium supercars to the world’s wealthiest car buyers.

Rather than increasing sales with a lower-priced car, Aston wants to increase volume by opening more stores.

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Detroit’s Famous Walker Gets a Free New Car

February 10th, 2015

2014 Ford Taurus James Robertson

Sometimes we just need a feel-good story to get us through the week.

By now you’ve probably heard about the man in Detroit who has walked an incredible 21 miles every day for work. This wasn’t a once or twice fluke—James Robertson made the trek for 10 years. Assuming a 5-day work week, that’s 54,600 miles traversed on foot through some of Detroit’s toughest areas.

He walks because he could never afford to replace or repair the car that broke down a decade ago. Even still, Robertson arrives at his 2 pm shift on time, every day, and goes home at 10 pm.

For 10 years.

Naturally, when the Internet got hold of this story, things went berserk. Within days a fund was set up, and over $300,000 was raised for Mr. Robertson to buy a new car.

Late last week he received his gift:

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Ram’s Tiny Truck: Worthy of the Name?

February 9th, 2015
Ram 700

Worthy of the Ram name?

 

The Toyota Tacoma.

The Nissan Frontier.

The Chevrolet Colorado.

The GMC Canyon.

The Ram Dakota.

To some extent, the Honda Ridgeline.

One of these doesn’t fit in, because one of these isn’t real.

Most automakers now realize that some people want a truck, but don’t need a full-size truck. Not everyone is from Texas, and not everyone hauls trailers loaded with hay and cattle.

For the people who just want a small truck to move the occasional end table, options are limited. Should a small FIAT-based truck come to the U.S. as a small Ram?

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Would You Buy a Porsche With a Sketchy Past?

February 6th, 2015

2001_porsche_boxster

There’s something sexy about the idea of owning a Porsche with a sketchy past.

Buy the right car, and you could be behind the wheel of a criminal’s favorite ride. Maybe it was used to rob a bank or to transport illegal drugs. Or maybe it was just an indulgence after a successful crime spree.

Of course, you’d never do anything illegal, but driving a car that once served a primary role in crime is a very real possibility.

If you’re interested in such an automobile, the Dallas District Attorney’s office has a Porsche Boxster with your name on it.

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Would You Buy This Damaged Land Rover?

February 4th, 2015

Hoegh Osaka Land Rover

What a short attention span we have in this world today.

Less than a month ago, we wrote about the Hoegh Osaka. Remember that? If you’re anything like me, you’ll read that name and it’ll sound vaguely familiar, but you won’t remember why. Let me remind you:

The ship was carrying around 1,200 Jaguars and Land Rovers before tilting dangerously and running aground near England.

It was speculated that the load of expensive cars would be scrapped, depending on the damage done.

Well, 20-some days later, the cars are being driven off the boat under their own power. Watch the video then ask yourself: Would you buy one?

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Return of the Chevelle?

February 3rd, 2015

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle

Young people today may recognize Chevelle as the name of a band rather than a muscle car.

Those of us who grew up with the era of muscle cars in our recent past remember the Chevelle as a kick-butt V8-powered coupe. Those with even deeper car knowledge know the Chevelle was one of GM’s most popular nameplates in the 1960s and ’70s, spawning 4-door, convertible, coupe, and station-wagon versions.

The car disappeared after 1977, when the Malibu took over and buyers shifted to a slightly smaller car.

For almost four decades the Chevelle name has sat dormant. Is it coming back?

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Wait a Minute, Could Hummer Come Back?

January 30th, 2015

2015 Hummer HX concept

Well, this is embarrassing.

Just this week I said that the return of the Ford Bronco is as likely as a Hummer coming back. Lo and behold, what headline greeted me as I awoke yesterday?

Why GM could revive a Hummer to battle the Jeep Wrangler

How about that.

The headline was more of an attention-grabber, but it proved to me that nothing is impossible, and automakers will do some crazy things to remain competitive. The likelihood of a revived Hummer truly is about zero, but that doesn’t mean General Motors can’t use former Hummer plans and build us something new.

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Dodge Wants to Be Pontiac, But Why?

January 29th, 2015

CHARGER VS CHALLENGER HELLCAT

I like to live in a world that makes sense, but sometimes that’s just not in the cards. An article over at Automotive News ran with the headline, “Can Dodge Rebuild Pontiac Excitement?

The headline alone leaves me with three questions:

  1. Why would Dodge want to rebuild from Pontiac’s ashes?
  2. Did Pontiac even have any real “excitement” after the 1969 GTO?
  3. Pontiac failed. Shouldn’t Dodge chart a new course?

The point of the article is that General Motors left some holes in the market when it shuttered Pontiac and Hummer, and FCA is primed to fill them with Dodge and Jeep.

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