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Archive for the ‘Car Shopping’ Category

Chrysler Believes Its 200 Will “Win This Game”

July 21st, 2015

2015 Chrysler 200 C awd-pic-4853819023233321592-640x480

Sixteen vehicles currently compete in the midsize sedan market in the United States. There are some big names in that group, including the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, and Toyota Camry.

Competing with those big names isn’t an easy task, as the likes of the Nissan Altima and Mazda6 have discovered.

Some automakers have found success after years of development and can compete with the big boys. The Hyundai Sonata comes to mind, which comes in with a slightly lower price and longer warranty. The cars at the bottom of the list typically include the likes of the Chrysler 200.

Chrysler brand head Al Gardner wants that to change, and thinks the 200 can win the whole segment.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, General Chat , , , ,

Great Cars for Your Next Summer Adventure

July 17th, 2015

2011 Honda Element

Well, here we are in the peak months of summer. Believe it or not, we only have 9 weeks remaining where the days are longer than the nights. That’s not a ton time left. It might be time for you to grab your friends and family and spend your summer how it should be spent: hiking, fishing, boating, camping, swimming, relaxing, and, of course, driving. You’re going to want a vehicle for the season to accommodate all of your summer adventures.

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How Much Is Too Much Horsepower?

July 17th, 2015

2015_bmw_m5-pic-1944578703047994224

707 horsepower.

640 horsepower.

Numbers like this used to represent the hottest, most expensive supercars on the planet. Today they describe the output of cars obtainable by middle managers and financially savvy blue-collar workers.

The Challenger Hellcat (707 hp) and the upcoming Cadillac CTS-V (640 hp) are examples of supercars for the masses; cars with power so great they border on dangerous.

Is all of that power necessary, or is it the result of thoughtless engineering meant only to upstage the competition?

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The Best Advice on Paying for a New or Used Car

July 16th, 2015

2011 Mercedes-Benz

Purchasing a new or used car is always an exciting thing. Paying for a new or used car can be a difficult thing, unless you have the right advice before making the transaction.

The first thing you need to do is figure out how much car you can afford. That’s different from how much of a monthly payment you can manage. Most financial experts agree: except under extremely rare circumstances, you should never buy a car based on monthly payments.

Why? It enables dealers to sell you more car than you can afford. Financing a new car for more than 60 months—or a used car for more than 48 months—indicates you can’t afford the car.

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How Low Will They Go? Diesel Prices Keep Falling

July 15th, 2015

low_diesel_prices

I’ve noticed something at gas stations in the last few days that I can’t remember seeing in the recent past.

When I glance up at the fuel prices, I’ve noticed that the price of diesel is at or below the price of regular unleaded. How can that be? Diesel prices have, for as long as I can remember, been considerably higher than gasoline.

That’s been the tradeoff when buying a diesel. Sure, you get better fuel economy, but the price of the fuel offsets some of the benefit.

Those days have ended, at least temporarily, as diesel prices have retreated significantly. Why are they going down and what does it mean for car shoppers?

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Tacoma Versus Colorado: The Better Truck Falls Behind

July 14th, 2015

2015 chevrolet colorado-pic-3672756912968334547

Two trucks named after places are in the midst of an epic battle for superiority.

One is a long-standing stalwart in the industry while the other has evolved into something all-new after returning from a short hibernation.

The Toyota Tacoma, named after the third-largest city in Washington, and the Chevy Colorado, named for the 38th state to join the United States, compete in the U.S. to capture market-share.

Oddly enough, the truck that looks better on paper is the one losing the battle. In fact, it’s getting destroyed.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , ,

How to Financially Prepare to Buy a New Car

July 9th, 2015

Don't plan your financing at the dealership

Photo courtesy reynermedia

You’ve done all your homework. You know exactly what make and model vehicle you want, even down to the wheels and tires. It’s time to head to a dealership to finalize the purchase. And that’s where most people make the biggest mistake in buying a car: not being financially ready.

Too many people leave it up to the dealer to arrange financing, and that can be a costly mistake. What people often save for the last step—arranging financing—should be the first step.

Stephanie Brinley, a senior analyst – Americas for IHS Automotive, said at U.S. News that doing your financial homework helps you determine the overall cost of a new vehicle. She said that should include not what you want your monthly payments to be, “but in total, factoring in things like loan costs, maintenance and insurance.” Her advice is to start this process about 3 months out.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat

Are Convertibles Worth the Safety Risk?

July 9th, 2015

2015 ford mustang convertible

Yesterday we drove Highway 1 in California from San Simeon to Monterey. This is the most beautiful segment of the most beautiful road in America, but one thing started driving me crazy:

One in ten cars that passed in the opposite direction was either a red convertible Camaro or Mustang. That’s no exaggeration. I don’t know if there’s either a rental place that specializes in outfitting people with red convertibles or if people with red convertibles just like driving the 1, but it got to the point of being ridiculous. Every minute or two someone in the family announced the sighting of yet another convertible Mustang.

Without question, we have entered the season of convertibles. Warm weather brings dropped tops, messy hair, sunburned foreheads, and sun-bleached interiors.

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Car Minded, Car Safety, Car Shopping, General Chat , , , ,

The Case for Car Brokers

July 7th, 2015

2015 land rover discovery sport-pic-294091176881838782

Even rich people love to save money.

There are some people in this world who could walk into any car dealership they want and write a check for any car on the floor.

Sometimes, though, they just don’t have the time to spend at the dealer and go through the hours-long process of buying a car.

For those people, and for regular car buyers like you and me, auto brokers can be a true blessing.

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Own a Land Yacht? Get a Dinghy Instead

July 6th, 2015

1988 Honda Civic

Three cars sat in the driveway, and there was only one that I desperately wanted.

We were high in the Sierra Nevada mountains somewhere just south of Lake Tahoe. My aunt lives in the area, and in her driveway sat a Lexus RX 350, an Audi Q7, and a 1988 Honda Civic.

The two luxury utes looked like behemoths next to the diminutive Honda, but that’s the one I would’ve loved to take home.

Here’s why.

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