Archive for the ‘Car Shopping’ Category

Day Two at the Javits Center: The New York International Auto Show

March 25th, 2016

Honda Civic Hatchback Concept

Day Two began with the World Car Awards. Backed by a surprisingly loud, club-ish soundtrack and some odd song choices (maybe intended to help attendees wake up after a very long Day One?), the Toyota Mirai fuel-cell vehicle got the World Green Car Award, the Audi R8 Coupe took the World Performance Car Award, and the BMW 7 Series won the World Luxury Car Award. Mazda managed to take two trophies, as 2016 World Car Design of the Year and World Car of the Year, with its MX-5 Miata, and having driven the car ourselves, we heartily applaud the WCA jurors’ decision.

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Day One at the Javits Center: The New York International Auto Show

March 24th, 2016

2017 Porsche 911R

The New York International Auto Show hosts more than a million visitors every year, and we are excited to report on the biggest news from day one. From a 120 MPGe Toyota to a 565-hp Nissan GT-R, an all-new pair of Subaru Imprezas, and a $72,000 Maserati SUV, NYIAS did not disappoint.

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10 Kinds of Cars We’d Buy to Share

March 18th, 2016

A Ford van empties at school

With the exception of a home, a car is the most expensive purchase a person will likely make (and we hope that home and car aren’t the same thing). Considering the improvements in safety, powertrain, and infotainment technologies, it’s not surprising to see vehicle prices rising at or above the rate of inflation. So, with the fiscal scope of a vehicle purchase firmly in mind, we have to ask: why don’t more people share cars? We posted an earlier article about the prevalence of ride-sharing services and their impact on consumer purchasing trends. While Uber and Zipcar have certainly given drivers more ways to get around, car ownership still seems to be the clearest path to unlocking the flexibility and freedom that a set of wheels can provide.

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Use Your Smartphone Instead of a Factory-Installed Nav System

March 17th, 2016

Spark Android AutoAs a new-car reviewer, it’s my job to drive a new car pretty much every week. Sometimes it’s more than one a week. Over the course of a year, I can experience scores of different automotive navigation systems.

Some are good, some are horrible, and some are somewhere in between. Yet what I consistently find is that none are as easy to use as Google Maps on my iPhone. Until recently, the only advantage the factory-installed navigation systems had was the built-in screen.

But that’s all changing now. Some manufacturers are getting savvy and realizing that it’s better to offer infotainment systems that can work with your smartphone to provide navigation instead of selling you a more expensive navigation system.

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Volkswagen Dealers Could Sue to “Stop the Insanity”

March 15th, 2016


If you think this is a tough time to be a Volkswagen owner, imagine what it must be like to be a Volkswagen dealer.

Amidst the ongoing (and months-long) diesel emissions scandal, governments, regulators, and the general car-buying public are pounding Volkswagen. With sales already hurting, the German automaker may also have to contend with the revolt of a group of fed-up dealers.

Just a couple of years ago, Volkswagen had its sights set on becoming the largest automaker in the world, preparing its dealerships to sell upwards of 800,000 vehicles per year. The dealers invested over a billion dollars to get ready for the onslaught of customers. Instead, sales have fallen to below 350,000 vehicles per year, and dealer owners are feeling ignored by a heavily distracted Volkswagen, which is busy dealing with potential recalls and pending lawsuits.

Now dealers are mobilizing to stop the insanity.

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Do You Prefer Car Ownership to Car Sharing?

March 14th, 2016

The new Jeep Renegade is a perfect example of an inexpensive, stylish vehicle that millennials love to own.

Young people don’t buy cars, right?

We’ve been hearing it since the millennial generation reached adulthood. The rise of car sharing services such as Uber and Lyft gave pundits and writers evidence to cite, while carmakers and dealers tried to figure out sales tactics to woo young people.

Does the youngest generation really despise car-ownership, though?

Probably not, though they do have certain expectations when considering the purchase of a car.

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Staying Power: 2015s with Shelf Life

March 12th, 2016

2015 Ford Mustang

To most people, spring means longer days, sunny skies, and flowers in bloom. For us, however, spring also means great deals on outgoing model-year vehicles. While some cars, like the Honda Civic and Mitsubishi Outlander, received enormous changes between the 2015 and 2016 model years, others enjoyed more modest enhancements or were complete holdovers from the year before. It’s these cars — the unchanged models — that we want to find.

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The 5 Best Corollas as the World’s Most Popular Car Hits 50

March 10th, 2016

1969_Corolla_2An email inviting me to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Toyota Corolla at the New York International Auto Show popped into my inbox the other day.

Of course that started a mental debate: what were the 5 best Corollas of the last half-century? What were the worst? Well, as my editor sagely pointed out, nobody wants to read about the 5 worst Corollas. In honor of 50 years of Corolla, here’s our primer on the 5 best Corollas to roll off the assembly line.

But first an introduction, delivered courtesy of an excellent history by Toyota. The first Corolla, designed for the Japanese market, rolled onto the sales floor in November 1966. (Okay, so it’s not quite 50.) Since then, more than 40 million have been sold in 150 countries. That’s equal to every single vehicle sold in the U.S. in the last 30 months approximately, and that helped the Toyota Corolla earn the title of the world’s most popular car.

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Reliable Rides: 10 Used Cars You Can Count On

March 4th, 2016

1969 Chevrolet C/K 20

Expected reliability is the single most important factor in deciding on a car, according to J.D. Power. Whether you want a vehicle for off-roading, track days, or everyday commuting, you definitely don’t want one that will cost you a lot of extra money, time, or frustration in repairs. J.D. Power’s annual Vehicle Dependability Study, now in its 27th year, polls owners of 3-year-old cars to determine the number of problems they experienced during the previous 12 months. The company then ranks each maker and model by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles.

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Alternatives to a Used Porsche 911

March 4th, 2016


The Porsche 911 is an automotive icon. The car has successfully set a world-class standard for sports cars and has been part of the automotive landscape for much of the past 50 years.

Modern versions of the Porsche 911 offer the latest in engine technology and more performance than all but a few exotic cars.

Most of us grew up wanting one, but our childhood dreams have been squashed by the ever-increasing prices of new and used 911s.

There are two distinct kinds of Porsche 911: air-cooled and water-cooled. The pre-1999 cars were of the air-cooled variety, while everything after is water-cooled. If you think you can save money by opting for something like a 1996 911, think again. Those old air-cooled cars have become valuable classics and can command between $40,000 and $100,000, or even more.

A new 911 will easily set you back $90,000, while late-model used ones aren’t too far behind.

The only affordable options left are the 1999-2004 models, of which the 2002-2004 models are the most desirable. If you want an affordable 911, look there before prices go through the roof.

If, however, you can settle for a car that isn’t a 911 but offers great driving dynamics and a much smaller price tag, keep reading…

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