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Archive for the ‘Foreign Cars’ Category

Buy FIAT, or Buy Used?

January 27th, 2015

2016-fiat-500x-

“It’s an ugly little thing, isn’t it?”

The FIAT 500L was stopped at a light, one car length ahead, in the lane next to us. My wife, an aficionado of sexy car design, thinks the standard 500 is somewhat cute, but finds the 500L to be a disproportioned beast not unlike a freakishly large baby hippopotamus.

The 500L is a bit of a misnomer, since it’s supposed to be the “big” version of a tiny car. The result is a car that isn’t big but isn’t tiny and ended up caught somewhere in the middle. It’s really quite an unfortunate sight.

When the new 500X hits the streets later this year, I’m wondering if FIAT will finally have its sales superstar or just another marginally popular niche vehicle.

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Hydrogen Fuel Gets Closer to Mainstream

January 22nd, 2015

hydrogen_station_california

I know, I know. We talk a lot about the fuel that powers our cars on these pages.

We complain about high gas prices, we get cautiously excited about low prices, we wonder if governments should increase taxes on fossil fuels, and we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of alternative-fuel vehicles.

The question always comes back to this: environmental effects. Fossil fuels are damaging to pump out of the earth, and they pollute the atmosphere when burned. Electric-powered cars don’t emit any gasses when driving, but the production of the electricity that charges them can be harmful.

Hydrogen is, theoretically, clean from all angles. A new filling station in California could change the game on how we think about fueling our cars.

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Ready for the Comeback of Lotus?

January 21st, 2015

2015 Lotus Eterne sedan

Imagine a new Lotus and you probably picture a late-model Elise. Or maybe you’re one of the people who associate Lotus with the Tesla Roadster, which is essentially an Elise with an electric drivetrain.

Lotus did have a good run in the U.S. and made cars that were famous for being light and fast with superb handling characteristics. The cars looked like exotics but were priced like luxury sedans.

Lotus is still in business and, in the U.K., offers the Elise, Evora, and Exige on a somewhat limited basis. There’s still a limited U.S. dealer network selling what’s left of the 2014 Evora inventory and plenty of used models.

Over the last few years, Lotus has announced, then cancelled, plans for all-new vehicles. How seriously should we take this latest announcement of a brand-new model?

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Wait on That SUV: Will Gas Prices Go Back Up?

January 20th, 2015

cheap gas

We’re all well aware that gas prices are absurdly low. Filling up my Audi Q7 used to approach $100, and now I can comfortably fill up for under $50. Prices are well below $2.00 per gallon, which harkens back to the good times of nearly a decade ago.

Of course with cheap gas, American drivers seem to forget that prices were ever high. Check out this quote from CNN:

With fuel prices steadily dropping, SUV and crossover sales climbed 11.8% higher last year. Now, with gas below $2 a gallon at most U.S. gas stations, that trend is expected to continue.

Instead of being thrilled that gas is cheap and keeping fuel-efficient cars to make the savings even bigger, we go right back to our SUV addiction. You know what that’ll do? That’s right. Welcome back, $4 gas.

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Don’t Believe the Tale of the Scorned Wife and the Cheap 911

January 19th, 2015

cheating-husband-porsche-for-sale

If you want a good deal on a used Porsche, or any used car for that matter, don’t bother looking for scorned spouses.

There’s a popular urban legend that tells of wives, angered by the infidelity of their husbands, selling their cheating spouse’s wares for pennies on the dollar. In most versions of the story, the car in question is a nearly new Porsche 911, sold for as little as $50.

The story surfaced again this weekend, this time out of Australia and with a slightly more believable price. Thanks to some nifty detective work, the story was proven false.

Here’s how it went down:

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Why Did Toyota Use This Photo of a New Tacoma?

January 16th, 2015

Toyota Tacoma FB

The picture looks like a Ram 1500 that’s been in a wreck.

The above photo, a close-up of the headlight, fender, and hood of the new Tacoma, could very well have been a photo submitted by a Ram owner after a long and damaging day of off-roading.

Believe it or not, Toyota’s marketing department posted the picture in an effort to generate buzz for the all-new Tacoma pickup.

It’s a terrible picture. And people noticed.

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New BMW Headlights Solve Old Problem

January 15th, 2015

BMW headlights at CES

Imagine a world where you never have to worry about turning down your brights as you drive. We’ve all been there, happily zooming down a country lane or lonely highway with the road in front of us bathed in ample light, our cars cutting through the darkness with high beams in full force.

Then a car approaches.

We think nothing of it until the approaching vehicle flashes its high beams, causing us to remember that we are blinding this fellow traveler. In our haste to quickly turn off the high beams, we spill our drink and accidentally flip on our right turn signal.

By the time we recover, the approaching car is long gone and we flip the high beams back on, only to repeat the process a few miles down the road.

There has to be a better way.

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Do You Know Your Movie Cars?

January 9th, 2015
This was one of the easy ones!

This was one of the easy ones!

I’ve been known to watch the occasional cat video online or to sometimes partake in viewing compilations of motorcycle jump fails. Of course, I’ll waste time on dumb stuff, too, such as online quizzes that serve no purpose other than providing advertisers a place to reach me.

One of those quizzes sucked me in, and I normally wouldn’t share my results or admit that I used valuable work time to complete it, but today, being Friday and all, I’ll make an exception.

The quiz was titled, “Can You Match the Car to the Movie?”

Well, of course I can. I am, after all, a car guy, so I expected a hundred percent. As it turns out, to know your movie cars, it’s also good to know a thing or two about movies.

Which I apparently I don’t.

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Chrysler Quietly Goes Away

January 8th, 2015

FCA-Fiat-Chrysler-101

It died a quiet and uneventful death.

You may not know this, but Chrysler as a company no longer exists. A foreign company has overtaken the smallest of America’s Big Three automakers and erased its corporate name.

Does this mean Chrysler automobiles have disappeared with it?

No.

Car shoppers will still have a few Chrysler vehicles to choose from, but those are limited to the 200, the 300, and the Town & Country. Chrysler Group LLC, the company that succeeded the original Chrysler Corporation that was formed in 1925, is now known as FCA US.

The change was official last year, but I think it’s fitting to take a moment and say goodbye to the company that Walter P. Chrysler founded 90 years ago.

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Boat Crash Claims 1,200 Jaguars – Could You Save One?

January 7th, 2015
Imagine all the Jaguars on board that may never find homes

Imagine all the Jaguars on board that may never find homes

For sale:

Brand new Jaguar sports car, zero miles, never been driven. There’s no damage, and the price is a fraction of the cost of buying the same car brand new from a dealer. You won’t find a better deal anywhere!

Act fast and get one of the 1,200 available cars.

The catch?

The cars were once on board the nearly sunk Hoegh Osaka.

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