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Archive for the ‘Foreign Cars’ Category

The New BMW: A MINI with a Spit Shine?

September 3rd, 2014
Just throw a BMW logo on it and call it good?

Just throw a BMW logo on it and call it good?

There are two kinds of people who buy BMWs:

  1. People who appreciate the dynamics of a true rear-wheel-drive performance machine.
  2. People who like the BMW logo.

As BMW embarks on a new era of vehicle production, it hopes it can please both types of people without alienating the first. Type 2 people really don’t care which wheels are propelling the car forward, while Type 1 people believe anything that’s front-wheel drive is undeserving of the BMW logo. After all, BMW owns MINI, so it can scratch that FWD itch, right?

For a while, BMW carefully walked the line while admitting some vague future plans for a FWD car, but now it seems the German automaker will pull out all the stops and bring at least 6 cars to market that are powered by the same wheels that steer.

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A Jacked-Up Jag and Other Auto Atrocities

September 1st, 2014

jacked up jag

I only saw it for a moment.

While driving out of town and heading north toward my favorite lake, I turned my head, because something odd caught my attention. In a parking lot on the other side of the highway sat what appeared to be an older Jaguar.

In itself, that observation was nothing spectacular. But this Jag was different, because its body sat a good 6 feet above the suspension and tires.

Someone had taken that little Jag and turned it into a monster truck. As a guy who appreciates Jaguars and other non-monster types of vehicles, I don’t understand modifications that take a car and turn it into something it was never meant to be.

We may not understand the motives behind such auto atrocities, but we can stand back, laugh, and silently criticize the cars that no one else will ever want. I will say this, though:

Each of the cars pictured below must have taken a labor of love to create. While these aren’t my taste, at least someone had fun making them.

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Car Minded, Classic & Vintage Cars, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , ,

The Most Exclusive Used Car in America?

August 28th, 2014

Land_cruiser_series_70

A couple of days ago, CarGurus posted a link on its Facebook page to an article listing the top 10 cars we can’t buy in the United States.

It wasn’t a bad list and featured the usual suspects from Seat, Citroen, Holden and Land Rover. The list neglected to mention a true international classic, though, which has soldiered on since 1984 and is still sold new. This vehicle has been marketed and sold around the world, with the exclusion of a few countries in North and South America.

It’ll never be sold new here in the States, but it is possible used versions could be imported.

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The Case for Extended Warranties on Used Cars

August 26th, 2014
Audi Q7 interior

Caution: Don’t use the cupholders

Buying a used Audi seemed like a great idea at the time.

I found the 2008 Q7 on a dealer’s lot and used the CarGurus price analysis tool to determine that the car was a good value. I was smitten with the Audi’s color, strong stance, room for 7 people and pre-installed roof racks. The car was everything I needed, and I was able to negotiate a price significantly lower than the asking amount.

With 88,000 miles on the clock, I figured I had some time before things started going wrong. I was correct in that now I have 98,000 miles and a repair bill that is making me second-guess my choice.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , ,

The Negotiation Tactic No One Should Ever Use

August 22nd, 2014

2014_volkswagen_jetta

I’m sitting in a car dealership listening to people buy cars.

I’m here because my car is in for service, and the normal waiting area is under construction, as is the rest of the dealership. For that reason the sales, negotiations and business sides of the car buying process are unfolding before me.

It’s fascinating, because I want to High Five some people and High Five others right in the face.

To the left of me sits an older couple, negotiating for a Volkswagen Tiguan. In front of me is what appears to be a single young woman, perhaps in her late 20s. To the right is another single woman, probably in her 50s and buying a Jetta. Guess which one I want to slap?

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

Saving Fuel: New Car or Just Drive Slower?

August 19th, 2014

Canadian gas prices

Don’t be deceived by the gas signs when traveling abroad.

Gas prices here in the States are about as high as they’ve ever been, hovering just below $4 per gallon in my area. The premium stuff is $3.89 at my corner station.

That makes filling up my SUV a major account drain. In fact, there should probably be men in suits and dark glasses verifying account balances before drivers are allowed to enter a gas station’s general proximity.

Having a rig that gets 20 miles per gallon, tops, is expensive. Unfortunately, it’s also necessary when you have a family of 6 and enjoy adventurous car camping trips in another country.

A Toyota Prius just isn’t going to cut it.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, Gas for your car..., General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , , ,

Appreciating Classic Cars: Now’s the Time to Buy?

August 18th, 2014

Maserati MC12 Corsa

If you have a Maserati MC12 Corsa to sell, you should advertise it where potential buyers hang out.

Check your garage, loyal readers, because if you have one, you’re in luck. The Corsa is the racing version of the road-going MC12, and only 50 Corsas were ever produced.

Produced back in 2004 and 2005, the car boasts a Ferrari Enzo V12 engine that makes 620 horsepower and jumps from 0-62 mph in 3.8 seconds. The car is based on the Enzo, however it’s slower and bigger than its more attractive cousin.

It’s kind of like an Enzo in a fat suit, to be honest. Regardless, the car is incredibly rare and valuable, especially in Corsa trim.

So where might potential buyers of this expensive machine hang out?

The Pebble Beach Concours, of course.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Classic & Vintage Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , ,

Car Camping Across Canada

August 14th, 2014

photo-3

Boat camping isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Imagine falling asleep to the quiet lapping of waves against metal pontoons while staring into a star-filled night sky. Then imagine waking up at 3 a.m. to the terrifying sound of massive thunder and the relentless flashing of lightning and remembering those metal pontoons in the water.

That’s the definition of fear. It’s also the reason my boat camping trip this week was cut short and replaced by a more reasonable and spontaneous car camping trip.

In Canada. Continue reading >>>

Car Minded, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

Jaguar F-Type Scares Away Its Older Brother

August 12th, 2014

2014 Jaguar F-Type V8-S

Both of my little brothers outshined me when we were kids. One could pitch a fastball better than I could ever dream, and the other could jump over a 6-foot bar while I struggled to hop over a parking stripe.

It’s not a good feeling to get trumped by a little brother.

With the introduction of the Jaguar F-Type as a new little brother to the legendary XK-Series, the big XK may have come to the end of the road.

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Are Nissans Finally Better Than Hondas?

August 11th, 2014

2010 Nissan 370Z NISMO

“Whoa, what the heck was that!?”

The Nissan 370Z flew by us with only a flash of its grille, then the quickly disappearing rear tail lights.

“It’s not a Porsche. It’s not a BMW. What is that? It’s beautiful. Go faster so we can see the front again.”

I obeyed, stepped on the gas and waited as my wife discovered for herself that the object of her desire was a Nissan.

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