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The Kings of New York

April 10th, 2015

2015 New York International Auto Show

The 2015 New York International Auto Show will come to a close this weekend, and as usual, automakers packed the Javits Center with beautiful new vehicles in hopes of making as big a splash as they could during the crowded hypefest. We attended last week’s 2-day press preview, and we have to say it was a very fun but exhausting trip; the automakers like to keep the press moving around the venue. But we moved quickly and made it to nearly all the press conferences with help from plenty of free coffee and some life-saving free chairs.

Some of the biggest names in the business were there to show off what the next year of production has to offer the market. Automakers all more or less stressed the same common themes throughout the preview, but some of the more unexpected themes included fuel cells, semi-autonomous-driving features, and affordable luxury (with the exception of Land Rover and Jaguar, who touted their models’ steep price tags). Dozens of reveals took place at the press conferences, and we thought we’d share our impressions on some of the biggest.

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Rusty Undercarriage? Don’t Blame the Carmaker

April 10th, 2015
Don't let this happen to your car

Don’t let this happen to your car

Bad things happen when brake lines leak. Who’s to blame when they do?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has wrapped up a 5-year investigation into the cause of rust on the undercarriages of about 5 million GM vehicles.

The problem has been the rusting of brake lines on 2007 and older Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC pickups and SUVs. Usually an investigation of this magnitude results in an expensive recall and the mandatory repair of affected vehicles.

This time the NHTSA let General Motors off the hook and blamed someone we can’t sue for the problem:

Us.

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The Battle of 2015’s Best Sedans

April 9th, 2015

2015 Mazda6

There’s not a bad sedan on the market today. Any sedan, from any automaker that sells cars in the United States, should provide safe and reliable transportation for many years.

The differences in cars are in their levels of quality, performance, comfort, technology, and safety. Buying a top-level Lexus sedan will provide a much different experience than an entry-level Kia 4-door, but both will probably be on the road for about the same amount of time.

So how do car shoppers know which sedan is the best? Or better yet, how can they discover which is the best for them?

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Praise and Controversy for the Lincoln Continental Concept

April 8th, 2015

Lincoln Continental Concept

When people talk about Lincoln, we often hear the terms “unremarkable,” “dated,” “second-tier,” and “Beluga whale” used to describe its cars.

Why is that?

Frankly, it’s because the company’s cars have been unremarkable, dated, second-tier luxury automobiles. The SUVs and crossovers look a little like, you guessed it, Beluga whales.

It’s no wonder Lincoln hasn’t been on the shopping list of many luxury buyers in recent years. But a drastic design change and the return of a legendary name could start to change that.

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Where Do You Get Your Car Buying Advice?

April 7th, 2015

2013 Subaru Legacy roof racks

The last time someone knocked on my door, I answered to the flashing lights of a fire truck.

While scary, it turned out to be nothing more than a warning about a burn ban and a firm request to put out the remains of a campfire I had smoldering in the front yard. I mention this only to illustrate the fact that I live in a rural area, and people simply don’t come knocking on my door.

So when the rat-a-tat-tat of a door knock happened again last weekend, I prepared for the worst.

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What’s More Manly: Aston Martin or Mitsubishi?

April 6th, 2015

Aston-Martin-V8-Vantage

Catching a glimpse of a supercar in my town is a rare event, so when I pulled up to my neighborhood grocery store yesterday and saw an Aston Martin Vantage in the parking lot, I lost my marbles.

The Vantage isn’t the most exotic or rare car in the world, but it’s one of my favorites. My wife is a car girl and appreciates fine automobiles but isn’t as easily impressed by anything that isn’t a Porsche. As I touted the Aston’s low-slung profile and sleek shape, she said something that took me off guard.

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Nissans at NEMPA: Delightfully Suburban?

April 5th, 2015

2015 Nissan Rogue

Winter has finally started to recede here in New England, but that doesn’t mean practical vehicles are going anywhere. John “Bugsy” Lawlor and our friends at NEMPA were kind enough to have us down for a look at some great crossovers for 2015, and as always, we’re thrilled to let you know what we think.

Nissan’s been an inspired contributor to the crossover market ever since the Murano debuted in 2003. Its three current mainstays—the Murano, Rogue, and Juke—all offer above-average driving dynamics, comfortable interiors, and funky good looks. We had the good fortune to have a closer look at all three and took the 2015 Rogue out for a spin.

One of the key selling points in this segment is the functionality of an SUV without the loss of a car’s agility and ride. The Juke’s been a standout in the small crossover segment for a few years now thanks to its excellence in these respects. Not only does it provide a uniquely quirky look, it also provides an exciting drive and the convenience of a hatchback. We greatly appreciate the availability of a manual transmission and the utility of all-wheel drive; we only wish the two weren’t mutually exclusive in the Juke. The model on hand was a fantastic Solar Yellow, and while we didn’t get a chance to drive it, it’s safe to say you’ll never lose this one, no matter how crowded the parking lot gets.

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How Well Do You Know Your Cars?

April 3rd, 2015
Hyundai_Mercedes_Badge

What model Mercedes is this?

We shall call them the Badge Swappers.

We’ve all seen these guys and gals on the road, hidden behind the steel-and-glass veil of their cars. Unlike the rest of us, who are proud of the cars we drive, the Badge Swappers try to convince the rest of us that they are driving something much more special.

Some people try to be blatant and pass their car off as a different brand entirely. Others are more subtle and adhere a performance badge to a base-level car.

Here’s the thing that the Badge Swappers must not know, though: The only people who would care about the badge are the people who notice the fraud. Keep reading and see if you can identify the car behind the badge.

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

No Joke: Exciting Cars are Coming!

April 2nd, 2015
2016-Chevrolet-Malibu-005

2016 Chevy Malibu

 

This is the hardest time of the year to be a car blogger.

Like Black Friday sales, the jokes of April Fools’ Day are starting to creep into the day prior. This can make it very difficult to separate fact from fiction. Some stories this year were obviously so far-fetched that the odds of being real were virtually none.

A story about a Ford/GM hypercar was originally posted on March 31 (later updated to April 1) and managed to rile up bloggers and forums everywhere.

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CarGurus Announces Bahston Translation

April 1st, 2015

A cah in the snow in Bahston

Boston winters can be hard on a car, be it Big-Dig-size potholes destroying suspensions, road salt rendering undercarriages rusty and weak, or space-saving old beach chairs leaving ugly dents and scrapes on new vehicles. Here at Cambridge-based CarGurus, we want to help our friends and family who have cars that failed to weather the storm and are now searching for new rides.

Introducing CarGurus Bahston: Our first U.S. regional site translation offers “Wicked Great Deals from Killah Dealers.” Built with the same technology powering CarGurus in Spanish, it makes car shopping more familiar and natural for Boston natives.

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Car Minded, CarGurus Features and Updates, General Chat