12 Cars for Folks Who Hate Trips to the Pump

August 7th, 2015

2013_lexus_es_300h_base-pic-1753983099041277991-1600x1200

Have you ever found yourself tearing across a post-apocalyptic desert wasteland, desperately hoping that your fuel tank won’t run dry? Although not everyone spends their free time pondering Mad Max-related scenarios, we at CarGurus occasionally do. A few weeks ago, we discussed some of the best cars for a summer adventure, and one in particular caught our interest: the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI. We pointed out that with it’s 14.6-gallon tank and great fuel economy, the SportWagen should be able to get you roughly 600 miles before needing a fill-up. That got us thinking—just how far can someone get on one tank of gas? We decided to look at the data to figure it out.

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Why I Don’t Like American Muscle Cars Anymore

August 7th, 2015

1964.5 Value Mustang

The American muscle car craze started with the 1964.5 Ford Mustang. That’s the car that showed Americans that high power could fit into a small package, be inexpensive, and look good at the same time.

The Mustang gave way to a new era of loud-and-fast rear-wheel-drive two-door cars powered by V8 engines. They defined a generation of rebels and teenagers who wanted to live fast and drive hard. The cars were different from sports cars of the time, because they lacked the grace and sophistication of European cars. To put it simply, American cars overcame that lack of grace with pure, raw muscle.

Buyers ate them up for the better part of the next 50 years. But as buyers aged, muscle cars came to represent something different. Instead of symbolizing youth and rebellion, the cars started to represent lost youth and cheap power.

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Third Age Suit Points to Greater Safety Technology Needs

August 6th, 2015

Glaucoma glasses Ford photoNormally driving a 2015 Lexus RC 350 is an exercise in automotive enjoyment. On one hot day recently, I found it extremely difficult. I had trouble seeing. My movements were largely restricted, and my hand was shaking. I was less confident in my ability to safely drive.

While it sounds like I was drunk, I wasn’t. I was encased in Ford’s Third Age Suit. It is designed to significantly reduce mobility when worn. It helps designers and engineers create future vehicles with the needs and limitations of the elderly in mind. It also does a great job of highlighting how crucial current safety technology will become as you age.

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You Can’t Park a Voucher in the Garage

August 6th, 2015

Shelby Super Snake Ford Mustang GT 2015

About 900 customers who ordered a 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat or Charger Hellcat and never received their 707-hp muscle car will have to get back in line.

Late last month, Dodge cancelled unfilled orders, because dealers accepted more orders than the factory could fill. One dealer alone took deposits on about 200 Hellcat orders, knowing full well it would never receive so many of the limited-run cars.

All is not lost for the customers who had their orders cancelled, though. They will receive a voucher that allows them to buy the more-expensive 2016 version at the 2015 price. That won’t satisfy the people who were hoping to get a first-run 2015 car, which could increase in value as it becomes a collectible.

For customers who aren’t stuck on the Hellcat brand, there’s a deal on a certain 850-horsepower Super Snake that is available now.

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Test-Driving a New Car? Don’t Do These Five Things

August 5th, 2015

test drive the vehicle you plan to buy

Test drives aren’t as fun as they used to be.

In the past, a buyer would find a car he or she liked, request to take it for a drive, and have the salesman throw the keys and say, “Enjoy!”

When I was shopping for a 2004 Jaguar X-Type in late 2003 (don’t laugh, it was a cool car back then), the salesman gave me the car for an afternoon with the only condition being that I have it back by closing. I did, and I ended up making a purchase a few months later.

I don’t think the odds of that happening today are very good. That’s a shame, because a long drive provides ample time to get a true feel for the car. Today’s 15-minute drives tend to not be as comprehensive as they should be.

Next time you take a test drive, make sure you maximize the value of your time in the car by following this advice.

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FCA: Another Recall and the Coolest Dyno on Earth

August 4th, 2015

CTC cold test dyno

You’d think, at some point, we’d grow immune to recall news and just start ignoring the mass of notices that fill the headlines of news outlets everywhere.

For now, though, the recalls that dominate headlines seem to feed our hunger for negative news and cultivate a fear of our own vehicles.

Don’t get me wrong—recalls are serious, and some of them must be addressed as soon as possible to avoid danger. Others are, in my humble opinion, the result of over-anxious government agencies trying to justify their existence.

The latest recall from FCA could potentially be a must-fix, so let’s address that and then look at something seriously cool that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is doing to constantly improve its vehicles.

First, the recall:

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Lexus RC 200t: Coming to America?

August 3rd, 2015

Lexus RC F

Many years ago I did a lot of complaining about cars available in Europe that people in the United States weren’t able to own.

A lot has changed since then. Small economical cars and efficient diesels are now available on these shores, including the likes of FIAT and Alfa Romeo. We don’t have as many station wagons or hot hatches (the scorching new Honda Civic Type R won’t be sold here), but for the most part the cars here are just as cool as the cars there.

Lexus might tip the scales back in Europe’s favor, but if history is any indication, it won’t be long before new models introduced there end up over here.

The RC Series is the next test.

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Maximizing the Horsepower Return on Your Car-Dollar Investment

July 31st, 2015

2014 Chevrolet Camaro

It’s the classic all-you-can-eat dilemma. You’ve put down your 12 dollars, and now it’s time to see just how much food you can get for your money. This is the epitome of a lose-lose situation: The restaurant surely lost money (thanks to your gluttony), and you feel terrible after having eaten 13 mediocre fried chicken legs. Luckily, in the auto world, seeing just how much power you can get for your dollar is a much less sickening proposition. Using real data, we’ve put together a list of the 12 best values on the horsepower market.

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The Biggest Change in Automobiles Since 1999?

July 31st, 2015

Porsche 911 Turbo

Get ready for the biggest change in automobiles since 1999.

I could end that sentence by adding, “if you’re a Porsche fan,” but honestly, this change signifies something that’s happening industrywide.

Only Porsche purists will feel its immediate impact. These are the same people who chastised the Cayenne as blasphemy, pooh-poohed the Panamera for diluting the brand, and fought outright outrage when Porsche moved to liquid-cooled engines back in 1999.

Things change in the auto world, much to the chagrin of people who like them to stay the same. What’s this newest change that’s sure to rile up the crowds?

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How To Handle a Used Car for Sale with a Recall

July 30th, 2015

2008 Dodge DakotaRecalls are all over the news, especially this past week. What does that mean for you when it comes to buying used cars? Should you buy a used car with a recall notice?

It may be tough not to. FCA has been hit with a record fine from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration for its mishandling of recalls. It will be recalling more than a half-million used vehicles, in some cases buying them back outright. As reported on the CarGurus blog recently, “Models included in the buyback offer are certain models of the 2009-2012 Ram 1500, the 2008 Ram 1500 Mega Cab 4×4, and the 2008-2012 Ram 2500 4×4. Also included are the 2009 Chrysler Aspen and 2009-2011 Dodge Durango and Dodge Dakota.”

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