Some Say the Sports Car Is Dying, But We Beg to Differ

April 15th, 2016

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Some say sports cars are in serious trouble.

Generally speaking, yes, it could be argued that sports cars have lost popularity in recent years, and some reports say that sales are down.

Sports cars, it is argued, are losing ground because they can’t take the family to Costco, are surrounded by massive SUVs, and have no use in an Uber-dominated world.

But hold on a minute. Before we go writing the obituary for the high-performance sports car, let’s remember a few things.

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Best Car Tech Features for Geeks

April 14th, 2016

A new Geek Squad Prius c

Geek Squad has bought 1,100 new Toyota Prius c models. Best Buy’s Geek Squad made the switch because it wants to improve its carbon footprint. It also wants to disassociate itself from Volkswagen, according to Automotive News, in part because of the ongoing emissions scandal.

That got us to wondering what’s the best geeky technology available in modern cars. Well, the answer depends on your definition of geekiness, but here are my four top choices.

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Personal Car Rental: A Good Way to Make Money?

April 14th, 2016

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Earlier this week we saw how owning a new car can cost close to $1,000 per month. That cost is part of the reasoning behind car sharing services such as ZipCar and ReachNow, which offer inexpensive and convenient short-term car rentals.

Car sharing can be a perfect money-saving solution for people in urban areas who don’t need a car every day, but do require occasional personal transportation.

What about the other end of things, though? What about the guy or gal who did purchase that new car and is watching the costs pile up while the bank account slims down?

There’s a new solution for those people, too, but it might be a good idea to resist temptation and avoid it, at least for now.

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Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 on Opposite Ends of Crash Test Ratings

April 13th, 2016
Ram 1500 (left) and Ford F-150 after IIHS small overlap front crash test (Photo courtesy IIHS)

Ram 1500 (left) and Ford F-150 after IIHS small overlap front crash test (Photo courtesy IIHS)

The bigger the truck, the safer the truck. Right?

We assume the big pickups on the road are some of the safest automobiles available, and that a collision between one and a midsize sedan would end quite poorly for the sedan.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently conducted tests of some of the big rigs, and the results are surprising. It turns out we’re right to assume that the big pickups are safe, as long as we’re referring to Ford trucks.

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BMW Will Launch Car Sharing Program… Again

April 12th, 2016

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Why own when you can borrow?

The average payment for a new car in the United States is $479 per month. Insurance can cost an additional hundred bucks or more, so let’s figure it costs somewhere around $600 per month to own a new car. Factor in monthly fuel costs, parking fees, and general maintenance, and costs can get close to $1,000.

It’s no wonder some people choose to forgo car ownership in favor of public transportation or car sharing.

Car sharing has found pockets of success in the U.S., but BMW hopes that the new service it’s starting in Seattle will eventually benefit car sharers nationwide.

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Ford’s Mexico Announcement Sparks Controversy

April 11th, 2016

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Ford is moving to Mexico.

Well, not really, but you’d think so based on the reaction of some politicians after Ford announced plans to expand and build more vehicles in Mexico.

The Detroit automaker said it will invest $1.6 billion in a new Mexican facility and create 2,800 jobs by 2020, with construction expected to begin this summer. The plant will build small cars for export to the United States.

This is probably a good development for American car buyers because it means more affordable vehicles on dealer lots. Not everyone sees it that way, though.

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Feeling Green? Our Top 10 Environmentally Friendly Used Vehicles

April 8th, 2016

2013 Tesla Model S

Tesla made some serious waves last week when it debuted its Model 3 electric car. These weren’t your “gently lapping the shoreline” waves, either. Think “Laird Hamilton monstrous big-time waves.” We’re a data-driven, internet-focused company, so to demonstrate this point, we ran some basic Google searches. “Chevrolet Bolt” (the Model 3’s most direct competitor, and a car set to beat it to market by almost 2 years) returned 2.3 million results. “Nissan Leaf” (by and large the most popular electric car currently on sale) yields 4.9 million results. “Tesla Model 3?” 90.4 million results. So yeah… tidal waves.

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Faraday Teases its Mysterious Future

April 8th, 2016

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Mysterious car company Faraday Future hasn’t done much to shine light on its product plans or promote itself as the next up-and-coming electric car brand for the masses.

Since unveiling the raucous (and highly impractical) FFZERO1 supercar concept at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Faraday has released approximately zero product-related press releases or updates on the status of development. No one knows when, or if, the company will release a vehicle for sale or what type of vehicle it will be.

The absence of marketing is in fact great marketing. Nothing generates interest in a product like billions of dollars of mysterious investments and only the promise to “redefine our relationship with the automobile.”

We may have finally gotten a hint, though, of what’s coming next for Faraday.

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Double Your Money to Get a Much Better Used Car

April 7th, 2016

2011 Toyota Camry LE

Are you in the market for a used car? Think you want to spend $7,500 on some good basic transportation? Don’t. What you really want to do is buy a $15,000 used car. It’s fast becoming the automotive sweet point for buying a used vehicle.

Why’s that? You’re going to be in for an overall better buying and ownership experience. Some may say less is more, but in this case, more is more when it comes to buying a used car.

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Car Punching: The Auto Industry’s Dirty Little Secret

April 7th, 2016

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When I first heard the term “car punching,” I imagined groups of rambunctious teenagers vandalizing cars on dealer lots.

It turns out car punching isn’t quite as scandalous, but still isn’t an ideal practice. The term is in reference to car dealers that artificially increase sales, which can pad the bottom line and give automakers an edge when reporting sales numbers.

Carmakers are constantly battling for the sales crown, and car punching could be the dirty little secret that pushes one company over the edge.

How does it work?

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