GM Gears Up for Plant Upgrade to Build New C8 Corvette

June 27th, 2016

c8 vette

The hype leading up to the new C7 Corvette was unlike anything in the history of Corvette. Early rumors swirled of a possible rear mid-engine setup, followed by “news” that the C7 would have the same split rear window as the famous 1963 Sting Ray.

Obviously neither of those came to fruition. The Corvette has always been a front mid-engined car, with the motor pushed back to be centered over the front axle. Even without a rear mid-engine (RMR) layout, the C7 has become one of the most lauded ‘Vettes ever produced and is turning heads on the streets and drawing comparisons to Ferrari for its design.

Yes, the C7 Corvette is one hot car.

Could the C8, due for the 2019 model year, be even hotter?

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This Summer’s 10 Coolest New Convertibles

June 24th, 2016

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster

It’s that time of year again. The sun’s beginning to shine just a little too much, and the weather’s transitioning from pleasant and refreshing to downright oppressive. And while some people will turn to more traditional methods of respite—air conditioning is understandably a very popular option, especially in a car—we believe a convertible may be the best cure for the summer heat. We have said it time and time again: that classic feeling of cruising with the top down will never get old. In fact, it seems to get better with time. If you aren’t currently a convertible owner, there are plenty of options out there with a wide range of styles and price tags.

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Cheaper to Keep, or Time to Trade?

June 24th, 2016

car-dealership

When a driver faces a large repair bill for his or her car, it’s tempting to just head to the local dealership, trade in the car, and drive home in something new with a full warranty.

People justify the purchase by reasoning that it saves money on repairs. After all, a more reliable vehicle is far less likely to break down and will greatly reduce, or even eliminate, costly trips to the mechanic.

In many cases, though, it costs far less to keep and maintain an older car than it does to buy a new one. Let’s take a look at a couple of scenarios, and determine if it’s really cheaper to keep your current car.

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Here Are 2016’s “Most American” Vehicles

June 23rd, 2016

2016-Honda-Accord

The new Buick Envision is made in China and some Hondas are made in America.

The landscape of today’s automotive manufacturing world is far different than it was two decades ago. In fact, there’s not a single mass-produced vehicle that was designed and built in America with all American-made parts.

Automakers based in the U.S. routinely build vehicles in Mexico and acquire parts from Latin America and China. The global sourcing of parts and assembly helps cut costs and keeps prices of new cars affordable.

Consumers who want to know just how “American” a car is can check out the fourth annual Kogod Made in America Auto Index, which was released earlier this week. In this new global automotive economy, though, does it really matter?

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Credit Score Only Fair? A 7-Year Loan Could Work for You

June 22nd, 2016

The new Volvo XC90

An interesting trend in automotive financing could affect your ability to buy a new car. To take advantage, you’re going to need fair (but not good) credit and be willing to stretch the duration of your loan up to 7 years.

As outlined in a recent Automotive News article, auto loans lasting 84 months or more are currently finding both advocates and opponents in the automotive-financing world. Lenders opposed to the longer loans feel consumers with fair credit are buying too much car and are therefore more likely to eventually default.

Turns out, according to Equifax data quoted in the article, these 7-year loans are the least likely to end in default among consumers in the 630-to-680 credit range, which is considered “fair” credit.

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Tragedy’s Reminder: Check for Recalls Often

June 22nd, 2016

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The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that rolled down a driveway and killed actor Anton Yelchin this weekend had been recalled earlier this spring after federal regulators found that its gear shifting could confuse drivers and possibly cause vehicles to roll away.

It’s a horrific accident that illustrates the danger of automobiles and the importance of quickly addressing recall notices.

We don’t know the specifics of Yelchin’s case. Maybe he never received the notice or maybe he recently purchased the car and didn’t know about the recall. It’s also possible that the notice got thrown out with the junk mail.

The consequences were undeniably tragic and sad.

Automotive recalls are issued regularly and have become an expected part of car ownership, but vehicle owners need to remain as vigilant in checking for them as automakers are in issuing them.

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A New Pacifica and the Future of Chrysler

June 21st, 2016

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Once a mainstay on American highways, Chrysler is now driving toward an uncertain future. Its partnership with Daimler-Benz has been replaced by one with Fiat, and while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has kept its head above water (thanks to America’s obsession with pickup trucks and the unyielding power of Jeep brand loyalty), the rest of the business raises more than a few questions. What is Fiat’s true future in the U.S. market? Will Alfa Romeo and its Giulia succeed today after a reputation for unreliability sunk them in 1995? And with only a midsize sedan with a questionable future, a full-size stalwart in a shrinking segment, and the 2017 Pacifica in a crossover-crazy era, can Chrysler stay afloat?

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Volkswagen Looks Toward an Electric Future

June 20th, 2016

VW-Electric-Bus

Volkswagen’s emissions scandal may have killed diesel-fueled cars in the U.S. forever.

Prior to September of 2015, cars with diesel engines were on the rise in the United States. Long popular in Europe, the fuel was on the verge of overcoming the stigma of its dirty past and even rivaled hybrid technology as a clean, efficient alternative to gasoline.

Volkswagen led that charge with its Clean Diesel marketing campaign and its promise of efficient, environmentally friendly sedans and SUVs.

Then it all came crashing down when the story broke that VW had cheated on emissions tests and the engines were, in fact, heavy polluters.

The fallout of the scandal is still ongoing and VW hasn’t sold a new diesel automobile in the States in over nine months. The company may not sell one here ever again.

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Six Cars Worthy of CarGurus Dads

June 17th, 2016

2013 Ford Explorer

Sharing nuggets of wisdom is part of fatherhood. How to pronounce “February” (that “r” is in there for a reason). How to tie your shoes (there’s nothing wrong with the bunny-ears approach). How to shave your face (you know, growing a beard isn’t a bad idea). We learn so much from our dads, and driving and maintaining a car stands as a hallmark of any father-child relationship. From learning to parallel park to changing the oil, and from heel-toe shifting to understanding the physics behind oversteer and the inherent superiority of rear-wheel drive, many of us wouldn’t have made it to “Guru” status without a little fatherly guidance.

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Forget Kit Cars, Here Come the Repli-Mods

June 17th, 2016

limited-edition-50th-anniversary-shelby-427-cobra-14

If you could flip through the annals of automotive history and bring back a modern version of any car within their pages, which car would you choose?

That’s a question that may receive an answer in the coming years as a new kit-car law could spawn an entire automotive sub-industry.

The Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015 allows manufacturers to apply for an exemption from NHTSA safety and crash-test standards for up to 325 “replica motor vehicles” each year. These modified replicas, or repli-mods, would still have to meet current-year emissions standards, which will require modern EPA-certified production engines and emissions controls.

The reality of buying a modernized classic could be just around the corner. Here are some we’d love to see.

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