Why the Lamborghini Urus Doesn’t Make Sense

June 3rd, 2015

Lamborghini Urus

Don’t kid yourself. You’re not going to buy the new Lamborghini SUV. You’ll be excited about it and eat up all the blog posts announcing its imminent arrival, but you won’t step foot in a Lambo dealership unless you’re just there to ogle.

Trust me when I say that Lamborghini dealerships don’t exactly smile upon oglers (I had a bad experience).

Yes, the Lamborghini Urus, or whatever its production moniker becomes, will sell out, just not to folks like you and me. And not because of financial reasons alone.

Continue reading >>>

Toyota Prius: Most Stolen Car in America?

June 2nd, 2015

2015 Toyota Prius pic-362296487971647730

Imagine the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds” with a Prius in place of the Shelby GT500.

Not very exciting, is it?

Car theft has been romanticized in movies and video games, but the reality is far less exciting. Cars are stolen every day in this country, and it happens in plain site at grocery stores, in home driveways, and in mass-transit parking lots.

Instead of targeting brash sports cars, thieves often go for the kinds of cars that blend in and are easily taken apart so in-demand parts can be sold. The traditional pièce de résistance of thieves is the Honda Accord, which fits those criteria perfectly.

There may, however, be a new king in town.

Continue reading >>>

The Honda Mojo: It’s Not a Car

June 1st, 2015

Civic Type R

Remember the 2012 Honda Civic? Of course not. It was the most disappointing Civic in modern history.

Consumer Reports famously dissed the car by revoking its “Recommended” status, while Car and Driver summarized the changes like this:

With the latest Civic, Honda has gambled that moving away from sportiness and towards quiet comfort will suit its buyers. Honda hasn’t hedged its bets into the boring realm of the Toyota Corolla, but it’s certainly an unadventurous effort. Aside from being quieter and more efficient, the new Civic doesn’t represent improvement as we define it. The Civic lacks the passion, soul, and entertaining driving dynamics of its predecessor. Mainstream buyers may not care, but enthusiasts surely will.

Honda, once known for sporty and fun-to-drive cars that provided reliability and fuel efficiency, had morphed into the latter while forgetting about the former.

Honda had lost its mojo.

Continue reading >>>

Distracted Driving: The New Normal?

May 29th, 2015

Texting While Driving

How many times per day do you see people texting behind the wheel?

I’d venture to guess that every time you’re stopped at a light or stopped on the highway in heavy traffic, you’ll be able take a look at your fellow drivers and see at least one with his or her face buried in a phone.

It’s dangerous, and it shouldn’t happen, but we, as modern-day Americans, have outsourced our brains to our devices, and we can’t sever the connection. We text and drive, we e-mail and drive, we shop and drive, and we talk and drive. Many of us go about these activities while also eating or putting on makeup.

Driving has become the secondary or even tertiary activity while behind the wheel. Nobody can seem to stop it from happening.

So we must embrace it.

Continue reading >>>

Why Summer Is a Great Time to Buy a Car

May 28th, 2015

2015 Chrysler 200C My home base is the great Northeast. As such, this past winter I thought summer would never come. But all that snow eventually melted, and with it so have new and used car prices. Summer is a great time to buy a car.

Prices in the used car market begin to drop this time of year for a couple of reasons. Demand declines after tax season and its flood of money from tax refunds. Consumers wait until their returns are filed and IRS checks issued to make down payments.

But the bigger reason is supply grows this time of year. Private sellers get more active, and more people are buying new cars, which increases the used car supply.

Continue reading >>>

Porsche’s Profitable Problem

May 28th, 2015

2015 Porsche 911 pic-5239915476691723324

Porsche has a problem.

It’s a problem no other automaker has but all of them would want. Most automakers build cars that live comfortable lives, sell pretty well for a while, and eventually evolve into something else or end production when they are no longer popular. If they’re lucky, perhaps they’ll spawn a fan club or two.

The cars that have managed to stay relevant for decades (Ford Mustang, Toyota Camry) are nothing like their former selves.

The Porsche 911 is different. This is one of those cars that’s been in existence for most of the last 50 years and has slowly and gracefully aged. With each passing model year the 911 gets only slight changes while retaining its trademark shape. One could argue that the design no longer belongs to Porsche, but to the legions of 911 owners and fans who have become part of the car’s epic history. The 911 isn’t just a car anymore, it’s become part of our culture.

So how does Porsche go about introducing a “new” 911 when it’s bound to keep the classic shape?

That’s the problem facing Porsche.

Continue reading >>>

What Happens When a Buyer Never Registers a Car You Sold?

May 27th, 2015

car title transfer

It’s a good rule in life to expect the best but prepare for the worst.

Most humans on Earth are good people who want to live the best life possible, but a few are set on breaking the rules for their own benefit.

Selling a car can be a profitable venture, but it can also provide opportunity for unscrupulous humans to use the seller’s good name in a crime. It’s rare, but it can happen.

When you buy a vehicle from a private seller, you take the transferred title to your local DMV and register the car in your name. All the paperwork is taken care of for you if you buy from a dealer.

Sometimes a private seller will sell his or her car, but the buyer won’t ever register it. Any parking tickets or driving infractions caught on camera will be under the seller’s name. If any crime is committed in the car, it’ll be the seller in the crosshairs of law enforcement.

Here’s how to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

Continue reading >>>

Do You Prefer a Gas Tax or a Miles-Driven Tax?

May 26th, 2015
Should owners of electric vehicles have to pay taxes for roads?

Should owners of electric vehicles have to pay taxes for roads?

Some ideas are destined to never work.

The hoverboard is one. So is the flying car. A peanut-butter-and-sardine sandwich would also make the list of ideas not likely to catch on.

The state of Oregon is about to discover one more: a miles-driven tax in place of a fuel tax.

The slow rise of electric and hybrid vehicles, in addition to improved fuel economy in vehicles powered by fossil fuels, has presented state governments with a new problem: how to fund roads with less money coming in from fuel taxes.

Continue reading >>>

Vice President Declares Corvette Better Than Porsche

May 25th, 2015

2015 Corvette Z06

Happy Memorial Day! We’re now in the final stretch of a long weekend that marks the unofficial start of summer. This is also the weekend when we’re encouraged to take a break from work and remember the ancestors who paved the way for us to enjoy life in the United States.

This is also the time of year when people graduate from high schools and colleges across our great nation.

Sometimes these two annual rights of passage converge, and we see America-infused commencement speeches from high-profile celebrities and politicians. There were none bigger this month than the speech delivered by Vice President Joe Biden, who made a shocking claim about the superiority of America.

Continue reading >>>

NEMPA Panels Dig Into Green Vehicle Technology

May 22nd, 2015

DSCN1961

This week we attended the New England Motor Press Association (NEMPA)’s panel discussion on the future of green vehicle technology, California’s Zero Emission Vehicle mandate, and mass-market adoption of these technologies. It was a terrific, fruitful discussion. Two 4-person panels brought together expertise and opinions from automakers, energy research groups, electric utilities, and state politicians as they discussed the industry’s current strategies and what needs to change to increase the desirability and sales of Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs).

Continue reading >>>