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Posts Tagged ‘car shopping’

Miles of Smiles Per Gallon

October 22nd, 2014

2015-mitsubishi-mirage

When gas prices hit or exceed $4 per gallon, the cost to fill up my Audi Q7 gets scarily close to $100. I drive to conserve fuel by accelerating slowly, cruising on the highway at about 60-65 miles per hour, and not letting the engine run to warm up the car in the driveway.

At my local Costco this weekend, I pulled up and saw what I thought was a price of $3.94 on the pump’s display. Closer inspection showed a price of $3.44, and I nearly jumped for joy. Fifty cents per gallon, at about 18 gallons, saved a good nine dollars and made me a happy dude.

Gas prices are falling across the country, which is great news for all of us. If you want to save even more at the pump, while driving a brand new car, check this out:

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Foreign Cars, Gas for your car..., General Chat , , ,

Cars That Should Have a Diesel Option

October 17th, 2014

2015-ford-mustang-gt-burnout

Diesel-powered cars should be the wave of the future.

Electric vehicles have the distinction of being able to run on zero fossil fuel, but the production of electricity itself requires all kinds of dirty energy. Yes, it’s pretty cool to drive without any pollution, but how many tons of coal have to burn for the privilege?

That’s a discussion that won’t be resolved by a single blog post, but it’s the reason diesel-powered vehicles should be given a second look before buying electric.

Unfortunately there’s still a shortage of diesel cars in this country, but here’s a list of vehicles that should at least have the option.

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Car Industry News, Car Lists, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , , ,

The EV That Won’t Look Like an EV

October 10th, 2014

nissan-leaf-2017

If you want your “green” car to stand out, it should resemble something green. That’s why designers of the Nissan Leaf, an all-electric vehicle, designed it to look like a lizard.

Well, that’s the only explanation I can come up with to justify the Leaf’s bulging eyeballs and arched back.

Don’t get me wrong here, I love the Leaf. My in-laws own one and have traversed over 30,000 gas-free miles in it, while getting stranded away from home only a handful of times.

The Leaf is the world’s top-selling electric car because it’s the EV most similar to its juice-drinking cousins.

That design, though, just has to go.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Electric Vehicles, General Chat , , , , , , ,

Should You Use an Auto Broker to Buy a Car?

September 25th, 2014

auto broker

The thrill of having a new car is rare enough in most people’s lives that it’s cause for a great celebration.

The process of buying a car, though, can be intimidating. It involves research, shopping, then finally negotiating a price and navigating a sea of dealer add-ons. Some people really enjoy the process, while others accept it as a necessary evil in car buying.

People who truly despise the process can turn to a broker for help with their purchase.

Advocates for using a broker like to use the argument that car dealerships are professionals at selling, so why not hire a professional at buying?

Makes sense, right?

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat , , , ,

Free Maintenance Programs: Proceed with Caution

September 11th, 2014

BMW maintenance program

“How about we throw in two years of free synthetic oil changes and call it good,” said the sales manager.

I was negotiating for a car about a year ago, and we’d reached a stalemate on price. We were close, within a few hundred bucks, but I was willing to walk if my price wasn’t met.

The sales manger claimed they were down as low as possible and couldn’t budge any further.

The free oil-change offer sealed the deal. I was thinking 3 or 4 oil changes per year, at about $70 each.

Being the type of guy who regularly dispenses auto-buying advice to friends, family and strangers, I should have thought it through. I should have asked questions. But I didn’t, and I fell for one of the newest strategies in selling cars: free maintenance.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat , ,

Who Negotiates the Best Deals on Cars?

September 2nd, 2014

BMW_E46_front_20080822

Two headlines grabbed my attention this weekend, both of which pertain to the purchasing of cars.

Yes, I know there are plenty of more exciting headlines, such as the production of the 2015 Mustang and spy shots of soon-to-be-revealed new models, but none of that matters if no one is around to buy new and used versions of those cars.

At CarGurus, we want you to get the best deal possible on a car and feel good when we hear that people are negotiating solid buys.

Who are the people getting the best deals on cars these days? Here’s a hint: If you’re a guy, it’s probably not you.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat , , ,

The Case for Extended Warranties on Used Cars

August 26th, 2014
Audi Q7 interior

Caution: Don’t use the cupholders

Buying a used Audi seemed like a great idea at the time.

I found the 2008 Q7 on a dealer’s lot and used the CarGurus price analysis tool to determine that the car was a good value. I was smitten with the Audi’s color, strong stance, room for 7 people and pre-installed roof racks. The car was everything I needed, and I was able to negotiate a price significantly lower than the asking amount.

With 88,000 miles on the clock, I figured I had some time before things started going wrong. I was correct in that now I have 98,000 miles and a repair bill that is making me second-guess my choice.

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

The Negotiation Tactic No One Should Ever Use

August 22nd, 2014

2014_volkswagen_jetta

I’m sitting in a car dealership listening to people buy cars.

I’m here because my car is in for service, and the normal waiting area is under construction, as is the rest of the dealership. For that reason the sales, negotiations and business sides of the car buying process are unfolding before me.

It’s fascinating, because I want to High Five some people and High Five others right in the face.

To the left of me sits an older couple, negotiating for a Volkswagen Tiguan. In front of me is what appears to be a single young woman, perhaps in her late 20s. To the right is another single woman, probably in her 50s and buying a Jetta. Guess which one I want to slap?

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

Can a Kia Compete with a Mercedes-Benz?

July 31st, 2014

Mercedes-Benz_E-Class_2004

I pulled up to the bank yesterday and parked nose to nose with a Mercedes-Benz.

It was kind of weird at first glance but I only looked for a moment and didn’t give it a second glance until I passed it again, on foot, on the way into the bank.

The car was an “Anniversary Edition,” at least according to the crudely applied stickers near the front fender. That’s when I paid more attention and realized the car wasn’t a Mercedes at all.

It was a Kia.

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

Buick: Still an Old Man Car?

July 23rd, 2014

2015-buick-lacrosse

“You know, we should probably check out a Buick.”

I had no idea my dad was capable of speaking such nonsense. He wasn’t even kidding.

My parents were in the process of shopping for a new car, and my dad, a lifelong proponent of foreign cars and skeptic of American cars, uttered those fateful and surprising words.

At 60 years old, my dad was just doing what many 60-year-olds do. Thankfully my mom is still 59 and hasn’t crossed over into the age of Buicks just yet. She prevented the purchase and influenced a choice that conveys a considerably younger persona.

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