Archive

Posts Tagged ‘car shopping’

Scion’s Comeback Effort Looks Like an Old Toyota

November 17th, 2014

2014_scion_im_concept_la_auto_show

Let me be clear: I don’t think Toyota needs the Scion brand.

The initial intent in creating Scion was to appeal to a younger crowd at a lower price point with small but exciting vehicles. It worked for a little while but Scion has slowly been dying in recent years.

The cars, with the exception of the great FR-S (which should have been a Toyota) are lifeless and dull.

Regardless of this humble car blogger’s opinion, Scion trudges on and will introduce a new vehicle at the LA Auto Show this week.

Continue reading >>>

Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Car Shows, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , ,

You Could Buy an F1 Race Car! But You Probably Shouldn’t

November 14th, 2014

2001 Jaguar F1 for sale

Yes, that’s correct, you could buy a used F1 race car. For the right amount of cash, any regular guy or gal can shop online and find the perfect used racer to suit his or her needs.

I discovered this fact while reading about a car for sale: a Red Bull RB3 Formula One race car that was driven by Australian Mark Webber during the 2007 season. The car didn’t do particularly well that season, but it would sure be enough to wow your friends and win a trophy or two at your local track day.

The above 2001 Jaguar F1 car is also for sale.

There are two catches, though, when shopping for a used F1 car:

  1. They are incredibly expensive (upward of $400,000 for the RB3).
  2. Sometimes they don’t include an engine (this is the case with the Jag).

For those of us without an F1 budget, but with the desire for speed, check out one of these used cars that’ll fight the good fight on track day.

And probably come with an engine, too.

Continue reading >>>

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

Sports Cars: Dead or Coming Out of Hibernation?

November 12th, 2014

porsche-911-gt3

There are a couple of quotes we need to address today. The first is from Automotive News:

“The sports car market is roughly half of what it used to be,” Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales, said in an interview at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Munich. “Post-2008, it just collapsed. I’m not so sure it’ll ever fully recover.”

In Europe and North America, the car’s role as a status symbol has diminished, with SUVs and crossovers becoming ever more popular.

The second quote expands on the first, and comes to us by way of The Truth About Cars:

Increased congestion, urbanization and a demonization of speeding (backed by harsh, if not draconian penalties) has made the notion of a sports car an outmoded one for many people. Even the latest 991 Porsche 911 GT3 has abandoned the manual transmission.

Do we, the sports car fans of the world, have something to worry about?

Continue reading >>>

Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Exotic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , ,

The Perfect Car for a Picky Driver

November 10th, 2014

2015_audi_a3

The requirements weren’t easy to meet:

  1. Fuel efficient
  2. Fun to drive
  3. Easy to zip through traffic
  4. Not a 2-door, but not a lot of extra room for too many passengers
  5. Not a sports car
  6. Not a Honda, Toyota, Hyundai or Kia
  7. Must be new and available for lease
  8. Relatively inexpensive
  9. Not an electric car
  10. Reliable

A dear friend is moving from Washington to Los Angeles and needs a car better suited for SoCal than her current Hyundai Santa Fe. Things can get pretty snowy and cold up here in Washington, so all-wheel drive was a requirement, but front-wheel or rear-wheel drive will be preferred down south.

I set my mind loose to think up suggestions, but had a tougher time than I expected.

Continue reading >>>

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

Who Recommends the Cars You Buy?

November 4th, 2014

Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Who would buy a car that doesn’t come recommended?

Most car buyers get their recommendation from family or friends. Advertising inspires some, and others need no recommendation beyond their own research and experience.

Plenty of car shoppers use a combination of all the recommendations they can get, but few are more influential than the “recommended” status as given by Consumer Reports.

The stalwart of consumer protection and advice has a coveted list of cars it recommends to subscribers. Automakers love being on the list, because it gives their vehicles more credibility. Falling off that list, though, can mean trouble.

Just ask the 2012 Honda Civic, which failed to receive the publication’s recommendation for being underpowered and having too much road noise and a cheap-feeling interior. That led to a redesign for 2013 and a much better car for consumers.

This year, some surprising vehicles have lost their recommended status.

Continue reading >>>

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

A Corvette for Every Year

October 29th, 2014

Peter Max Corvette Collection

Before yesterday I’d never heard the name Peter Max. Maybe that’s because I’m too far out of touch with pop culture, or maybe that’s because I’m not involved in the world of art.

I am, however, involved in the world of cars, and Peter Max has quite the car story.

Mr. Max, as you might have heard by now, owns one of each Corvette produced in the years 1953 to 1989. That’s a total of 36 unique ‘Vettes, which have sat in New York parking garages for the last 25 years.

The story of how they got there, and why, is unbelievable.

Continue reading >>>

Car Minded, Classic & Vintage Cars, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , ,

10 Cars Fit for a King (James, That Is)

October 24th, 2014

2015 Kia K900

LeBron James recently made some big news by promoting the Kia K900, not because he was being paid, but because he’s a big fan of the car. He has since partnered with Kia to promote its luxury brand. LeBron is not a small man, but the K900 seems to be a good fit for him. But that got us thinking: Is the K900 really the best fit for LeBron? We looked at our data to determine which vehicles can best fit someone of LeBron’s stature. These cars are truly fit for a “King,” or at least a very big and/or tall individual.

Continue reading >>>

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

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:

Continue reading >>>

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.

Continue reading >>>

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.

Continue reading >>>

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