Will Tesla’s New Lease Attract More Customers?

2016-tesla-model-x

Believe it or not, you can still buy a new car in the United States for under $14,000. The least expensive option on the market is the $11,990 Nissan Versa, a car that Car and Driver says, “has insultingly flimsy materials” along with a 109-hp 1.6-liter engine that makes for slow acceleration but gives reasonably good fuel efficiency.

Most of us opt to buy more car than what the Versa has to offer, but that ultra-low price is appealing to budget-conscious shoppers. If the Versa is too “flimsy,” buyers can step up to something like the $14,000 Ford Fiesta.

Once the car is purchased, it can be driven for many years with no further finance costs, which is one of the benefits of buying a car outright.

A 24-month finance term on a $14,000 car, at 3.11 percent interest, is about $600. For the same price you could drive one of the most desirable luxury cars on the market: An all-electric Tesla.

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Tesla, Autopilot, and the Future of Self-Driving Cars

Tesla AutoPilot

From the first press release outlining Tesla’s Autopilot technology, potential customers have wondered how the system works, what its limitations are, and whether it will be welcomed or shunned. Since Joshua Brown’s fatal crash while using Autopilot in a Tesla Model S, these questions have grown larger and more pointed. Without a doubt, popular opinion has shifted toward negativity. But should it?

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Day Two at the Javits Center: The New York International Auto Show

Honda Civic Hatchback Concept

Day Two began with the World Car Awards. Backed by a surprisingly loud, club-ish soundtrack and some odd song choices (maybe intended to help attendees wake up after a very long Day One?), the Toyota Mirai fuel-cell vehicle got the World Green Car Award, the Audi R8 Coupe took the World Performance Car Award, and the BMW 7 Series won the World Luxury Car Award. Mazda managed to take two trophies, as 2016 World Car Design of the Year and World Car of the Year, with its MX-5 Miata, and having driven the car ourselves, we heartily applaud the WCA jurors’ decision.

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10 Kinds of Cars We’d Buy to Share

A Ford van empties at school

With the exception of a home, a car is the most expensive purchase a person will likely make (and we hope that home and car aren’t the same thing). Considering the improvements in safety, powertrain, and infotainment technologies, it’s not surprising to see vehicle prices rising at or above the rate of inflation. So, with the fiscal scope of a vehicle purchase firmly in mind, we have to ask: why don’t more people share cars? We posted an earlier article about the prevalence of ride-sharing services and their impact on consumer purchasing trends. While Uber and Zipcar have certainly given drivers more ways to get around, car ownership still seems to be the clearest path to unlocking the flexibility and freedom that a set of wheels can provide.

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Will Driving Become Illegal?

Tesla Model S Autonomous

The mile markers fly by, one every 100 seconds or so. Adrenaline rushes through your body as quickly as the wind passes through your hair.

You know you’re breaking the law, but you want to see how long you can get away with it. The rumble of the gas-fueled engine growls under the hood, and you can feel the sound in your chest as you push the accelerator pedal a little deeper into the floor.

No, the car isn’t stolen, and you’re not a suspect escaping from a grisly crime.

You’re just driving.

And driving is illegal.

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Musk vs. The New York Times: The Tesla Showdown!

2013 Tesla Model S

I don’t know why people continue to be surprised that electric cars have range limits. My 8-year-old daughter has an electric scooter and loves it, but knows it’ll die out somewhere around the 25th time down her long driveway and she’ll end up pushing it back to the garage. It doesn’t make her angry or surprise her, it’s just expected. Meanwhile, my son knows his gas-powered go-kart will run until the tank goes dry. Similar concept, different fuel. One can be refueled in about 30 seconds, while the other takes all night.

These are kids’ toys, and there’s no mystery involved.

Yet auto writers seem to love it when their test EV runs out of juice somewhere along a pre-determined test route designed to push the limits of range. Why? Because it gives them something to rant about. They can say things like, “Aha! This car left me stranded!”

That makes for a much more interesting story than reporting that a car finished a test loop without issue.

By now most people on Earth probably know about the New York Times writer and his adventures with a Tesla Model S, as well as Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s fiery reply. Come on guys, let’s just hug this thing out.

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Super Bowl’s Over, Let’s Move On

Chevrolet Corvette

Congratulations to the Ravens and Baltimore fans everywhere!

While the game was electrifying, I thought the advertisements overall were severely lacking in energy this year. It’s like the power went out on all of them even before the Superdome went dark. My favorite car ad was the Audi prom spot. The Chrysler/Ram Paul Harvey spot almost made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. The others were just mediocre.

With that out of the way, let’s get back to cars rather than the outlandish, extravagant attempts to sell them. Yes, we need vehicles to serve the mundane and much-needed transportation services of daily life, and I find irony in the fact that we often buy them based on some perceived emotion or extreme experience marketing people promise they will provide.

True car enthusiasts can look past overly produced TV commercials and buy based on other, more meaningful, factors.

One of those factors might be the car’s future collector value. Make it affordable and fun to drive as well, and the deal closes itself! What 2013 cars could be future collectibles?

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Elon Musk: The Man and His Dream

Tesla Model S

We at CarGurus Central are big fans of Tesla Motors.

The company, led by determined businessman Elon Musk, is one of contradictions. It is scrappy yet innovative. It’s an underdog yet a major player in a new automotive era. By all rational reasoning, the company shouldn’t exist. A startup business chasing a theoretical auto market shouldn’t have a chance at success when competing against the big, established players in the automotive business.

An electric-only carmaker could easily be laughed straight off the assembly line.

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