Tesla made some serious waves last week when it debuted its Model 3 electric car. These weren’t your “gently lapping the shoreline” waves, either. Think “Laird Hamilton monstrous big-time waves.” We’re a data-driven, internet-focused company, so to demonstrate this point, we ran some basic Google searches. “Chevrolet Bolt” (the Model 3’s most direct competitor, and a car set to beat it to market by almost 2 years) returned 2.3 million results. “Nissan Leaf” (by and large the most popular electric car currently on sale) yields 4.9 million results. “Tesla Model 3?” 90.4 million results. So yeah… tidal waves.
Electric cars solve a lot of problems. They don’t pollute, they can be recharged at home overnight, and they save owners money by eliminating the need for gasoline.
The trouble is, electric cars could end up being remembered as the right cars that happened at the wrong time.
The quality, reliability, comfort, and driving range of electric vehicles are better than ever before. They offer a gas-free way to commute to work and the peace-of-mind of driving on clean energy.
What EVs don’t have is the right timing. Gas prices are still hovering around $2 per gallon, so it’s hard for car buyers to justify the added cost and limited range when compared to a gas-powered car.
For an electric car to succeed in an era of cheap gas, it needs to have something special. Keep reading for the electric cars that should thrive regardless of gas prices.
Preventive maintenance is the secret to automotive happiness. Failing that, it helps to own a car with low maintenance costs. A new list provided by CarMD provides some excellent guidance into the 10 best cars for repair costs.
It’s part of CarMD’s annual manufacturer and vehicle reliability rankings. It measures the top 10 manufacturers, top 100 vehicles, top 3 vehicles by vehicle category, and common repairs by vehicle make. This year’s Vehicle Health Index™ is based on more than 251,000 repairs recommended for model year 1996 to 2015 vehicles in the United States from Oct. 1, 2014, to Sept. 30, 2015.
You know you’re among a different class of buyer when the vehicles on your shopping list cost more than most homes in the United States.
The new Bentley Bentayga is the luxury brand’s first venture into the SUV market. It’s brutish and sleek, powerful and graceful. With a starting price of about $229,000, it’s also wildly expensive and can quickly eclipse the $300,000 mark with the right options ticked.
Buyers will get the world’s fastest production SUV thanks to a twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 that makes a mighty 600-hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. Top speed is estimated at about 185 miles per hour.
We know this vehicle is far from what most people can afford, so why do we bring it up?
Because it makes other cars look darn appealing.
As soon as a brand new car leaves the dealer’s lot, the depreciation phenomenon commences. There are plenty of reasons to spring for a new car with an empty odometer, of course. They come with great warranties, include the latest technologies, offer the buyer peace of mind with regard to the vehicle’s history, and, naturally, they come with that wonderful new car smell. However, to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes and your new car depreciating as soon as the rubber rolls of the lot.” We took a look at the data and found that although some cars quickly lose value for good reason (looking at you, Mitsubishi Galant), there are others that actually become pretty great deals. If the smell of organic materials off-gassing is of paramount importance, feel free to pay the premium for your brand new car. If you don’t mind waiting a few years, however, we’ve picked 10 vehicles that offer incredible value on the used market.
Road & Track columnist Peter Egan once wrote, “Cars are considered to be an art form, yet the Mona Lisa, I’ve noticed, never needs a cooling system flush or new brake pads.” Automotive design has been an integral part of the car industry since the 1920s, when GM began to develop the first year-over-year changes to their cars’ visual appearance. As makes and models have evolved, so have the varying design languages associated with them—with varying degrees of success.
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.
There are some things all cars should be able to do:
- Make it up a hill
Pretty basic, right? The only car I’ve ever driven that struggled to make it up a hill was a 1987 Subaru GL. That car, for whatever reason, barely had enough power to drive over the added elevation of stripes in a parking lot.
I mention this because last weekend I attended an electric car show and managed to take an up close and personal look at some of the EVs currently on American roads. All were impressive.
One couldn’t make it up a hill.
That’s a phrase that should never be uttered, regardless of circumstances. I called a friend yesterday, asked him what he was doing and he said, “Just driving.”
That got me thinking. This is a world filled with two types of people: those who love to drive and those who have to drive. If you’re behind the wheel, and the phone rings, I hope you’re the kind of person who doesn’t even notice because you’re so in tune with your car and your driving.
I hope you’re NOT the kind of person who is able to fumble for the phone, turn on Bluetooth, answer and say that you’re “just driving.”
If you’re the kind of person who loves to drive, and has the opportunity to drive to work every day, here are some of the most fun cars you can take on your daily commute.
What’ll it be:
A new Nissan Leaf for less than $25,000, a new Chevy Volt for around $37,000, a new Cadillac ELR for $76,000, a new Tesla Model S for upwards of $80,000 or maybe the new BMW i3 or i8 or Mercedes-Benz B-Class electric?
A growing number of used electrics are also hitting the market. Prices for those range from the high teens to $400,000. (More on that later.)
How’s a car shopper supposed to decide the best course of action to go electric for the first time?
Read on, friends, for the answer awaits.