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Posts Tagged ‘used car shopping’

Sell the Honda, Buy a Kia?

February 25th, 2015

2014 Kia Soul

A friend of mine had a beautiful, low-mileage Honda Pilot for sale.

This is the kind of guy who keeps the paperwork on everything he buys and has required service performed at the recommended intervals and only at authorized locations. He buys reasonable, practical items, but only gets the top-of-the-line versions of them.

Let me give you an idea of what kind of guy this is. When I purchased a used hot tub from him, he handed me a manila folder with every piece of paper it came with and receipts for every service and part, sorted by date. And laminated.

So when this guy sells a car, the buyer gets a pristine example of what a used vehicle should be.

When he told me he wanted to sell his Honda and get a Kia, my reaction was two-fold.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Foreign Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , , ,

The $40,000 Bentley: A Good Idea?

February 20th, 2015

2005 Bentley Continental GT

Even when I’m not shopping for a car, I’m shopping for a car.

It probably happens to you, too. For me, I’ll just be going about my normal day-to-day business when suddenly, out of nowhere, I think it’s a good idea to buy a car.

Maybe driving past a dealership and seeing a great price on the window of a perfect car spurs the thought. Maybe it’s an online ad, or maybe it’s just a friend or family member who says something that sparks an interest.

It has happened to me twice in the past week.

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

The 2016 Honda Pilot Turns Into a Minivan

February 16th, 2015

2016 Honda Pilot

Back in 2004 I purchased a car I thought would last forever.

Its looks weren’t anything special, but its capabilities and features were exactly what I needed.

The car was a 2004 Honda Pilot, and it lasted all of 6 months. That’s not because anything failed on the car, it’s because it caught on fire and burned to the ground.

Now that the Pilot has been around for over 10 years, it is being revamped for the 2016 model year, but even with all the changes, I think I’d prefer to own my old ’04.

My biggest problem with the new, recently unveiled Pilot is that it’s basically a Honda Odyssey minivan without the sliding doors. The Pilot was never rugged in SUV terms, but it was at least an SUV.

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

Would You Buy a Porsche With a Sketchy Past?

February 6th, 2015

2001_porsche_boxster

There’s something sexy about the idea of owning a Porsche with a sketchy past.

Buy the right car, and you could be behind the wheel of a criminal’s favorite ride. Maybe it was used to rob a bank or to transport illegal drugs. Or maybe it was just an indulgence after a successful crime spree.

Of course, you’d never do anything illegal, but driving a car that once served a primary role in crime is a very real possibility.

If you’re interested in such an automobile, the Dallas District Attorney’s office has a Porsche Boxster with your name on it.

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

Would You Buy This Damaged Land Rover?

February 4th, 2015

Hoegh Osaka Land Rover

What a short attention span we have in this world today.

Less than a month ago, we wrote about the Hoegh Osaka. Remember that? If you’re anything like me, you’ll read that name and it’ll sound vaguely familiar, but you won’t remember why. Let me remind you:

The ship was carrying around 1,200 Jaguars and Land Rovers before tilting dangerously and running aground near England.

It was speculated that the load of expensive cars would be scrapped, depending on the damage done.

Well, 20-some days later, the cars are being driven off the boat under their own power. Watch the video then ask yourself: Would you buy one?

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

Buy FIAT, or Buy Used?

January 27th, 2015

2016-fiat-500x-

“It’s an ugly little thing, isn’t it?”

The FIAT 500L was stopped at a light, one car length ahead, in the lane next to us. My wife, an aficionado of sexy car design, thinks the standard 500 is somewhat cute, but finds the 500L to be a disproportioned beast not unlike a freakishly large baby hippopotamus.

The 500L is a bit of a misnomer, since it’s supposed to be the “big” version of a tiny car. The result is a car that isn’t big but isn’t tiny and ended up caught somewhere in the middle. It’s really quite an unfortunate sight.

When the new 500X hits the streets later this year, I’m wondering if FIAT will finally have its sales superstar or just another marginally popular niche vehicle.

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

Which Is Better: The Old Acura or the New?

December 2nd, 2014

2015 Acura TLX

I remember seeing a brand new 2004 Acura TL for the first time. I worked at an ad agency and had just purchased a new ’04 Jaguar X-Type. A co-worker showed up a few days later with the new Acura, perhaps trying to one-up me. She said her purchase was just coincidentally timed, but I always had my doubts.

Regardless of her intent, I was smitten by that car. It didn’t have the curvaceous eye-catching looks of the Jag, but it was still beautiful, luxurious and most of all, felt solid and well crafted.

The Jaguar always felt a little questionable, even when it was new over 10 years ago.

When Acura refreshed the TL in 2009, the car fell a few rungs down the style ladder and sales slowly declined until it was discontinued this year. The car, with its now-infamous beak grille, had grown too big and too underpowered to take on its German rivals.

To replace the TL, Acura created the all-new TLX in hopes it could re-ignite U.S. buyers’ flaming passion for the brand.

The strategy seems to be working.

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

Maybe We Should Restore One of These

November 26th, 2014

1965 Jaguar E-Type Series I 4.2 Roadster

Handing my son an iPhone is never a good idea.

That’s mostly true because he’ll spend hours downloading and playing car racing games. His latest game involves buying rundown classic cars, racing them, and earning money to spend on restoration. It’s a cool concept, and the game has introduced him to classics he wouldn’t otherwise have known, including the ’67 Chevy Impala and ’72 Mercedes-Benz 280SL.

One car, though, he knows very well. The 1965 Jaguar E-Type has been a favorite since he first saw one at about 6 years old. Seeing it in the game for $129,000 sparked an interest in a real-life search for what the E-Type commands in today’s market.

Which is the other reason handing my son an iPhone isn’t a good idea.

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

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.

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

Buying Used Luxury? Think Twice

November 5th, 2014
How much are those rings worth to you?

How much are those rings worth to you?

Driving a luxury car for the price of a Honda is an appealing proposition.

I’ve advocated for it on these very pages. Why would someone spend $25,000 on a new Accord or CR-V when they could have a used Audi A6 or Q7?

The benefits make it seem like a no-brainer. For the same money you get more luxury, more brand panache, better performance, and an all-around cooler vehicle. Everything’s great, up until your new luxury car needs some basic maintenance and repairs.

I’d like to share my personal story, so you might avoid the fate that has fallen upon me.

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Car Minded, Car Safety, Car Shopping, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , , , ,