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Posts Tagged ‘used car shopping’

Tesla Model 3: A $35,000 Game Changer?

September 16th, 2014

Tesla Model S

In 2017, $35,000 might buy you a really nice 2014 or 2015 Audi A6 or a beautiful pre-owned BMW 5 Series.

However, come 2017, the world of buying a luxury car could be very different than it is today. Keep in mind, 2017 is less than two and a half years away, and there usually isn’t a lot of change in such a short amount of time. The 2012 cars on the road today aren’t all that different from 2014 models.

Tesla, though, thinks it can usher in an era of electric driving that we’ve never seen before with its forthcoming $35,000 2017 Tesla Model 3.

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Would You Buy an Over-the-Hill Used Car?

September 15th, 2014

used car lot

Maybe a dealership near you has one.

Tucked in a back corner of the lot, behind all the expensive brand new cars, hidden behind the certified used cars, and shadowed by the traditional pre-owned vehicles might sit an ultra-bargain section of the lot. Some vehicles might have rust, some might have the check engine light on, and all have well over 100,000 miles on the clock.

There’s no warranty on these vehicles, they are sold as-is, and the buyer assumes all risk associated with ownership.

Why would a new car dealer risk a good reputation by selling these junk cars?

Because they are huge moneymakers.

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The Jaguar XE’s Biggest Competition: A Used BMW?

September 9th, 2014

2015 Jaguar XE

With great fanfare and media attention, Jaguar has released official images, specs and pricing of its new XE. This is a huge deal, because the XE is a car set to compete against the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.

There’s one caveat to the above statement, though: So far specs and pricing are specific to the European market.

The info is enough to infer that the new “baby Jag” will be nothing like its predecessor, the X-Type. It’ll be lighter, faster, more fuel efficient and, to some people, better looking.

That, however, is debatable, and I wonder if the price of entry will send shoppers right back into the arms of the Germans.

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The Best Cars of the ’90s (and One from the ’80s)

August 29th, 2014

BMW E39 M5

Car designers were on their game in the 1960s, but it seems they took a two-decade vacation in the ’70s and ’80s. I’m pretty sure interns used a straight edge and T-square to churn out car designs back then.

Not until the 1990s did the real designers, and their curvalicious designs, come back, along with some quality and performance that turned the ’90s into a golden age for motoring.

That might sound funny, especially being only 15 years removed from the turn of the century, but keep reading for proof that the ’90s provided the jump-start car designers needed to propel motoring into the 21st century.

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The Most Exclusive Used Car in America?

August 28th, 2014

Land_cruiser_series_70

A couple of days ago, CarGurus posted a link on its Facebook page to an article listing the top 10 cars we can’t buy in the United States.

It wasn’t a bad list and featured the usual suspects from Seat, Citroen, Holden and Land Rover. The list neglected to mention a true international classic, though, which has soldiered on since 1984 and is still sold new. This vehicle has been marketed and sold around the world, with the exclusion of a few countries in North and South America.

It’ll never be sold new here in the States, but it is possible used versions could be imported.

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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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Wanna Go Yenko? There’s an Auction for That

August 25th, 2014

1969 Chevrolet Yenko Camaro

Assuming you have no connection with an apparently successful but now convicted group of criminals, you could become the proud new owner of a rare American muscle car.

A group of extraordinary cars seized by U.S. Marshals are being brought to auction and sold to anyone who meets these two criteria:

  1. Can arrange financing before the sale and pay cash at the auction, along with having a $10,000 cashier’s check on hand before bidding.
  2. Can certify that the car isn’t being purchased with the intent of being returned to the convicted.

Is this you? Then get yourself to New Jersey and start bidding on one of these classics.

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Finally, an Easy Recall Lookup Tool!

August 21st, 2014

VIN locationsThere’s a 30 percent chance that the used car you’re driving has never had a defect repaired.

Automakers issue recalls on cars almost as often as they produce new models, so odds are good that your car has been recalled at some point. Thirty percent of recalled cars are never repaired, which isn’t a big deal if the recall is minor and involves something like a floor mat or trunk hinge. The missed repair could be devastating if the recall is for something more serious, like the recent GM ignition switch debacle.

Used car shoppers, until now, had to conduct difficult research to determine whether or not a car was recalled and repaired. As of this week, there’s an easy online tool that anyone can use to find out quickly whether or not recall repairs have been made on used cars.

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Saving Fuel: New Car or Just Drive Slower?

August 19th, 2014

Canadian gas prices

Don’t be deceived by the gas signs when traveling abroad.

Gas prices here in the States are about as high as they’ve ever been, hovering just below $4 per gallon in my area. The premium stuff is $3.89 at my corner station.

That makes filling up my SUV a major account drain. In fact, there should probably be men in suits and dark glasses verifying account balances before drivers are allowed to enter a gas station’s general proximity.

Having a rig that gets 20 miles per gallon, tops, is expensive. Unfortunately, it’s also necessary when you have a family of 6 and enjoy adventurous car camping trips in another country.

A Toyota Prius just isn’t going to cut it.

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BMW 1 Series: A Great Used Buy?

August 8th, 2014

2011 BMW 1 Series pic-2146668282087529438

Lexus has said it could never build a car priced under $30,000, because it wouldn’t be a Lexus, it would be a Toyota.

That’s a respectable position to take, because it gives the luxury brand at least a little separation from its plebeian cousin.

Other luxury automakers have decided against that strategy and built entry-level vehicles designed to entice younger buyers into their brands. That decision, though, cheapens the brand for more upscale buyers.

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