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Posts Tagged ‘used cars’

Can a Kia Compete with a Mercedes-Benz?

July 31st, 2014

Mercedes-Benz_E-Class_2004

I pulled up to the bank yesterday and parked nose to nose with a Mercedes-Benz.

It was kind of weird at first glance but I only looked for a moment and didn’t give it a second glance until I passed it again, on foot, on the way into the bank.

The car was an “Anniversary Edition,” at least according to the crudely applied stickers near the front fender. That’s when I paid more attention and realized the car wasn’t a Mercedes at all.

It was a Kia.

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The New Must-Haves in Car Shopping

June 30th, 2014

MyFord Touch 6312_sirius-660

The average car in the United States is 10 years old.

In an age when computers and phones are obsolete in 3 years, a decade is an eternity.

Back in 2004, things like USB ports, Bluetooth and backup cameras were fare for top-of-the-line luxury cars, if they were available at all. Today, that kind of technology is considered must-have for many new-car shoppers.

The exponential leap in technology is a major reason some shoppers will consider only new or late-model used cars. Is the latest whiz-bang wizardry worth the extra cash?

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New Fisker Owner Alienates Existing Owners

March 14th, 2014

Fisker Karma

Let’s say you bought a Chevrolet. Not just any Chevrolet, but a really nice expensive one. In fact, let’s say you went crazy and checked all the boxes on a 2014 Corvette Stingray 3LT with the ZL5 performance package, carbon fiber roof, racing stripes—the whole shebang.

The purchase set you back about $75,000, but you love the car.

Now fast-forward two years. Let’s say General Motors had some serious trouble, went bankrupt (again), but this time was purchased by a foreign company. That company vowed to put products, like your Corvette, back into production but stop supporting, warranting or servicing models produced before bankruptcy.

How would you react?

For the answer, please speak with your nearest Fisker Karma owner.

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Could That Used Car Be a Classic Car?

February 6th, 2014

1994 Dodge Viper

When listening to the classic rock station, I’m accustomed to hearing music from Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd. So when a Metallica song came on the other day, I thought the station switched without my consent. When I realized the channel was still locked firmly on classic rock, I had a small tantrum.

“Metallica is NOT classic rock,” I said to myself. “I listened to Metallica as a teenager, just a few short… umm… oh man, 15-20 years ago.”

Holy moly, it’s true. Metallica are now considered a classic rock band.

Today I’m having the same realization about cars.

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Land of the $262,000 Family Car

January 13th, 2014

The $262,000 Peugeot

Today let’s take a few moments to appreciate our ability to buy and sell cars at reasonable prices.

Even though the process of buying a car, especially from a dealer, can take hours (or days, as you’ll soon read), we at the very least know we are paying a fair price. In fact, almost anyone living and working in this country can afford to buy a vehicle.

Cuba, on the other hand, isn’t so fortunate. Until this month, Cuban citizens could purchase new cars only with special government permission, or buy from the available lot of vehicles that were in the country before the 1959 revolution.

Things have finally changed, but the results make me grateful I live where I do.

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Celebrity Cars (Almost) Anyone Can Own

January 10th, 2014

Michael Jackson Ferrari Testarossa

A Ferrari is just a Ferrari, except for when it’s not.

The 1980s Testarossa defines the decade in the the same ways hairspray, Burt Reynolds and Michael Jackson do. It’s an iconic car and graced the walls of young teenagers everywhere. Even with the rich history of the Testarossa, it’s still a relatively inexpensive car, as far as Ferraris go.

For somewhere between $50,000 and $80,000, a savvy shopper can find a classic Ferrari and be the envy of ’80s kids everywhere. Own the Testarossa that Michael Jackson drove, though, and you’ll elevate yourself to legendary status.

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Restore or Not Restore: The 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS

January 7th, 2014

1967 Ferrari 330 GTS

When a long-forgotten rare and classic car is found and brought into the public eye, it usually doesn’t take long for it to be restored and sold again in tip-top shape.

A recent find, though, brings up an interesting conundrum. A 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS, in its original state, has been found in a Pennsylvania garage. It’s rare to find a Ferrari of this vintage in any condition, but it’s nearly unheard of to find one of just 99 examples built that is in its completely original shape.

Well, original save for a small engine fire.

Even considering the fire, the car might be worth more if left untouched.

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El Diablo: Miata Style

December 23rd, 2013

2001 Mazda Miata MX5

An average car will run a quarter-mile drag race in 15–16 seconds. That’s not a blistering pace, but it’s just enough to give a slight rush while accelerating up an on-ramp before settling into a steady stream of 65-mile-an-hour commuters.

The Mazda Miata, while relatively sporty and fun to drive, typically falls somewhere within that average time in stock, off-the-showroom-floor form. It’s nothing spectacular, and it won’t win many drag races, but the time is good enough to warrant the designation of “sports car.”

Barely.

A quick quarter-mile time in the Miata might fall somewhere in the 11–13-second range. When that stock speed just isn’t fast enough, upgrades can be applied, and the Miata, like any car, can become a drag racer.

An extreme case would be taking a Miata, stripping it completely of its powertrain, and replacing it with a source of power sure to embarrass even the most seasoned of racers.

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What Car Would You Buy Tomorrow?

December 16th, 2013

Porsche Cayenne, black

The car question posed last night wasn’t as easy to answer as I expected. I mean, I think about cars every day. In fact, I think about cars for multiple hours every day.

So when asked what I would replace my current car with if it suddenly died, I thought my answer would come swiftly and succinctly. Suddenly, though, my mind flashed with all the possibilities. I put myself in the mindset of this not being a hypothetical question and wondered what car I’d go buy tomorrow if I had to.

I had a dream a few nights ago that I was roaring through town in a new Jaguar, but after careful consideration, that’s not the car I ended up with in my fantasy purchase. I thought it would be.

Thinking about buying a car, even hypothetically, is a funny thing. It starts out as a simple thought, but sooner or later I end up browsing through the used listings and checking prices on cars I might, hypothetically, be interested in driving.

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Could Volvo Storm Back from Obscurity?

December 12th, 2013

Volvo Concept Coupe

The small blue Volvo pulled out in front of me in heavy traffic. I was doing about 40 miles per hour and had to slow to about 15 to avoid hitting it. I don’t think a collision would’ve hurt me much—it probably would have been more like a bug splattering on the windshield.

The Volvo was s-m-a-l-l.

I have no idea what model the old car was, but I swear its driver was none other than Mr. Bean. Or maybe Mr. Bean’s dad, because he had gray hair and much larger ears.

For all I know the car was a Volvo 66, of which only a handful exist. One of them has been seen running around the Seattle area, so perhaps I should have had more respect for the slow-moving dwarf-car directly in front of me. Instead I jerked into the neighboring lane, passed it and carried on with my quest to arrive at the nearest Starbucks in a timely matter.

I thought about that little Volvo yesterday after reading a little bit about the future of the brand. Volvo doesn’t get a lot of time on these pages, but that could change with some of the concepts lurking just around the corner.

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