Will Dodge Disappear Next?

2013 Dodge Dart

If you’re like me, when you hear the name Dodge, you still think of beefy pickup trucks. Never mind the fact that Chrysler took all of Dodge’s trucks and moved them under the Ram brand back in 2009.

That shift left Dodge with nothing more than a couple of cars, two SUVs and a van. The plan was to turn Dodge into a sporty car brand, but so far the new Dart is as close as we’ve seen to anything new and exciting. With some recent news about some Dodge vehicles getting discontinued, is it possible Dodge will cease to exist?

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No Shocker Here: People Shop for Cars Online

cargurus--used-car-prices

I’m not exactly sure why this is news, but NBC News has posted a story on the astonishing fact that young people shop for cars online, not in showrooms.

The story is full of facts and figures and percentages confirming that those belonging to Generation Y don’t begin at dealers when they shop for cars. Well obviously at CarGurus we know that, considering it’s what we do. Vehicle research, new or used, absolutely must begin online these days.

The opinions of others are just as much a part of vehicle research these days as checking spec sheets and reading professional reviews. Who has a better opinion to trust than someone who owns, or has owned, the same car?

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Who Should Pay When Filling Up Goes Terribly Wrong?

Uh-oh...

Uh-oh…

A few nights ago a tired drive home nearly ended in catastrophe. Not for me, but for the fuel system of my car.

I pulled into the station, popped my fuel door, swiped my card and picked up the handle before I realized it was green. That realization woke me up very quickly, as I uttered a mild profanity and then proceeded to move to another pump, one with the 92 octane my car requires, not the diesel I almost filled it with.

Despite being clearly labeled, and the fact that diesel nozzles are typically larger than those dispensing unleaded gas, people mistakenly fill their cars with the wrong fuel occasionally. Doing so won’t necessarily cause serious damage to the fuel system or engine, but the car won’t start, and the fix could cost a lot of money.

When a moron like me makes that mistake on his own, the cost is an obvious consequence of a bone-headed mistake. But when the mistake is made by a fuel company, who should pay?

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What I Miss About Cars

Jaguar E-Type

I miss cars.

I miss cars that are just cars and nothing else. I miss cars that don’t drive for us. I miss cars that don’t respond to our voices. I miss cars with dials and knobs and levers and manually adjustable heat controls.

I miss cars that aren’t just drivable iPhones.

I miss cars without touchscreens, without heated steering wheels and without cooled seats. I miss cars that go fast just for the sake of going fast. I miss cars with a certain unrefined nature, the kind of cars where the smell of gasoline and the sound of exhaust find their way into the cabin.

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New Toyota Corolla Pretends It Isn’t a Corolla

2014 Toyota Corolla S

2014 Toyota Corolla S

The Toyota Corolla is boring.

It’s somewhat bland, dated and uninspiring. It’s also one of the top-selling cars in the world each year, and Toyota has sold over 40 million of them since the car’s inception.

Obviously, people are drawn to the car’s propensity for predictability and reliability. Changing the formula could be a risky move, but seeing as how the current car doesn’t have much in the way of cutting-edge technology or engineering, the time has come for an all-new Corolla.

But if the draw to a Corolla lies in its simplicity, maybe a used model would better suit the needs of some drivers.

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The Best Beach Cars Under $10,000

1948 Woody Wagon

Photo courtesy MellowWave Surfboards

This past weekend, temperatures in the Boston area topped the 90-degree mark for the first time this year, sending the CarGurus team and thousands of other Bostonians to the area’s many beaches to cool off. While many were stuck searching for parking at the most popular beaches, others were able to simply pull up to the beach, let some air out of the tires, slip their car into 4-wheel drive and find a prime spot right next to the surf—with no one else in sight.

This is the going to the beach that I grew up with and one of the primary reasons that I still have a 4WD pickup. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of changing from pavement to sand. You pull up to the beach, make the change into 4WD, and you’re off. Instead of hearing the tires whining against the pavement, you get the gentle sound of them pushing through the sand, with no more pedestrians and bicyclists to watch out for, just shorebirds, sunbathers and fishermen.

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Porsche Celebrates 50 Years of the 911, and You Can, Too!

The Porsche 911 celebrates 50 years

The Porsche 911 celebrates 50 years

The Porsche 911.

I can’t think of any other car that can be described as undergoing continual development since 1963, but with little change to the concept over that time. Yes, the legendary 911 celebrates 50 years of existence this year, and Porsche has marked the anniversary with a special edition. If you can’t quite afford the $125,000 starting price for the retro-themed but modernly designed super-Porsche, why not celebrate by owning a piece of 911 history?

Each model has a unique spot in the car’s history, and many are affordable for just about anyone. Sure, older models won’t have the same 430-hp 3.8-liter flat six and PDK transmission that can lay down a 0-60 run in 3.8 seconds, but you will get that iconic 911 style and enough fun to keep you and your right foot entertained on city streets for years to come.

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Pretty Convincing: GM Makes Remote Start Standard

GM RemoteLink key fob

Automakers want to convince us all that buying a new car is preferable to buying used. Dealers just hope you buy a car—new would be nice, but there’s good money to be made selling used ones, too.

Consumers obviously are left to make the choice and sometimes spend hours researching whether new or used makes the most sense. Much of that decision comes down to financials, since the features in new cars do not vary much from what’s available in recent used vehicles.

General Motors would like to add more tech-laden features to new cars, so tech-savvy buyers might be convinced to pony up for new instead of used.

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Trouble After Buying a Used Car?

2010-volkswagen-jetta

Imagine this situation:

You find a car on a dealer’s lot after spending time online doing your research. You know exactly what you’re looking for and what price you’re willing to pay. Let’s just say the perfect car for you is a 2010 Volkswagen Jetta, and you happened to find one with just 40,000 miles on it. The dealer is reputable, the deal is fair, and you decide to pull the trigger.

You’re happily driving home to show your family and friends when a dash light blips on. The oil-pressure indicator is telling you there’s some kind of problem. Your heart sinks.

What do you do?

Here are your options:

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Don’t Get Curbstoned!

Curbstoning

“Curbstoned” is not a term you want to hear when describing a car you just bought.

While the word may conjure images of unfortunate accidents involving concrete curbing and mangled front ends, the term is actually used to describe cars sold by unlicensed “dealers.”

You’ve seen the abandoned parking lots filled with used cars and the empty city lots at busy intersections with cars for sale. The guys who run these impromptu car lots are called curbstoners. It’s a term I’ve heard only recently, so I did some research into who they are, why they do it, and why you should avoid them at all costs.

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