Are You Seeing More Exotics in Your City?

Ferrari 458 Italia

I don’t live in California. Malibu and Beverly Hills are a good 1,200 miles and 18 hours away by car. In my quiet little corner of Washington State, I’m more likely to see Ford trucks than Ferraris. There are more Plymouths here than pimped-out Paganis.

That’s probably true anywhere, but lately I’m noticing more exotics and customized rides that would be more at home on the highways of Southern California than on the pitted and potholed streets of my hometown.

A Nissan GT-R passed me in traffic recently, causing my heart rate to double. An Audi R8 zipped through traffic on the highway, effectively removing my attention from all other cars in the vicinity.

Then, the mother lode:

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Used Car Prices Change Again—Should You Buy New?

1929 Duesenberg

The 1929 Duesenberg: Holding its value just fine!

Unless you’re in possession of a 1929 Duesenberg, there’s bad news for sellers of used cars.

On the other hand, if you’re a regular Joe in the market to buy a used car, there’s plenty of good news to go around. There’s also good and bad news for new-car buyers, too.

Confused?

Just keep reading, and all will become clear!

First, the Duesenberg:

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Midsize Coupes: Another One Bites the Dust

2013 Honda Accord V6 Coupe

What happens when the desire for rebellion clashes with the need for conformity?

The Honda Accord Coupe happens, that’s what.

There’s no other justification for the existence of a rakish front-wheel-drive coupe based on the epitome of a practical family sedan. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. Chopping 2 doors off a midsize sedan does not make a sporty car.

Surprisingly, midsize coupes can offer a somewhat energetic drive, and the Accord Coupe is the cream of the crop considering its level of refinement, powerful V6 and exquisite 6-speed manual transmission.

Fortunately for Honda, one of the Accord Coupe’s prime competitors will soon disappear from the market, leaving coupe buyers one more reason to bypass buying a new car.

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Stretch the Car Loan or Buy a Cheaper Car?

2014 Lexus IS 350

Temptation is a seductress we all must face in our lives.

Rarely is she more powerful than the moment we step foot in a car dealership. When surrounded by shiny sheet metal and the smell of new interiors, the part of our brains responsible for good financial judgment suddenly decides to go party in the Bahamas rather than provide us with good sense in the face of temptation.

That’s why, when you step foot into a Toyota dealership to look at a base Corolla, you spot the Lexus sign across the street and wonder, “What if? How bad could the monthly payment be?”

These days, car payments are getting easier to handle because of longer loan terms. But is falling into temptation’s grip a bad thing?

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What’s Your Ideal Second Car?

1975 Ford F-150

Some people have their main home and a summer home.

Others have their main dog, like a German shepherd, and a spare, auxiliary dog, such as a Shih Tzu.

Plenty of these people also have at least two cars. They keep one vehicle as a daily commuter or kid-hauler and a second for either work or pleasure. Who wants to drive their 4-wheeling, dump-going pickup to the office every day?

For those fortunate enough to consider ownership of a second car, whether due to a midlife crisis, a need for work around the neighborhood or just to transport the German shepherd, below are some suggestions just for you.

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The Best Used Car… Ever?

2013 BMW M5

The greatest super-sedan of all time.

A beast hidden behind 4 doors.

Ferocious, yet practical.

A supercar in disguise.

I could go on in ways to describe the BMW M5, which is not only one of the greatest cars ever produced, but also one of the best, if not the very best, used car money can buy.

Says who? Well, my opinion might count for something, but also check out the reviews at CarGurus. The M5 has consistent 5-star ratings from owners, regardless of model year. Want one of the most satisfying and exhilarating driving experiences out there? Look for an M5, and keep reading for some of the differences in model years.

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Do You Drive a Humble Car?

Humble? Sure, but some standards

Humble? Sure, by some standards

Last weekend in Seattle I saw an Aston Martin V8 Vantage, a Bentley Continental Flying Spur, a Maserati GranTurismo, a Lamborghini Gallardo and a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. All on the same day.

These are cars that scream for attention. People don’t drive these cars because they appreciate the ease of transporting themselves from one point to another. These cars are driven because they invoke some kind of primal response and demand that passers by take notice.

These cars are not humble.

These cars are loud. They are obnoxious. They are fast, over-the-top playthings for adults with money to burn.

These are cars the pope would advise against.

Depending on who you are, that will either make you want them more, or cause you to wonder what kind of car the pope might approve.

Yes, car culture has reached the point where the pope himself has weighed in, and he has one word of advice:

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What Car Would You Recommend to Someone Who Doesn’t Want One?

2011 European Toyota Yaris

Believe it or not, not everyone likes cars.

I know, it’s crazy, but some people put up with vehicles only because they simply must transport themselves from one point to another. Not only that, there are even people who don’t own a car at all! You probably even know someone like that. He or she most likely swears by public transportation and refuses to own an automobile because it is “unnecessary” or “wasteful.”

Something must be done.

Popular Science posted a story about cars for people who hate cars, but that one focuses on futuristic concepts that are more iPhone or sound system than car. That’s all well and good, and young tech-focused people will surely love those cars, but what about cars for people who have sworn off the concept of owning a car? Is there anything out there for them?

Why yes. Yes, there is.

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When the Lease Temptation Finally Takes Over

2012 Subaru Legacy sedan

“Son, don’t ever lease a car. It’s never a smart decision. You’ll lose money, and you’ll never be able to break the cycle once you start. You’ll have a car payment forever.”

That was my dad’s advice to me ever since he started giving me car advice. That and, “Never buy a Chrysler. Unless you want the engine to blow up.”

Fast-forward a couple decades, and I find out my parents got a new car, a 2012 Subaru Legacy. Then the kicker: “We got a really low lease payment on it,” my dad said.

I just about blew some perfectly good rum and Coke right out my nose.

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