Aston Martin Cygnet: A Good Used Deal?

Aston Martin Cygnet

The Aston Martin Cygnet is proof that even elite carmakers make horrible mistakes. Aston builds the most beautifully seductive cars in the world, which embody the perfect balance between luxury, power and grace. The cars are flawless in design and exquisite in execution.

To own an Aston tells the world that you appreciate, and can afford, the best material possessions life has to offer. Even used Aston Martins command hefty sums and remain aspirational symbols of wealth and excess.

Well, all but the Cygnet, anyway. Drivers of a Cygnet look more like they’re driving a giant toenail than an elite British supercar.

It seems the decision-makers at Aston Martin have finally come to their senses, though, because the Cygnet is about to sing its swan song.

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The Cars of Fall

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Photo courtesy of The Dallas Morning News

We are now 3 weeks into the NFL season, and that can mean only one thing: Tom Brady and the Patriots are in first place. All seriousness aside, it is once again that special time of year when America turns its attention to the champions of the gridiron. Here in Pats Country (as in every other corner of this great, football-loving nation), that means breaking out the grills and coolers and setting up a tailgate outside your favorite team’s stadium.

While there are a multitude of vehicles capable of helping you entertain thousands of your closest friends, we wanted to find out which are the best. After all, what fun is tailgating in the shadows of the Lombardi Trophy (sorry, Buffalo fans) if that involves strapping a grill to your roof, only to get to the stadium and have to stand and cook in the rain, all while being forced to listen to cracked and broken rock music blasting from the 20-year-old boombox the guy parked next to you brought along.

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Lost Keys or Bus: The Evil of Two Lessers

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Due to a series of events that would take far too long to explain here, I found myself yesterday sans car keys.

Of course, I didn’t realize it until I had to leave and was slapped in the face by the unfortunate realization that I and my keys weren’t even in the same state. After a brief moment of panic and some creative rescheduling, I changed my day from one of business meetings and work to one of vacuuming, laundry and pink-and-white animal cookies.

I still had one very important downtown meeting, though, which meant I had only one choice.

The city bus.

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What’s the New Car You Should’ve Purchased?

1994 Porsche 911

The one good car built in 1994?

If you could have purchased any new car the year you got your driver’s license, what would it have been?

I got my license in 1994, which wasn’t exactly a prime year for new automobiles. Rather than buying new, I found myself a 1984 Toyota pickup and proudly imagined myself as Marty McFly triumphantly returning from the future.

Which is kind of funny, because these days I spend a lot of time reminiscing about the past. Of course, as the old cliche goes, hindsight is 20/20, but it’s still fun to imagine what new car could’ve been had as a brand new driver.

Unless you got your license in ’94, because there was nothing good then. Keep reading to see what I mean.

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Jaguar Admits Past Mistake, Plans for Successful Future

2008 Jaguar X-Type

Seeing your personal car attacked in the press never feels good. Seeing your personal car attacked by the automaker that built it feels even less good.

Few cars have been derided like the 2002-2008 Jaguar X-Type. Originally conceived to take on the BMW 3 Series, the small Jag failed, quite miserably, to even give the Bimmer a run for its money. So, yes, as a BMW-killer, the car failed. However, as a small, good-looking, fun and reliable sedan, the X-Type hit the nail on the head.

It seems, though, that even Jaguar is embarrassed by the X-Type and has dismissed the car as a mistake.

Ouch.

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2014 Honda Accord Hybrid: Sophisticated Mediocrity

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

Nothing illustrates how far hybrid technology has come in the last decade better than the Honda Accord.

Built from 2004-2006, the first Accord Hybrid achieved up to 33 miles per gallon and cost just over $30,000 new. It’s combined EPA rating of 28 mpg was only slightly better than a 4-cylinder gas-only Accord’s, which scored a 24 mpg combined rating and got up to 31 mpg on the highway.

Obviously, the equation didn’t work out, and people shied away from the hybrid. I remember driving one back in 2004 and noticing the split-second pause when the engine transitioned between gas and electric power. Needless to say, it wasn’t an impressive car.

Can the 2014 Accord Hybrid make up for its predecessor’s follies?

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A Tale of Two Supras

1981 Celica Supra

The choice is simple: a Toyota Celica Supra or a Toyota Supra.

On the surface it looks like a choice between two equals, like choosing between Coke in a can or Coke in a bottle. Sure, the packaging’s a little different, but the product is the same. Right?

The Supra has been elevated to cult-like status, fueled by rumors of the comeback of a modern version. The Celica Supra, though, was a different beast than the Supra it became.

One was a fun and powerful sports car, the other was an understated luxurious small car. Either would be a great used find, but I have one I’d much prefer to own.

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Could GM Build a Better Tesla?

Tesla Model S

The article posted at CNN Money made me chuckle.

It opened with these lines, which should make you laugh, too:

GM says it wants to develop a car that can match Tesla’s 200-mile range for less than half the price.

The goal was laid-out Monday as the company announced a $20 million investment in its battery lab in Warren, Mich. But the company didn’t give a specific time frame for achieving it.

GM’s car would go 200 miles between charges and cost $30,000.

It seems as though that’s exactly what the Volt was supposed to do… which is only where the humor begins.

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Smart Ways to Ease Traffic Congestion

smallest car in the world

Yesterday I brought up the topic of congestion in cities and Scotland’s proposal to ban gas-powered vehicles in city centers.

I don’t meant to dwell on a topic that remains decades away, but it brings up some interesting questions about the problems of transportation in busy areas. A couple of commenters on that post got me wondering if the solution to urban congestion lies in bigger roads, smaller cars, or no cars at all.

The implications of whatever happens will directly influence the cars we buy in the future. Maybe that great bargain on a used Suburban won’t be as great when it can’t be driven to the office parking garage downtown.

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Should Cars Be Banned in Downtown Areas?

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How does the future of driving look to you?

More specifically, how does the future of driving in big cities look to you? In the coming years and decades, there’s no question that the face of driving in large, congested cities will change. The clogged streets of New York City and the infamous standstills of Los Angeles will most likely not look the way they do today.

As small city cars begin to infiltrate the roads and public transportation options persuade people away from vehicles, it’s pretty certain that city driving will change over the years.

One country, in fact, wants to ban gas-powered cars from cities altogether.

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