You’re probably aware that Japanese companies often have diverse product lines. Among other things, Sony makes televisions, speakers, and video-game consoles. Yamaha goes further, making everything from pianos to golf carts. While we recognize companies like BMW, Tesla, and Volkswagen specifically for their cars, many automakers carry on side projects, too.
Imagine driving across the country with a carload of children. Now imagine doing that twice, every year. CarGurus surveyed families to determine which cars best meet their needs, and among other findings, 1 in 3 parents reported driving his or her kids at least four hours per week. Cumulatively, that equals two round trips between Boston and San Diego per year. We’ve all lusted after a Mazda MX-5 Miata or Dodge Challenger at least once in our lives, but if kids are in the picture, the shortcomings of a sports car become readily apparent.
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Tasteless as it may sound, safety has become the hottest new trend in cars. Automakers are spending ever more dollars each year to research and design cutting-edge, best-in-class safety features. It makes sense, too. Parents shopping for cars rank safety as their top priority, and from Subaru’s camera-based EyeSight system (a $1,250 option) to Tesla’s controversial Autopilot ($2,500), we are enjoying enormously improved driver-safety technology. Of course, manufacturers are enjoying new marketing avenues for their cars, too. Even the most modestly priced examples of advanced driver-assistance options cost several hundred dollars. So what do you do if you’re not shopping for a new car but still want to make sure your current vehicle is as safe as possible? Luckily, there are a few quick and inexpensive options to consider.
We may be CarGurus, first and foremost, but that doesn’t prevent us from being proud pet owners, too. From French Bulldogs and Miniature Pinschers to Labradors and Great Danes, the dogs of CarGurus are a widely varied bunch. My own dog, Taylor, looks enough like a Labrador to keep landlords and kennels at ease, but her mix of breeds puts her solidly in the “mutt” camp. Regardless of size or breed, however, dogs are always a hit at CarGurus. Maybe that’s because dogs have such a social history with the automobile. They chase them, they hang their heads out the windows, and I don’t think I’ve ever met a dog who didn’t get a case of the wiggles every time it hears, “Want to go for a ride in the car?”
Down in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, there’s a little outpost of late 20th-century automotive culture. Accepting only cash, Hatoff’s gas and service station is known around the city for consistently providing some of the cheapest gasoline you can find. It’s hard to imagine impatient New Englanders willing to walk away from their car, ask the man behind bulletproof glass for “$20 on pump 4,” and watch as the numbers on an ancient pump slowly climb—but without fail, Stan Hatoff’s station is one of the busiest in Boston.