Congratulations everyone, we’ve done it. The school year is under way, Halloween is long past, and we all made it through Thanksgiving and Black Friday with minimal bodily harm. Welcome to the holiday season. It wouldn’t be December without strings of Christmas lights, plenty of holiday cheer, and a few wish lists. We at CarGurus figured we’d get in the act, too, but rather than simply running through the latest sports cars or the best automotive-related gifts (those may come later), we thought we’d get into the eggnog and think outside the box a little. After all, why settle for something on the market when there’s a whole world of dream cars to imagine?
Are electric cars being force-fed to an unwilling American public?
Through the first 11 months of 2016, Americans have purchased about 130,000 electric vehicles. That sounds pretty impressive, until you compare that to the nearly 16 million cars sold in the U.S. so far this year.
While it feels like electric cars are gaining traction here, the truth is that they account for only a tiny fraction of total sales and hold a minuscule portion of market share.
So why are automakers continually announcing plans for new electric cars and touting them as the future of American transportation?
Because California says so.
Now is the best time to buy a car!
That’s a marketing phrase that, oddly enough, car dealers tend to use throughout the year. It seems like it gets blasted over TV and radio waves on a daily basis.
From a car dealer’s perspective, the best time to buy a car is always today. Consumers, though, may become numb to that message and write it off simply because they hear it so often. So when we write a blog that says now may be the best time to buy a car, we get that you may not pay too much attention.
But it’s true. If you’re in the market for a new car, now might be the best time of the year to buy.
Two weeks ago, we wondered if Subaru is flying too close to the sun. Of course, that was in reference to the company’s reliability problems that are stemming from its growth in the United States.
One of those problems is excessive oil consumption in the 2011-2014 Forester, 2013 Legacy, 2013 Outback, 2012-2013 Impreza, and 2013 XV Crosstrek. The offending motors are the 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter 4-cylinder mills.
This is a serious problem that can lead to engine failure, but has quietly escaped the wrath of the mainstream media. The good news is that Subaru has taken steps to make sure its customers are well taken care of.
I know, because I’m one of them.
Concerns about America’s future have run rampant since the night of November 8th, 2016. Suddenly, we’ve come to see our own social-media-driven bubbles, the emergence and impact of fake news, and how easy it is to accept what we already believe while adopting blinders for anything else. Questions have arisen regarding how the American government will amend laws surrounding health care, taxation, and even the auto industry.
Do a Google search for “vegan car” and the first result is likely to involve Tesla. The company is the first luxury automaker to offer a 100 percent animal-free vehicle. That, of course, means no leather seats, no leather steering wheel, no leather gear shifter, and no animal products in the glue that holds everything together.
Luxury cars have become synonymous with leather, but for people who are compassionate about the treatment of animals, the idea of leather can be repulsive. It’s a growing community of folks but the world’s most prominent automakers have yet to conform to their wishes and build cars that are truly animal-free.
One writer spent at least four months trying to sort out which cars use animal products and which don’t. His results are surprising because so few vehicles are completely free of animal skins or byproducts.
How likely is that to change?
Like many other Americans yesterday, my family spent a good portion of time in the car traveling between family gatherings.
Our travels were uneventful, aside from the occasional debate about what song to play. (One kid wanted Charlie Puth while another voted for Nirvana and yet another was set on Tribe Society. Thank goodness for affordable iPods.)
As the driver, I naturally kept my hands off my phone. From the high throne of my Land Cruiser, though, I could see neighboring drivers with faces buried in the soft glow of their smartphones.
Distracted driving is a major problem, and now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hopes to take another step to do something about it.
The NHTSA has released voluntary guidelines to shut down apps on phones while a person is sitting behind the steering wheel.
Remember when Tesla was just a small startup company with a big dream?
Very few people saw the potential for electric cars. GM had killed its original electric project, the EV1, and batteries were seen as an inefficient alternative to plentiful gasoline.
The Tesla Roadster was built for a very small niche of people who wanted the novelty of an electric sports car.
Compare the Tesla of 2009 with the Tesla of 2016, and it’s astonishing to see the growth of the company and the widespread acceptance of its automobiles.
Not only has Tesla represented the evolution toward electricity, it has spurred a revolution in automotive engineering.
As a company based in New England, CarGurus understands that traveling at this time of year can quickly become perilous, and having the right vehicle for winter can make a world of difference. We’ve already seen our first batch of snow and expect more to arrive shortly. Of course, inclement weather can unfortunately coincide with some of the busiest travel times of the year. With the amount of traffic you’re likely to experience this weekend, and with the very real possibility of icy road conditions, we implore you to be proactive this winter and drive a vehicle that can perform well in less-than-ideal conditions. That’s the best choice for you and for other drivers on the road.
Chevrolet’s monopoly on the large SUV industry might be threatened by a few up-and-coming newcomers.
We recently covered the sales explosion of full-size SUVs that’s happening over at GM. Obviously other automakers would love to tap into some of that success, but existing alternatives, such as the Toyota Sequoia and Nissan Armada, don’t have the same rabid following (or price discounts) as the GM offerings.
A couple of new vehicles will hit the market soon, but can they make a dent in the General’s market share?