Has Any Automaker Improved Faster Than Hyundai?

Spotting these two old friends in a parking lot over the weekend was a stark reminder of just how far Hyundai has come. On the left is a perfect example of what many of us picture when we picture a Hyundai. On the right is the truth of what Hyundai has become.

Now that the South Korean automaker is just about on par with the likes of Honda and Toyota in terms of design and price, it’s easy to forget about Hyundai’s humble beginnings and awkward growing pains.

Today’s Hyundai vehicles are sleek, stylish, reliable, and comfortable. They routinely turn heads and evoke comments of, “That’s a Hyundai?” Unfortunately, an aversion to the growing price tags are a less-desirable first response for some buyers who haven’t shopped the brand in a decade or two.

Hyundai is the seventh best selling automaker in America. Honda is number five. It’s pretty clear that, regardless of the slowly increasing price, Americans have embraced the once-lowly automaker and enabled it to blossom into a household name. Just how far has Hyundai come? Continue reading >>>

Bad News for Finance Company Means Good Deals on Used Cars

Following financial news is about as invigorating as watching cantaloupe ripen, which is why the vast majority of us don’t include it as a regular pastime.

Financial developments, though, can have lasting impacts on our lives and affect the ease with which we buy houses, cars, and other items that typically require financing. Trends in the automotive finance industry can also provide a glimpse into the future of car prices and help us find the perfect timing for purchasing a new or used car.

With that in mind, we have some interesting news to share from Ally Financial, formerly GMAC, that might be good news for used-car shoppers who love to take home a great deal.

The news is not so great if you’re an automaker, a dealership, or the CEO of Ally. Continue reading >>>

Because We Need Another 3-Row SUV: Here Comes the Subaru Ascent

2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca

The list of the world’s ugliest cars gained a new member with the 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca. Designed to inspire thoughts of the company’s aircraft heritage, the front end of the B9 ended up looking, at best, awkward and quirky.

At worst it’s the feature that kept buyers from driving the B9 Tribeca off the lot. Well, that and the fact that it offered a cramped interior and got less-than-stellar fuel economy.

In 2008 Subaru dropped the “B9” from the name and revised the grille, but it was still the same car, albeit with what looked like a transplanted front end from a Chrysler Aspen.

In short, the Tribeca had few redeeming qualities, and it was discontinued in 2014.

Now Subaru wants to try its hand at a 3-row crossover again, and this time it should get the formula just right. Continue reading >>>

Chevy Bolt vs. Hyundai Ioniq: Which Has a Brighter Future?

Flexibility is a benefit enjoyed often by small companies, but rarely by large ones. Like a small boat, businesses still in early stages can maneuver quickly; they can alter business plans, tweak messaging, and otherwise pivot without having to worry about re-orienting a large workforce or undermining the public’s understanding of the brand. By contrast, large businesses operate more similarly to a container ship. Every move requires extensive planning, communication, and extreme foresight. Fine-tuning a product can take months, and changing direction entirely can take years. Continue reading >>>

Lexus or Jaguar: Rakish Design Versus Subdued Elegance

Lexus RX 450h

Allow me to take you back in time. Let’s go to the early 1990s and stroll right on up to 2015 or so.

I want us to take a look at luxury cars during our journey. Specifically, let’s focus on Jaguar and Lexus.

Lexus was still new to America after being introduced in 1989 with the LS 400 sedan. The company took pride in creating a luxury car that was high in comfort while possessing a certain understated elegance.

Lexus appealed to people with similar qualities. Conservative older folks flocked to Lexus because it provided the reliability and unassuming looks of Toyota with the comfort and interior class of traditional German luxury brands.

Other luxury makers, including BMW and Jaguar, touted performance and unique design as selling points. Lexus buyers wanted none of that and enjoyed decades of low-profile luxury motoring.

Those days are gone. Continue reading >>>

Early Favorites: Which 2017 Will You Test Drive?

2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlmited

Winter Storm Stella, microwave cameras, and St. Patrick dominated the news this week, but we’re more interested in the 2017 model year and which new cars shoppers want to see themselves driving. We’ve published 37 Test Drive Reviews of 2017 vehicles so far, and we’re going to take a look at those vehicles that have garnered the most inquiries from CarGurus shoppers. We haven’t spent enough time with a bunch of big sellers to review them yet, so we suspect our end-of-year list will look different, but we want to see which 2017s have already started generating interest. If you were buying a new car this year, do you know which 2017 you’d want to test drive first? Continue reading >>>

New or Used? The Choice Gets a Little More Clear

Every car buyer will eventually face the dilemma of buying new or used.

New-car buyers get a strong warranty, the peace of mind of knowing no one else has driven the car, and, of course, that invigorating scent that only new cars offer.

Used-car buyers save some money and know they are getting a great value on a car that’s already seen the bulk of its depreciation. Of course, there’s also the risk of hidden problems that could cost a small fortune to repair.

What’s the best way to go? There’s no right answer, but some of the latest research makes used look like a better option than ever. Continue reading >>>

What’s the Best Car Brand in America?

2017 Audi Q7

Which car brand would you say is the best on the market today?

The answer to that question will be as varied as car buyers themselves. Some people judge brand based on style, while others make it all about reliability. The customer experience will surely rank high on anybody’s list of best car brands, while a reputation for high performance or stellar fuel economy may be a priority for others.

To name a “best” brand is certainly a subjective effort. Anyone can apply a custom set of qualifiers and name their favorite brand as the best on the market.

Consumer Reports tackled the project by naming the brands that exhibit high-level performance across their lines. According to that standard, CR says Audi is the best brand available. Continue reading >>>