Here Are the Slowest Depreciating Cars

2017 Toyota Tacoma

One of the biggest arguments against buying a new car is the fact that it becomes a used car as soon as you sign on the dotted line at the dealership.

So, in essence, new car buyers pay for the right to be the first owner of a used car. That right comes at a cost, as a car generally depreciates at a rate of 15-20 percent per year for the first three years.

Buy a $35,000 car and, just a few seconds later, it’s worth significantly less than what you just paid. That’s not the case with every new model, but the vast majority experience a significant decrease in value.

What cars can you purchase to keep as much value as possible? Continue reading >>>

Dependable Drives: Ten 2014s Worth a Look

2014 Ford F-150

As anyone who’s shopped for a used car knows, cars retain value inconsistently. In this era of Big Data, armies of statisticians are gathering and analyzing all sorts of car numbers by maker, body style, price, location, model, and so on to see what we can learn. J.D. Power recently published its 2017 Vehicle Dependability Study, which rates both makers and models, and it shows that Lexus and Porsche had the fewest reported problems per 2014-model-year vehicle, followed by Toyota, Buick, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, and BMW.

Each year J.D. Power polls owners of 3-year-old cars to determine the number of problems they experienced during the previous 12 months, then ranks each maker and model by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles. Last year we built a list of Reliable Rides featuring 10 cars that performed well in studies based on model years 2010 through 2013, and this year we’re going to take a look at some new winners and returning champs as well as some cars that have made important changes since 2014. Continue reading >>>

Re-Thinking the Oscars: 5 Films That Deserved to Win “Best Automobile”

Jurassic Park Jeep Wrangler - iStock

This Sunday, the 89th Academy Awards will honor the actors, actresses, directors, and other critical contributors to the films of the past year. The Oscars are all about rewarding the many artists responsible for the year’s best movies—whether their craft be acting, direction, costume design, music, or any other facet of filmmaking. But, unfortunately, the Academy consistently forgets one important detail:

The cars. Continue reading >>>

Back to the Well: When Automakers Reuse Brand Names

Eclipse Cross

Inspiration often comes from within. For automakers, it can even come from within their own model lineups. Mitsubishi recently announced the unveiling of an all-new Mitsubishi Eclipse…crossover. That’s right, Mitsubishi isn’t resurrecting the Eclipse you knew and loved from the ‘90s, but rather attaching the brand to the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, a compact crossover aimed to address a market not captured by the midsize Mitsubishi Outlander. The original Eclipse was produced for 22 years—vailable in its Eclipse Spyder convertible variant for 15 of those—before being discontinued in 2012 due to a shifting focus at Mitsubishi. Continue reading >>>

What to Look For in a Winter Vehicle

2017 Subaru Outback - Photo by Matt Smith

Winter may have taken its sweet time arriving in the Northeast, but after this past weekend, our city of Boston is a certifiable wonderland. The storms came just in time, too, as CarGurus headed down to Bugsy Lawlor’s headquarters for the annual New England Motor Press Association’s Winter Vehicle Testing. Last year, we made do with dry, frozen ground to judge the 2016 Winter Car of the Year, but after a winter storm strong enough to convince Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to declare a snow emergency, we were able to enjoy fresh snow on our favorite trail.

But what exactly should you be looking for in a winter vehicle? If television commercials are to be trusted, the only winter cars worth their salt are those capable of 4-wheel drifts down the back bowls of Colorado’s highest peaks. Blasting through fresh snow, rather than traveling up the I-95 corridor, may make for more attractive marketing materials, but most folks in the market for a winter vehicle are more interested in one that can reliably take them to work during the week and to the mountains on the weekend. If you’re looking for a car primarily to handle winter roads, there are a few details worth your attention. Continue reading >>>

Trump’s Tariff: The Ford Focus Isn’t the Only Car Made in Mexico

2016 Ford Focus

President Trump has been in office for over a week now, and his efforts to motivate automakers to manufacture vehicles in the U.S. have so far been met with controversy and mixed results. There’s been a substantial amount of press over Ford’s decision to cancel a $1.6 billion assembly plant in Mexico, while still moving small-car production (notably, the Ford Focus) to Ford’s existing Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly plant. The Ford Focus has been in the spotlight, but it’s worth noting that there are many more models that could be affected by Trump’s theoretical 35% tariff. In fact, the automotive industry in Mexico has had a long and stable history. Continue reading >>>

When Used Cars Come With Extra Surprises

2014_volkswagen_jetta

This is a true story: A friend had purchased a new-to-her Honda CR-V. She was instantly in love with the car, a spotless low-mileage white 2006 model. After a few days of driving, however, she started to notice a peculiar smell. The odor worsened over the coming days until it became so offensive in the summer heat that she had to drive with the windows down.

She scoured the car for the source of the smell with no luck until, one day, she discovered a rotting tuna sandwich under the driver’s seat.

It’s not uncommon to find forgotten possessions in used cars, but they normally amount to some loose change or stray crayons.

A man in Kentucky, though, may have won the award for the most interesting find yet. Continue reading >>>

What’s Your Most Trusted Car?

subaru-legacy-2014

There were a few brief moments yesterday afternoon when I wondered if today’s blog post would get written or if I’d spend the night huddled in a dark, frozen, and snowy forest. Three hours earlier, we loaded our Subaru with snowshoeing equipment and drove up to the base of our local mountain. My wife and I embarked on a trail that we thought was a quick 2-mile loop.

Three miles later we realized we didn’t recognize our surroundings when the trail disappeared into a blanket of freshly fallen snow. We panicked a little because we knew we had about 45 minutes of sunlight left and at least three miles of deep snow to trudge through in unfamiliar forest if we turned back.

Luckily we found a posted trail map and learned that we were on the verge of starting an 8-mile loop and turning around gave us our best shot of getting out of the forest before nightfall.

Obviously we made it home to the comfort of my laptop and a warm fire, but not before the thoughts of, “We could actually get lost out here,” started echoing through my head.

Continue reading >>>

Subaru Oil Consumption: There’s a Lawsuit for That

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

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.

Continue reading >>>