Are Electric Vehicles as Popular as Pickups?

About one in seven American drivers say their next new vehicle purchase will be a pickup. There’s nothing surprising in that statement, right? I mean trucks are the best-selling vehicles in America. We can’t get enough of the big, powerful, fuel-draining mega-machines.

So would it surprise you to learn that the same number of people say the next new vehicle they’ll take home will be electric?

True story, folks. Sales of electric cars are surging like the power coming back on after a lightning storm.

What gives? 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 >>>

And the Least Satisfying Car in America Is…

2016-acura-ilx-first-drive-review-car-and-driver-photo-655675-s-original

One of the strongest pieces of advice my dad ever gave me is to never, ever, buy a Chrysler. I was just a child when he told me, but the advice has stuck. His dissatisfaction with Chrysler began with the new Le Baron he bought in the 1980s, which was bad enough to skew his opinion of the automaker to this day. That’s roughly 30 years of disdain from a bad experience with one car.

I say this to illustrate the importance of vehicle satisfaction to automakers. A happy customer can mean a lifetime of car purchases while an unhappy one can negatively impact generations of car buyers.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at some results from Consumer Reports‘ annual vehicle satisfaction survey.

Continue reading >>>

Is Subaru Flying Too Close to the Sun?

XV Crosstrek Zoom

In Greek mythology, Icarus attempted to flee the Island of Crete using wings made of feathers and wax. Despite Daedalus’s warnings, Icarus flew higher and higher until the heat of the sun melted the wax binding his wings, and he fell from the sky. The story warns against hubris, arrogance, and how care and precaution remain paramount when moving onward and upward. Thousands of years after the story of Icarus was first told, is Subaru now threatening to fly too high?

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Buick: America’s Shining Star for Reliability?

Buick Cascada by Mike Perkins

Since they began flooding the U.S. market in the mid-1970s, Japanese cars have always enjoyed a reputation for reliability American companies could seem to only covet. So, naturally, it comes as no surprise that Lexus and Toyota continue their best Jimmie Johnson and Sebastian Vettel impressions, respectively landing the top two spots of Consumer Reports’ Annual Brand Reliability Survey for the 4th straight year. Instead, this year shoppers will need to scroll down to the 3rd place finisher if they’re looking for a shock. Buick, of all brands, has brought an American nameplate to Consumer Reports’ podium for the first time in over three decades. Continue reading >>>

Jeep Wrangler: Great Vehicle, Bad Value, or Both?

2015_jeep_wrangler

We here at The CarGurus Blog give a lot of love to the Jeep Wrangler. The classic off-roader has garnered a lot of mentions on these pages, with rarely anything negative being said.

Yes, we’ve wished for better fuel economy and better interior quality over the years, but the Wrangler is one of the vehicles you just don’t mess with. It has its shortcomings, like all cars, but they are all overlooked and accepted as quirks by the most fervent of fans.

One influential website, though, has committed an act of blasphemy and included the Wrangler on a list that no buyer wants to see a potential car on: The Worst Values on the Market.

Continue reading >>>

New Impala Nothing Like the Old Ones

2014 Chevrolet Impala

I’ve always called it the brown paper bag of vehicles.

A family friend had one when I was younger, and I rented one when I was a young adult on a business trip. Those two experiences were enough to turn me off from the Chevrolet Impala ever since. This was a car that could go unnoticed in traffic and blend in like a brown paper bag in a bag full of other brown paper bags.

The Impala was uninspired, lacked any sort of intriguing design elements whatsoever and drove like a giant sheet of plywood.

So you can imagine my surprise, walking to the mailboxes at my apartment complex, when a car’s rear haunches caught my eye before revealing a word I would never have expected to see emblemized on the rear: Impala.

Whoa.

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Can We Still Believe Window-Sticker MPG Numbers?

Window stickers

Really?

There’s a war among automakers, and the casualties are beginning to pile up.

It’s a war to claim the best miles-per-gallon figures in a market where consumers are heavily influenced by the numbers on the window sticker or touted in TV commercials.

To get the attention of more buyers, and to get them to hand over their hard-earned money, would automakers be willing to inflate those numbers? We certainly won’t accuse anyone of misleading the public on purpose, but two automakers in the last month have been hit with claims that their stated MPG numbers are higher than actual results.

Continue reading >>>

Most Satisfying New Car In All the Land: Chevy Volt!

2013 Chevrolet Volt

The very satisfying Chevy Volt

The Chevrolet Volt: Electric without the anxiety.

If I sat on the marketing team for the Volt, that’s a slogan I might throw out there for consideration. While it’s possible to drive the Volt for months on end on electric power only, thus never needing to stop at a gas station, the car provides the option of driving from Boston to Seattle if the owner so chooses. That’s because the Volt’s genius powertrain allows for all-electric trips of roughly 40 miles or can use its small gas engine to extend range all the way to… well… Seattle.

While the car costs way too much (in my humble opinion), has suffered from a terrible marketing campaign and has been at the center of a heated political debate, owners seem to love the experience of the Volt and would buy one all over again. Which is more than Nissan can claim about its fuel-efficient Versa.

Continue reading >>>

Cars Coming Soon: Jaguar XFR-S, the Cure for the Common AMG

Jaguar XFR-S

If the word “seductive” could be applied to just one car brand, it would be Jaguar. The sultry curves of a Jag are like no other car on Earth. Add in the ferocious power harbored behind the headlights, and it’s hard not to bend to the Jag’s sweet call.

Like any seductress, though, there are potential drawbacks, the biggest being the question of long-term reliability.

With the new Jaguar XFR-S, Jag hopes to take on the likes of the Audi RS 6 (unavailable in the U.S.), Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and BMW M5.

As great as the XFR-S might be, can it seduce buyers way from the competition?

Continue reading >>>