Let’s start here by saying that controversial doesn’t necessarily mean bad. And so when admiring some of the beauties below we urge you to not spit your tea out in disgust, but instead to admire their makers’ self-belief in bringing such unlikely creations to the market, for better or for worse.
Since 1941, Jeep has been the name brand for getting off the beaten path. The Ford Explorer may have taken the automotive glory in Spielberg’s first “Jurassic Park,” but if you pay close attention, you’ll notice that all the gas-powered vehicles on the island were good, old-fashioned Jeep Wranglers. If that’s not proof enough of a rig’s ruggedness, I don’t know what is.
The problem with the Wrangler, however, is that while it’s fantastic off road, it has never really excelled on road. Outside of the grande-size Grand Cherokee and Grand Wagoneers, Jeep has never really made a vehicle that was capable both in the mud and on the asphalt. Fast forward to 2015 and cue the all-new Jeep Renegade.
Used electric cars continue to drop in value. Willing to cut the fuel hose out of your life? It might prove less expensive to buy a used electric vehicle than its gas-powered counterpart.
The CarGurus CarValues page helped me do some research on the Instant Market Value of used electric vehicles and their gas-powered counterparts. It’s a helpful tool that helps you see the true cost of what used cars are selling for in your area in real time. (Your results may vary from mine based on geography and other fluctuations, because Instant Market Value can change as more cars get listed for sale.)
Let’s look at the Fiat 500e as an example. A 2014 model has an Instant Market Value of $13,445 for a used version with 24,000 miles on it. In this instance, a 2014 Fiat 500 in the Pop trim level will be less expensive at $11,929.
However, as the EPA’s fuel economy site points out, it will cost you $7,000 in average in fuel costs to drive the gas-powered Fiat for 5 years. The 500e has a 5-year energy cost of $2,500. It will take you only about 18 months to make up the difference. That’s probably worth it depending on how long you plan to keep the car.
All I wanted to do was take my family out to dinner and dance lessons.
Last night, though, the universe tried to tempt me with other plans. Every Tuesday night, my wife and two of my daughters head downtown for salsa lessons. We thought we’d make last night special and go to dinner first. It just so happens that the restaurant we chose is next door to a FIAT dealership.
First impression? Take my money.
Second impression? Not so much.
It died a quiet and uneventful death.
You may not know this, but Chrysler as a company no longer exists. A foreign company has overtaken the smallest of America’s Big Three automakers and erased its corporate name.
Does this mean Chrysler automobiles have disappeared with it?
Car shoppers will still have a few Chrysler vehicles to choose from, but those are limited to the 200, the 300, and the Town & Country. Chrysler Group LLC, the company that succeeded the original Chrysler Corporation that was formed in 1925, is now known as FCA US.
The change was official last year, but I think it’s fitting to take a moment and say goodbye to the company that Walter P. Chrysler founded 90 years ago.
Come on, you guys. This is it. For real.
Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, now known as Alfa Romeo, will return to the United States by the end of June. This June. As in within 4 months.
It’s okay to be skeptical, as the promise has been made, and broken, plenty of times in the last half-decade or so. This time we have the Alfa Romeo 4C to drool over, but don’t expect to walk in to your local dealer, negotiate a fair price and drive away with a new Alfa.
Why won’t it be that easy to secure a new Alfa all your own?
Let’s make FIAT American!
Remember the controversy that surrounded an Italian brand buying an American car company? When Chrysler went into bankruptcy and was gobbled up by FIAT, the question arose of whether the storied American brand would remain, well, American.
The Italian carmaker’s stake in Chrysler has grown steadily since 2009, and now FIAT CEO Sergio Marchionne wants to buy the rest and take full ownership. That means the once-American Chrysler would be fully under the control of a foreign entity that also owns Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Ferrari.
But what if the tables turned, and instead of Chrysler going foreign, FIAT comes stateside?
“What Chrysler would you buy today? What does the future hold for coming cars, and when will FIAT’s influence be noticed?”
These questions surfaced while out for a couple of pints with the guys this week. You might think we’d talk about girls and football and other exciting, enticing topics. But no, we talk about Chrysler instead.
FIAT’s ownership of Chrysler is already being felt. In fact, it might be the best thing to ever happen to the Auburn Hills company. Net income for 2012 approached $2 billion. Market share grew to over 11%. The new Dodge Dart is based on FIAT architecture. Good things are happening at Chrysler, with even more good coming. New vehicles of all kinds are on the way for all brands that now sit under FIAT’s U.S. umbrella.
Keeping to our continuing theme of small RWD sports cars, it’s with excitement that I read about a partnership between Mazda and Alfa Romeo to co-develop the next-generation MX-5 Miata.
We first heard about a potential tie-up between the Italians the Japanese back in May, and now it’s official and a deal has been signed that’ll also bring a new roadster to Alfa Romeo.
Is it safe to assume the new Alfa will be sold in the United States?
Thanks to some arguing and name-calling in Europe, used Volkswagens just went up in value by a thousand bucks in the U.S.
How can a European tiff turn into a financial incentive in the United States? Because the auto market is truly international, and when an Italian automaker wants to prove a point against a German competitor, it looks to assets in the U.S. to drive that point home.
The throwdown in question is between Chrysler/FIAT CEO Sergio Marchionne and the entire Volkswagen empire.