2017: The Year the Future Arrives

Think back five years.

The year was 2012. It wasn’t that long ago, but in terms of advancements in the auto industry, it was an eternity. After doing a quick Google search for “car trends 2012,” I found a quaint little article from January of that year in the USA Today with the headline “Five auto trends that will shake up 2012.”

The article mentioned things like stop/start engine technology, multiple air bags, smaller gas-powered engines, and simple infotainment controls.

Earth-shattering stuff, right?

Compare that list to what to expect for 2017 and you’d think we jumped ahead 20 years, not just five. Here’s where we are now. Continue reading >>>

What to Buy: A Base Premium Brand or a Loaded Non-Premium Brand?


New-car shoppers continually debate between buying a fully loaded economy vehicle or a base-trim premium car.

When buyers realize that $40,000 can either buy a Kia or a Volvo, some interesting comparisons arise. Is it better to get a lower-end brand with the latest high-end features or a luxury brand that’s missing some desirable options?

For the sake of comparison, I spent the weekend shopping for two vehicles: a 2016 Volvo XC90 T5 FWD Momentum and a 2017 Kia Sorento Limited V6.

The base price of the Volvo is $2,450 more than that of the loaded Kia. Is the extra cost worth it?

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How to Get the Best Deal on a New Car

2015 Honda CR-V

The world where new car dealers compete for your business is a place only the savviest buyers know exists. With just a few clicks of your keyboard, you could be well on your way to having new car dealers deliver you their best deals before even setting foot on a lot.

After all, according to a Time.com article, 75 percent of new car buyers, if given the opportunity, would rather do the entire process online. Let’s help you accomplish that.

The absolute first step you must take is researching the exact vehicle you want. You’re not going to get the best price on a Honda CR-V, the car we’re going to use to highlight the shopping process. Sure, it’s an extremely popular car, but that doesn’t mean deals don’t exist. Go online and build your vehicle. That will make you realize the car you want’s starting price and how expensive options will be.

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Test-Driving a New Car? Don’t Do These Five Things

test drive the vehicle you plan to buy

Test drives aren’t as fun as they used to be.

In the past, a buyer would find a car he or she liked, request to take it for a drive, and have the salesman throw the keys and say, “Enjoy!”

When I was shopping for a 2004 Jaguar X-Type in late 2003 (don’t laugh, it was a cool car back then), the salesman gave me the car for an afternoon with the only condition being that I have it back by closing. I did, and I ended up making a purchase a few months later.

I don’t think the odds of that happening today are very good. That’s a shame, because a long drive provides ample time to get a true feel for the car. Today’s 15-minute drives tend to not be as comprehensive as they should be.

Next time you take a test drive, make sure you maximize the value of your time in the car by following this advice.

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Here Comes the 20-Year, 200,000-Mile Warranty

200,000-mile warranty

I remember the day the world changed.

We tend to remember exactly where we were when momentous events mark a distinct “before” and “after” in our lives.

In this particular case, many years ago I was watching television, casually unaware my world would change with the very next advertisement.

It was an ad from Hyundai, the laughable Korean car company, promoting a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty.

“How could this be?” I thought, “Cars aren’t even supposed to last much past 100,000 miles.”

Of course, today we all know differently, as cars routinely pass that mark and even double it.

The 100,000-mile warranty has become standard fare for Hyundai and Kia and even inspired General Motors and Chrysler to add (and then revoke) 100,000-mile warranties.

Now there’s another warranty on the market that might keep pace with the life of current vehicles: the 20-year, 200,000-mile warranty.

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How to Get the Dealer’s Secret Price

car dealership

A car dealer’s secret price sounds mysterious, right?

As I partake in my daily adventures on this vast ocean of online sensory overload known as the Internet, I see a lot of ads promising to reveal the secret to obtaining access to the “secret” price of dealers.

The idea of a “secret price” that dealers hold in a vault and disperse to only a lucky few is a complete myth. True, there’s an invoice price that usually serves as the Holy Grail of car shoppers, but even that can be deceiving due to manufacturer holdbacks and other factors.

So how do you become a savvy new-car shopper and get the best possible price?

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GM’s Solution to Recall: Just Buy a New Car

2014 Buick Regal

Sorry for the trouble. Buy one of these as compensation!

Let’s say you bought a car only to find out later it has a defect that could potentially kill you.

Would your first response be heading to your nearest dealer and buying a new version of the same brand to replace your defective car?

Of course not. That’s a silly question, right? Most people would simply want the car fixed, if possible. Others might have a more extreme response and sue the carmaker in question and vow to never own said brand again.

General Motors is still in the middle of its ignition recall and has made those affected by it a very strange offer.

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