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Great Deals on Top Selling Vehicles

2017 Ford F-150

With the year halfway over auto manufacturers and dealers are anxious to keep sales strong through the leaner summer months so if you’ve been holding off to trade in your old vehicle this is a great time to go out shopping for a new ride. Some of America’s best-selling vehicles have some terrific incentives this month to get people to buy.

Here are 6 great new auto deals for summer:

Most Anticipated 2018 Model Year Autos

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

We are almost halfway through another year and when it comes to automobiles, the 2018 models will be arriving in local dealerships anytime within the next two to three months. That means dealers will be very anxious to make deals on any 2017 models they have on hand and it also means there are some really cool vehicles to look forward to.

Here are 6 2018 model year autos to wait for:

Best Vehicles for New Graduates

2017 Chevy Spark

It’s graduation season and high school seniors and college students alike are probably hoping for the ultimate graduation gift, a new vehicle. Finding the right vehicle means more than just getting from one place to another, the car has to be affordable in both payments and maintenance. It also needs good fuel economy and enough room to take your friends and stuff with you on the road. Fortunately, U.S.

Highlights from the New York Auto Show

2018 Buick Regal TourX

The Auto Show season might officially start in the fall with the Los Angeles Auto Show in December but there are still new arrivals to be seen when the New York Auto Show rolls around in April.

Consumer Reports Top Autos for 2017

2017 Toyota Yaris iA - Consumer Reports Top Subcompact

Reliable, safe, and satisfying – that’s what it takes to be chosen as one of Consumer Reports’ top picks for any given year. The autos need to have performed well in both track tests and extensive owner surveys. They are ranked based on scores from the road test, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety.

Here are the top picks for each category:

Best Ranked Minivans

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

If you need to regularly move a lot of people, and perhaps cargo too, you could look for a three row SUV and get a large vehicle that requires an equally large amount of gas, or you might try to look past the stereotypes and check out a minivan. Most minivans get better fuel economy than similarly sized SUVs and they can be very versatile, with advanced safety features and entertainment options. U.S.

Detroit Auto Show

2018 Kia Stinger GT

Every year in January the North American International Auto Show convenes in Detroit, showcasing all of the latest in automotive technology for this year and years to come. Porsche, Lamborghini, and Rolls-Royce all skipped the show this year and so there were fewer supercars to ogle but that doesn’t mean there weren’t standouts.

Here are 5 of the most talked about vehicles from the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.

Best Selling Vehicles of 2016

Best-Selling 2016 Ford F-Series Truck

With the year winding down and auto dealers strongly pushing incentives to finish the year strong this is a great time to shop for a new vehicle. You might even be able to get a tax deduction depending on your profession. This was a solid year for car sales and it looks like overall it will be the seventh straight year of rising sales thanks in part to extremely low finance rates. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the three top selling vehicles are trucks. The rest of the top ten is made up mostly of Toyota and Honda vehicles with the Nissan Rogue sneaking in at number 10.

Early Gift Ideas for Auto Enthusiasts

Head Up Display for Safer Driving

If you are working on gift lists for family and friends this year you might have an auto enthusiast to buy for. There are plenty of brand specific gifts you can pick up but here are a few ideas you may not have thought of from accessories for your car to services and experiences.

Fastest Selling Cars in America

2016 Ford F-150 - Best Selling Vehicle in U.S.

For the past few years car dealers and manufacturers have been reveling in strong sales due to pent up demand from the recession of 2008. Sales are beginning to slow down but some vehicles are still selling fast. So fast in fact that Bloomberg put together a list of all of the vehicles that sell faster than once every 100 seconds and 11 made the list. The Ford Escape barely missed the cut at 101 seconds.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the top three vehicles are trucks.

Not to Miss Safety Features for Your New Car

Blind Spot Detection for Safety

Most automotive experts agree that new vehicles today are safer than ever before thanks to a slew of new safety features introduced over the past several years. All cars have standard features like airbags included on even the base models but which new safety features are really worth spending more for a higher trim level or adding as part of an option package?

Here are the top 5 new safety features that you shouldn’t pass on:

Best 2016 Models to Consider Now

2016 Chrysler 200

As we head into fall car dealers are eager to make deals on outgoing 2016 model year vehicles to make room for the new 2017 model year. There are loads of deals to be had and AutoBuying101.com can help you find the best prices on any new vehicle you might desire but some of the best deals you’ll find are on vehicles that will be discontinued this year or completely redesigned for 2017.

Five 2016 Vehicles to Consider Buying Now:

Cars NOT to Buy in 2016

2016 Dodge Dart

With summer in full swing and school starting a few months from now, you might be ready to shop for a new car to take advantage of rebates and advertised specials.  There are plenty of great cars to choose from but there are also several you would do best to avoid. Thankfully, Forbes has published their annual list of “13 New Cars to Avoid for 2016”.  

Best Vehicles for Summer Road Trips

2016 Chevrolet Impala

According to AAA, the largest motoring and travel organization in the U.S., 2016 is shaping up to be the biggest year for road travel in years with over 36 million Americans projected to hit the roads this Independence Day weekend. Traditionally July 4 is also the deadliest day of the year for auto accidents, according to the IIHS. That makes it a great time to evaluate your current vehicle and look for one that is a top safety pick as well as a great overall road trip vehicle.

Here are 5 great road trip vehicles for your summer travel:

Best New Cars Coming in 2017

2017 Fiat 124 Spider

New car sales are still going strong in 2016 and dealers are offering a lot of incentives to keep it that way.  It might be hard to believe but in just a few months the first 2017 models will start rolling onto lots. Some vehicles will only have minor updates but for those that will either be all-new or totally redesigned, there is much anticipation.

Here are 7 exciting new vehicles for 2017:

Kelly Blue Book Announces Best Family Cars for 2016

2016 Honda Civic - Best Family Sedan

If you are shopping for a family car you’ve probably already started looking at the many offerings on the market and the massive amount of information available regarding safety ratings, gas mileage, cost of ownership, and other factors to determine the best value for your family.

Top “Green” Cars for March

2016 Chevrolet Volt

Every March as people get excited for St. Patrick’s Day, there is a lot of hoopla surrounding the color green. Chicago even colors their river green. Of course when it comes to green cars that generally refers to more than just the paint color. Buying a “green” car generally means purchasing a vehicle with alternative fuel sources like electric or hybrid vehicles and every year there are more models to choose from. Sometimes so many it can be hard to choose the right one.

Used Car Models to Stay Away From

2015 Chevrolet Silverado

Most people start shopping for a new vehicle by making a list of the models they like primarily based on looks or possibly recommendations from friends and family. There are also a lot of “Best of” and “Top 10” lists to help you decide which autos to shop for. Another helpful piece of information is Consumer Reports’ list of Used Cars to Avoid Buying.

Honda Civic wins 2016 North American Car of the Year

Award Winning 2016 Honda Civic

This week the winners of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards were announced at the Detroit Auto Show and the all-new 2016 Honda Civic beat out rivals from Chevrolet and Mazda to take the award for the second time. Fifty three automotive journalists from the United States and Canada considered more than fifty vehicles and rated them based on innovation, comfort, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar to narrow the field down to the three finalists for cars and three finalists for trucks. All vehicles must be new or “substantially changed” to be considered.

IIHS Announces 2016 Top Safety Picks

2016 Audi A3 - IIHS Top Safety Pick+

If you are shopping for a new auto or SUV and safety is a concern you should keep an eye out for vehicles that make the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s annual list of Top Safety Pick+ and Top Safety Picks.

Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards of 2016

2016 Honda Civic

Out of all of the car awards that are announced every year the Kelly Blue Book Awards are the ones that are geared most towards enabling consumers to get the most bang for their buck when shopping for a new automobile.  The editors at KBB.com sort through hundreds of new models to narrow the field down and pick winners in 12 different vehicle categories after a 7 week road test comparing various attributes such as how the vehicle handles, entering and exiting, parking, and operational features like the infotainment system and safety systems.  Road test evaluations were combined with pricing information, ownership costs, and consumer reviews.

VW Online Traffic Down as Sales Hold

Save on a 2015 Volkswagen Passat

Just over a month ago sales of all Volkswagen diesel vehicles came to a full stop when the EPA accused the automaker of installing “defeat-device” software on nearly 500,000 diesels with 2-liter four cylinder engines since 2009. This allowed vehicles to offer more power and fuel efficiency at the expense of meeting emissions standards.

Tesla Model X Launching This Month

2016 Tesla Model X with Falcon Wings

If you are one of the fortunate few that already reserved your Tesla Model X, you will soon have it as the much anticipated launch of the much anticipated crossover all-electric SUV is just around the corner. Tesla promises this will be the fastest, and safest compact sport utility ever.

Lexus Tops American Customer Satisfaction Index

2015 Lexus Model Lineup

Most people know about the J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction and Initial Quality surveys but the American Customer Satisfaction Index(ACSI) isn’t as well known and the results release this week aren’t positive despite especially strong auto sales over the past few years. ACSI tracks 27 nameplates and announced that in the 2015 survey 15 brands slipped in customer satisfaction, 10 held their ground, and only 2 improved.

Most Anticipated 2016 Models

2016 Acura NSX

As we enter the last full month of summer and start thinking about football and fall weather there’s another thing that’s on some folks’ minds and that is new cars. Specifically brand new or redesigned models. Every year there are dozens of “all new” models to choose from and 2016 is no different. Forbes Autos reports that there are at least 40 new and refreshed vehicles about to hit the dealers’ lots for the 2016 model year.

Acura and Toyota Ranked as Best Retained Value Winners by Edmunds

2015 Toyota Highlander

When Edmunds released the results of their 5th annual Edmunds.com Best Retained Value Awards last month Acura and Toyota owners were very pleased. The awards seek to highlight the makes and models that retain the highest residual sales values after five years as a percentage of average transaction prices when new.

Best New Vehicles for College Students

2015 GMC Terrain - Midsize SUV, IIHS Top Safety Pick

Graduation season has begun and many students will be receiving their high school diplomas and on their way to college in the fall.  Often first year students can get by without a vehicle for transportation around campus but in many so called “commuter campuses” having personal transportation is a necessity rather than merely a “want”. Of course graduation gifts and even scholarship money can go towards buying a new vehicle but it’s always nice to see recommendations for the best cars for college students and U.S.

10 Best (Looking) Cars Under $35,000

2015 Audi A3 - Affordable Beauty

Shopping for a new car can be frustrating when you have your ideal vehicle in your mind and the money in your bank account snaps you back to the reality of trying to find something that not only meets your needs but is also affordable.  Finding a care that looks great is a bonus.

Mercedes-Benz Scores 3 World Car of the Year Awards for 2015

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

One of the highlights of the New York International Auto Show every April is the announcement of the World Car of the Year Awards from the show floor.

Top Rated Convertibles for Spring 2015

2015 Audi A5 Cabriolet

Although it will likely be a few weeks before the roads are clear enough for pleasure driving and long road trips this is a good time to start thinking about shopping for a convertible. Demand will increase once the temperatures rise and the days get longer. There’s just nothing better than dropping the top on a warm day and speeding down the highway. Here are 5 of the best convertibles to consider this year.

Consumer Reports Top Picks for 2015

2015 Tesla Model S: Consumer Reports Best Overall

If you are shopping for a new car this month you should check out the latest rankings from Consumer Reports. Every year the magazine’s editors sort through hundreds of vehicle tests to bring you the top vehicles in ten categories and an overall winner.

2015 North American Car & Truck of the Year Awards

2015 North American Car of the Year Volkswagen Golf

The 2015 Auto Show Season is well under way and as always January started off with the Car and Truck of the Year Awards at the 2015 North American International Auto Show.  Many industry insiders had predicted that the 2015 Ford Mustang would win Car of the Year and were surprised when the winner was announced as the

IIHS Announces Top Safety Pick Winners for 2015

2015 Toyota Sienna - IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Minivan

Despite a record number of recalls in 2014, new cars are actually getting safer according to the IIHS. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety raised the standards for vehicles to achieve Top Safety Pick+ and 11 more vehicles made the list this year than in 2014 testing.  Last year 39 vehicles were awarded Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ and this year the number jumped to 71. A total of 33 vehicles earned the top tier ranking and 38 earned Top Safety Pick ratings.

BMW i3 Named 2015 Green Car of the Year

BMW i3 - 2015 Green Car of the Year

At the Los Angeles Auto Show yesterday the BMW i3 was named 2015 Green Car of the Year in a tight race against the diesel powered Audi A3 TDI, the Chevrolet Impala Bi-Fuel, the Honda Fit, and the VW Golf. The award has been presented by the Green Car Journal for the past ten years and this is the eleventh annual selection. To be eligible for the award, car models must be all new or have significant model year changes.

Five Ugly Autos for Halloween – and One Beauty

2014 BMW X6 - Looks Too High

Halloween is next week and because it’s on a Friday many people are upset that they don’t get an entire weekend “before” all Hollow’s Eve. A Friday night also means more people will be out which reduces the potential for candy. The good news is that all of the pumpkin patches are already open as are haunted houses and if you want to see examples of frightening aesthetics you need look no further than these five autos:

Not to be Missed Features of the 2015 Ford F150

2015 Ford F-150 Crew Cab

Ford has had the best-selling truck in America for the past 37 years and for the past 32 years the F-150 has also been the best-selling vehicle in America. Overall annual sales of the F-150 is higher than many smaller manufacturer’s sales for their whole vehicle lines. Now for 2015 the F-150 has been redesigned with a much anticipated aluminum-body construction and many other innovative features.

10 High Performance Cars for 2015

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with 650-hp

High performance sports cars and muscle cars have seen a tremendous surge in sales over the past few years and 2015 is shaping up to be a battle of horses with several manufacturers launching top-end models with monster engines capable of competing on race tracks across the country. Here is a quick look at some of the choices you will have if you are looking for a fast car this fall.

10 High Performance Cars for 2015:

5 Best Vehicles for Tailgating

Honda Odyssey Integrated Vacuum

Labor Day weekend is here and football season is underway.  NCAA games started this week and the NFL starts the regular season next weekend.  Many sports fans are content to stay home and watch the games on TV.  Others make their way to stadiums across the country to experience the games live for themselves and for die-hard fans, this is the time of year to load up the SUV, Truck, or car with all of the necessities for incredible all-day tailgate parties spanning the hours before and after game time. Of course some vehicles are better than others for this annual spectacle combining camping and barbecue.

Auto Shopping Tips to Get the Best Deal

Plan Before Going to the Auto Dealer

According to automotive research and buying site TrueCar, August is the best time of year to buy a new automobile. Based on their customer data the average transaction cost is almost six percent lower in August as it is in December when the manufacturers are heavily advertising their “end-of-year” specials. Their data also indicates that Sunday is the best day to buy and the first few days of the month offer better savings when compared to the rest of the month.

8 Cars Under $30K for Cheap Speed

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI - Speed for Less

Some drivers want a vehicle that will simply get you from point A to point B for the least amount of ownership cost and fuel. Other auto owners want a car that’s actually fun to drive with a performance tuned suspension and enough engine power to offer some zip.

Six Most Exciting New 2015 Models

All New 2015 GMC Canyon

It’s almost back-to-school time and among other things this is the time of year that auto manufacturers start rolling out the new models for next year. Most of the 2015 class will just have minor changes to the exterior and interior and possibly some technology or performance updates. A select few vehicles have been totally redesigned and are much anticipated. These are the types of vehicles people wait all year for and they should sell very quickly once they hit the lots.

Six Most Exciting New 2015 Models:

10 Fuel Efficient Autos with Solid Handling

2014 Mazda Mazda3 - Sporty and Thrifty

Even if you have a long commute and need a car that gets great fuel economy you can still find an automobile that is fun to drive without breaking the bank at the gas station.

AAA 2014 Green Car Guide – Top Autos

Tesla Model S - AAA Top Green Car

Every year AAA’s Automotive Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center reviews and ranks vehicles with high fuel economy estimates for the very detailed AAA Green Car Guide, a 140 page report detailing the results of each car involved in the study.

These are Not Your Grandfather’s Station Wagons

2014 Acura TSX Sport Wagon

For many people the mere mention of a station wagon brings to mind images of ugly, wood-covered boats on wheels straight out of the 70s and movies like National Lampoon’s Vacation. Modern station wagons are much more like crossovers and you won’t find any with wood panels. Station wagons today feature options like all-wheel-drive and sporty styling along with improved fuel economy and entertainment packages.

The 10 Best SUVs for Carrying Passengers and Cargo

2014 Chevy Suburban - Biggest SUV Available

The recent surge in crossover SUVs has been a boon to fuel economy and great for everyday commuting but what happens when you have a large family, or a lot of friends, and want to go somewhere without caravanning? If your summer travel plans include driving somewhere with 6 to 8 passengers you should be looking at SUVs with 3 row seating. A minivan might also do the trick provided you don’t also want to bring along a trailer with a boat, personal watercraft, or ATV. Towing capacity on minivans is pretty low.

Here are 10 Large SUVs ranked by size:

J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Survey Standouts for 2014

2014 Chevy Malibu

Every year J.D. Power and Associates surveys over 85,000 auto owners after the first 90 days of ownership to determine the number of problems in various categories “per 100 vehicles”. For the second year in a row quality has dipped as measured by the number of complaints. J.D. Power analysts attribute this dip in the survey results to the rise in high tech features being added to new cars. Touch screens and phone connections can be complicated and frustrating for many new car owners and this has led to lower satisfaction levels. If you are shopping for a new car this list is a great place to start finding out which autos owners are the most happy with for the 2014 model year.

The Safest Autos and Crossovers for 2014

Volvo XC60 - Top Safety Pick

In light of the record number of autos recalled already this year auto safety should be high on the list of considerations when shopping for a new vehicle. While safety features continue to improve every year, all autos are not created equal and some are definitely safer than others. Forbes recently compiled a list of the “safest” 2014 cars and crossovers.

Top 10 Luxury Autos Under $40K

2014 BMW 320i

You might think you need a six figure income to be able to afford a luxury car. Carmakers are bringing luxury features to much more affordable levels with many of the top luxury brands offering entry level vehicles starting below $40,000 and many other manufacturers building luxury cars to compete with the top brands at significantly lower prices giving you “more for less”.

WardsAuto 10 Best Auto Interior Winners

2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith Interior - 6 Figure Elegance

For those with lengthy commutes an automobile’s interior is equally as important as everything else about the vehicle. For most other drivers the interior ranks right along with handling and exterior styling. Seating, safety features, comfort, and convenience are all essential factors that can make your time on the road less aggravating if not downright enjoyable.

Top 12 Used Autos for New Graduates

2011 Chevy Volt - Great Used Auto for Grads

Many colleges across the United States have already wrapped up the 2013-2014 school year and completed their graduation ceremonies with much pomp and circumstance. Many more will join the ranks of the newly graduated in the weeks ahead. And nearly every college student at some point has dreamed of being handed the keys to a shiny new automobile after several years of hard work to get to this point.

Discontinued Vehicles in Honor of Memorial Day

2014 Chrysler Town & Country

Memorial Day is this weekend and while we take a moment to honor the real heroes and remember those that gave all this is also a huge weekend for all sorts of sales all across America. Car dealers pull out all of the stops to get people to come in as it’s a long weekend and it’s near the end of the month. This could be a great time to find a great deal on a new auto and even more so if you have ever thought about buying one of these seven vehicles that won’t be back for the 2015 model year.

Say Farewell to these 7 vehicles while you still can:

6 Best New Autos for Moms

2014 Infiniti QX60

It’s Mother’s Day and instead of buying mom flowers or some kitchen gadget she won’t use some folks will be out looking for new autos this weekend. Mom’s looking to escape the mundane “mom factor” of a minivan have a lot of options. Here are six very different choices for any mom with her own style.

6 Tips for Summer Road Trips

Summer, time for a Road Trip

Summer vacation is just a bit over one month away so if you’re thinking about a road trip now is the time to start planning. Of course the first thing you should do is consider where you’d like the road to take you and start planning a route. AAA offers free and discounted road maps to members as well as trip planning assistance.

Here are 6 more tips for the best road trip ever.

Drive Safe – April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Sponsored by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA, the same department that runs safety tests on all vehicles) April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  To kick off the month-long events the U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the Department of Transportation's first-ever, national advertising campaign and law enforcement crackdown to combat distracted driving. Television, radio and digital advertisements using the phrase U Drive. U Text. U Pay. ran from April 7-15 coinciding with a nationwide law enforcement crackdown in states with distracted driving bans.

2014 World Car Award Winners

2014 Audi A3 - 2014 World Car of the Year

The New York Auto Show started this week with hundreds of new car previews, concept cars, and special announcements.  One of these events was the awarding of the 2014 World Car Awards to the best 5 autos in the world.

2014 Automobile Magazine All-Stars Announced

2014 Audi RS7 - Automobile Magazine All-Star

Every year the editorial staff of Automobile Magazine reviews all of the passenger vehicles in America and votes for their favorites. The votes are tallied and the Automobile All-Stars list is created. The magazine states that there is no specific criteria for selecting the winners, the staff simply chooses their favorite vehicles. For 2014, they rounded up all ten of the chosen winners and took them on an epic road trip.

10 Great Convertibles for Spring 2014:

2014 Jaguar F-Type Luxury Sports Car

Long, hot summer nights might be great for cruising in a convertible but the sunny days of spring are the most comfortable for long drives with the top down. Not too hot, and not too cold it’s the perfect time to hit the road with the wind in your hair.  There are a lot of options when it comes to convertibles ranging from subcompacts all the way to exotic sports cars.  This list summarizes 10 options that range from “affordable” to “luxury” without crossing into the ultra-high-end range of six figure autos.

10 Great Convertibles for Spring 2014:

Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure in 2014

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sport - Least Expensive to Insure

Anyone shopping for a new car should be concerned about insurance rates. You are legally required to have car insurance if you want to drive in the U.S. and insuring a new car is typically more expensive than it would be on a used car. Insurance rates vary quite a bit by state and they can also vary significantly by vehicle. Typically luxury cars and sports cars cost more to insure because they are more expensive to repair or replace. Other considerations are how much damage the model can impart on other vehicles and occupants as well as theft rates.

U.S. News & World Report 2014 Best Cars for the Money

2014 Ford Fiesta Best Subcompact Car for the Money

If you are in the market for a new auto recommendations from experts can be very helpful in determining which vehicles to test drive and consider.  U.S. News & World Report recently released their annual “Best Cars for the Money” report that focuses on comparing the average purchase price and overall cost of ownership with automotive press reviews regarding performance, interior, reliability, and safety. Vehicles were ranked and winners were selected for 10 categories in cars, 9 categories of SUV or minivans, and 2 truck categories.

Here are the highlights:

Can You Afford a 6 Year New Car Loan?

2014 Range Rover

Last month J.D. Power reported that a record 33.1 percent of new vehicles are now being purchased with long-term loans of six years or longer. The primary reason behind this seems to be rising car prices. According to Kelley Blue Book the average priced car now comes in at $32,086.

2014 World Car of the Year Finalists Announced

2014 World Car of the Year Finalist Audi A3

This week the top three autos from each of five categories in the World Car of the Year Awards were announced at the Geneva Auto Show in a joint press conference hosted by Bridgestone Corporation and the New York Auto Show, where the ultimate winners will be announced on April 17.  An initial list of 24 vehicles was narrowed down to 3 autos vying for overall 2014 World Car of the Year:

Consumer Reports Top Picks 2014

2014 Tesla Model S

Consumer Reports’ annual Auto Issue was released this week with reviews, rankings, and of course the magazine’s Top Picks for 2014 Best Cars. Given that Tesla receive a near perfect rating back in May of last year, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Tesla Model S was ranked as the “Best Overall”, superseding all of the other categories and taking the top spot.

GM Cars Rank Well in 2014 JD Power Dependability Report

Most Dependable Large CUV - 2011 GMC Yukon

When you are shopping for a new car it pays to do some research and find out as much as you can about the autos you are interested in so you can be sure that the vehicle you end up buying is what you want and there are as few surprises as possible. Along with the price and feature comparisons you can find on AutoBuying101.com, a useful list is J.D. Power’s annual U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study that ranks vehicles based on the number of problems customers experience in the first 3 years of ownership of their vehicles.

Chevy Spark Only Minicar to Pass IIHS Test

2014 Chevy Spark

Minicars may be affordable and get great gas mileage, making them attractive options for students, commuters, and people with limited incomes, but they fare poorly in IIHS safety tests. In the recent “small overlap front crash test”, out of eleven minicars tested, only the Chevrolet Spark received an acceptable rating in the test, earning it the designation of 2014 TOP SAFETY PICK.

2015 Chicago Auto Show New Vehicle Showcase

2015 BMW M4 & M3

The Chicago Auto Show kicks off this weekend and the previews are already underway. Even though 2014 has barely started auto manufacturers are busy showcasing models for next year already to build anticipation for later this year when the new models start rolling in.  Many of these same vehicles were actually shown to the public for the first time last month at the Detroit Auto Show but they are still considered “debuts” at each show they attend this year. Here are some of the highlights:

 

Super Auto Commercials for the "Big Game"

VW "Wings"

The "Big Game" is this weekend and regardless of how you feel about Seattle or Denver one thing a lot of people will be looking out for is the commercials. Auto manufacturers are well aware of this and past years have seen some epiccar commercials. This year will be no exception with some highly anticipated ads for new cars. And just in case you are busy getting snacks and miss one or you just want to watch the commercials ahead of time, most of the spots are already available on Youtube.

Here are some of the most anticipated car commercials produced specifically for the super audience this weekend's football "bowl" game broadcast generates.

Chevy "Romance" - Silverado HD

GM Wins North American Car and Truck of the Year at Detroit Auto Show

2014 Chevy Silverado and Corvette - Car and Truck of the Year

The Detroit Auto Show started last week and on opening night it was announced that GM had won a rare sweep of the North American Car and Truck of the year awards for the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray<

New Auto Debuts at Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS)

2015 Ford F-150 Aluminum Body

Even though we’re only in the third week of 2014, Auto manufacturers are busy ramping up for production of 2015 model vehicles. This week’s North American International Auto Show, also known as the Detroit Auto Show, kicks off 2014 with a slew of new car debuts for 2015 model year vehicles.

Here are a few of the highlights:

2015 Ford F-150 – For 2015 Ford replaced most of the steel in the body of best-selling F-150 with military grade aluminum. In doing so they reduced the overall weight by nearly 700 pounds, allowing for downsized engines. According to COO Mark Fields this redesign makes the 2015 F-150 "CAFE-positive", meaning the truck will help Ford meet CAFE standards instead of lowering the average fuel economy of its lineup.

Automotive Technology to Watch For from CES

Samsung Galaxy Gear BMW app

Automotive technology is constantly advancing and there are more enhancements than ever coming to your next vehicle. Nowhere is this more evident than in the number of automotive features exhibited at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.

Here are 5 new technology features to look for in new cars:

5 Tips for Better Gas Mileage This Year

2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid

We’ve just entered a new year and a lot of people are just getting started with their New Year’s resolutions (or they’ve already given up). If one of your resolutions is to reduce expenses and save money you might want to take a look at these 5 tips to get better gas mileage.

Change Your Route – If it’s possible you should try to avoid hills, frequent lane changes, idling, and of course traffic. Sometimes a longer route can save gas by avoiding these fuel zappers.

Check Your Tires – Improperly inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3% for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Fuel economy can be improved by up to 3.3% just by adding air.

6 Great New Cars Under $20K

Inexpensive 2014 Fiat 500 POP

There are only days left to shop for a great deal on a new car before 2013 comes to an end. Many experts say that this is the best time of year to buy a new auto as car dealers scramble to earn year-end bonuses and get their lots ready for the new year by moving inventory. With the average price of a new car running at just under $31,000 many people may feel that buying a new car is out of reach. Fortunately there are many new cars available with prices below $20,000 and the Automobile Club of Southern California has put together a list of 10 New Cars with Base Prices Below $17,000. Here are 6 of them:

Most Fuel Efficient Autos for 2014 – EPA Rated

2014 Chevy Spark

With 2013 coming to a close and 2014 only weeks away the U.S. Department of Energy has released official EPA ratings for 2014 model vehicles on fueleconomy.gov. Over 1,000 vehicle ratings can be accessed through this site. The site has loads of useful information including trip calculators, fuel savings calculators, and side by side comparisons of different autos you might be considering.

7 Top Autos With Top Resale Values

2013 Audi Q7

If you’re shopping for a great deal on a brand new car you might not be real concerned with resale value but it’s very important if you plan to sell the car one day and even more so if you are looking to lease a car. Thankfully Forbes Magazine has put together a list of the 25 cars with the highest resale values relying on recommendations from the valuation experts at ALG.

Top Selling Autos of 2013

Top-Selling Sedan - 2013 Toyota Camry

You’ve waited all year to get a new car. Thanksgiving has passed and the end of the year is nearly here. New auto dealers are anxious to make great deals on 2013 new cars before the year ends. For anyone shopping for a new vehicle there are great deals to be had from most manufacturers. Many times manufacturers of the best-selling models keep the incentives strong to maintain their dominance in the category.

Here are the top selling autos for each category:

Automobile Magazine Automobile of the Year – 2014 Corvette Stingray

2014 Corvette Stingray Automobile of the Year

With 2013 coming to a close and 2014 just over a month away Automobile Magazine has named the 2014 Chevrolette Corvette Stingray the Automobile of the Year. The new Stingray has been a favorite of automotive enthusiasts since it was launched earlier this year.

Top Gifts For Auto Enthusiasts

Giant Bow Not Included

With Black Friday right around the corner now is the time to start thinking about gifts for the auto enthusiast in your family.  If that auto enthusiast is you maybe it’s time to pick up a few gadgets for yourself or add them to your list.  These six gift ideas will make any driver happy.

Auto Safety Kit – You can find car safety kits of all shapes and sizes at nearly any major big box retailer (Target, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe’s) or auto parts store (AutoZone, O’Reilly, Pep Boys, etc.) and no car owner should be without one. At a minimum you should have jumper cables, warning lights, emergency blankets, first aid kit, and a flash light.

Top Trending Vehicle Winners from the 2013 SEMA Show

Custom Ford Mustang

Last week over 2400 companies gathered in Las Vegas to showcase the latest in products designed to improve performance, safety and convenience, and enhance appearance and comfort in every make and model on the road today. Every year top vehicles in four categories are selected for the SEMA Award, recognizing vehicle models that specialty-equipment manufacturers believe are the best platforms for accessorization and that showcase the year's coolest products.

2014 Cadillac CTS – Motor Trend Car of the Year

2014 Cadillac CTS - Motor Trend Car of the Year

Cadillac has been having a great year with sales growth every month for the past 13 months. This month brings even more good news with the announcement of the 2014 Cadillac CTS as the Motor Trend Car of the Year on the 65th anniversary of the award.

Motor Trend’s testers took 38 vehicles to the Hyundai California Proving Grounds near Mojave, California to see which vehicle would be the best. Cars were judged based on advancement in design, engineering excellence, efficiency, safety, value, and performance of intended function.

Consumer Reports 10 Most Reliable Autos for 2013

2013 Lexus ES300h Hybrid

Consumer Reports has released their annual auto reliability ratings and this year two European automakers and one U.S. brand squeezed their way into the top ten, seemingly breaking the stranglehold Japanese carmakers have had on this list. The annual survey, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, looks at the experiences of drivers of over one million vehicles. Consumer Reports then compiles reliability histories on vehicles with the data and predicts the dependability of new models.

The top spot on the list went to Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota, which also had the third most reliable vehicle overall, the ES300h Hybrid.

Top 6 Autos for Halloween Trick-or-Treating

2013 Honda Odyssey

Halloween is less than a week away and some people have the luxury of staying at home with family and walking their own neighborhoods to take their kids trick-or-treating. For many people fright night means piling the whole clan into the family vehicle and driving across town to where the “good candy” is or perhaps to visit family so the cousins can revel in the festivities together. If your plans include a trip across town with a big group you need to check out the top 6 autos for Halloween:

When you really need to pack in the passengers you can’t beat a minivan for utility. Minivans get better gas mileage than SUVs and have a lot of cargo options.

GM Shop-Click-Drive Coming Soon

GM Online Shopping

General Motors is preparing for the expanded launch of their Shop-Click-Drive program, which allows customers to bypass the showroom and order new vehicles from their computer. The program is intended to target the next generation of car buyers and make it easier to purchase a new vehicle.

Subaru Forrester Selected Motor Trend SUV of the Year for 2nd Time

2014 Motor Trend SUV of the Year

Subaru became the only manufacturer to have three wins for SUVs in Motor Trend’s Sport/Utility of the Year award with the selection of the 2014 Subaru Forrester for this year’s award. Previous winners include the 2010 Outback and 2009 Forrester, which also makes them the only manufacturer with back-to-back wins.

Top 7 Vehicles for Fall Camping & Hunting

2014 Nissan Xterra

Fall is one of the best times to go camping before the weather gets really cold. Whether your idea of camping is staying at a hotel near a National Park or carrying all of your gear on your back you will need a vehicle to get you there. And since fall is also a great time to pick up a new car, truck, or SUV, we’ve put together a list of the top 7 vehicles for a fall camping or hunting trip.

Three Redesigned Imports for 2014

2014 Nissan Rogue

Of all of the new cars making their way onto the streets perhaps none are more anticipated than redesigned models. Several manufacturers are releasing totally redesigned models for 2014. Redesigns include improved aerodynamics, better fuel economy, and new technologies for safety and comfort.

Here are three import models that have been redesigned for 2014:

Nissan Rogue - The second-generation Nissan Rogue has a new, optional third row of seats for seven-passenger capability. All seats except for the driver’s seat can be folded flat for the benefit of cargo capacity, and the cabin has been redesigned for an airier look and feel.

New Auto Buying - 2013 or 2014 Model?

2014 Cadillac CTS

As 2013 heads into the fourth quarter dealers are offering clearance pricing on most 2013 autos and bringing in new 2014 vehicles as quickly as they can.  This makes fall a great time to purchase a new vehicle, especially for shoppers that have been holding off on purchasing. New auto buyers have several things to consider in determining whether to purchase a 2013 model or a right-off-the-line 2014 vehicle.

Redesigns and New Models

In the case of brand new models such as BMWs i3, i8, 4 Series, and X4, Acura RLX, Chrysler 100, Ford Tansit, Jaguar F-Type, Volkswagen Polo, and several more there is no option for an older model so you can either buy a 2014 or hold off longer to get a used one when the new owners are ready to move on.

Small SUVs Shine at the Frankfurt Auto Show

Infiniti Q30 luxury compact

The Frankfurt Auto Show kicks off this week and manufacturers are rolling out new designs for future models. At least 70 world premier launches have been announced and the biggest categories appear to be electric and hybrid vehicles as well as “crossover” or small SUVs. With over 900,000 visitors expected, the Frankfurt Auto Show kicks off the 2013-2014 show season with one of the biggest expositions in the industry. Some of the more notable SUV launches expected this week include vehicles from Infiniti, Jaguar, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz.

Infiniti Q30

Ford Bacon Fiesta for Intn’l Bacon Day

Bacon Wrapped Ford Fiesta

International Bacon Day was this past Saturday and bacon festivals were held all across the United States.  To celebrate America’s obsession with bacon and to promote the customization options available for the Fiesta Ford has introduced a full wrap of bacon that covers the whole car.  Options range from mini strips for just under $80 to the complete wrap for $3,347.00 plus installation costs.

5-Star NHTSA Safety Rating & Controversy for Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded a 5 Star Safety Rating to Tesla's Model S, adding to the impressive awards already earned by the vehicle. And while achieving top marks for safety is an impressive feat, the news hasn’t been without controversy.

Top 10 Autos for Tailgating During Football Season

Ford Flex console perfect for tailgating

Football season is just getting started and that means tailgate parties. The key to a good tailgate party is having plenty of good food and drinks and of course great company. That means hauling passengers and gear to the stadium parking lot first thing in the morning, finding a parking spot, setting up, having a great time, then heading home to do it all over again the next week.  To do that you need a vehicle with room for passengers as well as cargo. It helps if you can also get a nice entertainment system and some bonuses like built in refrigerators or coolers. 

With that in mind, here are the Top 10 Tailgating Vehicles for 2013:

Edmunds lists the 17 Worst Cars You Can Buy

Dodge Avenger

With all of the “best car” lists that are created every year, Best Autos under $35,000 for Driving Enthusiasts, AAA Selects Top Autos for Commuters, and Top "Green" Cars for Spring, to name a few, you might be wondering which vehicles come up short in the rankings.

Protect Your Car’s Paint from the Sun

Hot Sun can Scorch your Car's Paint

As the days get hotter most people don’t think about the beating their car’s paint takes every day from the sun’s rays.  Just as your skin needs sunscreen to keep from getting burned, your car can use some protection to keep UV rays from ruining your paint job. Considering that a showroom quality paint job is one of the most expensive repairs you can encounter, taking a few precautions to prevent damage only makes sense.

Womens World Car of the Year Award Winners Announced

Ford Fiesta Womens World Car of the Year

The female demographic has been the fastest-growing consumer segment in the world in recent years and is arguably the most influential. The Womens World Car of the Year Awards were established to recognize the cars with the greatest appeal to women. A panel of 18 female automotive writers reviewed hundreds of cars to select the best cars for eight different categories judging by measures women prioritize when looking for a new car. These criteria include safety, value-for-money, looks, storage space, child-friendliness, ease-of-driving, color, sex appeal and environmental footprint.

The Ford Fiesta 1.0-liter EcoBoost was awarded Womens World Car of the Year after winning the economy car category in the finalist voting round.

Edmunds 2013 Car Shopping Trends Report

Car Shopping Trends Report

In order to better understand the car buying process, Edmunds.com recently released a report detailing car buying information mined from user data derived from their audience of 18 million users per month along with a survey put together by Added Value in 2011 regarding consumer expectations. These two sets of data were correlated to determine if shopper expectations materialized in the purchasing process.  This report confirms some information about the car buying process regarding how consumers research their purchases and offers new information about what shoppers expect to find.

 

Auto Recalls in 2013

2013 Chrysler Town & Country

With millions of vehicles sold every year there will always be problems with some of them. With 2013 just over half way several manufacturers have announced recalls to fix problems with some of their models. Manufacturers generally attempt to contact owners of the vehicles affected by the recall but owners can also stay informed by searching on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.  Some of this year’s recalls include:

Toyota takes top spot in Interbrand's 'Green Brands' Report

2013 Nissan LEAF

Five out of ten brands selected by Interbrand as the Best Global Green Brands of 2013 are automotive companies. With offices around the world Interbrand is the world’s largest brand consultancy, working with the biggest brands. To choose the 50 Best Global Green Brands Interbrand starts with the 100 brands that make up its annual Best Global Brands report and conducts extensive consumer research to capture public opinion of the brand's sustainable or green practices and compares that to performance data provided by Deloitte regarding the companies’ environmental sustainability practices.

2013 Concept Vehicle of the Year Award Winners Announced

Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis Concept

The twelfth annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Award winners were announced earlier this week. The awards recognize concept vehicles most likely to affect change in the automobile industry. The selection process involved a total of 23 vehicles that were previously introduced to North America during this season's (2012-2013) auto shows in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto, and New York. More than two dozen jurors collectively selected the winners in three categories: Production Preview Vehicles, Concept Cars, and Concept Trucks.

9 Hottest Selling Cars in 2013

2013 Nissan Pathfinder

U.S. car sales seem to be the main bright spot in an otherwise sluggish economy. Sales are up by 8.2% over the first half of 2013, compared to the same period last year. Some models have even shown double digit growth over 2012 sales. Most of these models have seen significant changes including full redesigns for the 2013 vehicles.  Many of these benefited from increases in fuel economy, which has been a major driver for sales thanks to high gas prices.

Ten Tips for Better Fuel Efficiency

Toyota 4Runner is Great for Summer Trips

Summer is officially here. Along with warmer days summer typically sees rising gas prices and occasionally even shortages as stations convert to “summer grade” aimed at reducing emissions. This is the time of year to do what you can to get the most efficiency possible from whatever automobile you’re driving. These tips with help make every drop count.

AutoPacific 2013 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

Award Winning 2013 Cadillac SRX

AutoPacific, automotive marketing and product-consulting firm, announced their 17th annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSA) with Cadillac and Buick topping the list as Top Premium Brand and Top Popular Brand.  The AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards were created to identify the vehicles drivers find most satisfying. Over 52,000 new vehicle owners are surveyed each year to measure 51 different vehicle attributes and determine which vehicles rank best.

Auto Loans Get Longer and Cost More

Hyundai Elantra - Premium Style, Economy Price

Five year loans have always been the norm for new car buying but in the fourth quarter of 2012 the average term was 65 months according to Experian Information Solutions. This is due to lenders offering new, longer terms loans with six, seven, and even eight year loans. These longer term loans offer lower monthly payments, allowing buyers to get the cars they want more easily.

Lower payments might seem like a great way to afford more car but there are drawbacks. Longer terms often mean higher interest rates to begin with. Higher interest rates combined with more payments creates significantly higher total cost compared to shorter term loans. In general, the faster a car loan is paid off the lower the overall total cost. 

It Can Wait...ATT, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile Team Up to Curb Texting While Driving

Texting while driving is dangerous, and illegal

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T Mobile team up to fight texting and driving with the “It Can Wait” program.  The program is intended to educate the public on the dangers of texting and driving, with videos and advertisements asking teens and adults to “take the pledge” to never text and drive.

The campaign brings together more than 200 organizations to support a multi-million dollar national ad campaign along with a nationwide texting-while-driving simulator tour, retail presence in tens of thousands of stores, and outreach to millions of consumers with a special focus throughout the summer months between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Summertime has been called the 100 Deadliest Days on the roads for teen drivers by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Indy 500 Pace Car 2014 Corvette Stingray

2013 Indy 500 Pace Car Corvette Stingray

San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh to drive the Pace Car in the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 this Memorial Day, 2013.  Harbaugh, co-owner of Panther Racing, an IndyCar team driving with Chevy Engines, is receiving coaching from official pace car driver and driving coach Johnny Rutherford and is the first sports figure that’s not a race car driver to drive the pace car since Lance Armstrong in 2006.

Tesla Posts First Ever Profit

Tesla Model S

After nearly a decade in business Tesla published Q1 results for 2013 showing their first profitable quarter ever.  Tesla posted profits of $11.2 million on record sales of $562 million, a whopping 83% increase over the previous quarter.  While most of this gain was the result of increasing vehicle sales Tesla also benefited from the elimination of a DOE “Warrant Liability” resulting in a one-time non-cash gain of $10.7 million and the sale of Zero Emission Vehicle credits to other car manufacturers to the tune of $68 million.  This stems from California Air Resources Board regulations requiring manufacturers to sell a certain percentage of zero emissions vehicles in Californi

Top Safety Pick Honors: Subaru Forester and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

2014 Subaru Forester

2014 Subaru Forester and 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport earn Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) TOP SAFETY PICK honors for their performance in the small overlap front crash test.

10 Best Selling Vehicles through April 2013

Ford F-150 Pickup

The first four months of 2013 have been good to automakers and sales of full-size pickup trucks appear to be on the rebound.  The Ford F-Series took the number one spot of top selling vehicles in the U.S. with nearly a quarter of a million sold, up 19.1 percent from 2012. The Chevy Silverado took the second slot with a 23 percent increase in year-over-year sales.  Dodge Ram pickups made the list at number five.

Leasing vs. Buying a New Car

2013 Mercedes-Benz SL

One of the most hotly debated subjects in auto ownership is leasing vs. buying. Both have advantages and disadvantages so the answer can be different for people in different situations. One isn’t always better than the other.

Leasing Advantages:

Low payments for new cars - Leasing offers the opportunity to drive a new car all the time. With 3 year terms you can return the vehicle and exchange for a new one just as it’s starting to age.  Leasing often makes driving a luxury car like a Mercedes or Jaguar more attainable because many banks have limits on how much they will loan for vehicles.

Top 10 Most Fuel Efficient SUVs

Lexus RX 450h

Gas prices are creeping higher every summer and a lot of people have switched to smaller, more fuel efficient autos to get more mileage out of every tank. Not everyone can make such a drastic jump to a smaller vehicle to save money. Sometimes you just need more room for passengers and cargo and only an SUV will do.  Thanks to Kelly Blue Book’s list of the 10 most fuel efficient SUVs of 2013 you can find an SUV that fits your lifestyle, your budget, and saves you money at the gas station.

Best Autos under $35,000 for Driving Enthusiasts

2013 Chevorlet Camaro

Many auto shoppers are looking for a car that offers more than just a way to get from point a to point b. MSN Autos profiled 15 different autos under $35,000 that they consider built for drivers who love to drive. These cars are fast, sporty, well equiped, and affordable. The first 10 are profiled below. For the full list and more information check out the article here. Details on each vehicle are also available on AutoBuying101.com just by clicking the links provided in the title for each vehicle.

Cadilac ATS: Award Winning Car Packed With Tech

2013 Cadillac ATS

Th 2013 Cadilac ATS has been getting rave reviews ever since it was introduced in 2011 at the North American International Auto Show. The car has won:

  • Motor Press Guild Vehicle of the Year
  • Popular Mechanics magazine Luxury Car of the Year
  • 2012 Esquire Car of the Year
  • 2013 North American Car of the Year
  • 2013 Urban Car of the Year by Decisive magazine

This compact luxury car is also loaded with technology features. In 2012 Cadillac launched the “Cadillac User Experience” or CUE. The ATS features an 8-inch touchscreen with touch-sensitive buttons, similar to many smartphones. Haptic feedback provides the ability to use the system by feel without taking your eyes off the road.

10 Tips for Rainy Day Driving

Rainy day driving

Spring showers might be great for flowers but they can be a nightmare for drivers. Wet weather wreaks havok on the roads and accidents increase with the rainfall numbers. Fortunately there are several things you can do to keep from adding to the statistics.  Here are 10 tips for driving in wet weather.

Slow Down - Rainfall mixes with oil and grime on the roads making them much more slick, leading to skids. Slowing down keeps more of the car's tire treads on the road providing more traction, and less skidding. Driving too fast through a puddle can also cause hydroplaning. Most people forget this tip so it pays to be extra alert when driving in the rain.

AAA Selects Top Autos for Commuters

2013 Ford Flex AAA Top Pick for Commuters

AAA Auto Buying Experts have selected the top vehicles for commuters based on fuel efficiency, comfort, and overall performance. WIth average commute times of 25 minutes each way and 86 percent of American relying on their vehicles to get to and from work each day choosing the right vehicle for the daily drive can make a big difference in your quality of life.

Compact Vehicles

Spring Cleaning - 10 Tips to Detail Your Car Like a Pro

Spring Cleaning Car Wash Tips

With the arrival of the Vernal Equinox it is time to think about spring cleaning and that includes autos. There's nothing quite like the smell of a new car and with these tips on cleaning and detailing your car from Popular Mechanics you can do it like the pros do it. Regular cleaning will keep the auto's finish shiny longer and protect it from the elements.

Top "Green" Cars for Spring

2013 Chevy Spark in Jalapeno green

Spring is approaching and St. Patrick's Day is here so we thought it would be fun to run down the best "green" cars on the market. Not the usual list of high MPGe electric and hybrid vehicles but autos that are available in shades of green ranging from Kermit the Frog green to dark forrest green. Contrary to popular belief autos have been available in green almost since the very beginning of commercial production but there are certainly many more variations available today.

Shortening the Car Buying Process

The average time spent in car dealer showrooms negotiating new car deals and financing agreements increased by 12.5% in 2012 over the amount of time spent in 2010.  This amounts to 2-3 hours of back and forth with the saleperson, the customer, and often the manager before the customer is finally able to drive off the lot. This is despite the fact that over 80% have already spent an average of 18 hours researching prices and car models before even stepping into the dealership according to Google. This often results in very frustrated shoppers.  Now more and more dealers are turning to digital solutions in an attempt to cut this time down and make car shopping a better experience for everyone.

TransUnion: National Auto Loan Delinquency near record low in 2012

TransUnion Auto Infographic

TransUnion credit agency reports that the national auto loan delinquency rate ended 2012 at a near historic low of 0.41%, down from 0.46% at the end of 2011. This is the ratio of borrowers that are 60 days or more overdue on their payments.  Auto debt per borrower continues to rise as the auto industry remains strong. This level increased to $13,747 in Q4, up 5.4% over the previous year. New loans were up 15.8 year over year and sub-prime loan originations have been increasing to nearly one third of overall auto loans since 2010 when the share of sub-prime auto loans was only 27.6%.

Consumer Reports Auto Issue hits the shelves for 2013

From one of the most trusted and independent sources of consumer products reviews comes the annual Consumer Reports Car Issue for 2013 arriving on the shelves now with the April edition.  This edition of the popular magazine features their "Best & Worst", and "Top Picks", which singles out the most impressive all around vehicles for each category from tests of hundreds of vehicles.

High MPG cars for rising gas prices

2013 Scion iQ EV

Nationwide, gas prices have been steadily on the rise over the past month, up an average of $0.46 with no relief in site as spring approaches. Many anaylists predict gas prices will reach new highs this summer, bringing many to consider purchasing more a more efficient vehicle for 2013.  Kelly Blue Book recently profiled highly efficient vehicles in their list of "The 40 mpg Cars of 2013".  If fuel efficiency is the pinnacle of your criteria for choosing your next car you'll want to take a closer look at the top 10 on their list.  You're going to need a place to plug in

Toyota Prius tops ConsumerGuide Automotive 2013 Best Buy Awards

ConsumerGuide Automotive Awards

For the first time ever ConsumerGuide Automotive has included an Editor's Choice Best Buy Award to represent the pinnacle in value, features, and driving experience. The recipient of this award is the entire line of 2013 Toyota Prius vehicles.

For the 2013 awards the editors raised the criteria for earning a Best Buy classification. They also eliminated the Recommended accolade to create a shorter, more prestigious list. Nearly 200,000 miles are driven each year by ConsumerGuide Automotive's editorial team carefully evaluating every aspect of hundreds of available vehicles to determine the best driving experiences in nearly every driving situation.

Cadillac ATS and Ram 1500 Nab North American Car and Truck of the Year Honors.

North American Car of the Year

The North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards were announced today at the Detroit Auto Show, and the Cadillac ATS and Ram 1500 walked away with the honors. The award is voted on by a panel of 50 auto journalists from print, online, and broadcast.

ALG Announces Annual Residual Value Awards

ALG Residual Value Award

In a recent post, we raised the issue of understanding the importance of resale value when choosing a vehicle. It’s not all about purchase price, after all.

Now we’re going to give you even more info on that, with an added bonus lesson: Don’t rely on only one source for your data. Our previous article focused on Kelley Blue Book’s Resale Value Awards. This time we’re looking at ALG’s Annual Residual Value Awards.

While there is some overlap between the two lists, there are some important differences, particularly when it come to their overall brand awards. These differences could change your mind or validate your choices.

Kelley Blue Book Announces 2013 Best Resale Value Awards

KBB Best Resale Value Awards

Ok, so you’re all excited about your new car purchase. You’ve lined up a great price on a car you like, but are getting the best deal over the long term? What will your car be worth when you sell it?

Everyone wants to get a great price on their new car, and at AutoBuying101.com we are always looking to help you get the best deal, but we also want to educate you about all the costs associated with car ownership, and a big one is resale value.

Tesla Model S Racks Up Another Big Win: Motor Trend Car of the Year

Tesla Model S Motor Trend Car of the Year

You could hardly blame Tesla founder Elon Musk if he were to gloat a wee bit. First the Model S was named Automobile Magazine’s Automobile of the Year. Then further validation as the Republican repudiation of the government investment in Tesla failed to move the needle in the national election. Now, Tesla has garnered the most famous of all automotive bragging rights: Motor Trend’s Car of the Year Award.

Suzuki Leaving U.S. Market; Mitsubishi Hanging In There (For Now)

Suzuki Mitsubishi

American Suzuki Motor Corp., after years of struggling to find their way in the U.S. marketplace, has finally decided to pull the plug and will cease selling their vehicles in the United States. This does not affect their motorcycle, marine engine, or ATV operations. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Motors, also scrambling for a foothold in the U.S. market, appears to be making a push to carry on, naming a chairman for their U.S. division for the first time since 2007.

Hyundai and Kia to Reimburse Customers for Erroneous MPG Claims

Hyundai Kia MPG Claims

Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia (which is a subsidiary brand of the Hyundai corporation) have admitted to errors in the calculation of MPG figures on 900,000 vehicles sold from 2011 to now, and they have voluntarily set up a program to reimburse current and former owners of affected models. On most vehicles the difference is 1-2 miles per gallon lower than stated on the window sticker. The biggest discrepancy was on the Kia Soul, with certain models having been misstated by as much as 5 MPG.

Automobile Magazine names Tesla Model S Automobile of the Year

Tesla Model S

In what surely must be considered a surprise choice, Automobile Magazine has named the all-electric Tesla Model S its Automobile of the Year for 2013. It’s not the first electric car so honored - the range-extended Chevrolet Volt won in 2011 - but with only 250 of the Model S having been delivered to actual customers, this upstart startup is barely even an infant when compared to the rest of the automaking world.

Consumer Reports Auto Reliability Survey Shows Japanese Rising, Ford Falling

Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports has released their annual reliability rankings (subscription required to view full rankings), with Japanese automakers, led by the Toyota brands, taking the top seven spots on the list. Ford meanwhile, sank towards the bottom of the list, finishing next-to-last, with their premium brand, Lincoln, only one slot higher.

Toyota, which had suffered some highly-publicized setbacks in recent years, including issues with unintended acceleration, is surely buoyed by these results, with Scion, Toyota and Lexus landing the top three spots in the ratings. Another feather in the Toyota cap: the top vehicle overall was the Toyota Prius C.

Be Wary of Flood Damaged Vehicles After Sandy

Hurricane Sandy

Megastorm Sandy has finished cutting a path of destruction throughout the northeast portion of the U.S., but the impact of this epic storm will be felt in the auto industry for quite a while. One thing to be particularly aware of is the influx of flood-damaged vehicles into the used car market, as detailed in an article at The Detroit Bureau.

J.D. Power Picks Safest Small Sedans for 2012

JD Power

Many auto buyers are looking to downsize their vehicles, whether it’s to save money on fuel costs or simply to spend less on their next car purchase. One common concern with the move to a smaller vehicle is safety. There’s a certain comfort driving a larger vehicle know there’s more metal mass surrounding you. More car to absorb more impact. Luckily, manufacturers are paying close attention to occupant safety, especially as they look to sell more small cars.

Used Car Prices Dropping

Used Cars

After a dramatic rise in used car prices in recent years, it appears that these prices have now started a slow downward trend, according to a report by NADA.  Over the past three years, used car prices had soared, growing nearly 20% since 2009. The main reason for this run-up was simple supply and demand. Because of poor new car sales due to the economic recession, the demand for used cars increased. But the lack of new car sales also meant fewer trade-ins, thus less used car supply. Less supply + more demand = higher prices.

Top 10 Cars With Character for Halloween as Selected by AutoBuying101.com

Top 10 Cars With Character for Halloween

Halloween is here, and folks of all ages will be dressing up as their favorite characters and heading to Halloween parties or hitting the streets for tricks or treats. This got us thinking about some very distinctive-looking cars; vehicles with character to spare. So we here at AutoBuying101.com have picked our Top 10 Cars With Character for Halloween. We’ve gathered up photographic evidence to illustrate our picks, and we think you’ll be amazed by the resemblances.

Honda to Dealers: Clear Out 2012 Civics

Honda Civic

Get ready for aggressive deals on 2012 Honda Civics. Honda has told dealers to clear out their current stock of 2012 Civics in advance of the debut of the hastily refreshed 2013 models, according to a report from Autoblog.

Nissan To Offer More Hybrids

Nissan

As the car market was exploding with multiple flavors of hybrids, from Prius to Escalade, Nissan made a big bet that electric cars would be the real future of energy efficiency, rather than hybrids. Thus, they poured all their efforts into developing and marketing the all-electric Leaf, and virtually ignored the hybrid marketplace. Sure, they had a hybrid Altima for a while, but that borrowed technology from Toyota rather than being developed in-house. The only other hybrid in the family is the Infiniti M.

Ford C-Max Energi Tops Prius Plug-In for Fuel Efficiency

Ford C-Max Energi

For a number of years, Toyota’s Prius has been the nation’s best-selling, most feature-packed hybrid vehicle. It’s the hybrid that’s been the most efficient product on the market. This is no longer the case. The 2013 C-Max Energi, from Ford, has just taken over the title of most “fuel-efficient” Hybrid on the market.

 

A Word on How the EPA Efficiency Ratings for Hybrids Work

Most and Least Expensive SUVs and Trucks to Insure

Car Insurance

As auto buyers, we tend to focus most of our energy on the purchase cost of our vehicles, and other than fuel cost, we spend less time thinking of the ongoing costs. Of course, figuring our fuel cost is relatively simple; the MPG is listed right on the window sticker and with a little quick math in our head, we can easily guesstimate our gas bill.

Another Big Toyota Recall, Yet Still Tops in Loyalty

Toyota Logo

Toyota announced the recall of 2.5 million vehicles in the U.S., part of 7.4 million worldwide to address an issue with the driver’s side power window switch. If not properly maintained, this issue could result in melting, smoke, and possibly fire. This, on top of several years of assorted other recalls, now totalling over 14 million.

Small is Big

Small is Big

In a land where lumbering SUVs once roamed like so many dinosaurs, small car sales have grown to levels not seen is nearly 20 years, so says a report on Bloomberg.com.

One reason is obvious; soaring gas prices. It is a knee-jerk consumer reaction proven time and again; when gas prices rise, so too do sales of gas-efficient cars. And save for an early summer respite, we’ve seen gas prices rise all year.

Self-Driving Cars On The Way

Google Self-Driving Car

If you live in Southern California you’ve heard about them repeatedly. Maybe you’ve even seen them. Self-driving cars. The sight of them can be alarming: “What? Those cars are moving faster than I am, are about three to four feet apart, and the drivers are READING THE NEWSPAPER?” Google has been developing autonomous cars that will hopefully decrease the worry of serious accidents as well as gridlock woes. These self-driving cars took another big step towards everydayday reality when California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that paves the way for their full legalization.

 

Why Autonomous Vehicles? 

Infiniti Leads in Emotional Attachment

Infiniti

Much of what we talk about here at AutoBuying101.com is very pragmatic automotive analysis. How does one particular car compare to another? Who’s offering the best incentives? How is the gas mileage?

But what about the emotional component? How much do we love our cars?

The LEAP Index from New Media Metrics measures emotional attachment to all varieties of consumer brands, not just cars. LEAP stands for Leveraging Emotional Attachment for Profit, and their proprietary research model asks questions designed to measure this emotional attachment, on a scale of 1 to 10. They then calculate the percentage of people who answer 9 or 10.

Paris Auto Show Highlights

Paris Auto Show

The Paris Auto Show (Mondial de l’Automobile, if we’re being fancy) opened this week, and while the bulk of debuts shown there will be Euro-centric, there are a several vehicles with U.S. relevance appearing for the first time. Let’s take a peek.

Volkswagen Golf

The Golf debut may not move the U.S. curiosity meter as much as, say, a fullsize pickup or midsize sedan, but it is VW’s most significant model worldwide, and each new generation is a big deal for a company gunning for #1 in the world.

Big September Sales Figures as Auto Industry Comeback Continues

TrueCar

September 2012 auto sales are expected to show a big increase over the previous September, and the best September sales figures since 2007, as the auto industry continues its rebound, according to a report by TrueCar.

While the sales forecast of 1,163,000 light vehicles in September is down 9.5% from a big August 2012 sales month, that figure is up 10.5% from September 2011.

Biggest September Discounts

Biggest September Discounts

As we near the end of the month (which we already know is the best time to buy a car, right?) it’s a good time to take a look at which 2012 vehicles have the biggest discounts. If you are flexible in your choice of vehicle, you can score some big savings.

TrueCar takes a look each month at what makes, models, and categories are, on average, being discounted the most. Lets take a closer look at their findings.

Fusion Hybrid Tops in Midsize Mileage

Fusion Hybrid Tops in Midsize Mileage

Ford has high hopes for its newly designed 2013 Ford Fusion midsize sedan. The outgoing Fusion did reasonably well, but the design had grown stale, and in a hotly contested segment with brand new entries in the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima, Ford is looking to make a big move up the sales charts.

Haul Away Great Deals on Pickups Right Now.

GMC Sierra

If you’re shopping for a pickup truck, there may not be a better time than right now. Led by General Motors, there is some fierce competition going on to move pickups out the door.

Leftovers Offer Delicious Deals

Nissan Pathfinder

The debut of a new vehicle is a heady time for both automakers and consumers. The automakers gets to strut their stuff: sleek new designs, performance improvements, cutting edge technology. Consumers get exciting new vehicle choices to provoke them to pry open their checkbooks.

It does present a conundrum for the automakers, though. In our world of instant digital communication, the news of upcoming new models spreads faster than crabgrass. As consumers begin to drool over the new sheetmetal, inevitably there are lots full of the now unfashionable outgoing models that still need to be moved.

GM Temporarily Suspends Volt Production, Yet Reports Record Sales

Chevrolet Volt

GM has announced plans to temporarily stop production of the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle for a second time this year for 5 weeks between September 17th and October 12th at its primary production facility in Hamtramck, Michigan. This announcement, according to the Wall Street Journal, was made by GM because lower than expected demand had caused inventory levels to rise to an unacceptable level. GM plans to use this downtime to prepare for the commencement of production on the updated 2014 Chevy Impala. The Hamtramck plant also produces the very popular Chevy Malibu line.  

Honda Accord All New for 2013

2013 Honda Accord

When an automaker redesigns a vehicle that is considered the linchpin of their lineup, much is at stake. A misstep can be disastrous and set the company back for years, so rarely will tremendous risks be taken. One such vehicle is the Honda Accord. The Accord has long been the midsize standard-bearer and top seller. Let’s see if they’ve got a hit on their hands.

54.5 MPG by 2025 - Positive or Negative For Car Sales?

New Fuel Economy Standards

By now most people are aware that the EPA has passed new regulations regarding minimum fuel efficiency standards that will take effect in 2025. But not too many people are completely aware of what this will mean to them and to the American automotive industry.

 

The New EPA Regulations in a Nutshell

The EPA is the government agency charged with monitoring the fuel efficiency and emissions of all cars made and/or sold in the United States. They have promulgated numerous regulations in the past decades in regard to both emissions and fuel efficiency. Until now, most fuel efficiency regulations have dealt with how vehicle manufacturers are to perform fuel efficiency tests and how they are to announce the results of these tests.

Hybrid Vehicles Gaining in Popularity

Hybrid Cars

A few years ago, there was a huge rush to buy hybrids. They offered decreased fuel costs due their hybrid gas/electric technologies, which made them very attractive to a certain segment of the car buying population. However, they suffered some bruised images due to some highly touted issues they had, especially the Toyota Prius. But that’s beginning to change for the better.

 

A Quick Refresher on Hybrid Vehicle Technology 

Nissan Previews 2013 Sentra

2013 Nissan Sentra

The competition in the compact car segment has become fierce, with many automakers making strong attempts to unseat the perennial class leaders, the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. So strong, in fact, that Honda is hastening a mid-cycle refresh of its roundly-panned latest generation Civic, and Toyota has promised a much less boring Corolla. Look to the boldly styled Hyundai Elentra, Euro-inspired Ford Focus, and Alfa Romeo-based Dodge Dart as evidence of the importance of the segment.

Honda: Building Cars in America for 30 Years

Honda: Building Cars in America for 30 Years

Honda is celebrating 30 years of building cars in America this year. Yes, that’s right, 30 years of building cars in America. Their Marysville, Ohio plant has been in continuous operation since 1982, and on November 1st, will celebrate its thirtieth anniversary.

More than 9 Million Accords Produced by Marysville Plant

Lincoln Lives!

Lincoln MKZ

There was a time when Lincoln and Cadillac ran neck and neck in the battle for American luxury car supremacy. Then the Lincoln brand suffered years of neglect, with a long run of substandard, badge-engineered vehicles that failed to inspire buyers. Sales plummeted as more competitors entered the premium vehicle arena. Rumors of Lincoln’s demise swirled overhead like vultures. When long-standing brands such as Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Mercury bit the dust, it seemed like Lincoln was the next candidate for closure.

AutoBuying101.com names the Top 10 Hardest Working Autos for 2012

AutoBuying101.com Top 10

AutoBuying101.com, has announced its 2012 selections for the Top 10 Hardest Working Autos, including pickup truck, crew truck, cargo van, family, city, and luxury options. This list includes a variety of vehicles that offer the utility, capability and versatility to accomplish the tasks at hand. The full list can be viewed in our Reports Section here. See the press release on PR Web.

How Much Will That New Car Really Cost?

Consumer Reports

As auto buyers, we often get caught up solely on the purchase price of a new car. We’re so concerned with the initial outlay of cash or the monthly payment, that we don’t think about the long-term picture. An extensive study by Consumer Reports shows that there is much more to think about when auto buying than the number on the bill of sale.

New Crash Test Ups the Ante for Safety

IIHS Crash Test

The  Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has established a new variety of frontal crash test for cars, and automakers will no doubt be scrambling to catch up. The new test is called the Small Overlap Frontal Crash Test, and it measures the effect of only 25% of the front of a vehicle hitting a barrier at 40 mph. Previous tests measured full frontal impact at 35 mph, and a 40% offset impact at 40 mph.

As Auto Industry Rebounds, Auto Lending Follows Suit

Auto Loans

One sign that the economy is in recovery is that the Big Three automakers are posting either lower than expected losses or posting outright profits. Another good sign is that GM recently returned the major portion of its cash loan to the Fed, meaning that they no longer owe the federal government or the American people any money. This is because sales have been going up across the board. We can’t paint the picture as all roses and honey just yet, but it’s definitely looking better than it was this time last year. So, exactly what’s driving this portion of the recovery?

 Banking Experts: Loans at Highest Levels Since End of Recession

Pet-Friendly Picks for 2012

Pet-Friendly Picks for 2012

Everyone wants to be safe in their car, right? Occupant safety has become a major selling point when shopping for autos, with vast expanses of airbags enveloping us from all angles. But are we protecting our pooches as well as our people?

Bark Buckle Up is a pet travel safety advocate, and they have named their 2012 Bark Buckle Up Top Dog Vehicle awards. Some of the features they look for in a pet-safe vehicle are air conditioning vents for the rear seats to keep canines cool, side airbags, an adequate number of D-hooks for securing extra dog-related gear, and a good quality rear-view camera.

Here are their top picks for 2012, in alphabetical order:

Tesla Motors and Toyota Collaborate on the RAV4 EV

Toyota RAV4 EV

Pretty much everyone is familiar with or has seen a Toyota RAV4 on the road. The RAV4 is Toyota’s sporty sport utility vehicle. Well, it’s gone electric in a nod to the public’s demand for a sporty SUV that doesn’t need gas. Toyota has entered into a large contract with Tesla Motors, the guys that brought us the Tesla Roadster, the 200 mile per hour electric vehicle, and the Tesla S, the 100 mile per hour-plus all-electric luxury sports car.

Tesla Supplies the Workings for the RAV4

Buy Before You Test Drive?

Buy Before You Test Drive?

Would you consider buying a car before you took it for a test drive? We certainly wouldn’t, but a recent study shows that over 11% of auto buyers do exactly that, according to a story in the Detroit Free Press.

The story references a Maritz Research study of over 80,000 buyers of 2012 model year vehicles. The study also showed that 80% of those questioned used internet research before making their purchase.

Who’s Best for Dashboard Tech?

Who’s Best for Dashboard Tech?

Dashboard technology has become a hot selling point for carmakers, and not just with premium vehicles. Manufacturers know that even the bargain car shopper likely has a smartphone, and expectations are growing that their car should have the same bag of tricks as the phone in their pocket.

The Wall Street Journal took a look at the in-car infotainment landscape in a very practical application; the writer needed a car, and the dashboard tech capabilities were going to play a big part in the decision. Voice activation, entertainment, and navigation were the main criteria. Here are the findings:

Ford

Ford vehicles use SYNC technology, in partnership with Microsoft. Features include:

10 Best Used Car Values

Kiplinger Top 10 Used Car Values

If you’re in the market for a used car, you’ve probably noticed that great deals have been a bit harder to find.

This Week in Blurbs

This Week in Blurbs

Here are stories from this week that are interesting, odd, entertaining, and/or of remotely tangential interest to the auto buyer, in blurbs:

  • Forbes compiled a list of the most beautiful cars of 2012. Beauty comes at a price apparently, because every one of them is extraordinarily expensive.

Longer Trade-In Times Inspiring Better Design

2013 Ford Fusion

Two reports, by AutoMD and Black Book, are showing that owners are holding on to their vehicles longer and for more miles than ever, as reported by The Detroit Bureau. Ten years and 150,000 miles are no longer unusual.

The AutoMD survey showed 78% of owners plan to keep their vehicle for more than 10 years, with only 3% expected to change cars within 3 to 5 years. And according to the Black Book Study, most trade-ins will have 125,000 to 150,000 miles by the time owners get a new vehicle.

This is a significant change from the glory days of the automotive past.

2012 Ideal Vehicle Awards

2012 Ideal Vehicle Awards

Autobytel, in conjunction with automotive research firm AutoPacific have released their 2012 Ideal Vehicle Awards. The IVAs are based on a survey of over 75,000 vehicle owners from the full spectrum of major manufacturers. The survey touched upon 15 different categories spanning all aspects of their vehicles inside and out, from styling to performance to comfort.

"The significance of the Ideal Vehicle Awards is that they identify the automotive manufacturers that are listening to their buyers when updating and developing their latest cars," said George Peterson, President of AutoPacific.

Will The Next Ford F-150 Be Aluminum?

Ford F-150

Automakers have been using aluminum in cars for several decades. Gearheads will fondly remember GM’s 350LT-1 V8 with cast aluminum block and heads of yesteryear. Most automakers have stopped making cast aluminum blocks due the expense, but most of them are still using aluminum heads in their 4-cylinder engines. There is now a race to do everything possible to meet the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements set to take affect soon. Some automakers are going back to incorporating aluminum into their designs. And many are doing away with steel body panel construction in favor of stamped aluminum panels.

This Week In Blurbs

This Week In Blurbs

Here are stories from this week that are interesting, odd, entertaining, and/or of remotely tangential interest to the auto buyer, in blurbs:

J.D. Power Reveals Which Cars Are Most APEAL-ing

JD Power APEAL Award

American auto buyers are continuing to downsize their vehicle purchases, but are totally okay with the result. So says the just-released J.D. Power and Associates annual APEAL Study. The somewhat forced acronym stands for Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout, and it measures the responses from consumers after 90 days of ownership on over 80 factors involving driving performance, interior comfort and convenience, and styling.

Rent Out Your OnStar Car

OnStar

Car sharing is a concept that has gained some traction in urban centers and colleges in recent years. After all, owning a car is expensive. Besides the car payment and interest, there’s insurance, gas, maintenance, and more. Companies like Zipcar allow urban dwellers and college students the convenience of having a car available when they need it without actually owning one.

Cadillac ATS - Ready To Tackle BMW?

Cadillac ATS

We mentioned the Cadillac ATS in a previous post, but due to a press embargo, there were no road tests released yet. Until today, that is. Embargo lifted, the reviews came flooding in today. The verdict? It looks as though Cadillac has a winner on their hands.

Compacts are the volume sellers in the premium segment, and for Cadillac to continue their renaissance, they badly need a winner here.

This Week in Blurbs

This Week in Blurbs
Here are stories from this week that are interesting, odd, entertaining, and/or of remotely tangential interest to the auto buyer, in blurbs:
 
  • The European version of the upcoming FIAT 500L includes an optional espresso maker. Why do they get to have all the fun?

2013 Models Already On The Way

2013 Models

Are you looking for the newest of the new? It’s the heart of the summer, but 2013 models are on the way soon, and some are already in the showrooms. Kelley Blue Book published a rundown of the early arrivals; let’s look at some of the highlights.

Shrinking SUVs

Yes, car buyers can be as fickle as gas prices, and their buying habits closely mirror the price on the pump. But manufacturers know they need to improve MPG while still satisfying our demand for SUVs and crossovers. Hence the trend towards smaller SUVs and CUVs. Several are already on the slate for 2013.

Languishing on the Lot? Dynamic Deals!

Everything Must Go!

Here's a tidbit about the inner workings of car dealerships that can help save you money. Car dealers don’t buy their new cars outright from the manufacturers, they finance them. For the duration that each car sits on their lot, they pay interest on the financing. When the car is sold, they pay off the loan.

So, putting on our MBA hats and crunching the numbers, it makes sense for a dealer to sell a particular car as quickly as they can; the longer a car sits on the lot, the more interest they pay. The more interest they pay, the lower their profit. Pretty straightforward, right?

Do Poor Sellers Mean Great Deals?

Deal or No Deal?

When we hear that a car is not selling particularly well, our spidey senses start tingling. Our intuition is that when they're not moving metal, there are probably going to be great deals available.

Automobile magazine recently published an article called The Best Cars That Nobody Buys. They looked at eight very competent and seemingly desirable vehicles, offering some analysis on why these cars may not be selling.

Let's take it one step further and see if, in reality, there are great deals to be had on these eight poor-selling cars.

Big Cars, Small Engines

EcoBoost

The laws of nature in the automotive ecosystem used to hold that the bigger the car, the bigger the engine. Small cars got the four-bangers, big cars got V8s, and 6-cylinders fell in between. And, if you wanted to make a premium or performance version of a particular model, just shoehorn in a bigger engine. Simple as that: Bigger is better. There was no problem that couldn’t be cured with cubic inches.

Where Are Used Car Prices Headed?

NADA

After a big run-up in used car prices earlier this year, particularly for compact cars, it appears the trend is reversing. Unless it’s not. Yes, it is complicated, and we’ll explain. NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) has released their monthly Guidelines report, and if you are considering buying a used vehicle, or trading one in, there’s important information you should know.

Summer Deals In A Hot Car Market

Summer Car Deals

With auto sales scorching this year, the simple law of supply and demand would suggest that great deals would be harder to find than normal. With vehicles moving briskly off the lots, there is less motivation to offer strong incentives. To a large extent this is proving to be the case in the marketplace, but that doesn’t mean there still aren’t some deals to be had out there.

The Wall Street Journal investigated the car market and found there are still some savings to be found. Here’s where:

Chevy Says, “Love It or Return It”

Chevy "Love It or Return It"

General Motors is offering a sixty-day full refund guarantee on all 2012 and 2013 Chevy models effective immediately and running through to September 4th. Named “Chevy Confidence”, the limited time offer comes on the heels of record breaking first quarter earnings. It also comes just a month ahead of the announcement about second quarter sales results scheduled for August 2nd.

Hot Hatches, Burning Questions

Hot Hatches

Do you love big V8 engines with deep burbling exhausts, and smoking your rear tires with burnouts at every stoplight? If so, you are dismissed for the day. Today we’re looking at the opposite end of the performance spectrum. They are lightweight, they have high-revving 4-cylinder mills, propulsion is delivered via their front wheels, they are the econoboxes gone wild: the hot hatch.

Don’t worry, still plenty of testosterone to go around, fellas. They may look like toys compared to a traditional muscle car, but there are thrills aplenty behind the wheel. You can still generate blue smoke; it’ll just be from the front wheelwells instead of the rear.

Get ‘Em While You Can!

Discontinued
It’s a fact of automotive life that every year there are models that die off, never to be seen again. There are many reasons: The car may be subpar in its category. Or it may be a bit long in the tooth. Sometimes a vehicle gets squeezed out by overlapping selections in a manufacturer’s lineup. Or it may be that it just plain did not sell.
 
Whatever the reason, sometimes we wind up losing an interesting vehicle that suits a select few customers’ needs perfectly. Remember the Honda Element? A bonafide Swiss army knife of a ute that could swallow a dorm room, but sales kept dwindling until it disappeared.

Where Are Gas Prices Heading?

Gas Prices

When gas prices hit a national average of $3.92 a gallon in April of this year, most people expected a painful summer driving season of ever-increasing prices. Charting the prices showed nothing but a steady climb since January. And didn’t it always seem like gas prices jumped just in time for our summer road trips?

But then a funny thing happened: Over the following two months, gas prices dropped nearly as steadily as they had risen, to a national average of $3.37 a gallon. Drivers rejoiced, overall MPG of cars sold dropped, and the summer driving picture started to look quite rosy.

The Best Time to Buy a Car: Part 2

The Best Time to Buy a Car, Part 2

Last week we exploded some of the myths and covered a few facts to do with the best time to buy a car. This week we conclude our piece with some more tips for timing your purchase to ensure get the best value when buying a vehicle.

Unpopular Bargains

Often when a manufacturer replaces an existing model with a new model they offer all sorts of incentives on the old model to clear out existing stock. A recent example of this is when Chevrolet was replacing the unpopular Cobalt with the new Cruze. To keep sales up on the Cobalt and keep its manufacturing plant in business, Chevy announced some unbelievable incentives on the older model.

Are Hybrid Cars Declining in Popularity?

Are Hybrid Cars Declining in Popularity?

A recent study by research company Polk has revealed that hybrid cars, believed to be the way of the future, have suffered a decline in popularity over recent years. The survey reveals that a large percentage of hybrid car buyers are unlikely to purchase another after their experiences with the economical and environmentally friendly cars. The number of hybrid models on the market has doubled since 2007, but could it be that car companies have over-committed in a niche that was once believed to be the future of the automobile industry?

The Best Time to Buy a Car: Part 1

The Best Time to Buy a Car

There are a lot of stories around about the best time to buy a car. Some of these stories are true, but most fit into the category of urban myth. Some of the ones that aren’t true, or at least don’t have any actual research to back them up, are:

Myth # 1: The best time to buy a car is in the afternoon when the salesperson is sleepy.

Myth # 2: You will get a better deal on a car on a rainy day.

Myth # 3: There are better days of the week to buy because the dealership is slower on those days.

While there is ongoing speculation about the above myths, there are some things about timing your car purchase which we know to be true. They are:

Tax Time = Bad for Buyers

Ready For the Apple iCar?

Apple iCar

Okay, the Apple iCar is a bit of an exaggeration (although it has been said that Steve Jobs wanted to build one). But Apple is wedging themselves further into automotive integration, and this time it’s a lot more significant than just an iPod adapter.

Buying a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle

Certified Pre-Owned

A Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicle is a used vehicle which has been inspected and refurbished to ensure the vehicle measures up to rigorous quality standards. A CPO vehicle is usually backed by a manufacturer’s warranty, often in the form on an extended warranty. CPO cars are not new, they emerged in the early 90s from the luxury car market, with companies like Lexus and Mercedes-Benz releasing used off-lease vehicles that had relatively few miles on the clock.

What Is An American Car?

What is an American Car?

“Be American, Buy American.” That was a popular bumper sticker from not all that long ago. The Big Three’s dominance of the American car buying market had slipped dramatically to Japanese imports, the Japanese economy looked like a juggernaut threatening the stability of our own economy, and the patriotic cry was to support American industry by buying American cars. Of course, it was easy to make the distinction then; If it was from Ford, GM, or Chrysler it was an American car. Everything else was an import.

Are Hybrids Right For You? Part Deux

Hybrid Part Deux

Last month we asked the question: Is a hybrid right for you? The answer to that question was conditional. If your primary concern is the sociopolitical goal of using less fuel regardless of cost, you have the thumbs up. If saving money was your issue, we had to apply a comparative formula of initial purchase premium versus annualized fuel savings to determine the break even point. Simply stated, we had to do the math. Eyes became glazed over. No one wants to do the math.

5 Ways to Avoid Buying a Lemon

Lemon

There’s a risk when buying a car that one is going to end up with a lemon. Whilst someone buying a new car will generally be safe, the used car market can be fraught with danger for the unsuspecting consumer. But avoiding a lemon is actually more about applying good judgement and using some research skills rather than about being lucky.

Let’s look at some ways to avoid getting stuck with that car that nobody else wants:

Do Your Homework on the Make and Model

Feel The Noise!

Feel The Noise!

Years of advancements in controlling NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) have made cars quieter than ever. Insulated firewalls, laminated glass, triple door seals, even electronic noise cancelling have all conspired to give our cars a coffin-like silence. Not just luxury makes either. They may have escalated the the war on noise, but the technology has trickled down to even the most lowly of vehicles. Small cars that were once notorious for being not just tiny, but tinny as well, now offer peaceful passenger compartments that rival grandpa’s Buick.

Chevy Confirms SS Performance Sedan for 2013

Australian Holden Commodore will be the basis for the 2014 Chevrolet SS.

Chevrolet has finally confirmed the long-standing rumor that it will be importing the Holden VF Commodore from Australia beginning in late 2013. The import is a V-8 powered rear-wheel-drive performance sedan and will be sold as the Chevrolet SS. It will arrive in showrooms as a 2014 model. A retail price is yet to be announced.

The SS will also become Chevrolet’s next representative in the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The car will debut at next year’s Daytona 500.

Model Changeovers Mean Great Deals

2013 & 2012 Ford Fusion

Most car buyers are fully aware of the “leftover” concept. The model year is drawing to a close, next year’s models are already making their way into showrooms, but inevitably dealers still have a few of last year’s version hanging around their lots. Much dealmaking ensues, with gaudy ads ballyhooing big discounts: “Everything Must Go! We Need to Clear Space for the 2013’s!” And indeed it is true. Even though next year’s model may be virtually identical to the current year’s car, with changes that are nearly indistinguishable to the untrained eye, that incremental digit on the back end of the model year pushes the previous edition to the discount rack. Smart shoppers rejoice.

5 Ways to Lower Insurance Costs for Younger Drivers

Young Drivers

Car insurance for young drivers is generally more expensive than for established drivers because younger drivers are less experienced behind the wheel. Insurance companies see younger drivers as more of a risk, but there are a few things you can do to lower the cost of your first car insurance.

Insurance companies have a checklist of items that they ask any driver who signs up. By doing a few things in preparation, you can make sure your insurance costs are kept to a minimum.

1. Shop around for your insurance.

Strippers!

Oh please, get your mind out of the gutter. Sorry, we’re not talking about exotic dancers, but if it’s any consolation we are talking about cars that have the, shall we say, bare minimum of standard equipment.

The concept of strippers has seemed to become very nearly obsolete these days. Indeed in the subcompact and compact ranges, cars that were once considered purely entry level vehicles, it is now possible to get levels of comfort and high end features that were once the province of luxury brands only. Likewise, there once was a time long ago when pickup trucks were purely utilitarian, before Cowboy Cadillac entered the lexicon.

Best Cars For Teens & Grads

Grad Car

The school year is rapidly drawing to a close, and graduation day is just around the corner. Just as mortarboards will be soon be cluttering the afternoon sky, the internet is cluttered with articles about the best cars for teens and grads. A quick search turns up more than you can shake a tassel at.

All of these articles identify safety and reliability as key factors in selecting a car for your kid, but some include other considerations such as insurance costs. Considerate of your bank account, half of these lists look at used cars, but for you big spenders, there are a few lists that feature reasonably priced new cars. Let’s take a quick look at some of these articles, understand their criteria, and see if we can identify some consensus.

 

Cost of Car Ownership on the Rise

Car Costs

The American Automobile Association has released its annual ‘Your Driving Costs’ study. The study shows a 1.9 percent increase in the cost of owning a car. This translates to an average cost of $8,946 per car per year, which includes things like fuel, maintenance, insurance, and finance repayments.

This news is not entirely surprising, given the rise in fuel costs over the last year. Pump prices are up almost 15% since last year’s report. The cost of tires has also risen 4.2%, an increase mainly caused by a rise in the cost of raw materials.

The findings in the AAA report were based on a driving cycle of 15,000 miles a year.

Ward’s Names 10 Best Interiors for 2012

Audi A7 Interior

The fact is that when we shop for cars, the first thing we look at is is the exterior design. It’s the sheetmetal that catches our eye and elicits the emotional reaction. By comparison, interiors get little attention. When’s the last time you saw a car’s interior on the cover of a magazine?Think about it, though. After the initial blush of exterior infatuation, where do you spend all your time? On the inside of the car, not the outside. Shouldn’t it be a place you enjoy? It’s time to share some love with car interiors for a change. The editors at WardsAuto agree, and have named their 10 Best Interiors for 2012. Climb in and have a look.

Looking For The Best Deals? Find Flexibility.

So you’re in the market for a new vehicle. Let’s say a minivan. You’ve always heard great things about the Chrysler Town & Country; they're packed with cool features, and heck, they invented the segment. But when you finally get down to price, the deal is okay, but nothing spectacular. On a whim you check out the Volkswagen Routan. Eerily similar to the Town & Country. Well it should be; the Routan is mechanically identical. It’s an example of some friendly sharing between the two companies to help VW get a minivan to market quickly without developing their own from scratch.

 The real difference you find though is when you starting talking deals. The VW dealer is giving you much more wiggle room. What gives?

Is A Hybrid Right For You?

Hybrid

With gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon with no relief in sight, more people than ever are considering hybrids to get some relief at the pump. According to a report by HybridCars.com, hybrid sales hit an all-time high in March 2012 with over 48,000 vehicles sold.

Yet a report by Polk indicates that only 35% of hybrid owners buy another. So before you take the leap you may want to ask the question: Is a hybrid right for me?

The answer to that questions involves factors both economic and social.

Leading Green Cars for 2012

With Earth Day right around the corner, it only makes sense to take a look at the leading  environmentally-friendly green vehicle market. What was once a market dominated by the Toyota Prius has ballooned in the last year or so to include a wide range of manufacturers, models, and features. The green car is here to stay and with recent legislation proposals in California and other States, we’re likely to see even more of these environmentally-friendly vehicles on our highways and city streets.

 

Diesel Vehicles You May Have Missed

Diesel

More and more people have gas prices and fuel economy on their minds. This has in part resulted in a surge of interest in hybrid and electric vehicles and now we’re seeing another interesting shift - more people are considering a diesel vehicle. A mainstay in Europe, diesel vehicles have often been overlooked in North America - considered to be noisy and not worth the dollars at the dealership - but this perspective is slowly changing.

 With this in mind, we thought it would be useful to take a closer look at the diesel vehicle market and highlight a few vehicles that you may not have realized do come with a diesel option.

Suzuki On Their Way Out of the US Market?

Suzuki
In recent years Suzuki cars appeared as though they finally had the opportunity to carve themselves a small niche as interesting alternatives in a couple of key segments. The SX4 is the most affordable AWD car on the market, and the Kizashi proved to be a stylish, engaging drive in the mid-size segment.
 
However a report in Automotive News paints a picture of an auto company in retreat. Marketing budgets have been cut. Social media has evaporated. They skipped the Detroit and Los Angeles shows altogether.
 
Meanwhile, sales have shrunk and dealerships are vanishing.

Auto Inventory Shortage Possible After German Plant Explosion

Car makers worldwide may face a severe shortage of a resin used in the production of brake and fuel lines, causing a major kink in the manufacturing supply chain.

A March 31 explosion at the factory of German chemical company Evonik killed 2 workers, and completely halted the production of Cyclododecatriene, also known as CDT. CDT is required in the making of the resin PA-12, which is used for coating brake and fuel lines supplied to all major manufacturers.

Asia’s largest supplier of PA-12, Ube Industries, is already fielding requests from manufacturers for increased production, but states that they are already running at full capacity.

Comfort At An Affordable Price

Chrysler 300

Think about what you’re looking for in your next new vehicle or even what it is you like about your current vehicle. Chances are that you’ll list comfort high on the list. Seats that support your back and legs, lots of room so you’re not knocking elbows with your passengers, room for any gear you need to bring with you, and a quiet ride - yes - we all want a comfortable ride.

 

2012 Brand Image Awards

Kelley Blue Book

In every industry, perception and what we think of specific companies, brands and logos goes a long way in contributing to our purchase decisions. When it comes to buying a new car or truck, this brand awareness and perception goes a long way in how we research our vehicle purchases and ultimately in the vehicle we choose to buy.

 

Looking to Sell Your Used Car? Now’s the Time!

There are several different stress points involved in the new car buying process, but the hardest one to get a handle on is what to do with your current car. “I could trade it in, but I won’t get what it’s worth. And how do I even know what it’s worth? The dealers say they don’t use Blue Book prices,” or “I know I can get get more if I sell it privately, but who knows how long it will take?”

Well, the best time to minimize the angst might be right now.

Trade-in values on used cars, especially late model, fuel efficient vehicles, should peak in the next few weeks, according to the National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA) Used Car Guide.

2012 New York Auto Show - Ram

Ram 1500

Ram has something they want you to know: the 2013 Ram 1500 has best in class fuel economy. Seriously, they REALLY want you to know that. They must have used that exact phrase, with an accompanying metal-slamming dust-raising graphic, a half-dozen times before they even showed us the truck.

To achieve this best in class fuel economy, they utilized a host of improvements: a redesigned stronger and lighter frame, 8-speed automatic transmission, electric power steering, stop-start technology, active grill shutters, and active air suspension for aerodynamic benefit.

2012 New York Auto Show - Subaru

Subaru XV Crosstrek

Subaru's one debut was the XV Crosstrek. In a past life you knew this as the Outback Sport. Basically an Impreza that's been jacked-up and called a crossover. You'll get 8.7 of ground clearance, same as the Outback wagon, so feel free to bust through those snow drifts.

Also previewed were a refreshed Legacy and Outback. A new 2.5 boxer engine, and minor styling updates are the only news.

Subaru also introduced a new technology called EyeSight that offers adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and throttle management, and lane departure warning. Normally only seen in more expensive cars, Subaru has concocted a more affordable system using stereo cameras rather than radar.

2012 New York Auto Show - Toyota

Toyota Avalon

Toyota's press conference featured a "concept" that was suspiciously devoid of a name. After the full show and tell, the big surprise was that this wasn't a concept at all; it was the new Avalon, exactly as it will appear in production form.

The Avalon has always been referred to (or derided) as Toyota's Buick; large, plush, smooth ride. Blandly inoffensive. The perfect choice for retirees. But with the changing definition of Buick has forced Toyota to step if up a notch. The new Avalon takes a giant leap forward in styling. Is there anything particularly original going on here? Nope. But it is a handsome, balanced, well-executed design that should broaden the Avalon's appeal further down the age scale.

2012 New York Auto Show - Hyundai

Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe has undergone a type of automotive mitosis, splitting like an amoeba into two separate vehicles. One, the Santa Fe Sport, has a shorter wheelbase, with two rows of seats that seat five passengers. The other, simply known as Santa Fe, has a longer wheelbase, three rows of seats, and seats seven. Obviously, this broadens the range of crossovers with which the Santa Fe twins can be cross-shopped.

The updated styling continues Hyundai's "Fluidic Sculpture" theme, although perhaps with less fluid than the recent Elantra and Veloster. Attractive enough without being risky.

2012 New York Auto Show - Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz GL

The full-size GL luxo-crossover has undergone a full redesign. Expect the usual dizzying complement of creature comforts and high technology, like Crosswind Stabilization and Active Parking Assist.

Are the luxury brands in danger of running out of whiz-bang doo-dads? The only thing left may be time travel.

 Also from M-B, a styling refresh for the compact GLK crossover. 

2012 New York Auto Show - BMW

BMW X1

The new-to-us BMW X1 crossover made its American debut in New York. It has been on sale in Europe for a couple of years. BMW calls this a subcompact SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) and it slots below the X3.

 The X1 will be available with a 4 cylinder and exclusively in the US, a 6 cylinder. Acceleration in that model should be brisk, to say the least.

2012 New York Auto Show - Nissan

Nissan Altima

Nissan debuted the new mid-size Altima sedan. It's their best-seller and has been redesigned from the ground up.

 How's it look? If you like the Maxima, you'll probably like the new Altima. Sorta. If the Maxima is Peyton Manning, then the Altima is Eli. Clearly brothers, but one just doesn't look quite as sharp, and doesn't perform as well as the other. Don't feel bad for the Altima, though. Just as Eli has more rings than his multi-MVP brother, the Altima outsells the Maxima handily.

2012 New York Auto Show - Acura

Acura RLX

Acura has caught a bad case of Lincoln-itis in recent years.  Bland product and strategy adrift. What are they? They aspire to be a premium brand, but nothing in their product line speaks to the essence of their identity. Where is the flagship? The current RL is barely adequate and painfully long in the tooth (talking about its age, not its awkward grille) when compared to the competition.

2012 New York Auto Show - Lexus

Lexus ES350

For Lexus the big story was the debut of the new ES350. This mid-sized luxury model always follows on the heels of the Toyota Camry debut because it's the Camry that provides the platform for the ES line. So we're talking about a FWD-based vehicle here, not RWD as in the rest of the Lexus sedan stable. Not necessarily a bad thing; plenty of shoppers in this segment are just looking for a quiet comfortable ride to go with the plush amenities.

 The styling is pleasant, inoffensive, with some cues from the top-of-the-line LS, and a slightly toned-down version of the new Lexus family Predator face

2012 New York Auto Show - Lincoln

Lincoln MKZ

The Lincoln brand has languished in limbo for years, offering only the ubiquitous Town Car and badly blinged, badge-engineered vehicles thinly disguised from their Ford cousins. While the Japanese brands were seizing market share, and Cadillac was reinventing itself as a bold, brash competitor against the German marques, Lincoln plodded towards extinction, seemingly just one more bad quarter away from the ax.

2012 New York Auto Show - Chevrolet

Chevrolet Impala

With apologies to Hertz and Avis, the 2014 Chevy Impala we finally take the leap from fleet car status to bonafide consumer desirability. No longer the province of county employees, the new Impala is designed in such a way that you may actually notice it on the road.

Clearly, the success of the last iteration of Malibu proved to Chevy brass that style and design actually matter, even in the family sedan market. The sleek roofline with elegantly executed chrome trim, sculpted side sheet metal and long wheelbase combine to cut a stylish, sleek silhouette.

Power will come from three engine choices: a 3.6L V-6, a new 2.5L four-cylinder and a 2.4L four-cylinder with eAssist, promising 35mpg. Expect the new Impala early in 2013.

Top 10 Luxury Cars under $40,000

top luxury cars under $40,000

In years past, luxury cars were often priced too high for the average driver to own and enjoy. But automotive manufacturers have realized that we do want luxury in our cars and if priced right, we’ll buy. This has resulted in more and more cars falling into the luxury car category but still being priced affordably at under $40,000.

Car Features That Help You Drive Your Vehicle

interior of the car

In-vehicle innovation has come a very long way. It used to be that having a DVD player or MP3-enabled sound system was considered cutting edge. This was also when heated seats and automatic sunroofs were reserved for high-end vehicles. Well, things are changing and in keeping step with the technological changes we’ve seen with the Internet and communication - similar advances have been introduced to the latest vehicles on the market.

2012 Looking Good for Vehicle Sales

Vehicle sales are looking good for 2012

To say that 2012 is looking good for the automotive industry would be an understatement. We’re only three months into the New Year but the numbers are all pointing to another great year for vehicle sales.

Thanks to affordable and cheap financing, new vehicle models with nifty and practical features, and the continued growth in consumer confidence - more and more people are  taking a visit to their car, truck, SUV, crossover and minivan dealer.

The latest numbers for 2012 suggest that this will be best year for automotive sales since 2007.

10 Most Fuel-Efficient SUVs and Crossovers

Top Ten Fuel Efficient SUV

10 Most Fuel-Efficient SUVs and Crossovers

It doesn’t look like gas prices are going to get any lower any time soon... And when you’re interested in buying an SUV or crossover vehicle, the price of gas is a big factor in your purchase decision. It is one thing to pay the monthly payments and insurance costs and when you add in the cost of gas, it can make owning a larger vehicle an affordable challenge.

2012 Top 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000

Top ten best sedans under $25,000 for 2012

The sedans on the market right now offer you the complete package: good handling, smooth design features, fuel efficiency, lots of extra features and good value for money. But it can be hard to determine which sedan is the right one for you and your family so today we’re looking at the 10 best sedans priced under $25,000.

The team of automotive experts at Kelley Blue Book have done the research, crunched the numbers and have put together a list of of the 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000. Kelley Blue Book is a leading website of automotive industry experts who provide analysis, review and feedback on the latest vehicles on the market.

Tips on Selling Your Used Vehicle

Tips on selling your new car

Typically we post blog posts here about buying a new car and the best new vehicles on the market based on awards and innovation. Today we’re going to talk about used cars and how to sell your used car. Let’s face it, many people really just feel overwhelmed by the thought of selling their used vehicle.

It can be time consuming. You have to understand pricing and how best to advertise your vehicle. You have to deal with people who aren’t really serious about buying your vehicle but take up your time anyway. Yes, selling a used vehicle can be considered to be a hassle but in today’s automotive market, selling your vehicle privately can be a very smart decision.

Using Technology to Track Gas Prices

You’ve likely heard the expression “is there an app for that”. In other words is there a nifty piece of software that you can download and install on your iPhone or android phone that will let you find new restaurants, keep tabs on the weather or track your spending. Well, good news for drivers like you, there are a number of apps available that can help you keep a close watch on the gas prices in your area.

10 Best Used and Affordable Cars

ten best used and affordable cars

We often focus on new cars and buying new cars on this blog but today we’re going to take a look at buying a used car. For many of you and for many reasons, a used car makes the most sense. Used cars often make the most practical sense when you need a second car, need a car for your teenagers or a vehicle for city driving. As well, if you make a smart buy, your used car can result in a much better purchase than buying a new car.

Total Cost of Ownership Awards

picture of a new car

When it comes to buying a new vehicle, you want and need to know how much your new car, truck, SUV or minivan is going to cost you. But many buyers don’t realize that the total cost of ownership goes beyond the price you end up paying at the dealership. The total cost of ownership of a vehicle includes costs such as: depreciation, projected fuel costs, financing and insurance fees, yearly maintenance and repair fees, and state-associated fees for new vehicles and models.

Kelley Blue Book's Top 10 Family Cars

Having kids and a family means you’re on the go. You’ve got to drop the kids off at school, pick the kids up at the end of the school day, take the kids to music, dance, and sports lessons and then there are the trips to the mall or out to dinner. And all of this family activity is dependent on having a reliable vehicle. A vehicle that can fit your family, the gear you need to bring, and one that gives you the confidence and comfort in knowing you and your family are safe and well-protected.

Popular Mechanic’s Announces Auto Excellence Awards

car coming towards you

The automotive awards season continues and today we’re looking at the awards announced and handed out by the team of experts at Popular Mechanics. Whether you’re a car aficionado or not, you’ve more than likely heard of this venerable automotive magazine.

10 Pieces of Advice To Consider When Buying a New Vehicle

dollar image

Buying a new vehicle should be a smooth and simple process. The more you know before you visit the dealership and the more you’re prepared to ask - the better your new vehicle buying experience will be. We’ve put together a list of 10 pieces of advice that will help you with your new vehicle buying experience.Know the dealer price

The dealer price as listed on the dealer invoice is different from the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). You have the right to ask about the dealer invoice. Some sales people might be hesitant to provide you with this, so be prepared and do your online research before arriving at the dealership.

2012 SUV Best Buy and Recommended Awards

Top 2012 Trucks and SUV Awards

Earlier in the week we focused on the cars that made the cut for the 2012 Best Buy and Recommended Awards as determined by Consumer Guide Automotive. Today as promised, we’ll look at the 2012 minivans, pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles that earned Best Buy Awards.

As a consumer, these awards are very useful in helping you with your vehicle research. As you know, the more research the better when it comes to buying a new vehicle and with the insights that awards such as these from Consumer Guide Automotive provide, you can learn what automotive insiders consider to be the key strengths of the 2012 vehicle line-up.

Taking A Look At The 2012 Best Buy Awards

2012 Automovile Best Buy

It is awards season for the automotive industry and in today’s blog post we’ll take a look at the recent awards handed out by the Consumer Guide Automotive. Some of you might wonder about the impact of these awards on the automotive industry - well these types of awards are a great way to track the pros and cons as well as highlights for the year in automotive. While there are a lot of different awards given out, it is the criteria used to rank and rate vehicles that is super useful for you when it comes to making buying decisions.

A Closer Look at the 2012 North American Car of the Year Awards

2012 North American Car of the Year

Earlier this week we wrote about the winners of the 2012 North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards. Today we thought it would be useful to take a closer look at these awards and the other contenders in the car of the year category.

To quickly recap:

2012 North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards

2012 North American Car and Truck of the Year

A jury of 50 automotive journalists from Canada and the United States chose the winners of the North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards recently. These prestigious awards were announced at the North American International Auto Show.

The Hyundai Elantra won the 2012 North American Car of the Year Award.

The Land Rover Range Rover Evoque won the 2012 North American Truck of the Year Award.

Early Look at 2013 Vehicles from the Chicago Auto Show

While the Chicago Auto Show doesn’t officially start until Feb. 10, automakers have given industry insiders and select media a look at their new featured vehicles for 2013. As things are looking right now, the 2013 line-up of vehicles is all about pushing boundaries and ensuring you are as comfortable as possible wherever you are going.

Automotive Sales Numbers Are Encouraging

automotive sales numbers are encouraging

Wednesday was a big day for the auto industry - it was numbers day. On February 1, the major automakers released their sales numbers for 2011, their profit numbers, January sales numbers for 2012, and their predictions for 2012 overall.

A search of the Internet will reveal multiple articles that detail the sales numbers for each and every automaker. Yes, the numbers are important but for this blog post, we’ll focus on the big three U.S. automakers and try not to get to wrapped up in percentages.

Coming Soon: Legislated Zero-Emissions Vehicles

zero emission vehicle legislation

The state of California has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to environmental policy and green energy - and now it is bringing this forward-thinking to the vehicles we drive.

As California’s state air-quality registrar, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has recently approved a range of strict and tough laws that will have a definite impact on your driving habits and on what you drive. These new laws, announced a few days ago require that by 2025 there be an additional 1.4 million electric, plug-in, and fuel cell cars on the road.

Health and Wellness in your Car

Can you be healthy in your car

We all spend a lot of time in our vehicles. Driving to and from the office, dropping off and picking up the kids from school and their activities, running errands around town, traveling during vacations, and of course all the time spent stuck in traffic. This adds up to a lot of time being spent in one smallish space and translates into having less time to take care of some of the important realities of life.

Top 10 All New Vehicles for 2012

top ten new vehicle 2012

It looks like 2012 is going to be a great year for those of you looking for a new vehicle. The automotive industry is on a resurgence and with President Obama stating that “with a million jobs at stake, I refuse to let the auto industry die" - things are looking encouraging. Detroit’s Big Three automakers are on the upswing thanks to an $85 billion federal buyout that now sees General Motors as the world’s number one automaker and with Chrysler and Ford putting money into new factories and plants. All this speaks to good things for anyone looking for a new vehicle or for those simply involved in the American auto industry.

Get The Best Fuel Economy Possible

We all want more from our vehicles. This includes better fuel economy, reliable acceleration and braking power, and features that keep us warm and safe. But the one thing we all really want is improved fuel economy. The further you can drive on a tank of gas really does translate into more money in your pocket and frankly more positive feelings about your vehicle.

Top 10 Cars from the Detroit Auto Show

2012 Top Ten Cars From the Detroit Auto Show

Well, the excitement is starting settle down after a busy week at the Detroit Auto Show. The week at the car show highlights that there really is something out there for every type of driver and buyer. From stylish concept cars, to family sedans and fast-moving sports car - there is a new car waiting for you.

Announcing the Best Cars for the Money Awards in 2012

best car for the money in 2012

We all want to get a deal. The trick with getting a deal on a new car, truck or SUV is ensuring that you’re still getting the best value you can for the money you’re spending. Sometimes a good deal doesn’t necessarily translate into the best use of your hard-earned cash.

This week, U.S. News Best Cars, released results of its study and analysis of the value data associated with 2012 cars. The goal of this study is to help you determine the best way to spend your money in the new car market. U.S. News Best Cars is part of U.S. News & World Report and is a well-respected and trusted car advice website and provider.

Could 2012 Be The Year of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles?

When hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) were first released, many folks believed that these cars really wouldn’t make a dent in the automotive industry. Well, the times have changed and this week we’ll be seeing a range of new hybrid and EVs previewed at the Detroit Auto Show.

What was once considered a niche market and only appropriate for smaller cars, we’re now seeing more and more family-sized sedans and SUVs launched as either hybrid or EV. This week at the Detroit Auto Show, a number of manufacturers are making some big steps in development and production with this vehicle type.

Here are some highlights from this week’s auto show:

Volvo XC60 Plug-In Hybrid

New Auto Buying Predictions for 2012

It is the time of the year when folks are making plans, setting goals, making changes and planning ahead. This is also the time of the year when we like to make predictions about what the year ahead just might hold. When it comes to auto sales and consumer buying habits, all signs are pointing towards a strong year of auto sales for 2012.

Building on the growth we’ve seen for the past two years, the trend in increased and growing auto sales numbers is expected to continue. The final numbers for 2011 are still being finalized but according to Edmunds.com, 2011 hit a three-year high with 12.8 million vehicles sold. This is continued growth from the sales numbers of 11.6 million in 2010.

Five Great Car Deals for New Year's Day

It doesn’t really matter what we’re shopping for, we all like to get a good deal. When researching a new car, along with features, warranties, make and model - the price is a critical factor in making a final decision. With this in mind, the team of experts at Kelley Blue Book have put together a list of the top five great car deals.

This list of cars includes luxury cars, a hybrid and sedans:

2012 Acura TSX

Lease for $299/month with $1,999 due at signing (last verified end date 1/03/12)

Impacts of Saab Bankruptcy on Owners

In amongst the last-minute Christmas shopping and preparing for the holiday festivities, we received some sad news in the automotive industry. We’re sure you’ve heard by now, but last week Swedish Automobile AB, filed for bankruptcy in a Swedish court.

 

This announcement by the parent owner of Saab came after General Motors Co. refused to allow a bailout sale to two Chinese companies. For Saab who has not been able to pay any bills since March or its employees since August, this is a tough way to go out.

 

The big questions out there about this announcement include:

 

Lessons From Hyundai

In a recent blog post we gave you a couple of tips to help you out when visiting a dealership. In this blog post we also stressed the importance of doing your research. The more research, knowledge, price quotes and information you have - the better your vehicle buying experience will be. But the question is, which research can you or do you trust?

Trust Is Key When Buying A New Vehicle

happy salesman with keys

It can be hard to know who to trust when it comes to researching and buying your next vehicle. It seems that whomever you talk to, you’ll hear a story of a shady car salesperson or a stressful visit to the car dealership. But the thing is, with proper research and knowledge, you can make your next car purchase a pleasant and relaxing experience.

December Is The Month To Save

Everyone wants a deal, and as it turns out - December is one of the best months to find a deal on your next vehicle purchase. A new study predicts that there are seven key days this month on which you could get a great deal on your new car, truck or SUV.

10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000

If you ask a teen driver or new driver what kind of first car they want, they likely will answer with something along the lines of “it has to be cool”. A cool car - who doesn’t want a cool car? Problem is that typically a cool car comes with a hefty price tag. Well, just in time for the holiday season and for the best month to buy a car, we’ve got a list of the 10 coolest cars available for under $18,000.

Buying Based on Need or Want?

When you’re researching your next car purchase, are you doing your research based on need or want? In an ideal world it would be nice to have the best of both need and want or if you’re really lucky, completely based on need. But chances are you’re likely doing the bulk of your vehicle buying research based on need.

According to a recent AutoTrader.com Shopper Frame of Mind Study of 1, 500 recent vehicle purchasers, 71% based their decisions on need rather than want. These need to buy impulses are often triggered by previous vehicle experiences such as:

It’s My Way or the SmartWay

Everybody is making the “green” claim these days, and it’s hard to know who’s for real and who’s merely using the environment as a marketing tool without taking the steps to back up the claim. There are agencies that can proclaim things certified organic, but how do you know if one car is really and “greener” than the next?

Luckily, the EPA has come up with a system to designate “good environmental performers” called SmartWay. The agency measures each vehicle’s air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and gives it a score. Those that score the best -- about the top 20 percent -- are awarded the SmartWay designation. The “best of the best” are given extra credit and named SmartWay Elite vehicles.

Mom’s Taxi Is Now Dad’s SUV

The image of Mom in the minivan may be a thing of the past. In a recent survey, more than 70 percent of fathers drive their kids to and from school, preschool, and extracurricular activities. And nearly 60 percent use an SUV or CUV to get the job done.

The survey was commissioned by Chevrolet, and it found that dads rate their family vehicle a 6.4 out of 10 -- probably because they’re not driving minivans. Fewer than 25 percent of dads admitted to doing the chauffeuring in a sliding-door mom-mobile. But like moms, dads’ first concern is with safety, not looks. Design isn’t even their second concern -- that position belongs to fuel economy.

BMW Is 2011’s Most Sustainable Auto Manufacturer

Surprise! BMW was named the most sustainable auto manufacturer for 2011 by the SAM Group for the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. Except that it isn’t really a surprise: BMW has earned top sustainability honors for the past seven years. The maker of the luxurious six-figure 7-series and the cheap and cute Mini is also the only auto maker to be listed on the DJSI every year since the indexes were created in 1999.

American Automakers Slipping in Customer Satisfaction

It’s been a tough couple of years for everyone -- especially American automakers. The economy collapsed, two out of the Big Three received government bailouts, and gas prices have gone nowhere but up. And now they’ve got a new problem on their hands: customer satisfaction with American-made automobiles and light vehicles is dropping.

When you look at the numbers, it doesn’t seem so bad, really. It’s only a percentage point or two in most cases. But with many Asian-made vehicles gaining in customer satisfaction, Ford, Chrysler, and GM can’t afford to let buyers slip away a percentage point at a time.

Here are the auto makers who suffered a drop in 2011:

Can Expert Car Reviews Be Trusted???

Before I give you my full answer, let me provide you some context…

One of my colleagues here at AutoBuying101.com shared an interesting article that got a little attention in the automotive journalist community last month.  The following article suggests how editorial critic car reviews are biased due to numerous circumstances: http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=5141

Ford Focus Electric Coming to an Outlet Near You

People may be surprised to learn that the new 2012 Ford Focus Electric was part of Ford’s plan all along. Well, maybe not the Focus in particular, but Ford has had all-electric battery-powered vehicles in development for years. What better way to introduce a zero-emissions passenger vehicle than to put the new technology in a familiar and already eco-friendly form?

Let’s get the technical stuff out of the way: it’s a five-door hatchback Focus with a 123-hp electric motor powered by lithium ion batteries. It needs a 240-volt outlet to charge in 3-4 hours, and it has a top speed of 84 mph.

Shoppers Want Higher MPGs, not Higher MSRPs

It’s not much of a surprise that poll numbers supported the recent federal government decision to raise CAFE (that stands for Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards to 54.5 mpg by 2025. Given the fact that fuel prices are only going to creep ever upward -- not to mention the environmental costs of getting the gas from the ground to the pump -- drivers are realizing the benefits of high-mileage vehicles. It helps, too, that technology is improving, with hybrid systems, valve shutoff systems, direct injection, and clean diesels that all deliver a fun driving experience with better fuel economy.

2011’s Top Ten Green Cars Offer More Choice Than Ever

If you were in the market for a green car ten years ago, your choices were few and far between. The Toyota Prius and Ford Escape Hybrid were newly available -- and rarer than hens’ teeth. Now it seems like every third driveway has a hybrid in it, and all-electric cars are moving from hobbyists’ garages to the mainstream vehicle marketplace.

When Kelley Blue Book, a well-known authority on vehicle prices and buying trends, published its annual list of the Top Ten Green Cars for 2011, it had lots of eco-friendlier cars to choose from, and they’re not all limited to that one special dealership in Los Angeles. You can find most of these cars most anywhere.

J.D. Power & Associates 2011 Initial Quality Study Results

According to JD Power and Associates, despite modest improvement in initial quality on both newly developed models and new version of existing models over the last 5 years, the trend has not continued and initial quality for newly developed models for 2011 is down, as is reported in the organization’s newest study.

The Initial Quality Study, conducted by JD Power for the last 25 years, is a survey of recent buyers and lessees of 2011 models.  Owners are contacted after 90 days with the cars and are given a 228-question survey designed to provide the manufacturers with information to “facilitate identifying problems and drive product improvement.”

2011 Toyota Prius: Soup It Up With The Plus Performance Package

The Toyota Prius has topped the EPA’s list of best fuel economy for a decade and earned millions of devoted owners since its introduction. But what the Prius has in miles per gallon, it sorely lacks in miles per hour. So much so that it’s the butt of a joke in the summer movie Horrible Bosses:

"I was drag racing."

"In a Prius?"

"I don't win a lot."

Sirius XM Adding to Pre-Owned Enticements When You Buy From A GM Dealer

GM Dealers (Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC brands) looking to move more used cars in 2011 have a little more ammo in their bag of tricks, thanks to Sirius XM Satellite Radio.  According to a recent press release, the company is now offering a free three month subscription to the company’s service with the purchase of a pre-owned vehicle that has a factory installed receiver, regardless of make/model.  The only caveat is that the vehicle be purchased at one of more than 1,000 participating GM dealerships across the US.

GM will continue to provide the same three month subscription to buyers of new and certified pre-owned GM vehicles, but this new offer allows budget-conscious and bargain shoppers the opportunity to experience Sirius XM, as well.

What Cars Are Really “American”?

Anytime I hear someone exclaim loudly, “I only buy American” when asked about his car preference, I have to laugh.  Apparently nobody told him about what really is “American” these days.

In fact, do you know what counts as American these days?

I’ll tell you what the auto industry thinks: regardless of where the company headquarters itself, regardless of where the lineage of the car points to and regardless of which nation claims the manufacturer as their own, a car’s primary nationality is truly about where the car is assembled.

Find Cheap Gas For Your Labor Day Road Trip

It was true in 1960, when Smokey Robinson and the Miracles sang it, and it’s true today: You better shop around. Luckily, when it comes to shaving a few cents off the price of a fill-up, it’s far easier to find a good deal now than it was fifty years ago.

With the Labor Day Holiday weekend upon us, we evaluated a number of gas price websites and mobile applications, to see what solution provides the best coverage and most reliable data, and from our point of view GasBuddy.com is the best.

AutoBuying101.com Names the 2011 Top 10 Autos For Football Tailgating

"Back To Football"...If you are a football fanatic, you know exactly what this quote means...after the offseason soap opera of the NFL Lockout, fans across the country were thrilled to see everything put to bed with the owners and players getting back to focusing on what millions of Americans love....football.  Between the upcoming professional and college seasons, for the next 5 months, millions of fans, every weekend, will load up their beloved car, truck, SUV, or hybrid and head out to a fun filled day of tailgating.  Yes, other sports may get the occasional tailgating group, but football, more than any other sport, brings out the tailgaters.  And thus, our vehicles play a critical role in our game day experience.

Study Finds Mercedes Benz Tops List For Best Dealership Experience

It’s probably not too surprising to most car shoppers that dealerships selling luxury car brands treat their customers the best, with Mercedes-Benz topping the list for 2011. Pied Piper PSI, a company that monitors consumer satisfaction for the automotive industry, sent more than 3500 mystery shoppers to dealerships across the United States to measure how well people shopping for vehicles were treated by each brand’s staff.

The top five dealerships in the study were:

Nadaguides Best Cars Buys For 2011

NADAguides.com, one of leading vehicle pricing and information sites, released its list of Best Car Buys for 2011, with Honda dominating the list with 5 models while Kia, Toyota and Chevrolet had 3 models across multiple categories.

The list, which was created based on value, efficiency, consumer piece of mind, and safety ratings cover a variety of vehicle types including Vans, Wagons, Sedans, Luxury, Coupes, Sports, SUVs, Trucks, and Hybrids.

Chevy's Cruze-ing To The Top

The new 2011 Chevy Cruze compact car has done the near impossible this summer -- it became the highest-selling passenger car in the United States, beating out its rivals and longtime best-sellers the Toyota Camry and Honda Civic.

This is the first time an American company has hit this milestone in years, and Paul Eisenstein on MSNBC.com points out that events beyond GM’s control have helped the Cruze. The tsunami that devastated so much of Japan and its manufacturing network earlier this spring has slowed the rate at which the Camry and Civic are being built. The Chevy Cruze is happy to step into that void.

GMC Adds Free Maintenance Program to Certified Pre Owned Vehicle Sales

In further news designed to make the used car market even more attractive to current car buyers, GM announced a new program for buyers of GM Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicles.  The new program, called GM Owner Care, will provide buyers of these CPO vehicles with two years of free maintenance.  The arrangement provides a two-year/30,000 mile maintenance program that covers oil changes, tire rotations and multi-point vehicle inspections at no additional charge.

AutoBuying101.com Names the 2011 Top 10 Most Useful Tools for New Car Buyers

Every month, on average, approximately 1,000,000 consumers head out to a local dealer and purchase a new car.  As we hope you find here at AutoBuying101.com, our goal is to help simplify that process and help buyers get the best deal by navigating through all of the marketing, information, stress, and pressures that come along with finding your next new vehicle.

Industry Veteran and Expert Joni Gray Joins AutoBuying101.com Team

Throughout my own career in the automotive industry, I have been fortunate to work and gain an understanding on numerous aspects of auto shopping and buying through my work with companies related to auto finance, automotive values, dealer sales, inventory, government motor vehicle agencies, and consumer automotive resources.  To really understand the complexities of the auto buying process you need perspective from a number of different angles, and very few people have worked with different types of companies in the auto industry.

Edmunds.com's 2011 Used Car Best Bets

2009 Mazda Miata

We’ve been talking a lot about used cars, lately.

The reason is simple:  there are some really great deals to be gotten if you know what to look for and how to spot them.  Our friends at Edmunds have put together their annual Edmunds Used Car Best Bets, which is a great list that will help you in that search. 

The Most Fuel Efficient Gasoline Powered Cars

I recently test-drove the Chevy Cruze Eco, which GM is touting as “the most fuel-efficient gasoline-powered vehicle in America.” The EPA does rate the Cruze Eco  at 42 mpg on the highway when it’s equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission; the automatic 6-speed gets 37 mpg at its best. My mostly city driving in the automatic test car averaged just under 30 mpg.

Our 2011 Auto Buying Experience Study Reveals the Best & Worst Aspects of Auto Buying

4,000,000 buyers every month.  On average, every month, approximately 1,000,000 new and 3,000,000 used autos are sold in the United States.  Americans have had a love affair with cars since the first ones were produced over 100 years ago.  They not only are essential to our everyday lives, and the efficient operation of our economy, but they are an expression of our personality, and often times just plain fun to drive.

2011 Top Safety Picks By The IIHS

Insurance Institute For Highway Safety

Their name is a little hard to remember, but if you are in the market for a new or used auto, you definitely do not want to forget who the IIHS is.  Formed over 50 years ago, the mission of the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS) is to help reduce deaths, injuries, and property damage. 

MINI Gets Even More Mini -- and Manly

2012 Mini Cooper

Anyone who thought the Mini Cooper that’s been on the market for the past decade was just too spacious is in luck. BMW, Mini’s parent company, is introducing the 2012 Mini Coupe, with only two seats and a sporty rear roofline.

The Mini Coupe will come in three variants in the US, which basically break down as fast, faster, and fastest:

- Fast: the base model Mini Cooper Coupe has a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine and a top speed of 127 mph.

- Faster: the Mini Cooper S Coupe has the same engine, but with a turbocharger added for a top speed of 142 mph.

TrueCar Releases TrueTrends Report for June

TrueCar

TrueCar.com recently put out its TrueTrends Auto Industry Intelligence report for the month of June and the information, once again, paints a great picture for consumers in the market to buy a new car. 

The manufacturers are continuing to put solid incentives and rebates out, hoping to entice consumers off of the sidelines.  And with June the kickoff of the bread and butter months for car dealers, they are willing to bend a bit to sell a car or two.

So what is TrueCar telling us and how can it help you get a new car?

Ciao! Fiat Returns To America

2012 Fiat 500

The resurgence of micro-compact cars in the US has brought about some outstanding benefits for consumers and car fanatics alike.

For consumers, great looking cars that get great gas mileage and are much easier on the wallet are the primary boon.

For car lovers though, innovation and product has been the prize.

AutoBuying101.com Begins Video Tips and Creates New YouTube Channel

AutoBuying101.com Now On YouTube

The entire AutoBuying101.com team is excited to announce the addition of our own videos on YouTube, where you can find us at www.youtube.com/autobuying101

Along with adding our new vides to YouTube, we will be posting them right here on the Auto Buying Insider Blog and in other areas of our site.

Fuel-Efficient Used Car Prices Dropping for Summer

Kelley Blue Book

You read that right: the prices of fuel-efficient compact, subcompact, and hybrid cars are actually dropping this summer after 20 weeks of consecutive gains, Kelley Blue Book reports [kbb.com].The drop in fuel-efficient car values coincides with a drop in gas prices, of course. Gasoline hit a peak in May when the national average was $3.98. Gas prices have dropped every week in June, with a national average on June 20 of $3.65 [EIA.gov]

TrueCar Adds Black Book Values to ClearBook.com Used Car Site

ClearBook partners with Black Book

The hardest part about trading in your pre-owned car, is knowing if you are getting a fair value for the car.  There are a number of resources, in print and online that can show you what the presumed value is and you can hope that you are making a good deal.

One of the best is Black Book.  No nonsense and completely independent, Black Book offers accurate and up to date pricing based not only on the condition of the car, but of other external markers that shape both the market and the industry.

Hyundai Ups the Ante in the Sales Race with Guaranteed Trade In Prices

Hyundai

Hyundai really, really wants you to buy their cars.  And furthermore, they want you to know that all of that talk that begins with “of course they have the best warranty in the business, they have the worst cars,” is just simply not true.

Auto Insights: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

Sometimes you have a pretty good idea what you want out of a car.  Sometimes you need a little help.  AutoBuying101 is in business to help you make those decisions.  But unlike other automotive websites, we aren’t going to do some super, high-tech, fancy review of the latest cars.  Nope.  If we did, we would probably sound kinda silly and – at the same time – not help you with what it is you REALLY want.  And what you really want is some good reasons to buy – or not to buy – a car, from car people who think like you do:  more with your wallet and brain and

VW Launches 21st Century Beetle Pre-Order Program Using Amazon Technology

Volkswagen is launching its new online pre-order program with an exclusive 2012 VW Beetle Black Turbo. Only 600 of these Beetles will be built, and they are only available via pre-order at www.VW.com/preorder. A reservation fee of $495 is required to hold your place in line, but VW has instituted a “no hassle” refund policy if you decide not to take delivery of the car.

Intellichoice’s Best Overall Values of 2011

As you may have noticed, we have an ongoing theme that relates to helping you find great autos and being able to buy them without breaking the bank.  We will often steer you to great websites that can help you make those decisions or provide you with tips and information to do it yourself.

NADAguides Names Most in Demand Yet Hardest to Find Vehicles

As is the case in any industry, the law of supply and demand is a huge driver in the automotive market.  The ability to keep popular models flowing into dealership inventory is the key to success at both the dealership and manufacturer level.

NADAguides, one of the most trusted names in automotive analysis, recently released its Most in Demand Vehicles Report.  The report is a comprehensive list of the hardest to find models as well as alternative choices for shoppers willing to go beyond their original ideas.

ALG's 2011 Residual Value Award Winners

One of the most complex concepts consumers will encounter when trying to decide if buying or leasing is the best option for them, is “residual.”

What is residual value?

This number is the projected market value of a vehicle at a given point in time in the future.

So, when it comes to leasing, the residual value is used to help calculate how much a vehicle will depreciate (lose value) during the lease period…and thus how much the consumer should pay every month to lease the vehicle now.

Forbes Magazine Names the Auto Brands that Americans Think Are Best

In an article recently published by Forbes Magazine, the publishers identify the automotive brands that Americans think are the best.  This is not a list made up of the best selling cars in America, as that would be populated by Chevrolets, Toyotas and Fords.

2011 Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Award Winners Announced

In a world where image really is everything, consumer opinion can make or break a brand.  Recognizing that, Kelley Blue Book – a longtime industry leader in automotive research and information – has just released its annual Brand Image Awards for 2011.  The awards, which are based on detailed data from KBB Market Intelligence’s Brand Watch study and are derived from an online study of more than 12,000 in market auto shoppers, recognize the best of the best in 10 categories.  These different categories leave no market uncovered.

New Auto Buying & Selling Resource: InspectMyRide.com

If you are in the market for a used auto to buy, or if you are thinking about selling your auto, having the vehicle inspected can be a critical step to ensure a smooth and fair transaction.

So, it’s great to see a new nationwide service launch that specializes in providing an independent, reliable, inspection of a vehicle.

TrueCar Releases TrueTrends Report for May

Our friends at TrueCar.com recently released the May TrueTrends report, their monthly car buying industry trend report and, as it is jam packed with some fantastic information for new auto buyers, we thought we’d break down some of the more interesting tidbits for you.

According to TrueCar:

Chevrolet Offers Tips To Save You Up To $100 On Gas

With Memorial Day weekend the unofficial kick off to the summer travel season, our friends at Chevrolet have released a study that examined gas usage by two people driving identical cars.  The study is designed to show consumers how to raise fuel economy and create astonishing savings.

AutoTrader Study: Actual Photos Of A Auto Help Increase Interest And Sales

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what does that translate to in the world of buying and selling autos?  According to AutoTrader, it is worth more auto sales to dealers, which can translate nicely into cold, hard cash.

Ready to Buy Your Next Auto? Right Now, New Is A Better Deal.

With all of the issues hitting the auto buying industry – high gas prices, recall issues, wounded economy, part shortages – the ability to cut a good deal still exists.  But don’t be fooled into thinking that there are no major differences when comparing new vs. used auto options. 

Nope, the used auto market has never been more solid…for the seller.

According to used auto trend watcher RVI Group and their Used Car Price Index, used auto values shot up an astonishing 16% in a year-over-year comparison.  What is causing this?

EPA & NHTSA launch New Fuel Window Stickers and Information

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are teaming to revamp the fuel economy section of the gas mileage window sticker that graces every new vehicle for sale in the US.  The EPA has announced that the new design will be required for every 2013 model year vehicle.

The new sticker designs can be reviewed at the EPA FuelEconomy.gov website and feature considerably more information for consumers to make decisions about the best car for them. 

Fighting Pump Inflation: What Autos Have A High MPG?

Unless you haven’t been paying attention (or perhaps have been in jail or something), you are fully aware that gas has surpassed the $4 per gallon mark in the US.  In Los Angeles, many gas stations are showing prices at or above $5 per gallon.  Amazing really, considering a year ago gas was hovering below the $3 per gallon mark and showed no real signs of upward mobility.

$4+ Gas Prices, Limited Inventory, Recovering Economy….Is Now a Good Time to Buy a New or Used Auto?

Is Now A Good Time to Buy?

According to AAA, the average national gas price today hit $4.36 a gallon.  With hard working folks still getting back on their feet after the economic impacts of the past few years this is not welcome news for anybody in the US.  The rise in gas prices can mean a direct increase in your monthly expenses, including everything from your weekly fill-up at the gas station to the cost of your groceries (which increase in price due to higher transportation costs).

J.D. Power & Associates 2011 Vehicle Dependability Study

J.D. Power & Associates

You would think that after all Toyota went through with their “memorable for all the wrong reasons” 2010, the brand would have taken a hit in the many surveys and studies that are taken on the topic of dependability.

Critical Auto Buying Mistake: Only 44% of New Buyers Plan To Get Pre-Approved

According to a recent study conducted by the folks at Kelley Blue Book, only 44% of prospective new car buyers plan to get pre-approved for a loan before buying.  While that isn’t overly surprising, it remains a critical mistake…one that can cost the consumer a great deal of money and time.

Helpful Resources For Useful Dealer Reviews

One of the toughest choices you have when you are shopping around for a new or used auto, is what dealers to consider, and which too visit.   Everyone wants to buy from a trustworthy dealer, and rest assured THEY ARE OUT THERE!

As we recommend throughout AutoBuying101.com, the process starts with contacting dealers from the comfort of your home/office, using tools like we have on our site, email, and phone.

Use Of "Chat" Tools By Auto Dealers On The Rise

Earlier this week, AutoTrader.com announced how they recently selected one of the most popular auto industry "chat" providers, Contact At Once as their partner to integrate chat functionality on AutoTrader.com, so on certain vehicles you can instantly chat with the selling dealer.  You can read the full press release here >>.  What's great about this for consume

Car & Driver 10Best Cars for 2011

Car and Driver, one of the leading automotive publications dedicated to enthusiasts and auto reviews, recently announced their 10Best Cars for 2011.  The full coverage of their 10Best selections can be found in the January magazine edition and on their website, CarandDriver.com.

Kiplinger Personal Finance Announces Their 2011 Best Values

Kiplinger Personal Finance recently launched their 2011 Car Buying Guide on their website, and published their "Top Picks" recommendations in the March 2011 magazine issue available now.  Kiplinger's categorized autos in 11 categories and ranked them by price, performance, safety, roominess, and driving impressions.   You can see their full research functionality on the Kiplinger website.

Consumer Reports Announces 2011 Top 10 Picks In Primary Categories

When it comes to measuring long term reliability and value, Consumers Union (the publisher of Consumer Reports Magazine) is one of the most respected sources in the industry. So for consumers, it's always helpful to see their ratings on new autos, as you should definitely consider their Top Picks as solid recommendations.

Kelley Blue Book Announces the 2011 Best Resale Value Award Winners

As you evaluate different makes and models during your auto buying research process, one of the helpful factors involved in your decision should be the evaluation of a auto's resale value.  This can help ensure you get the most for your money, and if you ever decide to sell or trade-in your auto, that you get a good return for your next purchase.

Chevrolet Volt & Ford Explorer win 2011 North American Car and Truck of the Year

2011 Chevrolet Volt

The Chevrolet Volt took top honors as the 2011 North American Car of the Year, while the 2011 Ford Explorer won the award for the 2011 North American Truck of the Year.  The awards were announced at a news conference at the North American International Auto Show held in Detroit, Michigan.   The awards are considered some of the most prestigious in the industry as the winners are chosen by a panel of 49 automotive journalists. 

The results in each category were:

2011 Car of the Year:

2011 Chevrolet Volt = 233 points

TrueCar Launches Best Local Price Tool to Help Find Good Deals

A great new tool launched today from one of the top sites for new auto pricing, TrueCar.com. As we outline in other areas of our site on auto prices , TrueCar.com specializes in developing current market based pricing reports on new vehicles showing what other buyers actually paid for their vehicle.

J.D. Power and Compete Report: Nearly 80% of Online Vehicle Buyers Visit a 3rd Party Web Site

According to a new report released by J.D.Power & Associates and Compete, Inc.: 77% of new vehicle buyers go online to do research in the 6 months prior to their purchase, and of that 77%, nearly 80% visit a third party website.

 

Chevy Volt Starts Selling at $33,500 Net Cost with Federal Tax Credit

Today, GM has announced official pricing for the new 2011 Chevy Volt vehicle. The vehicle will be priced at $41,000. In addition, the vehicle will qualify for up to $7,500 in federal tax credits, which basically takes the net cost down to $33,500. A fully loaded version of the Volt will run you $44,600 before the tax credit, $37,100 with the tax credit. Keep in mind you also will have to pay your state tax, title, and registration fees at the time of purchase.

Kelley Blue Book Launches New Tools for Private Party Sellers

The folks over at Kelley Blue Book just launched some helpful new tools to help those individuals looking to sell their vehicle.

Specifically the KBB tool includes:

- Customizable and Printable "For Sale" Window Sticker

- Digital Window Sticker with a link you can use to promote your for sale vehicle

- The KBB Private Party Value via KBB's LiveValue system

If you are a sub prime buyer looking for a GM vehicle, you may be out of luck.

Recent news came out last week that GM was looking to develop more relationships with national lenders to help facilitate auto loans for their dealers. A few years ago GM sold it's interest in GMAC, which acted as it's primary lending source to consumers for new and used GM vehicles.

 

Why You Should Take a Look at Toyota's March 2010 Incentives

With all of the problems and negative press Toyota has received over the past few months, it's easy to understand why you might have eliminated Toyota vehicles off your list. But, it's important to remember that all manufacturers have problems with their vehicles at some point in time. Although Toyota should have definitely done a better job handling and fixing the acceleration and braking issues found in some models, their vehicles are still competitive on numerous factors such as styling, gas mileage, and price.

Taking the Short Road to Your New Purchase

Sometimes, you can overcomplicate things if you take in to much information. Too much advice. Too much research. Too many websites. So, this week, we are focusing on the most critical pieces of advice associated with your new auto purchase. If you do nothing else when it comes to buying your new or used auto, make sure you do these things:

1) Review your finances and set your budget: Purchasing a new or used vehicle should be exciting and fun, but keep in mind your financial situation and target vehicles that fit your budget.

Blog Launch

Well, it took a while, but I am happy to announce the launch of the AutoBuying101.com Blog. This blog will be dedicated to helping provide consumers expert insight and information on how to leverage tools and resources to purchase the right vehicle. Stay tuned for many more updates as we track the latest news associated with the auto industry, specific vehicle types and brands, incentives, and the auto buying process.

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