Learn How To Get The Best Deal

July 2012 Blog Posts

  • 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.