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Blog Category: Acura

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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:

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.

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.

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.