Learn How To Get The Best Deal

Blog Category: MINI

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.

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.

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.

2012 Top 10 Road Trip Autos

AutoBuying101.com Top 10 Road Trip AutosWe’ve reached the peak of summer, and Americans everywhere are readying for their vacations. They’ll be packing their gear, loading the cars, and hitting the open road for a memorable journey.

The road trip is an authentic American experience made all the more enjoyable by the right vehicle. Whether you’re solo or a family of seven, whether you're heading to the beach or the mountains, there’s a great road trip vehicle out there for you.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.