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Blog Category: New Auto Buying

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

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:

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."

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

 

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.