Things To Consider When Shopping For A New Car

Kia

When you’re shopping for a new vehicle, keep in mind what it is your trying to accomplish.

Ask yourself:

If you have kids do they typically like to bring a friend along on a family excursion, and could this new vehicle safely accommodate an extra person in the back. Are you looking for a new vehicle that’s better on gas, or perhaps a vehicle that has all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive to get you through the winter months when commuting to work.

When looking at a new car do you have a family of four or greater, is there room in the cargo area to fit groceries. I did find this to be an issue while looking at some of the crossovers and compact SUVs on the market.

Also what type of a warranty does the new vehicle come with, and what are the crash test ratings and customer reviews of that vehicle.

The Issue :

My wife and I both commute about 50 miles to work each day round trip, in opposite directions. We own two SUV’s and found ourselves spending so much money on gas and repairs each month, that it made sense to find a vehicle that was newer than ten years old and better on gas. Living in New England, the winter months can get downright treacherous while commuting during snow storms and blizzards.

The Hunt:

Armed with dealer invoice figures ( I used the TruCar app for your IPhone), along with some automotive review and crash test rating knowledge, it was time to hit the new car lots.  My first thought was to find an economical crossover or a compact SUV that had decent gas mileage, which would also satisfy our goals including the amount of money that I wanted to spend.

We had to have a vehicle that was low cost and four-wheel-drive because we had to sell one of the SUVs that we own… or so we thought….

Regroup:

After some major sticker shock it was time to hop back into old reliable, and to head back home to do a little more research. On my way home I couldn’t help but think, what is it that we’re trying to accomplish and what do we own. These are questions to ask yourself. After all, buying a new vehicle is a huge investment, but do it right and it may make a lot of sense.

We own a two SUVS, both very good in inclement weather (they just tend to gobble up parts once in a while, and use a ton of gas). However, it also never hurts to have an extra vehicle on-hand, in-case one of them breaks down you now have a backup vehicle to commute to work in while making repairs on the vehicle that’s down for the moment.

Owning one SUV that’s seventeen years old, and another that’s ten years old, at this point in the game it doesn’t cost much to register them every year and keep them on the road. I decided to  keep the two SUVs, cycle in a new economy car to commute in that is awesome on gas, it had to have a killer warranty and more importantly it has to be low cost!

Smart Shopping:

If you’re shopping for an economy car, that has great gas mileage you don’t have to spend a ton of money. While weighing the options I quickly noticed that you can find economy cars starting at around twelve thousand dollars that have fuel economy ratings at over 30 city and 40 miles per gallon highway.

Technology has come such a long way over the years, that some of the new fuel economy ratings are where the hybrid vehicles used to be at.  That’s enough to make anyone smile.

While shopping around and making decisions I ended up purchasing the new 2014 KIA RIO, which gets around 27 city and 37 highway for gas mileage and also comes with all kinds of fun gadgets that make the ride to work a little more enjoyable. This allowed me to cycle in a new vehicle, and to also keep costs low.

 

 

 

Subaru Legacy GT Limited Part 2

As you saw a few weeks ago, I recently purchased a 2006 Subaru Legacy GT Limited that was missing compression in cylinder #3 due to a burned exhaust valve. Long story short, it runs again, but getting to this point was a fair amount of work. Here is how it played out:

I bought the car about a month ago:

Then I got it home, and began diagnostics with a cylinder leakage tester.  » Continue reading more of this post…

The AWD 4G63 Turbo Dune Buggy Lives!

Several months ago, we showed you Don’s absolutely fantastic AWD turbo 4G63 dune buggy project. Part 1 of the build can be seen Here, and part 2 can be seen Here.  Recently, Don brought the 4G63 buggy over to Dynotech Tuning in Seekonk MA to have a few things buttoned up on it. Yesterday turned into a major milestone.  It’s Alive!!

Can’t see the video?  Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndKCGhJnM0k

With the dune buggy in Brian & Jamie’s capable hands at DTT, we can expect this thing to be an absolute monster in short order.  As soon as the driving / launching videos hit the internetzzz, the 1A Blog readers will be the first to know about it.   Keep up the great work Don & DTT!

More to come…..

Slow Motion: AWD Launching Edition

AWD DSM Launches in Slow Motion

When watching drag racing, the last thing that’s on your mind is what the race would look like in slow motion.  Luckily, there are people out there that are thinking about this, and even capture it on video for people like us to enjoy.  On YouTube there are dozens of slow motion videos of rear wheel drive cars launching, which is pretty cool, but I find all wheel drive to be more interesting.

You can actually see the transfer case putting in work.  First, the front wheels start to slip, then the power is transferred to the rear, which often slips, and then back to the front it goes again. It is an amazing seesaw of power within a blink of an eye.  Focus on the spinning of the front and rear wheels vs. the distance the car travels for total amazement. Oh, and yes……… this is why stuff breaks.

» Continue reading more of this post…

UPDATE: AWD Mitsubishi Turbo Dune Buggy!

Back in August we had and entire week of amazing automotive projects, and many readers asked for updates as they progressed. Since 1A Auto never disappoints, and Don never stops working on this thing, we bring you Round 2 of the AWD Mitsubishi Turbo Dune Buggy (See Round 1 Here if you missed it).  Since the first 1A Auto blog post, I have gotten to know Don a bit, and he is one of the most creative and resourceful builders I have seen.  There are not enough thumbs on my hands to give him the amount of “thumbs up” that he deserves!  Keep up the great work!

As you can see:

- Many many hours of fiberglass work has been done
- Body mounts have been made
- Front bumper installed
- Strut braces have been made
- Radiator and mounted
- New tires and wheels!

Travis Pastrana Vs. Mount Washington Video

In the interest of awesome videos, I feel obligated to post up this one up for the dedicated 1A Auto Blog readers as well.  It is a video of Travis Pastrana (Awesome rally car driver) planning for, and then racing up Mount Washington.  It will likely be the best 5 minutes of your day, so you will want to sit down and watch it immediately….maybe even twice.  FWIW, much like the Pikes Peak hill climb, these people are crazy for racing this close to a multiple thousand foot cliff.  Just sayin…..

Can’t see the video? Here is the Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdXJYc4CpXA

Monday = AWD Mitsubishi Turbo Dune Buggy

It’s no secret that I love cars with forced induction & all wheel drive.  There is also a wacky rumor floating around that I may have a secret obsession with air cooled VW’s.  Well, when you mix that dream with reality, you find yourself on the internet staring into the bug eyes of an incredibly scary Eagle Talon Dune Buggy.  It is the brainchild of a guy appropriately named “dsmbuggy” on baystatedsm.com.

He took a drivable, but rough looking AWD Talon, cut the body off and ever so gently applied a dune-buggy body to it.  He then added a few roll bars to complete the package and reserve his spot in dune buggy legends.  Is it going to horrify nearby children & pets?  You bet it is.  Will it ever be able to pass a state inspection?  “Who’s Asking?” ….   » Continue reading more of this post…