When you’re shopping for a new vehicle, keep in mind what it is your trying to accomplish.
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.
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….
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!
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.
Some cars age really, really well, and the BMW 6 series is most certainly one of them. This past weekend I attended a car show at a local car dealer, and this beautifully BMW 635 CSI was in the parking lot staring at me. Amazingly, this car was not part of the car show. It was shameful really, because this car was incredibly well kept, and easily as nice as many of the show cars. The body of this BMW was flawless, the wheels were flawless, and it had clearly been loved from the moment it left the factory. Well done BMW. You made my Sunday.
Last season, I had the pleasure of showing off my friend Matt’s ridiculously fast BMW E30 that is powered by a Mitsubishi 4G63 turbo engine. Back then, it was running 10.53 and 132 MPH, but he had mentioned that he had a lot more horsepower on tap for when he wanted it. So, rather than cranking the power up and watching parts scatter down the length of the track, this past winter Matt and the Infamous Performance crew put in work. They back-half’ed the car, swapped in a new SERIOUS transmission, and took it for a shake down pass this past weekend. On the first day out, without ever hitting 9′s before, Matt ripped off a 9.7 second quarter mile time at 140 miles per hour. As always, I have the video evidence for your entertainment.
Will Matt scrape into the 8′s this season? Sign up for the 1A Blog email and you’ll be the first to know WHEN it happens! Oh. It. Will. Happen.
Several months ago I shared a really cool short film made by the Mashbat Brothers which featured a new Subaru WRX, and a guy that clearly knew his way around the basketball court. I wasn’t sure exactly how to describe the video, other than it feeling like an awesome commercial for something. It had great music, terrific filming, and being a car-guy, the new WRX was obviously a win.
Fast forward to today – Bishrel Mashbat, who made that first film, just sent me the newest one that he and his brother have made. Sure enough, it is equally fantastic. I have now seen it about 4 (…okay now 5) times in a row, and it’s quite addicting to watch. The music is incredibly intense, and the featured car for this short film is a slick looking BMW M3. If you were a fan of the first video, like cars, love music, or are simply alive, you will probably enjoy this video. Again, I am left wanting so much more.
Thanks Bishrel! Excellent work again!
Also, Like Mashbat Brothers Films on Facebook
As it turns out, I know a few guys that do hill climbs in really fast cars. Actually… I’m not sure if the cars are really fast… or they are just driven really fast? In any case, I can assure you that this whole hill climbing thing is pure madness. Back when I was young and fearless, I used to ride down metal slides on freshly waxed cookie sheets (I don’t want to brag…). To this date, it was probably the fastest that I have ever traveled, so needless to say I have a very healthy fear of speed. Driving on a narrow road at ridiculous speeds with nothing but gigantic trees and mysterious creatures on both sides? Hmm. I’m guess I am probably not meant for that. I’ll be honest, when I walk by trees, I feel slightly uncomfortable knowing that if I bump into one of them it will probably scrape my arm. So speeding by them in a car at 100 miles per hour on wet pavement sounds absolutely horrifying to me. Maybe my cookie sheet sliding endeavors as a youth taught me all that I needed to know about going fast. I’m not sure, but I know that I would never do it again. I’ll let the more fearless friends of mine enjoy these fruits of life, and I’ll stick to spinning wrenches while the cars stay still.
For those of you that are far too impatient to watch the whole video above, feel free to skip ahead to about 2:05 mark. As soon as Matt (the driver) cuts the steering wheel hard left, you will probably want to pick up your feet, and shout “wwwweeeeaaaaOOOOHHHH!!” out loud. Watch it twice or thrice if necessary. Heck, share it with a friend. It’s a fact, hill climb drivers are totally fearless.
Can’t see the video? Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5jXNIfT3UQ
Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the global economy, but for whatever reason, this seems to be a great week to toss your super rare car onto eBay with an exorbitant price. Yesterday it was a SOHC Holman Moody Mustang, and today it is a 15,000 original mile, 1990 BMW M3. Not just your typical boring M3 though, it’s the nearly 240 horsepower “Sport Evolution” model. Oh, and it’s all black with factory headlight wipers. You know, just in case you get into some muddy rallying situations. This, my friends, is a car that people dream of owning. People like me.
As with all good things in life, there is some bad news… To start off, the car is currently in Munich Germany, which is far, at least from the United States. Secondly, it’s a car that you would constantly have to worry about if you park it in any parking lot by itself. Let’s face it, somebody in a minivan is guaranteed to swing their door into the side of it. You cannot avoid it. Lastly, it is currently bid up to $90,000-ish Euros and the reserve has not been met. That is 120 THOUSAND dollars. What the what?!! So if you want the car in your life, you will likely need to be a millionaire that just won the lottery. Hey, that happens… Check out the Ebay Item #: 170728665662 If you don’t speak German, you may want to translate it. It’s a hoot.
Car shows are always great time, but the Broke Down 2011 car show flipped my world inside out, wrapped it in hickory smoked bacon, and then dipped it into an enthusiasm bisque. It was 1000+ cars, thousands of great people, fantastic music, and delicious food. Oh yea, there were some cars there too. Tons of people took far better pictures than I will ever be capable of and posted them on the Broke.Down facebook page. If you have a few dozen hours to use up, I recommend flipping through some of the albums that are on there (at your own risk of course!)
Now, you may be saying to yourself “Jeremy, did the wacky chameleon painted Karmann Ghia make it to the show?” Well, no. However, it wasn’t due to lack of effort, that’s for sure. Let’s just say that the ol’ KG automatic stickshift input shaft seal wasn’t quite ready for 1600cc’s of spiciness. That’s a story for another day though. Who knows, I may even have some pictures!