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.

 

 

 

Defining Perfection: The Neighborhood Truck

Seeing cars and trucks used for their intended purposes does wonderful things for me.  I like seeing trucks hauling heavy stuff, Mustangs and Camaros being brutally launched at the drag strip, and pricey exotics ripping at the corners of a road course.  It’s refreshing.  When I went to the SEMA show a few years ago, I remember being absolutely flabbergasted that people in Nevada still drive around old cars daily.  Not as show cars, but as regular vehicles.  Ah…. The beautiful thing about the dry climates…..  rust isn’t desperately clawing at the bottom of your car trying to pull it back into the earth.   As long as the engine stays spinning, and the seats don’t turn into dust, you should be able to drive your 75 Malibu as long as you want.  I love this.  These old cars that are driven daily and used for a purpose often lack some of the pinache’ that show cars have, but they have features that can’t be bought or built, it’s called character.

In my neighborhood, there is an old 58-59 Chevy truck that looks like it gets used for typical yard work, and “around town” type things.  It has more character than any other car in town, and it’s tough to pinpoint why.  It just looks sooo right from every angle.  If I ever were lucky enough to own this truck, I don’t think I would change a thing about it. It is perfection.

What’s in your neighborhood?

Most vs. Least Expensive Cars on eBay.

9/17 Most Expensive Car on EBay.

Vehicle: Prago Picalo Item # 300467016924

Buy it Now Price: $5,200,000.00

Owner Says: “The car was produce hand make in the company Böhminischen Märischen Machine in the year 1934. In this time epoch till 1945 have sitting in the car prominent people. The car is a original and in well condition. You can feel the time.”

My Thoughts: I cannot feel the time for a Prago Picalo.

9/17 Least Expensive Car on EBay.

Vehicle: 1978 Triumph Spitfire # 280562381265

Buy it Now Price: $250

Owner Says:
“For parts Still good parts left.
And take it all..Come with papers.
Can deliver short distance.
Trans / Rear /Lower motor block unit.
And a few other parts.”

My Thoughts: I STILL cannot feel the time for a Prago Picalo.

Serial Numbers On Glass?

serial number glass

I worked on an absolutely beautiful 1984 Chevy Caprice recently, and noticed that it had engraved serial numbers on all the glass.  I understand why they do it, but is this common?  I have worked on about 11 trillion cars, and this is the first that I have seen like this.

Oh great 1AAuto Blog Readers, please school me on this. Common? Not Common? Does it actually thwart thievery? Is it just another way for dealers to grab money?  Who has this on their cars?

Bonus Note: That is me in the reflection, with the camera phone. Hi.

Yes: Throw That On A 4×4 Chassis.

El Camino 4x4

Whenever you mix free time and El Camino’s, you can guarantee that something amazing will happen.   In this case,  the mid 70′s body style El Camino that everyone loves to hate became a 4 wheel drive monster.  The brush guard was functional and ready for some action, and so was the solid front axle.  In all honesty, it was put together fairly well.  Under more normal conditions, the body would have been connected to the frame with drywall screws and tie-down straps.  This one was far better.  It used real metal and wasn’t a giant turd like most 4×4 chassis swaps that I have seen.  While I can’t picture myself in this vehicle, I have great appreciation for anybody that puts their time and effort into a car.   So cheers to you mid 70′s El Camino 4×4 chassis swap dude, and to a job well done!

Widebody Wednesday: 2010 Camaro Edition

I am declaring today as Widebody Wednesday because I was hit in the face with some sweet looking 2010 Camaro widebody pictures and figured that the 1A Auto Blog readers would enjoy them as well.  This car is a work in progress being built by Extreme Dimensions in conjunction with Real Auto Works, and it looks like something I would thoroughly enjoy cruising around in.  The laid out air ride suspension compliments the custom widebody kit perfectly in my opinion, and makes it look different from every other Camaro on the street. Although I may change a little thing here or there, I’m going to have to give this one two high 5′s.  As Facebook might say: “Jeremy Like This!”

Pictures borrowed from:

http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?5012975-2010-Camaro-widebody

Real Lexus LFA Spotted at a Massachusetts Dealer.

That’s right.  A real life LFA was spotted at a Massachusetts dealer yesterday.  It’s rumored to be one of 2 in the country. Where is it?  I’m not telling.  Who’s is it?  We don’t know, but it’s sold, so put your wallet back in your pocket.  Apparently it sounds like an amazing act of god when revved.  Sit back, gawk, and enjoy.

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