Car Prices Blogs - February, 2012

SUV’s and Crossovers: What’s the Difference?

February 28th, 2012

It is difficult to ignore the popularity of the crossover vehicle. Despite rising demand for car-based SUV’s with an elevated driving position, many people are unaware of the difference between an SUV and a crossover vehicle.

Even car makers are trying to find ways on how to fuse the genuine toughness and off-road ability of an SUV with the comfortable cabin and easy to drive nature of a crossover. What is the difference between an SUV and a crossover?

The Difference between SUV’s and Crossover Vehicles

Take a look at the new Dodge Durango. Since it was launched in the American market in 1998, the Durango was always marketed as a midsize SUV, slotting between the full size behemoths and the compact crossovers.

Now, the Dodge Durango is a proper crossover vehicle. The difference is not in the design. It has nothing to do with the amount of equipment and standard features.

It is the chassis that truly defines a real SUV.

Crossover vehicles normally use the chassis derived from a sedan. This is most commonly called the unibody design. Engineers try to raise the ride height, give the car a bigger body and a revised suspension system. The Toyota RAV 4 is an example. The RAV 4 was derived from the chassis of the Toyota Corolla. The same can be said for the Honda CR-V and even the Mazda CX-9 (the CR-V gets the chassis of the Honda Civic, the CX-9 is derived from the chassis of the Mazda 6.)

Traditional car buyers who really want the toughness and off-road abilities of an SUV will settle for no less than a truck with a ladder frame chassis. The trouble with using a truck chassis when designing a crossover vehicle is the weight.

Tough trucks need all the muscle they can get to pull heavy loads and survive extreme off-road situations. Truck ladder frames are heavy and are designed for maximum strength.

Previous generations of the Dodge Durango were all based on the innards of a truck. The result is a tough and durable SUV with a combined fuel economy of 15mpg due to the weight penalty. The new Dodge Durango is able to accomplish a combined mileage of 19mpg, reaching up to 23mpg in highway driving.

Modern crossover vehicles need to provide the same amount of room, comfort, versatility, and practicality of a truck while consuming less fuel. In order to do this, car makers must find new construction techniques in order to fuse the attributes of an SUV (off-road ability) with the easy to drive nature of a conventional car.

The Most Dependable Car Brands of 2012

February 20th, 2012

J.D. Power vice president David Sargent has some good news for car buyers. He claims that “cars get better every year, but 2012 presents the biggest improvement despite the economic recession.

Now is the best time to buy a new car. Competition is healthy for any type of business, as it prevents the top brands and marquees from being complacent. Instead of just being content with a car that has–for instance–more legroom, car makers are now making sure that their new models are sure to deliver customer satisfaction, both in the aspects of design, engineering, and safety.

The J.D. Power and Associates Annual Vehicle Dependability Study starts with surveying 31,000 car owners from the USA, mostly composed of 2009 model cars. The company then gathers information regarding the complaints that consumers had about their cars. Did you know that car owners experienced an average of 132 problems for every 100 brand new vehicles, in a span of three years of ownership?

Back in 2007, consumers reported 215 problems for every 100 cars. Car makers realized that in order to succeed in a highly competitive marketplace, reliability and dependability should come first. This is made possible by using high quality materials and spare parts, along with high standards of build quality and engineering.

Here are the most dependable car brands for 2012 according to the latest study from J.D. Power and Asociates:

1. Lexus

2. Porsche

3. Cadillac

4. Toyota

5. Scion

6. Mercedes-Benz

7. Lincoln

8. Ford

9. Buick

10. Hyundai

Brand Dependability

Toyota continues to display unparalleled brand dependability despite suffering losses, mainly caused by the ‘brake pedal’ incident not too long ago. Both Honda and Toyota were severely affected by the flooding in Thailand–which will explain the shortage in stocks, and the delayed introduction of new vehicles in the US market.

What makes a dependable car? It starts in the initial phases of engineering and design. The car will have to be carefully engineered, and built using high quality materials in order to enhance dependability and reliability over an extended period of time.

You will notice that luxury brands are at the top of the list. Lexus is the luxury brand of Toyota. Ever since the Lexus brand was launched in the USA in 1989, the company earned a reputation of building luxurious and resilient automobiles, capable of lasting hundreds of thousands of miles. The same is true with Porsche, which came up to the number 2 spot in the list of most dependable cars. Porsche relies heavily on advanced engineering to produce the most dependable high performance vehicles that the world has ever seen.

Find the best deals and the lowest car prices in your zip code by requesting a free online quote. You will easily find the dealer invoice and true dealer cost of new cars, enabling you to pay less and save money.

Volkswagen Beetle versus Hyundai Veloster Car Price Review

February 13th, 2012

Since we are talking about car prices, let us start with the basics. If you are considering a small and stylish car, then both the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle and the 2012 Hyundai Veloster are worthy candidates indeed.

The redesigned 2012 Volkswagen Beetle has retro cool looks while the Hyundai Veloster sports a more modern and upscale look. Both cars have almost the same price and cater to the same demographic of buyers. Both also shed some practicality for some added style, and both cars are extremely fun to look at and fun to drive.

VW Beetle

The VW Beetle starts at $18,995 in base trim, and the top end black turbo edition can breach past $24,950. Base models get standard equipment such as air conditioning, full power accessories, CD player, heated mirrors, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The base model Beetle is powered by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that develops 170hp. A 5-speed manual transmission can be paired with the engine, but the six-speed remains a good option. Average fuel economy is 25mpg combined.

Hyundai Veloster

The Hyundai Veloster starts at $17,300 and offers a novelty that is absent on most sporty hatchbacks–it has a passenger-side rear door that improves the practicality of this sporty coupe. The Veloster does not belong to any specific category due to the presence of the third rear door, but it does add convenience without doing any harm to the flowing lines of the car.

The Veloster comes standard with tech gadgets such as Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, 6-speaker audio system with iPod connectivity, and a 7-inch touchscreen multimedia interface. It also comes with full power accessories, LED exterior lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, and Hyundai’s Blue Link system.

Power comes courtesy of a 138hp 1.6-liter inline 4-cylinder engine that is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. If you love steering mounted paddle shifts, then you should opt for the DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission. Fuel economy is at an average of 32mpg in the combined cycle.

There you have it. The Volkswagen starts at a higher base price but the retro stylish looks comes at a price. The Veloster sparks the imagination at a lower base price, and it adds a ton of standard equipment to the already impressive price tag.

One thing is for sure, though: buyers who are considering the Beetle or the Veloster for their next car will turn heads, no matter where they go.

Learn the invoice price and the true dealer cost of the VW Beetle and Hyundai Veloster by requesting a free, no obligations price quote. This is an easy, no-cost way to know the latest car prices in your zip code.

Used Car Prices on the Rise: Time to Buy a New Car Instead?

February 6th, 2012

Used car shoppers are in for a surprise: used car prices are steadily on the rise, and they show no signs of going down soon. In fact, prices are expected to rise by mid-2012.

The average price of a used car is up by as much as 1.8%, and is anticipated to rise as the year 2012 progresses.

Think that 1.8% is not enough? Consider the price of a used family sedan, one that is not more than 5 years old. The average price today is around $11,800. Back in 2009, the same car will only be sold at an average price of $10,300.

Considering the fact there are new cars which can be yours for around $12,000 or less, this further validates the claim that buying a new car is a wiser option.

Used Car Prices on the Rise: The Cause

It was not too long ago that the used car market was a haven for shoppers who wanted a decent car for less money. This was due to the fact automakers were constantly shoving new cars into showrooms. Car dealers were also giving marvelous incentives, cash backs, and discounts on new cars, hence making the deal even harder to resist. Customers were obligated to buy a new car and hurriedly traded in their old cars. The offers were just too hard to ignore.

When the financial crisis struck in late 2007 and early 2008, people held on to their old cars, which crippled the sales of new cars. Automakers reduced their production as no one wanted to take a loan on a new car during the recession.

The result? People who wanted a car bought used cars instead. The law of supply and demand takes over from this point. As the demand rises, so does the cost.

The economy is slowly recovering as we speak. There are now new cars that can be bought for as low as $10,000–brand new. Take the Nissan Versa, for example. The Versa earns the reputation for being the cheapest car sold in America today, with an MSRP that starts at $10,990 for the four door Versa sedan.

And then we have the Hyundai Accent, which starts at only $12,545. Although the base trim does not contain enough creature comforts to make it a justifiable bargain, remember that this is a brand new car, complete with the standard factory warranty.

Buying a used car is okay. Buying a new car, however, is better.

Request a free new car price quote

. This will make it easier for you to compare updated new car prices without haggling with the salesman.

This will also make it easier for you to justify whether buying a new car is more practical than buying a used car.