By on September 1, 2017

2018 Toyota Camry SE and 2016 Toyota Camry SE - Images: ToyotaThe 2018 Toyota Camry is the first truly, completely, all-new Toyota Camry since 2002. Built on Toyota’s New Global Architecture, it’s stiffer, safer, and by all accounts, substantially better to drive than the 2017.

Fuel efficiency took a leap forward. Horsepower did, too. The feature count, including the safety department, was elevated. The 2018 Toyota Camry even has a sense of style, whether you like its sense or prefer less offensive past examples.

With an all-new architecture for an in-demand car — yes, even as sedans slow, the Camry is still the 15-time best-selling car in America — comes a lack of willingness on the part of Toyota to deal. That’s made all the more true by the current cost of importing Camrys. While production will eventually be in full swing at the Camry’s Georgetown, Kentucky, assembly plant, early copies of the 2018 Camry hail from Japan.

Rare will be the buyer who heads into a U.S. Toyota store this Labor Day weekend with a strong preference for the old Camry, still available in abundance on dealer lots. Even with concerns (albeit modest concerns; this is a Camry) regarding first-model-year reliability, the MY2018 Camry is the bright and shiny object.

The 2018 Toyota Camry is better than the 2017 Toyota Camry: objectively, subjectively, on paper, on the road. But is it 41-percent better? (Read More…)

By on August 23, 2017

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio - Image: FCAMSRPs aren’t meaningless.

Okay, sometimes they’re meaningless. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price — dealer may sell for less, or more — is just one element of a new vehicle acquisition’s true cost. For most vehicles, the MSRP is just the starting point for negotiations, which won’t truly begin until you have a clear idea of the automaker’s incentive load. Employee pricing. Anniversary bonus. Labor Day credits. Red tag deals. Summer clear out. Memorial Day rebates. July 4th blowouts.

Then there’s the interest rate equation, which will change based on credit, term, and numerous other factors. Next, apply unappetizing dealer fees. And now, if you’re considering leasing, throw another whole set of numbers into this kettle of fish.

Out comes a lease payment for the $73,595 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio that’s nearly double the cost of a BMW M3; a lease payment 77-percent higher than on the Cadillac CTS-V, even though the CTS-V’s MSRP is 17-percent higher.

We urge you: please do not lease an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio until terms change.  (Read More…)

By on April 28, 2017

Peugeot 208, Image: PSA Group

When you’re hot, you’re hot. And when you’re the architect of a leasing promotion gone bad (by way of being too successful), you’re fired.

PSA Group reportedly canned its top German managers after a scorching lease deal on Peugeot 208 hatchbacks sent the country’s residents clamoring for wildly discounted French cars.

It wasn’t supposed to be that way. (Read More…)

By on March 5, 2017

500e

Almost a month ago, I wrote that the Ford Focus Electric was the cheapest car in North America. Because federal, state, and local incentives are rolled into the price of a lease, along with the sizable discounts applied by the manufacturer, a $30,000 dollar EV can easily be priced below a $16,000 internal combustion model. Those piling discounts on other models have dethroned the Focus as America’s cheapest car.

Fiat’s 500e can currently be had for roughly the same price as a decent pair of sneakers, continuing the trend of bargain basement pricing on small electric cars. At $69 per month for 36 months with no money down, it’s also a better deal than the shoes — which can typically only manage a few hundred miles before becoming a tattered mess. With some evening reprieves to recharge, the Fiat can top that in a week with only the slightest hint of tread-wear. However, this incredibly low leasing rate for the $33,00 EV isn’t even the best deal of the last few months.  (Read More…)

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