Tag: QOTD

By on July 31, 2017

abandoned rusty Datsun truck, Image: Mr Hicks46/Flickr

You know the type: it’s the one who starts their ad with “RARE!” and ends it with “I know what I’ve got!!!1!” No matter what type of cars you’re into – classic muscle, JDM imports, or modern supercars – there’s almost always one person in the crew who thinks what they own is worth a king’s ransom.

Never, though, have I even seen someone so massively, incredibly, ginormously overvalue their car like this seller.

(Read More…)

By on July 27, 2017

2018 Toyota Camry Georgetown Kentucky assembly plant - Image: ToyotaAmericans who take possession of a new Jaguar E-Pace can check their VIN to see that the subcompact luxury crossover was assembled in Austria. Each of the 36,813 Buick Envisions sold in the United States through June were imported from China. The Ford Fusion comes from Hermosillo, Mexico; the Honda Accord comes from Marysville, Ohio.

BMW builds SUVs in South Carolina. Mercedes-Benz builds cars and SUVs in Alabama. Volkswagen builds the Atlas and Passat in Tennessee. The Toyota Camry is built in Kentucky, although there’ll be a handful of new 2018 models coming all the way from Japan.

The global automotive market has spoken. “A lot of consumers have no idea where their cars are built,” Renault’s Francois Mariotte tells AutoExpress. Perhaps there are customers who struggle with the notion of German cars being assembled in Mexico, for example, but as Renault’s Mariotte says: “The quality of the car is never determined by the country it’s built in. It’s determined by the processes we put into the factory.”

But do you care where your next new vehicle is assembled? (Read More…)

By on July 26, 2017

Acura Legend Coupe

Earlier this week in his Question of the Day, Matthew Guy asked everyone to share a favorite vehicle from their year of birth. An interesting walk through history ensued in the days following, and I encourage each of you to head there and read through the comments if you haven’t done so already. You’ve probably already guessed from the title above where I’m going with this particular question.

Today’s inquiry is all about the worst, steamiest pile of junk on sale the year you were born. Let’s get down and dirty.

(Read More…)

By on July 25, 2017

I2018 ford F-150, mage: Ford Motor Co.

If I had my way, and I’m sure others feel the same, Ford would dial back its styling about 40 years, return the 300 cubic-inch straight-six back to the F-150’s engine lineup, and dust off the column-mounted three-speed manual. We could all tool around like Uncle Jesse, confident in knowing we made a solid buying decision. As our need for fancy driver’s aids and entertainment systems and seats that do everything but propose marriage fade into hazy recollections, our only gripe would be the stickiness of the vinyl bench seat on hot, un-air conditioned days.

Never fear, though. The truck’s filled with refreshing watermelon and beer and lemonade!

Okay, enough of this fantasy, as it’s never going to happen. Not possible. Automakers are addicted to pickup truck revenue, and consumers are only too happy to play the enabler, topping up those coffers ever higher thanks to a never-ending thirst for more options, more features, more luxury.

Have we gone too far? (Read More…)

By on July 24, 2017

04 - 1987 Saab 900 in Colorado junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

Ages ago in this series, I asked the 20-year question and you, the Best & Brightest, did not disappoint with your answers. Today, your mission is to simply answer the following: what car do you desire from the year of your birth?

For me, that model year is 1980. Let’s see what was shiny and new on the showroom floor back when interest rates were larger than the salesman’s lapels.

(Read More…)

By on July 21, 2017

1995 Plymouth Neon, Image: Wikimedia Commons

If you’re a believer in the idea of authentically American small cars, then you’ve had a rough couple of years. The last compact or subcompact to be engineered ground-up by an American corporation was probably the ’95 Dodge/Plymouth Neon, although some kind of argument might be possible for the Chevrolet Cobalt. In 2017, the Big Three have been reduced to selling locally assembled versions of a German car, a Korean car, and an Italian car. We’re basically where Brazil was in 1990.

Things are going to get worse. GM might discontinue some small cars altogether. Ford is going to build the Focus in China. FCA probably has no plans to bring a Dart successor here. This is the end, beautiful friend. Do you care?

(Read More…)

By on July 20, 2017

2018 Buick Regal GS - Image: BuickUse whatever designation you must, but you know what we’re asking. In 2017, is Buick one of America’s premium brands? A competitor for Lexus and Audi? A rival for BMW and Jaguar?

On July 19, Buick released the first images, specs, and pricing details for the next-generation 2018 Buick Regal GS. While dropping the price of the basic Regal to $25,915 — not that much money for a 250-horsepower 2.0T midsize hatchback — Buick apparently improved the sporty GS in every way. The result: the GS is only ten bucks away from being a $40,000 car. The more powerful Ford Fusion Sport is $5,510 cheaper. The Audi S4 is some $12,000 more costly.

But Buick is more than just an intangible no-man’s-land price point. Buick is also a brand that sends mixed messages: advertising that suggests it’s not worthy of praise on the one hand; the new Avenir sub-brand on the other.

What say you: is Buick just another luxury wannabe, or is Buick selling premium goods at a discount? (Read More…)

By on July 19, 2017

2014 Fiat 500L Exterior-003

Each week, TTAC’s basic car correspondent Matthew Guy brings you an Ace of Base article. Matt’s carefully selected examples are base models which tick many desirability boxes, proving you don’t need thousands of dollars in engine upgrades, brakes, pieces of trim, or tech packages to have good and enjoyable transportation. Overall, the Ace of Base series is positive and uplifting, presenting us with the best of the best of base. The other half of the basic coin is being ignored, however, and that’s where you come in.

Today we seek your nominations for the new vehicle which best represents a Waste of Base. 

(Read More…)

By on July 18, 2017

LeBron James Kia ad, Image: Kia

If a famous person sways your purchasing behaviour, you’re likely an idiot. Actors and other celebs rake in great coin shamelessly hocking products to the teeming masses, be it life insurance, Preparation H, overpriced jeans, or underperforming vehicles. To them, the suitcase of cash emits the siren song, not the product. (Don’t start up about athletes and sports-branded clothing. We’re not going in that direction.)

No company covets celebrity endorsements quite like automakers. Whether it’s longtime Anglophile Tom Brady shilling for Aston Martin or LeBron James’ sudden love for Kia’s spectacularly slow-selling K900, nothing gets eyes on the product faster than having someone famous stand next to it. Surely, none of us would ever fall for such a thing.

Celebrity endorsements, if you want to call it that, only bolsters a non-mouth-breather’s buying decision if it reinforces a previously held position. Already angling for a Chrysler Newport? Well, your favourite star from, say, Barney Miller, agrees it’s a sensible purchase. And several dollars less than Caprice! However, if said celebrity is someone you desire, rather than just respect or admire, it could be argued that there’s some subtle, subconscious influence at work. It it enough to tip the scales in favor of a certain product?

That’s something only you can answer. (Read More…)

By on July 17, 2017

06___2018_honda_accord_touring

It won’t have escaped your attention that Honda hauled the wraps off its 10th-generation Accord on Friday. Some good things were added: trunk space, a ten-speed automatic, and turbocharged engines. However, as Soiricho gives, Soiricho also taketh away: the V6 disappeared, as did the coupe.

The move wasn’t surprising, as coupes (and non-crossovers in general) are currently enjoying the popularity of fish-flavored toothpaste. With their numbers dwindling, what car currently on sale today would you like to see as a coupe?

(Read More…)

By on July 14, 2017

car back seat interior, Image: Blaz Kure/Bigstock

Yesterday, we talked about how self-driving cabs would quickly become absolutely filthy, the same way that most of mass transit is absolutely filthy. I’m not sure if that’s always the case, to be honest.

Which got me thinking about autonomous vehicles — is there a way I could ruthlessly limit the customer base of any given vehicle to those whose thoughts on personal hygiene, food disposal, and bodily fluids mirrored mine? There are surely people who are fussier than I am, as well, and perhaps they don’t want me in their vehicles.

(Read More…)

By on July 13, 2017

NIssan Nalley GT-R Versa - Image: NissanLast week, we told you that Americans are paying more for new cars than they’ve ever paid before while enjoying record-high incentives. Car buyers are able to spend more in large part because the payment terms are longer than ever before.

The average new vehicle purchase now requires a $32,900 expenditure, made possible by incentives of $3,550 per car and a loan term of 69.3 months. The average payment is now $517 per month.

But how much would you pay? What’s your maximum price, your maximum payment, your maximum term length? (Read More…)

By on July 12, 2017

saab-900

Last month, I brought to you a Question of the Day about resurrection; saving something from an untimely death. Naturally, we were talking about car brands — specifically, which dead brand you’d select to bring back to life in a modern world, with a modern lineup.

In the well-established TTAC interest of balance, fairness, and equality in all things, now we ask the opposite question: Which car brand deserved its death?

(Read More…)

By on July 11, 2017

10 - 1992 Plymouth Sundance Down On the Junkyard - picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

We’ve all been burned at one time or another. As time passes, the chances of a rip-off, raw deal, or money-draining, hair-pulling lemon grow greater. Maybe you didn’t like the cut of the salesman’s jib. Maybe the dealership botched or sidestepped a necessary repair. There’s no limit to the number of ways a car, or a car company, can turn once-happy customers into sworn enemies.

In my family’s lineage, the only automaker that really fits this bill is Chrysler. Old Chrysler. Often Bad Old Chrysler. And yet, it wasn’t always that way, nor did it stay that way. But for a period of a few decades, Chrysler Corporation’s name was mud, despite the rosy, horsepower-clouded memories of a family member once seduced by Good Old Chrysler.

The first cut is the deepest, they say, and Chrysler came at the remaining members with a meat cleaver. (Read More…)

By on July 10, 2017

Shopping cart full of cash money bills, Image: urfingus/Bigstock

Since we started Question of the Day, we’ve interrogated you on a myriad of subjects – ranging from the one that got away to your thoughts on a particular brand. Today, our question is a heckuva lot more straightforward.

What’s on the short list for your next car?

(Read More…)

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