Tag: Used Cars

By on May 12, 2017

Bright colors and lowered prices try to attract customers to a California used car lot

A surge in vehicles coming off lease agreements has boosted used vehicle inventory in the United States — a trend that’s proving to be good news for dealers and a headache for Ford, General Motors and FCA.

Three or four years ago, used vehicle inventories were at a low point. U.S. automakers weren’t offering bargain leases during the recession and were apprehensive to begin doing so in the years following. Such isn’t the case anymore, with an estimated 12 million low-mileage vehicles set to come off lease by 2019, according to Reuters. Customers leased those vehicles between 2014 and 2016 when automakers experienced a sales and leasing boom.
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By on May 11, 2017

Image: Collection of Suzuki and Geo vehicles, image via Craigslist

This is actually the first time in our Rare Rides series where Rides applies directly to a single story. That’s because this is more of a rare collection of cars from someone who is dedicated to a singular passion. A passion which only comes in one color, and which bears mostly misleading badging.

You don’t want to miss what you’re about to see.

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By on May 10, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 Midnight Edition

My previous Question of the Day focused on your favorite special-edition vehicles, where I so kindly jarred your memory of the excellent Mercury Villager Nautica and GMC Jimmy Diamond Edition. Both of those vehicles showcased enough delightfully distinguishing features that I had to recommend them as prime examples of doing special editions right in the ’90s and early ’00s.

But not all special editions are worthwhile. There are plenty of ill-conceived, silly special editions out there, crapping up the aesthetic of everything in their vicinity. Some look too of the moment when most of those moments certainly don’t deserve memorialization.

Which brings me to my question for you today: What’s the lamest special edition?

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By on May 5, 2017

Toyota Century, image via eBay

Heads of state and other dignitaries typically like to ride around in large, sedan-shaped vehicles. Offerings like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and contemporary Rolls-Royce sedans have long been the go-to around the world. Of course, there are exceptions. For places like the United States, national pride dictates an American-made Cadillac or Lincoln.

The Japanese also have a strong sense of national pride, and for decades there was only one vehicle appropriate for heads of state and CEOs — the Toyota Century.

Now it’s gone.

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By on May 3, 2017

Mercury Villager Nautica, Image via Ford

I’m back again. Shortly after today’s QOTD about special editions went live, I received an email back from a kind contact at Ford. She provided me with the press photos of the Mercury Villager Nautica I had requested. Since they’re so nice, and you probably haven’t seen them anywhere else, it’s Picture Time.

Feast your eyes on this tasty minivan.

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By on May 3, 2017

1996 Dodge Ram 1500 Indy 500 Special Edition, Image: Chrysler

Yesterday’s post about the excellent Bill Blass Lincoln Continental Mark V got me thinking: Maybe I could wear a white, double-breasted suit with gold buttons to work inquire about the multitude of other special editions for the Question of the Day today.

Like Mr. Casey mentions, Lincoln used special editions from the ’70s through the ’90s, which is about the same time (give or take) other manufacturers were doing the same thing.

So tell me, what’s your favorite special edition?

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By on April 19, 2017

04 - 1985 Chrysler New Yorker Fifty Avenue Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin

Think back in time, and then back a little further. Think about when you were between maybe 14 and 18 years of age; when the Kool-Aid was sweet, the lawn darts were shiny, and your personal tablet was an Etch-A-Sketch. It was then you had your first formative driving experiences, whether it was with a driving instructor, or perhaps a relative who reluctantly handed you the keys to their Electra 225.

Today, it’s story time.

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By on April 15, 2017

chrysler200-rear

If you’re planning to buy your teen son or daughter their first vehicle — rather than let them work a retail job to save up for a rusting heap — the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety wants a word.

There’s good and almost-as-good choices for used cars out there, and none of them are a ’95 Cavalier with a blown suspension and more fluid leaks than the Bismark. While the IIHS top picks pack piece of mind for parents, kids might cringe at the less-than-sexy choices. (Read More…)

By on April 5, 2017

1989 Chrysler Fifth Avenue

On Monday, I asked you to tell me about vehicles that improved greatly compared to the prior generation; new models which were instantly and vastly superior to their predecessor.

Today, we’re going to flip it and talk about generational failures. Which vehicles were downgrades compared to the previous generation?

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By on April 3, 2017

Plymouth Advertisement

Keeping things fresh and interesting (or boring and CUV) is what drives models to the top of the sales charts. As designs age out of the public’s collective (un)consciousness, they need to be replaced. And unless you have some Impala Classic soldiering on and breaking all the replacement rules, the standard consumer will expect a new generation of their vehicle every five to seven years. The Laws of Advertising mandate a claim of superiority be made about each new generation upon introduction, like in the delightful vintage Plymouth ad you see above.  Something to the tune of, “This new and redesigned Sportslife XLS is best in all things car!”

Sometimes, the OEMs get the new generation of a model just right, and really hit it out of the park compared to the prior version. Which of these generation gaps stands out most to you?

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By on March 29, 2017

keys car sale

A third of all subprime car loans are now being categorized into the ominous-sounding “deep subprime” group. The designation has become progressively more inclusive since America clawed its way out of the recession and now accounts for 32.5 percent of all high-risk loans — up from just 5.1 percent in 2010.

While consumers have fallen behind on most subprime auto loans, the deep classification is responsible for the most serious cases of nonpayment. Delinquencies surpassing 60-day periods have tripled since 2012 and indicate little sign of stabilizing.  (Read More…)

By on March 15, 2017

2017 Land Rover Discovery

Ahh, style. The word that means different things to different people. The khaki-clad middle manager and the 20-something hipster from Seattle both have a sense of it, even if wildly divergent. And this equally applies to cars.

For example, though many of the B&B complain about how all cars look the same now, I don’t think that’s true.

Your assignment today is to think about present-day exterior styling as applied to cars, and come up with a suggestion that’s suitably timeless.

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By on March 10, 2017

2004 Saleen S7

When you put pen to paper and start making a list of American super car models, it doesn’t take long to conclude that The Land of the Free is not a leading purveyor of the species. In fact, you can fit the list on a standard Post-It. Google reckons there are just four generally — Ford GT, Hennessey Venom GT (which are current), a couple of Mosler MTs, and the Saleen S7 (which are deceased).

So come and check out a rare example of what happens when American British engineering meets super car specifications, and then it all gets screwed together in the U.S. of A.

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By on March 1, 2017

2015-cadillac-ats-sedan

Navigating the new car market can be treacherous, but the used market is significantly larger and riddled with more hidden pitfalls. Used cars also offer the best potential value for your money, provided you don’t end up with a lemon. Even something that passes your initial scrutiny might be a few months away from becoming a clattering heap.

Fortunately, Consumer Reports keeps a running tally on the worst second-hand garbage that money can buy. Taken from its most recent ranking, here are some of the more common models from the last 10 years that scored so poorly in reliability that they aren’t even worth your consideration. (Read More…)

By on December 15, 2016

Carvana dealership

Online used-car dealer Carvana opened its second coin-operated car “vending machine” in Houston, Texas. The four-bay location allows customers either to pick up cars they’ve purchased through the company’s website, or to buy one of the 30 vehicles in stock at the location.

While customers can have their purchase delivered directly, Carvana must think there are enough interested rubes willing to make a pitstop in Houston on their pilgrimage to the world’s biggest ball of twine to make this gargantuan novelty worthwhile. Considering that Las Vegas has remained on the map, there might be something to that way of thinking.  (Read More…)

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