Reading the long-from retrospective of Hinrich Woebcken’s life in Automotive News, this author can’t help but think of a friend who, like Volkswagen of America’s CEO, spent his early life in Rochester, New York. In the executive’s case, it was an exchange program in the late Seventies.
This friend, after odd jobs accumulated a sufficient stockpile of cash, went out and bought his first car — a white Volkswagen Fox, which I believe he later rolled (with limited damage). The choice of buying a Fox wasn’t unusual, even in a market awash in cheap Detroit iron. Foxes were small, economical, presumably better built than the domestic competition, and above all else, affordable.
It’s the latter virtue Woebken wants to return to the VW fold, as paying extra for “German engineering” isn’t nearly as popular as it once was.
As we told you earlier this month, Hyundai’s newest offering, the B-segment Kona crossover, arrived with a base price below that of its subcompact competition. At $20,450 after delivery for a base, front-drive SE, the Kona slots below the entry MSRPs of the Honda HR-V, Toyota C-HR, Chevrolet Trax, and Mazda CX-3.
Value, the Kona trumpets, has arrived.
Well, not if you’re leasing the Kona’s volume trim: the SEL model.
It wasn’t the elegant S90 sedan or oddly seductive V90 wagon that heralded Volvo’s return to the top of its game — it was the earlier XC90 SUV, specifically the upright and self-assured second-generation model.
Now that it’s no longer the newest vehicle in the stable (thanks to a product surge fueled by Chinese dollars, it’s quickly becoming the oldest), the XC90 enters 2018 with an extra dose of value.
Over the last few years, FCA’s long-term product plans have been, um, fluid. A great amount of “will they or won’t they” speculation is directed to the venerable Grand Caravan. The nameplate which invented a segment is a perpetual resident of the proverbial chopping block. Yet, sales remain strong.
Why? Well, the central tenet to this Ace of Base series is value, and a base model Grand Caravan has it in spades. Dodge minivans might be as cool as a dad in socks and sandals, but this SE brings a lot of value to the school zone.
I’ve got a two-year-old 2015 Golf with a scarred rear bumper after an encounter with a stone wall (lesson learned — use the mirrors to complement the fuzzy nighttime camera image). Two repair estimates for refinishing the bumper cover average $525.00. The damage is down low behind the rear wheel and I can live with the gouge, for now.
However, I’m wondering about being gouged later when I inevitably decide to trade the car in (probably a few years). My question is: Fix it now, fix it before I sell the car, or don’t worry about it and roll the dice on what a dealer will ding me at trade-in time?
Autumn is here, leaves are falling, and dealers are marking down remaining 2016 inventory to free up room for models that won’t sound old in three months.
It’s a good time to hunt for that smoking deal on the 2016 vehicle of your dreams, but if your dreams — and bank balance — fail to reach that goal, looking back another model year could save you a lot of money.
New car looks and a low entry price can be yours if you’re willing to live with a vehicle boasting limited appeal and awful resale value. These are your best bets.
The Cadillac ATS has a fever, and the only cure — according to Cadillac — is more value.
Hoping to reverse a sales slide that’s plagued the automaker’s smallest sedan since its debut, Cadillac plans to simplify the model’s configurations and pack each trim level with more goodies, according to a report in Automotive News.
One of my good friends and long-time TTAC commenters asked me this question.
If you have a moment, what are the high and low values right now at auction for the following:
2000 Chevy Monte Carlo SS 40K miles gold/tan
2006 Mustang GT premium 27K maroon/tan
2006 G6 GTP folding hardtop 53k black/black
I could only give him one response and it wasn’t, “Go play darts and put some numbers together!”
The answer came in three simple words.
Condition, condition, condition.
A few weeks ago, on this very collection of ones and zeroes, I asked the question, “Why Does The Public Accept Car Reviews From People Who Can’t Drive?” I got several responses from you, the B&B, that seemed to indicate that a car’s top-end performance abilities don’t really matter to you when buying a car and that you can determine everything that you need to know about a car’s performance on a test-drive loop. Therefore, many of you suggested that whether or not a person is a good driver should not be a qualifying characteristic of an automotive journalist, because you aren’t particularly interested in ever driving your car in a way that would test its limits.
Okay. Hey, it’s your opinion, and I respect you for it. I couldn’t agree with it less, but I still respect it.
However, if the public really believes that the pointy end of a car’s limits on track or a curvy road don’t matter, then why the heck do so many people buy the performance variants of cars?
I always tell folks that they should try to hit em’ where they ain’t.
Want a Camry? Look at a Mazda 6 first.
A Prius C? One of my personal favorites. But I still have a soft spot for far cheaper closeout models like the Mazda 2 and Ford Fiesta. You may also wind up enjoying them a lot more in the long run.
That final year of a model’s run can sometimes provide that unique, one-time steal of a deal that would put today’s popular car to shame. There is a unique value quotient that frequently can’t be replicated with the brand new stuff, once rebates and slacking consumer demand start chipping away at the true cost of purchase.
So speaking of new cars…
My wife wants me to sell our pristine, time-capsule 90 Cressida for a 4Runner (or similar) because we live in winter-world. I am looking at used 4Runners and the prices are crazy. Typically a rusted 1996-98 with 350-390,000KM will be asking $5,000 – $6,000CDN. I have seen Lexus LS with half the mileage, far better condition and all services done for that price.
What gives? Are 4Runners that good?
TTAC commentator AMC_CJ writes:
My retired mother has come to the conclusion that she needs a 2nd car. Currently she has a 06′ Trailblazer that she keeps in mint condition, and despite having issues with the headlights going out automatically, and a lengthy dealing with GM, it’s been a good vehicle (and to GM’s credit, we think they finally found and fixed the problem with little expense to her). She loves her Trailblazer and it’s perfect for running up to our homestead in WV. But it’s the only car she has, and when it was in the shop recently it left her with a sub-par loaner she couldn’t drive very far. When I lived at home, I lent my parents a vehicle out of my own fleet when they needed.
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Kcflyer Gummed up intake valves in under 60,000 miles. Pass.
- SCE to AUX By the time they're done thinking about it, others will beat them to market by 5 years.Nissan has been thinking about water cooling its EV batteries for a decade, and now that the Ariya has it, they've only now begun to ship it.By the way, "lightweight pickup" will be an oxymoron if it's electric. It won't be 3 -5 tons, but it will easily be 2 if it's to have 250+ miles' range.
- Mark This is what it cost to drive a Tesla Model S Plaid for 11k+ miles in one year. You would pay more to drive a Yaris that far, never the less a performance car on the Plaid level. I don’t know where they got their math, but mine is actual real world results. We live in a cold climate and have removed our wheel covers, both of which hurt range, so your mileage may vary.
- Jack Bummer, his successor sounds like just another electric car shill :(
- IH_Fever Nissan should call for a real pickup before they call for electrification...