Archive for Car Reviews – Page 2

The 2014 Chevy Silverado: A Huge Improvement

Unlike the new 2014 Ford F-150, the 2014 Silverado High Country is sporting entirely new looks and specs. What is most impressive about the new Chevy truck is its miles per gallon. The Silverado 1500 with its 6.2-liter V-8 has a much better rating than its predecessor coming in at 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. The four-wheel-drive comes in at 14 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway, not too much of a difference there.

That’s pretty impressive considering my 2000 Jeep Cherokee (a much smaller and lighter vehicle) gets less mpg.

Chevy put in a huge gasoline engine that features fuel-saving technologies. The Silverado includes a direct fuel injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), and is composed of a lighter aluminum block and heads. These features can also be found on the 2014 Corvette Stingray. It is a really smart move for Chevy to move their vehicles in this direction with today’s “green” mindset.

In fact, the cool thing about the Silverado’s engine is that it looks very similar to the Stingray: the aluminum block, the bore spacing, crank, and pistons are among the similar mechanisms, although, some of the other components of the engine have been rightly optimized for trucking tasks like towing and hauling. Because the 6.2-liter is so big, the rear axles have been increased to 9.76 inches to manage.

The cylinder deactivation allows the engine to shut down to four cylinders if there is no towing or hauling going on. The truck is made to not make much noise at, but there is a bypass valve that allows the V-8 to let loose its 420hp roar. I’m sure some of you agree that during day-to-day driving the constant rumbling of a truck this size can get annoying. The Active Fuel Management system allows you to make it rumble when it counts.

The body of the truck is gorgeous, though. It looks aggressive and ready to do whatever job you put to it. The “High Country” badge is still a mainstay for the vehicle, but the bumpers are both body color. The headlamps are those halogen projectors that everybody else on the road hates. The Silverado has 20-inch chrome wheels that would look way better with Fuel Wheels and has accented chrome side moldings, door handles, and mirrors.

When I sat in one of these trucks at the dealership I was disappointed by the highfalutin look of the interior. The truck has a LTZ trim line, leather wrapped steering, seats, shift knob, and everything else. There was also an 8-inc touchscreen and 4.2-inch screen in the info cluster. It’s just TOO luxurious. There was time when trucks pulled stuff and were used as a simple tool for work.  Luxury trucks nowadays are for the people with the hat and not the cattle.

However, I know very few people who would use the posh interior as a deal breaker for a truck. Seriously, at 420hp, there will be no truck enthusiast that would turn his/her nose up at the all-new Silverado.

Specifications:

Type – Front-engine, rear or rear-/4wheel-drive, 5-6-passenger, 4-door truck

Engine – Pushrod 16-valve V-8, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection

Power: 420 hp @ 5600 rpm

Torque: 460 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm

Transmission: 6-speed automatic; manual shift option

Zero to 60: 6.3 seconds

Luxury Cars For The Winter

Hi there,

Hope you’re week is starting off great!

In relevance to your website, I have an article on must have luxury cars for the winter time.

These are some of the best looking cars out there. The article tells us about what car can increase your driving range or outrun the snowstorm , etc. You should check it out!

I would love to send over my article for your review. Let me know your thoughts either way.

Hope to hear back from you soon!

Cheers!
Gizelle

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Best Regards,

Darren

Top Sports Cars for 2014

2014 is a promising year for American sports cars. The latest cutting edge technology combined with the highest amount of fuel economy makes this a stand out year.  What are the top sports cars to check out in 2014?  Here’s a list of five of the top American sport cars for 2014.

1. Corvette Stingray

Chevrolet really brought home a gem in its complete redesign of the new C7 generation of Corvettes. Featuring a small blog 6.2 L V8 and a 450hp, this car tested at 0-60 in 3.8 seconds at GM’s track. The Stingray is the only 2014 model with a 7-speed other than Porsche 911. With five driving options, better fuel efficiency than any other Corvette and performance that is wowing the critics, the $52,000 starting price may be well worth the investment.

2. Ford Mustang

While there are no major changes for the Mustang this year (you’ll have to wait until 2015), Ford is still getting great reviews on its 2014 Mustang as the muscle car to own this year. Available with either a 3.7 liter V6 providing 305hp or the GT’s V8 engine putting out 420hp, you can’t beat this classic for great performance at a reasonable price. Starting at just over $22,000 for the V6, the Mustang is the most affordable, hot American muscle car you can buy this year.

3. Dodge Challenger

Starting at $26, 295, this sexy car can also provides an awesome, affordable ride with its 305hp Pentastar V6 giving you up to 27MPG highway. If that’s not enough power, you can upgrade to HEMI V8 for 375hp. Challenger brags six models to choose from, including the Classic, for those of you who love Vintage looks.  Or you can wait – this classic car is another model due for an all-new version in 2015.

4. Cadillac ELR

We couldn’t pass up the chance to add an electric car to this list – from Cadillac no less! With luxury car sales lagging, Cadillac wanted to do something for the eco-conscious consumer.  Under the hood, it’s akin to the Chevy Volt, but with more power and featuring the sleek console and comfortable interior that we’ve come to expect from Cadillac. Due out in early 2014, there’s no word yet on pricing. It’ll be interesting to see how the ELR fares for the future direction of the Cadillac brand.

5. SRT Viper

This car was a Dodge in 2013, but now it is produced under its own name. “SRT” stands for Street & Racing Technology and is a separate high performance brand under the Chrysler umbrella. Impractically listed at over $100,000, we couldn’t help but add this beauty and its 8.4 ltr V10 engine, which can get up to 558hp and is built for both road and track. Sleek, functional and featured in the movie, “Rush,” we wonder if the SRT will have any influence on the redesign of the Challenger.

This year’s American sports cars look incredible and are bound to change things up for car designers in the future. But even with so many goodies coming out in the next few months, we can’t wait to see what changes 2015 will bring to sports cars.

Steven Karns writes for Volunteer Vette and is excited about the new sports car offerings that will soon be on the sports car market.

Extra features you can get in the Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger, one of the strongest and sturdiest-built vehicles ever seen in the mid-sized truck range has been on the roads for nearly 3 decades in a row, with various modifications and new features added almost every year. Though the old model has now been phased out from the Ford’s brochures, it is still alive in the memories of every driver, every road and every terrain it had been driven on. Today with this article, I am going to tell you about all the extra features you could get in the all-new Ranger.

Although the old Ford Ranger was touted as the best off-road vehicle and was tagged as the ‘go anywhere’ truck, the new T6 has been designed with a lot more sex appeal and plenty of legroom. It has 17” phone-dial alloy wheels that appear to be craving to go in the muddy terrains in a bid to relive those all-terrain memories. Despite the innovation in the design, the Ranger is still very sturdy and manly. It looks humongous when on the road and makes other sedans and hatchbacks look like mere ants. It is the tallest design in its class and for that, attracts just one negative point – parking. It is almost impossible to find a parking space for this giant at normal parking places.
Given the sturdiness of the Ranger and the billing of sheer muscle value it carries, its interiors are surprisingly modern with pebble grey plastic that carries a fantastic finishing. The interior is full with storage options on the rear, including utility bins. It also has the biggest in class rear legroom and the seats can be declined to open up an enormous boot space to transport almost anything.

The Ford Ranger is also a great truck to drive with perfect handling on any road with its responsive steering wheel and ABS equipped braking system. The manual XLT now comes with the Ford’s Bluetooth Hands-Free Connectivity system, though the sound quality of the speakers is a bit disappointing when compared to most other vehicles from the Ford family that carry a sound system which is soothing to the ears. So, this one according to me is a real party pooper. But when you have a truck like that which produces a wheezy engine sound when crossed over 4000 RPM, who really needs a sound system to get the party going. Huh? Still not as bad as I may make it sound like, it also has a nice nod to hold the MP3 player and conveniently located auxiliary/USB ports along with two 12V outlets. The oversized extra-large side view mirrors are a blessing in disguise as they are a great help while reverse parking.

The extra power pumped out by the variety of Duratorq engines that Ford has used in the Ford Ranger (as I read in a recent Danish “kraftfuld Ford ranger” article) means that you can easily transport a load of up to 1,340 kg or tow anything up to a massive weight of 3,500 kg as well. Whatever more is said about the truck is not enough for words can’t do justice to the International Pickup award of 2013.
Do you like or hate the Ranger? Have you ever driven it? Tell us its best and worst features according to you.

Soccer Moms and High School Proms – Most Spacious Mini Vans

Erin Patrick is a penny pincher that has been associated with the automobile finance industry for nearly 10 years. She enjoys writing on the subject and helping families and others alike find the best car financing available.

No other vehicle results in more groans from drivers than The Minivan. It is quite evident that people just don’t think they are cool. Sure, it doesn’t have the same status as say the sports car. But hey, what vehicle is more practical? As it so happens, minivans are making a comeback and are arguably better than ever. They offer superior comfort, space, functionality, mpg, and handling than any other vehicle on the market for those of us with kiddos in tow. So I’ve compiled a list of the best minivans out there for you to peruse… along with a few options for those of you who just can’t get behind the minivan.

Minivan Love
Honda Odyssey
19 city / 28 hwy (23 avg)
You can load more into this one than any other minivan on the market and can seat up to eight. Drivers love the comfortable seating and the plentiful back end cargo space and easy stow third row seating. Plus, it has top notch safety ranking and comes standard with USB port, Bluetooth, and rearview camera.
Toyota Sienna
19 city / 24 hwy (21 avg)
Ranking nearly as a high as the Odyssey on space, it has room for up to eight people with all three rows rating high on comfort and space. If cargo space is what you’re looking for – then look no further, this one boasts the largest amount of cargo space in its class. Plus it is the only minivan on the market that comes standard with AWD.
Kia Grand Carnival
18 city / 25 hwy (21 avg)
The Carnival easily seats eight comfortably. And it boasts completely removable second row seating and super simple stow away third row seating. Even with all three rows in place, the back end is still quite spacious.
Nissan Quest
19 city / 24 hwy (21 avg)
This one has seating for seven and while the seats are comfy, it could use more leg room and cargo space compared to the Odyssey and Sienna. But, it ranks a smidge higher on the coolness scale (for a minivan) for its sleek design and upscale cabin.

Minivan Alternatives
GMC Acadia: Seating for eight passengers, with adult-friendly third row seating and a massive cargo area.
Chevrolet Tahoe: For the family who needs a LOT of space, this one is for you. It has seating for nine and is one of the few SUV’s that has a hybrid model, so the fuel economy isn’t a killer.
Honda C-RV: Voted best compact SUV for families because of its quality and the amount of space it offers – it’s got a spacious cargo load and back seat.
Volvo XC60: Though it only seats five (very comfortably), it ranks high in safety and has ample cargo space.
BMW X3: Slightly less generous with the cargo space, but it has a super comfortable and well-designed interior with tons of legroom for five and AWD is standard.

Get to know something about Lemon Automobiles

Buying a new car is one of the most satisfying feelings you can experience. Owning a new car is a feeling of accomplishment and achievement. For most people that feeling lasts until they have to make the first payment or have their first little scratch on the car. For an unlucky few people however their car will be classed as a lemon leading to much frustration and problems.
What exactly is a Lemon Car?
Most cars have a fair share of problems such as breakdowns, engine troubles, and general wear and tear. For a car to be classed as a true lemon car then it needs to have a number of attempts to repair problems with no success. It can also be that the car is considered too dangerous to be on the road or put the driver and passengers in a life threatening situation. The term lemon is slang and means poor quality or a worthless investment. Unfortunately many car manufactures and sellers will try to pass off a car as a good vehicle when in fact it is a lemon car and make break and be defective after a period of weeks or months.
Lemon Law for Cars
Lemon laws were written to protect buyers when purchasing a new car. Lemon laws ensure that the car purchased meets a specific criteria or quality and performance. This helps buyers to avoid making a purchase they might regret. Automobile Lemon Laws vary depending on where you are based and it’s important to check the details with your local government. Most of the time lemon laws do not cover used or leased cars and are only valid for new cars.
If you think you are covered by the lemon law then you are able to demand a full refund for a car that is defective. The manufactures should be able to refund this to you or fix the problems entirely. You may be entitled to a full refund or your car will be replaced. Be sure to keep your car insurance phone number to hand to see what you are entitled to.
When are you protected by the Automobile Lemon Law?
Some examples of when you are protected by the lemon law include when there is a manufacturing defect and the performance, safety, or quality of the car is jepodised. You are also covered when the vehicle reaches a specific mileage law. In some areas the vehicle cannot exceed a specific amount of miles. This may also be valid if the vehicle has not reached the minimum amount of miles. You are also covered if the manufacturer cannot fix the problem or give you a solution.
If you have purchased a new car recently that is showing signs as above its important to contact your local government or auto transport law department to find out what the rules are legally in your local area. The laws ensure that you are compensated for any problems caused and can help to avoid your car being deemed un-drivable and a lemon.

A Speedy New Super Sedan from Holden Special Vehicles

The all-new GTS from Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) bears the distinction of being the speediest production car in Australia’s history. With a 6.2-litre supercharged V8 engine, the GTS has confirmed its preliminary figures and is able to claim the ability to rev up from 0-100 kilometres per hour in a mere 4.4 seconds. This holds true for both the automatic and six-speed manual versions of this speedy super-sedan. In addition to the 4.4 sprinting time, the new HSV GTS is also able to claim a 12.3 second standing quarter mile time.

So how does this slick new Australian production vehicle measure up to its super sedan competition? This new infographic from motoring.com.au shows how the statistics stack up. When compared to weighty competitors such as BMW, Audi, and Mercedes, the GTS boasts more power yet costs half the price in the Australian market. In terms of acceleration time, the GTS holds its own against a BMW M5, and outpaces the Jaguar XFR-S by 0.2 seconds. In terms of top speed, the GTS can handle up to 250 kilometres per hour, which is equal to the Mercedes-Benz AMG E63. However, real speed demons may be drawn to the competition from Jaguar and BMW, which are capable of topping 300 km/hr.

One area where little information is available just yet is fuel efficiency. Numbers haven’t been released yet for the GTS, but Audi and Mercedes are the brands to beat. Both of their super sedans offer 9.8L/100km.

Where the HSV GTS really excels is in its value for money, according to motoring’s infographic. Despite offering similar engine power, torque, and acceleration time, the GTS costs far less than all of its competitors in the Australian market, with a price of $92,990. Compare this to $249,900 for the Mercedes-Benz or $230,000 for the Audi RS6 and it’s clear that buying a home-grown vehicle can prove fruitful.

New Driver? Whats the right car for you?

There are many factors for young drivers to take into consideration when buying a new car. The new driver´s primary perspective is cost – not just the price of the vehicle, but the insurance and running costs. For other drivers on the road, their concern is how much power a new driver has under the bonnet of their car.

Statistically both arguments carry a lot of weight. Young drivers are the most dangerous on the road. According to the Association of British Insurers, teenage drivers cause 50 accidents a day and 30 per cent of deaths. The Institute of Advanced Motorists say that half of young adults killed or injured in driving accidents were driving cars that were more than 10 years old.

Meanwhile insurance and petrol prices are at an all-time high. The AA says the average insurance for a 17 year old is around £5,000, which more often than not is substantially more than the price of the car itself. Therefore, when considering the purchase of your first car, you ideally want something with a smallish engine, has low running costs, is affordable to buy and is in a low insurance bracket.

Ideal cars for young drivers

To give you an idea of the kind of car you should be looking at we have assembled a brief list of suitable motors for young drivers, the most iconic of which is the Mini One. The mini has been a fun favourite with young drivers since it first hit the road in 1959. They handle well, are not expensive to insure and you should be able to pick up a used mini in good condition for around £1000 -£1500.

Other classic favourites among youngsters are the Corsa and the Fiesta. Both cars are reliable, safe and, if you are lucky, don´t require too much maintenance. Be wary of upgrading to a sports injection version however as that really bumps up the cost of the insurance.

 

A suitable alternative is the Hyundai i20. It´s 1.2 litre engine gives it sufficient power for quick starts on roundabouts, but handles well and reduces the likelihood of the driver losing control of the vehicle. The only drawback is the i20 is only several years in the making and is still quite expensive to buy. For a similar performance but half the cost take a look at the Fiat Grande Punto for around £2800.

A less expensive purchase is the Citroën C2 which you can find for around £1,500. It only has a 1.1 litre engine so will not reach ridiculous speeds and may frustrate some drivers hoping to overtake on a motorway, but let´s not forget the safety aspects of purchasing you first vehicle, and the C2 presents a very good option.

The choice of cars for young drivers is limited as there is not a huge market that car manufacturers can justifiably target, but there are sufficient options available from reliable car dealerships (such as Benfield Motors) and if you look hard enough a new driver will find the right car.

Donating Your Used Car To Charity: Pros, Cons, And Tips

used_carWe donate our used clothing and other items to charity, so why not other items that we no longer have a use for? You can make a difference in a big way by donating big ticket items like boats and cars to charitable organizations. The increase in charities accepting vehicle donations has led to a mutually beneficial and booming business, wherein the donor saves by claiming the donation on income taz returns and the charity is able to sell the vehicle and use the funds to further its cause. While this might seem like a straightforward way to do good in the world, there are some associated risks with donating your car. 

Pros

  • Many charities have started to accept vehicles as a form of donation, so you can most likely find a charity that supports your favorite cause to donate to.
  • You can claim a huge deduction on your income tax returns when you donate your car to a charity approved by the IRS.
  • You get to save yourself the hassle of trying to find a buyer for your used car.
  • Donating a car makes it much easier to make a big difference for your charity with less financial impact to you than a cash donation.

Cons

  • Intermediaries that accept your car donation and then donate the proceeds to the charity of your choice often take a substantial cut away from your chosen cause. If the charities you support don’t accept car donations directly, you may be better off finding one that does.
  • To get a tax deduction, you’ll need to follow up with the charity to get paperwork that proves the vehicle’s value. Your estimate or the fair market value probably won’t cut it if your car is worth over $500.
  • The same paperwork to get rid of the car is still necessary- if you don’t formally re-title the vehicle, you could risk parking tickets and more down the line.

Tips

  1. Avoid 3rd parties and try to donate your car directly to the charity of your choice.
  2. Choose a charity that means a lot to you and has a big impact in its line of work. If the charities you usually support don’t accept car donations, take time to investigate alternatives instead of just picking the first charity you find. The Better Business Bureau can help you to evaluate charities whose activities you aren’t very familiar with.
  3. Make 100% sure that your chosen charity is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is qualified by the IRS for donation deduction purposes. 
  4. If you have to use a middle man, do your research to find out how much of the proceeds from the car’s sale will actually go to the charity. Do they take a percentage, or a flat fee? Using an intermediary not only limits the effectiveness of your gift, but can also have tax implications.
  5. Keep a thorough paper trail for tax purposes in order to claim the donation on your tax returns.
  6. Deliver the car to the charity yourself so they don’t have to take money out of your donation to pay someone to come pick it up.
Featured images:

Jack Lovegood is a automotive expert and a contributing blogger for Chrysler Group LLC, where you can purchase a Jeep extended warranty at a discounted rate. 

5 Essential Maintenance Tips For Your Tires

After spending good money on tires, most drivers fail to give them adequate maintenance. Tires play an important role in driving safety, so making sure they’re in road-worthy condition is essential. Below are a few tire tips and tricks to follow. Properly purchased and maintained tires will last longer than neglected ones, saving you money, and most importantly, keeping you safe.

1. Buy Quality Tires from a Reputable Brand

First and foremost, when you purchase new tires, make sure they’re from a reputable company and of premium quality. You and your car depend on them. Buying internationally known brands like Goodyear and Nokian tires ensures safety and affordability. Remember, your purchase should reflect your driving style, driving environment, and vehicle. After buying a new set of tires, try driving the vehicle initially for at least 200 miles at medium speed on dry roads.

2. Maintain the Correct Tire Pressure

Find out the right air pressure for your tires and make sure you maintain it. Check the pressure before and after long drives, during cold driving conditions, and when carrying heavy loads. Otherwise, check every month regularly on a fixed date.

Under-inflated tires can overheat, causing excessive and irregular wear from over exertion. This might even lead to a blowout. Besides, tires that have been riding around with the improper air pressure need to be replaced more often. Over-inflated ones lead to loss of proper road grip and less traction on braking, the consequences of which are obvious. Maintaining optimum tire pressure is even good for the environment as the correct pressure helps in making the vehicle more fuel efficient.

3. Select the Right Tire Tread

More tread just means more grip. Although legal limits are 1.6mm, driving with anything under 3.0mm can be risky. Do not just buy tires based on how the tire looks. Use a standard tread gauge and ensure tread depth is sufficient on all four tires. Check the inside, outside and center portions. How long tires will last with good tread in the end depends on the brand.  For example, the usual length of service for quality Nokian tires can be as long as 60,000 miles.

4. Pay Attention to Balance and Alignment

Improper wheel alignment is the main reason for premature tire wear. Poor alignment and balance issues also contribute to over-consumption of fuel and loss of road grip. Check the alignment immediately if you sense the vehicle pulling towards either side while driving or if the steering wheel shakes when driving at high speeds.

5. Stay on Top of Tire Rotation

If you’re only buying two tires, always fit the new tires in the back. Having the better tires in the back means more driving control and directional stability. Also, be sure to have your tires rotated every so often – many people like to have this done at the same time as an oil change – in order to ensure even wear. In addition, replace the valves every time you change your tires. Properly tightened and functioning values with well fitted dust caps make sure the tires remain safe. Check for tears on the side, cracks, bulges, and damage to the wheel rim. Sub-standard products damage easily, but high-quality tires will last longer.

These five tire tips are extremely important to follow, primarily because they concern the safety of the car and its passengers. On top of being a smart car owner who properly maintains his or her vehicle, remember to avoid rash driving, excessive speeds, and frequent braking. Take good care of your car and it will take good care of you!

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=tires&ex=2#ai:MP900202010|

James Cash is a master mechanic and part time writer.