Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a lighthearted fairytale highlighting the adventures of a cute little girl and a trio of cuddly bears… or is it? A closer examination of this innocent-sounding narrative reveals that it’s actually a gloomy tale that glorifies breaking and entering, trespassing, vandalism and theft.
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Before trucks and utility vehicles became all the rage, large sedans used to be the heart of the American car market. They dominated thoroughfares and back roads of this country for decades. Big Buicks, mighty Mopars and forceful Fords were a way of life for drivers just half a lifetime ago.
Buying a used vehicle is always risky. Even if it’s certified, inspected and under warranty there’s no telling how the previous owner (or owners) treated it. In addition to lackadaisical maintenance water damage is a major issue to be concerned with as well.
Like Mariah Carey’s ancestry, modern crossover vehicles have unusual roots. The award-winning American singer’s family tree is more varied than the flora of a rainforest understory. Her unique blend of nationalities includes African, Venezuelan and Irish. That’s more ingredients than Belorussian variety sausage. Who’s hungry for some lean, finely textured opossum?
It may not be perfect but the United States is a great country. America has her share of problems, both past and present, but for the most part this nation is pretty sweet; when it comes to being awesome we’ve done better than most.
The week is drawing to a close and while that can mean several things, most importantly (of course), it’s time for another installment of Ask AutoGuide, the information superhighway’s most exciting semi-regular feature. Beating the competition to market with mildly informative and generally accurate content is the name of the game. Our skilled geniuses are ready to spread their expertise like frosting on a sheet cake; just scoop it out of the tub and smear it all around.
Every week Ask AutoGuide provides iron-clad vehicle-shopping advice to distressed, confused or otherwise bewildered consumers. Whether they’re in the market for a family-friendly crossover or something that’s good in winter weather, the Oracles of all things automotive have been there to lend some helping hands. But this week they’re taking a slightly different approach.
It’s hard to believe but this is the fourth installment of “Ask AutoGuide.” For an entire month now our certified experts have provided the finest motor-vehicle shopping advice available for the price. Our crack team of automotive oracles has been at our readers’ beck and call for 30 straight days, though admittedly it’s been mostly “beck” since they don’t have phones. We’re still trying to sort out the billing situation to get their Jitterbugs connected again.
Relief at the gas pump seems to be a pipe dream. Prices are rising and drivers are rethinking budgets to accommodate. One way to help save money is through your insurance.
According to certified financial planner Rick Rodgers, car insurance can be a good place to start saving money.
The average annual insurance premium is $850 and Rodgers offered some tips to meet or beat that rate.
“Your insurance agent doesn’t have a lot of incentive to reduce your premiums,” Rodgers said. He encourages car owners to look around at other insurance agents who will be happy to provide you with lower rates.
Thanks to the internet and the growing insurance industry, it’s easier to compare rates than ever before. Rodgers said he knows someone who saved $1,600 on his premiums by switching agents.
Fuel economy numbers are more important now than ever before, as gas prices continue to rise in North America.
An impressively high number, even a class-leading car like the Hyundai Elantra, which gets 40 mpg highway, only achieves an average of 33 mpg. While the exact fuel economy figures have yet to be released and a 40 mpg highway rating is still in sight, when the Dart (above) goes on sale later this year it most certainly will not get 40 mpg average; not in real world driving and not even on the window sticker.
Dodge wasn’t wrong. They’re not even entirely to blame. If fact, they were just using a different testing method to get their fuel economy numbers. Or to put it more accurately, they weren’t even doing the testing. So why would a different testing method be used? It’s a long and complex story, but the gist of it is that according to a government mandate, in order for Fiat to take control of Chrysler it needed achieve three goals, the final one being building a 40 mpg car on American soil. Being government related, that number is a CAFE number, not an EPA number. What’s the difference? Read on.
Taking your time and researching can reap big rewards when it comes to purchasing pre-owned vehicles.
To some, the very notion of purchasing a used car can send them running for the hills, but as with anything else, provided you do your homework, the vehicle you choose can save you thousands of dollars over that new one in the showroom, without proving to be a money pit.
Price, looks and size… these are the few factors that used to decide what vehicle you’d park in your driveway. Looking for a cheap and small car? A Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic will do. Need something bigger, perhaps a mid-size Hyundai Sonata or an SUV. Things used to be pretty easy.
With increasingly high gas prices and an overall movement towards green, fuel efficient vehicles, fuel economy has become more important. In fact, for many price, looks and size are now completely trumped by fuel economy.
“Buyers just look at the MPG on the sticker,” says IHS Automotive Analyst Devin Lindsay commenting that car buyers are now completely mesmerized by the EPA sticker label.
Take a look at the Toyota Prius, for example. It’s not terribly big, is fairly expensive, and looks… well… weird. But that didn’t stop three million of them from being sold, all thanks to a hybrid gas-electric engine that provides excellent fuel economy.
The Prius isn’t the only option for someone looking for a fuel efficient car, however; especially those in search of a more engaging driving experience. If you want to cut down on trips to the pump, and still drive a fun, powerful, good looking car, your best bet might just be in a diesel powered vehicle. That does mean you’ll almost certainly have to drive German, although a flood of new diesel-powered vehicles are about to hit our shore.
10. 2009 Ford Fusion: $2,890
Insurance isn’t kind to teenage drivers. Rates are usually double the price of experienced drivers. Luckily CarInsure.com has provided a list of the top 10 best vehicles to insure for teenagers.
The rates are calculated based on a Washington family: a married couple driving a 2011 Honda Accord and a 2009 Chevrolet Traverse, with a clean driving record and good credit. Their teenage driver is a 16-year-old male, also with a clean driving record. This list covers a five-year insurance impact. The vehicles on this list are from 2008, or 2009.
Tenth on the list is the 2009 Ford Fusion, equipped with ESC. This car gains its price thanks to a perfect NHTSA front impact score and the highest score possible for frontal-offset and side impact tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The key to this model though is the optional electronic stability control.