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It's an Automotive Vanity Extravaganza
The folks at Kelley Blue Book have released their annual Brand Image Awards. The study, now in its seventh year, honors automakers for excelling in certain areas. Categories include things like best performance brand, most refined brand and most trusted brand. Overall there are 13 winners and the results may surprise or even appall you. You’ll need to read on to find out.
But first, according to KBB this isn’t some shady survey conducted by annoying telephone marketers; awards are actually the result of “extensive research gathered throughout the year.” Shoppers using the company’s website contribute to the results; in fact more than 12,000 of them participated, and here’s what the people have to say.
Figuring out a vehicle’s total cost of ownership before setting out to make the purchase can be very difficult. Luckily for us, Kelley Blue Book has conducted a cost of ownership study factoring insurance, maintenance, repairs and fuel expenses. According to KBB’s findings, pinchpenny shoppers stand to gain the biggest bang for their buck by choosing Kia automobiles.
Kelley Blue Book director of vehicle valuation Juan Flores said, “Car shoppers should take the time to compare vehicles on their consideration lists to fully understand the financial implications involved with cost of ownership. While a vehicle might be less expensive up front, the cost of fuel for that model, insurance, and other expenditures could make it the less appealing choice for their wallet in the long run.”
According to the researchers at KBB, new Kia Soul, Optima, and Sportage models earned top marks thanks to its great fuel economy, its dramatic improvement in quality, and its rising trade-in values.
Other automakers that stacked up well in the study include Audi, for its low depreciation as well as its respectable mileage for its segment. Audi vehicles that carry high values include the Audi A3, A4, and Q5. Despite an expensive price tag, the Audi A5 premium coupe also emerged a winner with five-year ownership costs at $56,908, a $5,000 advantage over other vehicles of its class.
Segment wise, the Nissan Versa came out on top in the highly contested subcompact segment. At a 5-year ownership projection of $29,252, it is the lowest of any model in the study. The compact crossover Nissan Juke wins for its class at $36,627. In the midsize car segment, the Hyundai Sonata’s estimated 5-year ownership costs were $38,476. The most expensive vehicle to win its segment is the Lexus LS460 for the high-end luxury car segment. The five-year cost of an LS460 is $90,234, attributed to its low up-front costs, repair costs, minimal depreciation and low insurance.
In the hybrid and electric segment, Honda Insight won the hybrid category at $32,884 over five years. The real surprise in the segment is the Chevrolet Volt plug-in besting the Nissan Leaf. Although the Volt carries a $40,000 price tag, $7,500 federal credit and minimal energy or maintenance expenditures as well as its likely trade-in value makes it a smart buy.
Kelley Blue Book explained that many manufacturers make hybrids and its inherent fuel economy advantages a selling point to frugal minded car buyers. However, KBB’s study revealed that the best-in-category Honda Insight Hybrid is still more than $1,000 more expensive than the Nissan Versa and Kia Soul over a 5-year period.
GALLERY: Kia Soul
Kelley Blue Book has announced the winners of their 2012 Best Resale Value Awards with Toyota being the best resale value brand and their luxury counterpart, Lexus, topping best resale value luxury brand.
Coming out on top of the list of this year’s top 10 best resale value vehicles however is (In order from first to last): Audi‘s Q7, Chevy‘s Camaro, Honda‘s CR-V, Hyundai‘s Tucson, Infiniti‘s FX, Jeep‘s Wrangler, Lexus’s RX, Nissan‘s Frontier, Toyota’s FJ Cruiser and their Tacoma.
Resale value is always important to those spenders hoping to get the best bang for their buck for their vehicle down the road. But oftentimes these are just estimates and market changes should be taken into consideration as that can impact resale value of vehicles.
[Source: Kelley Blue Book]
Out of all the current 2012 vehicles available, which would you think are the most suitable when it comes to winter driving?
Well, given that the snow, sleet, ice, hard rain and other glorious aspects of winter weather are now with us for the next few months, making motoring conditions rather dicey at times, that’s something the editors at Kelley Blue Book.com decided to investigate.
When all was said and done, the results of their findings revealed a rather diverse range of vehicles. From cars to minivans, trucks and SUVs, all which shared a common trait, namely a user friendly all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive system, designed to maintain traction under slippery conditions.
According to KBB.com executive editorial director Jack R. Nerad, the top 10 winter driving vehicles were machines that ”help keep you on the road, whether that journey involves a mundane commute to work or a well-deserved weekend getaway to a favorite ski resort.”
Ranked on the list from 10th place to number one were the following vehicles:
10th Subaru Outback; 9th, Toyota Sienna AWD; 8th, Acura MDX; 7th, Ford F-150 4x 4; 6th, Honda CR-V AWD; 5th, Audi A6 Quattro 3.0T; 4th, Chevrolet Traverse AWD; 3rd, Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2nd, Subaru Impreza.
And the winner? Well perhaps not surprisingly, considering the accolades it’s been receiving since launch last year, was the 2012 Range Rover Evoque.
According to KBB.com, the Evoque not only represents “the smallest, lightest and most fuel-efficient model to ever grace the Land Rover lineup,” it’s also a highly capable machine both on and off the tarmac thanks to its “intelligent all-wheel drive system, Terrain Response feature and Tri-mode Adaptive Dynamics suspension designed to maintain optimal ride and handling characteristics under all driving situations.”
[Source: Kelley Blue Book]
According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2011 Chevrolet Corvette earned the #1 spot for the best new car deal of the holiday season. For the last couple of months, GM offered attractive rebate and incentives for the 2011 and 2012 Corvettes which have no doubt helped Corvette move up along the KBB list. This includes a $3,000 rebate and a choice between 0% down financing for 60 months or 2.9% for 72 months. What’s more, current Corvette owners that wish to expand their collection can get another $3,000 rebate towards the purchase of a new Corvette.
However, car dealer Kerbeck Corvette reminds us that GM will discontinue the $3,000 rebate by January 3, 2012. Other promotions that will end soon are the $1,500 dealer cash incentive as well as the $2,000 lease conquest rebate. Hurry!
This week, a news report was released by Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com, proclaiming Audi as the number one luxury brand for best total cost of ownership.
The data confirmed that Audi yields the lowest average Total Cost of Ownership for the initial five-year ownership period, beating all other luxury brands. The Total Cost of Ownership breaks down the typical ownership costs for a particular vehicle, including depreciation, expected fuel, repair, maintenance and insurance costs. Audi’s success has been driven largely by the A3 2.oT and A4 2.0T models, due to their minimal depreciation and industry-leading fuel economy.
he 2.0-liter TFSI engine produces 211-hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The engine combines Audi’s valvelift system, variable valve timing and TFSI direct injection for increased power and efficiency. The German automaker has already sold more than 1.3 million of these engines, and is one of the most acclaimed powerplants of the last decade.
Summer is almost over, which means back to school shopping. Forget about pens, pencils and binders; what about picking up a new set of wheels? Surely that will make the thought of heading back to class a little better!
Kelley Blue Book has put together a list of vehicles that it believes will appeal to kids. There are some odd choices though.
The new car picks all seem to be decent, all are affordable, efficient and attractive. However the used choices are surprising. The Kia Sedona probably won’t be very appealing to students because well, minivans are not cool. As well, the F-150 is a pretty large truck and although it is the best selling vehicle in America, it’s hardly fuel efficient. The HHR was also an interesting choice because not many young people drive them. The new vehicles are probably better choices overall, but who knows, maybe minivans are secretly cool among teenagers… or maybe just teenagers trying really hard to be ironic. What do you think?
Check out the list of new and used vehicles after the jump:
Kelley Blue Book announced today that Hyundai has taken the number 1 spot in brand loyalty, beating out Honda and Toyota, on kbb.com for Q2 2011. Automakers have struggled recently to retain loyal customers due to the economic downturn and consumers becoming more aware of issues such as fuel prices and safety recalls.
Hyundai has remained successful through aggressive marketing campaigns combined with innovative product redesigns like the successful Sonata and Elantra. In the second quarter of 2011, Hyundai’s brand loyalty was at 52.3 percent while Honda followed with 49.7 percent and Toyota came in third at 47.7 percent. Kia and Mini are the only two brands that have gained loyalty year-over-year, thanks to attractive redesigns and additional models within their respective lineups coupled to aggressive marketing campaigns.
“Hyundai’s product renaissance is benefitting the company not just by attracting an all-new customer base, but by helping them to retain current loyal Hyundai owners, as well,” said Arthur Henry, market intelligence manager for Kelley Blue Book. ”This latest brand loyalty analysis from kbb.com is a testament to the power of attractive vehicle designs and intriguing marketing in the minds of in-market car shoppers as they consider their next vehicle.”
According to the latest Kelley Blue Book survey regarding gas prices, new cars and used cars, consumers feel gas prices will improve.
In a recent May 2011 survey by KBB, more than half of car shoppers (52 percent) say they think gas prices will either stay the same or go down in the next 30 days. As well, consumers that said gas prices would affect their choice of vehicle has decreased by five percent from April (35%) to May (30%).
“Prices at the pump have halted their steep rise and now gas prices are slowly going down in many parts of the country, and the latest kbb.com survey results show that car shoppers are taking note,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com. “If consumers feel more optimistic about the near-future state of gas prices and more confident in their personal economic situations, this will bode well for the automotive industry, though declining home values present a continuing concern. Vehicle availability issues caused by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami also could blunt gains to be expected from increased car-buyer confidence.”
[Source: Kelley Blue Book]
A 2011 Chevrolet Volt will be worth just over $17,000 after 36 months, the length of a typical lease, says Kelley Blue Book. That’s a 42 percent drop in price from the car’s $41,000 sticker price.
Eric Ibara, director of residual value consulting at Kelley Blue Book, says the residual value projection seems low. But the first 200,000 Volts sold will qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit, effectively dropping the sticker to $33,500. With this KBB number, the Volt will hold 51 percent of its value, better than some of its rivals. The Toyota Prius, the industry’s best known hybrid, is projected to drop 46 percent after 36 months. Kelley’s projection assumes gasoline will sell for around $4 per gallon three years from now.
[Source: Car Tech Blog]
If you’re looking to buy a new car, chances aren’t you’re not going with an electric, says a survey by Kelley Blue Book.
The recent results from the Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence study looked at consumer attitudes regarding electric vehicles. It shows that only seven percent of car shoppers say they are likely to consider an electric vehicle for their next new-vehicle purchase or lease.
Among the reasons why these consumers wouldn’t want to go electric include the drivable range on a single charge (87 percent) and availability of charging stations (84 percent). For those who said they buy an electric vehicle, they said it would primarily be used as an everyday or commuter vehicle (78 percent). Other interesting information uncovered by the report was that respondents said they would expect an electric vehicle to get 340 miles per charge in order for it to meet their needs.
When it came to the cost of these types of cars, nearly all car shoppers (91 percent) feel that electric vehicles are expensive, and 43 percent expect that electric vehicles will not retain their value as well as conventional gas cars.
When it comes to electric vehicle technology, less than half of respondents (45 percent) said they are interested in it. For those interested in electric vehicle technology, the primary reason cited was reduction in reliance on foreign oil (85 percent), reduction in pollution (83 percent) and reduction in vehicle emissions (83 percent). Only 37 percent said they were interested in electric vehicle technology due to potential tax credits, and 8 percent said they were interested because of potential access to carpool lane stickers. Another interesting fact: for those who interested in electric vehicle technology, the majority (65 percent) said they were open to purchasing an electric vehicle from a company that has not previously sold vehicles in the United States.
What makes a car truly comfortable? Air conditioning? Heated seats? Power window shades? Sure, those are all a good start, but with today’s modern luxuries, there are so many extras that can make your commute a comfortable one.
The folks at Kelley Blue Book have assembled the 10 most comfortable cars under $30,000. Not surprisingly Buick placed highly, taking both the first and second spots. And that first place went to none other than the new Buick LaCrosse.
Get the complete list of the Top 10 most Comfortable Cars (and why they made the list) after the jump:
Korean automaker passes Honda and Toyota to take top spot
According to the most recent numbers released by Kelley Blue Book, Hyundai now has the strongest brand loyalty among its customers. Over the past year Hyundai owners looking to purchase another Hyundai went up 10.4 percent to a total of 56.4 percent, outranking long-time first-place brand Toyota. Honda, meanwhile, continues to hold on to the second place position.
KBB lists the reason for the jump as both the result of exciting new products from Hyundai like the Sonata and Tucson as well as the Korean automaker benefiting from other factors. Included in those are the Toyota’s recent recall woes and relatively stale products by Honda.
Hyundai has also finally entered onto KBB’s Top 10 Most-Researched New Vehicles list, with the new 2011 Hyundai Sonata now ranking fifth in February, surppassed only by such industry mainstays as the Accord, Civic, Camry and CR-V.
Official release after the jump: