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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
You Get What You Pay For
Residual value is one of the most important factors to consider when obtaining a new vehicle, especially if you plan on leasing. How much it’s worth at the end of the contract has a huge impact on how much you’ll be paying each month. Which cars on the market today hold their value best? The folks at ALG have it all figured out. In no particular order, here they are.
Another week, another polar vortex descends from the north to pester America. What is this, winter? How come it’s so damn cold outside? But now you can beat the below-zero chills; let us invite you inside to warm the cockles of your heart with the temperate goodness of a helping hand.
What do Abraham Lincoln, Shaquille O’Neal and Chewbacca have in common? Truth be told, not a whole lot. Honest Abe got capped, Shaq can’t shoot free throws and Chewie is hairier than a herd of yaks… or the filter in a Econo Lodge hot tub. This trio’s differences abound, but one thing they all share is height.
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.
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.
Top 10 Large Sedans With The Biggest Trunks
America is the land of the free and the home of large sedans. With miles and miles of miles and miles, drivers don’t have to contend with congested urban parking or dreadful highway traffic like their European counterparts. We’re free to relax and stretch our legs clear across the continent if we so desire.
U.S. Interstates and two-lane back roads were the breeding ground for a unique automotive species: the large sedan. Spacious, comfortable and smooth, Detroit’s Big Three created the original recipe for these highway cruisers, but foreign automakers have a thing or two to say about how to prepare them.
Trunk space is one of the most important metrics to examine when comparing big four-door cars. How many golf bags can be crammed into a cargo hold? What about suitcases for a weekend road trip to Atlantic City? People need to know! Here’s a list of the Top 10 large sedans ranked in order of trunk volume.
10. Toyota Avalon
Sometimes it’s pretty difficult to determine what makes a vehicle reliable. But one sound way is to look back and see how much the average repair cost was for a vehicle over three to five years, and seeing which ones suffered the least breakdowns.
Data was studied using 100,000 auto warranty policies linked to family cars by Direct Buy Warranty in order to determine this top 10 list of most reliable family cars, listed in no particular order. It’s worth noting that not a single American vehicle made it onto the list.
The first on the list is the Toyota Avalon, the Japanese automaker’s flagship sedan in the United States. According to the data, the Avalon was one of the cheapest vehicles to maintain over the past five years with typical Toyota dependability and safety ratings. Larger than the Camry, the Avalon is a perfect fit for those looking for size and dependability.
And in stunning fashion, the Japanese automaker had its all-new sedan hoisted up similar to the presumably Lexus ES that was teased on Lexus’s twitter account a few days ago. It appears this year that Toyota is taking to covering up its show vehicles and having them lifted up on cranes in anticipation to the show.
The car isn’t scheduled to have its global debut until April 5th, and we’re still under the assumption that it will be the new Avalon. Check back later this week for AutoGuide’s live coverage of the 2012 New York Auto Show.
GALLERY: Toyota New York Auto Show Sedan
Last month, Toyota alluded to the possibility that an Avalon Hybrid was in the works, claiming that a car under development would have “more space than a BMW X5, faster than a Volkswagen TDI and higher MPG than a Fiat 500.”
And now we pretty much have confirmation that the vehicle Toyota Division Group Vice President and General Manager Bob Carter was speaking about is the upcoming Avalon that will most definitely be employing the use of a hybrid system. Toyota executives at the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention promised that the all-new Avalon will “meet or beat” the 33-mpg combined rating of the Fiat 500.
Set to make its debut at the 2012 New York International Auto Show, the new Avalon Hybrid would be a huge improvement over the current 20-mpg city, 29-mpg highway offered in this generation Avalon. Chances are, Toyota will reach for their system seen in the Camry Hybrid that has 200-hp and a 41-mpg combined rating.
Toyota also announced at the event that they intend to release 19 new models (including the Avalon) in 2012 alone.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
Recently, Toyota Division Group Vice President and General Manager, Bob Carter, gave everyone a hint of what’s to come from the Japanese automaker. In an interview with War’s Auto he commented on a car that will have “more space than a BMW X5, faster than a Volkswagen TDI and higher MPG than a Fiat 500,” but wouldn’t disclose any more details.
This future model could be a brand new car, but by process of elimination and using Carter’s clues, there’s reason to believe that it could be a variant of Toyota’s Avalon in hybrid form. To have more space than a BMW X5, it’ll have to have an interior volume greater than 102.4-cubic feet. To best the TDI’s performance, it’ll need more than 140-hp and 235 lb-ft of torque. Lastly, the Fiat 500 is rated at 30-mpg city and 38-mpg highway, so a hybrid would definitely do that.
By process of elimination, we can conclude that this mystery model isn’t the new Prius v or Prius c and it’s not based on the recently debuted NS4 Hybrid Concept. And since the Camry Hybrid was just updated, its highly unlikely Carter was referring to that. Carter did give a little more insight to the vehicle, stating that it’ll have “lavish features rarely found in near-luxury vehicles,” which doesn’t really say much other than that it may be a little more upscale than what we normally see in a Toyota.
[Source: Ward's Auto]
According to a number of Toyota dealers, who recently got a sneak peak at the next generation Avalon, the company’s full-size cruiser will reportedly be transformed into a sleek, Euro inspired car, in the mold of the Audi A7 or Jaguar XJ.
This represents an about turn for the Japanese Buick, though inside sources report that the car will continue to be front-drive and powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine, so even though Toyota says handling will also be improved, don’t expect it to be able to keep up with an A7 or XJ in the curves.
The revamped Avalon is just one of several bread and butter Toyotas undergoing a makeover, the 2012 Yaris and Corolla having received quite significant styling tweaks, designed to give them a bit more flair.
Want to know where a car is made? Look at the VIN.
The All-American Impala: Made in Canada
During President Obama’s press conference last week when he announced that Chrylser would file for Chapter 11, he asked Americans that if they were looking to buy a car, to look at American cars. The “buy American” philosophy drew harsh criticism from the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA), which pointed out that buying American doesn’t necessarily mean buying a car from an American brand.
“AIADA objects to President Obama’s ‘buy American’ solution for the auto sector,” AIADA President Cody Lusk said in a statement. “In today’s globalized economy ‘buying American’ can mean anything from buying a Chevy Avalanche built by Mexican workers in Silao, Mexico to buying a Toyota Camry built by Americans in Georgetown, Kentucky.”
On that note, there is one way to tell exactly which country a car is manufactured in – the VIN number. That’s right, that odd 17-digit sequence of numbers and letters found on the dash under the windshield (and in numerous other places on a vehicle) holds the key to a vehicle’s country of origin.
Many VIN numbers, actually start with a letter. Those that start with a “J” are built in Japan and those with a “K” are from Korea. Most of the rest, however, aren’t so intuitive. VINs that start with a “W” are from Germany, while an “S” signifies England. Swedish cars get a “Y.”
The United States, Canada and Mexico all use a number system, with American-made cars using a VIN that starts with the number 1, while Canadian-made cars use a 2 and Mexican made cars use a 3.
The number of American vehicles made outside the U.S. is actually quite significant, while many “foreign” cars are built in American. In fact, one of America’s best-selling vehicles (and one that is also typically American) is actually built in Canada – the Chevy Impala.
Other made-in-Canada cars include the Buick Lacrosse, Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKX, Lincoln Town Car, Mercury Grand Marquis and the new 2010 Chevrolet Camaro.
Made-in Mexico cars include the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Chevrolet HHR. And as for the the Chevy Aveo sub-compact, it comes from Korea.
On the flip-side, there are plenty of Japanese (and even some German) vehicles built in the U.S. of A. Some of the most significant include the high volume Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, while the Honda Element and Toyota Avalon are also U.S. products. Nissan builds several models in the United States while BMW manufactures the Z4 as well as the X5 and X6 in South Carolina.
… The more you know…
[Source: La Times]