By Sue Mead
Let’s start with
a question: what comes to mind when you think of Buick?
Young drivers? Spritely performance? The latest in automotive technology at
your fingertips? Buick is all of these things today, but some car buyers think
it’s an ‘older buyers’ brand and that Buick’s vehicles are stodgy, with
soft-sprung suspensions. Think again, if this is you!
Continue reading "The 2014 Buick Regal: Buick’s Mid-Sized Sedan Gets Makeover" »
Cal Worthington, the quintessential car salesman best
remembered for television commercials starring his “dog” Spot, has passed away
at the age of 92. Worthington died Sunday after
watching football with family at his ranch north of Sacramento.
While I can’t say that he did anything to encourage my
career as an automotive journalist, I can say that Cal Worthington and his “dog” Spot
were frequent guests in our livingroom, as his commercials ran frequently on
local channels when I was growing up in Southern California in the 1970s and
1980s. His “dog” Spot was never a dog;
every commercial featured a different animal, from lions, tigers, and bears (oh
my!) to skunks, octopi, and pigs.
Continue reading "Automotive Icon, Cal Worthington, Passes at 92 " »
trucks are more in vogue than ever! As the U.S. economy comes back and auto
sales have soared once again, truck makers are seeing double-digit increases as
pickups are being put to work in the housing market, on ranches and farms, and
for couples and families that appreciate the multiple-use practicality of
Continue reading "2014 Toyota Tundra Review: A New American Pickup" »
Instead of staying in his usual pineapple under the sea,
SpongeBob SquarePants will be touring the U.S. this summer in a one-of-a-kind
concept vehicle as part of a “Happy Driving!” promotional tour, bringing
SpongeBob’s special brand of fun to several locations across the country.
Continue reading "This SpongeBob SquarePants-Inspired 2014 Toyota Highlander is perfect for “Happy Driving!” " »
My 87-year-old Mom has owned her 1982 280ZX Datsun 2+2 hatchback for 31 years with only 105,000 original miles and kept it in almost perfect condition. When she decided to sell it recently, she was hardly driving it anymore because my parents mostly drive a Toyota Avalon. Parting with the one and only car she bought on her own that symbolized her independence was a tough decision! She said it was like parting with an old friend.
Continue reading "Off-Road Adventure: Selling My Mom's 1982 Datsun 280ZX " »
your first new car is a big decision. Whether you opt for a snazzy
sports car with a sunroof, a rugged SUV or a trusted and time-honored
sedan, your car is a big-ticket purchase.
nothing like leaving the dealership confident, with the gleaming
dashboard and new car smell a happy reminder that you made the right
choice, and that it'll last a long time.
some people may find it intimidating to haggle with a car salesman or
overwhelming to choose from all the options out there, if you arm
yourself with knowledge, buying a new car can be a good experience.
You may want to consider following these tips
from USA.gov as
you embark on your quest to find the right car for you:
Continue reading "Your First New Car: What to Look For" »
The Costco Auto Program today announced the outcome of its most-recent
offer with General Motors. Preliminary sales results for the Chevrolet, Buick and GMC Special Offer indicate the number of eligible vehicles sold is more than 15,000 – nearly triple the final sales results of last winter’s promotional offer from the Costco Auto Program and GM.
The Chevrolet, Buick and GMC Special Offer took place Oct. 2, 2012, through Jan. 2, 2013.
During the promotional period, Costco members were able to purchase select 2012 and 2013 Chevrolet, Buick and GMC models at GM Preferred Pricing, in addition to receiving all publicly available rebates and incentives. Moreover, Costco members who made an eligible purchase qualified to receive a $500 Costco
Cash Card after completing a Costco Auto Program member satisfaction survey.
“The Chevrolet, Buick and GMC Special Offer exceeded our expectations but we’re not surprised by it,” said John Gleason, Costco Services Manager. “Costco makes every effort to ensure members receive a great value and exceptional service".
The results clearly show our members recognize the great values the Costco Auto Program delivers.”
The Costco Auto Program attributes the offer’s overall success to several factors; including, the diverse selection and popularity of eligible vehicles, comprehensive messaging to Costco members, national public relations efforts and word-of-mouth.
Continue reading "Costco Auto Buying Program offers big deals on GM products" »
with the old and in with the new -- car, that is. We asked Kelley
Blue Book analyst Alec Gutierrez to decode three options for getting
rid of your old car, so you can make room for a shiny, new one.
are perfectly good options for selling a used car privately, trading
it in or donating it. We mapped out the pros and cons of each, so the
process can be as easy as a Sunday drive.
deciding which option is best for you, you’ll want to get a
realistic idea of what your car is worth. "Be honest with
yourself, and with the vehicle’s worth," says Gutierrez.
KBB.com, you can input your car’s
specific details, such as the year, make, model, whether it has
all-wheel drive or leather seats, etc., to get an estimate of what
your car is worth. “Don’t skip over any of the details, because
they can increase the value of the car,” Gutierrez says.
it's time to explore your options for selling
Continue reading "Your Guide to Getting Rid of an Old Ride " »
The 2013 Lexus LS: Lexus has given its flagship sedan a complete redesign and added a new sport version to the lineup. The all-new 2013 Lexus LS 460 is unapologetically big, smooth and sumptuous-both inside and out. Plus, there’s an updated version of its LS 600 hybrid that brings increased fuel efficiency and added plushness. Since it came to the market in 1989, its designers and engineers have set the tone for the Lexus brand by endowing its top-of-the-line model with a high level of craftsmanship, technology and refinement. The newest LS has a more bold exterior; an interior that has been updated with a higher level of quality and technology; there is improved safety and upgraded driving dynamics—along with more than 3,000 new parts! The base LS 460 rear wheel drive version starts at $71, 990 and the LS600 hybrid starts at $119,910.
We came to Tucson, known as “The Real Southwest” and parked overnight at the sumptuous Ritz Carlton Hotel, with accommodations befitting this updated opulent auto. Lexus isn’t shy about its achievements and wants its success to be recognized, so has tailored its ride and drives and media campaign to heighten the prestige of the LS. For its first introduction this summer, Lexus revealed the new model as the centerpiece to an international photo exhibit in San Francisco called the “Lexus Laws of Attraction”, at an L.A. Food and Wine event and at the legendary Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance, in Monterrey, California. The new LS F Sport model was unveiled by renowned designers Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan to a global audience during a live webcast on Lexas.com and Facebook.
Looking at the exterior of the new iconic LS, you’ll notice it has an aerodynamic sweep of a profile, with short overhangs front and rear and a relatively long midsection.
Continue reading "Smooth, Sexy, Sporty and Smart:The 2013 Lexus LS" »
The next big name in automobiles may not be an American, or Japanese, or even German or Italian: Believe it or not, India is poised to change the face of the US Auto Industry with the introduction of the Tata Nano to the US Market.
For those who don't know, the Nano is an adorable, no-frills, egg-shaped four seater car introduced in India in 2009 as an alternative to scooters and other super-efficient means of transportation. It's known as the "World's Cheapest Car," and to say that it's bare-bones is an understatement: it boasts a 4-gallon tank, a top speed of 65mph, about 3 cubic feet of storage space, and its major advertised features include "headrests" and an interior fuel warning light. But with simple features comes a simple price tag. In 2009 it was introduced with an unbelievable price of $2500.
The rest of the world is definitely taking notice of the little Nano that could - I learned about this adorable car from Live with Kelly & Michael, and have since learned that auto aficionado Jay Leno has already snagged one of the Indian models for his car collection.
The Nano will certainly undergo a bit of a redesign before it hits the US market, and those vital statistics seem certain to improve. Also being added are power steering, traction control, and some other bells and whistles missing from the base model in India - AC and Heating come to mind. All these improvements will raise the price a bit, of course, but the plan is for the Nano to hit the US market in 2013 with a price of about $8000. That would make it the cheapest car on the market, and if it's done right, it could change the face of the industry.
The Nano is being redesigned for the European market as well. I think they're adorable, and moreover, I think the US is ready for a new wave of super-economical automobiles. India isn't the first nation to be experimenting with this concept - China boasts super-affordable cars with some pretty cool features, and in Japan, Nissan is reintroducing the Datsun brand, as a line of low-cost autos poised to retail for around $3000 in Asia. I'm watching these sagas, and the Nano's, very closely, so keep an eye here for updates.
Have a great weekend, and TTFN: tata for nano! (I couldn't resist.)