Things are about to be a bit more electric over at Mercedes-Benz: the carmaker is reportedly set to intensify its work on alternative-fuel cars with the introduction of four new models. [More]
You don’t know their names, but you see them everywhere: countless shades of reds, greens, blues, grays, tans, taupes, whites, off-whites, charcoals, blacks, gold and silver. Really what you’re seeing is Vanilla Shake, Tahitian Pearl and Torched Penny. Cars are everywhere, and so are the colors they’re cruising around in, their own distinctive skins. Paint is one of the most important design aspects parts of a car — the right paint job can mean the difference between luxury and sport utility, can turn Grandpa’s jalopy into a teen dream machine, and forever change a car from a vehicle you use to get around to a statement on free love and drugs. [More]
It can be depressing to calculate the amount of time you spend working to pay for your car. Your ride siphons money from you in an overwhelming amount of ways, including your monthly payment, gas, insurance, registration fees, maintenance and repair. If you want to start living more frugally, you can cast a stink eye at your car to look for ways to start cutting back.
Nissan is collaborating with the same batch of Swiss scientists that developed a wheelchair users can move with their brain to make a car that “reads your mind.”
In an amazing breakthrough for both Science and the study of consumer behavior, researchers have determined that the pleasures of having an expensive car is fleeting and quickly replaced by thinking about the anxieties of day-to-day existence.
For want of a nail, a kingdom was lost. And for want of durable wheel hubs, high-powered Porsche 911s were recalled because the could lead to a compromised wheel-retention system and a crash.
“Meep! Meep!” Quiet electric and hybrid cars will be forced to do something like that to alert pedestrians they’re coming under a new act passed by Congress.
Last spring, now-former General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre ruffled a lot of feathers in Washington by airing a TV commercial where he claimed that the bailed-out car company had repaid “government loan in full, with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule,” without mentioning that taxpayers still owned 61% of GM. Today, new GM CEO Dan Akerson opted for a more honest approach, not only admitting that his company still owes billions to the government, but that it’s going to take “several years” to pay it back.
The Highway Loss Data Institute keeps track of insurance claims for stolen cars, and it’s just released a list of the highest and lowest insurance claims for auto theft for 2007-09 models. The winner is the Cadillac Escalade luxury SUV, followed by the Ford F-250 pickup–both of these vehicles have a relatively high claim frequency and high average loss payment per claim of $9,600-$11,000. On the other end, the Mini Cooper and Toyota Sienna 4WD are infrequently stolen and have average loss payments of around $2,000.
Here’s some news that will please many of you who cringe when you see a cocky teenager behind the wheel of an automobile. A new report claims that not only are fewer teens driving their own cars, but that fewer teens are on the road in general.
I have a very distinct memory of being 11 and riding in the car with my recently licensed big brother, who of course knew everything there is to know about cars and girls. We pulled up next to an old VW bug being driven by an attractive woman, and after he slugged me in the arm he sagely stated, “Man, there’s nothing as cool as a girl who drives a Volkswagen.” And maybe he was right, because 23 years later the VW Beetle is the car with the highest rate of female ownership.
You need gas. On the right is a BP. On the left is a supermarket gas station. Which do you choose, and why? If you skip the BP to go to the other, you might actually be putting more cash in BP’s stained pockets.
Like this story? Check out, “BP Gulf-Sized Spilling Occurs In Nigeria Annually, But Nobody Cares.”
The sorry state of the economy the past couple of years has actually led to higher prices for used cars, writes Kiplinger. That’s because more people started buying used cars, which tightened the supply while also reducing the number of fresh trade-ins. It may be a couple of years before prices drop again, but Kiplinger has some suggestions for saving money if you plan on buying a used car this year.
Yesterday, we posted Consumer Reports’ selections for the best cars for teen drivers. That list, on which the least expensive car was priced at $9,900, drew quite a bit of heat from readers who thought the listed cars too pricey for teens. That’s why we want to hear about your first ride.
It’s a big deal when Consumer Reports awards a “Don’t Buy” rating to a vehicle, and when it announced earlier today that the 2010 Lexus GX 460 should be avoided because of safety risks, the story started popping up all over the web. Now only 12 hours later, Lexus has announced that it is asking dealers to temporarily stop selling the vehicle while it looks into the situation, and that it’s taking the Consumer Reports claim “very seriously.”
Several states are reporting this morning that average gas prices have crept up slightly, despite the fact that oil consumption has dropped and refiners are operating below capacity. The Miami Herald blames the price creep on Wall Street speculators who are optimistic that the economy is getting better, which in turn will lead to increased gas consumption.
Naader says his 2002 Buick Regal was totaled when his engine caught fire in February. He discovered afterward that GM had put out an engine fire safety recall for his vehicle back in 2008, but he had never gotten word of the move. Now Naader says GM is stonewalling him on the compensation front.