Archive for September, 2011

Tips for first-time car buyers

Friday, September 30th, 2011

First-time car buyers face a lot of new challenges. While the purchase of a vehicle is certainly a milestone, there are a number of things to consider from financing to insurance. Of course, the most important thing is finding out which car is best for you, and Edmunds.com recently offered a few tips on how to do so.

The first thing to consider is what exactly you need out of a car. While many first-time buyers decide to purchase a stylish or trendy car, they may not actually be buying what they need. Instead, experts recommend asking yourself a few questions before deciding what safety features you're looking for, whether or not you'll be doing any towing or how much seating capacity you need.

Deciding what kind of car you want is just the beginning, however. According to Edmunds, the test drive is of the utmost importance as well. Make sure you drive it in stop-and-go situations, on the highway and on uneven terrain before coming to a decision.

After you've test-driven one car, make sure you head to other dealerships to check out other options. Experts suggest doing it all in one afternoon so that you can accurately compare.

Anybody hoping to get behind wheel of a used car should check out New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers plenty of makes and models for affordable prices.

CCC launches MirrorLink to connect cars, smartphones

Friday, September 30th, 2011

As cars and smartphones become increasingly connected, one group is trying to make sure that drivers don't have to think twice about whether or not their phone will work in their vehicle. The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) recently launched the MirrorLink to ensure drivers are getting the most out of technology, USA Today reports.

The thought process behind the network is that any phone with the MirrorLink logo should be able to connect to any car with the same logo without any problem. This will make it easier to access Bluetooth and other accessories, and Nokia is already on board with the project. Theoretically, this could allow drivers to make use of the maps on their phone rather than splurging for an on-board navigation system.

"The types of apps available will only be limited by the creativity of the software community," the CCC says, according to the publication. "MirrorLink makes it easy for developers to create apps or modify their existing apps and target a wide section of the market. "

One of the most useful apps available to drivers is Drivesafe.ly, which reads texts, emails and other messages aloud so motorist are not distracted on the road.

Nissan continues work on ‘mind-reading’ car

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

It may seem like something out of a science fiction movie, but Nissan is moving closer to creating a car that can read a driver's mind. The manufacturer recently announced its plans to work on a Brain Machine Interface (BMI) with Swiss scientists that will help cars and motorists work together while out on the road.

The focus of the program will be on using BMI and statistical analysis to assess a driver's cognitive state to help predict what he or she might do next while out on the road. This can be done in a number of ways including brain activity, eye movement and examining the environment around the car.

"The idea is to blend driver and vehicle intelligence together in such a way that eliminates conflicts between them, leading to a safer motoring environment," said professor José del R. Millán, the man leading the project.

While mind-reading cars may be years off, motorists looking to get behind the wheel of a used Nissan may want to check out New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers numerous makes and models at affordable prices.

Be on the lookout for flood-damaged cars

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

All too often, used car dealers may try to sell flood-damaged cars without letting the prospective buyers know, and the Insurance Information Institute (III) is helping buyers to be on the look out for signs of flood damage.

One of the easiest signs to spot is if there is mildew, debris or silt in unusual places in the car. For instance, if they make their way into spots such as the carpeting, trunk or around the engine compartment, it should tip you off.

Some more subtle hints come in the form of changes in upholstery. Faded fabrics or water stains are an instant indication, and discolored seatbelts can be telling as well.

"To avoid inadvertently purchasing a flood-damaged car, it is important that you only buy a used car from a reputable dealer, have a certified mechanic look for flood damage and check the car's VIN number by using a credible industry database," said Jeanne M. Salvatore, the consumer spokesperson for the III.

New Jersey Auto Auction offers buyers a reputable place to buy used cars at affordable prices.

Ford creates all-Lego Explorer

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Ford recently enjoyed positive reviews of its redesigned Explorer, but the latest incarnation of the popular SUV was much different than any previous model. Twenty-two people recently completed an Explorer made entirely out of Legos in a joint venture by Ford and Legoland to promote the Florida theme park, USA Today reports.

The finished product was certainly a sight to behold. The life-size creation required more than 380,000 Lego bricks to complete and ended up weighing around 2,654 pounds. The finsihed product will soon be on its way from Chicago to Florida, being towed in a clear-sided trailer so that drivers on the highway can catch a glimpse of the sculpture. According to the publication, Legoland is set to open to the public in Florida on October 15.

As for the the functional, new Ford Explorer, early returns have many drivers pleased with the updated model. The body offers a sleek divergence from the shape of the previous years, and its EcoBoost engine offers a drastically improved fuel efficiency.

Motorists looking to get behind the wheel of a Ford may want to check out New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers plenty of makes and models at affordable prices.

Edmunds app revision may make trade-ins easier

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Edmunds.com is one of the most popular resources on the internet for people looking for pricing information on their cars, and the company recently maderesearching on the go a little bit easier. The company updated its smartphone app with the most up-to-date research on new and used cars, including trade-in values and retail prices.

The app is designed specifically for the Android. Although it was popular when it was first launched, Edmunds.com received a significant amount of feedback from users who would like info on used car and trade-ins, and they apparently took the message to heart.

"The initial launch of our Android app for new car research was a major success and the most common feedback we received was a strong desire for used car information," said Jennifer Cleverley, director of mobile technology at Edmunds.com. "We heard that feedback loud and clear, and car buyers now have an even better app to help them negotiate their new or used vehicle purchases with confidence."

In addition to taking advantages of programs like the Edmunds.com app, there are a number of things you can do to ensure that you get the best price possible when trading in your car. According to AutoTrader.com, one of the best things you can do is to put some effort into making your car look nicer.

There are a number of small steps you can take, like washing and waxing the exterior, but turning your attention toward the inside can have big impact as well. A thorough cleaning, including the upholstery, rugs and mats, and adding an air freshener for good measure, will all pay off in the long run.

Of course, you can't just head in to trade-in your car blindly, either. The publication reports that sellers must do their due diligence when it comes to researching how much they can reasonably expect to get for their car.

Finally, it would behoove you to make sure that you have all your records in order before heading off to the dealer. In particular, it is important to have all documentation of maintenance to prove to the dealers that the car was well taken care off, according to the website.

Toyota Corolla remains as popular as ever

Monday, September 26th, 2011

It may not be as flashy as some of its counterparts, but the Toyota Corolla certainly has staying power. Since 1966 it has been the best selling car in the world, with more than 32 million units sold, besting its closest competitor, the Ford F-series pick-up truck, by 2 million, Yahoo! Autos reports.

The Corolla likely owes its success to both its simplicity and affordability. The highest-end models come in at well under $20,000 and are also equipped with fuel-efficient engines that offer around 34 miles per gallon on the highway. Additionally, it has the distinction of being especially safe.

"It might seem like a basic car, but it packs a lot of features that you don’t really notice but certainly appreciate," Toyota salesperson Luis Duran told the website. "It's not going to be a vehicle with a lot of bells and whistles, but it’s certainly packed with safety features."

Toyota is expected to unveil a redesigned look for the Corolla for 2013 to help keep up with the competitive compact car market, including popular cars like the Honda Civic.

Kia to add start-stop option to the Rio

Monday, September 26th, 2011

There has been a growing number of luxury and hybrid cars that offer so-called "start-stop" technology, which shuts off a car's engine every time it idles for more than just a few seconds. However, while the feature was once available only in a few models, Kia is taking steps to make it much more prevalent, USA Today reports.

The 2012 Kio Rio subcompact will become available to the general public sometime next month, and at a modest price tag of just under $15,000 it will be the most affordable car to offer the start-stop technology. Currently, Porsche and BMW are the only manufacturers that offer the feature.

Not only does the start-stop feature reduce the considerable noise caused by the idling engine, it also can save drivers a significant amount of money on gas over the long haul.

"It's going to be very popular," Edmunds.com senior editor John O'Dell told the publication. "It's a fairly inexpensive way to get a 3 percent to 5 percent fuel-economy increase."

Drivers who are interested in getting a new fuel-efficient car may want to look into New Jersey Auto Auction, which has plenty of makes and models at affordable prices.

December is the best month for buying a car

Monday, September 26th, 2011

The holiday season is a great time to score deals on many different items, and it seems like it's also the right time to get a new car as well. Experts say that December often has the greatest discounts because many dealers are feeling pressure to get rid of their current year's cars to make room for the newer models, ABC News reports.

The evidence seems to stack up in favor of buying in December when analysts point out specifics. In particular, the average discount offered when consumers buy a car in December is about 6.5 percent compared to 4.5 percent during the rest of the year.

Even if you can't buy a car in December, waiting until the end of the month to make a purchase could turn out to be a wise decision, according to the news source. Industry insiders say that some salesmen have incentives to sell a certain amount of cars each month and may be more willing to offer a discount as crunch time approaches.

Drivers hoping to get behind the wheel of a new or used car may want to turn to New Jersey Auto Auction as well, which offers many makes and models at affordable prices.

Chrysler Town and Country tops list of most affordable insurance

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Although many people are quick to look at the price-tag of a car when considering whether or not they can afford it, the costs that come afterward are often just as important. This is especially true when it comes to insurance, and Forbes recently provided consumers its list of which cars are the most and least expensive to insure.

There are a number of factors that went into compiling their list and it also came with a few surprises. Perhaps most interesting was that cars that appeal to young drivers, while they may be cheap up front, have surprisingly high insurance. In fact, the Kia Rio's annual premium of $1,522 is not much cheaper than a Corvette's, which is about $1,740.

"An inexpensive car can be relatively costly to insure if it appeals to younger, less-experienced drivers who tend to get into more accidents," Insure.com spokesman Emmet Pierce told the publication.

The least expensive car to insure, according to Forbes, is the Chrysler Town and Country. The minivan comes in at just under $1,100 annually, and is followed by three more minivans on the list including Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey.

As for the most expensive, Forbes reports that the Mercedes SL65 tops the list with a whopping $3,543 a year premium

Chevy puts final touches on updated Colorado

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Chevrolet is inching closer to unveiling the latest version of the popular Chevrolet Colorado. The pick-up, which includes a slew of new features, will first be offered in Thailand before going for sale in Asia Pacific, Africa and South America.

The world has already gotten a glimpse of the new model, with Chevy unveiling the vehicle in concept form at auto shows in places such as Argentina, Germany and Australia. The company has gone to great lengths to make the Colorado especially durable and reliable to help cement its place in the highly-competitive Thai truck market.

"We know customers of this type of vehicle want a workhorse and a daily-use vehicle all in one, so our product has to deliver. We have benchmarked the toughest, most flexible vehicles around the world," said the truck's chief engineer Roberto Rempel. "When you combine that approach with our detailed consideration of global expectations, we are confident the new Colorado will be a winner."

Drivers looking to get behind the wheel of a used pick up truck may want to check out New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers plenty of makes and models at affordable prices.

Consider road test, vehicle history when buying a used car

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Although many people turn to used cars to save money, that does not mean the purchasing process should be any less thorough. Still, some experts say a surprising amount of consumers may not be as careful when buying a used car and there are number of steps you should take before making a decision.

One of the most crucial aspects of buying a car, whether new or used, is the road test. However, many people may not know what exactly to look for when they take their prospective purchase out for a drive.

According to Auto123, you should always take the car for a drive around town and on the highway. This way you'll be able to easily see how well it accelerates and merges into traffic. Similarly, if you can mix up the surface you're driving on, be it potholes, gravel or sand, it will give you an idea of how well the vehicle can stand up to tough tests.

Furthermore, AOL Autos suggests finding out about the detailed history of the car before driving it off the lot. While it might seem difficult, it is not too hard to do thanks to websites like Carfax.com, which only requires a vehicle identification number to see its auto history report.

2012 models feature impressive technology

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Cars have added numerous technological advancements over the last several years, and 2012 should be no different. CBS Money Watch recently previewed some of the most-anticipated additions to be unveiled in the coming months.

Perhaps the most impressive way with which cars have been using technology is to improve safety. This will be at the front and center of some 2012 models, which have added accident avoidance systems. The Chevrolet Equinox, for one, has a lane departure warning, which alerts drivers if they are drifting, and a collision warning features that automatically puts on the brakes.

"We expect these new systems to be [available] on many mainstream models within a few years," Russ Rader of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety told the news source.

There are also advancements being made that will improve the overall driving experience. A number of cars, including the Dodge Charger, have been outfitted with innovative eight-speed transmissions that significantly boost the cars' gas mileage.

Drivers looking to take advantage of some of the recent technology in used cars may want to head to New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers plenty of makes and models at affordable prices. 

German scientists showcase self-driving car

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Scientists at Germany's Free University have created one of the first self-driving cars in the world. Using a specially outfitted Volkswagen Passat, the team has been testing the car in the streets of Berlin all summer long, and according to the Associated Press the results have been impressive.

The process certainly hasn't been an easy one. The research team has been working on the project for around four years and put in about $550,000 worth of special devices on board the Passat including computers, electronics and a precision satellite navigation system.

"The vehicle can recognize other cars on the road, pedestrians, buildings and trees up to 70 meters around it, and even see if the traffic lights ahead are red or green and react accordingly," the head of the research team Raul Rojas told the AP and other reporters at a presentation.

The team was allowed to test the car in real traffic as long as there was a safety driver behind the wheel – even if he or she was not touching anything. It was also allowed to be tested in special areas without the safety net.

The car is similar to one Google has been testing in the street of Nevada, though the company has been very secretive about its successes thus far.

J. Lo, Fiat appear to be a perfect match

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

In an effort to broaden the appeal of the Fiat 500, the popular European manufacturer recently unveiled its new ad campaign featuring none other than Jennifer Lopez. The shot spot debuted on September 12 during Monday Night Football, and it has been met with a very positive reception in the early going, USA Today reports.

Much of the praise has been in response to the sleek direction and style that seems to match perfectly with J. Lo's persona. The ad features her newest single "Papi" as well as the singer behind the wheel of one of the compact cars.

"Jennifer fits perfectly with the brand not because of who she is but because of what she is – authentic, passionate, modern and a fighter determined to stand out from the rest," Olivier Francois, Chrysler Group chief marketing officer said in a statement.

This isn't the first ad from Fiat, which owns Chrylser, to feature a popular musician. In February, the company unveiled its retooled Chrysler 300 during the Super Bowl with an ad featuring Eminem and touting the car's connection to Detorit.

Toyota expects to see sales bounce back this fall

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Toyota's sales in the United States were severely hurt in the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck Japan in May, but its officials say the company is back on track to reverse the tide by October.

The boost in sales comes from the fact that Toyota unveiled its eagerly-awaited, redesigned Camry, Bloomberg reports. Additionally, orders for Toyotas are back to normal and the company's vehicle inventory is on the rise.

In the wake of the earthquake, Toyota shut down all production, including North American. However, it since restored full operation in North America and analysts believe there will be a stark change in the fourth quarter of this year compared to the rest of 2011.

"The fourth quarter is definitely going to be the best quarter for them so far this year," analyst Jesse Toprak told the website. "They will have the supply problem mostly solved and some new products."

Early reviews of the 2012 Camry paint it as one of the best mid-sized sedans available. Drivers looking to take advantage of the reliable manufacturer may want to consider looking at New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers plenty of models at affordable prices.

Chevrolet to debut new engine in 2013 Malibu

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Chevrolet recently announced that it will release its newest engine in the 2013 Malibu. The Ecotec 2.5-liter four-cylinder will be replacing a similar 2.4-liter model that is currently in use, and it is designed to be both more efficient and powerful than the previous version, Motor Trend reports.

The engine will see its increased efficiency due to a push by General Motors to reduce the amount of friction and design a new combustion system. Additionally, the new engine will provide drivers with an impressive 12 percent more horsepower and 16 percent more torque, while also significantly reducing noise.

"The noise intensity is 40 percent less than our 2.4-liter direct-injected engine, which was named one of Ward's 10 Best Engines," Mike Anderson, global chief engineer for GM said. "Engineers also tuned the 2.5L to deliver more of its torque at lower rpm, giving the Malibu a stronger feel at launch and during on-demand maneuvers, such as passing or accelerating on a freeway entrance ramp."

The Malibu has been one of Chevrolet's most popular cars over the years, and anybody looking to get behind the wheel of the sedan may want to check out New Jersey Auto Auction.

Cars.com: 2012 Toyota Camry most affordable midsize sedan

Monday, September 19th, 2011

With plenty of versatility and style, its no wonder that the midsize sedan is the most popular type of car in the United States. While there are plenty of options available to consumers, the cluttered market can make finding the right model a little bit difficult, and Cars.com recently published its list of the most affordable midsize sedans.

The 2012 Toyota Camry is the website's top pick for the best option, which is not shocking considering it has long been a favorite among critics and consumers alike. There are several reasons why it topped the list, but the number of features it offers for a modest $21,995 price tag are what set it apart.

Among the most attractive advantages of the redesigned Camry are Bluetooth and USB ports, and for a slight upgrade in price drivers can get remote keyless entry as well as wheel-mounted controls and automatic headlights. The car also comes with two years of free maintenance and an impressive fuel economy of 35 miles per gallon.

Motorists looking to get behind the wheel of a used Toyota may want to check out New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers plenty of models at affordable prices.