Cars with best residual value

Savvy car buyers know they can probably purchase a used car that is only a few years old for a fraction of the price of the new model. With that in mind, Edmunds put together a list of the top 10 2008 models that are likely to depreciate in the next five years.

In coming up with its estimates, Edmunds assumes that the cars will have an average of 15,000 miles per year and says two Mini Coopers top the list.

In fact, BWM, the maker of Mini Cooper, takes the top three spots with the Mini Cooper, Mini Cooper Clubman and BMW M3 all retaining more than 50 percent of their original value in five years.

BMW also hold the number nine position on the list with the BMW 1 Series tied with the Volkswagen Eos in holding 47 percent of its value.

The only American car on the list was the Chevrolet Corvette which at number eight will hold slightly more value than the BMW 1 Series with 47.1 percent.

By contrast, the two cars with the worst residual value are the Kia Rio (26.3 percent) and the Kia Spectra (27 percent).

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Super Bowl car ads increase online traffic

It seems that advertising during the Super Bowl does get a lot of attention for a company. At least that’s what Kelly Blue Book says, as the website saw increases to the page views of Hyundai, Audi and Toyota following their ads in Sunday’s game.

The Hyundai Genesis, which was also recently named’s Car of the Year, received the most interest with an 82 percent increase in page views following its ads during the game.

Audi’s commercial for the A6, featuring Jason Statham, caused a 45 percent increase and the Toyota Venzia saw a 13 percent rise.

The action-packed Audi ad received positive reviews from critics after what many say were a number of lackluster ads during the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals.

In fact, people who liked the ad can even purchase the 1987 BMW 535 i that was one of the cars Statham drove. It appears that the owner is selling the car online for $2,000.

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Signs warn motorists of impending zombie attack

Electronic road signs across the country, usually used to advise of traffic or weather conditions, have begun to warn motorists of some other strange problems lately – zombies.

It seems that pranksters have been hacking into the signs and changing their screens to read of warnings of the undead and raptors or other problems. Some signs have even told drivers that no one loves them.

Police in some parts of the country are worried that the signs could be problematic to passing motorists who may be laughing too hard to concentrate on the road.

“We understood it was a hoax, but at the same time those boards are there for a reason,” Joe Gasaway, an Illinois Department of Transportation supervisory field engineer told the Associated Press. “We don’t want [drivers] being distracted by a funny sign.”

Recently the auto blog Jalopnik posted a how-to guide to hacking into one of the electronic signs. However, the site did run the following warning:

“DO NOT under any circumstances run around hacking into electronic road signs using the information contained in this step-by-step guide of how to transmit hilarious messages to passing motorists.”

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Since running the guide the site has posted pictures of 20 different messages that have been hacked onto electronic signs.

Hyundai Genesis wins Car of the Year from

For the first time ever, announced its Car of the Year which in somewhat of a shock to most in the car industry, went to the Hyundai Genesis.

As a fairly new car company, Hyundai has made some great strides in recent years. As points out, the company went from a punchline when it was introduced to the U.S. market 10 years ago to passing Honda Nissan and Chrysler in worldwide sales.

With all those people buying the cars, Hyundai must be doing something right. says even it was surprised that the Hyundai Genesis was its selection as Car of the Year.

“The Genesis is surprising not simply because it’s a Hyundai, but because it gives the European stalwarts a solid run for their money – and for much less of it.”

But maybe the award for the Hyundai Genesis shouldn’t be too surprising as the car also took home the award for North American Car of the Year and the North American International Auto Show.

Also winning awards from were:

Toyota Prius for Eco-friendly Car of the Year
Ford Flex for Family Car of the Year
BMW M3 for Play Car of the Year
Dodge Ram 1500 for Work Car of the Year

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Police buy used cars for their force

With a slumping economy, many police forces in the U.S. are finding it hard to justify buying a new vehicle for their patrols – instead they are turning to used cars.

According to the Munster Times, the Lake County Police force has decided to purchase used Ford Tauruses and Mercury Grand Marquis to counter the rising gas prices and the increase in new car payments.

“We were looking for cars that were not going to kill us on the price,” Lake County Police Chief Marco Kuyachich told the paper.

It seems that the police force has been able to find cars that are relatively new with only a few thousand miles on them that are about half the cost of a new vehicle.

“I recently bought 12 Grand Marquis for an average price of $12,000 each,” Kuyachich told the paper. “New, those are $26,000 cars. They had between 17,000 to 23,400 miles.”

An unintended effect of the police force’s decision to make the used car purchases is saving the environment as it is thought to be more “green” to continue using older cars than to have new ones built.

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Celebrities and the cars they drive

Like dogs and their masters, cars often resemble the personality of their owners. This can be especially true of celebrities who often drive a vehicle that matches the type of person they are.

Automotive blog Jalopnik recently put together a list of celebrities and the cars they drive and for most it’s not all that surprising.

Three of the celebrities on Jalopnik’s list drive around in a Toyota Prius including Entourage star Adrian Grenier and Larry David of Curb Your Enthusiasm fame. And as someone who wants vehicles on both ends of the ecologically-friendly spectrum, Ewan McGregor drives both a fuel sipping Prius and a gas guzzling Land Rover.

CNN talk show host Larry King is 75 years old so it should be no surprise that he drives a car that is fitting his age. According to Jalopnik, he sports around town in a Lincoln MKS.

And then there are the celebrities who drive the expensive, fashionable cars. Kim Kardashian drives both a Bentley Continental and a Range Rover while eccentric star Nicolas Cage drives a car fitting of his movie Gone in 60 Seconds – a Ferrari Enzo.

It was revealed last month that one of the most well known people in the free world – Barack Obama – used to drive a Chrysler 300C. The car sold on an auction site for more than $270,000.

Amanda Bynes sued over car wreck

Hairspray star Amanda Bynes is being sued for hospital bills and damages resulting from a four car pileup that occurred in 2007 which left one motorist with minor injuries.

David Feldman, the attorney for Bynes told TMZ that when the accident occurred the cars in question were only traveling around 5 miles per hour – calling it a minor fender bender.

He also said the lawsuit, being filed by Shari Landon, was filed on the last possible day and that Bynes had never been notified of any injuries. Landon is also suing two other drivers along with rental car company Hertz.

Bynes was also involved in a multi-car accident in August of last year.

It was recently reported that Bynes had split from her boyfriend Doug Reinhardt, who was often featured on the MTV reality drama The Hills.

Reinhardt had previously been linked to reality star Lauren Conrad.

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Dodge Ram wins International Truck of the Year

Earlier this month the Dodge Ram 1500 won the award for International Truck of the Year by jurors for the International Car of The Year (ICOTY), beating out competition from the Ford F-150 and Toyota Tacoma.

“We’re glad third-party organizations including ICOTY recognize Dodge Ram’s game-changing innovations, functionality, safety and value,” said Scott Kunselman of Chrysler.

The Truck of the Year honor is just one of a handful or awards the Dodge Ram has walked home with including awards from Edmunds, Truckin’ magazine and various other publications.

Jeff Taylor, auto writer for the Chicago Sun-Times said the Ram is the “personal use champ” when it comes to trucks in its class, taking the title away from the Toyota Tacoma.

Although he says a number of other trucks on the market have their advantages, Taylor thinks the Ram is perfect for those who will be using it on a regular basis for more everyday tasks.

“My assessment is based strictly on personal use including; commuting, carting around the entire family, carrying home construction materials, hauling bicycles and moving assorted boxes during the review period,” he writes.

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Frozen car gets fined

Apparently the city of Cleveland, Ohio takes its parking situations very seriously as a man whose car was frozen to the street following a broken water pipe received a ticket and had his car hauled off to an impound lot.

When Gary Luke walked out to his Nissan Altima yesterday morning he found it covered in three inches of ice and more than a foot of ice burying his tires.

It appears that a water main had burst overnight, covering the car with freezing water and causing passing motorists to splash the car with the river that was now running down his street.

“I know it’s Cleveland in the wintertime, but I never expected this,” Luke told the Plain Dealer.

Luke told the paper that AAA said he would have to wait until the weather warmed up to get his car out of the predicament, but that didn’t stop police from trying – and succeeding.

According to the news provider, police were clearing cars parked on Luke’s street Thursday night and had a tow truck work to remove the Altima from its icy encasement. For his trouble, Luke received a $50 ticket and must now pay to have his car removed from impound.

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Google Street View vehicle hits deer

Google has made it easier for people to get from point A to point B with their Street View technology which has a vehicle drive across U.S. roadways taking panoramic photos of streets.

Unfortunately this vehicle can sometimes get in an accident, and apparently when it happens, Google doesn’t want people to see.

While photographing roads in upstate New York, the Google vehicle hit a deer as it crossed a rural road, killing the deer while recording the action. It appears that not many people noticed the accident on Street View until this week when it appeared all over the internet.

The photographs originally showed the car driving south on Five Points Road in Rush, NY when a small deer begins to walk across the street. Another photo appeared to show the deer attempting to jump out of the way of the car and a final photo showed the animal on the side of the road.

The street view for that area is no longer available.

In a response issued yesterday, Google confirmed that one of its vehicles had hit a deer, but says the images were removed after the company received numerous requests.

“We’re sad that this accident occurred and we consider ourselves fortunate that our driver was not injured,” the company said.

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