Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2014 Audi A6: Driving Enjoyment, Pleasant Styling

Luxury meets performance in the 2014 Audi A6, and that sweet combination makes for smooth sailing for drivers and passengers of this midsize sedan.
Under the hood of the A6 is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 220 horsepower. If you want more power, you can opt for the 3.0-liter  V-6 that makes 310 horsepower or, new for this model year, a 3.0-liter turbo diesel V-6 that makes 240 ponies.
The 2.0 liter comes with front-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission or all-wheel-drive with an eight-speed automatic transmission, which is what you get with the 3.0-liter engines.
Exterior styling is attractive, but far from gaudy. It follows the understated design consistently used by Audi on its sedans. The A6 has 17-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust and fog lamps. You can opt for 18-, 19- or 20-inch wheels also.
The interior is neatly and smartly designed, with good fit and finish and comfort among its strongsuits. Leather seating is standard, with options that include the MMi multimedia system, Bose or Bang & Olufsen stereo systems, four-zone climate control and heated rear seats.
For safety, the A6 comes standard with collision avoidance system and blind spot monitoring, antilock brakes and electronic stability control and eight airbags.
Driving the A6 can be fun when you want it to be, or just smooth and solid when you need it to be. It accelerates effortlessly and takes corners nimbly.
The A6 starts at around $44,000 and ranges to close to $58,000.
If you’ve read our Audi reviews before, you know that we’ve always been impressed with their looks and driving performance. What continues to dog the brand, though, is spotty quality and reliability ratings.
But if you’re willing to take a risk, you might be rewarded with a car that will give you lots of pleasure.

Friday, January 24, 2014

See Concepts from the Detroit Auto Show

Check out some of the new concept cars that were unveiled at the Detroit auto show recently. You might love some, loathe some and have mixed feelings about the others.


Thanks, Bumper 2 Bumper TV

Thursday, January 23, 2014

2014 Nissan Versa Note: Sweet Music for Small Car Lovers

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note provides yet another bit of proof that if you want a subcompact, these days you can get one that looks cool and has pretty decent space inside, while still being fuel efficient and affordable.
The Versa Note comes in three trim levels: S, which has a manual transmission; S-Plus, which is available with automatic and a few extras; and SV, which has a convenience package and an optional SL tech package.
This car comes with stuff that you would normally expect to see in a premium or luxury model, such as Around View, which includes four cameras that give you a 360 degree view of the car for safety, NissanConnect with Navigation and Nav Traffic, heated cloth seats, backup camera and Pandora with Bluetooth streaming audio.
And it offers one of our favorite features on the automotive market today: the Easy-Fill Tire Alert, which beeps the horn when you have put the right amount of air into the tire.
The outside of the Versa Note looks as if the designer said "Let's take something boxy, knock off some of those square edges, add a few cool curves and make something people can actually like."
Good for them.
Under the hood, the car has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with either a five-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission. The engine is plenty peppy, and the fuel economy numbers will make you jump for joy at 31 mpg city, 40 highway.
On the inside, you can get some of the nice creature comforts listed above, but even without those, you should ride pretty comfortably. And the rear cargo area gives surprisingly good hauling space for this size vehicle.
The Versa Note starts at around $14,000 and tops out right around $20,000.
Nissan sang a sweet note when it came up with this cool little car.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

When is the Best Time to Buy a Car?

It’s the most-often asked questions by new-car buyers as they prepare to shop for their next new car: “When is the best time to buy a new car?”
Savvy new-car shoppers know every 1 percent in possible discounts can be significant—you can save simply by carefully timing when to make your purchase. But the formula to knowing when to buy can be complicated. If you’re shopping for your next new car, here are some new-car shopping tips—and a few statistics—to keep in mind to help you determine when is the best time to buy.
Early in the week: Most consumers shop on the weekends, so dealerships are full of new-car shoppers and salespeople are busy. It makes sense to shop early in the week when there are fewer people on the lot and you can get the salesman's undivided attention.
End of the day: Salespeople are anxious to get home at the end of the day, and may not want to spend hours negotiating over a sale. Keep in mind, this is not the best time to be casually browsing, so if you’ve done your homework, know exactly what car you want to buy, and have a reasonable price range in mind, visiting the dealership at the end of the day may save you both time and money.
End of the month/End of the quarter: Dealers and salespeople have monthly and quarterly sales goals to meet in order to qualify for certain bonus levels. If they’re just short of reaching their goals in the last few days before the end of the bonus period, then there can be an extra incentive to make another sale. However, this won’t matter if the salesperson/dealership has already met their quotas, and you have no way of knowing if they have met their goal.
End of the model year: Manufacturers typically roll out new-model-year vehicles in late summer and fall (but this does vary), and dealerships are trying to make room for them, creating a great deal of price flexibility. While outgoing models may be in short supply (and dwindling as the year ends), and your selection may be limited, manufacturers quite frequently offer additional sales incentives on lingering models, bringing their prices down even further.
End of the year: As the new calendar year approaches, dealerships are trying to meet year-end sales quotas that could reduce fees and taxes on year-end inventory, and sales people are trying to meet year-end sales quotas that may trigger bigger holiday bonuses. On top of that, incoming newer models may be in greater supply, making their pricing more flexible. It’s the perfect combination for new-car shoppers looking to find a great deal on their next new car.
What about seasonal discounts on specific body styles?
Most body styles are well discounted in the months of December and January. These two months demonstrate the highest discounts available all year for convertibles, coupes, sedans, trucks, sport utility vehicles, and even minivans, averaging discounts of 6.6 percent across all body styles in December and January.
August shows another boost in discounts for several body types—most notably wagons, sport utility vehicles, and coupes—supporting the benefit of end-of-summer purchases around the model-year turnover time.
Shopping for a convertible? Statistics show that discounts are deeper on convertibles in the winter months. That’s because dealers know consumers have a greater interest in top-down driving when the weather is warmer, so they’re not as inclined to offer discounts during the summer months. On the other hand, it’s much easier to move those convertibles off the lots in the winter months if dealers put an additional sales incentive on the hood.
When is the worst time to buy a new car?
These historic statistics show that springtime may not be the best time to buy a new car: More people are out and about as winter weather clears, and tax refund checks are warming consumers’ pockets. With warmer days ahead, more shoppers with a little extra cash in hand are looking for their next new car—which means dealers don’t need to offer quite as many discounts to entice those eager shoppers to buy.
So what’s the answer? When is the best time to buy a new car?
While the statistics show the winter months offer the greatest potential discounts, that doesn’t mean you should necessarily wait until then to make your purchase. Remember, as the year wanes, inventories become more limited, so even though great discounts may be available, they might not necessarily be on the exact model you may be shopping for. So if you have your heart set on something, you should think about if the extra savings is worth perhaps missing out on the car you really want.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Subaru Shows Model at Detroit Auto Show

Subaru showed off a WRX STI at the North American International Auto Show, saying it "offers a stiffer, more agile chassis for Subaru's global performance flagship model."


Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 GMC Acadia: Plenty to be Pleased about

The 2014 GMC Acadia is an ideal family vehicle that provides a number of benefits for its owners without asking them to make sacrifices.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Kia Unveils Sporty Machine at Detroit Auto Show

Kia showed its creative side at this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, unveiling a concept car it calls the GT4 Stinger. Kia says the car focuses on "connection between driver and machine." Have a look and see what you think.


Thanks, AboutThatCar.com

Friday, January 10, 2014

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee: A Few Changes, but Still Jeep Through and Through

For many years, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has been one of the most popular SUVs on the market. People have enjoyed its styling and functionality.
For the 2014 model year, the venerable ride gets a refresh that includes adding a diesel engine model, some alterations to interior and exterior styling and a new transmission.
Most notable under the hood is a switch to an eight-speed automatic transmission, replacing the five and six speeds. This improves fuel economy. 
The engine is a 3.6-liter V-6 that makes 290 horsepower and 260 pounds-feet of torque. There is also a 5.7-liter V-8 that makes 360 horsepower and 390 pounds-feet. It comes with a cylinder deactivation feature for better fuel economy.
Speaking of which, the V-6 gets 17 mpg city, 25 highway and the V-8 gets 14 and 22. Both sets of figures are for rear wheel drive models. 
New this year is a 3.0-liter V-6 turbo diesel engine that makes 240 ponies and 420 pounds-feet.
It gets 22 and 30 as a RWD.
If you want to go off-road, you can choose from three four-wheel-drive systems. 
The exterior styling changes are subtle. The front grille is a bit less prominent and the fog lights have gotten bigger. The view from the rear cargo area is a little better thanks to a redesigned back window.
Interior changes are mainly found on the dash, with an LCD instrument panel and the touch screen system that controls the Uconnect features for audio, climate and other functions.
 The Grand Cherokee starts at around $31,000 and ranges as high as $64,000. 
 Jeep has had a somewhat spotty reputation when it comes to the reliability of its Grand Cherokee and other vehicles. But when you get out on the road and see so many of them, and you hear how their drivers seem to so often love their rides, you have to think that Jeep must be doing something right.
So if you've loved the Grand Cherokee before, you'll probably love it just as much or more now.