Posts from ‘Money Matters’

Dec
13

1973 import-car prices

There’s nothing like a bit of historical data to put 2016 new-car prices in context. For a healthy dose of perspective, scroll down to the 1973-model-year Mercedes-Benz prices below and just sort of let them sink in.

Dec
05
Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV with its charging port “open for business.”

Ah, fall. When – here in the Midwest – it’s not too cold, not too hot, and not too rainy … for about three weeks.

Short as that utopian span is, it’s the closest we ever come to simulating the year-round climate of coastal California. Which, as it so happens, is where most EVs are sold.

Oct
06
Ford EcoBoost
As you might expect, direct injection involves the introduction of fuel directly into the combustion chamber.

Direct injection is a form of fuel injection that is gaining popularity as auto manufacturers work to improve fuel economy. Direct injection’s primary benefit is improved engine efficiency. A common secondary benefit of direct injection is the ability to use regular-grade gasoline in engines that might otherwise require more-expensive premium fuel.

Oct
05
EV tools
Tools used: Kill A Watt meter (which measures the amount of volts, amps, or watts running through it — one of my favorite toys), electric bill, and calculator.

Yeah, I know. You’ve hated math ever since you figured out that every part of it you learned after basic algebra would never, ever be used again in your lifetime.

Sep
22
2009 Nissan Versa

2009 Nissan Versa

In Wall Street lingo, a dead-cat bounce is a jump in a given stock’s price seen just before it becomes worthless. Traders have gotten rich predicting exactly when foolish optimists will sink money into a hopeless cause.

Aug
17
1976 Malibu vs. 2016 Malibu

Which Malibu represents the better value?

New cars cost a lot. The statement is based on more than anecdotal evidence. Based on the current rate of inflation, the average transaction price of a new vehicle will pass the $35,000 mark some time late this year or in early 2017—and for most folks, that’s a lot of bread.

According to the U.S. Government, the average household income (HHI) in America is about $53,000. It only takes a little calculator time to determine that the average new car costs 73 percent of the average family’s pre-tax income.

Aug
15
VW TDI Ad

Did referring to its diesel engines as “clean” exacerbate Volkswagen’s headaches?

By now you’ve heard the story. In a nutshell, Volkswagen has been found guilty of selling diesel-powered vehicles in the United States—and many other markets—which are not fully emissions-standard compliant.

Jul
28
Collectible Automobile Magazine

Having a hard time shopping for a car guy? We’ve got five good suggestions for you.

Shopping for friends and relatives can be something of a challenge—especially if that person is old enough to have acquired a certain amount of fun/frivolous/indulgent stuff for himself or herself.

Jul
12
Heavy Traffic

For a number of reasons, warm-weather states are considered more driver-friendly places to operate a vehicle.

As a Chicagoan, I take a certain amount of pride in my ability to complain about the local traffic situation. To that end, though I loathe to report that my 17-mile trip from Consumer Guide’s Chicago-adjacent office to the sleepy Northwest Suburbs can take me more than an hour on the wrong day, I feel a least at little satisfaction knowing that I am a statistical outlier.

Jun
29

BFGoodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S

The average American driver doesn’t spend much time thinking about their vehicle’s tires. At best, conscientious owners make sure their tires are properly inflated to the manufacturer-recommended air pressure, check that they’ve got sufficient tread depth with a “penny test,” and replace their tires before they’re completely worn out.

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