Posts from ‘Shopping’

New-Car Dealership

Looking for a new car? Here’s how to get started.

Buying a car isn’t for the feint of heart. Even for folks who enjoy shopping, the rigors of identifying, locating, committing to, and paying for a new vehicle can take their toll. For these reasons, folks often rush through the process, unfortunately skipping steps that help put the right vehicle (at the right price) in their garage.

Big and Tall

Feeling pinched by your current car? You’re not alone. For some excellent new-car options, read on. (Image of enhanced-cabin Saturn Ion courtesy Consumer Guide Big & Tall)

The diet is going well, thanks for asking. But even when I hit my goal (weighing what I did when I got married), I still won’t be a slender man.

I am 6’ 1”, and at the moment weigh more than 350 pounds. The plan is for there to be at least 100 pounds less of me by this time next year. Wish me luck. Still, even at my target mass, I will be a big guy, which, I believe, qualifies me to speak on behalf of big guys everywhere.

Service Department Scams

If you think $2800 is a lot to pay for a thermostat, read on.

Selling cars is a cutthroat business. New-car dealers work hard to eke every penny out of each sale. Most shoppers know the routine and for that reason dread the prospect of negotiating the price of their next new vehicle.

According to a 2012 survey conducted by, 64 percent of recent new-car buyers described negotiating the price of their new car as the worst part of the purchase process. This really shouldn’t be surprising.


2009 Cadillac DTS Platinum

My dad is a pretty lousy car shopper. He has established a pattern of deciding he wants to buy a car, then delaying the purchase as long as possible, then buying something too quickly. Somewhere in this process, he decides what he wants to buy, despite continuing to look around at other cars. If you’ve been enlisted to help him through this process, you’ll want to bring along some off-brand acetaminophen.


Azera vs. Sonata

As luck would have it, the Consumer Guide test fleet contains both a 2013 Hyundai Azera and a 2013 Hyundai Sonata Limited this week. The former is Hyundai’s entry into the “near luxury” large-car segment; it competes against the Chevrolet Impala, Kia Cadenza, and Toyota Avalon. The latter is the ritziest trim level of Hyundai’s mainstream midsize car. We thought it would be enlightening to examine these stablemates side-by-side to see exactly what the Azera delivers over the Sonata.

Online Car Shopping Experience

This Chevy dealer’s website tries to be helpful, but it really isn’t.

My wife and I might be in the market for a new vehicle sometime in the not-too-distant future. While my job as an auto critic gives me unique access to the industry’s latest and greatest, I will still need to get into the proverbial trenches to research not only the product but the dealerships who sell them.


This 2013 Subaru BRZ has a nice, big knob for volume but not channel selection. On SiriusXM, getting from ’70s on 7 to Krishna Das Yoga Radio on Channel 360 is going to be a pain in the butt.

There’s no arguing that the things most auto writers focus on—price, power, handling, comfort—aren’t hugely important. Lord knows I focus on that stuff when I evaluate a car. In fact, at Consumer Guide there are exactly 10 things, plus value, that we fixate on. You can see the list as a part of any of our regular reviews.


Should I Buy a New or Used Car?

Recently, I tried to help my uncle-in-law buy a used car. Both of us were not just surprised by the prices; we were dumbfounded. CarMax, for example, offered a 2009 Honda Civic LX sedan (automatic) for $14,998. This car was nearly four years old and was saddled with 46,000 miles. A brand-new 2012 Honda Civic LX sedan (automatic) stickers at $18,655.


The ultra-high-performance Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric is a lot more tire than you’ll need on your Toyota Corolla.

If you’re like most consumers, you likely purchase tires only slightly less often than you get married or shop for a new mattress. Additionally, it’s likely that every time you do buy tires, you’re buying them for a different vehicle, meaning your needs change each time you shop.


According to Ford, nearly half of American drivers say that fuel economy is their most important concern when buying a new vehicle.

When a contingent of Ford Motor Company folks blew into our toddlin’ town recently to show off the new Focus Electric and talk up their hybrids and EVs of the near future, they imparted one amazing factoid. Based on its own research, Ford says fuel economy is the thing that matters most to many car shoppers today—by a country mile.

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