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Posts Tagged ‘Midwest Glass Tinters of Deer Park’

Cheapest Cars to Own in 2013


Negotiating your way to a great deal on a new car is a good start toward saving money, but it you don’t consider the long-term ownership costs, over time you may sped a lot more than you think you will.  Kiplinger’s asked Vincentric, an automotive-data firm, for the 2013 models in four categories with the lowest five-year ownership costs. The numbers include fuel (assuming 15,000 miles a year), insurance, maintenance and repairs, and taxes.  They also include financing the vehicle with a five-year loan, the opportunity cost of not investing your out-of-pocket expenses elsewhere, and depreciation. (The calculations assume you will sell the vehicle after five years.) In each category, we note the cheapest vehicle overall as well as the one that we think represents the best value, based on our annual rankings. Each vehicle named is a Top Safety Pick of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.


Compact cars. The Nissan Versa S (with a sticker price of $12,780) is the cheapest car sold in the U.S. That goes a long way toward lowering the overall ownership costs because you’ll pay less in interest and taxes. Plus, it gets 36 miles per gallon on the highway. Total ownership cost over five years: $27,405.  But we think the Kia Forte LX ($16,175) is a better value. Its 2.0-liter engine puts out 156 horsepower (compared with 109 hp for the Versa’s engine) and delivers 34 mpg on the highway. Its interior and cargo space are competitive with larger cars, and the Forte’s standard features include USB and Bluetooth. Five-year cost: $29,769.


Family sedans. The midsize car with the lowest ownership costs is Nissan’s Altima Base ($22,550). It beats compact-car fuel economy, getting 38 mpg on the highway, and it received a Top Safety Pick + award for passing the new test that simulates a crash into a tree or telephone pole. Over five years, the Altima’s ownership costs total $34,404.  The redesigned Ford Fusion S ($22,495) is our midsize value pick. It has killer new style, offers generous passenger and cargo space, and is great to drive. That helped the Fusion garner our Best New Car award in our $20,000-to-$25,000 category. It gets a Top Safety Pick + designation and features eight airbags (versus six for the Altima). Ford’s voice-activated SYNC infotainment system comes standard. The standard 2.5-liter engine delivers 170 hp and 34 mpg on the highway. Over five years, ownership costs for the Fusion S are $37,005.


Luxury sedans. The Buick Regal 2.4L ($29,910) slides into the cheapest slot for luxury sedans. Standard eAssist technology (think hybrid lite) helps keep fuel economy up (31 mpg highway) and costs down. We rated it Worth a Look in our rankings. Its five-year cost is $43,493.

Our value pick, the all-new Lexus ES 300h ($39,745), is $10,000 more than the Regal but costs only about $3,500 more to own for five years ($46,976). Combined city and highway fuel economy is 40 mpg, and maintenance costs are reasonable. The 300h puts out 200 hp and has ten airbags.



Family crossovers. Once again, the Dodge Journey SE ($19,990) is the cheapest midsize crossover. But you’ll pay extra for options other brands include as standard equipment, such as Bluetooth and a power driver’s seat. Total five-year cost without options: $37,849.  The better-equipped Toyota Highlander Plus ($31,170) is our value pick, despite its $11,000 higher sticker price. In addition to a comfortable ride for seven, the Highlander’s standard features include a backup camera, Bluetooth, a power driver’s seat, seven airbags (same as the Journey), and one-touch, fold-flat levers for the second row. Over five years, you’ll pay $42,232.


SEE FULL SLIDE SHOW: 10 Cheapest Cars to Own, 2013




James Bond & the New 2014 Range Rover Sport

For 2014, the Range Rover Sport follows the track set forth by its big brother – the Range Rover. Switching to an all-aluminum unibody, shedding 800 lbs., provides the fastest, most fuel efficient Sport yet, and it debuted last night during a glitzy premier in New York City, being driven by James Bond himself.


Daniel Craig piloted the machine down a closed street in downtown New York, right onto the event floor, where he promptly got out (to ear-popping cheers and flashbulbs), straightened his collar, and left – without saying a word – leaving the Range Rover Sport to absorb all the glory.


The 2013 Range Rover, which went on sale late last year, boasted similar weight-loss figures to the new Sport, taking the driving dynamics and capability to new heights. Visually, the Sport appears a blur between the larger Range Rover and the smaller Evoque; the front-end screams Range whereas the rear portrays Evoque. It seems to have lost a little identity, and while still looking good, perhaps misses the sportiness its nametag suggests.


Under the hood, its business as usual, but the lightweight aluminum body ensures speeds akin to a Jaguar rather than Land Rover. The supercharged V-8 still delivers 510 hp but sprints to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds, close to a second faster than the outgoing model. The V-6, conversely, reduces horsepower from 375 to 340, but despite that, 0-60 occurs 0.3 seconds faster at 6.9 seconds.


While exact fuel economy numbers have not been provided, expect both engines – especially the V-6 – to show sizeable improvements, somewhere in the range of 24 percent. Adding to the quest for mpgs, the Sport’s hydraulic power steering has been replaced by a variable assisted electric method, and a Start Stop system comes standard. Additionally, the SUV’s new sleek shape cuts 8-percent off the drag figures, complimenting the aggressive weight shedding.


Unsurprisingly, the 2014 Range Rover Sport will be loaded with the latest technologies, such as Terrain Response 2, Dynamic Response and (a Land Rover first) Torque Vectoring. It’ll also sport optional third row seating, although by Land Rover’s own admission, that option should be considered only for “temporary” use. It does, however, not breach upon cargo space, which shows improvement over the outgoing model.


Pricing starts at $63,495 for the V-6 SE model, $68,495 for the V-6 HSE, $79,995 for the V-8 Supercharged and $93,295 for the fully loaded V-8 Autobiography model. While Range Rovers are not “cheap” by nature, they do offer unsurpassed driving capabilities justifying its cost. The 2014 Range Rover Sport appears to be no exception at stirring without shaking.




New Cars from the New York Auto Show

2013 marks the 113th anniversary of the New York Int’l Auto Show which starts this weekend.  Featuring 1,000 vehicles plus the latest in tech, safety and innovation in nearly 900,000 sq ft. It is one of the hottest tickets in town.  Following are some of the new cars from the 2013 New York Auto Show.

Jaguar XJR

It’s billed to be the new flagship car in Jaguar’s line up of high performance cars. A full-sized sedan, the XJR will be powered by a 542-horsepower 5.0-liter V8. Currently, the most powerful XK you can buy is the 510-horsepower XJ Supersport.




Buick LaCrosse

General Motors is unveiling a “refreshed” version of the Buick LaCrosse. That means it’s not a thoroughgoing redesign, but there are some significant updates. Besides exterior design changes, some big improvements are simpler controls for functions like climate control and entertainment.




2015 Volkswagen Golf

The newer, bigger, and more fuel-efficient Golf will go on sale in the U.S. in the first half of next year. It’s already won the European Car of the Year Award at the Geneva Motor Show. It will come with luxury car features such as a collision avoidance system and lane departure warning.  Three different versions will be unveiled in New York — the diesel-powered Golf TDI, sporty GTI and entry-level TSI.





Subaru XV CrossTrek Hybrid

Subaru has never offered a hybrid vehicle, until now. At the New York Auto Show, Subaru will unveil its first hybrid: a version of the new Subaru XV Crosstrek small SUV.






Chevrolet SS

The Chevrolet SS is a rear-wheel-drive sedan powered by the same engine used in a Corvette. The car will be built in Australia, where it is sold under a different brand name: the Holden Commodore. The SS is targeted at people looking for some performance in a family-friendly vehicle.






Mercedes Electric Car




Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a new electric car developed in partnership with California-based Tesla Motors (TSLA). The car is a version of Mercedes’ B-class hatchback which has not, until now, been available in the United States.  The car, the 2014 Mercedes B-class Electric Drive, will be available first in the states before reaching other markets, according to Mercedes-Benz. It will go on sale early next year, first in just a few states, but will become more widely available later on.


The car is much a smaller Mercedes than Americans are accustomed to. Up to now, the smallest Mercedes available here has been the C-class, although the luxury carmaker will soon begin selling the smaller CLA-class. Even smaller Mercedes cars are expected to be available here, soon, however.


Electric car maker Tesla Motors helped Mercedes develop and is manufacturing parts of the new car’s electric drive system, including the lithium ion battery pack, electric motors, on-board charger and other electronics. Besides producing its own car, the Tesla Model S sedan, Tesla already produces electric drive components for the battery-powered Toyota Rav4 EV.


The Mercedes Electric Drive will have a “quick charge” feature that will give it a range of 60 miles after just a 2-hour charge, according to Mercedes. With a full charge, which will take about 7 hours, it should travel about 115 miles. A 134 horsepower electric motor will let it accelerate from zero to 60 miles an hour in under 10 seconds.


The new car will come with a number of Mercedes-Benz luxury and safety features including a system that helps drivers stay in their lanes and active parking assistance.

Mercedes already produces a version of the B-class powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Hydrogen fuel cells turn hydrogen into electricity and water inside the vehicle.

Mercedes’ parent company, Daimler (DDAIF), also produces the Smart Electric Drive, a two-seat car which will go on sale in the U.S. in May. An electric version of Mercedes’ high-performance SLS AMG sports car is also expected to go on sale soon, although it has yet to be decided whether it will come to the U.S. That car will be powered by a 751-horsepower electric motor.



Cars the Wealthy Drive

As we mentioned in a previous post, Midwest Glass Tinters of Deer Park has the opportunity to tint some really high-end cars.  We recently tinted a Fiskar Karma, which is a beautiful vehicle, and obviously one that only a select group of wealthy drivers will ever have an opportunity to own.


Aside from Karmas, though, what other vehicles are the wealthy driving?  CNBC recently answered that question based on research done by  While some vehicles, like BMW and Mercedes, were expected, others were somewhat surprising.  Following is a list of the top 10 cars the wealthy in the U.S. are driving:




1.  Mercedes-Benz E-Class – A runaway favorite, the $51,365 E-Class was a top hit in wealthy U.S. cities.


2.  BMW 328i - The $35,795 BMW 328i is also a top pick for discriminating drivers in the U.S.


3.  At $36,095, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class comes in third, particularly in zip codes where residents earn an average income of $659,000.


4.  In fourth position, is the Lexus RX Luxury SUV at $39,950, a big hit in wealthy areas where the average income is $633,000 a year.


5.  Interestingly, the eco-friendly Toyota Prius is one of the most popular cars in three very affluent zip codes where residents’ average income is $672,000 a year.


6.  Coming in sixth place is the Volkswagen Jetta at $26,085.  Despite the fact that residents in the communities where the Jetta is most popular make an average of $782,000 a year, this low-profile, reliable vehicle is a big hit.


7.  In Manhattan’s 10274 zip code, despite the high incomes of residents, many are more than happy to drive the $23,070 Honda Accord, which is one of the most popular cars among Manhattan’s drivers.


8.  The BMW X5 luxury SUV comes in 8th in popularity among wealthy drivers in the U.S.  At $58,595, it’s one of the most popular vehicles in areas where the average income of $5,711,000.


9.  The $25,535 Toyota Camry  has long been Americans’ reasonably-priced mid-size car of choice, even in high income areas such as downtown Chicago, where drivers tend to drive non-luxury vehicles like the Camry, Honda, Volkswagen and Jeep.


10.  Rounding out the top ten is the $29,575 Honda CRV, which is not only one of the most popular cars among the wealthy in Manhattan; it’s driven by working class and middle class Manhattan residents as well.


If you’re driving one of these vehicles, you’re certainly in good company, and if you get your vehicle’s windows tinted by Midwest Glass Tinters of Deer Park, you’ll be even cooler.






Why Should I Tint My Car in Fall or Winter?

Most of us think of getting our car or truck windows tinted during spring or summer when temperatures are warmer.  However, getting your vehicle’s windows tinted actually makes just as much sense during fall and winter.



Glare – Auto tint greatly diminishes the amount of glare coming into your car.  During the fall and winter months when we’re sometimes driving directly into the sunrise or sunset, this is a real benefit.  Additionally, the sunlight bouncing off the snow in winter can be blinding, and auto tint not only reduces the amount of  glare, but also protects your eyes from it.



Energy Savings – Acting as a layer of insulation between your car’s interior and the inclement weather outside, auto tint allows you’ll see the same kind of energy savings in fall and winter that you’d see in summer.  Maintaining a consistent interior temperature means you don’t have to use your climate control (heating or air conditioning) as much, reducing energy use.  And your windows, especially your rear window, will defrost faster because auto tint warms up faster than glass.



Protection - While the heat from the sun has diminished in fall and winter, the harmful UV rays have not.  As a result, the sunshine coming into your car is still just as damaging to your skin as it is in summer.  Those same UV rays can also fade your upholstery, carpet and dash, making your vehicle look old before its time.   Auto tint filters out up to 99% of these harmful rays, protecting both you and your car’s interior.


Security– In the event of an accident, auto tint stops shattered glass from flying and injuring you or your passengers.  Additionally, tinted windows make it harder for thieves to break into your car.


Finally, in addition to all of these benefits, auto glass tinting makes your new car look sleeker and more sophisticated or can give your older model and updated look.  So even though we’re heading into cooler weather, getting your vehicle windows tinted is still a great idea.