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Posts Tagged ‘SUV’

The Most Durable Cars

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:   YAHOO AUTOS

 

 

Everybody wants to own a keeper. A car that provides so much personal satisfaction that the years and miles can just fly by, while the enduring qualities of that daily driver remain picture perfect.

 

The hard part for most folks comes down to hype.

 

To sell more cars, manufacturers continue to promote short-term quality studies that have little or nothing to do with the long-term ownership experience. For example, J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study only covers the first 90 days of ownership, while its long-term survey tracks three-year-old vehicles over a short 12 month span.

 

In a market where the average car and truck is now over 11 years old, a long-term reliability study requires a much longer view of car ownership. For those of us who are looking to find a good used car, or even feel concerned about how a new car will hold up, we should be able to know the longevity of a vehicle for the entire life cycle instead of just a random early point in time.

 

This is why Nick Lariviere and myself have developed the Long-Term Quality Index. With over 550,000 data samples from all over the country, we have been able to look specifically at measuring the three key ingredients that tell you how well a given model has performed in today’s marketplace; mileage, age and condition.

 

To make this study fair and impartial, we have also taken two unique steps that represent a first for long-term reliability studies in the auto industry. The first is removing owner bias. Certain people will always recommend a car simply because that’s what they bought in the past and if something bad happens, they won’t tell you about it. Others are just oblivious to the thumping of a bad transmission, or the knocking of a bad motor. That is why we only have mechanics and skilled professionals appraise the vehicle’s condition.

 

Second, we focus exclusively on condition and longevity. Cars that are either 18 years or older, or have 180,000 or more miles, have endured well past the average life-span of the average vehicle.

 

In our study, we’re finding that only a chosen few can routinely achieve these two levels of longevity without a major mechanical defect. It’s this level of engineering excellence that we want to highlight in our study.

 

So what have we found so far? Some of what you might expect, but a lot of surprises.

 

Rennett Stowe via Twitter

The Over-300,000 Club Is Still Pretty Exclusive: Five types of vehicles make up more than 60% of the cars and trucks with at least 300,000 miles. They are:

By our calculations, these models are about 2.5 times more likely to hit 300,000 miles than any other vehicle.

 

One Nissan model is greater than all of Volkswagen:

We’re not talking about a mid-sized Altima, or the Sentra compact which has become the official taxi south of the border. The biggest surprise so far in the study has been the Nissan Maxima. Older models (2002 and earlier) with the 3-liter engine and four-speed automatic offer exceptional long-term reliability.

 

In the long-term reliability study, 1,038 Maximas out of 4,825 have gone over 180,000 miles (21%), versus only 785 Volkswagens out of 14,518 (5.4%)

 

Cadillac has VW levels of long-term reliability:

Both brands have abysmal long-term reliability with Cadillac scoring the same 5.4% as Volkswagen, which is less than half of the industry average. Head gasket issues for most years of the Northstar V-8 along with high maintenance costs make older Cadillacs a nadir when it comes to finding a long-term keeper.

 

How bad does it get for Cadillac? Well, here’s a shocker for you.

 

Cadillac Cars = Older Kias: If you removed the Cadillac Escalade, which is nothing more than a full-sized primped-up version of the less expensive Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon, the Cadillac brand becomes a true bottom dweller. Kias that were made before Hyundai’s takeover of that brand show similar levels of long-term failure.

 

The Honda Accord Crushes Nearly All of Europe: Thanks in great part to the sound reliability of older Volvos, all European brands are barely able to beat the number of Accords that have been traded-in with over 180,000 miles. The Honda Accord‘s tally of 3,826 trade-ins with over 180,000 out of 12,398 nearly beats Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes, VW, Volvo, Saab, Porsche, and BMW’s sub-brand MINI combined. These European models required a staggering 67,484 vehicles and an army of old Volvos to surpass the mileage tally of one popular Honda model.

 

British Roots Do Not Bear Reliable Fruit: You have about as much chance of dying from an injury this year as you do buying a Land Rover and a Jaguar with outstanding reliability. The chances of both vehicles combined lasting over 180,000 miles before getting kicked to the curb is an eye-popping 1,700:1.

 

The Accord and Camry Are Workhorses: Even with well-known transmission issues for certain six-cylinder Honda Accords, the two most popular mid-sized vehicles continue to be kept for far longer periods of time than their competition. The Accord and Camry have remained cars worth keeping with 28% of all Accords traded-in with over 180,000 miles, and 24% of all Toyota Camrys following suit. Both are more than twice the industry average of 11%.

 

Exceptional Reliability Is Still A Rare Thing: A lot of manufacturers have applied cost-cutting measures and decontenting methods to extremes. These engineering shortcuts often don’t reveal themselves until after the vehicle goes beyond 100,000 miles. However, there is still a very wide gulf that separates the market leaders from the market laggards as those miles and years add up.

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CAR WINDOW TINTING, ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS , MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO GLASS TINTING IN CHICAGO, OR FOR A CAR TINTING QUOTECONTACT MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS 

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Best Selling Vehicles in October

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:   WALL STREET CHEAT SHEET

 

The world’s seven largest automakers don’t seem spooked by the record level of recalls throughout the industry, and neither of the consumers. Cumulatively, auto sales surged 5.8% during the month of October, and on an annualized basis, global sales should reach or exceed 16 million cars for the eighth month in a row.

 

 

Growth rates at Jeep and Ram put Fiat Chrysler in a leading position, and Chevrolet and GMC both saw gains as well, though Cadillac served as an anchor and GM gained just 0.5% for the month. Nissan, Toyota, and Honda all saw meaningful gains, though Ford’s sales haltered.

 

“For Ford, the slow month was not unexpected. The company is currently undergoing some serious revamps to its production process as it gears up for the unleashing of the all-aluminum F-150 pickup truck,” Sam Becker from the Autos Cheat Sheet wrote. “General Motors, on the other hand, is still trying to claw its way back from an absolutely disastrous beginning to the year, in which the company was forced to recall millions of vehicles.”

 

As for the top 10 best-selling vehicles of the month, there were few surprises, but recent model updates and refreshes have done their part to boost growth for several vehicles. See how the top selling vehicles in the country faired in our ranking below, courtesy of Cars.com’s Kicking Tires blog.

10. Honda Civic

An 11.6% decline in sales to 24,154 units versus the October from a year ago put the Honda Civic in tenth place, a few spots behind its usual 7th-5th place finishes. While other compacts have been renewed for 2015, the Civic is still riding its 2014 refresh, which seems to be losing its spark; sales for the year through October sit at 277,584, or 1.2% below the same 10 months of 2013.

 

9. Chevrolet Cruze

Though it’s very much the same car from 2014, Chevrolet made a few tweaks to its popular Cruze for the 2015 model year, and the results appear to have made quite a splash. Sales of the compact carleapt 51% over October of last year, and sales of the car for the year to date of 232,403 units puts the Cruze ahead of the same period last year by 9.7%.

 

8. Ford Escape

Despite little to no change for the 2015 model year, Ford’s popular crossover SUV got a 12% boost to 24,919 units for October, putting its year-to-date tally at 255,081 vehicles sold since January. This translates into a year-to-date gain of 1.8%, which is admirable for the Escape, which is starting to age against newer competition.

 

7. Toyota Corolla

Toyota’s venerable Corolla seemed to get off to a slower start coming off its redesign for the 2014 model year, but it has kept up enough steam throughout the year to maintain its rank of 7th for October on a 5.6% gain, or 24,959 units. Overall, the venerable Corolla — which was one of the first cars to wear Toyota’s new design language — is up 10.3% on the year, to 283,764 cars.

6. Honda Accord

The Accord has been on a winning streak this year, occasionally outselling the consumer favorite Camry and at one point, even the Chevrolet Silverado for a second place finish in the monthly rankings. Sales in October tempered, however, to 27,128 units, which is still good for a solid 7.8% gain, and the car is up 7.9% on the year with 331,510 units moved.

 

5. Honda CR-V

With the 2015 model year refresh hitting dealerships about now, the Honda CR-V is seeing a reigniting of consumer interest. October sales spiked to 29.7%, or 29,257 units, to leave the popular crossover SUV up 7.4% on the year, at 270,272 models sold since January.

 

4. Toyota Camry

America’s favorite midsize sedan has gotten a healthy redesign for the 2015 model year, to help shed its beige personality with a sportier, bolder appearance. Now arriving at dealers, the new Camry saw October sales surge 13.8% to 33,164 cars, leaving its year-to-date sales up 5.7% at 368,142 units with two selling months left in the year.

 

3. Ram Pickup

Ram has been on fire this year, essentially from start to finish. That streak continued through October, as the brand sold 39,834 pickups, to seal a 33.5% spike over October’s sales from last year. This leaves Ram’s pickups — the 1500 line and the larger heavy duties as well — at 359,702 models sold since January, or a 22.9% leap over the same sales period of 2013.

 

2. Chevrolet Silverado

After a disconcertingly slow start for Chevy’s updated line of pickups, the portfolio has thrown the salesthrottle open and sold 46,966 pickups in October, for a handsome 10.1% year-on-year gain over October of 2013. So far this year, Chevrolet has sold 429,119 of the bow tie-branded pickups, leaving the truck 6.4% in the green for the year so far.

 

1. Ford F-Series

As Ford readies to transition from the 2014 to 2015 model year F-Series pickups, the company has seen a dip in sales leading up to the awaited release — perhaps in anticipation. That streak continued through October with 63,410 units moved, or down 0.6% from October of 2013. To date, Ford has sold 620,447 trucks, which falls behind the first 10 months of last year by 0.5%.

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CAR WINDOW TINTING, ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS , MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO GLASS TINTING IN CHICAGO, OR FOR A CAR TINTING QUOTECONTACT MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS 

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J.D. Power’s Top 2014 SUV’s Based on Initial Quality

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:  YAHOO AUTOS

 

J.D. Power conducts its Initial Quality Study (IQS) each year, surveying thousands of new car, truck, SUV, and van buyers who have owned their vehicle for at least 90 days, asking them about the quality of the vehicle during the initial ownership period. Derived from this research, Power Circle Ratings are consumer-friendly reflections of the information and are used by consumers when they research new vehicles.

 

This Top-Rated 2014 SUVs guide lists those models that receive a Power Circle Rating of 4, 4.5, or 5 out of a possible 5 for initial quality. For a list of the top-rated 2014 crossover SUVs, see the separate guide.

 

 

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

The Chevy Suburban is a full-size SUV seating up to 9 passengers in 3 rows of seats. In advance of a complete redesignChevrolet discontinued the heavy-duty Suburban 2500 for 2014, and dropped the bigger 6.0-liter V-8 engine, leaving the light-duty Suburban 1500 and a standard 5.3-liter V-8 paired with an automatic transmission and 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive.

 

The 2014 Chevrolet Suburban receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4.5 out of 5.

 

 

2014 Chevrolet Tahoe

Think of the Chevy Tahoe as a shorter Suburban. It still seats up to 9 people in 3 rows of seats, it just can’t carry as much cargo at the same time. The Tahoe features a 5.3-liter V-8, automatic transmission, and a choice between 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive. For 2015, the Tahoe is redesigned.

 

The 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

 

 

2014 Ford Expedition

The Ford Expedition is a full-size SUV that carries up to 8 passengers in 3 rows of seats. Offered in regular- and extended-length body styles, the Expedition is equipped with a 5.4-liter V-8 engine, automatic transmission, and either 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive. For 2015, the Expedition is restyled.

The 2014 Ford Expedition receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

 

 

2014 GMC Yukon

The GMC Yukon is a full-size SUV able to carry up to 9 people in 3 rows of seats. Regular- and extended-length (Yukon XL) versions are available, as well as luxury-oriented Denali versions with unique styling and equipment. All 2014 Yukons have a V-8 engine, ranging in size from a 5.3-liter to a 6.2-liter, as well as an automatic transmission and a choice of 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive. The Yukon is redesigned for 2015.

The 2014 GMC Yukon receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4.5 out of 5.

 

 

2014 Lexus GX

The Lexus GX is a midsize SUV that seats up to 7 passengers in 3 rows of seats. It shares a platform with the Toyota 4Runner and is equipped with a 4.6-liter V-8 engine, automatic transmission, and a standard full-time 4-wheel-drive system.

 

The 2014 Lexus GX receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4.5 out of 5.

 

 

2014 Porsche Cayenne

The Porsche Cayenne is a midsize 5-passenger SUV designed for optimum performance both on and off the pavement. Engine selections include a V-6, turbo-diesel V-6, V-8, twin-turbocharged V-8, or a gas-electric hybrid powertrain with a supercharged V-6. All feature standard all-wheel drive, and all have an automatic transmission except for the standard Cayenne model, which comes with a manual gearbox.

 

The 2014 Porsche Cayenne receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5.

 

 

2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser

The Toyota FJ Cruiser is a midsize 5-passenger SUV styled to recall the iconic FJ40 models. In its final year on the market, the FJ Cruiser is equipped with a 4.0-liter V-6 engine, automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. Choose the optional 4-wheel-drive system and a manual gearbox is also available.

The 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

 

 

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Could Nissan’s Self-Cleaning Paint Make Car Washes Obsolete?

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:  YAHOO AUTOS/MOTORAMIC

 

 

During this vile, never-ending winter, motorists had three options to keep their cars clean: Shell out on regular car washes; slave away in the cold, wind and snow washing it yourself, or screw it and just drive a dirty car. I, like many, chose the last option. But if only I’d been able to test Nissan‘s self-cleaning car, all my troubles would have washed away.

 

Nissan revealed today that it’s testing a super-hydrophobic and oleophobic paint, impervious to water and oils. The technology, sold by UltraTech under the name of Ultra-Ever Dry, is in prototype form as applied by the carmaker’s European engineers on a Nissan Note. In many ways, it works like Rain X (where the solution’s polymers react with pores in the windshield glass to create a barrier that repels precipitation). Ultra-Ever dry creates a layer of air between the paint and environment; when mud, dirt or oils touch the surface, it rolls off leaving a clean, streak-free appearance.

 

Water-resistant coatings aren’t new, and Nissan has offered a self-healing product (Scratch Shield) on its cars for years. Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands have been developing a surface coatingthat not only repels precipitation like Rain X, but combines the self-healing aspects of Scratch Shield. In 2012, those same researchers expected to be six to eight years away from a production-ready product.

 

The paint being tested by Nissan is ready for production, and as you can see in the images and video, it appears to do its job as intended. No plans are being made to include the paint as standard on future Nissan vehicles; however, the Japanese automaker says it might sell the technology as an add-on — or perhaps as the ultimate in special dealer-pitched coatings.

 

The cost of the paint has not been revealed – or how long its repellant features lasts before needing a re-coat (Scratch Shield lasts around 3 years). Something so simple makes you wonder why we aren’t already driving self-cleaning cars. Nissan looks set to make that vision a reality. After this winter, my wife will be thrilled.

 

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Revolutionary New Tires could Help your Car Tackle any Terrain

REPOSTED BY  MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:   YAHOO NEWS

 

At the Geneva Motor Show, Goodyear unveiled a new SUV tire concept that’s specifically crafted to deal with multiple types of terrain while improving fuel efficiency, CNET reports. The tire has two rings, each serving a different purpose — a main outer ring that takes up two-thirds of the tire’s width and is used for regular day-to-day driving on regular roads, and an inner one that takes up the rest and is used for off-road action.

 

The outer ring is slightly bigger in diameter than the inner one, and “has primarily a slick surface with cut-ins to move water and prevent hydroplaning,” but also different textured surfaces to enhance grip. The inner ring has “more aggressive cut-ins and pebbly surfaces” to improve traction in off-road driving conditions that involve making contact with softer surfaces including mud and sand.

 

The outer ring is narrower than a regular SUV tire in order to improve fuel efficiency, and, interestingly, both rings have their distinct air chamber, meaning that if one of them is punctured, the other ring will still have air, allowing the driver to keep driving the car.

 

It’s not clear whether this Goodyear tire will move past concept phase at this time. Speaking of concepts, a recent tire innovation from Nokian Tyres proposes drivers “the world’s first non-studded winter tire with studs,” a combination of a standard tire with a studded winter tire.

 

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Maserati Debuts Alfieri Concept at the Geneva Motor Show

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS   FROM:  LA TIMES

 

At least it’s not called the Bindo.

 

Maserati used Tuesday’s Geneva Motor Show to debut a new concept sports car called the Alfieri. The sleek, two-door coupe is named after one of the Maserati brothers who founded the company a century ago. Bindo was his older brother.

 

Naming issues aside, the Alfieri is a compelling concept, for two reasons.

PHOTOS: Maserati Alfieri concept

First, it’s a look at a new model that could very well reach production in the near future.

 

“I sincerely can’t say that we’ll see this car in production in two years’ time, but I’m certain we’ll see something very similar,” said Lorenzo Ramaciotti, global head of design for Fiat, Maserati’s parent company.

 

Maserati’s current lineup includes the Quattroporte full-size sedan, the new Ghibli midsize sedan that the brand made noise about with a dramatic Super Bowl ad, and the GranTurismo coupe and convertible.

 

With an SUV currently in development, the Italian automaker is clearly worried about deviating too far from the race-bred sports cars that earned the company its name in the 20th century.

 

“This new concept is striking back and reminding everybody that the brand has a remarkable racing heritage and a unique tradition in exotic GT cars,” Maserati said in a statement.

 

A smaller, sportier coupe (and subsequent convertible) like the Alfieri concept would give Maserati a true sports car — in line with much of the brand’s heritage — that could target rivals such as Jaguar’s F-Type and either a loaded Porsche Boxster/Cayman or base 911. The Alfieri would also be considerably cheaper than the GranTurismo’s $127,000 starting price, and thus be a higher-volume seller.

 

The Alfieri concept is based on the GranTurismo’s chassis, but has a wheelbase that’s 9.5 inches shorter. The concept is powered by the same 4.7-liter V-8 as the GranTurismo, but here it makes 460 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque.

 

While a V-8 version of the car would certainly make sense in production form, keep in mind Maserati could also offer a cheaper version of the Alfieri with the twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 that’s in the Ghibli sedan.

 

A six-speed automatic transmission pushes the Alfieri’s power to the rear wheels, while other performance goodies include a limited-slip differential and carbon ceramic brakes with Brembo calipers.

 

The Alfieri is also compelling because its design shows where future Maserati models are headed. The wide, catfish-like grille of current models has been stretched larger, and a pair of thin headlights appear to slice through the Alfieri’s skin.

 

The car proudly wears plenty of curves, including a bold shoulder line above the rear wheels. At the back, vertical air vents to the side of the rear end intersect with horizontal taillights. Short overhangs at the front and rear of the Alfieri give it a very purposeful stance.

 

“The Alfieri boasts proportions that might well be archetypal for a future true sport car and certainly hint at the brand’s stylistic intentions for the near future,” Maserati said.

 

Ramaciotti was more succinct. “Maserati doesn’t change. Maserati is always Maserati.”


 

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America’s Most Dependable Automotive Brand

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:  MOTLEY FOOL

 

The U.S. auto industry announced in 2013 that it was back in full force with unit sales increasing to 15.6 million, up better than 7% from 2012, and crossing the 15 million mark for the first time since 2007.

 

A combination of an improving economy, lower unemployment rates, and historically low lending rates have encouraged consumers to jump into what could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase their dream car at a very attractive lending rate.

 

Needless to say, a lot of thought and effort goes into which car a consumer will purchase. Consumers often look at fuel economy, read reviews online, test drive the vehicle (perhaps a number of times), ask for advice from family and friends, and also plot out how much they’re willing to spend on their vehicle over the life of a loan if they choose to finance it.

One thing that consumers often overlook, though, is the dependability of the vehicle they’re considering buying. For a new car buyer, the expectation is that they’ll encounter few maintenance problems for the first couple of years, and if they do, that their warranty will cover those snafus. For a used car purchaser, dependability is everything since there’s rarely any warranty attached to a used car purchase.

 

Not only is dependability important for your pocketbook in that more dependable vehicles will cost less to maintain, but it’s also the silent advertiser for a brand. As J.D. Power & Associates has demonstrated through its research, 56% of car owners who report having no problems return to the same brand, while 42% who reported three or more problems kept their same brand of vehicle with their next purchase. Therefore, vehicle dependability can, at least partially, help us predict which brands’ sales may move higher and which brands may struggle based on this vehicle dependability-brand loyalty correlation.

 

America’s five most dependable automotive brands
To that end I turn to J.D. Power & Associates annual vehicle dependability study for 2014. The study itself looks at three-year-old models from a number of brands (i.e., all 2011 models) and asks consumers if they experienced one or more of 202 noted problems. J.D. Power then ranks those car brands from top to bottom based on how many problems were reported per 100 vehicles, commonly known as its PP100 metric. Dependability is especially important this year when you consider that J.D. Power’s study uncovered the first rise in reported problems, especially engine and transmission problems, since 1998!

 

Let’s have a look at the five top automotive brands according to J.D. Power’s study and then note what brands really stood out, as well as which brands faltered.

 

As a warning, you may be shocked to discover which brand decisively took the No. 1 spot in vehicle dependability!

 

No. 5: Buick (112 problems per 100 vehicles)
Rising from the sixth spot into the top five this year is Buick, owned by General Motors(NYSE: GM  ) which had consumers report just 112 problems per 100 vehicles as opposed to 118 PP100 in last year’s study from J.D. Power. The real standout for Buick was the Lucerne which took top honors in the large car category, besting Toyota‘s (NYSE: TM  ) Avalon and Ford‘s (NYSE: F  ) Taurus. As Foolish auto analyst John Rosevear notes, Buick is doing a really nice job transitioning into a global brand.

 

No. 4: Acura (109 problems per 100 vehicles)
Honda Motors  (NYSE: HMC  )  Acura was another big mover in 2014, vaulting higher by four spots to fourth place from eighth with 109 PP100 reported compared to 120 PP100 last year. Like GM’s Buick, Acura only took top honors in one category (compact premium CUV) with its RDX, but it also claimed a tie for the third-highest rating in the midsize premium CUV category with the Mercedes-Benz M-class. Honda and Acura are relatively synonymous with economical but dependable vehicles in the U.S., making this ranking not too surprising.

2011 Cadillac CTS-V

No. 3: Cadillac (107 problems per 100 vehicles)
Chalk up another victory for General Motors which can claim its second top-five brand for dependability in Cadillac. Year over year, Cadillac surged 11 spots to No. 3, with vehicle owners reporting only 107 PP100 compared to 128 PP100 last year. This huge jump came in only second to Jaguar which vaulted 13 spots higher in J.D. Power’s rankings. Cadillac took home the top honors for its large premium CUV, the Escalade, as well as large premium car, the DTS, which tied for the top spot with the Lexus LS. Cadillac has certainly done its best to focus its efforts on a slightly younger crowd, and these improved dependability ratings should help.

 

No. 2: Mercedes-Benz (104 problems per 100 vehicles)
Jumping three spots in 2014 to No. 2 with only 104 PP100 compared to 115 PP100 reported in the prior year is Daimler‘s (NASDAQOTH: DDAIF  ) Mercedes-Benz. What’s particularly interesting here is that Mercedes-Benz didn’t win any of the 22 vehicle categories as outlined by J.D. Power, but it did place or show in quite a few which speaks to its overall consistency. Mercedes-Benz ranked second in midsize premium car with its E-Class sedan/wagon, second in large premium CUV with its GL-class, second in compact premium CUV with its GLK-class, and tied for third with the Acura MDX in the midsize premium CUV category with its M-class. Simply put, if consumers are going to pay a premium price, they expect premium results, and Mercedes-Benz appears to be delivering on that promise.

And the real shock (at least to me)…

2011 Lexus RX 450

No. 1: Lexus (68 problems per 100 vehicles)
I guess it shouldn’t be that much of a shock since Toyota-owned Lexus was first in last year’s ratings as well, but I recall shortly after I got my license, nearly two decades ago, how I was admonished from buying a Lexus because of their dependability issues. This rating simply confirms how far the brand has come in less than two decades as its PP100 of just 68 is light years ahead of second-place Mercedes-Benz, and even lower than the 71 PP100 that J.D. Power reported last year. Lexus tied its LS for top large premium car with the Cadillac DTS, was the top midsize premium car with the GS, and nabbed both the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in compact premium car with the ES and IS, and midsize premium CUV with the RX and GX.

 

Here are J.D. Power’s full rankings based on PP100:


Source: J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study.

Obviously brands in the top five can be construed as winners, but General Motors, Toyota, and Honda deserve special recognition since they brought home eight, seven, and six, of the top category awards, respectively – that’s 21 of 22 categories won by just three companies!

 

As I stated above, Toyota and Honda generally build no-frill vehicles, choosing instead to focus on improving fuel economy and storage space. The end result for years has been a reliable vehicle that will get the consumer from point A to B with ease, and without too many automotive issues.

 

The real shock here is the dominance by General Motors’ vehicles and the total absence of Ford, save for a runner-up effort in the midsize pickup category with its Ranger. GM is hoping to translate these key wins into strong sales for its recently redesigned trucks, the Silverado and Sierra, which it hopes will give Ford’s dominant F-Series a run for its money. Early sales of GM’s Silverado have been mixed with winter weather and parts shortages eating into total unit sales, but as Foolish auto guru John Rosevear recently pointed out, it’s actually spending fewer days on dealership lots than either of its foes, signaling that GM may indeed be on the up-and-up.

 

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Ten Autos with the Highest Resale Value

 

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM: MOTLEY FOOL     

 

Let me plant this scenario in your head, as I’d bet this has happened to a majority of you reading this right now. I’ll admit, it’s happened to me. Here’s the scenario:

 

You’re at the car dealership, and you’ve picked out the car of your dreams, or perhaps something to get you from point A to B and/or handle that new addition to your family. You discuss financing options with the dealership and pat yourself on the back for negotiating a notable reduction in price from where you started. By at this point in time, you’re quite proud of yourself. You drive the car off the lot and feel like a victor for what might be days or weeks.

 

Then, one sunny afternoon (or since I live in Seattle, stormy winter’s night) while checking the resale value of your car online, you realize that with just a couple thousand miles on what is essentially your brand-new vehicle it’s worth thousands, or perhaps even tens of thousands of dollars, less now than what you paid for it just months prior.

 

This is the plight of the new car purchaser. Consumers can certainly trade down to used cars for a cheaper sticker price, but they’ll often pay the penalties of buying as-is with no warranty and could be in line for a number of repairs. If these same consumers choose a new vehicle, their warranty will cover a number of repairs and maintenance options, but they’ll deal with their vehicle immediately depreciating once they drive it off the lot.

 

What the new car purchaser would really prefer to do is find that common ground between buying a new car and not having it depreciate rapidly over time. Unfortunately, the average new car in 2014 is expected to lose 60% of its original value after five years. Thankfully, we have Kelley Blue Book to help us out.

 

Kelley Blue Book recently released a report detailing 10 car models that hold the highest resale values after the five-year mark. According to its figures, all 10 of these car models maintain at least half of their original value after five years. As a car enthusiast, perhaps nothing surprised me more than what car model held the No. 1 spot!

 

By understanding which models deliver the best resale, we not only can make smarter decisions as consumers, it could point to which vehicles are likely to drive automakers’ sales higher moving forward.

 

Here are the 10 car models with the highest resale values (all models are 2014).

 

10. Dodge Challenger: resale value at 36 months (60.8%) / 60 months (50.5%)
Behold the ongoing rebirth of the American muscle car! Because of consumers’ seemingly insatiable appetites for horsepower at the moment, seeing the Dodge Challenger squeak in at No. 10 isn’t a surprise in the slightest. The Challenger is maintaining high interest among consumers for its reasonable price point — ranging from a tad over $26,000 up to nearly $46,000 — and heart-pumping 305 to 470 horsepower. An aggressive, sleek look coupled with unbridled power should keep Challenger sales rolling strong in 2014.

9. Chevrolet Silverado 1500: resale value at 36 months (59%) / 60 months (50.6%)
What a difference a remodel can make forGeneral Motors‘ (NYSE: GM  ) Chevy Silverado. It’s been roughly eight years since the vehicle has had a major redesign, but it’s clear from initial sales of the vehicle that GM has had trouble simply keeping up with demand. Although sales have stagnated over the past two months, as Foolish auto analyst John Rosevear pointed out, the average number of days a Silverado sits in a car dealership’s lot before being sold is lower than both of its major domestic rivals. That proves the demand is there and gives us a primary reason Silverado’s resale value is so high.

 

8. Honda CR-V: resale value at 36 months (63%) / 60 months (50.7%)
Why Honda Motor (NYSE: HMC  ) ? Simple: reliability. Consumer perceptions can go a long way to boosting the value of a vehicle in the auto sector, and Honda vehicles exude the idea of being economical, maintaining good gas mileage, and requiring less long-term maintenance relative to their peers. The CR-V is the perfect blend of the above, blending the space of an SUV into a compact form, while still providing reasonable gas mileage and the expectation of years of drivability without issues.

7. Chevrolet Camaro: resale value at 36 months (63.7%) / 60 months (51.9%)
Have I mentioned that Americans are really fascinated with the resurgence of the American muscle car? Perhaps no vehicle has captivated the attention of consumers than the Chevy Camaro, which is the best-selling muscle car — topping Ford‘s (NYSE: F  ) Mustang and the Dodge Challenger — since 2009. In 2013, the Camaro nosed out the Mustang for the top spot in muscle-car sales and actually left the Challenger eating its dust. With extremely reasonable price points and an engine that cranks out 323-580 horsepower depending on what model you choose, the Camaro’s future and its resale value looks bright.

 

6. Toyota Tundra: resale value at 36 months (63.7%) / 60 months (52.3%)
We have to jump all the way up to the No. 6 spot to see our first appearance of a Toyota(NYSE: TM  ) vehicle — but here’s a hint: You’ll get used to it! The Tundra is a bit of a curious case, as it’s not even close to being among the top 20 vehicles sold. Instead, Ford’s F-Series pickups, the Chevy Silverado, and the Dodge Ram run circles around the Tundra in terms of total units sold. What’s curious is that it holds the most superior resale value of the bunch, likely having to do with consumer perception of its superior reliability, as well as the fact that it can actually come with a number of equipment add-ons that can give it an edge over its peers.

 

5. Chevrolet Corvette: resale value at 36 months (67.5%) / 60 months (53.5%)
Surprise! Americans like muscle cars! General Motors is surprisingly cleaning up on thisKelley Blue Book list, but it does have a major redesign of the Chevy Corvette to thank for that.

 

In years past, you pretty much had to sign over your first born to park a Corvette in your driveway. But the redesign, which comes complete with a new hydroformed aluminum chassis, can be had for a bargain-basement $52,000 MSRP and delivers 455-460 horsepower. As long as longtime Corvette enthusiasts don’t balk at the stylistic changes, there’s a good chance the Corvette will remain on this list for some time to come.

 

4. Toyota 4Runner: resale value at 36 months (66.6%) / 60 months (56.2%)
Sometimes minimal change is for the best, as we see with the No. 4 spot on Kelley Blue Books’ resale value list with the Toyota 4Runner. It’s been four years since there’s been a major resdesign of the 4Runner, and this appears to be one of those situations where the automaker says, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it!” The 4Runner relies on consumers’ perception of reliability for the Toyota brand and the fact that few midsized off-road capable SUVs remain on the market.

 

3. Jeep Wrangler: resale value at 36 months (70.3%) / 60 months (59.1%)
In addition to unbridled horsepower, the resale value of genuine off-road vehicles is unparalleled with the Jeep Wrangler. This is the second year in a row the Wrangler has held the No. 3 spot, and it’s the highest-ranked American-made brand on the list. With genuine off-road-capable vehicles becoming difficult to come by these days as automakers move more toward luxury features, the Wrangler is likely to remain on this list because of this niche aspect.

 

2. Toyota Tacoma: resale value at 36 months (73.7%) / 60 months (61.9%)
Yet again, another Toyota vehicle in the top six! Like the previous Toyota models, the historic reputation of Toyota is what appears to drive the value of these vehicle down at a much slower pace over the long term. With few frills added, the Tacoma is simply a reliable midsize truck that consumers can drive the wheels off of without worrying too much about repairs or gas mileage.

 

And the No. 1 vehicle for best resale value is …

1. Toyota FJ Cruiser: resale value at 36 months (81%) / 60 months (70%)

 

That’s right … the FJ Cruiser. Perhaps one of the odder-looking vehicles on the road takes the best resale value yet again and clinches Toyota the position as top dog for resale value in the U.S. The FJ Cruiser’s leading resale value comes from a combination of unique styling, which simply has no comparison, as well as its ability to successfully navigate off road. Being able to combine city and utility functions into a unique body styling earns the FJ Cruiser the honor of America’s best resale value vehicle.

 

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2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad Unveiled at 2014 Chicago Auto Show

 

At the 2014 Chicago Auto ShowDodge introduces the new 2014 Journey Crossroad model to SUV shoppers who are looking for a more rugged-looking crossover vehicle. When the Journey Crossroad goes on sale, it will slot between the existing SXT and Limited trim levels, and will start at $25,990 including the $995 destination charge.

 

To create the new 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad, the automaker installs revised front and rear bumpers with simulated skid plates, side-sill cladding, Platinum Chrome exterior trim, and dark-tinted headlights and taillights. The Journey Crossroad rolls on unique Hyper Black 19-inch aluminum wheels in a 5-spoke design.

 

Inside, the Journey Crossroad features black leather seats with light-gray accent stitching and black mesh inserts, as well as plenty of Liquid Graphite trim. Standard equipment includes a Uconnect 8.4 color touch-screen infotainment system, power driver’s seat, power heated exterior mirrors, illuminated cup holders, and a keyless passive entry system with push-button starting.

 

Like the existing Dodge Journey, the new Crossroad model provides 7-passenger seating, reclining second-row seats with integrated child booster seats, fold-flat front passenger’s seat with a storage bin under the cushion, and removable storage bins in the second-row floor designed to hold wet items or conceal valuables. Maximum cargo space measures 67.6 cu. ft.

 

The Journey Crossroad is equipped with a standard 173-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, 4-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. A 283-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission is optional, and the Journey Crossroad can be fitted with an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. When taking corners at speeds above 25 mph, the AWD system automatically sends power to the Journey’s rear wheels to improve handling.

 

Dodge says crossover SUV buyers can expect to see the new 2014 Journey Crossroad in showrooms in the spring of 2014.

 

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:  YAHOO AUTOS

Volvo to Replace Diesel-Powered V60 PHEV with Gas-Loving XC90

 

When it comes to its plug-in hybrid SUVs, Volvo is willing to sacrifice a bit of range to go a lot further, in the global sense. The Swedish automaker started producing a diesel plug-in hybrid version of the V60 late last year but doesn’t plan to make that model available around the world. Instead, Volvo will replace it with a gasoline-drinking plug-in hybrid XC90 crossover, Australia’s Drive.com says, citing Volvo executive Lex Kerssemakers. The new plug-in hybrid will use a gas-powered four-cylinder turbo as its engine and deliver at least 300 horsepower. Production of that SUV will start late next year.

 

Volvo says moving from diesel to gas will shave about five percent off the model’s 120 miles per gallon equivalent fuel economy rating (per the more lenient European standards), so the SUV will still have fuel economy worth bragging about. Kerssemakers said that gas power, as opposed to diesel, would be an easier sell outside Europe. Volvo started making the diesel plug-in last November. The company said at the time that it initially planned to make 1,000 units for the 2013 model year but that advance orders caused them to boost that number to as many as 6,000 vehicles for the 2014 model year.

 

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:  AUTO BLOG GREEN