Whether you loved or hated high school, attending your high school reunion can be a fun — or at least interesting — experience. Not only does it present a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends, but it also offers the possibility of showing those who wronged you that you’ve thrived in your post-high-school life. One factor that will determine how you’re received is the vehicle you drive to the event. Guaranteed to be endlessly scrutinized, your ride will act as a gauge of how far you’ve come — or fallen. So if your current jalopy doesn’t make the right impression, don’t sweat it: we’ve got a list of new and used cars in several price ranges that will let tell your former classmates that you’re doing just fine. If you’re not but want to look the part, sweat not, we’ve got some suggestions on what to pick up at the rental counter. New: 2012 Fiat 500 Apart from being chic, the Fiat 500 also is economical. … [Read more...] about New, Used, and Rental Cars to Drive to Your Class Reunion
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Welcome to New Or Used Without Borders, where the international team of TTAC answers your intercontinental car shopping questions.Robstar asks:My wife & I are about to have our first child in December. We visit Brazil (SJC, SP) typically twice per year to see my wife’s relatives. Usually each trip lasts about a month (I’m only there the last week or two). My wife has talked to me about possibly buying a car in Brazil because of our frequent travel there and our need to get around with an infant/toddler. During past visits, I drove or we took the bus together. Now that she’ll be taking an infant with her, she wants to be able to drive herself when I’m not there. We are also worried about safety using public transportation — A single mother & a baby/infant who may speak English at an inopportune time may appear to be an easy target for criminals. In any case, our current transportation options won’t work … [Read more...] about New Or Used In Brazil: Car Shopping Tips For Gringos
Jim writes:Dear Sajeev:I hope you are well. I have a 2011 Subaru Forester (silver/5 speed) which has been great since purchase. I have travelled 19K to date and change oil every 6 months or 7,500 miles. I have one somewhat troubling matter, however: I’ve added a quart of synthetic oil prior to each 6 month/7,500 mile oil change. Is this to be expected? My friendly local Subaru dealer says that “all cars” will use oil over a 6 month period. I’ve stopped in every 1200 miles the past 6 months and verified that it is using some oil.However, my silver 1990 535i 5 speed with 250K did not use any oil when I drove it daily for many years. It is now in retirement. The local bmw guys tell me that the m30 engine was the best ever built by the Munich folks.I keep my cars for a long time and would prefer to address this now, prior to the warranty expiration date.Thanks and best wishes,Sajeev answers:Supposedly many (all?) late model vehicles come with a caveat about oil … [Read more...] about Piston Slap: Do New Cars Burn Oil?
There are few truly bad vehicles for sale today, but, when there are more models boasting more whistles and bells than ever before, that doesn’t make car shopping easy. Even if you’re car savvy, you can still make an uninformed choice or get a bad deal. And the wealth of resources for information can obscure the fact that many of the rules of the game have changed. But fear not: We can help. We’ve spent months researching the changing auto-retail landscape and have collected the best advice here. As new ways of shopping supplant the old, those in the know can save time and money and get greater enjoyment out of their new car. Spend a Saturday kicking tires on dealership row to decide what you want. Stay home, do your research online, and only visit dealerships for test drives. There are many ways to research new vehicles online, from magazine websites such as caranddriver.com to the automakers’ own sites. The volume of information is … [Read more...] about The 7 New Rules of Car Buying: How to Shop in Today’s World
"Stone Age technology," some boo. "Bog slow!" others bray. "Ugly!" jeer all as one. Our own Brock Yates said they look like "pumpkin seeds." And they do. Now in its third season, Daytona Prototype, the marquee attraction of the Grand American Road Racing Association's Rolex Sports Car Series, has been received with booming skepticism. The brainchild of Jim France (of the you-know-who NASCAR Frances), Daytona Prototype is a jab in the eye to traditionalists. The cars are revolutionary in their way, but purists may prefer a shorter form of the word—revolting. Yet at Daytona's Rolex 24 in February, these pumpkin seeds delivered some of the best American sports-car racing ever. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. First, a little history. American professional sports-car racing is the guest that never came to dinner. Open-wheel racing—despite its periodic, graceless disarray—has eaten hearty often, and stock-car racing has been face down in the … [Read more...] about Sports-Car Racing’s Brave New World
My first thought was that a constant velocity joint on the left axle exploded again. However, Mike the mechanic (not to be confused with Mike and the Mechanics) told me there was “a hole in the transmission” in the ’02 Saturn that’s been my daily driver the past few years. I spent a few days asking myself whether it made any sense putting $1,000 into a 15 year old car that’s gone on pretty much unchanged since it was first designed in the early ’90s. My second thought: What’s the next thing that’s going to break?I started looking around for a small, inexpensive, new car, with a focus on subcompacts. I also asked my colleagues who review a lot more cars than I do for their recommendations and settled on two finalists, the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit. How did I come to that conclusion? Different cars were rejected for different reasons. I don’t like the Chevy Sonic‘s motorcycle inspired … [Read more...] about TTAC’s New Long-Term Tester: 2015 Honda Fit EX 6MT
Price is the deciding factor in many new car purchases, so it’s no surprise that dealerships do all they can to advertise the lowest number possible. While the internet has given consumers a lot of power when it comes to purchasing a new car, many consumers still fall for age-old pricing tricks.One of the easiest ways to reel people into a dealership is to set up an advertisement for a decently optioned popular car at a sale price significantly lower than MSRP. This advertisement will usually be the lowest in the geographic area and would cause a loss for the dealership if sold. The way that deceptive dealers get around honoring the advertised price is by specifying a single stock number that qualifies and then asking a friend or relative to put a deposit on that specific vehicle as soon as the advertisement goes up online or in print.Since the specific vehicle is technically still in dealer inventory, they can continue to advertise it. However, once a potential customer … [Read more...] about Car Buying: Is That New Car Price Too Good to Be True?
Rather than begin in media res, let’s recap:I sold my first Porsche 911 (a “993” as they call it, which means it was built sometime from 1995 to 1998 and was the last version of the 911 to feature air-cooling; mine was a 1996) to a nice guy in Minnesota.The very next day, my second Porsche 911 (a “997,” which means it was built between 2005 and 2012 and was intended to fix the ugly looks and perceived dubious build quality of its immediate forebear — the “996” 911, which was the all-new car that succeeded the above-mentioned 993; my 997 was a 2007 example of the hardcore GT3 variant) met its end after a teenaged driver failed to yield immediately in front of me, resulting in a collision.With no means of transportation beyond the shared mobility lifestyle or MARTA, it was time to start shopping for another car. I didn’t really have a defined budget, so I considered cars across a fairly wide price range.I consulted friends, … [Read more...] about Ownership Update: Time To Buy a New (To Me) Car
In addition to advice about the long-term benefits of wearing sunscreen, the world’s most famous commencement address included this bit of wisdom: “The real troubles in your life are apt to be the things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.” And so it was, true to the author of that essay’s own meandering experience, that I found myself on a sunny, if not entirely idle, afternoon this past June tossing a small rucksack into the back of my well-worn Shelby Charger setting out for Seattle, some 1800 miles away.That my mother was ill was a fact I had long known. Just how serious the situation truly was, however, took everyone by surprise. One day the doctors were telling my brothers and sisters that our mother had as much as a year left to live and then, almost the next day, were coming back to say that she might have just a few weeks. By the time the news reached me in Leavenworth, the prognosis had been … [Read more...] about An Unexpected Lesson: Making the Long Trip Home
Hey! Did you know that I, your favorite writer on this or any other forum, with the possible exception of Penthouse Forum, am the proud owner of a Honda Accord EX-L V6 manual transmission coupe? Maybe you didn’t know! But now you know! So in the future there will be no excuse for you not knowing, with the exception of “utter apathy,” which would be a legitimate excuse, should you need one.Let me give you the name of somebody who didn’t need to be reminded about my Accord ownership; my local Honda dealer. Not the guys who walljobbed me, but the good dealer. The one that actually puts new oil in the car when you pay for an oil change. I like this dealer. Were I to purchase another Honda, I would purchase it from them. Perhaps they know this, because they’ve just sent me an email with a GRRRREAT DEAL! on a new 2017 Accord Coupe. $16,000 and change — and this ain’t just any old Accord coupe, it’s an EX-L V6 manual, just like my current … [Read more...] about When Is a New Accord for $16,000 Not a Deal after All?