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Best SUVs for 2018

Best SUVs for 2018

Date : 2018-05-09

With ever-changing gas prices and the need to be environmentally-conscious, downsizing your vehicle seems like a no-brainer. There are still significant perks to driving an SUV, however, and these days the environmental and economical choices are more abundant than ever. Don’t ditch your dream of owning an SUV just yet. These top rated 2018 SUVs maximize space and efficiency for transporting people, get great gas mileage for being a larger vehicle and are safe and durable to drive in any climate, on any terrain.

Honda HR-V

Honda has a well-known reputation for building cars that are meant to withstand anything and pass the test of time, and the HR-V is no different. One of the highest ranked subcompact SUVs, the Honda HR-V is great for traveling families or individual jet-setters. Although it is smaller than some SUVs, it has a spacious interior for passengers, and the seats lift up to create extra storage space.

Toyota Rav-4

The Toyota Rav-4 comes in ten variations with each model prioritizing different features and functions. Among all the models, though, safety is a top priority. The Toyota Rav-4 has the latest safety features to ensure a smooth experience for both passengers and pedestrians. When the vehicle is nearing a pedestrian or sliding into a different lane, an alert system kicks in. The rear camera and parking monitor make parking a breeze, making this SUV great for city dwellers and trail blazers alike.

Ford Escape

Like the name suggests, the Ford Escape is the perfect SUV for hitting the road and coasting along. With tons of storage space and a low cargo floor, packing the car for a trip is easier than ever. For extra ease, the lift handle can be made hands-free. The Ford Escape is also strong and durable enough to tow up to 1,500 pounds. Its four wheel drive system actively adjusts to road conditions, maintaining traction at all times. Pack up and hit the roads in this top SUV.

Mazda CX-5

If you are looking for a sleek SUV to get from point a to b, then the Mazda CX-5 might be the right car. Although it has slightly less storage space than its competition, the Mazda CX-5 is one of the best SUVs in terms of state-of-the-art features and a stylish interior and exterior. Mazda emphasizes the beauty of a car, without skimping on the functionality.

Hyundai Kona

If you want a big SUV for a small price, the Hyundai Kona is one of the most affordable cars of its kind. On average, the Hyundai Kona is priced at $20,000, nearly $10,000 less than the starting price of its competitors. The lower price tag doesn’t mean you are missing out on top features, though. The Hyundai Kona has all the bells and whistles that are expected of cars in 2018 like blind spot and collision warning systems, wireless charging capabilities and Apple CarPlay.

Kia Niro

One of the most impressive SUVs in terms of fuel efficiency, the Kia Niro gets a whopping 49 mpg on the highway. No other SUV is as fuel efficient as the Kia Niro. The 2018 model also offers a plug-in hybrid option, making this one of the most environmentally friendly SUVs of this time. In addition to its fuel and energy efficiency, the Kia Niro also stands out amongst competitors for its quick acceleration. You can zip around in this sporty vehicle while being more mindful of your carbon footprint.

Subaru Forester

Year after year, the Subaru Forester continues to rank as one of the best SUVs and it is no surprise why. The Subaru Forester’s all wheel drive make it perfect for off-road traveling, while its high seating position and high-beam assists guarantee the best visibility. IIHS rated this vehicle a top safety pick for its EyeSight and steering responsive headlights. If you do plan to ride on the trails, it is best to purchase a model that can adjust to different terrain with just the push of a button. The EyeSight


With roads to travel and cargo to transport, SUVs are the ideal vehicle. Find the right SUV that meets all your needs when it comes to safety, fuel efficiency, storage and style.


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Is Using a Ride Sharing Service Cheaper Than Buying a Car?

Is Using a Ride Sharing Service Cheaper Than Buying a Car?

Date : 2018-10-09

The age of ride sharing is upon us, and it’s been speculated that in a few decades, ride sharing will be more common than actually owning a car. Though this is still up for debate, it brings up a very interesting question: is using a ride sharing service cheaper than buying a car? This method of transportation is becoming more common, and for those who either don’t have a car because they simply cannot afford one or live in a place where it’s easier not having to drive or own due to insane parking fees, and the overall lack of space, it’s a more economically efficient way of travel. Taxis can be absurdly expensive, especially in the city, and public transportation isn’t always reliable. The next best option is Uber, Lyft, or any other ride sharing service. Is exclusively relying on a ride sharing service, however, cheaper than actually buying a car?

Let’s compare the costs of ride sharing to, say, owning a minivan, a compact SUV, a regular SUV, and a commuter car.

Minivan

      Depreciation rates: A disadvantage that comes with new minivans is the rapid depreciation rates. In fact, within the first year of driving a brand-new minivan, the depreciation rate can be decreased by one-third or more. Therefore, it is most beneficial for you to buy a used minivan that’s only a few years old, as it has already experienced its highest depreciation drop.

      Fuel costs: As of 2018, newer minivan models can range anywhere from 20 to 32 miles per gallon. The average car’s mpg can be calculated to about 22.3 mpg; therefore, a minivan can fall anywhere from an environmental menace to and eco-friendly vehicle. It ultimately depends on how often you drive, the distance you go on a weekly basis, and your gas budget, among other factors.

      Insurance quotes: On average, minivan drivers pay significantly less than other drivers on the road. Sure, your age, marital status, etc. counts towards your insurance rate; however, your choice in vehicle also counts. In this case, a practical and safe car – that is typically used to transport children, is an inexpensive option.

      Maintenance: Minivans offer the most bang for your buck, with owners having to pay an average of around $400-450 a year for maintenance.

      Registration: Because minivans are on the heavier side, you are going to have to pay a little more money. Your average minivan weighs well over 3,000 pounds and, depending on where you live, can be a little pricey. 

      Taxes: If you live in a state that has car tax, then you’re going to have to calculate the costs of that. On average, the tax can be calculated by taking the net cost of your car and taking out any reductions placed on the price (i.e., discounts) and multiplying it by the car tax rate in your state. This percentage falls between 2% and 8%. Therefore, if you have a newer minivan, which costs around $27,000, and your state’s tax is at 4%, then you would be paying around $1,080. Used minivans can be found anywhere between $10,000 to $20,000; therefore, your car tax would be lower. In the state of Nevada, car taxes are 8.1%.

Compact SUV

      Depreciation rates: A compact SUV’s depreciation rate is listed at about 50%. This rate was taken at the end of five years. A luxury compact SUV’s depreciation rate even less at about 40% at the end of five years.

      Fuel costs: Compact SUVs on average use approximately 25-27 miles per gallon, and this is when you combine both highway and city driving. It’s also important to note that these higher numbers are from newer models as well.

      Insurance quotes:  SUVs, unfortunately, are notorious for having higher insurance premiums. This is largely due the fact that SUVs can cause more damage on the road, are more susceptible for thieves to break into, and are more likely to flip over, among other risks. On average, the rate you could be paying for a compact SUV, is about $1,100 per year.

      Maintenance: Let’s say that you have a new SUV. This means maintenance fees in your car’s fifth year will be significantly more than its first. For a new compact SUV, your first year of maintenance shouldn’t cost more than $100. However, at the end of its fifth year, that SUV will have racked up about $6,000 worth of maintenance fees.

      Registration: Compact SUVs don’t weigh as much as their full-size counterparts; therefore, registration shouldn’t be as costly.

      Taxes: Compact SUVs, if new, are in a similar price range to regular SUVs: anywhere from mid-$20,000 to $30,000. Used compact SUVs that are a few years old make for much more budget-friendly vehicles and can be found anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000. Cars that are closer to 10 years can be priced at just under $10,000. Take 8.1% of the cost and you have your number.

Regular SUV

      Depreciation rates: A regular-sized SUV can experience a depreciation rate of about 41% over the course of five years.

      Fuel costs: Regular SUV’s are calculated to be around 22-27 mpg, though there are newer models that can get as high as 32 mpg.

      Insurance quotes: Similarly to the compact-size SUV, a regular size SUV can cost on average $1,100 per year. This ultimately depends on the make and model of your car, on top of your history.

      Maintenance: Since regular SUVs are larger and use more horsepower, it’s understood that the wear and tear on your car will be bigger as well. Therefore, for a new regular SUV, you’re looking at a maintenance cost of around $300 by the end of the first year. At its fifth year, you will have invested about $6,000 in maintenance.

      Registration: Seeing as registration fees depends on the weight of the car, you will have to pay more than someone who drives a Sedan. It also helps to check your local DMV to see their rates, as it differs depending on your state.

      Taxes: As before stated, your regular SUV’s car tax will fall anywhere from 2-8% of what you paid; in Nevada, it’s 8.1%. Buying a new SUV can cost between $25,000 to $30,000 while used cars can cost as low as $15,000.

Commuter Car

Note: Since this is a fairly new kind of car on the market, not a lot of information has been gathered regarding depreciation rates and insurance.

      Fuel costs: This vehicle is reported to be all-electric; therefore, fuel costs are unnecessary. A fully-charged car can drive up to 150 mph and lasts anywhere from 40-60 miles.

      Registration: Registration is expected to be inexpensive, as the car is quite lightweight, weighing in at around 2,000-2,500 pounds.

      Taxes: These cars retail for approximately $108,000; therefore, in the state of Nevada, your tax could be around $8,000. However, the newer model is reported to cost around $240,000.

So, how does this all compare to ride-sharing? Ultimately, it boils down to what kind of lifestyle you’re living. Take these factors into consideration:

      Where do you live?

      Where do you work?

      How expensive is it to have a car in your town? (Think parking fees, maintaining your car, car taxes, fuel, etc.)

      How often do you drive? How long are your commutes?

      How much does ride sharing cost in your town?

People who live busy lifestyles often prefer ride-sharing options as that saves hundreds of hours of time that could be dedicated to doing work. Owning a car is very much embedded in American culture; however, with large masses of populations flocking towards the city, causing congestion, there are more benefits to using ride sharing services. 

In short:

      Ride sharing fares depend on: your location and your destination, the type of car you request, and other conditions such as weather that could change the price.

      Ride sharing can be cheaper than owning a car, provided that you are in a situation in which you don’t need to travel (i.e., you work from home or you live within walking distance of where you need to go.)

      Owning a car is a cultural norm in America, and a lot of people feel obligated to have one because that’s what we are accustomed to hearing.

     Owning a car is the better option\r\nif you regularly drive longer distances.

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The Big Technology Under the Hood of the Little Prius

The Big Technology Under the Hood of the Little Prius

Date : 2019-02-05

"Nice Prius" 

- No one ever

Though the Toyota Prius has historically been the butt of many automotive related jokes, the vehicle has a number of strong, positive qualities that set it apart from the competition. The Prius can be considered a trail blazer of the automotive world, as it was one of the first ever hybrid vehicles to be mass produced in Japan starting in the late 1990s. It was introduced to the United States in 2002 and quickly gained traction in the mainstream marketplace, selling its 1 millionth model in 2011.  Since then, it has consistently been at the forefront of hybrid technology and continues to innovate nearly 20 years later. Over the course of the vehicle's history, it has developed a large following, thanks to its proven reliability and excellent gas mileage. The Prius may not be the fastest or best looking car on the road, but it is full of unique, interesting and powerful technology. 

As soon as you hit the Prius\' electric start button, the vehicle's electric motor kicks on. Once you have accelerated up to 25 miles per hour, the Prius switches over to the gas motor, ready to carry you for up to 610 miles, wherever your destination may be. Along the way, the Prius will utilize many of its unique technological features to ensure you arrive safely and efficiently. 

To help conserve energy and charge its electric battery, the Prius takes advantage of a process called regenerative braking. As the car slows down, it recaptures the energy created by using your brakes by reversing the electric engine which conserves energy and creates electricity. This electricity can then be stored and used at a later time. It is this process that makes it so the Prius does not have to be plugged in to charge each night. 

Another cool feature offered in the Prius is dynamic cruise control that is designed to operate at any speed from 0-110 miles per hour. Using a combination of sensors and a front mounted camera, the Prius is able to detect when it is approaching a slower moving vehicle. It then automatically slows down to an appropriate speed allowing you to make necessary maneuvers without deactivating your cruise control. 

A vehicle's transmission is one of the most important pieces of its drivetrain. It selects the proper gear ensuring you have power when you need without overdoing it. Most automatic transmissions on the road today are not the same as automatic transmissions from the past. Today's automatic transmissions are known as continuously variable transmissions or CVT for short. Essentially, a CVT uses a metal belt or chain and two pulleys that can compress or expand using hydraulic pressure. As the vehicle's need for power changes, the pulleys change size, adjusting the gear ratio. The gear ratio will continue to change as you drive, selecting whatever ratio is optimal for the current performance needs. 

The Prius uses a variation of the CVT, but rather than using a belt or chain, it uses an electric motor to control the speeds of the gears. More efficient than a traditional CVT, the Prius' eCVT is just another form of technology that sets it apart from many other cars on the road.  

Though the Prius has a reputation as somewhat goofy and low performance vehicle, it has plenty of technology under the hood and it is safe, reliable and fuel efficient. Since its inception into the US market 19 years ago, nearly 2 million models have been sold and over 90% of those sold in the last 10 years are still on the road. Don't underestimate the little Prius that could!

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What to Know When Buying a Used Hybrid

What to Know When Buying a Used Hybrid

Date : 2019-04-05

Ever since they hit the Japanese market in 1997, hybrid cars have grown in popularity every year. It’s easy to see why. Regarded for their low environmental impact, outstanding gas mileage, and lack of sound pollution, these automobiles are an affordable and eco-friendly alternative to the cars we grew up with. They also tend to be sleek and modern, with helpful amenities like built in GPS, informative display screens, and key-free ignitions. 

Are you planning for your next car to be a hybrid? Great choice.

If you’re hoping to buy one of these beauties second hand, you’re in luck. The process of buying a used hybrid car is just as straightforward as purchasing a diesel or gas-based one. The only major difference is that you’ll be saving money— and the environment— in the long run.

To help you prepare for your hybrid search, we’ve compiled and answered some of your most pressing queries:

Is this going to be an expensive purchase? What do used hybrids cost?

Actually, it is entirely possible to purchase a previously-driven hybrid for a reasonable price. (And once you’re on the road,  your low gas mileage will save plenty of money on petrol!)

As with any car, new or used, the cost of a second hand hybrid has quite a large range. Depending on the make, model, and history of the car, used hybrids can set you back anywhere from three to fifteen grand. A 2010 Ford Fusion, for example, has an average sale price of $5,219. Meanwhile, a Toyota Prius from the same year costs nearly twice as much!

Anything I should look out for?

These days, many taxi and rideshare drivers use hybrids to cut costs and lower their carbon emissions. This is great! However, for a run of the mill, daily use car, an ex-taxi might not be the best choice. Aside from the high mileage that would be racked up, if a car’s first life was as a taxi, it could be  hiding major stains, burns, or even nasty hitchhikers like bed bugs or fleas. Be sure to speak with your vendor about the history of the car, and be scrupulous as you check for scratches and stains.

It’s also crucial to ensure that the hybrid’s system is up to par and working properly. Research the car you are planning to buy in advance— when you test drive, if any of the amenities promised no longer work, it’s best to walk away. Don’t worry— you’ll find the right hybrid for you, but that one wasn’t it!

Will used hybrids still have a strong battery life?

In a word, yes.

Though it depends on the make and model of the car, hybrid cars were designed with the consumer in mind, and have excellent battery life, new or used. In fact, Toyota actually built their iconic Prius with the idea that their batteries will last as long as the car itself! Not too shabby. 

In the case of any battery problems, most major hybrid producers (like Ford, Toyota, and Honda, to name a few) offer a battery pack warranty of 80,000 miles. 

In the case that your battery does go flat, they can easily be replaced. It will set you back quite a bit— hybrid battery replacements can easily reach $4,500. 

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Best Trucks of 2019

Best Trucks of 2019

Date : 2019-05-31

For the 2019 model year, automotive manufacturers in the United States have stepped up their game. With fresh new offerings from Ford and updated models from GM and Toyota, 2019 is shaping up to be a great year to be in the market for a new compact or full size pickup truck. 

Compact or mid-sized trucks offer better fuel economy and drivability, but are not able to work as hard, due to lower towing capacities and smaller engines. Larger trucks on the other hand offer more space, more power, and more room for toys at the expense of maneuverability and fuel economy. 

No matter what truck you may be shopping for, it is important to consider what features are most important to your needs and choose accordingly. Check out some of the best compact and full size trucks on the market this year. 

Compact
Compact trucks have quickly become of the most popular types of vehicles on the road in 2019. These small trucks are incredibly versatile, easy to drive, and more fuel efficient than their larger counterparts. Here are some of the best mid-sized trucks on the market for this year.  

Toyota Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma has reigned as the king of small trucks for a number of years. Redesigned in 2016, the third generation Toyota Tacoma features a 3.5 liter V6 engine that produces 278 horsepower. It is mated to a 6 speed transmission that is available in either a standard or automatic option. Though the Tacoma is not the most fuel efficient option on the market (18 MPG city and 22 MPG highway), it was the top selling mid-sized truck last year. 

The Tacoma is the perfect vehicle to accompany you on any of your adventures, no matter where they may take you. 

Ford Ranger
The Ford Ranger was reintroduced to the US market after a brief hiatus for the 2019 model year. The Ranger features Ford\'s proven 2.3 liter 4 cylinder EcoBoost motor that offers a best in class 310 lbs-foot torque rating in addition to nearly 300 horsepower. This all-new small truck is ready to hit the highway or that rough double track road that you\'ve always wondered about. 

Chevy Colorado
As the only compact truck that is is available with an optional diesel engine, the Chevy Colorado sets itself apart from the competition. For drivers in search of a powerful but efficient truck, look no further than this mid-sized powerhouse. The 3.6 liter gas engine offers best in class horsepower but on the other hand, the diesel engine allows drivers to tow up to 7,700 pounds while still averaging nearly 30 MPG. 

The Colorado is available in a wide variety of packages, ensuring that there is something to fit the needs of drivers of any type. 

Full Size
Not for the faint of heart, full size trucks pack a powerful punch. With higher payloads, increased power, and more interior space, full size trucks are ready to go to work or play. 

Toyota Tundra
The Toyota Tundra is ready to hit the trail or the job site. Offering seating for up to six people, a towing capacity of over 10,000 pounds, and a variety of trim packages, the Tundra is ready to tackle whatever is thrown its way. 

If something with off road capability is what you are after, be sure to check out the TRD Off road package, which offers drivers a locking rear differential to get out of sticky situations. 

GMC Sierra
The GMC Sierra distinguishes itself from the competition by offering more features than any other truck on the market. One of the most unique features of the Sierra is the tailgate, which offers owners six different positions that allow for easier bed access, making this truck perfect for tailgating with friends and family or hauling mulch to help finish up that pesky landscaping project. 

Ford F150
With an aluminum frame, numerous engine choices, and best in class payload capacity, the Ford F150 is the perfect blend of efficiency and capability. Powered by Ford\'s proven EcoBoost, VCT or Powerstroke engines, the F150 is sure to meet the needs of anyone in the market for a new truck. The F150 is lightweight, fuel efficient, and ready for whatever comes its way. 

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