Cars Worth Buying New, Not Used

buy-new-car

Many people opt to invest in used cars to save financially and avoid spending great deals of money for something that is just as good old as it is new. However, there are a number of cars on the market today they are not unreasonably expensive, and are well worth buying brand new. Below are just a few of many considered to be truly valuable vehicles before leaving their respective lots.

Jeep Renegade

A new Renegade is just under $3,000 more than a used model; not too much in the eyes of car enthusiasts. This SUV is a great vehicle with the incredible ability to drive smoothly both on and off major roads, making it perfect for families, adventurers, and more.

Chevy Colorado

For working individuals that need a reliable pickup truck to assist in their day-to-day activities, the Chevy Colorado is one of the most efficient. A new model costs only $4,000 more than a used. This midsize truck is incredibly fuel-efficient, has off-road suspension, and a great amount of storage space throughout.

Honda Pilot

Many car buyers tend to shy away from minivans unless they are looking to transport a family of 5 or more, but the 2018 Honda Pilot is a fresh take on the once-avoided vehicle. It is a large crossover model with plenty of room inside, and is just under $5,000 more new compared to a used vehicle.

Nissan Frontier

Another impressive pickup truck to make the list, the Frontier is just $3,000 more when buying it brand new as opposed to used. While the 2018 model has been met with a bit of criticism, a newer one is expected to hit the market soon, making older Frontiers valuable in the eyes of auto dealers.

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Another Jeep on our list, the Wrangler is known by many as one of the most reliable off-roading vehicles in the world, and is used in hundreds of different ways. The Wrangler Unlimited is an even bigger step up. The 2018 model is also the lowest percentage of value lost in its first year. It’s incredibly durable, and is just over $3,000 more new than used.

Subaru WRX

Subaru’s are well known for their safety, comfort, and performance. The WRX is no exception. A new model is just over $4,000 more than its used version, and it has always been in high demand. It’s a perfect mix of a safe, comfortable sedan with a sports car capable of handling tight turns in any condition.

Breaking the Mold: Automobiles Ahead of Their Time

Cars today seem to consistently defy odds and break barriers. From electric, to self-driving, to the most gas efficient, automobiles of all kinds have seen enormous leaps and bounds throughout their history. That being said, there have been a number of models released that were considered well ahead of their respective times. Below are just a few of the most innovative cars in the history of the auto industry.

Honda Prelude

This is considered the very first mass-produced car with four-wheel steering. Introduced in 1987, the Honda Prelude’s design would become the inspiration for today’s NSX; a model made famous by both Honda and Acura. It was once thought that only luxury vehicles offered four-wheel steering with Porsche leading the charge, but this Honda model broke the mold, offering it in a public, more affordable vehicle nearly 25 years before their competitors.

Aston Martin Lagonda

This may have been considered ahead of its time due to the public finding it too innovative. The Aston Martin Lagonda, released in 1976, was much different compared to its traditional auto cousins, with a sharper nose and broader headlights. The functions within the car were pretty advanced as well, boasting a digital instrument panel, which even in the 1970s was seen as a bit tacky. The fact that it even had a screen in the vehicle though would inspire designers years later.

Stout Scarab

A predecessor to today’s minivans, the Scarab was a 2-door retro vehicle that looked unlike any other car in production, and was first introduced in 1932. It comfortably sat all of its passengers with a bench and adjustable seating system, excluding the driver’s seat. This almost made it feel like a smaller version of a public bus. It held a Ford V8 engine which was mounted in the rear of the vehicle, allowing for even more space within the cabin.

Oldsmobile Jetfire

oldsmobile-jetfire

While Oldsmobile may no longer be a brand in production, the cars they created in their time left quite a mark in the automotive industry, one of the most notable models being the Jetfire. Released in 1962, this was the first mass-produced turbocharged car, with a 3.5-liter V8 engine that boasted 215 horsepower. The Jetfire, alongside the Chevrolet Corvair Monza, were the first two “turbocharged” vehicles in America.

Citroen DS21

Resembling something James Bond might drive through the English countryside, the DS21 was the first publicly produced car to come with front-disc brakes. In addition to that, this innovative vehicle came with hydropneumatic suspension, enabling the car to withstand bumps and divots in the road without compromising the smoothness of the ride. Today, Citroen, Rolls-Royce, and Maserati all use this technology as a means of improving these luxurious automobiles.

citroen-ds21

The Best Cities For Electric Cars

electric-car

In the year 2017, electric vehicle ownership has become a very real possibility. What was once viewed by many as only a pipe dream of the environmentally conscious is now quickly becoming one of the more popular methods of alternative transportation. With growing environmental concerns as well as the all of the economic issues associated with using traditional fossil fuels, it is easy to see why.

As one of the wealthiest nations on Earth, there isn’t much excuse for the United States to not get involved. The good news is that electric vehicle ownership in the USA is higher than it has ever been, with a 32% compound annual growth rate over the last four years.

With all of that being said, some cities are still undeniably better than others when it comes to ease of use for electric vehicle owners. For the most part large urban centers, having an abundance of wealth and a lot of people who make short commutes, are still the best place to own one of these cars. Listed below are three of the best cities in the US for electric car owners according to https://www.fleetcarma.com/10-best-us-cities-electric-vehicle-2017/.

San Jose

San Jose is officially considered the best city in the United States to own an electric car in the year 2017. This was determined by a number of variables, including charging infrastructure and financial incentive for prospective car owners.

All in all, there are just under 1000 functioning charging stations within the city, which is very high considering the number of people within the city that own one of these vehicles. Obviously, the city’s proximity to Silicon Valley is the number one reason for the extreme friendliness to EV owners.

New York City

As one of the first cities in America to readily embrace electric vehicles, New York City still stands out as one of the best places for EV owners to live and commute. Although now only considered the tenth best American city for electric vehicles, New York still has more resources available to EV owners than most other places.

Seattle

Situated firmly within the middle of the top ten best American cities for EV owners, Seattle comes in at number six. Owners in Seattle get to enjoy the cheapest energy in the nation, all while being able to appreciate life in one the West Coast’s finest cities.

4 Key Advancements in Automotive Safety

The development of safety features within cars came quickly after they were first released to the public, with some of the earliest being brakes, seatbelts, and airbags. Now that those are standard features in every single car made today, developers are constantly searching for new ways to improve the safety of newer models, and keep drivers as safe as possible. Today, there have been a number of significant improvements in automotive safety, and below are some of the most innovative.

Automatic Headlights

Far too often do we see drivers on the road forgetting to turn on their headlights in darker conditions, which poses as a serious danger for everyone else around them. Professionals in the automotive industry successfully took out the middleman by inventing automatic headlights, which turn on as soon as the car is started.

While this has been around for some time now, adaptive headlights are a more recent technology that have improved nighttime safety even further. Depending on the road’s conditions, the weather, and general surroundings, adaptive headlights will either dim or brighten to aid the driver’s sight.

Collision Warning

Now that texting and driving has become a prevalent issue among drivers today, accidents are becoming much more common. The chances of an accident occurring once a driver’s eyes are taken off the road increase by a staggering 400%. Even if a cell phone is not involved, drivers can easily become distracted and begin swerving or fail to stop entirely. Thanks to the addition of collision warning systems in more cars today, this bad habit is being somewhat alleviated.

If a driver were to drift into another lane without noticing, approach a stopped object at a high speed, or be at the receiving end of another distracted driver, the car will alert them and give them the opportunity to adjust or prepare. Similarly, lane-keeping assistance systems were developed to prevent drifting. In this case, the car will automatically steer itself back into the correct lane should the driver begin to accidentally cruise into another.

Automatic Parking Assistance

This feature has been a true savior for those who dread parallel parking, or simply struggle with the act at all. Assisted parking programs literally park the car for you through computer processors tied to a sonar system on the front, back and sides, and a rearview camera. No steering from the driver is required.

Drowsiness Detection

 
A truly impressive technological advancement in car safety, drowsiness detection allows the car to sense any sign of unorthodox activity from the driver, including drifting, sudden accelerations and decelerations, and face monitoring through a dashcam. The car will loudly alert the driver to pull over and take a break; an amazing addition to cars today given the fact that there are roughly 100,000 car accidents per year due to drowsiness and fatigue.

2 Big Myths About Driverless Cars

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What was once thought of as an impossible dream, driverless cars are becoming more and more popular in the world of technology, with betas being distributed all over the world. While we are still a number of tests away before safely releasing these automobiles out into the public world, the strides made in such short periods of time are truly remarkable. With this sudden surge in technology, it’s no wonder that there have been several misconceptions floating around regarding what autonomous cars have to offer. Below are just a few.

  1. Driverless cars will be purchasable for the public

I should preface this by saying that selling driverless cars to the public is an eventual goal, but we are far from it. There are a limited number of areas in which autonomous cars can operate at the moment, and it’s safe to assume that those asking if they can purchase one of these vehicles will want them to drive on roads and highways around their respective communities. Extremely complex mapping needs to be done in order to have these cars safely drive where they are intended to, which can take quite some time. Another consideration to factor in is driverless cars’ abilities to operate safely in hazardous weather. Yet another feature that requires the development of complicated algorithms.

For now, the most suitable role driverless cars can fill is that of public transportation. As mentioned before, due to the fact that they rely on previously mapped roads, these cars can hit the market at a much earlier time with their much simpler routes. This would be monumental for the public transportation industry, with companies like Uber and Lyft benefitting greatly from the reduced cost of employment.

  1. Their reliability must be proved through countless miles driven

Obviously, safety is the biggest concern when it comes to cars essentially driven by computers. Without a person behind the wheel, many may consider driverless cars unsafe, as there is no way to account for human error. A popular request to prove their reliability is to drive over and over again to assure that no mistakes can be made. However, there quite a few flaws that come with this argument, the first one being the average of driverless car accidents versus human-driven car accidents.

There is almost no way to predict the statistics of autonomous cars journeying across the country without the interference of human error, thus bringing up the notion that man-driven cars will always account for more accidents based on statistics. As stated by Driverless-Future.com, “These cars – that never tire, never drink, never take their attention off the road – would have to make other grave errors at much higher rates than humans which our societies would never be prepared to forgive.”

 
Driverless cars are inevitably becoming a part of our future. Though many people may feel that it is an unsafe alternative, the technology and dedication being put into perfecting these modern breakthroughs is enough to reassure most. Driverless cars will not be available for the public until their safety is as guaranteed as it can be, but when they are, they could provide significant advancements in the world of self-operated technology.

Five Auto TV Shows Worth Your Time

On CarlTurnley.net I often blog about my love of cars and racing–it’s a passion that I’ve held for quite some time. While I can fully recognize that not everyone shares the same love of cars that I do, if you’ve found yourself on this website, reading my autoblog, there’s a good chance that you’re interested.

Whether you love cars or simply drive one to work every day, automobiles have become a huge part of most people’s’ lives. They’re on the streets, in magazines, advertised in every other commercial, litter billboards everywhere and, of course, are on television. I’ll be the first to admit that a TV show about car might not sound exciting, but as the saying goes, don’t knock it until you try it.

  1. Counting Cars

Starting off the list is a good car show for non-car lovers to indulge in–a guilty pleasure for some people akin to watching Pawn Stars or other reality shows. The premise of Counting Cars is similar to that of American Restoration–the group restores and customizes classic cars and motorcycles. And, in typical reality-tv fashion, they argue and bicker throughout. Given the more “reality tv” aspect, many car lovers won’t be drawn to Counting Cars, but it’s great lazy TV.

  1. Fast n Loud

Coming in third in Ranker’s list of the best TV shows about cars, the show’s name speaks volumes (pun partially intended) to its content. The premise is the norm for auto shows; finding old, beat up, run down and otherwise junk cars and restoring them for a profit. A ot of the draw in this show comes from the characters and the skits they put on in each episode.

  1. Overhaulin’

A new concept on the list! Overhaulin’ is as much pure entertainment as it is a car show. The synopsis is fairly simple: the family or friends of someone who’s driving an old junker enlists the help of Overhaulin’ to “steal” the car (or have it towed by fake police, seized by repo men, etc). Then, the car is completely customized and restored and the owner of the car is surprised at the end of each episode with the return of their new car.

  1. Consumer Reports

Yes, you’re right, Consumer Reports isn’t a television show, but the long list of videos available on the YouTube channel provides more than enough video content. Consumer Reports is known for its stringent and meticulous reviews of cars with a variety of criteria to determine each year’s best buys.

  1. Top Gear

Did you expect number one to be anything else? Top Gear is a long-running English tv show that has spawned numerous spinoffs including an American version. None will completely replace the original, though. The conversational attitude about the whole series, the hosts’ hilarity and the challenges, races and specials make Top Gear a must watch.

93 Years of Le Mans

Carl Turnley Le Mans

Come 10pm on your average weekday, adults with full-time jobs, full-time responsibilities and full-time exhaustion all over the world yawn, turn off the TV and head to bed for the evening. Most of us struggle to stay awake for the end of Sunday night football or the last episode of the Walking Dead.

For a group of 60 individuals once every year, staying awake for 24 hours isn’t just the difference between seeing the last play of the Raiders game or not. Those people have to remain awake, vigilant, and in complete control of a two-ton vehicle hurtling around a track at approximately 200 mph for 24 hours in what will probably be the biggest race of their lives.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is a race of not just skill and speed, but of endurance. Drivers are often chastised for not being athletes because of their relatively stationary status when competing. Finding someone who will argue that sitting in a sweltering hot car for 24 hours in the heat of June, navigating a track and maintaining pinpoint focus and clarity for such a time is not a show of athleticism should prove difficult. And while, yes, there are multiple drivers in each car that swap out periodically for safety reasons, the fact that  24 hour race is incredibly debilitating remains.

If you’re unfamiliar with the race, the name provides ample clues as to its general overarching ideas: it’s a 24-hour sports car race on a track (and some public streets, though this has changed in recent years, more on this in a bit) through Le Mans, France. The race is one of the most well-known and highly coveted races in motorsports, making up one leg of the Triple Crown.

Many rules have changed since the first Le Mans race in 1923. Originally, the track was a combination of both tracks and winding streets through the town. However, for obvious safety reasons the track has been fairly extensively modified, though it still does include stretches of public roads closed during the race.

While most cars utilize three drivers, swapping in and out in a three-way rotation, some choose instead to only use two, skirting the rules regarding driver fatigue, another modification from the early iterations of the race’s rulebook. Huge innovations in aerodynamics, engine design and construction and racing strategy have altered the way the race has played out historically.

Many people have questioned the legitimacy of why a driver is considered an athlete, citing their lack of movement and abilities to run, jump or throw a ball accurately. But if you’ve ever witnessed a driver compete, chances are you’d change your mind. Adding in the endurance of the 24 Hours of Le Mans should put to rest the case completely.

Long Live Electric

Could Tesla and its competitors overthrow the reign of gas-powered cars?

Carl Turnley gas powered engines

 

Sometimes we see the end of an era coming from far, far away. New technologies can overtake the old, and after some adjustment periods, the former are slowly phased out. The creation of DVD signaled the slow end of the VHS and cell phones have slowly but surely been taking the place of home phones. Other times, in stark contrast, technologies new and old co-exist. The invention of Blu-Ray discs has yet to destroy the DVD market, and smaller, simple technological upgrades like electric toothbrushes have yet to assert dominance in the teeth cleaning market.

But, then again, electric toothbrushes and DVDs don’t have quite the impact–on an environmental, economic or social level, to name a few–that transportation does.

So which category will the eventual phasing out of gas-powered cars fall into? A complete takeover, relegating gas-powered cars to the likes of VHS that you or your parents own, collecting dust in a garage somewhere, or a coexistence that embodies the “to each his own” mentality?

At this point, the answer is unclear–perhaps masked in the exhaust from the some 260 million vehicles on the road in the US right now.

Fossil fuels are demonstrably harmful to the environment. The fluids and emissions from a traditional gas-powered car directly affects the ozone, air quality and the environment as a whole. With humans taking a stronger stance on environmental issues and sustainability recently, the pressing need to find alternative fuel sources is being investigated more fervently than ever. Electric cars could, in theory, be the answer to the question of how we can continue to power ourselves globally in a more sustainable manner.

They’re also a finite resource. They will, inevitably, run out at some point, forcing the hand of gas-powered vehicle creators to convert to electric or find another means of powering their cars.

The drawbacks to electric cars at this moment are fairly obvious. The price points are out of the range of most moderate spenders, let alone those looking for a car that will get them to and from work every day–a need that can currently be fulfilled for $5,000. A second drawback is not in buying the cars themselves, but in actually charging them. Charging stations, which Tesla has maintained will be free for life, are few and far between. Charging your car at home understandably drives up your electric bill quite a bit.

But, as with almost all new technologies, price inevitably comes down with time. Economy models will, undoubtedly be built, and more competition will mean lower prices for the consumer. Some even claim that Tesla could be beat in the relatively near future, which opens the door for lower costs and more efficient models as the technology progresses.

It’s entirely possible that gas-powered cars could be a marvel–a collectors item of sorts. Something that your grandchildren or great-great-great-grandchildren will pull their friends into the garage to show them that, yes, it’s true, he does have one of those collector’s items. For now, gas-powered cars are here to stay–but before long our reliance on fossil fuels could take a step back, and electric could be the transportation dominating our streets.

Why Millions Love IndyCar, and Why You Should Too

IndyCar isn’t Formula 1. It isn’t NASCAR. It’s not just left turns. The winners aren’t so forecasted that you can turn off your TV before the last lap is done.

IndyCar is exhilarating, it’s engaging, it’s on-the-edge-of-your-seat excitement and it’s rising in popularity once again. While there’s still a certain stigma that comes with being a racing fan, I implore that you give IndyCar racing a chance before you cast it aside as another drop in the pool of “it’s just driving, it’s not a sport and I’m not a NASCAR fan.”

 

It’s not NASCAR

People often confuse the two, but NASCAR and IndyCar racing are absolutely different in more than one way. The cars are different. The drivers are different. The strategy is immensely different. The two are both racing sports, but watching them side by side points to two very different types of races.

IndyCar is not a “contact” race so to speak–the lighter cars and different bodies mean that crashes can be more devastating and evasive maneuvers become more important. IndyCar also avoids falling into the “it’s just turning left over and over and over again” pit. While there are certainly oval tracks in IndyCar racing (the Indy 500, for instance), there are also street tracks that involve twists and turns you won’t see in NASCAR.

They’re Risking Their Bodies for This Sport

Almost every mainstream sport in United States culture are in some way dangerous to its athletes. NFL players are faced with concussion issues later in life, just to name one of a number of health issues that plague the athletes in other sports. In IndyCar, a wrong turn, a split-second missed decision or a mistake by your opponents could mean an explosive and potentially deadly crash. The athletes in control of the cars that speed around turns at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour are risking life and limb for a sport that they love; seeing that kind of passion for something you care about makes watching them race even more inviting.

They’re Athletes With Incredible Skill

Do you watch baseball? What about football, soccer, hockey, basketball or golf? If you watch any other sport but scoff at the idea of IndyCar drivers being athletes and IndyCar not qualifying as a “sport,” you might want to reconsider.

The reason to watch IndyCar are the same reasons that you’d watch virtually any other sport in existence: the competition, the strategy, the competitors and the thrill of seeing the absolute best in the business compete on the highest stage available.

The racers you’re watching take these turns are the best of the best, they’re the only ones in the world capable of doing what they do at such a level. Seeing 30 of them do it at once, on the same track, each vying for that first place finish are competitors at heart. If you’re watching football, you’re watching it for the competition, you’re watching it in hopes that your favorite team will band together and ultimately come out on top. The same can be said for IndyCar–the team being the driver and the group of mechanics that work together to complete a race.

There’s More Strategy Than You May Think

And the strategy is a whole other ballgame, so to speak. Unlike in NASCAR and Formula 1, IndyCar features considerably more passing, more breaking, more sharp turns and, generally speaking, more strategy. Racers have to know when to make turns, when to ease up on the gas and when to execute the passes that you don’t see much of in F1 racing. And the finishes are almost always neck and neck, coming down to the wire to keep fans on the edge of their seats.

If you were unsure about IndyCar racing before, give it a chance. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Can We Trust Autopilot?

Carl Turnley Autopilot

 

With a starting price for a new Model S hovering somewhere around $90,000 before taxes and after rebates and discounts, the dream of owning a car with built-in autopilot may only become a reality for some if the dream of hitting the lottery comes to fruition shortly beforehand. Tesla’s line of fully-electric automobiles comes with a hefty price tag and, more recently, some degree of danger, if you’re inclined to believe some reports.

 

In recent months, Tesla and its creator Elon Musk have come under fire for a rash of autopilot-related car accidents that many are quick to blame on the electric car maker.  

 

First came reports out of California that a Tesla Model X set to autopilot accelerated by its own volition, crashing into the side of a building. Luckily, no one suffered serious injuries in the crash. The driver, who was attempting to pull into a parking space at the time, blamed the autopilot feature for accelerating as she pulled into the spot, sending her SUV hurtling forward. Upon examining the autopilot logs, Tesla claimed that the feedback was consistent with user error–ie. The driver accelerated on her own behalf, not the autopilot. As of last update, neither party acknowledged fault for the accident, with Tesla maintaining its findings that the autopilot was not the cause of the crash.

 

In March, Google’s self-driving cars suffered their first accident that was not blamed on other drivers by the tech giant. Though no one was hurt, the collision between the self-driving car and a bus did mark a historic first, as Google admitted that its car was at fault for the small roadside collision.

 

More recently, results of autopilot being engaged during car accidents took a grim turn, as a driver was killed when his Tesla Model S hit collided with the side of a tractor trailer. Initial reports indicate that the breaks did not engage, nor did the driver attempt to engage them himself, before the wreck.

 

Unfortunately, these likely won’t be the last instances of autopilot-related car accidents. The fact remains that even with autopilot, no car is perfect. Quite a large amount of time and an equally unimaginable budget goes into developing the technology that is still imperfect and, according to Musk and Tesla Motors, is still in its beta stage.

 

The use of the phrase beta stage points to an incomplete and imperfect piece of software, according to Musk. Drivers are asked that, while autopilot is engaged, they remain fully aware and with their hands on the wheel, prepared to take control at any time. These precautions are put into place during the beta test to ensure drivers’ safety on the roads while the autopilot feature continues to improve its ability.

 

Some have called for a ban on the testing of autopilot driving during Tesla’s beta stage, claiming that it’s dangerous to both drivers and others on the road. However, the only way the beta testing will truly improve is from regular use. The issue of autopilot causing accidents shouldn’t be an issue if the proper precautions are taken and rules are followed to ensure safety.