Luxury vs. Standard: Which Car is Worth the Price?

When it’s time to shop for a new vehicle, there are many factors to take into consideration. If a person has enough money to spend, one consideration is whether or not to purchase a luxury vehicle, or a vehicle that is a step down from what is considered luxury.

When making this decision, car buyers have to consider why they want a luxury car. Do those reasons justify the additional expense?

Upscale Association

Some people want a luxury car because they believe that certain cars with certain brand names are associated with wealth and success. Lexus, Mercedes, and Jaguar are among the brands that people often associate with high-class professions such as doctors, lawyers, and CEO’s.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to have a car for this reason. Something to keep in mind is that there are very nice luxury cars such as Lincoln models that may not have the same upscale associations as a Jaguar or Lexus, but are still very nice cars with a lower price tag.

A Nicer Ride

Another thing to keep in mind when deciding between a luxury or standard car is the ride. Some people want a luxury car because they believe that they have a more comfortable ride with more leg room. This isn’t always the case.

Some luxury cars are designed to have a more sporty drive. This means that they concentrate on better handling which may mean that they don’t have as comfortable a ride.

There are many standard cars that have a comfortable ride with a lot of legroom. For example, the Chevrolet Impala and the Hyundai Genesis both have more front legroom than any luxury model. The Hyundai Genesis and the Cadillac CT6 have also received commendation for having a great ride. These cars cost much less than most European or Japanese luxury cars.

Better Material

Those who want a car made of the nicest materials will find that luxury cars are very nice. Most have plush, leather seats with wood inlays in the dash. While some of the nicer standard models might have leather seats, they just don’t seem as nice when you are sitting in them.

The decision between a luxury car and a standard car comes down to what a person really wants in a vehicle. If it’s a brand name, luxury might be the way to go. If it’s a comfortable ride, an upscale standard vehicle is probably just as good.

The Best Car Models for Uber and Lyft Drivers

Making a profit as a rideshare driver takes some financial planning. How many hours do you need to drive per week? What are the best times? What are the best areas? While these questions answer how to boost hourly earnings, they do not address the other huge concern for drivers, vehicle expenses.

Fuel, insurance, car repairs, maintenance, and, of course, the cost of the vehicle and car payments, all take a big bite out of rideshare earnings. Because rideshare drivers are independent contractors, they are responsible for all of these costs. With the typical rideshare driver putting upwards of 1,000 miles per week on their vehicles, these costs can turn a great earnings year into one with a less-than- desirable profit level.

The choice of vehicle makes the most difference when it comes to vehicle-related costs. For obvious reasons, fuel efficiency matters. Rideshare drivers also need to consider reliability and maintenance costs. Time that a rideshare vehicle is in the shop is money lost for the driver, not to mention the repair bill. Longevity is also crucial. The longer a vehicle can go without replacement, the more money in the driver’s pocket.

Based on these important factors, Consumer Reports compiled its list of the best cars for rideshare drivers. All the vehicles are pre-owned, since it makes little sense for rideshare drivers to buy new. Depreciation on new cars is simply too much when you drive big mileage.

Toyota Prius

The Prius is the top pick because of its reliability, longevity, and fuel economy. It’s also stylish and comfortable.

Toyota Camry

A bit more roomy than the Prius and needing a bit more gas, the Camry is nonetheless efficient and long lasting. It can handle 1,000 miles per week. It also gets a great safety rating, an important consideration when you’re on the road so much.

Kia Soul

Rideshare drivers love this little SUV just as much as the chipmunks in Kia’s commercials. Its boxy style provides plenty of passenger room. Gas mileage is great, and so is its reliability.

Honda CRV

Though not the most fuel efficient on the list, the CRV provides the 4-wheel drive you need for bad weather. If you work in a snowy climate, you can make big money driving in snowy conditions, when surge pricing goes off the charts. The CRV gets you there when other rideshare drivers have to stay home.

Plus Size and luxury

Both Uber and Lyft offer double the rate for drivers who can take more than 4 passengers or provide a luxury car. The Honda Odyssey provides a great value for additional passenger capacity, and the Lexus ES provides luxury without breaking the bank.

Cars Worth Buying New, Not Used


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


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.


The Best Cities For Electric Cars


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

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.


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


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, “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 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.

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.