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February 2014

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Mazda, Lexus brands top Kelley Blue Book 2014 cost-to-own awards
The price American car buyers pay for their vehicles doesn’t end with the purchase, and that’s where Kelley Blue Book comes in with its annual 5-Year Cost to Own awards for 2014. Brand award cost-to-own winners are Mazda and luxury brand Lexus, according to KBB, which also named model winners in 22 categories ranging from compact car to luxury, full-size SUV/crossover. Models of 13 different brands were recognized with 5-Year Cost to Own category awards. “Based on analysis of Kelley Blue Book's 5-Year Cost to Own information for 2014 model year new vehicles, Mazda… Read More

Consumer Reports finds Toyota out front in ‘perception’ survey
American car buyers believe that Toyota is the highest-quality car brand – followed by Ford, Honda and Chevrolet – as the four “continue to dominate in consumers’ minds,” according to an annual study by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. Toyota scored 145 points in the survey, while scores of the other three top brands exceeded 100 points. “Toyota’s high score seems to reflect the brand’s overcoming the damage due to the publicity in 2009 to 2010 regarding sudden acceleration concerns with some its models,” said Consumer Reports in its online… Read More

Valentine’s Day: Which cars, trucks are most fetching to the opposite sex? (Part 2)
Cleanliness is next to attractiveness when it comes to capturing the attention of the opposite sex with our vehicles, Valentine’s Day or not. That is among the findings of a survey of 2,000 drivers by And the results are similar for women and men, unlike the results on which we reported yesterday which showed dramatic differences – women preferring men in black pickup trucks, preferably Fords, and men preferring women in red sports cars, preferably BMWs. No matter what brand of car you own, said Mike Magrath at, either… Read More

Valentine’s Day – Which cars, trucks are most fetching to the opposite sex? (Part 1)
Valentine’s Day is next week – which makes this the perfect time to take a look at car, trucks, SUVs or other vehicles the opposite sex finds most fetching. “If you find yourself without a date this Valentine’s Day, maybe it’s not you. Maybe it’s your car,” wrote Jeffrey Steele in an article, “Cars that attract the ladies (and guys)” at Steele’s conclusion is based on an survey of 2,000 men and women who were asked what type, brand and color of vehicle are driven by the most-fetching members of the opposite… Read More

Top-sellers Honda CR-V and Ford Escape among “best SUVs” of 2014
The two top SUV/CUVs of 2013 were the Honda CR-V (crossover) and the Ford Escape with nearly 600,000 in sales between them. (The CR-V actually beat out the Escape by a mere 7,911 vehicles last year.) And both vehicles now have been recognized by Kelley Blue Book ( on its list of the “10 Best SUVs under $25,000 of 2014” – the Honda CR-V at No. 1 and the Ford Escape at No. 4. “Today's market of right-sized SUVs offers a little something for everyone: Utility, style, fuel economy, and in some cases, a… Read More

Super Bowl car commercials ‘doing something right,’ says
Now that everyone else has weighed in with their reviews of the “best” and “worst” car commercials of Super Bowl XLVIII, has provided some hard data on which automakers got the biggest bang for their millions of bucks. The Super Bowl verdict, so far, at least: Luxury carmakers Maserati and Jaguar, which experienced big increases in searches for their models at For the third year in a row, analysts measured activity on during the Super Bowl to see which car commercials “went beyond entertaining viewers to entice them to actively seek… Read More

Frequently asked questions on auto loans at
We at RoadLoans and Santander Consumer USA Inc. answer thousands of questions every month from consumers who are seeking used- or new-car auto loans. Many frequently asked questions on auto loans have to do with down payments, loan amounts and interest rates. We asked Scott Rundle, vice president of direct originations for RoadLoans, to help answer some of the questions most often posed to the sales support team by prospective car buyers who call us seeking information on auto loans through direct-to-consumer financing – that is, RoadLoans. Following are some of those frequently asked questions about auto loans and Rundle’s… Read More

Did car commercials rev Super Bowl XLVIII audience
The big game is over, so it’s time to call out the winners of the 2014 Super Bowl of car commercials. Of course, which Super Bowl XLVIII car commercials were most effective for the $4 million automakers – and other advertisers – spent on every half-minute depends a lot on who’s doing the rating. But with Super Bowl car commercials seemingly getting as much next-day attention as the blowout Seattle Seahawks win over the Denver Broncos, we looked online for ratings on the ads. “Car companies were again in… Read More