Award winners, no-brainers, tax refunds and what’s next

There are a lot of good auto blogs online.

We think the RoadLoans blog is one of them, something largely confirmed by monthly views reported by Google Analytics and other rankings of best web sites for car enthusiasts.

What readers may not realize is that RoadLoans is a direct-lending program of Santander Consumer USA (SC), which also has a blog providing more content intended to engage, inform and entertain readers interested in news and trends about or related to cars, trucks and SUVs.

Following are snippets of recent content, and links to the SC posts if you want to read more:


The Mazda CX-5 was named Best Utility Vehicle of the Year for 2016.


Buyer’s Choice Award winners

They’re the vehicles that Americans sought most often last year.

The 17 Buyer’s Choice Award winners of 2016, plus three overall selections, from Autobytel.

Those overall winners from among 17 category picks were the 2017 Audi A4, Best Car of the Year; 2017 Ford F-150, Best Truck of the Year, and 2016 Mazda CX-5, Best Utility Vehicle.

Mazda also was the leading brand, with three Buyer’s Choice Award category winners – the 2016 MX-5 Miata convertible, 2016 CX-9 large SUV, and the CX-5 small SUV – in addition to the overall selection. The other 14 category winners were shared among 10 brands.



16 no-brainer vehicles

Most wanted.

Despite negative connotation that phrase can carry, it represents high praise for the 16 car models just named by Edmunds, a well-known, online automotive information and shopping platform.

The Most Wanted list of 16 models is dominated by Honda/Acura with five winners, Toyota/Lexus with four selections and General Motors with two, while five other brands received one award each.

“The Most Wanted designation gives car shoppers assurance that both other buyers and Edmunds’ experts believe these vehicles are a smart choice,” said Jessica Caldwell of Edmunds.

READ MORE’s best of 2017

Quality, innovation and value.

Three things most shoppers want to see in a new vehicle.

They also are the factors looked at in naming its Best of 2017 six award winners, including its top pick, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.

“Shopping for a new car can be overwhelming, and is all about helping consumers navigate this important purchase. One way we do this is through our best-of awards,” said Patrick Olsen, editor-in-chief at the well-known automotive research and shopping website.



Spending your tax refund

It’s a fact of life.

Many Americans will spend their tax refund on a new or used car.

And much of that spending will occur before the tax-filing deadline of April 18, with March typically one of the biggest sales months of the year for the auto industry.

For those inclined to spend, the average refund to more than 100 million taxpayers in 2016 was enough to cover about half the 20 percent down payment recommended by financial experts on a $25,000-$30,000 new or used vehicle or make a significant dent in a year’s worth of car payments.



Want to know what’s next?

The year has barely started and automakers already are beginning to turn the page to model year 2018.

About two dozen new or redesigned models already are showing up in photo galleries and newsletters, including Kelley Blue Book (, CheatSheet Autos and

An article in CheatSheet, 10 All-New 2018 Models Worth Waiting For, pretty much captures the spirit.

“Call us greedy, but we don’t care that all of the 2017 models aren’t here yet. We know what they are, what they look like and what they do,” wrote James Derek Sapienza. “They may be brand new, but they’re already old news! We want to know what’s next.”



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