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Keeping up to speed with U.S. used car owners
Our family’s well-used car is about 13 years old, with 128,000 miles on the odometer. But instead of being out of step, it seems we are just about in line with most Americans. A new R.L. Polk study says the average age of American light vehicles is about 11.4 years, the highest average ever, while the average age of light trucks is slightly lower than the overall at 11.3 years. That means there are a lot of well-used vehicles on the roads. In any case, we are satisfied that our 2000 Dodge Caravan,… Read More

Edmunds.com: How to keep kids safe when a babysitter’s behind the wheel
For some parents, just leaving the kids with a babysitter or nanny can be a nerve-racking experience. But it can be several times more distressing when the babysitter is also responsible for chauffeuring the kids around town. Edmunds.com, a resource for car shopping and automotive information, suggests several steps parents can take to ensure their children's safety while they're in the care — and cars — of others. "First and foremost, parents should check to make sure the caretaker has a valid driver's license and a solid driving record," says Carroll Lachnit, Edmunds.com consumer advice editor. "Be on the lookout… Read More

Road Trip destination: Floating down the Guadalupe River
Texas is known for many traditions. There’s the age-old football rivalry between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma, the state’s ability to combine our native Mexican fare with Texas flair to form Tex-Mex food and boots worn any time and anywhere. The state flower may be the bluebonnet and pecan the state tree, but the state pastime has to be floating down the Guadalupe River. That’s where my road trip took me during the first week of August. The temperatures were hovering at 100 degrees and nothing sounded better than taking a dip in what the locals… Read More

Kia Optima most affordable midsize car, says Cars.com
The 2013 Kia Optima has been named the “most affordable” midsize sedan by Cars.com, an online resource for buying and selling new and used cars. "The Optima topped the list because of its combination of great features, low price and impressive estimated five-year fuel cost," said Patrick Olsen, Cars.com's editor-in-chief. "With an estimated $9,750 in fuel cost over five years, the Optima topped out at just $32,975, which is more than $3,000 lower than the average midsize sedan for the same period of time." The Kia Optima LX finished fifth on the… Read More

Hyperloop: Elon Musk’s transportation revolution?
How would you like to go from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than 30 minutes, paying less than what you would pay for a plane ticket? If the “Hyperloop” concept is adopted as a fifth mode of transportation – alongside cars, trains, planes and boats – it could revolutionize travel, especially for distances separated by 900 miles or less. Elon Musk, the visionary behind the electric car-firm Tesla and spaceflight company SpaceX, has described his Hyperloop concept as “a cross between a Concorde (supersonic plane), a rail gun and an air hockey table.” “I originally started thinking about… Read More

Buying a used car – a good idea – starts with online research
Google the phrase “buying a used car” and you’ll get some 230 million results. Seems like overkill – especially if you find, as we did, that only about a dozen near the top of the listings provided useful information in a really useful way. Those returns comprised familiar names in the automotive world, such as Edmunds.com, Cars.com, Autotrader.com, KBB.com (Kelley Blue Book), ConsumerReports.org and bankrate.com. And several that may be less familiar, including wikihow.com, cracked.com and dmv.org. But a common theme emerges: buying a used car is a good idea for a lot of reasons. In fact, most cars sold… Read More

Authenticated James Bond “submarine” car – Lotus Esprit – going to auction
James Bond "submarine" car If you ever fantasized about driving a “James Bond” car, your chance is now.   The Lotus Esprit Series 1 “submarine” car from the 1977 film “The Spy Who Loved Me,” will go up for auction in Battersea, London, on Sept. 9 by RM Auctions Europe. Built for an estimated $100,000 – approximately a half-million dollars today – the car is expected to sell for at least $1 million, perhaps several million dollars, according to auction estimates. “The car, the only functional submersible Lotus ever built, was designed by Perry Oceanographic in Florida to propel itself… Read More

Road Trip: San Antonio and back in three days
When it comes to road trips, for me it’s about “firsts.” There are so many amazing sights to see while traveling, I like to make a mental note of the things I discover for the first time. Silly, but it adds value and fun when getting from Point A to Point B. My family recently drove the 249 miles from Fort Worth to San Antonio. It was to be a journey full of firsts, especially for my daughter, who was taking her first road trip. Day 1 Heading south down I-35, we made our… Read More

J.D. Power names most appealing vehicles of 2013 – Part 2
Which crossovers, trucks or vans are most appealing to Americans? We have the answers for you – at least according to the J.D. Power APEAL study for 2013, which seeks to identify the industry’s most appealing vehicles based on purchaser and lessee feedback. Yesterday, we told you about the 12 most appealing cars; today is for every other vehicle category. The APEAL study looks at which brands have the most appealing vehicles based on sales figures, dealer inventory, brand loyalty, transaction and trade-in prices, and incorporates results from participants who gauged their vehicles on… Read More

J.D. Power names most appealing vehicles of 2013 – Part 1
A dozen cars and 11 other vehicles (CUV/SUVs, trucks and vans) have been named named awardees of the J.D. Power APEAL study for 2013, which seeks to identify the industry’s most appealing vehicles based on purchaser and lessee feedback. The Volkswagen Group had the greatest success of any corporation, topping the APEAL rankings with five awardees, the Audi Allroad, Porsche Boxster, Porsche Cayenne, VW GTI and Passat, according to the J.D. Power results. Chevrolet had the highest number of awards for a single brand, though, with the Avalanche, Sonic and Volt each taking home… Read More

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