This column was brought to you by Chicago Northside Toyota “You’re going to like buying a car this way.”
by David Cohen
In April, Toyota announced that sales of their Prius hybrid car family had surpassed five million! A cause for celebration considering their hybrid sales only began in 2007. Today, Americans are looking for more fuel-efficient vehicles because of the concern about the environment, ever-rising gasoline prices, depleting natural oil resources or just for the style points.
What should you know if you decide to buy a gasoline-electric hybrid?
The reality is that the fuel economy numbers posted on a vehicle's window sticker aren’t the acutual mileage figures. These numbers come from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emission testing procedures. You need to know that your individual driving habits, weather conditions, terrain, and the maintenance condition of the vehicle will affect the mileage that you will get overall.
A Consumer Reports study noted that the Prius got 44 mpg in reality, not the posted city and highway rating of 55 mpg.
Cost & Resale:
On the front end, Hybrid vehicles are priced higher than gasoline powered cars. Years after the phase-out of the hybrid tax credit, this is real, out of pocket costs felt by buyers.
On the back end, Hybrids store electric energy in large battery packs. These packs are warranted for eight to ten years, depending on the manufacturer. Today, the prices are about $3,000 each, but it is uncertain what the replacement costs will be down the road. As a result, their resale value isn’t strong
Today’s hybrids wouldn't be possible without electronic engine controls that modulate the smooth working of these two systems together and manage power delivery to maximize fuel efficiency.
When it’s time to service your car you will have to take your hybrid car to the local dealer for service, where the technicians have received specialized training, rather than a neighborhood garage.
People also concern of the danger of electric shock when working on a disabled or crashed gas-electric hybrid vehicle. Manufacturers assure us that safeguards are in place and that computers on board the vehicles have a series of safety checks that are designed to avoid problems. In addition to this the hybrid battery packs are toxic but the automakers insist that the hydride batteries are recyclable. I know for sure that hybrids are far cleaner in emission properties than conventional gasoline vehicles.
If you want to maximize on gas use, you need to find a smaller lightweight vehicle with four-cylinder engines, rather than V6s or V8s. So my choice is the Toyota Corolla which recieved good fuel economy ratings and cost a lot less the the Toyata Prius. Several auto analysts figure that the popularity of hybrids will lower their prices in the future but time will tell.
by David Cohen
With razor-sharp handling and a rocking power-to-weight ratio, the subcompact 2013 Mazda2 delivers exhilarating fun, a beautiful bodyline sporty lines, an EPA-estimated 35 MPG on the highway and 29 in the city. This Mazda2 has unexpected standard features—such as an MP3 compatible audio system and remote keyless entry—with plenty of interior room to spare. this model won 48 international awards and for the price of $16,210, this vehicle is the one that nobody would be able to beat.
by David Cohen
Who would have though that we would ever see the day when a Kia would be priced at over $34,000?
Kia has released the pricing details on the new Kia Optima SX with a Limited Package and if you’re interested get ready to fork out a starting price of $34,500. Of course, there aren’t many options since the Optima SXL comes totally fully-loaded with all the bells and whistles – but when you do add the $775 destination fee, you’re looking at a total of $35,275. “With the arrival of the Optima SXL, the Kia brand propels itself into a more premium class, which is something consumers have told us they want to see when they walk into our showrooms,” said Tom Loveless, Kia Motors America executive vice president, in a recent statement. The Limited version uses the same 2.0-liter turbocharged engine to offer 274 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. This price includes 18-inch chrome wheels, red brake calipers, and LED lighting. The Cabin is luxurious, and by adding wood grain accents, high-grade Nappa leather and an electronic parking brake the Kia is ready to compete with the top luxury models such as BMW 328i and the Mercedes C250 and others. The future will show if the Kia Optima SX Limited will conquor a spot among the industry luxuriy top guns, but I will not be surprised if it will.
The 2013 Cadillac is luxurious, powerfull, lighter then ever before and it is full efficient. The Cadilac ATS is fun-to-drive and was designed to challenge the world’s best luxury sport sedans. The sophisticated Luxury vehicle offers a 2.5L direct-injected four-cylinder 202HP engine, a 2.0L Turbo direct-injected four-cylinder 272HP engine and a 3.6L direct-injected V6 321HP engine. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard with a Tremec 6-speed manual available on the Turbo. Technological features include the CUE (Cadillac User Experience)5 that intuitively connects you to a world of information, communication and entertainment. In addition, the Luxury Collection also comes with race-inspired front Brembo® brakes and 8-way power-adjustable front seats plus 2-way power lumbar adjustment and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat with center trunk pass-through. Price starts at $37,590.
by David Cohen
Known for its ability to push boundaries, the 2013 Jeep® Wrangler 4x4 is the only 4x4 convertible SUV with an open-air design that intensifies the off-road outdoor experience. This Jeep became the most recognized icon all over the world, for it’s classic seven-slot grille and round headlamps, and for it’s original 4x4 classic design that never goes out of style.
This vehicle offers the ultimate in performance without compromising a thing in the making. The Jeep® Wrangler has efficient Pentastar® V6 engine that can drive up to 391 miles on a tank of gas. This powerful V6 engine was voted as one of Ward's 10 Best Engines for 2012, still remains the most fun SUV on the market, and delivers 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.
The Wrangler comes with a Sunrider® Soft Top with easier operation, or you can choose the premium soft top material for an upgraded appearance, a packaged with Dual Top option.
The convenient Lift Assist feature is a new feature for 2013 and it helps ease the lowering of the top Wrangler holds true to its rugged heritage but didnt compremise any comfort in ride and handling.
With ergonomics designs and improved reduction in Noise, Vibration, Handling or NVH, you will be driving in total comfort wherever you go. Some of those comfort features include: new leather trim seats with embroidered stitching, improved Premium Tire Pressure Monitoring System, illuminated cup holders, lighting in the foot well and new auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated LED map lights. The Alpine® Premium Sound System has seven speakers, including a subwoofer that will make any song sound better.
Overall the Jeep® vehicle capability is legendary. With more then 70 years of experience and real-world testing, the 4x4 capability still remains the cornerstone of the Jeep brand. All the 2013 Wrangler models come equipped with a Trail Rated® 4WD system as standard equipment, but Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon and Sahara come with new wheels for 2013.
Ranked fourteen (14) in Affordable Compact SUVs, twelve (12) in Off-Road SUVs, and nine (9) in Affordable Convertibles, the Jeep® wrangler is the best buy for the most capable off-the road vehicle on the market. There is no doubt that the 2013 Jeep Wrangler is a fun car to drive which kept its identify as a tribute to its real heritage of being rugged but mow also refine.
by David Cohen
Purposely design for balance, aerodynamics, expression, superior grip and steering response, you should get behind the wheel of the Infinity FX 37 AWD to experience the unprecedented thrill of instant acceleration and efficiency.
The All-Wheel Drive provides the power to the driver when he needs it, and instantly can adapt to any changes in conditions, while enhancing the traction, control, and performance. The Infinity FX37 AWD luxury car comes with 390-hp, 5.0-liter V8, dual intake, 7-speed automatic transmission that will make your driving journey an inspiration.
With leather seating and Maple interior accents, the cockpit can be tailored the fit for comfort and driving support you like and need. The Advanced Climate Control System (ACCS) keeps the air in your cabin clean and shuts the air vents when exhaust fumes are detected, while the Grape Polyphenol Filter removes the neutralize line airborne germs.
The Around View® Monitor with advanced technology, giving you a virtual 360° look of what’s around, alerting the driver to moving objects, and can help navigate the car into the tightest spaces.
Distance Control Technologies help you move with the flow. The Intelligent Cruise Control can add speed, maintain distance, and re–accelerates the car to your pre-set speed and distance as traffic flow picks up.
The Navigation System features a Voice Recognition and NavTraffic which delivers detailed traffic information provided by SiriusXM and more.
Bose® Premium Audio System with 11 speakers and two subwoofers, compatible Bluetooth®, XM® Satellite Radio, aconnection to iPod® via the USB port, and a Dual DVD Entertainment System for front and rear passangers.
For safty, The Forward Collision Warning (FCW) helps alert the driver of a potential collision by providing a visual and audible warning. The Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) automatically engages the brakes to help reduce collision speed and impact, helping to avoid an accident.
The Traction Control System senses wheel spin and automatically reduces engine output and/or brakes the spinning wheel to help give you surer foothold. The Traction Control System, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) adjusting the power levels and applying appropriate brake pressure to individual wheels to help correct oversteer or understeer, helping keep the vehicle on the steered path
The Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) helps keep your vehicle from unintentionally drifting from your lane. the system first sounds an audible warning. Then it will lightly apply selected brakes to help ease your vehicle back into its lane.
To ensure your total satisfaction, the Infiniti Personal Assistant program will always be there to answer any question or concern you might have! All you have to do is to purchase the Infinity FX37 AWD for $44,950.
by David Cohen
As you turn the key you will discover the control the 2013 Subaru Limited has. The Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and the technology of the Subaru Boxer engine are the elements that Subaru keeps on refining. This unique combo allowing the system to be lower to the ground, and provides the Subaru Limited with power, balance and safety. All that can captivate the road and the imagination of any driver as he drives away controlling every turn he makes.
The traction and stability on any road and any terrain is what set the Subaru Limited miles ahead of any other car makers. The active safety systems will always be ready to help getting the driver out of any danger that comes his way, and that will prevent accidents before they happen.
Mounting the front suspension to the cradle frame in the Legacy improves the steering response and delivering an enjoyable and comfortable journey, backed by safety and reliability. The system constantly keeps the engine in a speed range resulting in outstanding fuel efficiency and with a linear acceleration. The system can be operated in manual mode with the 6-speed paddle shift offering super fast shift response. This takes the general concept of the continuously variable transmission to new heights, allowing the driver to enjoy sporty gear changes whenever they wan
Subaru has created a highly rigid and lightweight body by comprehensively using aluminim materials and high tensile steel plates throughout the vehicle. The outstanding aerodynamics design values contributing to a stable high-speed driving and better fuel efficiency.
The “SI-DRIVE” advanced driving control system allows the driver to switch between 3 different modes ranging from gentle power delivery to a sporty mode with super sharp response.
The elevated ambiance of the interior, and he high standards of the features, all positioning the Subaru Limited as comfortable and convenient vehicle that any driver will want to find on his wish list.
The Subaru Limited can be yours at the price of $33,677.
by David Cohen
The Chrysler 200 Limited Convertible: The biggest surprise coming out from the city of Detroit
No one would ever believe you if you tell them that you were driving a convertible in December in Chicago, but I did.
The 2013 Chrysler 200 Limited Convertible comes with power top retractable hardtop. This model offers all the fun a convertible should, and the practicality of a conventional coupe. These are what makes the 200 Limited Convertible a year around vehicle that you can enjoy every season..
The sculpted curves and lines of the Chrysler 200 Convertible frame every element on the exterior. The grille, the dramatic bright exhaust, the bright body side moldings, the door handles, the LED tail-lamps, and the 17-18-inch sophisticated wheel designs, all add to the refined look of the exterior that nobody expected to see coming from Detroit.
The luxurious interior is enhanced with black and chrome trim. The armrests, door panels, and the dash board, all feature luxurious soft materials everywhere you look or touch. When the top is up, the diffused lighting can create a soft and relaxing atmosphere. The Uconnect® Media Center Radio allows you to store thousands of songs, select play lists, videos, photos and connect you to seven radio stations including SiriusXM Satellite Radio. The color screen could be activated by touch or voice. The Uconnect® Phone is voice activated system that allows to talk on the phone while driving. It can be paired with up to seven Bluetooth® compatible phones, and allows you to program up to 1000 contacts in your phone book.
The 200 Limited Convertible comes with a 3.6L Pentastar® V6 engine coupled with the AutoStick six-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment. It delivers 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, while providing fuel economy ratings of 19 city / 29 highway mpg. In addition, it has a Flex Fuel Supply System that operates effectively on any blend of gasoline and fuel-grade ethanol up to E85.
The 200 Convertible provide highly responsive handling and comfortability. The front and back suspension, comfort-tuned springs, shocks, and premium all-season tires are all tuned to provide an optimum balance, good handling, noise isolation and a great smooth ride.
For safety, the Electronic Stability Control in the 200 Limited applies brake pressure and reduces engine power when wheels slip, or when it senses a difference in the steering to the actual vehicle motion to regain traction and guide you back safe on your intended path. The convertible is also equipped with standard advanced airbag systems. The front active head restraints are designed to move forward and upward to decrease the space between the headrest and occupant's head. This helps to prevent or reduce the chance of injury in the event of a rear-end collision.
The Sentry Key® Theft Deterrent System allows the engine to start with the properly encoded key. If someone attempts to start the vehicle without it, the engine will not operate.
Overall, with refined look, good performance, and raised standards, the Chrysler 200 Limited Convertible for 2013 is the biggest surprise coming out from the city of Detroit. This model is an affordable alternative for those who want the comfort, style of a mid-size convertible coup. It can be yours for $34,760.
by David Cohen
The 2013 Volvo S60 T5 is stylish, quick, with great road handeling and superb performance. This sporty sedan is an excellent alternative and a better value to the BMW and Audi models, because off it’s afordable price.
Now available with All Wheel Drive (AWD) which improves the traction and handeling, the S60 has a 2.5 liter, 6-speed automatic transmission, and a powerful turbocharged 5-cylinder engine that accelerates like a rocket, from 0-60 in only 6.6 seconds, while maintaining a smooth ride. In addition, the advance Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) allows the system to be partially disabled, giving the S60 more room for slip and wheel spin when
driving in the S60's Sport mod.
Adding spoilers, revised front grille, body moldings, stylish rims, moldings, and sporty tailpipes to the extriors transforming the S60 into an edgy, slick and desirable vehicle.
The interiors are well cordinated and offer the maximum comfort for any driver and passanger. The seats with head pillow, the remote engin start, sun curtain and shades at rear windows add to the sophisticated style the S60 posses.
With many built-in and portable technical devices that work in conjunction with each other, the cabin offers the best Bluetooth® with Hands-free technology, Navigation System with map upgrades, GPS Portable Navigation, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, HD Radio® and Volvo Sensus which conveniently control theses functions via the ergonomic steering wheel controls, allow the driver to focus on the traffic, and keep the hands on the steering wheel.
The S60 has the most inovative thecnologically advance safty features that Volvo ever developed or produced. The City Safety system is standard on all S60 models, and uses a camera and laser scanner to watch traffic and pedestrians, and other obstructions ahead of the car. If the vehicle is about to collide with any of these obstructions, it will warn the driver before applying the brakes automatically. You can understand why the Volvo S60 guarantees the best protection to it’s driver. Volvo claims that this system is responsible for about 25% less at-fault accidents than the competition. Another feature is the new full range cruise control, that can take the S60 to a complete stop in heavy traffic, and keep the car stopped until traffic moves again.
Overall the 2013 Volvo S60 is an excellent choice for anyone who is looking for a sporty sedan that delivers sophystication, style, speed, performance and safty at a great base price of $31,900.