Monday, November 10, 2014

October's 10 Best-Selling vehicles

     Some of the world's largest automakers didn't seem concerned with the record amount of recalls, and neither did customers. All told, sales grew almost 6% during the month of October, and an a per annual basis, sales should reach 16 million vehicles globally.

     As for the top 10 best selling vehicles of the month, few surprises are in store, but recent updates and refreshes to several models might, just maybe, leave you surprised. This list comes courtesy of's Kicking Tires blog.

10. Honda Civic: A close to 12% decline in sales to 24,154 units compared to last October has put the little Honda in last place. While competition has been updated or refreshed, the Civic is still trying to hold on with its 2014 refresh.

9. Chevrolet Cruze: Though it seems to be very much the same Cruze from last year, Chevy has made a couple of tweaks to the car for the 2015 model year, and the results appear to have had quite an impact on sales. Compared to last October, sales of the Cruze jumped an astounding 51%, to put the Cruze at 232,403 units sold thus far, to give it a year over year increase of almost 10%.

8. Ford Escape: Despite hardly any change for the 2015 model year, Ford's popular SUV gained 12% to give it a boost to 24,919 units sold for the month. That puts it year to date sales at 255,081 vehicles sold since January, which is an almost 2% gain. Numbers that are impressive, given that the Escape is starting to show its age against certain competition.

7. Toyota Corolla: Toyota's trusty Corolla has seemed to be getting off to a somewhat slow start. Sales of the compact hit 24,959 units for the month, which puts it at 283,764 cars sold for the year.

6. Honda Accord: The Accord has been on quite a winning streak this year, outselling the consumer favorite Toyota Camry at one point, and even the Chevrolet Silverado. Sales slowed for October however, to 27,128 units, good for a 7.8% gain. The car is up 7.9% to 331,510 units sold thus far.

5. Honda CR-V: With the refreshed model hitting dealer lots now, the CR-V is seeing some reignited consumer interest. October sales spiked almost 30% to 29,257 units sold. The crossover has moved 270,272 models since January, giving it a 7.4% jump year over year.

4. Toyota Camry: America's favorite midsize family sedan has gotten a refresh for the 2015 model year, to help shed its old, boring image. Now hitting dealer stock, the Camry sold 33,164 cars, good for an almost 14% gain year over year. To date, sales of the Camry are 368,142 or a 5.7% jump year over year.

3. Ram Pickups: To say that Ram Trucks have been on fire from start to finish this year would be an understatement. The streak continued through October as sales hit 39,834 trucks sold, which is good for a massive 33.5% spike over last year. The lineup, including heavy-duty trucks, stands at an impressive 359,702 units sold since January, or a 22.9% leap over this time last year.

2. Chevrolet Silverado: After a scary slow start to the refreshed pickup, the throttle got hammered down for last month, to end sales at 46,966 pickups sold, which represents a 10% gain over last October. Thus far, Chevy has managed to sell 429,119 units, leaving the Silverado 6.4% in the green for the year.

1. Ford F-Series: As Ford is gearing up to start the transition to the 2015 F-150, the company has seen a slowing in sales, and the streak continued in October. Sales slowed to 63,410 units for the month, or a 0.6% fall. To date, Ford has only sold 620,447 trucks, which stands for a 0.5% loss year over year.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tips on selling vs. trading your old car

     The very thought of shopping for a new can can be rather exciting for some, and totally panic-inducing for others. However, making a bad financial choice with your old car can be a real killjoy. Typically, you get more money for your old ride by selling it yourself. The thought behind this is that the dealer has to buy it low enough for them to make a profit off of it. After all, a car dealer is a business, and they aren't in the losing money business.

     With all of this being said, here are some pros and cons to selling your old steed yourself, and trading it in. I will start off with trading it in:

Pros and cons of trading in your car:

It's an easy way to dispose, or get rid of your old car. All you have to do is give it to the dealer, turn around, and never look back.

Typically, you will get much less than if you took the time to sell it yourself. You can look up the price on websites like, but you will be hard pressed to get more than wholesale as a trade-in value.

You can use the trade-in amount as a down payment and that nice, new or newer car that you just test drove.

To get the best price, you will more than likely spend a good deal of time haggling with an experienced salesperson.

There can be a tax advantage to trading in. Most states only charge sales tax on the difference between the trade-in value and the new car price.

Pros and cons of selling your old car yourself:

This requires serious time and effort on things like placing ads, taking phone calls, dealing with strangers, and giving test drives.

You could get perhaps hundreds, maybe even thousands more by taking the time to do it on your own.

You might not be able to sell your old car until after you buy your new one. If so, you wouldn't be able to use that money as a down payment. Additionally, if you are still paying on the old car, you will have to still make payments on it until you sell it.

You will have to negotiate with the buyer, however, most aren't as experienced as a professional salesperson will be.

More than likely, you will have to pay more sales tax on the new car, but if you get more money for your old car, you could still end up ahead at the end of the day.

     As you can see, they both have their ups and downs, it all just truly depends on how much effort you feel like you can put into the deal. To find out more tips about selling your old car, go to, or other car buying websites like,, and

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A list of the top 10 most unreliable cars

     Among the many factors that you consider when car shopping, surely how long the car may or should last, is at or near the top of the list. Choose a model with a below average rating, and the more likely you are to have problems. There are more than a few cars that certainly have the potential to steer you down that dark, and more than likely expensive, road.

     According to the latest Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey, with data collected from more than 1 million vehicles across about 10 model years provides a pretty good insight into which models will hold together better, and which ones won't. While a lot of cars have a promising outlook, several cars don't have quite as bright of a history.

     However, a model's below average rating doesn't mean that every single car of that model will suffer the same issues, assuming you don't own a Suzuki Forenza. Rather, it just points to cars that have a track record of giving their owners greater issues. With that being said, here is the list according to Consumer Reports:

10. Fiat 500L  Common issues: Navigation system, backup camera/sensor, radio, rough shifting transmission

9. Jeep Cherokee (4 cyl. model) Common issues: Bluetooth pairing, radio, rough shifting transmission

8. Ford Fiesta  Common issues: Rough shifting and slipping transmission

7. Nissan Pathfinder Common issues: Transmission replacement, torque converter, slipping transmission, liftgate, windows

6. M-B CLA 250 Common issues: Audio system, squeaks

5. Chevrolet Cruze (1.4T model) Common issues: Drive shaft/axle

4. Dodge Dart (1.4T model) Common issues: Rough shifting, transmission computer, oxygen sensors, stalling/hesitation

3. Jeep Grand Cherokee (Diesel model) Common issues: Fuel system issues like check engine light and emission controls, navigation

2. Infiniti Q50 Common issues: Navigation, video screen, integrated controls, Bluetooth, power steering

1. M-B S-Class Common issues: Windows, active suspension

To find out more about the list, and for an in-depth look at the models and their reported issues, head over to the Consumer Reports website.