guide

guide

  Some useful reading for anyone who owns a car or plan to buy or sell one in the near future

Posted on by Bryan 18

You’ve finally got that big time job and you want something that isn’t too cheap, but you don’t want to spend $80,000 quite yet. There is much to choose from in the middle luxury segment and each car has it’s own unique characteristics that make it better, or worse than the competition.

Just like the entry-level luxury segment, the Germans have always had the middle levels to themselves. The Japanese and the American automakers have never been able to catch up. Yet, 2010 is a new year and things might be changing in the automotive marketplace.

Let’s take a look back at our previous winners before we begin with this list. We rated the Mini Cooper as the best small car and the Hyundai Sonata as the best midsize sedan . Finally, we rated the Audi A4 as the best entry-level luxury car on the market.

Hit the jump to see who we chose as the top mid-level luxury car.

Posted on by Bryan 14

As you have seen by now, we have a tendency to rank cars differently than other car sites. While we love practicality as much as the next site, at TopSpeed, we put speed, performance, and that certain sparkle above the size of the trunk and the back seat.

With entry-level luxury cars, finding the gems between the boring sales rep vehicles can be a pretty hard task. We have so many terribly dull sedans that are only good for taking you down the motorway to work and that’s about it. We aren’t looking for that. We don’t care about sales, we don’t care about popularity, we care about how these cars drive on the track and in the real world. We are aware that a point to point car is what most people will like, but we want an entry-level sedan that provides excitement on that everyday journey. Something that can make you smile and enjoy the drive home. A car that will make you take the back roads.

Over the course of this series we have jumped price by $10,000 each time, starting from $20,000 with the small cars and then $30,000 with the midsize. For this test, we are jumping by $15,000, to make the price cap at $45,000.

Hit the jump to see what our top ten entry-level luxury vehicles are.

Posted on by Bryan 21

Midsize sedans are the bread and butter cars of most companies. Yet, even if typical bread and butter may seem like a bland food, that doesn’t stop these cars from being stylish, sporty, and fun to drive.

The best selling cars in the country are midsize sedans and the best selling cars for most automakers are their sedan offerings. The midsize sedan offers practicality without the reputation crushing style of a minivan.

At least, that’s what they want you to think.

The Toyota Camry was once the most popular car in the world and a year ago, the Camry’s annual American sales typically exceeded the total annual new car sales in the average European country.

There are many choices for car buyers and that allows people to demand many different things from these four door cars. Some people buy them as family cars, opting for more room over a compact sedan, without sacrificing small car handling and fuel economy. Other people like a bigger car over a smaller one and then there’s people who prefer the Honda Accord to the Civic because it has a bigger presence on the road. The larger car makes you feel safer and more secure during highway travel.

These are our top ten midsize cars under $30,000.

Hit the jump to read on.

Posted on by Bryan 5

Summer is in full swing once again. No more snow on the grounds, rusting out our old cars and causing us to wrap up our sports cars for the cold winter months. Now, the sun is out, scorching the ground and our cars as well.

This has been one of the hottest summers on record and if you love to drive that can be problematic. Our beloved engines love cool air. Cold air is decent, but hot air is the worst for motors. So, when we go on our daily commutes or our long vacations, this hot summer can take its toll on our favorite cars.

There are a few steps we can take in order to prevent our engines from overheating and help keep our cars in the best shape possible. They aren’t complicated so everybody should be able to follow them.

Hit the jump to read on and see the tips.

Posted on by Bryan 13

For those of us who don’t want to drive around town in a vehicle the size of a train, there have always been small cars to keep us happy. They have gone through many changes since they first became popular during the gas crisis. No longer is it acceptable to just be small and fuel efficient, as the automotive buying public demands much more out of these tiny vehicles.

Today’s modern small car has to be quick and fun to drive, while also having plenty of room inside the cabin. If the car doesn’t manage over 30 miles per gallon then it’s a big disappointment. Not to mention looks. A small car needs to look good as well as not be completely boring to look at everyday.

We have compiled a list of the top ten best small cars on the market in the United States and, like always, we have one rule; the price needs to be under $20,000. That should give us plenty to choose from.

Hit the jump to see the list.

Posted on by Bryan 16

Well, it’s that time of your life. You know the time when you just turned 40 years old. Your family is in full swing and maybe your children are off to college or just about to finish up high school. Your job is okay, but nothing excites you much anymore and life is just plain dull.

Like most people, when the mid-life crisis stage sets in the only thing that every man needs is to have a fast car that makes him feel excited and young again. The question now becomes what car to buy?

The obvious choice is a Ferrari , a Lamborghini , or an Aston Martin . Nothing says youth like a DB9 or a 458 Italia . Let’s be honest with ourselves though, not many people can afford a car like that, especially with a family. We need to find something for under $100,000 that is fast, looks good, and isn’t on two wheels.

These are the top five mid-life crisis cars on the market today in the United States. Check them out after the jump.

Imagine driving around town without the benefits of music playing from your car’s speakers. Can’t do it? Yeah, neither can we, but who wants to listen to the same old radio stations looping the same top ten songs over and over again? Not us.

Essentially one of the most important items of a vehicle is in-car music, which can turn an otherwise boring day behind the wheel of your car into your very own karaoke session. And thanks to the wonder that is technology, listening to your music in your car can now be even more enjoyable courtesy of another new breakthrough in the Pandora and Pioneer alliance.

After giving us the Pandora Internet Radio, iPhone and Pandora users can now enjoy the feature even more with the PandoraLink app from Pioneer. Basically what this app can do is allow the driver or passenger to access their Pandora account right from their car using Pioneer’s new AVIC-Z120BT and AVIC-X920BT in-dash navigation systems. All you need to do is use your pre-existing Pandora account, connect it to your Pioneer in-dash navigation system, select your audio source, and just like that, you’ll gain instant touch screen access to your Pandora account where you can now enjoy all your favorite Internet radio stations.

With a market that’s dominated by the likes of Sirius XM, Pioneer is bent on becoming a major player in the world of Internet radio. Teaming up with Pandora was the first step to that goal and now the partnership is beginning to see the fruits of its labor with the new Pioneer PandoraLink feature that’s sure to become a staple in many vehicles in the near future.

Posted on by Bryan 23

A few days ago we took a small trip down the road a few miles to Best Buy to look at some of the new televisions that are currently on the market. In the newly redesigned Best Buys, they have added a massive back wall full of screens playing movies, previews, or nature shows, in an effort to show us how good these shows can look in high definition. Every size, make, and model is available and you could stand there for hours watching each one of them. The picture is incredible, but after a while you have to run and hide in the speaker section, just to get away from the intense light and colors.

Sure, these 50-inch LCD machines are very impressive, but they will also cost you a full week’s paycheck. Yet, that is the way things are in today’s market. If you dare ask for a tube television you will be laughed at and thrown out of the store. Probably not, but the chances of finding an old school telly are pretty slim.

The addition of new technology happens every year in the automotive world too. There are certain devices that once graced the interior, or exterior of our cars that are now only found in the history books. The cassette deck, roll-up windows, and bench seats all seem to be making an exit from the modern vehicle. There are even vehicle body styles that have faded from memory.

These are the top ten devices, vehicles, or gizmos that are no longer found in today’s automotive marketplace.

Hit the jump to see the list.

Posted on by Bryan 14

The automotive industry has seen a massive shift this year. Two legendary supercar manufacturers have created two new amazing products that could change the way we think about the ultra-performance, super-expensive sports car and we will take them head to head in the ultimate competition.

In the left corner is the old workhorse, the Lamborghini Gallardo , but this isn’t the normal run of the mill version. This new model is the LP 570-4 Superleggera, a sort of midlife refresh for the venerable old performance car. Meanwhile, in the right corner, we have the new supercar from the legends of fast car manufacturing, the Ferrari 458 Italia . Unlike the Lamborghini, the Ferrari is all new, taking the place of the old 430.

One is an old veteran with a new outfit and some more power under the hood, while the other is an all-new machine from the Italian legends. This should be one great fight between two companies that have been competing for years and years.

Hit the jump to read on.

Posted on by Bryan 4

Ever wondered what happens when an engine is running without coolant? We all know how important this substance is, but people still seem to be unaware, as thousands of vehicle owners let their cars run without it. Little do they know this can seriously damage their car’s motor.

Prestone wanted to show us just how vital coolant is to the life of an engine by making a video and putting it on YouTube. This isn’t CGI or any of that fake stuff that they use in Hollywood, no sir this stunt is 100 percent real. Prestone gave some well-trained pyromaniacs powerful blow torches and melted the engine block of a General Motors 3.6-liter six-cylinder.

That motor is found in many of GM’s cars, including the 2009 Cadillac CTS , Chevrolet Malibu and the Chevrolet Traverse . A variation of the motor is even found in the 2010 and 2011 Camaro .

It only took around twenty minutes for the motor to burn, leaving only the crankshaft and the cylinder sleeves. Luckily, the video is only around three minutes.

Hit the jump to watch the engine burn.

Source: USA Today

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