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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

Zipcar Is Zipping It's Way All Over Europe

On: Mon, May 17, 2010 at 3:08PM | By: Michael Jon Lazar

Zipcar test 2

Perhaps one of the most innovative notions that has ever reached the auto rental loving and using masses—perhaps most people are not fond of renting cars because they are paying and they are not driving their own cars—Zipcar is growing exponentially, according to some breaking news reports that show some shocking numbers, as far as expansion and a surprise company merger between the Euro equivalent—or what was up until recently—Streetcar. But this is really no surprise, because there are many desirable features this car rental service has to offer to people, universities, as well as businesses too.

Rates and Plans

The summary of what the company’s service model embodies is rather simple at heart, according to their website, and very innovative when you think about it. Once you sign up and are approved for using a Zipcar—which you can do at their website online at www.zipcar.com—you can then use the website to locate cars that are parked and are for rent in areas near to you. Many places have special Zipcar parking for drivers to park the cars when they are done using them, and for other drivers to pick up and use later on, as opposed to returning them to a specified car rental lot. Anybody who has a Zip card can unlock and drive the car. The company automatically bills the costs of the miles you drove (which for most of their plans include up to 180 miles per day; but you can up that online by adding more miles to your plan). The cars also have a free fuel card in them that you can use to fill up at any gas station, as well. And as far as insurance goes, you are covered with their insurance by being a member, so no worries there.

When looking at their website for what Zipcar poignantly called “Seattle personal driving plans”, there two options offered: “occasional driving plan,” and, “extra value plan”. The real difference between them is pennies saved for drivers who use the plans more often. The usage of either plan requires a $25 US application fee, as well as a $50 US annual fee, which does not vary for either plans. However, some drivers who use Zipcar or Streetcar often can save a few bucks by opting to go with their Extra Value Plans; similar rates are in effect in Europe, just priced out in Euros.

Officially Official: Fiesta Tops 40 MPG Highway!

On: Mon, May 17, 2010 at 2:56PM | By: John Welch

Officially Official: Fiesta Tops 40 MPG Highway! test 1-1

In the Mighty "Kei-Car MPG Wars" of the late Aught-Aughts, one car will go down as the fuel-sippinest, non-hybrid efficiency Overlord. Honda Fit maybe? Toyota Yaris? The Volkswagen TDi's or the Hyundai Accent (BARF) perhaps? Could it possibly be a newcomer, a stranger to Americans, a high plains drifter? A virtual "Car without a name"!? A transportation appliance that will get us to work and back on a thimbles-worth of gasoline? Could it be that I watched one too many spaghetti westerns this weekend?

No, no, nope, no. Yes, Ford Fiesta, yes, aaaand . . . yes.

The hard numbers inside yonder post . . .

First Solar Cars to be Road Tested in Japan

On: Mon, May 17, 2010 at 12:38PM | By: Michael Jon Lazar

Mazda Demio test 2

It seems that the day and age of the next generation of truly hybrid vehicles is finally upon us. For eons—or so it feels like it—there has been much banter over electric cars and hybrid cars (which are still powered by gas, but use advanced fuel cells to charge up as the car drives, allowing them to effectively use less gas by alternating between the built-up electrical charge from driving, and then switching back to the gas source once that power has been all used up). Namely, the big oil companies really would not be all that happy to see their business drop, and in massive numbers, if say, the world were to suddenly stop using gas-powered cars.

New Survey Shows That Honda, Ford Surpass Toyota in Customer Loyalty

On: Mon, May 17, 2010 at 11:30AM | By: Michael Jon Lazar

Toyota Customer Loyalty Falters test 2

The juggernaut carmaker Toyota has enjoyed high customer loyalty ratings for many years. Much like Rome and other empires of the past, Toyota's empire is finally being toppled by rival carmakers over rapidly declining customer loyalty. After several parts being recalled, spanning many different models the company makes, over this past year alone—combined with many other recalls that have been initiated on millions of their cars that are already on the road over the past decade—customers are waning, their confidence with the company is deteriorating, and some are waving goodbye to the recall-plagued carmaker in favor of other auto giants.


New Report Indicates Lowered Cost of Insurance and Repairs for Ford Vehicles

On: Mon, May 17, 2010 at 10:19AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

New Report Indicates Lowered Cost of Insurance and Repairs for Ford Vehicles test 1-1

If you own a Ford, or are considering the purchase of a new one, there's great news for your pocketbook!  For Ford and Lincoln Mercury owners many insurance companies factor in the low cost of model-specific repairs when coming up with a price quote, making insurance for Ford vehicles lower, in many cases, than for other vehicles in the same class.

In 2009 the Ford Motor Company created an engineering center in Allen Park, Michigan that would actually help lower the cost of repairs for Ford automobiles that had been involved in an accident, by designing features such as bigger, stronger bumpers that minimize damage to adjacent parts secondary to impact from a collision.

Bon Voyage, Atlantis

On: Fri, May 14, 2010 at 4:17PM | By: John Welch

Bon Voyage, Atlantis test 1-1

Though not necessarily a car, the space shuttle Atlantis is still hella-rad. Atlantis is capable of speeds up to 2,500 mile per hour and turns faces inside-out at nearly 5-g on lift off. Top Fuel dragsters cower before the awesomeness that is Atlantis. Today, unfortunately, after 31 successful missions, Atlantis blasted the Kennedy Space Center tarmac for the last time. At 2:20 p.m EST the mighty Shuttle took off with no immediate issues and a 12-day space station assembly mission ahead of it. God speed, Atlantis, The AutoShopper wishes you and your crew—Navy Capt. Kenneth T. Ham, Navy Cmdr. Dominic A. Antonelli, Colonel (USAF, Ret.) Michael T. Good, Garret E. Reisman, Navy Capt. Stephen G. Bowen, and Piers J. Sellers, a British-born astronaut, a safe return to earth.

. . . Speaking of Hyundai, Who Wants A Korean Ram?

On: Thu, May 13, 2010 at 10:29AM | By: John Welch

. . . Speaking of Hyundai, Who Wants A Korean Ram? test 1-1

A few months back Nissan and Dodge held some meetings regarding the successor to the Nissan Titan pickup. Nissan didn't want to follow in Toyota's footsteps and waste precious capital creating and engineering a Titan replacement. Nissan wanted to outsource the job. Chrysler wanted to reduce the cost of building Ram trucks. It would have been great.

Conflicting reports suggest one or both parties wound up with cold feet; Fiat's purchase of Chrysler was probably the event that killed the Ram-derived Titan. Hyundai was paying attention the entire time. Hyundai continues to gain market share at an stratospheric rate and the high-profit full-size truck demographic is one segment they have yet to enter. Considering the difficulty Toyota and Nissan have had breaking the Big Three's death-grip on the truck market, it seems logical to try to partner with an established brand for its first foray into the cut-throat world of 'Murrikenized truckdom. This strategy worked great for Mazda, right?


UPDATE, 05/14/2010

Hyundai's Standard Warranty is Pretty Darn Good!

On: Wed, May 12, 2010 at 9:33AM | By: Michael Jon Lazar

Hyundai's Standard Warranty test 2

The warranty that is being offered by Hyundai is rather impressive to say the least. In fact, the car company offers not only of the best auto warranties in the US, but in the entire world too! The major South Korean car making conglomerate recently even announced on its website that they have even upped the warranty levels on their newer models in all other countries, and not just the US. This newly added level of protection that the car company is offering to consumers on the international levels speaks mountains of how they feel about the quality, reliability and durability of their engineering. This also translates into the fact that the company is not trying to ‘cheap out’ by making cars that cost less money but are surrounded by a myriad of technical issues.

Auto Worker Unions Part of the Big Three Falter?

On: Wed, May 12, 2010 at 9:31AM | By: Michael Jon Lazar

Were Auto Worker Unions Part of the Big Three Falter? test 2

Did somebody cry wolf for the Big Three automakers in the US? Because it seems like only yesterday that we were seeing company execs, wearing fancy, triple-stitched inseam suits with pinstripes and all, crying before the US Congress—which held an emergency meeting on their behalf. Irony prevailed for a moment too. That is because these bigwigs arrived in their private chartered jets—many of them couriered in on lavish jumbo jets that feature cocktail bars, entertainment centers, and private catering. And all just to humbly beg—and not on their knees—but while sipping off organic water as hordes of lawyers surrounded them, literally imploring Congress to do one thing: Give them money so they could survive.

How to Avoid Purchasing a Vehicle with A Salvage Title

On: Tue, May 11, 2010 at 10:19AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Flood Cars— test 2

When Hurricane Katrina struck Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and Hurricane Rita hit Florida, Louisiana and Texas, it was one of the worst natural disasters in United States history. Literally thousands of vehicles were flooded. Not many people are aware of the fact that many of those cars that were severely damaged during  natural disasters (or major accidents) were then shipped to other parts of the country in the attempts to launder the titles and sell them to unsuspecting consumers.

Four Effective New & Used Car Buying Tips

On: Mon, May 10, 2010 at 12:48PM | By: Michael Jon Lazar

Four Effective New & Used Car Buying Tips test 1-1

There are many facets to buying a used or a new car that one should really take into consideration before they up and make that big purchase. Sometimes consumers struggle when it comes time to make would will more than likely going to be one of the biggest purchases of their lives. But there are some really easy tips that you can follow that not only can net you best deal on a new or used car, but that can allow you to also enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that you made a wise and well-informed purchase.