While it’s impressive for any brand to hold onto its resale value over time, it’s even more impressive when a luxury brand such as Lexus, with higher priced vehicles is able to do so. For the last four years Lexus has managed to be the top luxury brand when it comes to maintaining its resale value. That’s something that car buyers should really be paying attention to if they are considering investing in a luxury vehicle. Lexus holds the top resale value this year for Luxury cars with its 2015 GS 350, beating out vehicles from the likes of Audi and Porsche.
Kelly Blue Bookcredits the updated looks as helping the GS 350 be successful this year and it does have a nice modern look with clean straight lines. The car received an updated spindle grille, and it relies on athletic lines to make it look as powerful as the 306 HP V6 it has crammed under its hood.
Holds Value for the Long Term
Over the first three years buyers should expect to get around 54 percent of their money back from the GS 350. After five years they can still expect to get close to 40 percent of their money back from that initial investment. For someone who buys vehicles and sells them off after five years, the GS 350′s ability to hold onto that initial value can make the purchase significantly more affordable. By sticking with a vehicle made by Lexus buyers will be able to afford to buy new more often, and can enjoy the fact that they are making a good solid investment.
An Efficient Driver with a Reputation for Reliability
Lexus and Toyota products in general are known for their reliability and this has always helped keep their resale values high. Lexus vehicles run for a long time and the GS 350 is expected to do the same. On top of having a reliable name to fall back on, the GS 350 is an efficient mid-sized sedan as well. It gets 29 MPG in the city and hits 34 MPG out on the highway.
If you’re looking for a rock solid luxury sedan that’s going to hold its resale value over time you can’t go wrong with the 2015 GS 350. Overall Lexus received awards with 15 of its vehicles or three-quarters of its total lineup. With such an overall trend of high-value vehicles buyers shouldn’t expect resale value trends to dip down anytime soon, making most Lexus models a good buy currently.
Each year Subaru Pacific holds their Share the Love Event, where with each new vehicle purchase or lease $250 is donated to a charity of the buyer’s choosing from among the given options. This year the program managed to generate over $49,000 and more than half of that went to Heal the Bay and Grades of Green.
Grades of Green
Grades of Green is a non-profit organization that focuses on educating school-aged children about the importance of recycling. It empowers students who want to take action to help alleviate waste issues at their schools around the country. Over $15,000 was generated for the program, providing enough funding to educate around 5,000 new students. Each year LAcarGUY sponsors the Trash Free Lunch Challenge to help encourage students to come up with solutions for creating more environmentally friendly lunch setups in their schools, and Grades of Green will use their funding to run other programs as well throughout the year.
Heal the Bay
Heal the Bay is an environmental organization that focuses on improving coastal conditions throughout the Southern California area. The Share the Love Event generated more than $12,000 for that organization and the money will go toward more cleanup efforts as well as helping to educate people about the importance of taking care of their beaches. LAcarGUY had the privilege of being a part of the 2014 Coastal Cleanup day that Heal the Bay runs each year, and they helped the organization reach an astonishing 44,880 lbs. of removed debris altogether.
With fundraisers like Share the Love these two worthy organizations have more resources to work without throughout the year and can make a bigger difference in their communities and around the country.
At first glance the 2015 Golf GTI doesn’t look like a sports car. Heck it barely looks any different than the standard Golf, and that’s a turn off for some consumers, but the ones who walk away are truly missing out. Within the cabin of this little car is unbridled access to unbridled performance, lightning fast steering, and acceleration that you feel.
It’s all About the Performance
210 horsepower probably doesn’t seem like much at first, but when you consider that the little four-cylinder engine is turbo charged and also puts out 258 lb.-ft. of torque in a footprint the same size as the standard Golf it becomes a bit more impressive. The 2015 edition of this vehicle is lower to the ground, it’s wider and it’s longer all while being lighter too. It accelerates quickly and evenly. It corners deftly and the traction control system grabs on to loose gravel, slick roadways and even dirt paths with confidence found in few sports cars.
The GTI is Truly Refined
The GTI isn’t flashy in any way and on the inside it comes across as understated and refined. The interior is trimmed out with quality materials that look and feel good. The seats are supportive and leave you feeling comfortable even on long trips. The plaid upholstery is unique and gives a certain rustic appeal in a modern setting. It’s hard not to like the GTI once you climb into the cabin and you might not want to leave.
Performance without Sacrificing Practicality
The Golf GTI obviously doesn’t match the fuel efficiency of the standard Golf, but it still manages 25 MPG in the city and 33 on the highway even with all that power under the hood. This is in large part thanks to compact turbo engine tech used. The inside of this vehicle is massive and four adults can sit very comfortably within the more than 50 cubic feet of space available. The trunk of the car is large enough to haul several bags of groceries or luggage for a family trip. When you go with the GTI you get most of the practicality of the standard Golf with much more power at your fingertips. That’s why last year the performance model managed to outsell the base version, and why so many people take interest in this particular variant of the Golf above most others.
I’m not saying that you should run out and buy a 2015 Golf GTI. It might not be the car for you and your family. I’m just saying don’t judge a book by its covers. It’s a bit bland on the outside, I’m fair enough to admit that. But once you climb into the interior you’ll be hooked. Once you start manipulating the pedals and steering down windy back roads you’ll be sold.
Since Porsche first launched the Cayman back in 2006 there has been a steady level of controversy around the vehicle with car fans stating that it would be a better vehicle than the renowned 911 if it were given enough power. Now that it’s been juiced up with the release of the beefier Cayman GTS fans will have a chance to see if those claims are true, or just a bunch of hot air.
Mid-Engine is Superior
Most fans mark the Cayman as the better vehicle because it has mid-car mounted engine, while the Porsche 911 has a rear-mounted engine. This theoretically provides more balanced handling to the Cayman and would let it travel around corners more effectively than the 911. Motor Trend decided to put this theory to the test, and they put together a test to compare the Cayman GTS to 911 models to see how it stacks up.
The Cayman GTS is one impressive specimen with its 3.4 liter 24 valve engine that produces 340 HP and 280 lb.-ft. of torque. The car takes off at a blistering pace when handled properly and can hit 60 MPH in just 4.4 seconds. The mid-mounted engine helps with the acceleration, but so does the lightweight body. At just 3,083 lbs. the Cayman is hundreds of pounds lighter than any of the 911 models while only having 10 less HP than the 911 Carrera. All of this can be had for a base price of $76,195. Not too shabby when you consider that the base 911 Carrera comes in at $84,300.
Toppling the Giant
During testing the Cayman completed the quarter mile in just 12.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 180 MPH while doing it. The really impressive feat completed by the Cayman GTS was the sprint around the Motor Trend figure eight track in just 32.8 seconds. That’s a faster time than any Porsche 911 was able to obtain other than the turbo models as well as the GT3. That means that when it comes to those curvy sections of road the Cayman outmatches all of the standard 911 Porsche models. That’s pretty impressive for a model that’s more affordable than any of the 911′s and considered second class compared to the flagship model.
What the GTS Tag Really Gets You?
Other than the 15 HP power increase and the 7 lb.-ft. torque increase over the Cayman S, there are a few additional upgrades that paying for the GTS will provide you with. The car comes with frosted headlights and taillights that give it an edgy look. It also has blacked out exhaust tips and a pair of blacked out front air intakes that are quite a bit larger in size. There is also the GTS badging all around the vehicle, and some minor interior refinements to enjoy, but overall the Cayman GTS is quite similar to the Cayman S.
If you’re a 911 enthusiast you might not like hearing that the Cayman GTS is better at anything, but it clearly beat out most of the 911 lineup at highly curvy tracks. Sure the 911 is faster on the straightaways, and it can take the Cayman on some of the more subtly curved courses, but when it’s time to bob and weave the Cayman GTS is a blast to drive and it really holds its own.
If you’re looking for a vehicle that is going to retain its value well several years after your initial purchase you should look toward Subaru for your next car. While they may not be the biggest player in the country, according to Kelly Blue Book the average 2015 Subaru will retain 46.2 percent of its residual value after five years. This is higher than almost any other brand, and that’s a good reason to consider picking out a shiny new Suby.
Why Subaru’s Hold Value
Subaru focuses on just a few things to help it stay afloat in a sea with so many larger players than itself. Much like Ferrari, Subaru produces a low volume of vehicles. This is primarily to make sure there is always a steady demand for their vehicles, and this helps them keep solid prices for their cars while making it easy to sell most of what they produce. Subaru also focuses on just a few key features to set themselves apart from other automakers. All-wheel drive is a major feature that Subaru has invested in and because of that buyers know that they can expect a Subaru to handle well in most driving conditions.
The Benefit of Investing in Subaru
By investing in a Subaru you not only get a safe vehicle to drive around in, but you get one that is going to hold its value for years to come. When you go to sell that car or crossover you’ll be able to get nearly half of what you paid for it originally, five years after you picked it up. Subaru’s are known as good reliable vehicles that are well-built.
An Easy Purchase Decision
Although Subaru seemingly offers seven different vehicle variants, you might be surprised to know that they are all based on two different frameworks. Subaru very carefully invests in just a couple of different body and engine types and has continued to refine them over the years. When compared to manufacturers such as GM which has 30 different platforms it’s easy to see just how much Subaru specializes and how careful they are with what they create. Since they are a smaller company they have to keep their research and development and production budgets as small as possible. By producing just two differnet platforms they are able to provide a top-quality product that is one of the safest, most refined and most awarded on the market today.
Somehow Subaru, the 12th largest automaker in the United States, continues to bring home an array of different awards even though there are so many other automakers out there with more resources to devote to their cause. That’s because Subaru is smart with their resources and they stick to features and designs that they know their customers love. This trend has helped them build up a following of very devoted fans, and is what continually sets Subaru’s apart from the competitors.
Virtual reality always seems like a technology that belongs in the realm of science fiction. But each new technological advance makes it more possible, and Audi is utilizing their own virtual reality headset to show off their vehicles like never before. The company has developed a compact headset kit that puts customers right in front of their vehicles. The customer can pick and choose the vehicle they want to witness and even alter the different features, colors and options and then look at them in a realistic world. It’s an exciting advancement that should change the way people buy vehicles eventually.
An Immersive Experience
When you use the virtual reality headset devised by Audi you’re put right in front of the car that you’re interested in seeing. You can climb inside the vehicle, you can open up the trunk or listen to the radio of the vehicle. You can get as close and personal to the vehicle as you like and really get a feel for what it’s like without actually seeing it in person. It offers a good way to see the vehicle just as it will appear in real life and this should satisfy most buyers who simply want to know what a car is going to look like.
Shrinking Down the Dealership
In order to show customers vehicles a large dealership filled with a variety of different cars is typically needed. With this very compact virtual reality headset that isn’t the case any longer. The typical-sized dealership is compact down into a small brief-case sized product that a salesman could bring around with him wherever he goes. The technology is supposed to become available in “dynamic growth markets” and that means those living in big cities around the country will probably get a chance to try out the technology if they are considering buying an Audi.
Take a Look at All Your Options
One of the most difficult things about picking out a new car, especially at the dealership, is that you can’t really see how all of the different options and color combinations are going to look on the vehicle. The virtual reality headset is about to change all that. As a customer looking to buy a new vehicle you will be able to look at all the available models in all of the different trims, colors and with different option packages.
That means that you can try out all the different configurations you are interested in and see what they truly look like. Playing around with this little tool will give you a first-hand look at options and features that you would just have to guess at before, and that means that you will be able to enjoy better vehicles and the ability to pick and choose things more accurately.
While this headset is not the same as climbing into an Audi and test driving it, it’s a good way to start getting an idea of what a vehicle looks like inside and out. It also represents one of the best ways to view all of the different colors and options on your vehicle before making a final purchase decision. Even a very full dealership won’t be able to show you vehicles with all the options you want along with your ideal color.
Lexus recently released the 2015 version of the LX 570 and it’s just as large and luxurious as the previous versions were. Only a few minor changes were made to the vehicle, and for the most part Lexus stuck with what was working with the model while improving upon a few things here or there. Performance This massive SUV is surprisingly light on its feet thanks to the potent 5.7 liter V8 packed under its hood. It provides 383 HP and the simple 6-speed automatic transmission glides through the available gears effortlessly. The end result is smooth acceleration and a powerful feel when behind the wheel. Another nice feature of this SUV is the full-time 4-wheel drive system. It handles snowy and wet road conditions confidently and manages to maintain a sure grip on the road in most driving situations. The only downside to this configuration is the poor fuel economy, getting only 12 MPG in the city and 17 out on the open highway. Interior Comfort The inside of the LX 570 is just as you would expect from a luxury SUV approaching six figures. Leather and wood styling abounds. The 14-way power adjustable driver’s seat is exceedingly comfortable, and the 12-way passenger seat is pretty close as well. Up to eight passengers can ride around with enough seating room inside, making this one of the largest and most comfortable SUVs on the market. There is plenty of room for luggage or whatever cargo you need to carry at the back, even when seated to full capacity. Features The 2015 version of the Lexus LX 570 comes with just a few feature updates. It now comes with Siri Eyes Free for improved voice operation capabilities. The media system also supports the Slacker music streaming service now. It comes with a slew of standard features, such as iHeartRadio and Pandora, OpenTable and MovieTickets, as well as a Facebook Places feature that lets you check in and tag friends and family. The system accesses data services via a tethered smartphone, and the navigation system can be updated with information from both Yelp and Bing for easily locating points of interest in the area. All of these applications can be controlled using the built-in 8-inch touchscreen display. The screen also provides the view for the navigation system, as well as the backup camera. Looks The LX 570 sticks to a pretty understated design, with a small grille and modern LED headlights. It’s got a boxy body, with just enough curvature to keep it from looking dated. Whiel clean looking and with a slight upper-class flair, the LX 570 won’t stand out in a major way on any roadways. Available Extras While the LX 570 is well-appointed in its base model, there are plenty of available extras that you can take advantage of as well. The added Luxury package adds in more leathers and wood accents, while also offering heated seats throughout the vehicle and ventilated seats up front. The Intuitive Park Assist add-on offers wide view front and rear cameras for an improved look around the vehicle when backing out or into a spot. If you’re a media enthusiast you can get the top-of-the-line 19-speaker Mark Levinson Reference Surround Sound audio system with a total of 450 watts of power. There is also an upgrade package providing a dual-screen rear seat entertainment system. Overall the 2015 LX 570 is a very classy SUV with a massive footprint. It’s one of the most comfortable on the market and it’s highly capable in adverse weather. But with all those positives it’s hard to ignore the poor fuel economy or the starting price tag of $82,930. At that rate it will remain a niche product that’s very good at what it does.
With each passing year Americans increase their demand for fresh and new crossovers to drive around town. What used to be a niche vehicle has come into the mainstream and CUVs are taking over as the most popular form of transportation in the United States. In order to keep up with that demand Toyota has been ramping up CUV production and is even looking at some new models to help them keep up with competitors.
Sales figures for CUVs and SUVs were up by 16 percent in 2015 showing just how interested Americans are in these vehicles. With such large sale spikes in these sectors it’s important that Toyota works hard to keep up with demand if they want to remain competitive. They have already had to increase production for their Rav4 and Lexus RX crossovers, and it’s likely that the surge will continue throughout 2015 as well.
The SUB Rav-4 CUV
The Rav-4 is Toyota’s smallest CUV currently but the automaker is considering developing an even more compact vehicle to help them keep up with some of their competitors. They believe that the next big surge of vehicle demand will be centered on these small crossovers and it’s highly likely that the Toyota lineup will expand with a compact crossover in the near future.
The Appeal of the Crossover
It’s hard to say exactly what is so appealing about a crossover compared ot the standard SUV or a truck. Most American’s who purchase SUVs and trucks never take them off paved roads, or do so only a small portion of the time, and maybe crossovers are so popular because they provide the benefits of both SUVs and trucks without many of the downsides that come with such large vehicles. Crossovers are spacious inside and they are more fuel efficient than SUVs or pickup trucks are. They aren’t as robust and can’t withstand harsh driving conditions or handle towing as much, but that isn’t what they are meant for. Crossovers are comfortable to drive and they provide a rugged looking exterior that makes them a bit more exciting than a minivan.
If you’re a fan of crossover vehicles it’s likely that you will see more offerings from many of the top automakers in the coming years, Toyota included.
Car owners and passengers interested in remaining connected to the Internet on the go will be interested to hear that Subaru is joining the 4G movement and plan to add high-speed 4G LTE connections to their 2016 vehicles, thanks to a partnership with AT&T. During CES 2014 Subaru let visitors know about their future plans to integrate 4G connections into their new lineup of vehicles for everyone interested in taking full advantage of multimedia and information apps while on the go.
Subaru didn’t mention which models would be getting the enhancements first, but it is likely to go into the high-end models first and move its way down the lineup over time. Dealerships should start getting the new technology in around summer time and then drivers will get a chance to test out the new high-speed capabilities first hand.
Benefits of a Strong Connection
While it might be hard to see the benefit of having a strong Internet connection in your car at first, there are actually quite a few perks to this. Many applications such as Pandora, and Slacker radio rely on mobile data to get their music while on the go, and they could play higher quality audio clips, or offer smoother playback with a more reliable Internet connection. Additional applications are expected ot make their way into the Subaru dashboard as well allowing drivers to take advantage of this new more powerful connection.
As a passenger in a Subaru it’s easy to see the benefits of the new and improved technology. Children with tablets and a spouse trying to get work done on a laptop can all benefit from the connection while on a road trip. Subaru is also updating its StarLink infotainment system with a range of new two-way applications that provide real-time information that’s helpful and convenient to have available.
Computers are making their way into every facet of everyday life, and it seems that they are becoming more important to driving situations as well. It’s li9kely that Subaru owners will have to pay for an Internet subscriptions if they want to take advantage of AT&T connections, but there is no information about whether they will offer prepaid plans, or if drivers will have to lock themselves into a contract.
In the past week at the Detroit Auto Show Lexus unveiled their 2016 GS F sporty sedan, and they showed off just how capable of a sedan it really is. This goes along with the RC F that has been gathering support in the Lexus community and speaks to a trend to sportify their vehicles.
When Lexus unveiled the 2016 GS F at the 2015 Detroit Auto show they stated that it isn’t a track car and it isn’t a luxury vehicle but something in between the two. The car is luxuriously appointed, and has enough space to accommodate up to five adults comfortably, but it has sports car qualities as well, particularly how it handles.
Performance and Handling
The GS-F has more than enough power to feel sporty, even with its large footprint. It relies on a 5.0 liter V-8 engine that outputs 467 HP and 389 lb.-ft. of torque. All of this raw power is directed toward the rear wheels of the vehicle via an eight speed automatic transmission. While an auto tranny may be disappointing to any enthusiasts looking for a more hands-on driving experience, it boosts efficiency levels and paddle shifters are thrown into the vehicle for a bit more control.
The car has plenty of grit and wouldn’t be too out of place at the track with its engine and power level, but it also has some nice comfort and efficiency qualities that make it a better regular driver. The engine switches over to the Atkinson cycle in certain conditions boosting its efficiency. The driver can adjust the feel and fuel economy of the vehicle further by choosing from one of the four different driving modes. Eco, Normal, Sport and Sport S+ for varying performance adjustments.
Handling can be adjusted further by switching between the different torque-vectoring settings using the electronic differential. It offers a standard, slalom and track mode depending on what type of driving you are planning on doing that day.
Luxury Appointments and Appearance
As an aggressive F series car Lexus decided it needed to look the part as well. It features a very large and intimidating spindle grille. It comes with three stacked LED headlights that give it a sharp slant and large front air intakes for added cooling and the wow factor. At the rear a very low-profile carbon fiber spoiler along with chrome exhaust outlets provide a sporty accent.
Within the cabin you’ll find stiffer, more reinforced seating for everyone. There is also a large multi-display cluster that adjusts depending on the driving mode you select. On top of these sport enhancements you’ll be greeted by all the standard Lexus Luxuries and they certainly don’t skimp on those on their GS cars.
Overall the F-Type GS is an exciting spinoff of one of Lexus’ most luxurious and tech-savvy sedans on the market. It’s got the thrilling feel of a sports car, but it’s appointed luxuriously enough to keep riders and long-term drivers comfortable and satisfied.