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BMW 330i vs. Mercedes C300: Which Model is the Best?

BMW 330i vs. Mercedes C300: Which Model is the Best?

June 27, 2022

Car manufacturers tend to produce similar models as brands compete for sales and popularity. To consumers, models released by rival brands might look incredibly similar. However, each manufacturer or brand has their own signature features that set them apart from their competitors. BMW and Mercedes-Benz are luxury car manufacturers that offer many similar SUVs, sedans and electric models, too. The BMW 3 Series typically competes with the Mercedes C Class lineup. The BMW 33i is regarded as the competitor for the Mercedes C300 model.  When comparing the BMW 330i vs. Mercedes C300, which model is the best? Here’s how these two models compare by price, dependability, base features, fuel efficiency and safety. BMW 3 SERIES VS. MERCEDES C CLASS: ONE BRAND OFFERS MORE VEHICLE OPTIONS The BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C Class lineup both offer numerous different models. When comparing the BMW 3 Series vs. Mercedes C Class, consumers will notice that one brand has more models in their model segment. BMW offers four models in its 3 Series, while the Mercedes-Benz C Class lineup includes two different options. The BMW 3 Series includes the following vehicles: * 330i * 330e (electric) * M340i * M3 The Mercedes-Benz C Class includes just two models: * C300 Sedan * C300 4Matic Sedan BMW 330i vs. Mercedes C300 [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Price-of-Luxury-Sedans.jpg] BMW 33I VS. MERCEDES C300: THE PRICE OF LUXURY SEDANS Price might or might not be a factor for luxury car buyers. While some consumers might have a bottomless budget and buy what they want, others might be a bit more frugal. The BMW 330i is the lowest-priced model in BMW’s 3 Series. The Mercedes-Benz C300 Sedan also is the most inexpensive option of the two models in Mercedes’ C Class. The BMW 330i is available in two options: the standard 330i Sedan and the 330i xDrive Sedan. The 330i Sedan has a starting MSRP of $41,450, while the xDrive Sedan starts at $43,450. What’s the difference between the two? The 330i Sedan has rear-wheel drive, while the xDrive Sedan features ‘xDrive all-wheel drive.’ The C300 also is offered in two options: the C300 Sedan and the C300 4Matic Sedan. The C300 Sedan has a starting MSRP of $43,550, while the 4Matic Sedan starts at $45,500. The C300 Sedan has rear-wheel drive, but the 4Matic offers all-wheel drive capabilities. BMW 330I VS. MERCEDES C300: WHICH IS MOST DEPENDABLE? J.D. Power names a car in every segment/class as the dependability award winner. Models are three-years-old when they are ranked, and the scores are based on the ratings of car owners. J.D. Power explains that “This rating focuses on the type and number of problems owners experienced during the preceding 12 months with their 3-year-old vehicle.” Both the 2018 3 Series (for BMW) and the 2018 C Class (from Mercedes-Benz) were placed in the Compact Premium Car category. They each received a composite score of 80. However, the 3 Series was ranked just above the C Class. The 3 Series received a score of 82 for Quality/Reliability, an 82 for Driving Experience but only a 75 for Resale Value. It placed 10th overall. The C Class received an 80 for Quality/Reliability. However, it nudged out the 3 Series for Driving Experience; the C Class scored an 84 in this area. The C Class also received a 75 for Resale Value. It placed 11th overall for the Compact Premium Car category. The dependability of 2022 models won’t be evaluated until 2025. However, consumers trying to decide between the C Class or the 300 Series can review previous scores for both options. J.D. Power offers dependability data on models going back to the year 2000. BMW 330I VS. MERCEDES C300: STACKING UP THE STANDARD FEATURES Luxury automobiles are pricier than the more basic models, but they also offer high-end features that could make the price worthwhile. Luxury features come standard in many luxury or premium models. How does the BMW 330i compare to the Mercedes-Benz C300 by the features they offer? The BMW 330I includes welcome light carpet (this illuminates the ground when the door is opened), a power moonroof (with sunshade), 3-zone climate control, SensaTec upholstery, BMW ConnectedDrive, leather-wrapped sport steering wheel, power front seats, and more. The Mercedes C300 offers many luxury standard features, including power front seats (with a memory option), heated front seats, folding rear seats, a year of Mercedes me service, LED ambient lighting (64 hues), remote start (via app), MB-Tex upholstery, power tinted glass sunroof (featuring tilt/slide) and much more. Consumers will notice that many features are similar. Both brands come standard with their own branded upholstery options—BMW offers SensaTec, and Mercedes offers MB-Tex. In addition, both offer their own car connectivity (Mercedes me or ConnectedDrive for BMW). BMW 330I VS. MERCEDES C300: THE FUEL EFFICIENCY CAN IMPACT CHOICE Gas prices depend on supply and demand. When prices are on the rise, car buyers might be more cognizant of the fuel efficiency of the vehicles they choose. Which model gets better gas mileage? Here’s how the two compare. The BMW 330i offers decent fuel efficiency; smaller vehicles typically provide the most miles per gallon on the road. The BMW 330i can get 26 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway. The Mercedes C300 is much less fuel efficient than its BMW competitor. The Mercedes C300 only gets 22 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. Buyers who want the most fuel efficient model might gravitate towards BMW. BMW 330I VS. MERCEDES C300: THE SAFETY RATINGS The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) releases safety reports for vehicles related to crash tests. Car buyers can search for vehicles by make/model and year to review the safety report and understand how the model fared in crash tests. IIHS also awards the safest cars with a Top Safety Pick+ or Top Safety Pick rating. The difference between these two is related to headlights; while the Top Safety Pick+ winners offer acceptable/good headlights as standard, the Top Safety Pick winners only offer these headlights as an available option. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from IIHS. The 2022 BMW 3 Series received a Top Safety Pick award/rating from IIHS. The C-Class barely nudges out the 3 Series. BMW 330i vs. Mercedes C300 [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Which-is-the-Best-car.jpg] BMW 330I VS. MERCEDES C300: WHICH IS THE BEST? The Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the BMW 3 Series are comparable in many respects. However, BMW might be the least expensive option based on starting MSRP stats. The difference in price, though, isn’t huge. Both offer similar dependability scores, although the 3 Series scored higher than the C-Class for Quality/Reliability. Mercedes nudged out BMW’s 3 Series for Driving Experience. Both scored a 75 for Resale Value. The standard features for the 330i and the C300 also are comparable. Buyers might opt for a more luxurious leather interior, as this option does not come standard. Both BMW and Mercedes-Benz offer their own branded standard upholstery. BMW’s 3 Series is the more fuel efficient option. Buyers who want to maximize their fuel might choose this model for its fuel efficiency. Both models received good safety scores from IIHS. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class bumped the BMW because of headlights and earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award. Is one model better than the other? That might just depend on the opinion of the consumer. Both models have their own advantages. Buyers might test drive both models to find out which is the better car for their needs and lifestyle. BMW 330i vs. Mercedes C300 [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Explore-Both-Models-from-Home-Using-RelayCars.jpg] EXPLORE BOTH MODELS FROM HOME USING RELAYCARS Consumers who are comparing the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class can download the RelayCars app or use the RelayCars mobile website to explore both models–and thousands of other vehicles–using interactive technologies. The RelayCars app is free to download from either Google Play or the App Store; the app lets buyers explore cars via 3D immersive models or in virtual reality (with Google Cardboard). Those who don’t want to download the app can choose to explore vehicles on the RelayCars’ mobile website from their phone or tablet. The mobile site lets car shoppers interact with 3D vehicle models on their screen or use augmented reality to explore cars. With augmented reality, car shoppers can capture their environment using their smartphone or tablet camera. The augmented reality experience will drop a 3D model of a selected vehicle into this selected environment. Both the app and the mobile site also allow users to explore a vast inventory of vehicles via 3D interactive car models. The cars can be rotated 360 degrees using a fingertip; car buyers can view cars from any angle. They also can swap out the paint hue and explore the interior, too. The RelayCars’ app also features a virtual reality option for car buyers to preview any car from the RelayCars inventory in a virtual reality showroom. However, users must have access to Google Cardboard to enjoy the virtual reality experience. Use RelayCars to explore different makes/models to better understand specs and prices, too. RelayCars offers extensive information on every car in the inventory. With RelayCars, buyers can enjoy numerous interactive preview experiences to explore all their options and help them find the best vehicle.

These are the Best Electric and Hybrid Vehicles for 2022

These are the Best Electric and Hybrid Vehicles for 2022

June 24, 2022

The options for electric and hybrid vehicles are becoming more extensive each year. As the popularity of these energy-efficient vehicles increases, more manufacturers are meeting the demand with new models. General Motors is moving to an all-electric lineup, and manufacturers like Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai have released hybrid options for popular models. With so many hybrid and electric models from which to choose, how do buyers find their ideal option? Younger buyers focus on price, safety and fuel efficiency when shopping for a car. Based on these three criteria, here are the best electric and hybrid vehicles for 2022. Best Electric and Hybrid Vehicles [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Finding-the-Best-Hybrid-Model.jpg] FINDING THE BEST HYBRID MODEL Hybrid vehicles can be found in lower price ranges than fully-electric models. Some hybrids plug-in to charge the battery, but many do not need a plug. Hybrids combine the energy of electricity and standard fuel to power the engine. This energy-efficient mechanical design enables a hybrid to maximize the use of fuel, and many models offer more than 50 MPG. Typically, hybrids are the most fuel efficient when driving in the city. This differs from standard vehicles, which perform most efficiently on the highway. Drivers who tend to spend most of their commute in the stop-and-go traffic of city or suburban streets might gravitate to a hybrid model. THE CHEAPEST HYBRID MODELS Buyers on a tighter budget might want to find the least expensive hybrids on the market. Hybrids tend to be pricier than the standard vehicle, but buyers can still find some lower-priced options. MotorTrend rounded up the least expensive hybrid models for 2022; the five least expensive models include: * 2022 Ford Maverick XL FWD $19,995 * 2022 Hyundai Ioniq $23,600 * 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid $24,775 * 2022 Hybrid Elantra Hybrid Blue $24,775 * 2022 Toyota Prius L Eco $25,650 ABOUT THE LEAST EXPENSIVE MODEL ON THE MARKET Buyers who assumed the cheapest hybrid on the market was a sedan might be surprised to realize that it’s actually a pickup truck. The 2022 Ford Maverick XL FWD is priced economically at $19,995. It has enough space for five passengers and can tow up to 4,000 pounds (when fully equipped). The Maverick can get an estimated 42 MPG in the city, 33 MPG on the highway and 37 MPG combined. Unfortunately, buyers who want this model might be in for a wait or a hunt. Ford is no longer accepting orders as buyer demand was so high. THE MOST FUEL EFFICIENT HYBRID MODELS Hybrids are the most fuel efficient vehicles on the market (electric models are the most energy-efficient). However, the efficiency for hybrid models can vary considerably. Car buyers who face a long daily commute might want the hybrid that maximizes every drop of gas in the tank. The five most fuel efficient hybrid models include: * Hyundai Ioniq 58 MPG city / 60 MPG highway * Toyota Prius 58 MPG city / 53 MPG highway * Toyota Corolla 53 MPG city / 52 MPG highway * Toyota Camry Hybrid 51 MPG city / 53 MPG highway * Hyundai Sonata 50 MPG city / 54 MPG highway ABOUT THE MOST FUEL EFFICIENT HYBRID MODEL The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq is the most fuel efficient hybrid on the market. It offers 58 MPG in the city and 60 MPG on the highway.  The Ioniq is priced a little less than $24,000 and is the second most affordable hybrid on the market. THE SAFEST HYBRIDS Many buyers review safety ratings of the vehicles that they are considering for purchase. Safety ratings and reports are available via the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Buyers can enter the make, model and year of any vehicle to review the safety report and understand how that model performed in safety tests. These are the hybrid models that received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from IIHS: * Honda Insight * Honda Accord Hybrid * Toyota Camry Hybrid * Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid * Hyundai Tucson Hybrid * Toyota Highlander Hybrid * Ford Explorer Hybrid * 2022 Volvo S60 T8 Recharge * 2022 Lexus ES Hybrid * Volvo XC90 * Toyota Sienna * Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Since all the models received top honors from IIHS, choosing one as the safest isn’t really an option. The list shows, though, that buyers can choose from many hybrids that offer top safety ratings. Find one that meets the budget and/or fuel efficiency expectations. Best Electric and Hybrid Vehicles [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Shopping-for-the-Best-Electric-Models.jpg] SHOPPING FOR THE BEST ELECTRIC MODELS Electric vehicles aren’t as plentiful as hybrids; however more companies are introducing new electric models. In addition, there are several companies like Tesla, Rivian and Lucid that only produce electric vehicles. Buyers who want an electric vehicle might be drawn to the fact that these vehicles don’t use any fuel, which means no trips to the gas station. However, buyers must keep their vehicle charged up to ensure that they don’t lose battery power during a commute. Most electric models come with a level 1 charger; this is just a plug that connects to a standard outlet in the garage. These chargers are not the most efficient way to charge these cars, though. Cars with a fully dead battery could take a day to charge. For this reason, buyers need to charge nightly (this ensures the battery stays replenished and doesn’t run too low). Buyers also could install a level 2 charger in their home. These chargers require a larger voltage, though. In addition, installation of these stations could be cost prohibitive for some car owners. Electric cars are the most energy-efficient vehicles available. They also don’t contribute to air pollution, as these vehicles don’t release harmful emissions. Some manufacturers are choosing to produce only electric models for their future. THE MOST AFFORDABLE ELECTRIC VEHICLES Electric cars, trucks and SUVs are more expensive than traditional or even hybrid models. The models with the longest range can be more than $100,000. For those who want electric but don’t want to pay a high price for a new model, the five most budget-friendly electric vehicles include these models: * Nissan Leaf $27,400 * Mini Cooper Hardtop $29,900 * Chevrolet Bolt $31,500 * Mazda MX-30 $33,740 * Hyundai Kona Electric $34,000 ABOUT THE NISSAN LEAF The Nissan Leaf is the least expensive electric model on the market with a starting price of $27,400. The Leaf doesn’t get amazing range; its estimated range is between 150 to 226 miles. For those who need a lower-priced option and who might only use the vehicle for shorter commutes, the Leaf could be an ideal vehicle. THE LONGEST RANGE ELECTRIC MODELS Buyers who want an electric model with the longest range might prepare themselves to pay for a battery that’s capable of going the distance. The longest range models are some of the most expensive on the market. Here are the five electric models with the longest range: * Lucid Air Dream Edition Estimated range of 520 miles $169,900 * Tesla Model S / Tesla Model S Plaid Estimated range of 405 miles / Estimated range of 396 miles (Plaid) $99,900 / $135,990 (Plaid) * Tesla Model 3 Long Range Estimated range of 358 miles $55,990 * Tesla Model X Estimated range of 348 miles $114,990 * Mercedes-Benz EQS450 Estimated range between 340 and 350 miles $102,310 ABOUT THE LUCID AIR DREAM EDITION The Lucid Air has a starting price of $77,400, but only the Air Dream offers the extensive range that has allowed Lucid to outdrive Tesla. The Air Dream Edition is priced at $169,000. In addition, buyers who are interested in the model are likely not able to procure a new one; Lucid has closed the reservations. THE SAFEST ELECTRIC MODELS Electric models have earned top spots from the IIHS. Since there are fewer electric options than standard or hybrid models, the list of safest electric vehicles is shorter. However, these are the electric models that have earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from IIHS: * Tesla Model 3 * Audi e-tron * Audi e-tron Sportback * Volvo XC40 Recharge * Tesla Model Y USE RELAYCARS TO EXPLORE ALL THE HYBRID AND ELECTRIC VEHICLE OPTIONS Car buyers can download the RelayCars app or visit the RelayCars mobile site to explore the best hybrid and electric models via immersive 3D models, augmented reality experiences or using virtual reality. RelayCars offers thousands of makes and models, and buyers can explore as many vehicles as they wish. The RelayCars app is free to download on both Google Play and the App Store. The app allows users to explore vehicles using either immersive 3D models or through virtual reality (with Google Cardboard). Interactive 3D imagery lets buyers explore cars using their fingertip; turn the car around and view it from any angle. Those who don’t wish to download the app also can visit the RelayCars website via their mobile device. The website offers an augmented reality showroom experience and the same 3D model interactions available via the app. With the augmented reality experience, site visitors can use their smartphone or tablet camera to capture any environment. The augmented reality technology will drop a 3D image of a vehicle into this selected environment. Preview cars in the backyard or see how they look in the driveway. RelayCars creates an immersive experience for buyers to explore different vehicles during their car buying journey. Download the app or visit the site to check out the entire RelayCars inventory.

What is the Allure of Electric Trucks and Pickups?

What is the Allure of Electric Trucks and Pickups?

June 17, 2022

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) recently published an article detailing that younger men (those less than 35) are gearing up for the electric pickup truck. KBB reported that Cox Automotive (its parent company) found that these buyers are more likely to purchase a plug-in pickup. What’s the allure of the electric truck, though? How will these models compare to their fuel-injected counterparts? There are many new pickup trucks that are about to drive into the market; electric options include: * Ford F-150 Lightning * Rivian R1T * 2022 GMC Hummer EV * Tesla Cybertruck * Chevrolet Silverado EV WHAT ARE THE CONCERNS ABOUT THE ELECTRIC PICKUP TRUCK? KBB reported that older buyers (those over 35) were more likely to stick with standard fuel-injected pickup trucks. In fact, more than half of these buyers revealed they would only consider purchasing gas-fueled pickups. The concerns about these new plug-in pickups also were noted by KBB; some buyers weren’t happy with the price points, but towing capacity also was a concern. The Ford F-Series currently offers the best towing capacity on the market. Even the smallest F-150 is capable of towing up to 11,300 pounds when fully (and properly) equipped. How do these electric models compare in price and towing? Here’s what buyers need to know about each model. FORD F-150 LIGHTNING Buyers who want a new Lightning are out of luck unfortunately. Orders have closed, as the demand was incredibly high. The Lightning is the electric version of the F-Series, which has reigned as the best-selling vehicle in the country for about four decades. The F-150 Lightning is priced at $39,974. This is nearly $10,000 more than the standard F-150’s starting price. The Lightning also has a towing capacity capped at 7,700 pounds. With an estimated range of 300 miles, though, drivers can feel confident in going the distance with this truck. RIVIAN R1T The Rivian R1T is one of two models offered by the electric automobile company (the other option is an SUV). The R1T has a starting price of $67,500, much higher than the Lightning. However, the R1T offers better towing capacity; it can pull up to 11,000 pounds. According to Rivian, the R1T has an estimated range between 260 and 400 miles; the discrepancy is due to different battery and motor options. 2022 GMC HUMMER EV The Hummer EV is offered in both a pickup and an SUV. The pickup truck model is priced at $108,700; as a Hummer model, the pickup might lean a bit more luxury. Can this pickup pull its weight in towing capacity? The Hummer pickup has an estimated maximum towing capacity of 7,500 pounds—the lowest on the list. Can the Hummer EV take on long distances without fully zapping its battery? The Hummer EV pickup has an estimated range of 329 miles, which is decent. TESLA CYBERTRUCK When will the Cybertruck officially hit the streets? No one really knows. However, this model has created a lot of buzz. Unlike the other models on the list, the Cybertruck doesn’t feature a standard pickup truck design. Instead, the Cybertruck is angled and sculptural and fits its futuristic model name. The Cybertruck also is among the lower-priced electric truck options; in fact, the Cybertruck has a starting price of $39,900. However, the all-wheel drive model can soar to around $69,900. The Cybertruck is expected to have a towing capacity of up to 14,000 pounds (the highest of all the electric models). In addition, Tesla’s Cybertruck is expected to outdrive its competitors on a full charge. The Cybertruck is expected to have an estimated range of 500 miles. CHEVROLET SILVERADO EV General Motors announced its intent to go to an all-electric lineup. It should come as no surprise that an electric Silverado is expected to debut sometime in 2023. Interested buyers can reserve their electric truck now. With a starting price of $39,900, the electric Silverado is in the same price range as the Lightning and the Cybertruck. The Silverado EV is expected to have a maximum towing capacity of 10,000 pounds. The Silverado will have the second best estimated range among the electric pickups (second to Tesla) and will offer an estimated range of 400 miles. Electric Trucks and Pickups [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/How-Do-the-Electric-Models-Compare-to-the-Standard-Pickup-1024x1024.jpg] HOW DO THE ELECTRIC MODELS COMPARE TO THE STANDARD PICKUP? The concerns of older buyers might be related to how much weight these electric trucks can tow and perhaps their price, too. How do the electric models compare to the standard models? The most popular pickup trucks in 2021 were the Ford F-Series, the Ram Pickup and the Chevrolet Silverado. These pickups are offered in half-ton, ¾ ton and full ton models. Each upgrade offers better towing capacity and a higher price tag. One of the key differences between the electric models and the standard models might be related to the engine design. While many electric models offer engine options that could improve performance in some way, the towing capacity appears limited to all the electric pickups. Tesla’s Cybertruck offers a towing capacity of up to 14,000 pounds, but, again, the F-150 can tow (when fully equipped) up to 11,500 pounds. The F-150 is the smallest truck among the F-Series lineup. The F-250 can tow up to 15,000 pounds. The F-350 can tow up to 20,000 pounds (when fully equipped). Both the Ram pickup and Silverado lineups offer better towing capacity with larger models. Buyers of these fuel-injected pickups can choose the model that fits their towing or hauling needs. With electric models, the lineup seems more limited. There isn’t the option to fully equip a model to improve on the towing capacity. In addition, many of these electric base models are more expensive than the base (or starting MSRP) of their standard counterparts. Buyers who need a pickup truck for heavier loads might not feel that the upcoming electric options can carry the weight of the standard models. They also might feel that their money can be used to invest in upgrades for these trucks that enhance both the drive and the power of the vehicle. Electric Trucks and Pickups [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Electric-for-a-Younger-Buyer.jpg] ELECTRIC FOR A YOUNGER BUYER? The younger buyers might focus more on the ecological impact of the electric future. Diesel and gas-guzzling engines emit pollution into the air. While improvements have been made to reduce the emissions that add to air pollution, the environmental impact still remains a concern. Younger buyers, therefore, might be more in tune with the greener thinking that focuses on conservation and lessening the individual’s carbon footprint. One way that buyers can decrease their impact on the environment is to decrease their energy use—removing fossil fuel dependence is one solution. The electric vehicles that are about to hit the highways are the first generation—the beginning of an electric pickup future. How these models perform and how buyers embrace them could be a pivotal factor in determining if these plug-in pickups even have a future. Yet, for major auto brands (like GM), there may be no going back to the gas fumes of the past. GM is embracing an electric future, and others will perhaps join in on this trend. Younger buyers are eyeing these electric trucks, and if the younger generation wants electric, demand will perhaps rule what is supplied. ARE ELECTRIC TRUCKS IN SHORT SUPPLY? Buyers who are beginning to get excited about the prospect of owning an electric pickup might have quite a wait. While Rivian and Tesla appear to still be taking orders for the R1T and the Cybertruck, those who want an electric Lightning are out of luck (for now). Ford has seen such a surge in interest and orders that they ceased accepting additional orders. However, the Silverado also can be ordered. Buyers also can reserve a Hummer EV. With the popularity of the Lightning, it might be a good idea to place an order for an electric truck sooner rather than later (if a buyer really is committed to the purchase). Those who are on the fence about these models, though, might wait to see how these models perform once they hit the streets. The next generation of electric pickups could offer additional towing power, longer ranges and maybe a more affordable price, too. While some buyers want to immediately purchase the next new model, waiting for a later option also could be a good decision if the buyer just isn’t ready to commit. Manufacturers continually improve upon existing models, and, as the electric future is just beginning, the later electric models could be more impressive than the introductory pickup models. Should all buyers be prepared to electrify their future? Again, GM is moving to an all electric lineup. Others could join in on this trend. Electric might be the future of driving. As popularity for these models becomes electrifying, consumers may begin to see more charging stations integrate into their communities. Buyers who are concerned about the price of electric models also might wait to see if future models begin to focus on more budget-friendly price points. As electric vehicles begin to gain mainstream acceptance, prices might decrease and become more affordable. Cautious consumers may simply wait to see what the electric future holds before driving off the lot in a new electric plug-in vehicle.

Durango vs. Grand Cherokee: Here are the Differences and the Similarities

Durango vs. Grand Cherokee: Here are the Differences and the Similarities

June 13, 2022

Full-size and some midsize SUVs offer space for up to seven or eight passengers. The larger SUVs also provide lots of cargo space for gear, equipment and anything else that needs to be hauled. Midsize and larger models typically have the power to tow heavier loads and many can even take on the tougher terrain of off-road adventures. The Jeep Grand Cherokee ranks as the fifth most popular vehicle in 2022 and was the eighth most popular vehicle sold in 2021. However, the Grand Cherokee is often regarded as a pricier SUV, but, for budget-savvy buyers, is the Dodge Durango a more affordable option? When comparing the Durango vs. Grand Cherokee, here are the major details for each model that will be highlighted: * Price * Towing capacity * Off-roading capabilities * Safety features * Passenger Space * Fuel efficiency * Dependability (2018 model data) JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE VS. DODGE DURANGO: PRICING UP THE DIFFERENCE Jeep isn’t necessarily a luxury brand, but the prices of the models can hit luxury prices. Depending on the features that buyers select, the price of any model can soar well beyond the base (or starting) MSRP. The Jeep Grand Cherokee has a starting price of $38,720, but buyers can choose from seven trims. The Summit Reserve is the most expensive trim, with an MSRP starting at $65,175. Buyers on a budget might assume that the Dodge Durango is a lower-budget option. In fact, the Durango has a starting MSRP that is higher than the base model of the Grand Cherokee. The Durango starts at $36,995. There are seven different trims for the Durango, and the SRT 392 is the most expensive option with a starting MSRP of $68,590 (slightly higher than the Summit Reserve). In addition, the Trailer-Tow Group IV package bumps the price by more than $1,100. Towing capacity tells more about the differences between the two base models of these vehicles. DODGE DURANGO VS. JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE: WHICH MODEL PULLS THE MOST WEIGHT? Some buyers choose a full-size SUV because they need a vehicle capable of towing a small camper or maybe even a boat. Not every buyer wants a pickup truck, and, as SUVs are built on a truck chassis, larger models often offer decent towing capacities. The Jeep Grand Cherokee can tow up to 6,200 pounds; even the higher-priced Summit Reserve tops out at this capacity. However, when fully equipped, the Dodge Durango can tow up to 8,700 pounds. For buyers looking for the highest capacity for towing, the Durango outperforms the Cherokee. Durango vs. Grand Cherokee [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Hitting-the-Rocky-Terrain.jpg] DURANGO VS. GRAND CHEROKEE: HITTING THE ROCKY TERRAIN The site Four Wheel Trends reviewed the Dodge Durango’s off-roading capabilities. It noted that the Durango was “…an average off-road vehicle.” The site also stated that the Durango didn’t offer the protective features of a Jeep. The Jeep Grand Cherokee, however, is built for rough adventures. In fact, the Jeep Grand Cherokee (as well as other models) are Trail-Rated and tested in cold weather conditions and driven over boulders in Rubicon. JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE VS. DODGE DURANGO: THE SAFETY FEATURES AND RATINGS Safety ratings are important for many buyers. How protective are these models? Can they withstand a crash? Consumers can review crash test reports from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to better understand a vehicle’s performance related to safety and crash protection. Neither the 2022 Dodge Durango nor the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee (the latest model reviewed) received a safety award/top safety rating from the IIHS. DODGE DURANGO VS. JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE: CAN THESE MODELS FIT EIGHT PASSENGERS? Both the Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee are ‘mid-size’ SUVs, but both models have three-rows of seating. Families who need the most space possible might look for models that can fit up to eight passengers. The base Grand Cherokee can only fit up to five passengers. However, buyers can upgrade to models that include the third-row of seating. With the third row, the Grand Cherokee can fit up to seven passengers. The Dodge Durango doesn’t require the buyer to upgrade for a third row of seating; even the base model includes space for up to seven passengers. For those who need the most space and are on a bit of a budget, the Dodge Durango might be the better option. Durango vs. Grand Cherokee [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Saving-at-the-Pump-or-Gas-Guzzlers.jpg] DURANGO VS. GRAND CHEROKEE: SAVING AT THE PUMP OR GAS GUZZLERS? SUVs aren’t known for their fuel efficiency. Are the Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee gas guzzlers? Will buyers need to budget more to drive these SUVs? The Jeep Grand Cherokee offers decent fuel efficiency for an SUV. The Grand Cherokee can get up to 19 MPG in the city and up to 26 MPG on the highway. Fuel efficiency could be decreased, though, when towing. The model has a 23 gallon tank, and The Driver Adviser explains that some engines require premium gasoline. The Dodge Durango offers the same fuel efficiency as the Grand Cherokee. Again, though, towing may impact the MPG. The Durango has a 24.6 gallon gas tank. Durango owners can typically opt for regular unleaded at the pump but some engines might require higher grade fuel; check the owner’s manual for recommendations. JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE VS. DODGE DURANGO: THE DEPENDABILITY BASED ON 2018 MODELS Reliability of a vehicle can be the difference between constant visits to the mechanic and low-maintenance car ownership. J.D. Power releases names one vehicle in each class for its dependability award; models are analyzed by owners over three years of driving. Winners in 2021 were 2018 models. How did the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee fare for dependability? Did one score better than the other? Both the 2018 Dodge Durango and the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee were placed in the mid-size SUV category. The Kia Sorento was named the most dependable mid-size SUV. The Jeep Grand Cherokee placed 15th (out of 19 models), and the Dodge Durango placed 17th. The Jeep Grand Cherokee received a total score of 78. For Quality & Reliability, it scored a 77. For Driving Experience, the Grand Cherokee received a score of 83 and an 82 for Resale Value. The Dodge Durango received a total score of 76. For Quality & Reliability, it received a 79. For Driving Experience, it tied the Grand Cherokee with a score of 83. However, the Dodge Durango performed low for Resale Value—it scored a 68. Durango vs. Grand Cherokee [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/What-Model-is-the-Best-Buy.jpg] GRAND CHEROKEE VS. DODGE DURANGO: WHAT MODEL IS THE BEST BUY? Shoppers who are considering the Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango might wonder which model is the best buy. The answer depends on the buyer’s driving needs and perhaps the budget, too. The Dodge Durango provides the best towing capacity. Those who need to pull larger trailers might opt for the Durango. However, the Dodge Durango is priced higher than the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Buyers who need the best option for off-roading adventures might prefer the Jeep Grand Cherokee. This model is true to its roots and is built to take on rough trails. Those who want the most passenger space might opt for the Durango, which comes standard with three rows of seating (and can fit up to seven). The Jeep Grand Cherokee offers the third-row in upgraded options. The lowest-priced Cherokee can seat up to five. The safety ratings of the two models can be compared by visiting IIHS’ website. Search vehicles by make and model to review the safety report. Neither the 2018 Dodge Durango nor the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee ranked very high for dependability, but the Jeep Grand Cherokee slightly nudged out the Durango by a few points. The Durango scored low for Resale Value, while the Grand Cherokee held its value fairly well after three years. EXPLORE THE DURANGO AND THE JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE WITH RELAYCARS Buyers who are interested in comparing the Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee can download the RelayCars app or visit the RelayCars’ mobile site to explore both models. The RelayCars app is free via Google Play and the App Store. The app features two immersive experiences to preview vehicles. Users can explore thousands of makes/models using virtual reality (Google Cardboard is required) or they can explore models using immersive and interactive 3D models. With the virtual reality experience, users enter a virtual car dealership that allows them to see any model and walk around it, too. Both the app and the mobile website let users explore vehicles with 3D interactive models. Use a fingertip to turn the vehicle in any direction and see it from any angle. The mobile app also includes an augmented reality experience; use the camera of a smartphone or tablet to drop a vehicle into any space. The vehicle will appear as a 3D graphic in whatever environment the user views through their mobile device camera. Preview cars and SUVs in the driveway or garage and explore it at home. RelayCars’ app and website also features specs and price data for its entire virtual inventory. Using RelayCars, consumers can simulate the in-person dealership at home and shop for a new one any time. Download the app or visit the mobile site today!

These are the 10 Most Popular Vehicles of 2022

These are the 10 Most Popular Vehicles of 2022

June 10, 2022

Every year, Car and Driver releases a list of the best-selling vehicles. While dealerships have only entered the second sales quarter of the year, Car and Driver has already provided a round-up of the cars, trucks, and SUVs that are popular sellers. Are the most popular vehicles from 2021 holding onto their strong sales figures or have new models bumped out last year’s favorite vehicles? For consumers looking for a new car, these are the 10 most popular vehicles of 2022. * Ford F-Series * Dodge Ram Pickup * Chevrolet Silverado * Toyota RAV4 * Jeep Grand Cherokee * Toyota Highlander * Toyota Camry * Honda CR-V * GMC Sierra * Chevrolet Equinox Most Popular Vehicles of 2022 [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/The-Most-Popular-Vehicles-are-Pickup-Trucks.jpg] THE MOST POPULAR VEHICLES ARE PICKUP TRUCKS In 2021, the most popular vehicles were the Ford F-Series, the Dodge Ram Pickup and the Chevrolet Silverado. All three models continue their sales dominance. More than 140,000 Ford F-Series trucks have already been sold, and the year isn’t even half over. Last year, Ford sold more than 726,000 F-Series trucks. This year, Ford also has added a new F-Series model—the electric F-150 Lightning. Interest in the electric truck has been so overwhelming that Ford has halted orders. Most Popular Vehicles of 2022 [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/SUVs-also-Dominate-the-Top-10.jpg] SUVS ALSO DOMINATE THE TOP 10 Car buyers might notice something interesting about the top 10 most popular models. Nine out of 10 models on the list are either a pickup truck or an SUV. Both the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V are small SUV models that have remained popular choices for consumers. While the RAV4 has held onto its position as the fourth best-selling vehicle, the Honda CR-V has actually slid a bit in popularity compared to 2021—it ranked as the fifth best-selling vehicle. However, the Toyota Highlander and the Jeep Grand Cherokee have received a bump in sales so far. The Highlander took the ninth spot in 2021 and now it’s the sixth most popular vehicle. In 2021, the Jeep Grand Cherokee was the eighth most popular (or best-selling) vehicle, and now it’s the fifth most popular (the spot once held by the CR-V). The GMC Sierra—another pickup truck—also has become a popular choice for buyers this year. GMC has sold more than 56,000 Sierra trucks this year. In 2021, a total of 248,924 GMC Sierra models were sold (it ranked in the 13th spot). THE TOYOTA CAMRY: ONE POPULAR SEDAN The Toyota Camry stands alone among the list of popular vehicles for 2022; the Camry is the only sedan among the top 10 best-selling vehicles. In 2021, the Camry was the sixth most popular vehicle. Right now the Camry ranks as the 7th best-selling vehicle. What makes the Camry such an in-demand vehicle? The Camry checks all the must-have boxes for many consumers: it’s budget-friendly, fuel-efficient and safe. The Camry has a starting MSRP of $25,845, and while it isn’t the least expensive sedan on the market, it’s still at an accessible price point. Another selling point? The Camry is great for commuters or those who want to maximize their gas mileage; the sedan gets 28 MPG in the city and 39 MPG on the highway. The Camry also is available in a hybrid model, although the price jumps to $27,980. The hybrid offers great fuel efficiency and gets 51 MPG in the city and 53 MPG on the highway. In addition, the 2022 Toyota Camry received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This is the highest safety rating awarded. Most Popular Vehicles of 2022 [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/About-the-Top-Five-Most-Popular-Vehicles.jpg] ABOUT THE TOP FIVE MOST POPULAR VEHICLES The five most popular vehicles in the U.S. have remained consistent from 2021 rankings, with the exception of the fifth spot—the Jeep Grand Cherokee overtook the Honda CR-V. Like the Camry, these vehicles are popular with consumers for a reason. For the top three, though, popularity might not correlate to price, safety ratings or fuel efficiency. FORD F-SERIES The Ford F-Series includes multiple truck models, including the F-150, F-250, F-350 XLT, F-450 XLT, etc. The F-Series ranges in price, but the starting MSRP for the half-ton F-150 is $30,495. The F-250 XLT, F-350 XLT and the F-450 XLT are so popular they can no longer be ordered; Ford also notes on its website that dealership inventory also might be limited. Trucks are not known for their amazing fuel efficiency; the F-150 can get about 25 MPG combined. However, towing and extra weight in the bed could impact the gas mileage. What makes the F-Series so popular? Some buyers might focus on the F-Series’ towing capacity. Hotcars also explains that the F-150 also features a payload of 3,325 pounds. Essentially, the specs of the F-150 can’t be beat (or maybe even matched) by its competitors. The F-150 also has been the best-selling vehicle in the country for about four decades. DODGE RAM PICKUP The Dodge Ram Pickup is offered in multiple models, including the Ram 1500, Ram 2500 and Ram 3500. The Ram 1500 has a starting MSRP of $35,900, making its base price more than $5,000 more than the F-150. However, the Ram does get fairly decent fuel efficiency for a pickup. The 1500 can get 23 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway. Again, though, extra weight might affect these figures. CHEVROLET SILVERADO Sometimes Chevrolet’s Silverado is right behind the F-Series, but, recently, it’s been usurped by the Ram. The Silverado also is offered in 1500, 2500 and 3500 models (plus a few more offerings). The starting MSRP for the 1500 is $33,800—a mid-range price that puts it between the F-150 and the Ram 1500. The Silverado 1500 has a maximum towing capacity of 13,300 pounds. It offers similar fuel efficiency as the Ram—23 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. TOYOTA RAV4 The Toyota RAV4 is the best-selling small SUV on the market. Like the Camry, the RAV4 offers an affordable price point, a great safety rating and decent fuel efficiency. The RAV4 has a starting MSRP of $26,525. It can get up to 27 MPG in the city and 35 MPG on the highway. The 2022 Toyota RAV4 received a Top Safety Pick rating/award (when equipped with certain headlights) from the IIHS. JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE There are many buyers who are Jeep loyalists. While the Honda CR-V earned its place as the fifth most popular vehicle of 2021, the Grand Cherokee seems to be passing the CR-V in sales numbers. The 2022 Grand Cherokee has a starting MSRP of $35,735. The Grand Cherokee offers a third row of seating and has space for up to seven passengers. It is—as of current sales figures—the best-selling third-row SUV. Buyers considering a Grand Cherokee might want to focus on highway mileage. The Grand Cherokee gets 19 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway. WHAT IS THE LEAST POPULAR CAR FOR 2022? The most popular cars could point to buying trends, but some models—like the F-150—have been best-sellers for years. What cars aren’t so popular, though? Are there any cars that are simply being shunned by buyers? The site Brake for It listed cars to avoid in 2022. The list included the following models: * Ford Ecosport * Kia Telluride * Mitsubishi Mirage * Toyota Mirai * Hyundai Nexo WHY TO AVOID THE ECOSPORT? Brake for It reports that the Ecosport is being discontinued; the 2022 model will be its last. The site details that the small SUV doesn’t offer great gas mileage, its infotainment system isn’t modern, and it doesn’t offer great safety features. WHY IS THE TELLURIDE TO BE AVOIDED? Nothing is wrong with the Telluride. In fact, it’s a popular vehicle. So popular, in fact, that Brake for It reports that it’s selling quite high. The higher prices are why buyers might avoid purchasing a Telluride. THE MITSUBISHI MIRAGE HAS GREAT GAS MILEAGE The Mitsubishi Mirage made the list because, apparently, its great fuel efficiency is its only standout feature. The Mirage has a three-cylinder engine, and, per Brake for It, doesn’t have a quality interior. The site also noted that the Mirage didn’t have great reliability ratings. TOYOTA MIRAI AND HYUNDAI NEXO SHARE ONE BAD FEATURE The Mirai and the Nexo both made the list for the same reason: they are hydrogen vehicles. Unfortunately, there aren’t many hydrogen stations available across the country. While electric stations are limited in some areas, hydrogen stations are almost non-existent beyond certain regions. Brake for It included many other models on its ‘avoid’ list. Even the Silverado made the list. Buyers who are researching cars they want to purchase might check out the cons listed for the vehicles highlighted by the site. THE YEAR ISN’T OVER! While Car and Driver ranked the best-selling models of 2022, the year isn’t even half over. There are still nearly seven months left for car buyers to purchase their dream vehicle. It’s doubtful that any model will outsell the F-Series; if it hasn’t happened in about four decades, 2022 probably isn’t going to be the outlier year. Will the CR-V end up in the top five again? Will the Silverado overtake the Ram? Could there be a vehicle shortage that affects 2022 sales? Consumers will have to wait until the year’s end to find out what cars were the most popular in 2022 and which models sank in sales.

The Best Hybrid Cars for Tall People

The Best Hybrid Cars for Tall People

June 8, 2022

Tall drivers might need additional head space or legroom to be comfortable during the drive. No one wants to be squished in the driver’s seat as they try to navigate the roads. Not every popular vehicle is a good fit for every driver. Tall drivers might worry about hybrid models and the space they offer. In the past, hybrids were compact and perhaps space constrained (think the Toyota Prius). Now, though, hybrids come in all sizes and many offer plenty of space for tall drivers. The best hybrid cars for tall people include these spacious and budget-friendly models:   * Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid * Hyundai Sonata Hybrid * Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid * Honda Accord Hybrid * Honda Insight Hybrid Cars for Tall People [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/A-Few-Considerations-for-Taller-Drivers.jpg] A FEW CONSIDERATIONS FOR TALLER DRIVERS Those who are taller in stature or who might just have longer legs might look for a few features in their vehicle to simplify their space needs and maximize their comfort. While headroom and legroom are obvious space needs, consider these features, too (some might be upgrades, though): * Power seats (this can make positioning seats a bit easier) * Memory seats (this feature could let drivers program their seat position) * An extra spacious back seat (this can provide even more room to adjust the front seat) * Adjustable steering wheel Not all vehicles might offer every option. In addition, some buyers might not wish to pay an additional charge if these features are upgrades for a particular vehicle. However, these features could make the drive a bit more comfortable for those who are taller, plus features like memory seats also are extremely convenient since car owners won’t constantly have to readjust their seat. ABOUT THE BEST HYBRID CARS FOR TALL DRIVERS The best hybrid cars for tall drivers also could include luxury or premium models. However, this list focuses specifically on vehicles that are budget-friendly and accessible to all buyers. Those who are looking for spacious hybrids can compare models based on headroom and legroom. Safety also could be a concern for buyers.  Most models on the list received top scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). 2022 SUBARU CROSSTREK HYBRID The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is priced at $36,345. Drivers looking to maximize fuel efficiency will appreciate that the Crosstrek Hybrid can get up to 90 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent). How spacious is the Crosstrek Hybrid? It offers 39.8 inches of headroom in the front seats and 43.1 inches of legroom in the front. The Crosstrek Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid, and owners could opt for either a level 1 or level 2 charger. The level 1 is a cord that plugs into a standard outlet. However, the level 2 is an additional cost and requires a 240 volt outlet; the level 2 charges faster than the level 1. The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This is the highest safety recognition from the IIHS. 2022 HYUNDAI SONATA HYBRID The 2022 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is fairly economical for a hybrid mode; it has a starting MSRP of $27,350. The Hybrid can get up to 54 MPG combined (city and highway). Taller drivers will appreciate the extra space in the Sonata. The Sonata Hybrid offers 40 inches of headroom for front seat passengers and 46.1 inches of legroom in the front seat. The 2022 Hyundai Sonata received a Top Safety Pick award/rating (with specific headlights) from IIHS; the Hybrid did not have a separate safety report. 2022 HYUNDAI SANTA FE HYBRID The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid has a starting MSRP of $34,300, which is more affordable than the Crosstrek. It offers 36 MPG in the city, 31 MPG on the highway and 34 MPG combined. The Santa Fe isn’t the most fuel efficient option, but city drivers could appreciate the bump in efficiency. The Santa Fe Hybrid offers the most space of the models listed. The Santa Fe features 41.2 inches of head room and 44.1 inches of space to stretch out the legs. The standard Santa Fe received a Top Safety Pick+ award/rating from IIHS. However, the IIHS did not provide a separate safety report for the hybrid. 2022 HONDA ACCORD HYBRID The 2022 Honda Accord Hybrid has a starting MSRP of $27,320 and offers 48 MPG in the city and 47 MPG on the highway. The Accord Hybrid offers plenty of head and leg room for taller drivers. The front seat has 42.3 inches of legroom for drivers who need to stretch their legs. Those who have a longer torso will benefit from 39.5 inches of head room. The 2022 Honda Accord received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the IIHS. However, the hybrid did not have a separate safety report. 2022 HONDA INSIGHT The 2022 Honda Insight has a starting MSRP of $25,760, making it the most affordable model on the list. The Insight also offers great fuel efficiency—55 MPG in the city and 49 MPG on the highway. How much space does it offer for taller drivers, though? The Insight provides 37.5 inches of headroom and 42.3 inches of leg space in the front seat. The Insight also received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from IIHS. WHAT MODEL OFFERS THE MOST LEG ROOM? Car buyers might have different space needs. Tall drivers might have longer legs and want a hybrid model that offers the most leg room. Of all the models on the list, what hybrid has the most leg room? The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is the best choice for leg room; it offers drivers 46 inches of space to stretch the legs. WHAT MODEL OFFERS THE MOST HEAD ROOM? Some tall drivers need more head room. They might sit higher and need that extra space. What model offers the most head room? The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid is the best choice for those who need extra head room. The Santa Fe Hybrid offers 41.2 inches to help ensure that drivers don’t have to crouch down while driving. Hybrid Cars for Tall People [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/What-About-Fuel-Efficiency.jpg] WHAT ABOUT FUEL EFFICIENCY? Taller drivers might simply look for the hybrid with the most space in the front seat. However, fuel efficiency might play a part in the decision, too. A hybrid model typically is more fuel efficient than their standard model counterparts. The most fuel efficient hybrid that also offers extra space for taller drivers is the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. The Crosstrek is a plug-in hybrid and offers up to 90 MPGe. The Crosstrek Hybrid also is the most expensive option on the list, with a starting MSRP of more than $36,000. ADD THE PRIUS TO THE MOST SPACIOUS LIST, TOO! Gone are the days when fuel efficient vehicles like hybrids were smaller or more compact. When the Prius first debuted it might have been more spacious than many realized. The Prius became en vogue among celebrities. Today’s models offer space for taller drivers and many include spacious back seats for passengers, too. The 2022 Prius offers 39.4 inches of headroom and 42.3 inches of legroom. In fact, it can be added to the list of spacious hybrid models for tall people. While those small Prius models might seem diminutive, they actually are fairly spacious for drivers. Hybrid Cars for Tall People [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Dont-Forget-the-Test-Drive.jpg] DON’T FORGET THE TEST DRIVE Analyzing specs can help car buyers understand what hybrid models could be best for their height. However, the best way to determine if a vehicle is a comfortable fit is to take it for a test drive. While the front seat specs might seem spacious, drivers could find that the vehicle isn’t comfortable to drive. Maybe they still have to move the seat back, and this could create a smaller space for potential back-seat passengers. In addition, the space of a car doesn’t tell the whole story. The driver might not feel that the car has decent acceleration. The seats might not be comfortable. Maybe the steering wheel isn’t easy to adjust. Taking a test drive lets potential buyers test out different aspects of the vehicle. Buyers might even have a list of two or more models that they want to compare. Take them for a test drive to determine the model that is the best fit and offers the smoothest ride. If drivers feel that they need to move their seat back towards the rear passenger space, they might have a partner or friend sit in the back to determine if moving the seat impairs the back space. This could be a problem if the car needs to have back seat space for children or other family members. Consider a test drive to be a final interview for the vehicle. If the potential buyer isn’t impressed, they might keep looking. RELAYCARS CAN HELP BUYERS FIND THE BEST CAR Drivers who want to find the best hybrid can visit RelayCars’ website via a mobile device or download the app. RelayCars includes thousands of images of makes and models that buyers can explore when they are researching their vehicle options. RelayCars’ mobile website lets buyers explore vehicles via 3D imagery on the screen. Use a fingertip to rotate the car to check it out from any angle. The mobile site also gives buyers the option to explore cars in an augmented reality showroom. Drop a model of a vehicle into the real environment. The RelayCars app lets buyers explore vehicles via 3D imagery or using virtual reality technology (with Google Cardboard). Interact in a virtual space with favorite vehicle models.  Car buyers also can use RelayCars to find all the data on their favorite models. Compare MSRP and vehicle specs of different models. When buyers are ready to purchase their car, they can visit CarSaver.com (a RelayCars partner). Ready to explore and research? Download the RelayCars app today!

The Best Sports Cars for Tall People Ranked by Price

The Best Sports Cars for Tall People Ranked by Price

June 1, 2022

Tall individuals might have challenges when shopping for a vehicle. The driver’s seat needs to offer enough head space, and drivers also need enough space so that they aren’t crunched while trying to steer and maneuver the gas and brake pedals. Drivers don’t want their knees up to their chin. Space can be especially tight in sports cars, many of which are designed with only two seats. Those with back seat space might let tall drivers move their seat back to provide even more room.  The best sports cars for tall people offer enough room for comfortable driving, but some also are quite affordable for those who have a limited budget.. Autobytel offered a list of recommendations for the best sports cars for tall people. The most affordable sports cars on the list included: * Chevrolet Camaro * Dodge Challenger * Ford Mustang * Honda Civic Coupe * Fiat 500 All five of these models are fairly budget-friendly, at least for sports cars. Compared to luxury brands like Infiniti and BMW or high-end couture-adjacent vehicles like Bentley and Lamborghini, the five most affordable sports cars for tall people might seem like a bargain. How fast are these models, and how much do they cost? Here’s what buyers need to know about the best options for taller drivers. The Price of Space [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/The-Price-of-Space.jpg] SPORTS CARS FOR TALL PEOPLE: THE PRICE OF SPACE Buyers might be more than willing to pay for speed and acceleration. Sports cars are designed to look cool, but they also are designed for function—the function of speed. Sports cars and muscle cars are not among the cheapest models on the market, but there are a few that are more affordable than a buyer might assume for this type of automobile. Here’s how the models stack up by affordability: * 2019 Fiat 500 MSRP $17,750 * 2018 Honda Civic Coupe Estimated Price: about $22,990 * 2022 Chevrolet Camaro MSRP $25,000 * 2022 Ford Mustang MSRP $27,205 * 2022 Dodge Challenger MSRP $29,450 ABOUT THE MODELS The Fiat 500 and the Honda Civic Coupe can only be purchased as older models. While the Honda Civic continues to be a popular selling on the market, the coupe design is no longer available. In addition, the Fiat 500 was discontinued in 2019. For buyers interested in a pre-owned Fiat 500 or Honda Civic Coupe, the prices might vary depending on the features, mileage and the market, too. Currently, used car prices are higher than normal. Buyers who want a specific model might need to research their options to find the best price for the budget. Among the new models on the list, the most affordable option is the Chevrolet Camaro, which has a base MSRP of $25,000. Upgraded features, though, will increase the price tag for buyers. BEST SPORTS CARS FOR TALL PEOPLE: WHAT MODEL IS THE ROOMIEST? The best models for tall people should include plenty of space for the driver. How much front seat space is available in each of the most affordable sports cars? Here’s how each model ranks for space in the driver’s seat: * Chevrolet Camaro Front seat leg room: 43.9 inches Front seat head room: 38.5 inches * Dodge Challenger Front seat leg room: 42 inches Front seat head room: 39.3 inches * 2022 Ford Mustang Front seat leg room: 45.1 inches Front seat head room: 37.6 inches * 2018 Honda Civic Coupe Front seat leg room: 42.3 inches Front seat head room: 38.2 inches * 2019 Fiat 500 Front seat leg room: 40.7 inches Front seat head room: 38.9 inches (2018 model) The 2022 Ford Mustang offers the most legroom for drivers. However, the 2022 Dodge Challenger offers the most headspace. Depending on body type and build, buyers might zero in on one of these measurements. Some individuals have a longer torso, but others have longer legs. ARE SPORTS CARS SAFE? Safety might be another key factor when buyers are shopping for the best sports cars. While sports cars are known for their speed, some also perform well in crash tests. The safest option on the list was the 2018 Honda Civic Coupe, which earned a Top Safety Pick rating/award (when equipped with certain headlights) from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Buyers can visit the IIHS website and search vehicles by make and model to review their safety ratings and the safety report. Sports Cars for Tall People [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/The-Sports-Cars-with-the-Best-Acceleration-and-Top-Speeds.jpg] THE SPORTS CARS WITH THE BEST ACCELERATION AND TOP SPEEDS While taller buyers might have several choices for sports cars that would offer plenty of space and a comfortable driving experience, speed could be another buying point. What models on the list offer the quickest acceleration and top speeds? The Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock, for example, can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 3.25 seconds. The 2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody can reach speeds of 203 MPH. The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds (a hair slower than the Challenger). The Shelby GT500 has an estimated top speed of 220 MPH. The 2022 Chevrolet Camaro can accelerate from 0 to 60 in about 3.5 to 6 seconds. The top speed for the Camaro is noted as 183 MPH. Stats for the Fiat 500 are a little more sluggish. The 2019 Fiat 500 can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 7.7 to 8.7 seconds. The 500’s top speed is around 132 MPH. The 2018 Honda Civic Coupe also is a bit slower to accelerate. The Coupe can go from 0 to 60 MPH in 6.9 to 8 seconds. The little Coupe also has a maximum speed of about 132 MPH. Base model stats for the Challenger and the Mustang are a bit more difficult to pin down. It’s important for buyers to understand that the quoted stats were for upgraded models. The Shelby  GT500 isn’t a base model. In fact, it’s quite an investment; the Shelby costs more than $76,000 for a new 2022 model. WHAT’S THE BEST SPORTS CAR FOR TALL PEOPLE? There are five affordable sports car models that are great choices for those who are taller. The 2022 Mustang offers the best space for leg room, while the Dodge Challenger offers the most headspace. Every individual’s body type can be different. For this reason, buyers might want to rank their favorite models according to price, speed (or features) and, of course, space. To ensure that the car is the best fit, they can take a test drive. While stats can help buyers better understand the space of each model, driving the car is the best way to determine if it’s comfortable or roomy enough. Again, some drivers might need more head room. Others might want more space for their legs. Base MSRP stats include just the most basic standard features for the vehicle. Any additional upgrade that the buyer chooses will add to the cost. In addition, the Fiat 500 and the Honda Civic Coupe are no longer in production. Buyers who want to purchase these models would need to search used models. Since the price of used inventory has increased because of issues with the supply chain, prices may vary by region. However, availability also could be crunched. RELAYCARS CAN SIMPLIFY THE RESEARCH FOR A NEW CAR When buyers want to research different makes/models before visiting a dealership, they can use RelayCars to better understand the design and space of different vehicles. Buyers can access RelayCars by downloading the RelayCars app or visiting the RelayCars website on a mobile device. Using the RelayCars app, buyers can explore thousands of vehicles via immersive and interactive 3D imagery or in virtual reality (for those with Google Cardboard). Using just a fingertip, buyers can interact with an image of their favorite models; turn the car around and explore the interior, too. RelayCars also lets buyers view the car in different paint hues. Every model in RelayCar’s virtual inventory can be viewed in every paint trim offered by the manufacturer. This lets buyers decide what color fits their preference and their personality. Buyers also can surf onto the RelayCars website to explore vehicles via 3D imagery or even in augmented reality. The augmented reality option, though, can only be utilized when the website is accessed via a mobile device. Augmented reality lets car buyers preview their favorite vehicles in their own environment. Drop a vehicle into the garage or explore it in the driveway. The camera on the phone will display the 3D augmented reality image in whatever environment the user selects. Walk around the car and explore it. Both the RelayCars app and the mobile website provide pricing, specs and other data for every vehicle in the RelayCars inventory. Using this information, buyers can compare different vehicles or better understand the features of favorite vehicles. RelayCars also has partnered with CarSaver.com. With CarSaver, buyers can find the best car for their driving needs at the best price for their budget. Use RelayCars and CarSaver to simplify the new car search, save time and compare prices of all the most affordable sports cars that are designed for tall drivers.

2021 Nissan Rogue vs. 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe: Which Model Dominates the Road?

2021 Nissan Rogue vs. 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe: Which Model Dominates the Road?

May 30, 2022

Nissan and Hyundai both offer budget-friendly vehicles and models that offer similar styles and features. Nissan is based out of Japan, and Hyundai is based out of South Korea. However, while the Nissan Rogue was the seventh best-selling vehicle in 2021, the Santa Fe wasn’t among the 25 most popular models from the 2021 sales year. Why is the Rogue so popular and how does it differ from the Santa Fe? In a matchup between the 2021 Nissan Rogue vs. 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, here’s how the two compact SUV models compare related to price, safety, dependability and fuel efficiency. Which one dominates the road? 2021 Nissan Rogue vs. 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Nissan-Rogue-vs.-Santa-Fe.jpg] NISSAN ROGUE VS. SANTA FE: THE PRICE COMPARISON Many new car buyers focus on their budget to help determine the best vehicle for their financial situation. Affordability may be the difference when a buyer needs to choose between two similar models by competing manufacturers. The 2021 Nissan Rogue has a base price of $26,050. However, buyers need to understand that 2021 models might be considered pre-owned (depending on if they are purchased used). Some 2021 models could still be considered ‘new.’ Base models are not always available at dealerships, especially if the dealership needs to sell previous model year vehicles. The models could have a few upgrades, and these features impact the price. However, when comparing the Rogue and the Santa Fe, focusing on the base price is the fairest means of comparing the two. The Rogue is moderately priced. While it might not be the least expensive compact SUV on the market from the 2021 model year (that would be the 2021 Kia Soul), the Rogue still appeals to the mid-range buyer. The 2021 Santa Fe has a base price of $27,000, which is slightly higher than the Nissan Rogue. While the Santa Fe is still priced for the mid-range buyer, those who are truly watching every cent might opt for the lower-priced Nissan Rogue. The Winner for Price: 2021 Nissan Rogue NISSAN ROGUE VS. HYUNDAI SANTA FE: WHICH MODEL IS THE SAFEST? Nissan and Hyundai both produce models that are known for their safety features. However, while buyers can opt for advanced safety features in most models, reviewing the safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) might be the best resource for determining how a vehicle will fare in a crash. The 2021 Nissan Rogue received a Top Safety Pick+ award/rating. This is the highest rating bestowed by the IIHS. In comparison, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe received a Top Safety Pick award/rating from IIHS. The difference between the + and the Top Safety Pick rating comes down to headlights offered for the model. The IIHS notes that the Top Safety Pick award/rating is only given to models with specific headlights. Models that receive Top Safety Pick+ awards/ratings offer the best headlights as a standard feature. The Winner for Safety: The 2021 Nissan Rogue (because of the headlights) HYUNDAI SANTA FE VS. NISSAN ROGUE: WHICH MODEL IS THE MOST DEPENDABLE? Every year, J.D. Power reviews ratings from tens of thousands of car owners to determine the most dependable models. The top-rated car for each segment receives the award for most dependable. Models are reviewed after three years of ownership. This means that 2021 award winners were 2018 models. These dependability ratings, though, can help buyers spot trends related to models. Some models consistently rank high in scores each year. While the model might not win every single year, they might always score high by owners. How do the Santa Fe and the Rogue compare? These models were actually rated in different categories for the 2018 model year. The Santa Fe was placed in the mid-size SUV category, while the Nissan Rogue was placed in the compact SUV segment. The 2018 Santa Fe was rated 7th for dependability with a total score of 81. The Santa Fe received a score of 82 for quality/reliability, a score of 79 for driving experience and a score of 85 for resale value. Among the competing compact SUVs, the 2018 Nissan Rogue placed 6th overall with a score of 81 (the same as the Santa Fe). The Rogue received a score of 80 for quality/reliability, a score of 79 for driving experience and an 81 for resale value. The Most Dependable (per 2018 models): The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe 2021 Nissan Rogue vs. 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Santa-Fe-vs.-Rogue.jpg] SANTA FE VS. ROGUE: WHAT MODEL IS THE MOST FUEL EFFICIENT? Car buyers might need a smaller SUV for a work commute. While SUVs tend to have lower fuel efficiency, smaller models can offer better gas mileage. The 2021 Nissan Rogue offers decent fuel efficiency for buyers who need to maximize their fuel. The 2021 Rogue can get 27 miles per gallon in the city and 35 miles per gallon on the highway. The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe offers less fuel efficiency. The Santa Fe can get 25 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon on the highway. The Winner for Fuel Efficiency: 2021 Nissan Rogue KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE ROGUE AND THE SANTA FE Both the Rogue and the Santa Fe have space for a total of five passengers. Neither the Rogue nor then Santa Fe offers a third row of seating. However, the Santa Fe is categorized as a larger SUV than the Rogue. The Santa Fe is about five inches larger than the Rogue. They are so similar, though, that perhaps the extra few inches won’t matter much to buyers. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) notes in its comparison of the two models that the Rogue has a more luxurious design. The Rogue could be a great choice for buyers that want the look of a higher-end model without the larger price tag. KBB also noted, though, that the Santa Fe offers a hybrid model. While the Rogue surpasses the standard Santa Fe in fuel efficiency, the Santa Fe hybrid could be appealing to buyers that want an eco-friendly option that gets great gas mileage. However, the Santa Fe HEV has a larger price tag for its fuel efficiency. The base price of the hybrid model is $33,650. The hybrid model can get up to 36 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. Those who have urban commutes might gravitate to the hybrid Santa Fe. ROGUE VS. SANTA FE: WHICH MODEL IS BEST? Choosing the better model might be a matter of preference for buyers. While the Rogue is slightly more affordable and the 2021 model nudged out the Santa Fe for the IIHS safety awards, the difference for safety is related only to headlights. In addition, both models (from the 2018 model year) offer decent dependability. However, the Santa Fe may hold the advantage for resale value. Buyers need to understand, though, that dependability ratings were related to 2018 models; the dependability of the 2021 models may fare differently. Fuel efficiency figures give the Rogue a slight advantage over the standard Santa Fe. However, buyers could opt for the hybrid Santa Fe, which offers better fuel efficiency than the standard Rogue. The hybrid Santa Fe is more expensive than the Rogue; buyers on a tighter budget might not want to invest in the hybrid. Both models offer space for five, which makes them a great choice for those with families or buyers who just want more space. With the seat space, the Rogue offers slightly more cargo space. However, the standard cargo volume between the two vehicles is fairly comparable (the Nissan Rogue only slightly nudges out the Santa Fe). The ideal model for each buyer could come down to personal preference or perhaps a brand preference. These two models are fairly similar, although KBB does note that the Rogue has a higher-end looking design. USE RELAYCARS TO EXPLORE THE ROGUE AND THE SANTA FE Car buyers can use RelayCars to research both the 2021 Nissan Rogue and the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe. Download the RelayCars app and explore the models via interactive 3D imager or in virtual reality (for those with Google Cardboard). Using RelayCars’ app, buyers can use their fingertips to interact with 3D images of both models. See these SUVs from all angles and explore their interior features, too. RelayCars also offers specs, MSRP and other data for buyers who want additional data for particular models. Buyers also can access the RelayCars app via their mobile device. Using a tablet or smartphone, buyers can explore vehicles on the website in augmented reality or via 3D imagery. Choosing augmented reality, buyers can preview a model in their own environment. RelayCars’ augmented reality tool transforms the user’s real environment into an augmented reality showroom. Drop a Santa Fe or a Rogue into the garage or preview the vehicles in the driveway. Walk around the SUV model to see it from different vantage points. RelayCars also lets buyers switch out the paint hues for each model within its inventory. Thousands of models—including older model years—can be accessed via the platform. For each model, buyers can explore every paint hue offered by the manufacturer. Use RelayCars to determine if the Hyundai Santa Fe or the Nissan Rogue dominates, and have fun exploring all the different tools to research these popular car models.

How Much Should I Put Down on a Car?

How Much Should I Put Down on a Car?

May 23, 2022

Some car dealerships might require a very minimal or no down payment when purchasing a new or used car. Often, though, buyers try to allocate a down payment to offset the price of the new vehicle. Some buyers combine a down payment with a trade-in value to further decrease the purchase price. New buyers might wonder, though: How much should I put down on a car? Experts have recommendations related to down payment amount, but buyers also need to know the value of their down payment. The benefits of a down payment include: * Possibly accessing a lower interest rate for financing * Paying less interest over time * Offsetting the impact of depreciation * Lowering the purchase price and possibly opting for a shorter loan term How Much Should I Put Down on a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/How-Much-Should-You-Put-Down-on-a-Car.jpg] HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU PUT DOWN ON A CAR? Car buyers should opt for a down payment that fits into their budget. Food or housing costs shouldn’t be in jeopardy because of a down payment, and car buyers need to review their budget to find the down payment that works best for their financial situation. What do the experts recommend as an ideal down payment amount? Nerdwallet recommends that car buyers try to allocate 20 percent of the purchase price of a new car for the down payment. The site recommends putting 10 percent down for a used car. Other experts advise 10 percent down on a new car purchase. HOW IS A DOWN PAYMENT BENEFICIAL TO BUYERS? A down payment for a car might have numerous benefits for buyers. In some cases, dealership financing deals (like 0 percent interest loans) could require a down payment. The biggest benefit of a down payment is that it decreases the purchase price of the vehicle. Here’s why that’s important. How Much Should I Put Down on a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Lower-Interest-Rates.jpg] A DOWN PAYMENT COULD LEAD TO LOWER INTEREST RATES When a car buyer offers a down payment for a vehicle, it decreases the price of the vehicle and it also decreases the amount of financing the buyer needs (if they require financing). The down payment reduces some of the risk for the lender. If a car buyer has a decent credit score and allocates 20 percent of the purchase price for a down payment, this could increase the borrower’s credit worthiness. A down payment might lead to lower interest rates for financing. However, this isn’t the case for all buyers or borrowers. PAY LESS INTEREST OVER TIME Even if a down payment doesn’t lead to a lower interest rate, it could help buyers pay less in interest over the course of their loan. Again, a down payment decreases the purchase price of the car. This means that interest is applied to a lower overall purchase price. In addition, Investopedia explains that monthly payments also might be lower, too. Buyers might be surprised at how the price of interest stacks up over time. Nerdwallet offers a car payment calculator that buyers can use to estimate their monthly loan payments. The tool also can help buyers understand how the costs of interest change with each percentile increase. How Much Should I Put Down on a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Cost-of-Depreciation.jpg] OFFSET THE COST OF DEPRECIATION The value of a new car depreciates between nine percent and 11 percent once buyers drive it off the dealership lot. In the first few years of ownership, the vehicle will lose more value—60 percent over the course of five years. A down payment can help lessen the impact of depreciation. While the car will still depreciate, making a down payment will essentially help offset the loss of value. A down payment also could mean the difference between having a car with a little bit of equity and a car that’s underwater (worth less than the loan balance). A 20 percent down payment for a new car could help pay for the vehicle’s depreciation during that first year and keep a buyer from being upside down on their loan. OPT FOR A SHORTER LOAN TERM While a down payment can help a buyer pay less interest and help reduce monthly payments on the loan, buyers might find another added benefit. When a buyer offers a down payment—perhaps a substantial down payment—the cost of the vehicle could decrease enough to allow the buyer to choose a shorter loan term. The buyer might pay more per month but could pay off the loan in less time. A shorter loan term means that the buyer would own the car outright sooner. While shorter loans aren’t an option for all buyers, a larger down payment could provide enough of a price reduction for the vehicle that the shorter term becomes feasible. COMBINING A TRADE-IN WITH A DOWN PAYMENT Investopedia recommends that buyers offer a down payment versus just a trade-in. This is due to the fact that some car owners might receive less than the car is actually worth when offering it up as a trade-in. However, a car buyer could combine a trade-in with a down payment. This combination could help further offset the cost of the new vehicle. While dealerships could allow the trade-in to serve as the down payment, buyers can add additional cash to the deal to help lower that purchase price. One issue that car buyers could have with a trade-in is if the car is worth less than an outstanding loan value. If the trade-in is underwater, a dealership could add this amount to a new loan. The problem with adding the outstanding balance to the new car is that it perpetuates a cycle of negative equity. Adding a previous loan balance to a new car purchase would cause the new car to be financed for more than its true value. What are the options, though, if the potential trade-in has a balance? Car owners could contact their lender to inquire about the payoff amount. It could be low enough that the buyer might be able to simply pay it off in full. However, if the balance is too high to pay in full, car owners could ask the lender if they could sell it privately; the lender could have stipulations on the selling process, which is why the borrower needs to contact the lender before selling privately. THE ZERO OR MINIMAL DOWN PAYMENT Some dealerships could require a 0 down payment or even just a negligible down payment. This could sound appealing to buyers who don’t have the budget for a down payment. In some cases, a 0 percent down payment could depend on other qualifications. However, even if the buyer qualifies or if the deal applies to all buyers, the buyer still needs to understand how that minimal down payment would affect their loan. Again, a down payment can help lower the amount of interest paid over time but it also helps to offset the impact of depreciation. If the buyer opts for a minimal down payment, the car could be underwater the moment it’s driven off the lot. Buyers also should review their financing terms. What is the interest rate for the financing with a small—or zero—down payment? What are the terms? Will the buyer be entering into a long loan (like 84 months)? Longer loan terms would mean that the buyer would pay more in interest over the life of the loan. UNDERSTAND FINANCING OPTIONS When consumers are reviewing their finances to allocate a down payment amount, they also might take the opportunity to review their credit report. Consumers are entitled to a free credit report each year. This can help them better understand their creditworthiness or credit risk. While the score on free reports might not be the exact score lenders see, the free report should give consumers an indication of their credit health. In addition, requesting a credit report can help consumers find any errors in their credit. Understanding credit health helps consumers when they research their loan options. If they know that they have an excellent credit score, they might be in a great position to shop around to find the best rates. If a consumer learns that their score is poor, they can begin to take measures to try to repair their credit. They can focus on paying their bills on time or make other changes. In addition, the score can help them understand that they may face higher rates; they may shop around to find the best options. DO CONSUMERS NEED A DOWN PAYMENT ON A LEASE? Some consumers might not want to buy a vehicle. Instead, they might find that leasing a car is their best option. With a lease, the dealership takes care of general car maintenance needs (like oil changes). A lease is a bit like renting a car for a long duration. Lease agreements are usually around three years in duration. At the end of the lease, the car could be purchased at an agreed upon price or the driver might just return it. While lease arrangements can be convenient and offer lower monthly payments, they also place limitations on mileage. While those who lease might consider making a large down payment, Carfax actually recommends against making a large down payment. Leasing is different from buying, and, in many cases, a large down payment doesn’t necessarily make financial sense. However, lease agreements do often require a specific amount at signing. HOW MUCH IS THE BEST DOWN PAYMENT? Car buyers wondering “how much should I put down on a car,” should try to put down a down payment that helps reduce their depreciation but that doesn’t put them in financial arrears. Experts recommend that buyers should try to put 20 percent down on a new car and 10 percent down on a used car. However, not all buyers have this much saved for a down payment. Buyers should look at their budget to understand how much they can feasibly present as a down payment. In addition, they can use car payment calculators to better understand the impact of that down payment and the price of interest, too.

What is the Best Looking Minivan?

What is the Best Looking Minivan?

May 16, 2022

The once-popular minivan started to fall out of favor when sports utility vehicles drove onto the automotive market. However, the minivan is starting to become a popular choice for families yet again; in fact, sales for minivans surged more than 80 percent for the second quarter of 2021. What is the best looking minivan? The model with the best design might be a matter of opinion, but buyers have four models from which to choose: * Chrysler Pacifica * Honda Odyssey * Toyota Sienna * Kia Carnival Two models—the Pacifica and the Sienna—are available as hybrids. While the Sienna is only available as a hybrid, consumers looking at the Pacifica could choose a standard model or a hybrid Pacifica. THE FOUR MODELS COMPARED The four minivan models remaining on the market are quite comparable in price and safety. The Pacifica, Sienna and Odyssey all received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Kia Carnival received a Top Safety Pick (for models built after March 2021 and equipped with specific headlights) from the IIHS. All four models also are comparable in price. The Kia Carnival is the least expensive option among the four; the Carnival has a base price of $32,300. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is the most expensive minivan model, with a base price of $48,478. In addition, the Sienna and the Pacifica Hybrid offer the best fuel efficiency. The Sienna offers an estimated 36 MPG (combined). The Pacifica Hybrid can get an estimated 84 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent). In addition, the Pacifica Hybrid is the only plug-in hybrid on the market. WHAT’S THE BEST LOOKING MINIVAN? The preference for a car’s design might be a matter of personal opinion. Gear Patrol picked the 2022 Toyota Sienna as the best looking minivan for 2022. The site noted that the choices were focused on two models: the Sienna and the Carnival. The Sienna was chosen for “its sex appeal” as it embraced the van life with a massive grille. Can a minivan really be “sexy?” Compared to the other options, the Sienna might just be the best design. Gear Patrol posited that the Carnival had a design that tried to embrace more of an SUV aesthetic. Best Looking Minivan [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/The-Best-Looking-Minivans-of-the-Past.jpg] THE BEST LOOKING MINIVANS OF THE PAST Unfortunately, buyers don’t have many new minivan models from which to choose. Through the years, the options have whittled down as many manufacturers discontinued the minivan from their lineup. What’s the coolest minivan of the past? Again, this could be a matter of opinion. However, consumers might look at the humble beginnings of the minivan. While the ‘van’ technically drove onto the scene in the ‘80s, the minivan really surged in the ‘90s. The minivan had an earlier ancestor, too: the microbus. Volkswagen’s iconic microbus eventually became synonymous with the summer of love, hippies and a nomadic lifestyle. Some consumers might consider the microbus as the coolest design for a bus or van. As more individuals have embraced the van life, the microbus and minivan might have become more intriguing options. Families convert these vehicles to include a bed and other amenities that make them conducive for life on the road. ARE THERE NEW MINIVAN MODELS? Choices for new minivan models might be limited now, but the future could hold some new models for consumers. For example, Volkswagen is set to debut an updated microbus called the VW ID. Buzz. The new bus will be an electric model with an estimated range of about 260 miles. Car and Driver notes that the new ID.Buzz should debut in 2024. While buyers might have a few years to wait for this new van option, it could be a nostalgic and popular model. Car and Driver estimates that buyers might expect to pay around $40,000 for the new bus. This price point would make the model one of the more expensive bus/van options on the market. THE DESIGN OF A MINIVAN VS. AN SUV Gear Patrol compared the design of the Carnival to an SUV, and consumers might wonder how these two vehicles differ in design. An SUV is built on a truck chassis, and this design makes the SUV heavier. Some consumers like the heft of the SUV as it makes them feel safer on the road. Minivans are not built on a truck chassis. They also typically feature sliding side doors; buyers can often opt to purchase automatic sliding doors as an option. Hit a button on the key fob, and the doors conveniently slide open. This is a great feature for parents who need to place a sleeping child into the minivan or drivers whose hands are full. While some buyers might assume that SUVs are the most spacious option, the minivan actually offers the most cargo space. Minivan models might include seats that can be removed or folded down to open up the back space. Drivers who need a vehicle for towing, though, might be better suited for an SUV. Some larger SUVs can tow more than 8,000 pounds. Most minivan models, though, have towing capacities limited to about 3,500 pounds; the Pacifica offers the highest towing capacity (3,600 pounds). Best Looking Minivan [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Used-Minivans-Present-Possibilities.jpg] USED MINIVANS PRESENT POSSIBILITIES As buyers have only a handful of minivan models from which to choose, some might decide to shop for a pre-owned or used model. Pre-owned minivans also could be more budget-friendly. When shopping for a used minivan, though, buyers also might want to have more details about the safety ratings of the older options. Buyers can visit the IIHS website to research older minivan models; the site provides a search query tool that lets buyers search by make and model. Once buyers enter the make/model, they can select the model year to review the safety scorecard of earlier models. Those who are looking at older minivans also can research the dependability of a particular model. J.D. Power releases its yearly Dependability Award winners; winners are always models from three years prior. The 2021 Dependability Award winner for the minivan category was the 2018 Toyota Sienna. For each individual category, buyers can click on a link to see the scores of all the other models. All models are reviewed from ‘verified owners,’ and J.D. Power reviewed vehicle data from more than 80,000 owners. The 2021 awards reviewed 2018 models, and there were several minivan models that have since been discontinued. For example, the 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan came in at second place (behind the Sienna). The list also included the now discontinued Kia Sedona (which ranked last among the models). Best Looking Minivan [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Research-Minivans-Using-RelayCars.jpg] RESEARCH MINIVANS USING RELAYCARS Car buyers looking for a new minivan can explore all their options by downloading the RelayCars app or using the RelayCars mobile site. The RelayCars app lets buyers preview minivan models in virtual reality (if they have access to Google Cardboard) or by using 3D imagery. The RelayCars mobile website includes explorative preview options that integrate augmented reality. However, consumers also can explore models on the screen via interactive 3D car models. With 3D imagery, app or site visitors can use their finger to interact with the photo of a selected vehicle. The immersive model can be turned around and viewed from any angle. Consumers also can explore the interior. The RelayCars mobile website also provides users with an augmented reality showroom experience. Using a camera from a smartphone or tablet, consumers can select a vehicle model that can be transported into their own environment. The car, minivan, SUV or truck appears as a 3D model and can be dropped anywhere—view the vehicle in a garage, on the front lawn or in the driveway. RelayCars also gives consumers the option to switch out the paint hue of any vehicle. For every model in the inventory, RelayCars includes all the available color options offered by the manufacturer. Preview the vehicle in every color to find the best hue. Consumers also can use RelayCars to gather more information about a particular model. The app and the website provide data on every vehicle’s base price and specs. Use RelayCars to compare multiple models or just to find out more information on a favorite model. When an individual is ready to purchase their car, the RelayCars app also provides a portal to Carsavers.com; consumers can explore a vehicle in an interactive 3D vehicle showroom. They can even explore the interior of different models and look around each vehicle. Navigating to Carsaver.com transports the buyer to a site that allows them to browse available vehicles and find the best prices on a new car.   Finding a new minivan is an immersive and interactive experience with RelayCars. Buyers can use the site as their one-stop destination to explore different older and newer minivan models. Change out the paint hues, look inside the van and even preview different models in the real world with augmented reality. RelayCars links up to Carsaver.com so buyers can find the best prices for the vehicle they want after comparing and previewing their favorite options via RelayCars.