Did you know that the Chevy Malibu is manufactured locally, right here in Kansas City? That’s just one of the many reasons why I love this vehicle! If you’re looking for a stylish, affordable, midsize sedan, then the Chevy Malibu is for you! Read on to hear my musings on why I think this car is one of the best sedans on the market! The numerous awards the Malibu has won builds an impressive resume for this sedan. It is the 2017 winner of the best midsize car for families and is ranked as #1 in midsized cars by Car and Driver, awarded best buy for a midsized car by Consumer Guide Automotive, and more! Let’s unpack the details of this award-winning vehicle, though. (As if this wasn’t already enough to woo you.) To put it simply, the Malibu is safe and reliable. It gets a whopping five-star overall NHTSA safety rating along with a five-star rating in frontal and side crash tests! Its safety features that help contribute to these astounding ratings include forward collision alert, rearview camera, front and rear park assist, blind spot monitoring, front automatic braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, pedestrian detection, and more! If you have a teen driver in the family, you can also take advantage of Chevy’s available Teen Driver system that lets you set speed limits and radio volume in the vehicle. When it comes to reliability, the Malibu also earned high reliability ratings among midsize cars from J.D. Power: 4.5 out of five stars–which is way more than what the Malibu’s rivals can speak for! The 2017 Chevy Malibu is offered in four trim options: L, LS, LT, and Premier. Overall, this vehicle boasts a quiet, comfortable ride in whatever trim you choose. You’ll experience a smooth drive, even when you hit some occasional rough patches. The Malibu simply holds its composure well through different terrains. One of my favorite things about the Malibu is that you can customize it to your liking. If you go just one trim level up from the base model, there are many available packages and a la carte items for you to choose from, so your vehicle can be equipped just to your liking! If you are currently shopping for a sedan, the Chevrolet Malibu should be on your consideration list. Don’t just take my word for it, though. Go out and give the Malibu a test drive and I guarantee you’ll want to drive away in it!
The Nissan Rogue pulls you in with its enticing price tag, but the perks of this striking SUV continue to surpass expectations! When I hear “SUV”, the Rogue is one of the first vehicles I picture. It is simply just a good, sturdy, dependable car. Read more about why this Nissan is my current featured favorite: The Rogue gets an impressive EPA estimated 29 combined mpg in city/highway. It is as efficient as it is stylish. It is the only true 3-row compact SUV topping the charts with its fuel efficiency. So, if the fuel economy of a vehicle is your #1 priority, then you should be sold by now! Amazingly the benefits of this vehicle don’t stop there. There are many notable additions to the new 2017 Rogue that raise the bar from this vehicle in its previous years. It boasts an updated refreshing, sleek interior and exterior, new adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection and an optional emergency braking system. The most talked about commodity of the Rogue, however, is its ample cargo space. When seeing the Rogue for the first time, folks tend to be surprised by the amount of space available inside the vehicle. Its large cargo capacity features an innovative storage system, along with the option of having a third row, which is a definite plus. When it comes to space, the Rogue has plenty to offer. Overall, this Nissan offers a comfortable ride. The Rogue offers three main trim levels: S, SV, and SL. Even in their most basic trim, this vehicle packs in a remarkable amount of features, including a rearview camera, 5-inch display screen, bluetooth phone and streaming audio system, four-speaker CD player with USB input, and satellite radio. There are also plenty of add-on options for you to customize your vehicle to your liking. From lane keeping assist and forward collision mitigation to a panoramic sunroof, the available features for the Rogue contribute to make this a top SUV contender. If you’re looking for a reliable, comfortable ride with an expansive interior, you’ve met your match! Go out and test drive a Nissan Rogue, and it will soon become your favorite too!
Recently the Hyundai Elantra was fully redesigned, so it has a fresh new look for 2017! The new Elantra boasts a classy, sleek look alongside impressive tech features, making it one of my favorite cars this year! It is more refined than ever before. Take a look at why it’s gaining so much popularity: This four-door, compact sedan packs a lot into a smaller package! The 2017 model offers three new engines and four trim options: SE, Eco, Limited, and Sport. Regardless of what trim you choose, the Elantra is equipped with stable, dependable road handling and an impressive suspension, contributing to the car’s comfortable ride. The interior is accommodating, comfortable, and spacious–which is more than many of its competitors can say! I definitely think the Elantra’s interior is one of its biggest selling points. The overall fit and finish is of high quality, and the window designs offer maximum visibility. The Elantra isn’t loved just for its looks, though. This sedan also prides itself on its safety features! It received an excellent Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Between its abounding airbags, lane departure warning system, blind spot monitor, rollover protection system, and more, the Elantra has got you covered. If you’re still not sold on this favorite of mine, there’s more! This Hyundai packs in a surprising amount of advanced tech features, setting itself apart from other sedans on the market. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard capabilities on all trims except the base model. You’ll also find a seven inch touch screen, eight-speaker Infinity audio system, HID headlights, heated seats, and more inside the Elantra! I could go on and on about why I love this sedan so much, but I want you to see it for yourself! Test drive one today from McCarthy Auto Group. You might just drive away in a new car!
If you’re looking for a decent sized SUV with plenty of cargo space, then the Chevrolet Equinox is for you! This Chevy is one of my favorite crossovers and overall vehicles for many reasons, and here’s why: Day or night, the Equinox is just right! It rides and drives with confidence thanks to its stable handling and impressive fuel economy. The Equinox gets an EPA estimated 21mpg/31mpg in city/highway–creating stiff competition for its rivals. You get a lot of bang for your buck with the Chevy Equinox. Its base models are very reasonably priced–I love how affordable a great car like this can be! Its special edition models and different trim levels provide an exciting way for you to customize this car. If you’re willing to spend a little more, you can upgrade to the powerful V6 engine, which is a feature not many other vehicles in this class can offer! That’s an aspect that definitely sets the Equinox apart from the others. Safety shouldn’t have to cost you. That’s another reason I love this SUV! Even the standard Equinox models boast impressive safety features like anti-lock disc brakes, impressive traction and stability control, a rearview camera, GM’s OnStar emergency communications system, and more! The Equinox also earned the highest possible rating in multiple categories from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety–now that’s something to brag about! To learn more about this vehicle’s safety ratings, click here. While automotive fads come and go, the Chevrolet Equinox is simply a durable car that will last you through the years. From its seven inch touchscreen interface to its spacious back seats, it’s no wonder the Equinox is one of the most popular SUVs on the market! Its sleek and stylish design will woo you at first, but just wait until you get behind the wheel. Test drive one from McCarthy Auto Group and you’ll fall in love!
The Toyota RAV4 is topping the SUV charts! Between safety, style, and performance there are many factors weighing into its rising popularity. Here are some of the many reasons why the Toyota RAV4 is my current featured favorite: Safety. This Toyota has an impressive safety score for many reasons. Its multitude of airbags paired with its highly rated stability control are just a few factors that make this car one of the safest in its class. If that isn’t enough to convince you of this vehicle’s safety, it is an Insurance Institute of Highway Safety 2017 Top Safety Pick+! Style. While the specific specs of this car are amazing on their own, the overall style is one of my favorite aspects! The RAV4 leans toward the smaller compact SUV side, which is a benefit for many. It gives you the spacious seating and cargo capacity while keeping it easy to navigate through the city! Its newer redesign is a fresh take on the loved older model, and it sure does boast some good looks. It packs in tons of user friendly features that will make you love this vehicle even more. From its integrated navigation system to its new “birds eye camera,” there is no shortage of technology in this car! Performance. This compact SUV now sports five different trim options: LE, XLE, SE, Limited, and Platinum. All trims include a powerful 176-hp inline-4, 2.5-liter, and a six-speed automatic transmission. The RAV4 delivers solid driving power alongside smooth and secure handling. Overall, it is simply a reliable, durable vehicle perfect for the family or for your next adventure! Test drive a RAV4 today at McCarthy Toyota of Sedalia! Go ahead and browse their selection, I promise you’ll fall in love!
If you are considering going green and getting a hybrid car, then more power to you! With a hybrid vehicle, you get premium fuel efficiency and and advanced technology that works together to maximize your driving experience. One of the best hybrid vehicles out there is the Toyota Prius Prime. If you are on the hunt for the perfect hybrid vehicle, I definitely recommend the Prius Prime. Here’s why: Performance The Prius Prime features Toyota’s first dual motor drive system, which includes EV Mode. This system gives the Prime a boost in acceleration and improves efficiency at full highway speeds. Efficiency With an EPA-estimated 133 MPGe and total driving range of 640 miles, the Prius Prime is the considered the most fuel efficient car in its class. Lightweight materials such as the carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer helps increase the efficiency of the Prius Prime, all while elevating your drive. However, the best features are the three different driving modes: EV Auto Mode, EV Mode, and HV Mode. Between the three modes, the driver is able to optimize and maximize efficiency based on demand and driving conditions. Technology The Prius Prime is equipped with advanced technology to help make the drive as comfortable and smooth as possible. The 11.6-in. HD multimedia display gives you access to everything with one simple touch. The Predictive Efficient Drive is an available intelligent drive coach that learns your routine stopping patterns, and helps to boost fuel efficiency in return. The Multi-Information Display screen gives you insight on what is going on inside of your Prius Prime. With a glance, you are able to keep track of energy use, fuel economy, and more in real time. Safety features are also a big part of the Prius Prime. Features such as the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist help to keep the driver in control and accident free. The available Safety Connect is a great way to keep emergency assistance within your reach at all times. Some of its features include Toyota’s 24/7 call center, Stolen Vehicle Locator, and Automatic Collision Notification. There are so many reasons the Toyota Prius Prime is a great choice when buying a hybrid vehicle. What are some things you look at when deciding on which hybrid car to buy? Let us know in the comment section below!
I’ll be honest, I once didn’t know the difference between a car and an SUV, except for that one was obviously bigger than the other. Of course, I didn’t know what the silver “AWD” on the back stood for! The cars with extra letters on the back just means it’s a better model than the base, right? Thankfully, I have since learned the difference between FWD, and AWD, and all the drives in between, and I’m excited to pass this knowledge on to you. Lets start with FWD. FWD stands for front-wheel-drive and it’s standard on most sedans. This simply means that the power that propels your car forward comes from the front tires, and the back wheels are just along for the ride. Cars with FWD are generally lighter in weight because the drive shaft is shorter. There is less weight in the drivetrain overall, so they tend to get the best gas mileage. Since the drive wheels are beneath the heavy engine, FWD vehicles often get better traction. This is also a huge plus for rainier climates, since the weight placement helps the wheels to drive straight if you lose traction, so you’re at a lower risk to fishtail. All in all, there is a reason that most cars come standard with FWD — it makes for a really great drive. Next, there is this thing called RWD. RWD stands for rear-wheel-drive and is really common in sportier vehicles. When a car accelerates quickly, the weight of the car moves back, and the weight on the drive wheels allow it to gain more traction. In addition, RWD vehicles tend to have more equal weight distribution between the front and rear allowing it to turn more easily and naturally. Also, the suspension in the front doesn’t have to be jammed into such a little space, so the arms and rods can be longer, allowing them to last longer than the narrower angled parts of a FWD vehicle. In a lot of ways, rear-wheel-drive is the opposite of front-wheel-drive. All you have to decide is which one suits you best. I’ve heard 4WD and AWD used interchangeably. Although they are similar, and in many ways serve the same purpose, there are a few key differences. Four-wheel-drive, also known as 4×4, 4WD, and Four by Four, distributes the maximum power from the transmission equally to every wheel. This is perfect for whenever you’re going over rough terrain. This function takes a lot more power and consequentially, much more gas. Thankfully, most 4WD models have an on/off switch, so you can turn it off when you don’t need 4WD. AWD or all-wheel-drive, is a much newer innovation, and brings with it a little more complexity. Unlike a 4WD vehicle, AWD is on all of the time. AWD works to get power to the wheels by splitting capacity between two wheels or the front and rear axles. Because of this, it isn’t quite as robust as 4WD and it can’t match the same levels of traction in extremely low-speed off-roading that 4WD provides. For the less extreme off-roader who wants a better grip and handling in every road condition, AWD is a perfect match. You may think to yourself, ‘So, which one is best?” If there was an answer to that, there would only be one kind of drive out there. Now that you know the differences between each, just determine which best suits your driving habits. Comment below and let me know which drive you like best!
Behind the Wheel, Car Culture, Car fun, Car Reviews May 24, 2015
If getting there is half the fun, then at least a quarter of the fun comes from your camping ride. But since there’s no point to rough it behind the wheel, I’ve put together the top three vehicles that are best suited for the trip. These camping rides typically see more duty as commuters and kid taxis, but their real talent is serving as versatile tools to better enjoy the great outdoors. Toyota Land Cruiser The Toyota Land Cruiser is a sometimes-overlooked member of the off-road SUV club. Unless you’re bringing more than four friends or need to tow a yacht, this is the camping ride you should consider. Some camping rides are cheaper, others are as sure-footed, but only the Land Cruiser ties it together with style and character. Nissan Xterra The best camping ride in the Nissan SUV bunch is still the Xterra. It has a rough-around-the-edges demeanor, but that’s easily overlooked when you consider its off-road capability. The interior is easy to clean which is a plus for the inevitable pound of dirt that will make its way into your car when camping. With its ample cargo area, festooned with tie-downs and cargo hooks, the Xterra is an ideal ride for any camping trip. Chevy Suburban It’s as bloated as your Aunt Clara and nearly as large, but the Chevrolet Suburban tows, hauls and transports like no other camping ride. With a little effort, the bus-sized cabin is almost what you’d call luxurious— and we ladies sometimes need a lot more luxury when it comes to camping. It’s definitely not for the eco-minded, but for those that aren’t quite as concerned with their footprint, the Chevy Suburban presents one of the strongest cases as a must-have camping ride.
Minivans have come a long way since the days of hopping in and out of a minivan as a child. But, despite their improvements in the last few decades, I know it can still be a struggle to give up the more fun or flashy car of single years and trade it in for a “mom” car. Luckily, there are many options for moms out there that aren’t your typical soccer mom car. Chevy Traverse The first of my three top picks for “Hot Moms” is the Chevy Traverse. I know a lot of ladies have a hard time justifying the fuel consumption of an SUV when a minivan has all the same features and gets better gas mileage. Thankfully, the Traverse will get gas mileage similar to most minivans with 17 city and 24 highway. It has flexible seating that can accommodate up to eight, and you can save your seats from the trampling feet of kids racing to the back with a Smart Slide second-row that can power out of the way with one hand. Even more important than convenience, it is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety top pick for its high crash-test scores. If that wasn’t enough, it’s just a good looking car. Nothing soccer mom about it! Toyota Venza My second pick is the Toyota Venza. One of the hardest things about SUVs is they just don’t have the cargo space of a minivan when all the seats are being utilized. The Venza still has plenty of cargo space behind the second-row seat when it’s carrying five in its roomy cabin. In addition, its 21/27 MPG blows a minivan out of the water. Like the Traverse, the Venza earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s top scores in its crash tests, so you can feel at ease carrying your most precious cargo. It passes its final test of ‘hotness’ easily, possessing a body that makes a minivan forgettable. Hyundai Santa Fe My third and final pick for anti-minivan moms is the Hyundai Santa Fe. It has plenty of power to schlep the kids around, their friends, and all their gear with its third-row seating option. Family friendly features include a Blue Link telematics system with a parent-centric app that sends a text to parents when the car is driven over a preset speed, past a curfew time or outside the set perimeter—perfect for those moms with teenagers. It just barely edges out the Traverse with the fuel economy of 18 city and 25 highway. You don’t have to worry about getting a good deal on this SUV—it’s been awarded ‘Best 3-Row SUV For The Money’ by U.S. News and ‘3-Row SUV Challenge Winner’ by Cars.com. It’s loaded with brilliant safety features inside and out, including a driver’s knee airbag, Hillstart Assist Control (HAC), Downhill Brake Control (DBC) and available Blind Spot Detection (BSD). With its impressive exterior, this SUV is perfect for the anti-minivan mom. If you’re not ready to take the leap into the minivan, any of these SUV’s rival the convenience, space, and fuel economy of a minivan without sacrificing any style. Let me know what your top picks are for the “Hot Mom” car!
The internet age is an amazing time to be alive, isn’t it? When I imagine libraries full of think, heavy and dusty encyclopedias…or even think about having to write a research paper the old-fashioned way…I’m SO grateful for modern technology! And car-buying is another area that is completely enhanced with the internet. Now you have loads of information at your fingertips, empowering you to get exactly the car you’re looking for! While I believe that nothing can replace an in-person test drive, I suggest using the internet to read up on car models long before you hit the dealership. That way, you’ll be better prepared to communicate with a car salesman and make the process a whole lot easier overall. Car review sites are a great place to get familiar with the pros and cons of all the various models out there. They can help you decide what’s right for you and your lifestyle. With that said, here are some of my favorite places to get car reviews online! 1. Edmunds.com This site is an amazing, expansive resource for expert reviews on pretty much every car under the sun. I love the layout because you can simply enter in the car make, model and year you are looking for, then it will direct you to in-depth reviews, as well as pricing in your area, and so much more. It’s one of the easiest sites to navigate and the design is so user-friendly! 2. Kelley Blue Book Of course, I can’t skip over the famous Kelley Blue Book. This site is mainly known as the go-to source for finding out the value of vehicles, but it also has a great car review section of its own. Here, you can skim the latest reviews or search a specific model. I also love their “Top 10” lists that offer categories like “Top 10 SUVs under $30,000.” This allows shoppers to narrow down their options depending on specific needs. So smart! 3. Consumer Reports Like Kelley Blue Book, this site is a household name. People go to Consumer Reports for reviews on all kinds of products, and cars are no exception. I appreciate that they have a tab called “Not sure where to start?” that allows you to look through a new car or used car buyer guide. This site is very thorough and handy for all types of buyers. 4. Autoblog.com This site is a little different from the others because it sticks to a blog format. The perk of the blog style is that you can simply scroll down over and over again until you find something that looks interesting. If you feel overwhelmed by all the options on other sites, this is the place to go! It’s also a great read to keep up on even when you’re not necessarily in the market to buy a car. 5. Autotrader.com Now here’s a site that is totally comprehensive in the car-buying process. You can read reviews and then be buying that same car with a few clicks of the button. It’s pretty crazy what we can do in this day and age! Autotrader is a great option if you want to stick to one site for reviews, tips on buying and selling, pricing information and even financing help. This site truly has it all. 6. Cars.com What I LOVE about this site is the option it gives to compare one car with another. You can look through a drop-down menu and select the specific make/model/year of two (or even three!) different cars, and then it spits out side-by-side comparisons of the vehicle. The comparison includes pricing, features, fuel economy, overall review ratings and more. This is particularly amazing because while other sites sometimes compare two vehicles in a review, this let’s you customize it to be any car you want. It’s SO helpful! 7. Motortrend.com If you like visuals, Motortrend will be your new favorite site. Here, you’ll find a vast amount of photos of every vehicle you could ever want to research. They also have a great layout that categorizes the reviews into different sections and let’s you find just what you’re looking for, whether it’s the first look at a new model or a one-year review. 8. Car and Driver This is a popular site among car lovers, but it’s also great for novices too. Aside from the usual guide to specific vehicles, Car and Driver has cool videos that give you a different look at the car models you’re interested in. They also do instrumented tests and comparison tests so you really know what to expect from your potential new ride. 9. Jalopnik If you struggle to keep interested in car reviews, head straight to Jalopnik. Your attention will be held for longer than you can imagine! Jalopnik is a hilarious site that does a great job of making cars fun for anyone and everyone — not just car enthusiasts! They make all kinds of posts, but you can find interesting car reviews from people who seriously know their stuff. Be warned though, you’ll definitely want to stop and read posts about everything from car history to car bloopers along the way! 10. Top Gear This show may have originated in the UK, but Top Gear has taken America by storm, and their website is worth a visit when you’re doing car research. There are many British models that you won’t find in the U.S., but they also have an extensive guide to American car brands like Chevrolet and Ford. The reviews are succinct and detailed, so you can quickly digest helpful information!