Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Looking for the latest in performance? Buy a used car.

PriceHub Guest Blogger: Haider Nazar
Twitter: @haidernazar

The global economic crisis has had far-reaching effects on our economy, buying habits and overall way of life. From a consumer standpoint, we have seen many new premium product launches focused more on cost-cutting vs significant improvement in performance. What do these trends mean for you, the car guy? Historically, car fanatics are used to measuring innovation with specific metrics like 0-60, ¼ mile, lb-ft torque, horsepower, cubic inches and top speed.

For 2010, most new car launches are focused on Green Tech vs traditional interest like horsepower. Now I am not an anti-earth guy, but these trends do represent an interesting opportunity for used performance car shoppers. Used car prices have been dropping like an anvil recently. This dramatic price fall is on the heels of an unprecedented performance war that has taken place from 2003-2008. This performance innovation has been the result of many manufacturers participation in Formula 1 and other performance focused R&D initiatives. Bottom line, there are some amazing performance bargains on the used car market…some still under manufacturer warranty.

Deals of 2004-2007 (Current Price/New price/Depreciation)

2006 BMW M5, $38,000 (sold new for $98k, 63% depreciation)

The latest M5 represents the pinnacle of Formula 1 race bred technology filtering down to production. This high revving naturally aspirated V-10, 7 speed SMG transmission, trick suspension 507 hp beast is capable of launching to 60 in 4.2 seconds. This car drives frustrating at 5/10, but flat out, there is arguably no other car as entertaining and awe-inspiring. All for the price of a new BMW 328i.

2007 Merecedes AMG e63 $42k (sold new for $112k, 63% depreciation)

A rival to the M5, its hand built 507 hp engine has a tree stump pulling 465 lb-ft of torque. This car has more raw power than a Ferrari F430, Porsche 911 Turbo or Lamborghini Gallardo. And it is yours for the price of a brand new Honda Pilot.

2004 Porsche 911 Coupe $32k (new $85k, 62% depreciation)

The 911 is THE quintessential sports car. Over its illustrious 50 year run, it has been refined and honed into one of the best sports car money can buy. Historically, it has also been one of the least depreciating. The previous generation 996 body, although not considered one of the more classic designs, is still a 911. It’s 320 hp flat 6 engine is good for 0-60 runs of 4.8 sec and a 12.5 second ¼ mile. It is yours for the price of a brand new Subaru Forrester.

2004 BMW M3 $22k (new $56k, 61% depreciation)

The ultimate street racer, track car and family sedan all rolled into one, it’s 333 hp inline 6 is the perfect blend of speed and practicality. It is also relatively efficient. With the next generation of M products replacing core brand values like high revving naturally aspirated engines with turbocharging and hand built chassis for mass produced platform sharing, this car represents a lot unique car for the money. It is yours for the price of a brand new Honda Civic

2005 Acura NSX $48k ($115k new, 57% depreciation)

The Acura NSX was a car of firsts. It was the first production car to feature aluminum construction for its body structure, body panels, suspension and engine. Its engine was the first to feature variable valve timing and a variable-volume intake manifold. It was the first Japanese sports car sold in America to truly go head-to-head with the world's best. Its 290 hp, sweet shifting 6 speed manual transmission was smooth, quick and reliable. All your for the price of a new Infiniti G37 coupe.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Complete List of Toyota Cars affected by Recall

I received this great email from that summarizes which Toyota cars are being recalled and for what. This is accurate as of 2/5/2010 (Still waiting to hear about the 2010 Prius).

Vehicles recalled
on September 29, 2009 and January 27, 2010 to address the risk of pedal entrapment by removable floor mats:

  • 2007 – 2010 Toyota Camry
  • 2005 – 2010 Toyota Avalon
  • 2004 – 2009 Toyota Prius
  • 2005 – 2010 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2007 – 2010 Toyota Tundra
  • 2007 – 2010 Lexus ES350 and 2006
  • 2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350
  • 2008 – 2010 Highlander
  • 2009 – 2010 Corolla
  • 2009 – 2010 Venza
  • 2009 – 2010 Matrix
  • 2009 – 2010 Pontiac Vibe
Vehicles recalled on November 24, 2009 to address excessive corrosion on the frame rear cross-member:
  • 2000-2003 Tundra
Vehicles recalled on January 21, 2010 to correct sticking accelerator pedals:
  • Certain 2009 – 2010 RAV4
  • Certain 2009-2010 Corolla
  • 2009 – 2010 Matrix
  • 2005 – 2010 Avalon
  • Certain 2007 – 2010 Camry
  • Certain 2010 Highlander
  • 2007 – 2010 Tundra
  • 2008 – 2010 Sequoia
Toyota has also announced it would temporarily suspend sales of the above eight models. Not affected by this recall are Highlander hybrids, Camry hybrids, as well as Camry, RAV 4, Corolla and Highlander vehicles with VINs that begin with "J."

Vehicles not affected by any of the above recalls:
  • Sienna
  • Solara
  • Yaris
  • 4Runner
  • FJ Cruiser
  • Land Cruiser
  • 2010 Prius
Owners of the affected vehicles will receive a notice from Toyota advising when they need to bring their vehicle to a Toyota dealer. For more details, visit Toyota’s website or call Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

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