This past week marked a tipping point in automotive history. According to media reports, Tesla Motors has rolled up over 325,000 “preorders” for the Model 3 Sedan, the company’s least expensive vehicle to date. There’s never been anything quite like it. This is an unprecedented validation that the world is eager for an electrified sedan with 200+ miles of range. It was a brilliantly executed Kickstart that saw the first hundred thousand customers plunk down their $1,000 refundable deposits without ever seeing the car.
As the week progressed, I thought it would be interesting to run a livestream on YouTube to gauge the MPGomatic community’s reaction. I vlogged every day for five days straight, on a variety of topics. The most popular being the second installment, Tesla Model 3: Does the Chevy Bolt Have a Huge Advantage?
On March 31st, Tesla unveiled their fourth car, the Model 3* to an unprecedented response. Before the tarp was pulled off the Model 3, over 100,000 customers lined up to reserve a car, sight unseen. Tesla’s first “affordable” boasts a base price of approximately $35,000, 215 miles of range and a 0-60 MPH time of six seconds. As of this writing, more than 250,000 reservations have been taken.
Cleaning alloy wheels is one of my least favorite car care chores. If you don’t stay on top of it, brake dust will ruin a nice set of alloys. The dust clings to the wheels and – if not removed periodically – will turn that gorgeous surface into a nasty mess. I’ve tried lots of wheel cleaning products over the years, but I’ve never found my go to bottle. I’m always on the lookout for new products to make car care easier, faster and more effective.
Earlier this year, I tested the Surf City Garage Clayzilla paint cleaning system. When the folks at Surf City saw the review, they asked if I would like to test more of their products and I happily agreed. You might think I live a glamorous life, with a different shiny new car in the driveway every week, but the fact of the matter is that I spend a considerable amount of time keeping those cars clean. If I had opened a detailing business at the same time I tripped into the car review game, I’d be in better financial shape.
Choosing a first car is a right of passage. While the top two criteria for most parents are safety and affordability, teenagers on the other hand, are more focused on what’s cool. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) recently published a list of safe and affordable used vehicles for teenagers and we’ve taken it up a notch.
A first car should be safe above all, but it needn’t be boring. Grandma’s cast-off Buick LaCrosse may be safe and priced right, but it lacks a certain cache. That’s why we’ve poured through the list to find the ten most affordable and most appealing of the IIHS’ picks. Our criteria focused on affordability, with all models starting under $10,000, in addition to a preference for manual transmissions and all-wheel-drive. If you’re driving a manual, you’re not holding a cell-phone.
Our top eleven list (yes, our list goes to eleven!) includes imports, domestics, sedans, wagons and SUVs, but no small cars. The IIHS does not recommend any small cars for teenagers. Big is better when it comes to safety. We’ve included links to MPG reviews and fuel economy ratings in the list. Continue reading →
I’ve had the good fortune to chase the 2016 Toyota Prius story, from the premiere event in Las Vegas last September, through the first drive media event in November. I saw some crazy great MPGs on the first drive – but that was in Southern California, under ideal weather conditions. Last week, I was able to put the new Prius to the test here in New Jersey in colder temperatures, shooting a review video for Autobytel. I took the opportunity to knock out a ‘stunt drive’ video for the MPGomatic channel…