I’ve spent a whole lot of money on car parts and supplies over the years, and I’ve learned (the hard way) how to control costs. While the game was built to extract profit from the unwitting, the Internet leveled the playing field. A little knowledge goes a long way. If you do just a little bit of homework before you head out to the store, you’ll get a better deal and keep more cash in your pocket.
Tire choice is tough. Do you stick with the proven OEM tires (for better or for worse) or do you trust the reviews of random folks on the Internet? I’ve been sitting on the fence for months on end, while my 2007 Honda S2000 has been tucked away in the garage, waiting for a new set of tires.
I’ve always wanted to test a new set of tires before buying them. Even better, test one set of tires against another. So when BFGoodrich invited me to drop in on their “Are You Driver Enough?” tour at Giants Stadium, in the New Jersey Meadowlands, “where the mosquitos are as big as airplanes,” I jumped on the opportunity.
“Wow, I’ll bet that gets great fuel economy on the highway!” is the last thing that most (normal) people think when seeing a Stingray cruise down the street. And yet, it’s true. The Corvette’s long been known (by those who know) to deliver solid MPGs when conservatively driven out on the open road. At long last, I had the opportunity to test it.
The positively scrumptious 6.2 liter V8 in the 2015 C7 Corvette pumps out 455 horsepower and 460 foot pounds of torque. It features cylinder deactivation and an Eco-mode (for fuel economy, of course) and can be fitted with a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. I was double-lucky to test a manual-equipped car. I found the clutch pressure to be reasonable, the shift mechanism quite good. Dealing with an overload (seven!) of speeds in the gate is eased by gear indicators on the digital dashboard and heads-up display (HUD).
There are a lot of folks that think a four-cylinder engine is just about the worst thing you could drop between the fenders of a pony car. I’m not one of them (anymore). While I was skeptical initially, after spending a week in the saddle of an EcoBoost Mustang, I’ve come around to the idea. A traditional muscle car must always have a V8 under the hood. But a pony car can be wicked fun (and fast), without traditional muscle.
I put a Guard Green EcoBoost Mustang Premium to a week-long test. It was fitted with the six-speed automatic, and 201A – Equipment Group (which includes the Shaker Audio System, Memory Driver’s Seat, Blind Spot Mirrors and cross-traffic alert) along with with adaptive cruise control. This is the most refined Mustang I’ve ever driven, edging out the 2015 Mustang GT I tested last month.
We’ve all been there. You have basic transportation needs and a budget tighter than a screw cap on a cheap bottle of wine. An inexpensive used car can help you meet your needs without resorting to taking out a high-interest loan. Knowing which car to buy is key, but the answer is too often locked away. We’re here to cut through the bombardment of advertisements and get right to the facts. When you buy the right cheap used car it will set you free. Buy the wrong one and you’ll enter a new world of pain.