Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Best Car to Buy for Back to School!

Best Car Back to School

Every year around this time two momentous things happen.  First, the kids go back to school! Second, Kelly Blue Book (KBB) releases its list of the best back to school vehicles!

So KBB has been releasing this list for the past few years and it’s become pretty popular with consumers.  Why?  Well it’s the best time to buy a new car and most families are looking for larger vehicles to take the kids, teams, and friends to all the activities, meetings, and gatherings associated with the new school year.  Koons represents over 22 manufacturers in 16 locations and all of them are here to help you find your new car for whatever time of year it is.

Couple that with current Koons offer of 125% KBB value on your trade-in and you can see why getting a new car now for the school year is so great!  So not only do you get the best vehicle for your little ones but you also will get the best price on your trade-in!

Here are some of the vehicles that made the list:
This year’s wide-ranging list includes a small SUV, a 50-mpg hybrid and an all-wheel drive option, and every car here starts under $20,000.

Back to school sonic#7. 2014 Chevy Sonic – 26/35 MPG:
The well-rounded Sonic is one of the most fun-to-drive and most comfortable sub-
compact cars out there. Available in sedan and hatchback flavors, the Sonic was also one of the first cars to offer next-level iPhone integration via Siri Eyes Free. As a bonus, it’s also the most affordable car on this list. 

Back to School Prius #5. 2014 Toyota Prius C – 53/46 MPG:
The easy-to-park and amazingly fuel-
efficient Prius C is an ideal choice for
students living far off campus. Likeable
looks, hatchback versatility and Toyota
reliability make its combined fuel economy
(both city and highway driving) rating of
50 mpg even more attractive.

Back to school Mazda#4. 2014 Mazda 3 – 30/41 MPG:
The stylish and sporty Mazda3 isn’t just a smart choice for students; it’s also one of this year’s 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000. Available in sedan and hatchback versions, the totally redesigned 2014 Mazda 3 is also more efficient, more tech-savvy and more comfortable than ever.

Back to school Kia Soul#2. 2014 Kia Soul – 24/30 MPG:
The redesigned-for-2014 Soul is loaded with personality, yet at its core is wonderfully
practical. The fuel-efficient hatchback seats
five comfortably and has a large and impressive cargo volume to ace a trip to IKEA for dorm room furniture.

The list has been fairly consistent over time and has been a helpful guide to base your buying decisions on.  In the coming years the list will become more and more popular and we’ll keep an eye on it here.  But, just remember you’ll get the best deal around from Koons no matter what you buy or when you buy it. 

Is The Gas Cap on The Left or Right Side of Your Car?

Gas Cap Arrow

I have a friend who does a great deal of traveling for his job so he’s always in a rental car.  Last week while on the road for his job, he pulled up to a gas station and had that dreaded moment of, “Oh no! I have no idea which side of my car the gas cap is located.”  He went on to tell about how the initial “Uh-oh!” is typically followed by a few minutes of craning his head out the window to see (or not see) if the gas cap cover is on his side of the car. More often than not, he would guess and just pull up to the pump – only to back up and circle around when the guess was wrong. Auto Manufacturers to the rescue!

Arrow Indicators on New Cars
Admittedly, mistaking which side of the car the gas cap is on is not a big deal, I think it straddles the line somewhere between having to reach too far for the TV remote and setting the microwave for 10 seconds too long. But, what if there was a way to always know for sure…

Good news: The secret to the gas cap location has been on our dashboards all along, at least within the past 8 years.  If you’re driving a newer car, take a look at the gas gauge on your dashboard. Depending on your car, there may be a little triangle or arrow pointing to the left or right. It’s actually a directional indicator that identifies which side of the car the gas cap is on!

What about older cars?
Older cars may have a gas pump icon located on the gauge. The pump handle either extends to the left or right, so does that correlate to the cap?

Sadly, no, the handle doesn’t always indicate which side the cap is located.  Some manufactures did do just that; some did not, and worse yet? Some models within brands did and some did not. So unfortunately, this Internet rumor is false and we’re here to officially shoot it down, sorry.

A Fuel Indicator Myth Debunked
Not everyone is satisfied with this explanation of the mysterious gas gauge arrow. So leave it to the Internet to think up some crazy ideas ­about alternative meanings. One rumor says the arrow will light up when a car is driven a certain distance after its last refueling. Supposedly, this is a way for you to determine how “full” the gas tank is.  News flash!  That’s what the “E” and “F” and all the little lines in between indicate. Sorry, folks, but there’s no truth behind that rumor.

Did you know what the gas gauge arrow meant? What symbols or controls on your car remain mysteries?  If you need any help deciphering them stop by any Koons Dealership and we’ll help you figure them out.

 

 

Is August the best month to buy a new car?

summer_savingsSales data from the last 12 months suggests it is!

The economy has been wheeling and dealing so far in 2014, it has been driving the GDP to higher highs, which is strengthening the recovery. While each month shows better numbers in all sectors for consumers, the automotive industry being one of them, August has always historically been the month to visit a new car showroom.

Here’s why – a quick study of car sales for the past 3-5 years shows the average price for buying a vehicle in August is more than $150 lower than any other month. On average, that’s $500 less than the other 11 months.

August is the best month to buy a car or truck because dealers are cleaning out older inventory as the new models roll in,”
Mirza Thomas
VP, Koons Automotive Co.

What may be more surprising is that average prices in August are $1,000 less than December! Even though conventional wisdom suggests December is one of the best months of the year in which to buy a new car, the data suggests it’s actually one of the most expensive.

So Why is it better in the “Dog-days” of summer?

“August is the best month to buy a car or truck because dealers are cleaning out older inventory as the new models roll in,” said Mirza Thomas VP of Koons Automotive Company. “This change-over means late-model vehicles are priced to be quickly sold off the lot. August is definitely the time to buy if you’re looking to save money.”

Let’s just take this concept for a test drive around some of Koons.com web sites; here are a few of the incentives for the month:

I would say that as a representative sample?  August has some large savings offered!

How much are you likely to spend for a new car this August? According to data from the last 4 years, the average August transaction price was $28,950. February, with its Presidents Day sales, is second, at $29,109

So you’ll definitely find good deals on new cars in August, that’s a given, but you’ll also be able to find some good buys on used cars, especially three year-old models from turned in leases. The automotive site Edmunds.com reports the average price of a used car at franchise dealerships was down $313 for all of 2013 to $15,791.

Buying a new car is always a great experience with Koons no matter what time of the year.  But when you ad in great savings on top of the great Koons service you get an experience like no other! 

 

Buying a Car for a College Student, what is the Best Vehicle for Them?

best_college_carsMy first car was a used pick-up that I got when I was a sophomore in college. It was dark blue, had a gray, cloth bench seat, manual transmission, and no AC.  It got good gas mileage and it was awesome when it was time to move my small pile of stuff from apartment to apartment. My Dad bought that first truck for me and I had no idea why, but later in life I would come to find that it was the best car for me at the time.

When you’re in college, you want affordable and reliable transportation. Students and parents alike usually begin the search for that first auto by looking for solid, flexible, economical vehicles. But they will quickly see that it’s difficult to find value be cheap.

Koons has on average over 5,000 used vehicles a month to chose from with the vast majority of those vehicles being Certified Pre Owned and all of the dealerships can work with you financially.  Start your used car shopping with a budget of around $9000, this way you should be able to get a vehicle that will last beyond graduation.

Here’s a bit of advice: Make sure you know your student’s needs before selecting a vehicle. Buyers should be aware of the college’s parking rules, proximity of service and parts stores, and weather conditions. If parking is tight, a subcompact or compact car may make more sense. Find a local mechanic who you trust that can work on the car if the need arises. It might be wiser to have an all-wheel-drive on a campus prone to snow and bad weather.  If they are driving more than three hours from home each way, make sure they have comfortable working seats and cruise control.

For this article we broke our vehicles down by type of vehicle and then mention a few well-known vehicles for each type.

compactBest Compact Car – city colleges
Kia vehicles are known for their durability and reasonable price tags. This all still applies to a used Kia’s as well, which can cost about $5,000-$6,000 for a 2009 model, which also boasts a surprising amount of interior space. Because Kia offers such extensive warranties, students may be able to purchase a vehicle that is still covered.

sedanTop Midsize Car – driving a long distance and more urban settings
The Toyota Corolla may not be able to fit into the same tight spots that a Kia Rio can, but it offers more space, more room for passengers and a classic style that won’t be embarrassing to drive to a job interview. A 2010 Corolla is likely to cost less than $10,000, perform well, and get a college student through graduation and into that first job before needing replacement.

hatchBest Hatchback (5-Door) – for majors that have a of gear associated with them
The hatchback has now pretty much taken over the station wagon slot, what was once the workhorse of the American family has pretty much vanished.  The hatchback or 5-door has taken it’s place, small and flexible these vehicles are great for many different situations and that’s why they’re great for the college kid of today. The Ford Focus offers a familiar name and a reasonable price tag for those looking for a vehicle that will offer plenty of interior space without sacrificing its ability to squeeze into tight parking arrangements. With a price tag of about $6,000 for the 2003 model, the Focus is likely to last a student well past the college years, but take just about anything the student may throw at it.

Students may also want to consider the Toyota Matrix, which is comparable in many ways to the Focus.  It’s a tad more expensive but like the focus it comes with a well know brand name and a long history of styles and trim levels to choose from.

SUVBest SUV  – campuses with bad weather and for majors that have a of gear associated with them
The Chevy Equinox may put a bigger dent in a car shopper’s wallet than other vehicles, but this SUV is easy to navigate around campuses or cities while offering all-wheel drive in case of bad weather or rough roads. If your student is going more than 4 hours drive from home this is definitely the vehicle you’ll want them in. Capable of moving an entire dorm room with ease it’s also capable of pulling a trailer with the contents of their first apartment.  With a price of about $9,500 for the 2005 model, the Equinox may not be the cheapest used car that a person can buy, but it is one of the most durable, practical, and flexible for its size.

TruckTop Truck – for the student who will be moving… A LOT!
There are times when a person needs a truck and there are also times when a student may simply prefer one. The Toyota Tacoma offers all the normal features of a pickup truck, but with a compact size that can be easier to drive on a campus. The price for the 2000 Tacoma is about $6,000, but it can come with a powerful V6 engine and the ability to go off-road or on snowy roads, and carry a hefty payload.

These top 5 used cars by type for college students offer a wide range of choices to meet your different needs. In addition to needs and price, reliability, feature sets, fuel-economy, and auto insurance rates, along with safety are also important factors that should not be overlooked. No matter what you need, you can come to any of the Koons dealerships and we’ll make sure you find the right car for the right price.