Great deals on 2012 cars being redesigned

(MoneyWatch) If you care more about getting a great deal on a car than driving the latest-style vehicles, check out a raft of 2012 models that are being replaced by new designs for 2013. Kelley Blue Book lists models where buyers can take advantage of a combination of discounts and manufacturer's rebates to save more than $3,500 off the list price of current models. "Being aware of which models will soon be redesigned is a good way to get a new car and still keep some of your money in the bank," says Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst for Kelley. In some cases, the 2013 models have already arrived at dealerships, so models from both years are selling side by side. That is the case, for instance, with the Nissan Altima, where dealers should be especially eager to negotiate. 5 used cars NOT to buyMade in America: 4 new cars roll from U.S. factoriesDon't buy a used car with a dangerous defect Here's a closer look at four of the 2012 models where you can find big savings: Chevrolet Malibu: The Malibu is a comfortable midsize sedan that is roomy both in the cabin and trunk. But perhaps its best feature is a $3,000 rebate from General Motors (GM), plus another $1,000 incentive to dealers to move the 2012 models. Kelley reports that the LT model, which normally lists for $24,230, is available for an average price of $20,081 (counting the incentives) -- that's a savings of $4,149. If you step up to the LTZ version, you get a V-6 engine (much preferred by reviewers) that offers the same MPG rating of 22 city, 33 highway as the base four-cylinder. The higher-end model lists for $28,485, but you likely can buy it for around $24,300. Ford Fusion: Even though it is soon to be dated, the Fusion was well-liked by reviewers and ranked No. 1 among affordable midsize cars by U.S. News & World Report. Test drivers liked the Fusion's crisp handling, competitive fuel economy (22 city, 29 highway), high-quality interior, and top safety ratings. Shoppers will like the Continue Reading

What’s new for 2013: Small and midsize sedans

(MoneyWatch) When I was a teenager, we would hurry down to the local dealerships in early October to see the new Chevys and Fords. Nobody gets that excited any more about the change in model years, but car shoppers still pay attention to what's new from Detroit and its competitors. For the auto makers in recent years, a combination of high gas prices and tightening federal mileage regulations have generated new models with higher MPG. But, especially in smaller cars, shoppers are also getting more standard and optional comfort features and high-tech equipment. Increasingly, manufacturers ignore the traditional fall introduction of new models and put the next year's version on earlier in the year. Nonetheless, as dealers try to clear out their 2012s, here is a rundown of the highlights of 2013 models in small cars and midsize sedans Small cars Unlike many past years, manufacturers introduced some all-new models in this category, not just redesigns under the same nameplate. General Motors and Chrysler have two of the most interesting: Dodge Dart Chrysler resurrected the name of a 1970s mid-size car for its new rakish compact with Italian heritage. Based in part on the mechanical design of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the Dart shows its heritage with nimble handling. The base SE model starts at $15,995 and comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. But the $19,995 Limited version with a turbocharged four is a lot more fun to drive and is rated at 27 in city driving, 39 on the highway. Chevrolet Spark General Motors (GM) is aiming this minicar at young urban drivers with its $12,995 starting price. The Spark, already sold in 80 other countries, enters a U.S. segment previously populated mainly by interesting but unsuccessful entries like the Smartfortwo. Last year the Fiat 500 brought a stylish, drivable alternative into this category. With the $12,999 starting price for the Spark base models and an array of splashy colors, GM aims to attract new Continue Reading

Empty walls and big ambitions: Inside, the $1.5 billion cryptocurrency startup taking shape in Blacksburg

BLACKSBURG — Dan Larimer was broke, living in his parents’ house, driving his mom’s 2001 Nissan Altima and dealing with a messy divorce when he first discovered bitcoin in 2009.That’s back when one of the cybercoins cost 5 cents — instead of the $8,000 to $10,000 they were selling for last week.The now 35-year-old Virginia Tech graduate bought $20 worth, which was enough given his financial straits at the time. Today, that investment is worth about $4 million.But Larimer didn’t stop there.Forbes pegs the Christiansburg resident’s net worth somewhere north of $600 million. By Forbes’ calculations, that means Larimer ranks in the top 20 on the magazine’s new list of The Richest People in Cryptocurrency.Larimer declined to confirm his net worth in a recent interview with The Roanoke Times, noting that he asked to be excluded from the Forbes list in the first place for privacy and security reasons.He’s not one to seek out the ego boost that kind of recognition affords.But — when pressed — he does admit he was among the first to buy bitcoin. He’ll even concede that he is in fact a millionaire, but only because that much would be hard to deny given his prominence in the industry over the past nine years. Explained: Bitcoin, blockchain and EOS I bought a blanket on Amazon recently for $16.99. The transaction was pretty quick on my end, but it set off a series of events that all ended… Larimer has not been a prospector or passive observer of the digital currency revolution.He has invented three of his own bitcoin-rivaling cryptocurrencies, which all exploded in price and have a combined worth over $5 billion today. He has developed new technology to push the industry forward and is generally regarded as a digital currency thought leader — albeit an often controversial one.And he’s been rewarded handsomely along the way.“The money is a side effect,” Larimer Continue Reading

Nissan teases redesigned 2019 Altima ahead of NY Auto Show

Despite being Nissan’s second-best-selling car behind the Rogue crossover, the midsize sedan-buying public has fallen out of love with the Altima. With a single sketch teasing its upcoming redesign, Nissan hopes to give the 2019 Altima a new lease on life when it debuts at the New York Auto Show later this month. As sales slid 17 percent in 2017, the time is nigh for Nissan to revamp the aging sedan, which hasn’t seen a redesign since the 2013 model year. Coincidentally enough, it was at the New York Auto Show where Nissan introduced the current-gen Altima six years prior. In the teased images, the 2019 Altima borrows some sporty design cues from the larger Maxima sedan. Nissan says the Altima will preview the automaker’s latest design language, called Vmotion 2.0. The long overdue remodel of the midsize sedan shows off a more dramatic face, with showcasing a massive, plunging U-shaped grille flanked by more sculpted curves along the sides. Finished off by oversized wheels – which will almost surely be toned down in the production-ready version – the sedan looks poised to stand out from the crowd. Facing cutthroat competition from other perennial contenders such as the redesigned Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, the 2019 Altima could siphon sales away from the two top students in the class. No info on engine specs or safety tech is available yet, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Nissan’s ProPilot assist features becoming standard fare on the sedan. The automaker made automatic emergency braking standard on the 2018 Rogue, Altima Sentra and other models, ahead of the industry-wide deadline of 2022. Other expected specs on the Altima include a carry-over of the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and CVT, with the possibility of a V6 as an option. Rumors are also stirring of all-wheel drive might be in the mix, but nothing has been confirmed yet. We will have to wait and see when Nissan’s 2019 Altima debuts Continue Reading

Foreign cars have produced many jobs in the U.S.

By Carol Christian, / Houston Chronicle Updated 6:41 am, Tuesday, January 17, 2017 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-10', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 10', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-15', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 15', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-20', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 20', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-25', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 25', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images Image 1of/25 CaptionClose Image 1 of 25 Vehicles made in the United StatesThe phrase "American-made cars" might conjure up only images of Fords, Chevrolets, Buicks and other iconic brands. But it should also include Toyota, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes, Volkswagen and other international companies. Click through the gallery to see which companies based in other countries produce vehicles at plants in the United States. less Vehicles made in the United States The phrase "American-made cars" might conjure up only images of Fords, Chevrolets, Continue Reading

Daily Drive-Thru: Nissan partners with Lucasfilm for ‘Rogue One’ campaign, GM cries foul in Texas lawsuit, Toyota debuts former Scion models, and more

From Texas lawsuits, European shift cuts and a safety recall for a certain South Korean automaker, today’s news features more cars coming off the road than getting on it. At least Toyota is doing its part by introducing a couple new(-ish) models for its flagship brand. Before we get into any of that, first let’s take a trip to a galaxy far, far away where five powerful federations have joined forces in a campaign for intergalactic domination. This is your Tuesday episode of the Daily Drive-Thru. May the Force be with you. Nissan goes Rogue (One) for Star Wars promotion It’s a marketing match for the galactic ages: Nissan, makers of the popular Rogue SUV, will partner with Lucasfilm for the promotion of the upcoming film “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Lucasfilm, which is owned by The Walt Disney Company, appears to have dropped Dodge as a partner after teaming up with the Fiat Chrysler subsidiary to promote last year’s highly-anticipated premiere of “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.” Considering the Rogue has been Nissan’s second-best-selling nameplate this year after the Altima, not even the powers of the Force could have kept these two brands apart. Nissan joins Duracell, General Mills, Gillette and Verizon as co-sponsors, meaning you can expect to see a heavy rotation of commercials and an array of out-of-home ads for all five companies, especially as we approach the film’s December 16 premiere date. The official announcement that Nissan would be joining the campaign mentioned the class-leading sales of the Leaf, Nissan’s all-electric offering, so you can expect that to be featured prominently in advertisements as well. Source: Nissan GM accuses family of falsifying evidence for ignition switch lawsuit General Motors accused a Texas family and its lawyers of falsifying evidence for a lawsuit Continue Reading

Daily Drive Thru: Nissan recalls 3.5 million cars, Volkswagen wants a tech partner, FCA gets Siri update, and more

Looking for a roundup of the latest and most important news from the automotive world? You’ve found it in the Daily Drive-Thru. Check it out every weekday to see what you missed and what you need to know. FOLLOW DAILY NEWS AUTOS ON FACEBOOK. 'LIKE' US HERE. While you were catching up on Netflix, the automotive world was having itself a busy weekend. Here’s what you missed: Nissan recalls 3.5 million cars for airbag issues Several of Nissan’s most popular models are being recalled for airbag related issues, including recent versions of the Altima, Maxima, Pathfinder and Sentra. In total, more than 3.5 million vehicles released between 2013 and 2016 (including a few 2017 models) are impacted by the recall. Passenger side airbags in at least three Nissan vehicles have deployed at the wrong time, resulting in “moderate injury” to three people. To check if your car is a part of this recall, enter your vehicle ID number into this tool on Source: Autoblog Volkswagen seeking a tech partner (but not Apple or Google) Like many major manufacturers, Volkswagen knows it needs to prepare for the future of the rapidly changing transportation industry. To do so, the German company is looking to partner with an existing tech company and establish future mobility research centers in Potsdam, Germany; Beijing and Silicon Valley. Volkswagen Chief Executive Matthias Mueller said his company has a list of prospective partners, but tech giants like Apple and Google, which are already dabbling in the automotive world, are not included on it. Source: Automotive News Europe Siri is coming to a Fiat Chrysler Automobile near year Speaking of technology upgrades, Fiat Chrysler is quickly emerging from the dark ages. This weekend, FCA released a software update for 2 million of its late model vehicles that will allow them Continue Reading

2013 Nissan Altima strives to be the anti-Toyota Camry, sportier than the Honda Accord

Every year the Toyota Camry competes for the unofficial title of "America's Favorite Car" if you just look at sales data. Toyota sells nearly a half million Camrys a year—and nearly every reviewer alive thinks the Camry is a boring offerhe Ting. It's supposed to be boring. To be everything to nearly everyone a mid sized sedan cannot have pretensions to sportiness. To give the Camry some flavor is to betray its mission. It is the task of Toyota's main Japanese rivals, Honda and Nissan to offer the "anti-Camry." Honda does this with the Accord sedan and coupe, Nissan answers with the Altima, which has displaced the Maxima to compete upmarket with the Toyota Avalon. As Nissan totally redesigned the Altima for 2013, let's see what it brings to the market segment. The easiest difference to spot is that the Altima is offering more distinctive styling than the Camry. One of the benefits of trying to be popular while not being the most popular is that a little edginess will not hurt. The Altima also brings a little high technology to its bodywork. The hood, roof, and trunk lid are all crafted from aluminum. By far the most popular Altima model is the 2.5 SV, which is the middle level trim of the four cylinder offerings. The 2.5 in the description is the displacement of the inline four engine. This Altima's power plant makes a class leading 182 BHP and returns a class best 38 mpg on the highway. If the four cylinder isn't enough power for you, a 270 BHP V6 engine is also available. Again, this engine marks the best combination of power, and at 31 mpg on the highway, economy in the class. Hopefully by now you are sensing an unmistakable trend. Nissan's intent is clear, if you want the both the quickest and the most economical mid-sized Japanese sedan, and you did your homework, you are going to come and look at the Altima. Even then, if the sedan still isn't sporty enough for you, they'll offer you a look at a coupe version if you'd like. Continue Reading

Cheap loans, new cars, and a strong economy all strengthen U.S. auto sales

It's not quite boom times for the U.S. auto industry. But it's getting there. Sales of new cars and trucks rose 13 percent to 14.5 million in 2012. And if they climb much beyond that, they'll be closing in on a high set in 2005. Cheap loans, a host of new cars and greater confidence in the economy are drawing buyers into showrooms. Plus, Americans who hung on to aging cars during the recession are ready to trade them in. PHOTOS: TOP SELLING CARS AND TRUCKS IN AMERICA Here are the highlights and lowlights of 2012, and what's coming from the industry in 2013: WINNERS Volkswagen saw a 35-percent jump in sales in 2012, one of the biggest increases in the industry. The new Passat midsize car was the driver, with sales up 413 percent over 2011. Chrysler's sales jumped 21 percent thanks to strong sales of the Dodge Caravan minivan and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV. READ MORE: U.S. AUTO SALES UP 13 PERCENT IN 2012 LOSERS Both General Motors and Ford gained sales in 2011 when the earthquake hurt their Japanese competitors. But the Japanese snatched those sales back in 2012, and GM and Ford lagged behind the industry. GM saw a 4 percent sales increase for the year, hurt by weak truck and Cadillac sales. Ford's sales were up 5 percent after new versions of some of its biggest sellers - the Ford Escape SUV and Fusion sedan - had to be recalled for safety problems. But they still had plenty of bright spots. Car and SUV sales were solid. New models like the Ford C-Max hybrid and the Buick Verano small car were well received. WELCOME BACK, JAPAN Those who wrote off Japanese carmakers after Toyota's recalls in 2010 and earthquake-related car shortages in 2011 were wrong. Japanese companies, who struggled after the earthquake, got their U.S. supplies back to normal in the first few months of 2012 and never looked back. Toyota's U.S. sales rose 28 percent and the Camry sedan had its best year since 2008. Honda's sales rose 24 percent, while Subaru was Continue Reading

Nissan, Honda, Kia, Hyundai set sales records

Asian brands roared to big sales gains in August and it should be good for bumping up their U.S. market share as well.Nissan, Honda and Hyundai all reported their best August sales ever, while Subaru had its best month of all time. Mazda had its best August in 10 years, while Toyota says it had its best August in five years.The breakdown by maker: ToyotaToyota Motor reported a 22.8% overall sales increase and said that while August is traditionally a strong sales month, the sales this August were particularly sweet."The auto industry continues to be a bright spot in the economic recovery," said Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager. "August capped a great summer for new vehicle sales, and it was Toyota's best month in more than five years."The Toyota division, including Scion, was up the same 22.8% to 201,745, while upscale Lexus clocked in at up 22.9% to 29,792. The Toyota would have been higher if not for a .3% decline for the struggling Scion lineup.Among the Toyota brands top-volume models, the Camry mid-size sedan was up 21.8% to 44,713, the Corolla was up 10% to (with a redesigned 2014 is coming later this year) to 26,861 and the newly redesigned RAV4 was up 50% to 23,502.Toyota also pointed to sales of its Prius hybrid line, up 30% as a group of models to 27,358, for their best-ever August . The new Avalon, considered a strong contender over the model it replaced, more than doubled sales compared to a year ago to 6,241.The full-size truck boom that pumped up August sales for the Detroit makers largely bypassed Toyota, however, with sales of the just-redone Tundra up just 18 trucks from last August to 11,365. It was even outsold by its smaller sibling -- the mid-size Tacoma pickup that is currently the only mid-size pickup on sale in the U.S. market. Its sales were up 24.9% to 15,223.On the Lexus side, sales of the just-redesigned IS sport sedan rose 87.1% to 4,432. Lexus volume leaders were the ES midsize, up .9% to 7,628 and Continue Reading