May 22

Most Underappreciated Cars & Trucks

Cars.com recently compiled a list of the Top 10 Underappreciated Cars and Trucks, or those vehicles they feel should be more popular based on their significance and quality.  While their choices are not necessarily poor sellers, they have not reached their full potential based on Cars.com’s assessment, and therefore may provide those in the market for a new or used vehicle an excellent deal. 

Ford Flex – This roomy 7-passenger SUV is outsold by the more recognizable Ford Explorer yet offers more cargo and passenger space including impressive headroom and legroom. 

Suzuki Kizashi – The fun-to-drive Kizashi is an unknown gem in the midsize car class with an upscale interior, high-tech features, and both front and all-wheel drive options. 

Mazdas – Unfortunately Mazda’s lineup, while delivering on their fun-to-drive promise, have not reached American consumers on the level they certainly deserve.  A few of Cars.com’s favorites have included the RX-7, 323, Protégé and Mazda3.  “Wake up, America!”

Kia Optima – Cars.com’s Best of 2011, the midsize Optima provides a stylish, high-quality design with numerous standard features. 

Hyundai Genesis – Introduced in 2009, the Genesis is a true luxury sedan but priced well below most of the competition, while still offering both a V6 and V8 engine option and the upscale features one would expect in a luxury vehicle. 

Nissan Quest – In the competitive minivan class, the Quest is a standout in both looks and quality but has had to build a following from scratch.

Dodge Challenger – Cars.com’s 2012 Shopper’s Choice, the retro Challenger brings comfort, space and cargo room to the sports car class. 

Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen – The versatile SportWagen, Jetta’s roomier cousin, provides ample passenger and cargo space while remaining fun-to-drive like the sedan.  Cars.com particularly loves the clean-diesel TDI version. 

Chevrolet Avalanche – Providing 8,100 pounds of towing capacity in either a full-length truck or 5-passenger SUV, the Avalanche has the versatility and power to make any truck buyer happy.  Unfortunately it has not caught on and the 2013 model year will be its last.   

Chevrolet Volt – The misrepresented Volt plug-in deserves more success than it has earned so far, and GM’s sales expectations may have been too high, but don’t discount this green car. 

 

To learn more about these excellent, but sadly underappreciated vehicles, contact Pfeiffer Used Cars or stop by their Grand Rapids dealership to find the perfect car, truck, or SUV to fit your needs!

May 08

Tips for Better Driving

Every time you put pull out of the driveway, you put yourself at risk by entering roadways congested with distracted, texting and drunk drivers. To help make sure you are as safe as possible, here are 10 useful, and entertaining, tips for becoming a better driver, suggested by Jalopnik.com readers.

            10. Test your cars limits in a parking lot – It is important to understand your cars limits.  By testing your car’s grip on a wet or snow-covered parking lot, drivers will better know how their car handles in poor conditions.

            9. Play video games – This is something kids can do before they even have their license.  While a video game can’t prepare drivers for the real world, it can help refine motor skills and the coordination necessary to control a vehicle.

            8. Learn to drive a manual – Driving a stickshift increases hand, eye and foot coordination, and it also familiarizes drivers with how parts of the driveline interact with each other.

            7. Put you phone in the glovebox and turn off the radio – Distractions can be deadly, especially to young drivers.  Removing the phone from sight helps insure drivers aren’t tempted to sneak a peek and turning off the radio will help concentration.

            6. Driving school – Not the kind where a retired police officer tries his best to keep you awake after seventh period, but rather a high performance driving education.  High performance driving instructors have vast driving experience and knowledge to share and it provides a safe environment to learn how to control a vehicle.

            5. Rally driving school – Similar to driving school, except you learn how to control a vehicle off-road or in poor conditions.  Plus it’s lots of fun. 

            4. Autocross – Let’s run through the ingredients needed for autocross: cones, parking lot, that’s it. Autocross allows you to test the limits of your vehicle, and your driving, inexpensively and safely. 

            3. Just pretend everyone else on the road is trying to kill you – Seriously. It’s the number one key in defensive driving.  It’s very rare that people signal when they turn or merge, so by assuming they have no idea what they are doing, you are able to anticipate their mistakes and react accordingly.

            2. Know what’s around you – Be aware of your surroundings. Know where other cars, pedestrians, cyclists and any road signs you pass are located.  Practicing situational awareness allows you to be one step ahead.

            1. Drive more – Practice makes perfect.  Apply lessons you have learned and the longer you’re on the road the more comfortable, and safer, you will be.

Apr 27

TrueCar.com Study Shows Gender Car Buying Behavior

According to TrueCar.com’s annual demographic car-buying behavior study, women prefer import brands and smaller vehicles while men prefer flashy or brawny vehicles.  Examining gender differences, TrueCar’s study looked at over eight million auto purchases last year. 

“Female car buyers really gravitated toward smaller, more fuel-efficient cars,” said Kristen Andersson, Senior Analyst at TrueCar.com. “It was the complete opposite for male buyers, who preferred either a fast, sporty vehicle or more heavy-duty vehicle, like a large truck or SUV.

The study found female buyers top brand to be MINI, followed by Nissan and Kia.  Men on the other hand preferred Ferrari, Bentley and Maserati. 

The top ten models, based on the highest percentage of male and female buyers were:

Female:

  1. Volvo S40
  2. Nissan Rogue
  3. Volkswagen Eos
  4. Volkswagen Beetle
  5. Hyundai Tucson
  6.  Honda CR-V
  7. Toyota RAV4
  8. Nissan Juke
  9. Jeep Compass
  10. Nissan versa

 

 Men:

  1. Porsche 911
  2. GMC Sierra
  3. Ford F-Series
  4. Chevrolet Corvette
  5. Chevrolet Silverado
  6. BMW M3
  7. Audi S4
  8. Audi A8
  9. Cadillac Escalade EXT
  10. Maserati Granturismo

 

“While gender preferences amongst the buyers of various automotive brands still exist, the gap is narrowing,” said Jesse Toprak, Vice President of Market Intelligence at TrueCar.com. “The SUV and truck heavy mix of the domestic automakers continue to generate a disproportionate number of male customers, while the exotic brands remain to be the best medicine for a midlife crisis.”

Apr 17

Best Used Cars for Teen Drivers

Purchasing a car for a teen driver can be a scary, and expensive, undertaking.  To help families find the safest and most affordable options, CarInsurance.com has put together a list of the least expensive 2008 and 2009 model year used cars to insure based on the following criteria:

  • estimated to sell for less than $15,000
  • initially earned top marks in IIHS crash tests
  • rated at more than 20 mpg in combined city/highway driving
  • have better-than-average reported reliability

The following are CarInsurance.com’s top 10 Best Used Cars for Teen Drivers:

Audi A3 – “This compact hatchback is CarInsurance.com’s top choice among model-year 2008 and 2009 cars for young drivers, based on safety ratings, fuel economy, long-term reliability and reasonably low insurance costs.”

 

Honda Accord Sedan – “This popular midsize sedan is roomy and drives predictably; choose a model with the standard four-cylinder engine for top fuel economy.”

 

 

Mercury Sable / Ford Taurus – “Mechanically identical, these large and substantial sedans may be too frumpy for some teens, but they’re sure and stable, not to mention affordable as used cars; look for models fitted with the optional stability control system for added safety.”

 

Subaru Forester – “This tidy crossover SUV is a solid performer with sufficient cargo space for carrying a kid’s belongings off to college and standard all-wheel-drive for optimal traction on wet or snowy roads; be sure to find a model that’s fitted with stability control.”

 

Mercury Milan / Ford Fusion – “Midsize sedan duo represents plain-vanilla transportation, but they work well in most respects, are affordable in the used-car market and are economical to run with the base four-cylinder engine; look for 2009 models equipped with stability control.”

 

Scion xB – “Well suited to young drivers, the boxy compact xB wagon is fun and funky; it’s also eminently practical, with ample rear seat room and lots of cargo space.”

 

 

Nissan Rogue – “Nissan’s sporty compact crossover SUV is fun to drive and can carry a school year’s worth of belongings in its expansive cargo hold.”

 

 

Honda Civic – “A perennial favorite among compact cars, the Civic is a proven winner for reliability and economy; choose a 2009 four-door model with stability control for lower insurance rates and added safety.”

 

Hyundai Santa Fe – “The sturdy midsize Santa Fe crossover SUV is a good value and a capable performer, with sufficient interior room and cargo space.”

 

 

Saturn VUE – “Though the Saturn brand may be long gone, the compact VUE crossover SUV remains a solid choice among used cars. It’s practical, performs adequately and is a good value; CarInsurance.com says to look for models built after 12/07.”

 

For more information on these, or any other used model, contact Pfeiffer Used Cars or stop into their Grand Rapids dealership!

Apr 13

KBB’s List of 10 Best Used Cars Under $8,000

In the market for an affordable used car but not sure which one to choose?  Look no further than Kelley Blue Book’s top 10 Best used Cars Under $8,000.  Compiled from a list of 2002 or newer used cars with a KBB Retail Value of less than $8,000, the top 10 were handpicked based on the “most appealing mixes of reliability, versatility and desirability, with an emphasis on track record.”

#10  2008 Kia Rio – “The 2008 Kia Rio is the newest car on our list, and still covered under its original factory warranty. A great value as a new car, the Rio not only provides reliable performance in the subcompact market, but can be found in a number of trim levels, potentially making the value for your used car dollar even greater.”

 

#9  2004 Ford Crown Victoria – “The Crown Victoria is big, proven and an American classic. With the discontinuation of the Crown Vic in the U.S., the desirability of good used examples is only going to rise. While you can, snag one of these great sedans for great money.”

 

#8  2003 Mazda Protege5 – “The 2003 Protege5 gives you spirited handling, good gas mileage, and in this 5-door wagon configuration, great utility as well. If you’re looking for a practical daily driver with a decent fun streak in its roots, the Protege5 deserves a serious look.”

 

#7  2002 Toyota Tundra Standard Cab – “Those looking for a used full-size pickup truck should seriously consider the 2002 Tundra. A bit spartan but with surprising handling and legendary reliability on its side, the Tundra offers a unique mix of capability and value. With its smooth and durable V8 engine, a used Tundra will return thousands of sure-footed miles.”

 

#6  2003 Ford Escape – “Easy to drive, convenient and reliable, the Escape provides ample space for grocery-getting without being overwrought in weight or size. A comfortable ride helps solidify for Ford’s popular compact SUV a spot on this list.”

 

# 5  2004 Scion xA – “The 2004 xA was designed with value in mind, and that value is magnified when the xA is a used car. The xA is extremely comfortable and offers surprising handling for an economy car. One quibble many had with the xA when it was released was the cost of the options; shop wisely and you’ll find yourself a truly great deal today.”

 

#4  2004 Pontiac Vibe – “Owners of the Pontiac Vibe always seem to get around to praising two aspects of this small, tall wagon: its gas mileage and its comfort. If you need some passenger and cargo space and don’t need some kind of status-flaunting accessory, the 2004 Vibe may just be the ticket for you.”

 

#3  2002 Toyota Corolla –  “You knew this one was coming. Purpose-built to deliver reliability, comfort and value, the Corolla is always worth considering when on a budget. It may not be the most exciting car on this list, but the Corolla’s value is unimpeachable.”

 

#2  2002 Infiniti G20 – “When released, this upscale reworking of the Sentra was considered too similar to its little brother from Nissan. These days, if you can find one, you can get a premium badge and more features for less than you’d pay for a similarly sized but more pedestrian used car. Handling in the G20 is better than the Sentra, and it’s much better looking as well.”

 

#1  2004 Honda Civic – “What else could top this list? If you have 24 hours and $8,000 to acquire some new wheels, just go buy the nearest used Civic and you’re likely to enjoy many years of trouble-free transportation. In addition to famous quality and reliability, the Civic is more fun and more comfortable than most of its compact sedan contemporaries. The same value and reliability that keep the Honda Civic near the top of the new car sales charts every year also qualify it as one of the all-time great used cars.”

 

For more information on these, or any other used car, contact Pfeiffer Used Cars in Grand Rapids! 

 

Apr 05

Buying Used = Better Value

Buying a used car used to be a risky investment as drivers never knew if they were inheriting the previous owner’s problems or receiving a dependable vehicle until it was too late.  However things have changed with dealers and manufactures now realizing the importance of used car sales as well as the availability of vehicle history reports.

Today, used cars offer a much better value and provide the best financial option for those drivers looking to save or with poor credit.  Pre-owned vehicles now often come with manufacturer-backed certified used car warranties on newer, lower mileage cars.  These warranties extend the original new car warranty and offer increased security for the new driver.  Build quality has also improved over the years, allowing most well maintained cars to last well over 100,000 miles or more. 

Drivers can also now pre-screen vehicles for previous issues using vehicle history reports from companies like Carfax and AutoCheck.  Reports include information on any accidents the vehicle may have been involved in as well as details on the warranty and mileage. 

Newer used cars will also be valued significantly higher than comparable new vehicles due to the high depreciation value that occurs during the first few years.  So whether you are looking to save some money or have bad credit, buying a used car is often the best and most financially beneficial decision.    

For more information on buying a used car contact Pfeiffer Used Cars or stop into their Grand Rapids dealership to take a test drive.

Mar 29

April is Car Care Month

Every new and used car needs to be cared for and maintained, and spring is the perfect time to perform any maintenance or service your vehicle may need.  There are certain things you’ll want to check on before the hot weather begins. To help you out we’ve put together a list of the top 10 maintenance tips to prepare your car for the upcoming summer.

  1. Check brakes. Brakes are one of the most used, and abused components of your car. Make sure to check pads, shoes, drums, rotors, calipers, fittings, brake hardware, and parking brake to prevent any problems.
  2. Check tires. Make sure to check air pressure on all tires, including the spare – improper tire pressure leads to premature wear and a decrease in fuel mileage. The entire surface of the tire should also be inspected for uneven or irregular wear; excessive wear could be signs that other maintenance is required.
  3. Check wiper blades. It’s best to be prepared for spring showers and summer storms. Properly working wiper blades increase visibility in all conditions.
  4. Check headlamps, tail lamps, turn signals, and hazard lights. Inspect and test all exterior lamps and lights, including turn signals and hazard lights to ensure they are working properly; working headlamps and tail lamps will play an important role in safe driving, especially in nighttime, or in rainy or foggy weather.
  5. Check air filter. The air filter protects the engine from airborne contaminants, and poor air flow within the engine hinders performance and can lead to greater fuel consumption. Replacing a dirty air filter will allow clean, unrestricted air flow into the engine.
  6. Check oil. Engine oil level should be checked often, replacing the fuel when it is low or dirty.  Dirty oil can have dire consequences on how the engine and its components work, especially under the extreme heat and conditions of summer driving.
  7. Check all fluid levels. Vehicle fluids and lubricants should be check often and changed at factory-recommended intervals.  Dirty fluids and low fluids could affect the performance of a vehicle and could lead to breakdowns if not properly monitored and filled.
  8. Check engine belts, hoses, and fuel filler. Prevent breakdowns or serious engine damage by replacing belts and hoses at recommended intervals. Checking and replacing the fuel filter is also important to ensure the engine is running at its optimal level, and to maximize fuel economy.
  9. Check battery. After a winter of cold-weather starts make sure to check the battery.  Look for corroded terminals and inspect for a bulging or cracked case.
  10. Check shocks and struts.  Shocks and struts are crucial to a smooth ride and may also affect a number of other related parts on the vehicle. 

 

Schedule your maintenance appointment today with Pfeiffer Used Cars to ensure your vehicle is ready for summer!

Mar 20

Pfeiffer Used Cars is Now Online

Visit Pfeiffer Used Cars online today and discover their all new website.  You can view their extensive inventory of used cars, check out their finance options, view their monthly specials, and even schedule a service appointment.

Great Inventory Selection:

Pfeiffer Used Cars offers a large selection of used cars, trucks, minivans, and SUVs as in various makes and models.  If you aren’t able to find the car you want listed, Pfeiffer Used Cars will work with you to find the right car and get it for you.

Financing:

With financing through Pfeiffer Used Cars, your credit history won’t hold you back from owning the car you want. With their first-time-buyers program even those with no credit can get financing for their new vehicle.

Specials:

Visit Pfeiffer Used Cars specials page, http://pfeiffer84th.net/Used-Car-Sales.aspx, each month to see what specials they are currently offering.  You can find special deals on financing, monthly payments, and possibly even cash back incentives on used cars.

Service:

Pfeiffer Used Cars service department performs routine maintenance such as oil changes, tire rotations, and brake service on all vehicles they sell.  Their certified service technicians can also do repairs and any other necessary tune-up or work. They also offer service specials each month that can be found on their service specials page, http://pfeiffer84th.net/Specials-Service.aspx.

For more information about Pfeiffer Used Cars visit them online, http://pfeiffer84th.net, or visit their local Byron Center, MI dealership to take a test drive in one of their many pre-owned vehicles.

Mar 15

Welcome

Welcome to the official Pfeiffer Used Cars Blog, your destination for the latest used car News, Information, and Specials from our dealership!!