The Five Worst Selling Cars Of 2011

Posted in auto industry, Car Buying, Lists, News, Rankings by Kurt Ernst | October 16th, 2011 | 3 Responses |

The 2011 Acura RL. Image: Honda

To be fair, 2011 isn’t quite over yet, so declaring five cars the worst sellers of the year prior to December 31 means opening yourself up to criticism and ridicule if a particular model bounces back. That said, it’s a fair bet that these five cars, picked by MSNBC as the worst sales performers among mainstream automobiles, won’t be rising out of the sales basement. Most are dated designs, and some soldier on simply because a manufacturer has paid for the tooling and can’t afford a new replacement model. Others are quirky for the sake of being quirky, which is never a good thing. At least Saabs were quirky for the sake of being innovative. Read More…

What Cities Are The Most And Least Domestic Brand Loyal?

Posted in Lists, News, Rankings by Kurt Ernst | July 14th, 2011 | 3 Responses |

Buying American used to be the only reasonable choice when purchasing a new car. Back in the 1950s, 1960s and even early 1970s, foreign car dealerships were few and far between, and most cars built elsewhere had spotty reputations for safety and durability. To generalize, British cars all suffered from electrical maladies, Japanese cars rusted through just as the warranty expired, Italian cars were only reliable until you need to be somewhere at a specific time and German cars were for the rich. Except Volkswagen, which was for hippies and college students. None of them fared well in collisions with big old American Iron, which typically had a 2x or 3x weight advantage. Read More…

Good News: Car Theft Is Down. Bad News: Not In California.

Posted in Lists, News, Rankings, Safety by Kurt Ernst | June 27th, 2011 | 3 Responses |

Image: Jesse Bikman, Creative Commons 2.0

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, car theft fell for the seventh consecutive year in 2010, and is now at levels not seen since 1967. Overall, car thefts fell by 7.2 percent from 2009 to 2010, but the news isn’t all good. Car thefts in the top five hotspots actually increased from 2009 to 2010, and four of those top five hotspots are located in California. In fact eight out of the top ten are located in the Golden State, with the remaining two high theft locations in Washington. Read More…

RideLust Top Five: Worst Rental Cars Ever

Posted in driving, Lists, Rankings, Rants & Raves by Kurt Ernst | June 16th, 2011 | 9 Responses |

My God, we sent these to Europe? I'm so sorry. Image: Ruben de Rijcke

Back in the days when I worked for big companies, business travel was a way of life. I spent a lot of years missing birthdays and anniversaries, and I’ve driven hundreds of rental cars in the United States and Europe. Most are just like the hotels you stay in on business, and by that I mean over-priced and utterly forgettable. The days of scoring a rental car that your co-workers will envy are long in the past; these days, you lucky if you get a rental car that’s been vacuumed since entering the fleet. Read More…

IMS Names The 33 Best Drivers In Speedway History

Posted in IndyCar, Lists, Promoted, Racing Coverage, Rankings by Kurt Ernst | May 16th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Image: Rick Dikeman

The Indianapolis 500 is billed as The Greatest Spectacle in Motor Racing, and at one time was the largest single-day sporting event in the world. The massive track doesn’t release attendance figures, but ponder this: the grandstand seating capacity is 257,000, and the infield can accommodate another 143,000 fans. At the peak of the race’s popularity (before the CART / Indy Racing League split), grandstand tickets were virtually impossible to score, unless you had an in with one of the sponsor corporations. The usual way of “earning” grandstand seats was to spend a few years in the drunken melee that was the infield, then make your way to the cheap grandstand seats when tickets became available. Like the NFL’s NY Giants, getting good seats often took years of patience. Read More…

Ford Shines In Latest J.D.Power Initial Quality Survey

Posted in Acura, auto industry, Cadillac, Car Buying, Cars, Ford, General, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Lists, Mercedes Benz, Mini, New Cars, Porsche, Rankings, Toyota, Volkswagen by Kurt Ernst | June 19th, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

For the first time in the history of the J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, Ford has topped the list of domestic, non-premium brand automakers. Ford finished fifth overall, but behind such brands as Lexus (4th), Mercedes Benz (3rd), Acura (2nd) and Porsche (1st). Even long time quality leaders such as Honda (6th), Lincoln (8th), Infiniti (9th), Cadillac (13th) and Toyota (21st) couldn’t match Ford’s performance.

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Car Thefts Most Common In Western States

Posted in Car Care, Cars, General, Newsworthy, Police, Rankings, Safety, Travel by Kurt Ernst | May 19th, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

Live in Laredo, Texas? Make sure you lock your car and use a secondary anti-theft device. You may want to have your windows etched and put in a Lojack system as well, since the area around Laredo, Texas, has the highest incidence of auto theft in the United States. Vehicle theft rate is calculated by dividing the number of thefts by the area’s population, then multiplying by 100,000, which controls for population. Laredo, for example, has a theft rate of 742.22.

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Mr. Frugal Presents: Eight Hoonmobiles That Won’t Break The Bank

A while back I ran a piece on the ten least expensive new cars to insure. As you’d imagine, none of them were even remotely entertaining to drive. So is there no hope for a car enthusiast on a budget? RideLust feels your pain, so I’ve researched eight 2010 models that are guaranteed to amuse without costing you an arm and a leg.

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RideLust’s Top 25 Car Blogs and Websites

Posted in Rankings by Kurt Ernst | February 13th, 2010 | 31 Responses |

Contrary to popular belief, automotive writers are not born omniscient of all things mechanical. Most of us accumulate our wisdom from first hand experience, learning early on that “built in Italy” and “bulletproof reliability” are generally not phrases often used in the same sentence. Likewise, the terms “German engineering” and “inexpensive to repair”.

Since most of us will never get the chance to drive a Bugatti Veyron on the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring, we turn to sources of information that have proven reliable in the past. We like articles written by others with comparable experience, not articles culled from press releases put together by corporate talking heads.

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