December 14, 2017
This year’s leading import SUVs present an array of features to delight and dazzle car buyers throughout the U.S. From sporty urban get-arounds to more outdoor, terrain friendly models, there’s one to float your boat, or carry it to the river along with your family or friends.
Safety and comfort options have also been amped up in many models. Let’s look at the most popular.
10. Kia Sportage
This compact crossover Sportage presents a slightly sporty look, with a coupe-like roof, a tiger-nose grille, and defined wheel arches. Most models include a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. While the interior is comfortable and roomy, you won’t be able to throw a bicycle in the back. This is more of a get-around-town SUV.
Starting msrp $23,500, est. mpg 23/30, YTD sales 67,239.
9. Honda HR-V
This subcompact crossover SUV is designed for the local driver, not off-road adventure. With room for five or large cargo items, Honda highlights its versatility and convenience in getting around country and town. It gets high marks for safety in construction and features like the standard Multi-Angle Rearview Camera.
Starting msrp $19,570, est. mpg 25/33, YTD sales 86,491.
8. Kia Sorento
The Sorento goes after the minivan-averse with roomy seating, active Dynamax all-wheel drive that keeps track of road and driving conditions, and Torque Vectoring Cornering Control. It offers a low roofline and swept-back lines. Features include an automatic liftgate and selectable drive mode.
Starting msrp $25,800, est. mpg 21/28, YTD sales 91,944.
7. Hyundai Tucson
Hyundai wants you to know that its compact SUV is devoted to style and sleekness, with internal detailing, a sun roof, and brake-light spoilers. The 1.6 Turbo GDI gives you 175 horsepower while keeping up fuel efficiency. Active Cornering Control all-wheel drive takes on slippery roads with ease. Multi-link rear suspension, gas-pressurized shocks, and an independent strut design with coil springs work together to give you an incredibly smooth ride.
Starting msrp (SE model) $22,700, est. mpg 23/30, YTD sales 103,102.
6. Mazda CX-5
Mazda’s CX-5 offers a spacious interior with flexibility for cargo with fold-down back seating. It features four cameras for a 360-degree view on a touchscreen display. The CX-5 puts family safety before all else, with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot detection that sounds the alert when vehicles around you can’t be seen, and lane departure warnings.
Starting msrp (Sport model) $24,045, est. mpg 24/31, YTD sales 113,466.
5. Hyundai Santa Fe
This three-row, family-friendly SUV seats up to seven. The Santa Fe features a 3.3-liter V-6 engine and front-wheel drive. It offers options such as all-wheel drive and a forward-collision warning system. It boasts a luxurious cabin and a smooth ride that handles the bumps in the road.
Starting msrp (SE Model) $30,850, est. mpg (SE Model) 18/25, YTD sales 120,025.
4. Subaru Forester
The Subaru Forester is a compact crossover that Subaru has built to endure, it claims, noting that 98% of the vehicles sold in the past decade are still rolling down the highway. It features a roomy interior with a power panoramic moonroof. Safety features include good visibility, EyeSight driver-assist technology, and pre-collision braking.
Starting msrp $22,795, est. mpg 32/26, YTD sales 160,122.
3. Subaru Outback
Subaru’s crossover features symmetrical all-wheel drive, which the company highlights as adding to stability, efficiency, and quick response to changing conditions. The Subaru Outback can handle tough terrain and steep inclines, and is designed for outdoor activity cargo carrying. You can throw on a large kayak and head to the lake.
Starting msrp $25,895, est. mpg 32/25, YTD sales 170,638.
2. Toyota Highlander
The highlander boasts classic styling and seating room for 8 in its comfortable interior. Toyota says that the available 3.5-liter V-6 direct-injection engine gives the SUV performance and efficiency. The 2016 Highlander was a Kelley Blue Book’s Best Buy Award finalist.
Starting msrp $31,030, est. mpg 21/27, YTD sales 194,734.
1. Toyota RAV4
This top import is set to go from city to campsite. Toyota bills the 10 models in the RAV4 lineup as perfect for weekend getaways. It combines cargo and outdoor capabilities with the company’s Safety Sense technology and a great number of comfort features.
Starting msrp $24,410, est. mpg 23/30 (city/highway), YTD US sales 375,052.
Source: goodcarbadcar.net reporting of YTD sales as of November 2017.
by Catalogs.com Info Guru Roger DeGennaro
September 28, 2017
Buick Regals have been gaining in popularity over the years, especially the Grand National, Turbo-T, T-Type, and GNX editions.
With three original generations of Regals to consider, there’s a wealth of models that need parts. Where to start? The best advice is to get hold of Classic Industries’ new Regal catalog to help you along. I’ll rely on it heavily to aid with this article.
First things first. I assume you’ll be doing a restomod instead of a restoration. A restoration relies on all original parts, sometimes called NOS (new, old stock). Restomod parts, by comparison, are commonly available and often better than the original, benefiting from today’s advances in metallurgy and tooling. Here’s my top ten restomod ideas for your Buick Regal.
10. Door hinges
Experts say Regals suffer from worn out door hinges. There’s little worse than a door that doesn’t close properly. You want to hear a solid “slam” when you shut that door and only a wobble free door will give you that. Replace that hinge with a new part instead of trying to get by with one pulled from a wrecking yard. That old part may rock just as much as the one you are replacing it with.
9. Door handles
Driver door handles wear poorly with Regals. Most cars were daily drivers and, of course, most models are now more than 25 years old. Get the right part to replace. Talk to an expert when ordering the part over the phone or online if you are unsure of the part number. A tip: as you do your disassembling, remember to take photographs. Document your restoration journey as best you can.
8. Ignition lock cylinder and key
Another heavily used part, one that can wear poorly. Replacements are readily available. If your Regal model is particularly rare, consider keeping all the “hard parts” that come off your ride. If you sell, you can offer to include the original parts as part of the deal. In the case of a key that came with the car, that small metal part might include identifying information vital to a collector. Don’t discard.
7. Emblems and badges
Too frequently these identifying symbols go missing or get damaged. Easy fix. Don’t forget hub cap emblems.
6. New carpet
Used hard, most vehicles of any kind can use new carpeting. This is an approachable job compared to doing something like seat upholstery. Classic Industries has cutpile carpet for 1978 to 1987 Regals.
5. Trim panels
Interior trim panels suffer a lot of wear and tear. While most of us try to restore their color with a product like Armor All, a colorant or restorer won’t take out scuff marks and other damage. Replace. And you may want to keep the used parts for the next owner. Bag all kept pieces in plastic bags and use a magic marker to identify them. You’re still taking pictures, aren’t you?
Molding, either rubber or metal, breaks down over time. Any rubber product exposed to city air pollution for a quarter of a century can get brittle and fall apart. Chrome or stainless-steel molding anodizes and gets speckled. Some molding is specific to a Regal, other molding is generic. Not sure how to install? Join an owner’s club to get good advice on how best to tackle your restoration.
3. Air and oil filter
Don’t overlook the easy fixes! A brand-new oil filter, along with an oil change, is simple to do and absolutely vital for an older car. Get a new air filter, too, and don’t go on the cheap by blowing out the old one with an air compressor. K&N makes great products if you want to upgrade.
Today’s shock absorbers are better engineered and safer than those made decades ago. Replacing those old shocks is a good investment that will pay off in safety and resale value.
Is there anything more important than a good set of tires? Make sure your ride is safe and period correct by consulting with a car restoration company that offers tires as part of their inventory. And unless you have the original tires on your classic, it’s safe to dispose of your old set. Consumables like batteries and tires are not expected to last the life of the vehicle and can be discarded.
I hope my top ten restomod ideas for your Buick Regal inspires you to start turning wrenches. Take it one job at a time, as your schedule patience, and budget allows. May your daily driver or trailer queen turn out well.
by Catalogs.com Info Guru Thomas Farley
September 27, 2017
1964 to 1973 Mustangs have always been popular and their desirability shows no sign of going away.
To be clear, I will assume you’ll be doing a restomod instead of a period or full restoration. A complete restoration relies on all original parts. These can be NOS (new, old stock), or parts taken from a junked Mustang.
Daily drivers don’t always warrant being driven with period parts, instead, a good choice is to use aftermarket parts for your ride. A restomod project uses newly made parts that are often better than the original, benefiting from today’s advances in machining, metallurgy and tooling.
Where to start? Get Classic Industries’ new 1964-73 Mustang Restoration and Performance Parts Catalog. It’s loaded with ideas for restoring Mustangs and for boosting their performance.
While everybody may differ on a list of top 10 restomod ideas for a street driven Mustang, here are my choices.
Good books are roadmaps to restoration. Whether it’s a tech manual or a project guide book, accurate information is a key to installing that ignition switch or pulling out a dent or ding.
9. Tie rods
As a car ages, people get used to decreasing performance. Things loosen up over time and we adjust to those changes. Tie rods are small parts that gradually wear out, giving you far more play in your steering than should be allowed. Inspect and replace. A tip: as you do your disassembling, remember to take photographs. It’s easy to take something apart, far harder to put it all back together.
8. Windshield wiper arms, wiper blades, and wiper motors
These parts are often overlooked and can have you grieving when winter comes to pass. Replacements are readily available. Consider keeping all the “hard parts” that come off your ride. If you sell, you can offer to include the original parts as part of the deal.
7. Interior hard and soft trim
Used constantly, most vehicles of any kind can use new arm rest pads, door panels, carpet, and headliners. If you’re not ready to get new seats or new upholstery, you can make do with seat covers from many makers.
6. Kick panels
Kick panels suffer a lot of wear and tear. We try to restore their color with a product like Armor All, but a colorant or restorer won’t take out scuff marks and other damage. It’s easier to replace these panels and the parts are not that expensive. Keep the used panels for the next owner in case he or she wants to take the Mustang back to its original condition. Put all kept pieces in plastic bags and use a laundry marker to identify them.
Rubber breaks down over time. Any rubber product exposed to city air pollution for fifty years can get brittle and fall apart. Same way with molding. Some weatherstrip material and molding is specific to a Mustang, other bits may be generic. Weatherstrip kits are made to supply the whole car. Not sure how to install? Join an owner’s club to get good advice on how to fit these parts.
Today’s shock absorbers are better engineered and safer than those made decades ago. Aftermarket shocks are a great way to improve performance; combined with modern tires they will make a huge difference in the way your Mustang drives. Replacing old shocks is a wise investment that will pay off in safety and resale value.
3. Air and oil filter
Don’t neglect the basics! A brand-new oil filter, along with an oil change, is a simple project and absolutely vital for an older car. Get a new air filter at the same time. What you don’t want to do is to simply blow out the old filter with an air compressor. K&N makes great air filters if you want to upgrade from the original paper element.
Converting your drum brakes to disc brakes is not necessarily a cheap or easy project. But it may save your life. Especially if you add power to your restored Mustang; you’ll need a better way to pull down your ride when you stop. Get the advice of an expert before attempting this worthwhile conversion.
1. Tires and wheels
Nothing is more important than a good set of tires and wheels. But if you want tires like the originals, you should not settle for anything less than a period correct replacement. Mustang Dual Redline tires are an exact reproduction of a factory option for early Mustangs. They are undoubtedly better tires than the car was originally shipped with. And while big wheels are in style now, big wheels look strange on small cars like the 1964 Mustang. That was a true pony-car and one with small wheel wells. Think hard if you want today’s fashion on your classic car.
I hope my top ten restomod ideas for your street driven Mustang inspires you to take on a project. Take the job as it comes, as your schedule patience, and budget allows. Remember to take photos, and keep a log if possible about everything you do in your restoration. Documenting your project will make memories for you as well as making for a better sale should you decide to sell later on.
by Catalogs.com Info Guru Thomas Farley
March 30, 2011
Contributed by Korina Rossi, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
In the carefree days of the sixties, when gas was cheap and global warming unknown, the Trans Am ruled the road. Named for the Trans-Am Series race, the Pontiac Firebird erupted on the racing scene as one of the first mass-produced sports cars.