The Redesigned Buick Regal – A New Era For American Luxury

Today, we caught a glimpse of what will be the redesigned Buick Regal, which no doubt brings a sense of European styling and craftsmanship to the GM luxury brand. Known as the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia in Europe, and the Holden Commodore Grand Sport in Australia, the new Regal is reshaping how we interpret American luxury by going far more German in nature and design. While we’ve known for a while that Buick’s lineup is primarily rebadged Opel/Vauxhall vehicles, the new platform for the Regal is exactly what the American consumer craves; European luxury.

So without further ado, here’s renderings of what will be the all new Buick Regal when it arrives in showrooms. Its release is still to be determined, but we should know more in the upcoming months.

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Despite the Regal’s German design that strikingly resembles the Audi A5 Sportback, there’s a lot of appeal for the car moving forward. Sold as a GM could have mixed results as Buick is still fighting the long believed perception that their brand is for old people, but on the positive side, having a sedan that looks European could swing in their favor, especially with younger consumers.

No word on pricing as of right now, but today’s unveiling is a step forward in the right direction. For GM, putting aside their past and producing vehicles drivers can have confidence in will once again bring the American automaker to prominence. GM’s subsidiary Opel has plans to release seven new cars in 2017, and hopefully the new Insignia is just a small taste of what’s to come.

Buick has made great strides this year with sales up 3% for the year and up 16% in the month of November. With momentum heading into 2017 and a redesigned Regal on the way, Buick could be an automaker to look out for, not only next year, but in the future as well.

Volvo S40 T5 – The Perfect Car For The Driver Who Wants A Manual

In the car community, having a car with a stick or being capable of driving a manual car, is an added bonus to show your knowledge and legitimacy as a car enthusiast. Often we discuss what car with a manual transmission would be perfect to learn and or own. The Mazda Miata is always brought up for many reasons, including the fact that it’s essentially a street legal go-kart which gives drivers the sensation of being connected to the road. There are many other candidates, but one that is never mentioned nor given credit as being a fun car is the Volvo S40 T5.

I know what you’re thinking, but much like the C30, the S40 can be fun to drive, and in fact could be the perfect car to learn how to drive a stick. Many S40 owners complain about the close proximity between the brake and gas pedals, as you’ll most likely accidentally tap on of them. This dilemma actually brings up the perfect opportunity to start heel-toeing, which will make you a better driver and help train you to shift through the gears smoother. The S40 T5 has other benefits as well, including performance and modification capabilities.

With a turbocharged 5 cylinder engine producing around 227 horsepower, you’re going to have a decent car right off the bat. It won’t beat a fully stock MazdaSpeed3 but you’ll have more horsepower than a stock Volkswagen GTI. This now leads up to modifications, and here are just a few S40s that are out there where the owners brought the Swedish sedan to the next level.

You can also go with body kits from Heico to add a more sporty appeal to the S40

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Overall the S40 is a great car to start out with, whether to daily drive or learn how to drive a manual. It’s a safe car, the interior is cozy, and the seats are absolutely comfortable. Perfect for the driver who also wants to step into the entry level luxury segment. Despite not being a BMW, Audi, or Mercedes Benz, it’s definitely an alternative if you don’t want to buy a Japanese car, but with that does come costs at the repair shop.

Right now you can find S40 T5s around $5k – $6k. If you’re lucky enough to stumble upon an S40 T5 R-Design don’t pass it up. Not only are they rare to come by these days, but you get some added goodies in terms of aesthetics. They’re also holding their value slightly better and can be purchased for around $12k.

Most importantly, you’ll have a novelty car. Not many S40 T5’s are out there on the roads, let alone a modified one. It’s safe to say that at a local car meet, you’ll have the only S40, but it will be unique which just adds to the appeal and the whole package of owning one.

Why Buy a Subaru When You Can Treat Yourself With German Engineering

Winter is right around the corner. Many in the northern regions of the United States have received their first snowfall of the year, and that means we’re getting closer to unplowed roads and treacherous driving conditions. In the Northeast, Subaru has a monopoly on the AWD market in New England, as they’re the most relied upon brand to get people to and from work safely when it snows. But what if I told you that there’s another alternative for AWD vehicles around or under $30,000 that combine German engineering, luxury, technology, and AWD to enhance your winter driving experience this year?

Yes I know what you’re thinking, “Subarus are cheaper to maintain and they can be purchased new instead of certified used so why would I want to buy a German car?” It’s a fair argument, but you and I both know that it’s crossed your mind. A Mercedes Benz, Audi, or BMW for year round driving, luxury interior, and only a blizzard could stop Quattro, 4Matic, and X-Drive AWD technologies. Let’s put it this way, just like gingerbread, Lindt chocolate, and all the pastries you’re going to stuff yourself with this holiday season, owning a German car is a temptation that can’t be ignored.

Mercedes Benz

“The Best or Nothing” says it all. Why settle for a Subaru with a CVT transmission that makes driving mundane, when you can go with Mercedes Benz that provides AWD and comfort. There’s a few options to choose from, all under $30k, and best of all, still under warranty.

C-Class 2012-2014

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The Mercedes Benz C300 that’s still under warranty and certified used can go anywhere between $22k and 30k depending on the mileage and number of previous owners. A great way to step into luxury, the C300 was the gateway to bigger and better vehicles by Mercedes Benz prior to the CLA hitting the market.

The C300 comes with a V-6 engine that produces 248 horsepower, so when it’s not snowing you can have some fun on the roads. For features you’ll get a navigation system and backup assist, bluetooth, power seats for both driver and passenger, and automatic temperature control. While the C-Class would be in the same price range as the Legacy, you’d receive better interior features, more power, and because it’s used, you won’t experience the big depreciation hit after driving off the lot.

E-Class 2011-2013

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Believe it or not, you can also decide to go with the E350, which prices will vary. Hovering right around $30k, you’re now behind the wheel of the mid-level model in the Mercedes Benz lineup. This is where class and luxury come together to create one incredible sedan. With the option of wooden panels on the dash and small touches that distinguishes the E-Class from the C-Class will no doubt have an effect on how you carry yourself. There’s no walking with your head down in the office when you’re showing up in an E350.

With a V-6 engine, your E350 will get 302 horsepower. Just like the C300, you’ll have a built-in navigation system and backup assist, bluetooth, power seats, memory seat and head restraints, and automatic temperature control. The E350 is a step up from the C-Class, and with AWD, this car makes the perfect winter warrior, while also being a head turner.

GLK-Class 2014

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You can also find a certified pre-owned GLK 350 for under $30k. Unlike the C and E-Class, the GLK will provide versatility and cargo room. Similar interior features, along with wooden panels is another nice touch by Mercedes Benz that will set you apart from a Subaru Outback. It’s perfect for the family on the go who need to get to school or other extra curricular activities. Old man winter won’t stop those in a GLK, and even during the warmer seasons, you’ll have an SUV that fits any situation.

BMW

“The Ultimate Driving Machine” can also being your ultimate winter daily driver. With X-Drive you have another formidable AWD system that won’t let you down.

320/328 2013 – 2014

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BMW’s answer to the C-Class. Priced anywhere from $22k to $30k, you have a choice between going on the cheaper end with the 320i or going more expensive with better interior options by choosing the 328i. With a difference in power by about 60 horses, the 320i is really an entry level sedan that will introduce you to the brand, but still offers the comfort and features of the more powerful 328i. When choosing between such as BMW and Mercedes, it really comes down to personal preference and taste in luxury interiors.

You’re still getting a navigation system, wooden trim depending on the options that come with the car, heated and memory seats and automatic temperature control, but you won’t have backup assist. The major difference is engine type between Mercedes Benz and BMW. On the 3 Series you’ll get a 4 cylinder intercooled turbo engine that will get you either 180 hp or 240 hp depending on whether you decide to go with a 320i or 328i. You’ll also get slightly better fuel efficiency in the city and highway by going with BMW.

X1 2013 – 2014

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BMW’s smallest crossover SUV is another alternative to versatility and cargo space and can be found around $22k to $28k. Essentially the 3 series on stilts, the X1 provides a higher ride height, similar interior features, and the same engine as the 328i. Smaller than the GLK, the X1 is truly a crossover, so you may sacrifice in terms of interior, but you’ll be saving on initial cost of purchase and better savings at the fuel pump.

Audi

Many Audi owners have made the argument, and rightfully so, that Quattro is the best AWD system out of the three major German luxury car manufacturers. For the harsh winters of New England, Audis priced around or below $30k will make your winter weather driving experiences better this season, giving you the peace of mind when it starts snowing heavy during rush hour.

A4 2012-2015

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The A4, which competes with the C-Class and 3 Series, tends to be near the higher side of the $22 to $30k spectrum. Right now however, there are deals out there where you can find a 2015 A4 for just under $30k due to the new model year of 2017s that were released earlier this year. While the 2015 sports the outdated look, you’re not cheated out of the luxury aspects of the car, nor the performance.

With the A4 you’ll get a 4 cylinder intercooled turbo engine producing 220 horsepower, and since it’s an inline four, you’ll have better fuel economy that is in the same range as the BMW 3 Series, 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Like it’s competitors, you’ll get similar interior features such as power seats, automatic temperature control, and navigation system. More importantly with Audi, is the advantage of the Quattro AWD system. That’s what will get you home safely during a winter storm.

Conclusion

Buying a German car has it’s rewards, and it’s up to the individual as to whether they’re willing to buy a new Subaru, or go with the more luxurious German competitors by purchasing a certified used Mercedes Benz, BMW, or Audi. Either decision has it pros and cons, but there’s no doubt that you’d entertain the thought of buying German.

No matter what the choice is, the first priority is to get to your destinations safe this winter by having a reliable winter warrior. Subaru has proved time and again that they’re the best in their class, but if you want a side of luxury, the Germans are right there to grab your attention.

The Grand Tour – An Automotive Masterpiece

Everything we’ve waited for, from seeing Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond back on our television screens, to finally having the Porsche 918, McLaren P1, and Ferrari LaFerrari showdown was just a small taste of what we have to look forward to for the next 11 weeks. The former Top Gear hosts have elevated automotive shows to a whole new level, despite the Grand Tour not deviating too much from the platform that we were used to seeing on BBC. Our favorite trio brought back the magic we’ve been missing for almost a year, and although the wait was excruciating, they didn’t disappoint, and in fact, fulfilled every car enthusiasts highest expectations on the new show.

We may be one episode in, but lets face it, Top Gear UK is officially dead. How can BBC recover from losing the greatest entertainers that combine humor and cars, and replace them with mundane and very stale talent that could put someone who suffers from sleep apnea into hibernation? The automotive world took a major hit when BBC fired Clarkson, but he came back stronger, and with May and Hammond, they managed to create a masterpiece that far exceeds the many seasons of Top Gear they were a part of. The reigns are now in their hands, and we got a small sample of what the Grand Tour can become for many years down the road.

The Grand Tour in reality, is Top Gear on steroids. A bigger budget, less censorship, and the hosts at the helm shows not only can they entertain, they can also take a concept that we’re familiar with and perfect it. A new test track and Mike Skinner taking the place of the Stig, are some of the apparent changes to the platform, but both compliment the new show because the track allows for better testing, and Skinner provides further comedy by being interactive as opposed to being faceless. The Tent replaces the old Top Gear studio and there appears to be a segment similar to “the news” where all three hosts discuss automotive topics that are relevant in the time that the show is being produced.

In Episode 1, we caught a glimpse of what this season, and possibly the next 5-10 years could be. Kicking off with the McLaren P1, Porsche 918, and Ferrari LaFerrari sets the tone, and quite frankly, it will be hard for any show, Top Gear UK or otherwise, to create a season premier such as the Grand Tour’s. Needless to say, it’s great to see Clarkson, May, and Hammond back, and with the first season just beginning, car season ending will be easier to cope with when the snow starts falling, and the temperatures drop to the single digits.

Alfa Romeo Unveils The All New Stelvio – Everything We Want In An SUV

It’s finally here, the all new Alfa Romeo Stelvio. The fourth model the Italian automaker has brought to the United States in the past decade to reintroduce the brand to the New World. In true Italian style, Alfa Romeo has made it’s presence known even before walking through the door, as the Giulia hasn’t hit showrooms yet, but will very soon. The Stelvio introduces Alfa to the SUV market, and they’ve swung for the fences at their first at bat.

With the unveiling of the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, the generation of immediate buzz in the automotive world has been deafening, as the Italian SUV is set to be the fastest in its class at the Nurburgring. With a Ferrari powered V6 engine producing 505 horsepower, no one up to this point has produced a faster SUV, not including the Tesla Model X which is electric. Better yet, the Stelvio is capable of a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds, which is faster than the Alfa Romeo 4C. Not even Porsche can boast that it produces the fastest SUV, as the Macan and Cayenne have met their match.

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More importantly than the performance is the styling. Alfa designed the Stelvio similar to the Giulia, which will only make it more attractive to new buyers. One of the biggest concerns with early renders of the Stelvio was it’s face, as it took on the appearance of the Giulietta. While the initial styling was up to par, had Alfa Romeo stuck with the design, it’s possible that early receptions wouldn’t have been positive.

Together, the Giulia and Stelvio give Alfa a chance to compete and even stand out in a very crowded market for both crossovers and small sports sedans. Also contrary to where the luxury market is heading, Alfa is promoting driving experience and performance while the Germans are fixated on driver assisting technologies. Right now, the Italians have an opportunity to change the landscape in the current automotive market, and reintroduce driving pleasure and fun behind the wheel. Needless to say, the Giulia and Stelvio’s appearances are distinct, and brings a new breath of fresh air into a very stale luxury performance segment.

The Stelvio is expected to hit showrooms sometime next year, and we can only hope that there are no delays, as Alfa Romeo pushed back the Giulia’s arrival to the US market multiple times. Over the next few months we should get a better idea of the true performance and craftsmanship, when car reviewers get behind the wheel.

The future looks bright for Alfa Romeo heading into 2017. The only dark clouds that linger is the reliability of the Giulia and Stelvio. If the Italians can hit a home run with these two models, not only will that ensure their survival in the US, but we’ll get bigger and better vehicles from the brand that understands what being a true car enthusiast is all about.

Auto Sales Get Decimated In October – A Sign Of Things To Come?

The month of October was not friendly to most car manufacturers, as overall sales in the United States dropped 6%. This sharp drop can be attributed to volume sellers who saw declines that haven’t been posted in quite sometime. Is this a reason for concern moving forward? Is a slowing auto market going to be the new reality that manufacturers will face for at least the short term? New car sales have been slowing over the past few months, but October’s sudden drop in overall sales is nothing that should be taken lightly.

It should be noted that October of 2016 had two fewer selling days than October of 2015, but with some of the percentages that were posted, not even two extra selling days could change the outcome of a bleak new car market.

Fiat-Chrysler Massacre

It has not been a good year for the Fiat-Chrysler group, and October magnifies the downward trend in sales for most of the brands. Chrysler posted a decline of 44.7%, Fiat down 24.3%, Dodge -16.4%, and Jeep -6.6%. Three out of the four brands listed are down on the year for new car sales, while Jeep is still maintaining an increase of 9.7%. With Dodge ending the Dart and Chrysler no longer producing the 200, sales figures being down was to be expected, but for the auto group as a whole, there’s not much excitement for any of the brands, besides Dodge which produces the Challenger and Charger.

BMW, Volkswagen, Volvo and Land Rover Experience Sales Decline

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Volvo and Land Rover, two manufacturers who are both up on the year in new car sales in the United States, saw sharp declines in the month of October. Volvo, a brand that has been revived thanks to the all new S90 and completely redesigned XC90, experienced a 14.6% drop in sales. Land Rover saw a decline of 23.2% in October. Despite the sharp drop in sales in the United States, Volvo and Land Rover are still having a fantastic year overall, and shouldn’t be too concerned about the final quarter of the year, unless lower sales figures overall in the automotive market becomes a trend.

BMW may be the biggest surprise for lower volumes in sales, not only for October, but for the year of 2016. Down 18.4% last month, and down 9% for the year, BMW is the only brand out of the big three luxury manufacturers in Germany that has experienced declines. Mercedes Benz and Audi are still strong, and while sales were flat in October, the loss of two sales days could be a contributing factor. Volkswagen on the other hand has not recovered from Diesel Gate, and with a loss of 13.5% on the year and another double-digit loss last month, it just continues to get worse for the German auto brand.

Bentley, Jaguar, Maserati, and Porsche Have Strong October

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Not everyone is reeling from the October blues, there are car brands that had a fantastic month with Bentley, Jaguar, Maserati, and Porsche having double and even triple digit increases in sales. The British are leading the way and Jaguar’s 226% sales increase can be attributed to the F-Pace and XE, which have both taken their respective markets by storm. The F-Pace is Jaguar’s first attempt at making an SUV, and so far it has been a great success, while the XE, which is the British’s answer to the BMW 3 Series, is seeing strong sales since it’s arrival to the market earlier this year.

Bentley’s impressive gain of 158% in sales last month is all thanks to the Benteyga, which is Bentley’s first ever SUV. In October, the Benteyga contributed more than 33% of sales for the Bentley brand. While the British luxury car maker is down on the year by 6.8%, the entrance into the luxury SUV market has yielded strong sales figures, with the Benteyga making up about 50% of Bentley’s sales in the US since it’s debut on the market in August.

Maserati, much like Bentley and Jaguar, has seen strong sales numbers since entering the SUV market as well. The Levante, which also brought in about 33% of sales in October for Maserati, has received raved reviewed by journalists and consumers. Maserati has hit a home run with their luxury SUV, and that is starting to trickle down to other cars in the lineup. The Ghibli had a strong month alongside the Levante, leading to Maserati’s 11.8% increase in sales for the month of October.

Porsche had the best month out of all German brands in October, with luxury SUV’s again being the main contributor for strong sale. Up 10.7% in October and 3.2% for the year of 2016, Porsche has seen tremendous sales figures and it’s the Cayenne and Macan that is carrying the once sports car dominated lineup.

Strong sales across the board for luxury brands could be a good sign, despite the slowing of overall sales in the market. While Fiat-Chrysler, BMW, Volvo, and many others struggled in October, there’s no reason to panic just yet. If the fourth quarter of 2016 continues a downward trend and that transitions into the new year, then there would be a legitimate reason for concern. As for right now, we can only hope that October isn’t the start of a trend, and that the holiday season and the incentives that come with it could motivate consumers to buy in November and December.

Mazda Is Putting The Driver First With “Driving Matters”

While everyone is looking toward the future of the automotive industry and the inevitable development of autonomous cars, Mazda is focused not only on the here and now, but more importantly, the driver. For any car enthusiast, the thought of having a computer take control of the wheel and drive you to your destination is not something that makes you feel good. As drivers, we believe that having the car in our control is not only the best way to transport ourselves, but it’s a freedom and a privileged to drive and own a car that we enjoy and love. For the time being at least, Mazda is marketing to the car enthusiast that drives for fun, not because it’s a chore.

Mazda’s new tagline is, “Driving Matters”, replacing the old and very worn out “Zoom zoom”. By coming up with ads that create an emotion and desire to drive, consumers who love getting behind the wheel now have an automaker who has their best interest in mind. Starting with the new MX-5, Mazda wanted to recapture the youth and memories of former Miata drivers by making a commercial that’s basically a flashback to all the major milestones throughout the owner’s life. With the redesigned MX-5, they can relive their 20’s now that the kids are older or out of the house.

Another ad from Mazda has a businessman who’s been travelling for work, spending far too much time on planes and not enough time with his car. Once he lands ands gets back to his Mazda 6, it seems as though everything is right with the world. This isn’t just about driving, but a pride in ownership of a car that you love. “Driving Matters” and unfortunately, not many other auto manufacturers are putting the driver first, and instead focus on the technology they put inside their interiors. When it comes to daily drivers, there’s only a few features that should be noted when advertising to consumers. Is it comfortable, does it have a decent amount of horsepower, and is it reliable? That’s it. Thankfully Mazda’s commercials have a simple concept, and that’s putting you, the driver first.

The Poor Man’s Exotic: Jaguar F-Type

Jaguar F-Type
Jaguar F-Type

I know what you’re thinking, Boston Auto Blog the Jaguar F-Type is already priced near $100,000, which can buy you a Lamborghini Gallardo. Yes, while the new Jaguar F-Type R already exceeds six figures, the argument can be made that this Jaguar could be considered an exotic. However the 2014 models are beginning to hit the used market, and great deals are out there for the taking. Your wait for the British performance car to depreciate in value might be shortened as you can get behind the wheel of this amazing car right now if you’re in the financial position to do so.

It will require some searching and traveling depending on your location, but there are 2014 Jaguar F-Type’s on the market for as low as $55,000. Mileage on the tachometer is around 6,000 – 12,000 on the lower end of price range spectrum. These models aren’t just base trims either, you’ll find the S trim within the $55,000 – $60,000 price range, which means you’ll get 40 extra horses under the hood for a total of 380 horsepower and supercharged V6 engine. Since these are 2014’s, you’re limited to the convertible, as the coupes didn’t hit the market until 2015.

If you want to spend more than $60,000 and closer towards a $70,000 price tag, the V8-S trim is available, giving you a whopping 495 hp. Unfortunately, the 2015 F-Type R is still near the six figure mark, and to find a coupe you’ll be looking at spending $80,000. With that being said, the 2014 convertible is still a solid choice at this price range. You’re getting European performance at a relatively low cost, especially if you look at other options in this price range. While the Alfa Romeo 4C, Lotus Evora, older Porsches, and Chevrolet Corvettes on the market could satisfy anyone’s hunger and desire for speed and performance, there is no denying that the F-Type’s roar alone makes it a serious consideration for those looking at sports cars to have fun with in the summer.

Unlike the other cars that I’ve talked about as being a “Poor Man’s Exotic”, Jaguar offers leasing programs for the F-Type. Prices vary, but $699/month appears to be the consensus. Now, I understand that leasing isn’t very popular due to mile limitations and the fact that the car isn’t really yours, but it is an option worth mentioning.

In appearance, the Jaguar F-Type resembles the Ferrari California T, which is why it should be considered a “Poor Man’s Exotic”. While the F-Type’s predecessor, the XK, has some affordable options on the market right now, both cars differ to a certain degree in terms of perception, where figuratively the XK is more of a car you go to the golf course with, and the F-Type is for having fun on the open roads.

“It’s Good To Be Bad” should be taken literally, because this bad cat is very fun to drive.

Car Dealerships: Stop Posting Content Your Customers Have No Interest In

Every morning I check car dealerships’ social media accounts, and to my disappointment, 90-95% of dealerships are all posting content that is boring and irrelevant. It comes as no surprise that lack of interesting posts has led to silent Facebook pages that see no engagement from fans and followers. As a result, car dealerships’ social media pages have become inactive over time. After not seeing results from the articles and non-native content they’re sharing, these dealerships then revert to hard selling, which on social media never works. There’s better ways to utilize Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to attract both former and future customers.

Recently I came across a post on a luxury dealership’s Facebook page discussing racing technology the brand is using in their race cars, and also adding a link for further reading. That article would be worth sharing on a car magazine’s account that has scores of racing enthusiasts. The question one must ask is, “How many of this dealership’s customers will take their new cars out onto a track?” Not too many is my guess. Similar articles were being shared, not only on that account, but several other dealership’s fan pages as well. There’s a reason why customers don’t engage with the business they bought their car from. The content just isn’t compelling.

It’s rather interesting though, when these companies start sharing news about keeping their new cars looking clean, removing scratches, and posting native content of their dealership and cars in the showroom, all of a sudden the customers start interacting. You’re selling some amazing products that the car brands have spent much time marketing, why not continue marketing them in a way that makes your showroom appealing while also attracting interest by potential car buyers to visit your business? The car buying experience should be exciting, especially if your customers are purchasing a new car. That experience starts on social media.

The dealerships who understand this are posting top quality photos of their best vehicles. Exclusive content, whether that be from your blog, showroom, or pictures on Instagram is how you stand out amongst the crowd. Sure, articles from car magazines and Consumer Reports are great, but don’t make that the main focus of your social media pages. Your business should take center stage, not in terms of selling, but attracting, and you do that by using all the tools social media has given you and sharing interesting content worth reading and engaging with.

I’ve seen far too many dealerships making the mistake of posting content that brings no value to the consumer. In fact, I cringe every morning because I know you’re selling amazing vehicles that should be leaving your dealership’s lots much faster than they really are. Facebook and Instagram are the biggest, and most important platforms in your industry. Stop posting irrelevant articles or news that serves no purpose or doesn’t help customers decide whether to visit your showroom or someone else’s. You have an entire inventory worth sharing. That should be the basis for your content on social media, with articles and news stories from third party sources being the icing on the cake.

Consumer Reports Has Buick In Top 10 Brands, Regal Best Sports Sedan

To most car owners, Consumer Reports’ findings are always suspect and are never truly accurate. Because they base part of their reports on the reviews of their subscribers, the findings can be a bit distorted. While they do test these cars themselves, they’re also using other forms of secondary statistics to decide which vehicles and brands are worthy to be put into the top 10. Shockingly, the Buick Regal gets best in the sports sedan class while the Buick Brand gets places in 7th behind Porsche, Subaru, and Audi in the top 10 auto brands.

Buick finds themselves among some of the most well-known brands in the industry, and it’s rather interesting how Consumer Reports came up with the findings. The real question is, based on what? Price? Reliability? Performance? It should be noted that the Buick Regal is in fact a rebadged Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, so no matter what your take is on this report, apparently having your car built in Germany can make all the difference when it comes to quality.

The Regal is priced between $29,000 – $40,000 putting it in the price range of the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Volvo S60, and Infiniti G37/Q40 to name a few. That’s some worthy competition to be up against and to beat out. The one factor that hasn’t been taken into consideration is long term reliability, and seeing as though they’re basing these findings on the 2015 models, we can’t tell if the Regal is better overall in the sports sedan category when it comes to reliability.

When it comes to the Buick brand itself, they are making better cars, but that might be due to the rebadging of Opel’s. Buick is certainly selling nicer cars than a few years ago, but to put them in the same sentence as Porsche, Subaru, Audi, and Lexus in the top 10 auto brands is far too early and very bold.

The other shocker from this report is the Chevy Impala’s rank as best in the large sedan class. Again, I want to know what it’s based on. I’ll respect the honors it’s receiving if I could understand why exactly this car is better than all the other large sedans on the market. Even when it comes to Buick, I just want an explanation as to why and not just a graph showing me that the Buick Regal is best in the sports sedan class.

What do you think? Cars are not one of Consumer Reports’ strong suits, but I do agree with Subaru’s dominance in the mid-sized sedan and compact car classes. Who do you think should have gotten the honors in the sports sedan and large sedan classes? Do you agree that the Buick Regal is the best sports sedan, or Buick is a top 10 auto brand?

Consumer reports also left out the hatchback class, but we all know the GTI would have gone home with that award.