All of these lists are produced by objective sources and independent firms. It’s hard for me to be objective where these lists are concerned, since both Toyota and Volvo fared so well this year on all of these top ten lists. Below are the lists that I feel have merit, given the sources and statistics they are based upon.
Here are the lists which featured Toyota and Volvo models, which appear to be on every list out there.
Boston Globe Top Drives for 2014: Toyota Corolla LE Eco—The Globe gave it accolades because of its fuel economy and high horsepower and technology that gives it a superior engine. They said it had the feel of a “more spacious midsize car. A lot to like for” the price.
Also, making the same list—The Volvo S-60 R-Design for its sporty look, attracting younger customers looking for fun and performance, combined with Volvo’s safety record which they term as “the safety gene that’s dominant in the company’s DNA.”
Top Ten Best Selling Vehicles in 2013—Toyota Camry is #3 overall for vehicles—but it is still the best-selling car in the U.S. for the 12th straight year with achieving the 10 millionth Camry sold in the U.S.! Toyota Corolla is #9 overall with 40 million sold since 1966. Corolla is also the #1 seller in the U.S. Hispanic market. The new Corolla has also been called “An Economy Car with Attitude.” We could fill a page will all of the accolades and awards bestowed on the Camry and Corolla.
Kelly Blue Book’s Top Resale Value List—It’s the third straight year that Toyota has topped the list as best brand. Toyota finished high enough in many of the individual categories to have the highest overall score.
Best Re-designs for 2014—Toyota Corolla—accolades for the new design and being among the highest fuel-economy vehicles money can buy! The Boston Globe referred to the 2014 Toyota Corolla as “A New Look for an International Star.” The Corolla LE Eco as the newest model is referred to as “A Star is born.”
IIHS (The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) Top Safety Picks—based on statistics, it doesn’t get more objective than this…For 2014, 17 vehicles achieved the basic level in addition to 22 that earned the higher Plus designation for safety. The Toyota Highlander earned the Plus award for the first time, in addition to former winners: Toyota Prius, Volvo S60, and Volvo S80. The IIHS has consistently recognized Volvo for their innovative, advanced safety system. The Volvo S60 sedan and XC60 SUV earned the highest rating of Superior for frontal crash prevention systems.
U.S. News and World Report’s 2014 Best Cars for the Money—Toyota was #1 in the following categories:
Kelly Blue Book Awards include:
• 12 Best Family Cars of 2014—Toyota Sienna.
• 10 Most Affordable Cars of 2014—Toyota Prius, Toyota Corolla, Scion xD, Toyota Yaris, Scion iQ.
• The 40 mpg Cars of 2014—Toyota has the highest number with Avalon Hybrid, Camry Hybrid, Prius V, Prius c, Prius, Prius Plug-in and the RAV4 EV.
And the Top 10 list we’re so happy that we don’t see any Toyotas, Scions or Volvos—the top 10 list of vehicles with the worst resale value!
Like anything, these lists are guidelines when you’re narrowing down what you may want to buy. The best advice after doing your research online is to come in to Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scionand speak with a member of our sales team who will help you make an informed decision based on your needs and budget.
What is the best way to finance a new vehicle? Local credit unions are promoting car loans — is this a wise choice?
1. Loan from a bank
2. Loan from a credit union
3. Financing from the manufacturer via the dealership (e.g. Toyota, Volvo, etc.)
So how do you evaluate what option maybe best for you? The answer is less complicated than you think.
First, research the interest rates available. For most consumers, you best option is going to be financing through the manufacturer via dealership. In many cases, there is no cost to finance as 0% financing is available – that is free money and in some cases, these loans extend for up to 5 or 6 years. Banks and other lending institutions are for-profit money lending institutions – so they can’t afford to 0% car loans or they’d make no money.
Second, consider the ease of financing. Again, financing from the manufacturer via the dealership is the most convenient alternative. While you are choosing your vehicle, you can also complete the application for financing and ready to drive off the lot in your new vehicle!
Credit unions are actively trying to secure car loans in order to compete with 0%-1.9% financing being offered by manufacturers including Toyota and Volvo, so they are offering cash back with a loan. Keep in mind that in addition to Toyota offering loans including 0% for a Camry, 4Runner, Venza or Prius and 1.9% for a Corolla or Avalon, there are also cash-back offers available. Toyota is offering $1000 cash back on a Camry or Highlander; $750 cash back on a Sienna; or $500 cash back on a RAV4. This is a great time to buy a vehicle with these low or 0% interest rates!
With Volvo offering 0.9% for five years on most vehicles, the reality is banks and credit unions have to be as aggressive as they can be, but they can’t compete with the low financing being offered by the manufacturers at this time. I encourage you to first evaluate what rate you qualify for at the dealership.
Keep in mind that dealerships also offer special terms for new grads, veterans and those in active military service. Certified pre-owned are also backed by Toyota and Volvo. Like new vehicles, you can choose terms from 2-6 years, however, interest rates do vary for pre-owned.
You can pay off the loans in advance without any penalty. By the way, when you’re meeting with our Business Manager, you’ll learn about the warranties included with your purchase. Certified pre-owned vehicles are warrantied for 100K miles. We make it so easy for you to be instantly approved for a loan from 0-1.9% on most new vehicles, so why would you want to go anywhere else? Get informed. Stay informed. We at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion are happy to help protect your wallet and assist you in all your vehicle-related decisions, including financing.
I heard the quality of tires sold at a club store is different from buying tires at a dealership. Is that true?
Yes, it is true — similar to brand name products specifically made for outlet stores vs. the same brand made for a store that is not an outlet. Consumers are savvy and have come to expect a difference in quality when buying from a certified distributor vs. purchasing the same brand at a club store. The same is true for tires.
A tire sold through a club store (such as Costco or BJs) was manufactured to be sold at these outlets specifically. The tire is not the same quality and is known in the business as being a “club tire.”
Historically, consumers assumed that buying tires from the dealership was more expensive than buying the exact same quality of tire elsewhere. That assumption is not valid. To compete, dealerships need to be competitively priced as consumers can and should do their homework and “dare to compare” as we encourage consumers to do. The tires we sell are carefully selected to meet the quality of tires recommended for the quality vehicles we sell and service. They are the same quality as the tires sold at other dealerships and tire companies. They are better quality than “club tires.”
So when you compare buying a tire from Jaffarian vs. another non-club location, what other factors should you consider to make an informed tire purchase other than price (which should be comparable)?
• Training of the technician — Training does matter. Technicians who are factory-trained have the training to properly install tires to meet defined specifications. This is an important factor to consider when investing in tires and having the peace-of-mind that a quality tire has been installed properly.
• Technology to enhance the installation (balancing and alignment).
As an informed consumer, don’t assume that every tire dealer or dealership has invested in the same resources and technology to best install and balance your tires. At Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion, we have invested in the best technology and tools to assist our factory trained technicians in evaluating wear of your existing tires as well as guiding them on installing and confirming alignment for proper wear.
I’ve seen people come into our Jaffarian Service Department complaining their tires, purchased elsewhere, wore out prematurely, sometimes lasting only one year. Protect yourself and your wallet with quality tires that are made to last. As I often say, “Buyer Beware.”
Be a wise, educated consumer. If you have any questions about the best tire value for your vehicle, just ask us. We want you to be safe on the road. Get informed. Stay informed.
Each February, we honor our U.S. presidents with the observance of the Presidents’ Day holiday on the third Monday in February. Those shopping for vehicles also have a reason to celebrate as automotive manufacturers use the occasion to offer their own incentives on new cars. The first President’s Day Weekend sale occurred almost a hundred years ago, when a Boston car dealership held an open house on Washington’s Birthday to boost sales. Over the years, all dealers have jumped on the bandwagon offering specials this holiday weekend.
Presidents’ Day weekend truly is one of the best times of the year to buy a vehicle because of the following:
New models: The 2014 models are in the showroom (and even 2015 models for Volvo) and manufacturers and dealers are always willing to support their first big sales push of the new year featuring the latest models. There are also great deals on the new 2013 to take advantage of.
Great offers and programs on new vehicles: Both Volvo and Toyota cars and Toyota trucks are promoting special incentives for the holiday weekend. For example, Volvo is offering interest rates of 0.9% for 60 months on all new vehicles and $1500 in allowances on certain popular model cars. Toyota buyers can take advantage of Toyota’s low APR of 0% or 1.9% for up to 60 months on all Toyota inventory or $1000 cash back on Camrys. We have many specials going on through next Monday so check us out! (Please click on the blue type to link to these great offers!)
If you are getting ready to take advantage of the holiday incentives, I encourage you to do the following:
1. Research the vehicles you are interested in. Be familiar with the various trim levels, features and accessories.
2. Make a list of the features that are most important to you and those that are “nice to have” to help you evaluate alternatives and find the right vehicle for your needs and budget.
3. Know your finances and what you can afford in terms of money down and monthly payments.
4. Research the dealerships to create your “short list” of those you will visit in person. Leverage online customer testimonials and such sites as DealerRater.com.
We’d love the opportunity to help you this weekend. Check us out on line and come see us, as we’re conveniently located right off Route 495 at Exit 49 (River Street).
Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy the long holiday weekend and Happy President’s Day!
• Massachusetts, one of the states with higher educational levels, is dead last in the U.S. rankings for seatbelt use at 73.2% according to a survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation. When the seatbelt law was originally passed, Mass. was a primary seatbelt law state, meaning you could be pulled over by the police for not wearing a seatbelt. Now it is a secondary law state, whereby you can only be cited for not wearing a seatbelt, if you are pulled over for another reason.
• New Hampshire is the only state in the nation with no seat belt law for adults and ranks third from the bottom for seatbelt use at 75% — in my opinion, those who believe in no legislation based on the N.H. slogan of “Live Free or Die” may be choosing to die in an accident by not wearing seatbelts, similar to not having a motorcycle helmet law. N.H. has a child passenger restraint law like all states, mandating seatbelts be used by everyone under the age of 18. By the way, the national average is about 85% for adults who wear their seatbelts.
• There are 31 states with primary seatbelt laws and their seatbelt use is significantly higher than in the 18 states with a secondary law and N.H. without a law.
• Every day there are 6,400 adults in the U.S. injured in a crash. Wearing seatbelts reduces serious injuries and deaths by about 50%. Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of deaths among 5-34 year olds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Please don’t tell me that seatbelts are uncomfortable, or that you’re staying close to home so you don’t need to wear one. When all of the safety organizations in the country have stats to prove that seatbelt use means prevention of serious injury and in many cases, saves lives. It is time to change behavior. Please wear your seatbelt.
The team at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion cares about you.
Buckle up and drive safely!
That’s a great question – but there is no simple answer — or one-size-fits-all answer. There are a number of factors that will help you make the right decision for you. Below are some tips to help you evaluate your options. The Jaffarian team is always available to listen and provide any information to help you.
Some people believe in trading in a vehicle while it is still relatively low-mileage, generally under 50-60,000 miles, to get the highest amount for their trade. Depending on your service history, Volvos and Toyotas are made to last well beyond 100,000 or more miles, while others prefer to “run it into the ground” before replacing their vehicle.
Another viable option for many is leasing. When you speak to a sales advisor at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion, they can help you evaluate buying vs. leasing or search a previous Ask Gary blog and You Tube channel to review the materials we have created to help you assess if leasing is a good option for you.
The two most important factors for making this decision are:
1. What are the anticipated costs to keep your vehicle running? Are you going to need to replace a timing belt, fuel pump, transmission, braking system, radiator or battery? How much longer will you keep your vehicle after replacing some of these parts? Our Service Department advisors can help you determine what your vehicle will need based on the year and mileage; and/or you can bring it in for a check-up to further determine what your vehicle will need and the anticipated cost.
2. What is your vehicle worth in a trade? There is great demand for pre-owned vehicles at this time. We are happy to help you assess the value of your existing vehicle to help you make an informed decision. To get a ballpark figure of what your vehicle is worth, you can check out Kelly Blue Book’s website: www.kbb.com. Keep in mind there are many factors that can affect your vehicle’s value. For the best estimate, come in and see us and a member of our team will evaluate your vehicle, including service history and condition of the interior and exterior so you have a value for a potential trade.
We know this is a big decision and can be confusing as to whether you should keep your vehicle longer or trade it in. Rest assured that at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion, we are committed to listening and helping you evaluate your options and have the information you need to make an informed decision.
Stay warm and drive safely! We’re more than half-way through the winter!
I live in southern New Hampshire, so if I buy a vehicle in Massachusetts, won’t I have to pay sales tax?
NO!! This is something we constantly need to clarify since Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion is on the border. When you purchase a car in Massachusetts, we do not charge any sales tax. That is handled when you register your car. People who have a New Hampshire address and register their vehicle in New Hampshire, do not pay any Massachusetts sales tax.
Conversely, if a Massachusetts resident shops for a vehicle in New Hampshire, they will not avoid the Mass. sales tax. When a Massachusetts resident registers their new vehicle, they will be charged the sales tax at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. When financing your new vehicle, in some cases we can roll the taxes into the loan, and pay that for you at the Registry.
So N.H. residents, don’t hesitate to come in to purchase a vehicle and to Massachusetts residents, don’t think shopping for a vehicle in N.H. will save you the tax. Thanks for asking this common question.
Stay warm and drive safely!