How did the new Volvo XC90 fare in the reviews?

XC90xI am proud to report that the 2106 Volvo XC-90 which was just released last month ranked the number one luxury midsize SUV by U.S. News and World Report, while the S60, XC60 and S80 received the 2105 Best Bet awards from Cars.com.

The U.S. News and World Report is significant, in that it is based on the consensus of the top automotive journalists who agree that the Volvo XC90’s 316 horsepower, seven-passenger SVU has “plenty of power and quick acceleration, confident handling and communicative steering and strong brakes.”

Several reviewers also said the Sensus “infotainment” with its 9-inch tablet screen is the best on the market thanks to its smartphone-like operation and responsiveness. The writers/reviewers  also noted that the third row of seats could comfortably accommodate adults. XC90 Display

In addition, editors at Cars.com, the leading website for car shopping, bestowed the 2015 Best Bet awards on three Volvo models: the S60 midsize sedan, the XC60 mid-sized crossover and the luxurious S80 full-size sedan. They were recognized for having excellent crash test results and finished in the top third of their class.

On Kelley Blue Book’s website, they declared “First Review: Promised Delivered” in referring to the 2016 XC90. As if Volvo’s safety technology could get any better, KBB.com also noted that Volvo topped the previous year’s model for safety – “In keeping with Volvo’s Vision 2020 goal to eliminate deaths or serious injuries in any of its new vehicles by the end of the decade, the new XC90 introduces two new world-first safety systems: Run-off Road Protection and Auto Brake at Intersections.”

If you haven’t seen it yet, come to Jaffarian Volvo. You can even book a test drive on line.

Happy Independence Day! Drive safely over the holiday weekend.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

“Why wouldn’t the Jaffarian Service Department plug a hole in my tire?”

tire-construction-diagramIn a word –safety!

A Volvo customer recently came into the Jaffarian Volvo Service Department with a tire issue. Upon investigating, the technician discovered there was a hole in the sidewall of the tire. She was so upset with us and let us know that she later found a service station to plug the hole.

We didn’t refuse to plug the tire in order to sell her a new tire. The tire sidewall is just one of several components that make up the tire. In addition to providing lateral stability, the tire sidewall prevents air from escaping. Some tire sidewalls may contain extra features components to increase lateral stability.

Whenever a driver turns a vehicle, the tires must overcome the lateral forces that are generated. Tires that have a lower profile tend to have sidewalls that are stiffer and shorter. As a result, such tires are better able to resist these cornering forces. Tires are more complicated in their construction than most people realize. After all, they have to support the entire weight of your vehicle and are responsible for the comfort and maneuverability of your vehicle.

While we understand every consumer’s desire to save money and the goal of avoiding spending unplanned and hard earned dollars on replacing a tire (and often two depending on the wear of the other tire), we are committed to safety first. We will patch tires, but we will not compromise customer’s safety or safety of others on the road. While other service stations will plug a tire’s side wall, we will not. It is strictly a safety concern. We do not want to risk the safety of any of our customers or their passengers. Will we patch a tire if the hole is not in the side wall? Yes, but that was not the issue in this particular case. Our service advisors and technicians evaluate every situation, and when it comes to tires, where the problem is determines the best course of action.

While I never want a customer to be frustrated with us, in this case I would rather have a customer upset with us for wanting to do the right thing, than a customer who is upset with us for plugging a tire that leads to could potentially be the cause of an accident, should the plug fail. A common topic in the Ask Gary blogs, I reference tires and brakes are two of the most important parts of the vehicle when it comes to safety. We’d rather not put a “Band-Aid” on a wound that needs surgery. Bottom line—we care about your safety first.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

What does Father’s Day Mean to You?

I’m so happy to answer this question because the Jaffarian dealership and my life are based on my upbringing from the two generations before me that I was blessed to know—my grandfather and my father. I am also happy to be a father of two, Gavin and Mara, who have chosen to join me at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion.

It’s hard to believe we are now into our 77th year of business spanning four generations, beginning with a “filling” station.  My grandparents worked two full-time jobs as they were establishing their new business. They taught me the importance of hard work and dedication. As the first generation born in America, they were experiencing the American dream and proving that hard work pays off! (My grandfather was the first American-Armenian in Haverhill.)3generations

My father and uncle worked after school learning the service side of the business. They initially sold Hudsons and then Ramblers. My dad put many hours into researching quality automobile manufacturers. His research resulted in opening the first Volvo dealership in New England. Then after seeing  the Toyota Land Cruiser, he added Toyota and we became the first Toyota dealership in New England. I am still amazed at his business sense and his focus on quality manufacturers.

My late brother Paul, my brother Mark, now in charge of the Jaffarian Collision Center, and I joined in the business.  We weren’t  handed the keys to the business. The work ethic of my grandparents set the tone for our roles:  we cleaned floors and bathrooms.  We each found our roles as we worked afternoons, nights and weekends.  From  fixing cars to restoration to sales and service, we worked alongside our grandfather and our father.  In college, I would hitchhike back to the dealership.

While so much has changed over the years, we are still on River Street in Haverhill. Same street as where it all started with my grandparents.  “Service” was on the signs at the beginning and service is forefront in our minds today as we stay in Haverhill, serve the greater community with quality vehicles and quality service and keep that mindset of giving back to the community. My grandparents and my parents were committed to supporting local teams, especially kids’ teams, and we continue that commitment today.  I have many memories of going to pick up a customer to fix their car, servicing the fire trucks at all times of day and night – whatever it took to take care of a customer.  That is in our DNA thanks to my grandfather and father.   That is why we are proud to say we’re the dealership that is the “First to put you first!”

So you may think I am digressing as I answer the questions about Father’s Day. What is most important to know is that as we’ve expanded our dealership, and as I walk through the door every day, I know I am following in the footsteps of my grandfather and my father.  Those are very big shoes to fill. Today my brother Mark and I work to carry on the work, do the right thing, do what it takes to serve our customer and give back to the community in which we live.  It is with great pride that I work with my son and daughter on a daily basis.

I wish all the Fathers a very happy Father’s Day!  I will be thinking of my dad and my grandfather as I always do.  They will always be a big part of who I am, and what Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion is today. Enjoy the day!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

What is a “connected” vehicle?

XC90 DisplayAs vehicles become more complex, computerized and sophisticated, “connected” means they can communicate all kinds of data to smartphones, something we’ll hear more about in the future. By the time your young children are able to drive or reach adulthood, most, if not all vehicles will be computer literate and transmitting data. They will provide wireless internet connections on wheels!

More than likely your vehicle will be able to communicate information about itself and its driver to other vehicles, the manufacturer, and other service providers. AAA is raising the question: “Who owns that data?” And they believe that consumers should own their data. They are promoting transparency and promoting a bill of rights called “Consumer Rights for Car Data.”

“Consumers have a right to clearly understand what information is being collected…and how it is being used,” said a AAA spokesperson, who wants both the government and businesses to explain what data they collect and how they will use it. They also want consumers to have the right to decide who has access to their data and what they are doing with it. Things like repairs may be transmitted, as one example.

A government report released in 2013 identified ten companies that currently collect vehicle location and other data. In a survey conducted by AAA, 68% of respondents were “Concerned” or “Very concerned” about privacy and security of their data. Believe it or not, about 3 million vehicles sold this year will have some “connected” features, according to R.L. Polk & Company. They predict all vehicles will be connected by 2025. The U.S. Department of Transportation is investing in the research and technology for connected vehicles.

All of us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion agree with the premise that consumers should have the right to determine who receives their vehicle information. Data regarding purchases or leases and service should not be released to companies, as a condition of buying or leasing a connected vehicle. There should be security measures in place to protect vehicle information, the same as you would expect for your home or work computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets.

The benefit of connected vehicles is that vehicles will become one giant computer on wheels! Within the next few years, vehicles may be better able to let you know what is wrong with your vehicle and even let you know what parts are wearing out, before they do. This could potentially help prevent accidents.

I’ve written about Volvo researching how to create a vehicle that will be able to drive itself while you can multi-task and take your eyes off the road. The Volvo of the future will be able to detect and avoid potential accidents, as many vehicles of the future will be able to communicate with each other to avoid accidents. They will also help monitor traffic conditions. There will be more active safety systems in vehicles of the future, with even better brake assist, forward collision warning systems, and better cruise control. You will be able to connect your smart phone to the vehicle, as you may do now with the newer-model Bluetooth available in Toyotas and Volvos.

The 2016 Volvo XC 90 that we’ve been so excited about has integrated most of the dashboard controls into a tablet-like touchscreen display built into the center console (pictured above). The vertical orientation is a unique addition to the XC90, making it easier to see and use the touchscreen.

Who knew? Your vehicle may end up having a higher I.Q. than you in the future! Stay tuned to learn more about this exciting technology in your smarter “connected” vehicle!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

What are you best safety tips for accident prevention?

ToyotaDog&KidJune is National Safety Month, according to the National Safety Council, and I am happy to provide you with the best safety tips. National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities. At Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion, we are committed to helping you stay safe on the roads. This year’s theme, “What I Live For,” is celebrating your passions, according to the National Safety Council. Whether it is just being with your family, golf, fishing, going to the beach, whatever you love to do, we want you to get there safely.

With the nice weather finally here, spring and summer often mean longer and more frequent road trips. Safe driving needs to be top-of-mind this time of year as it is in the winter months. The reality is people tend to drive faster in nice weather as the roads tend to be clearer, but keep in mind there are more bicycles and motorcycles on the road.

My best safety tips are to avoid the three major causes of accidents:

1. Alcohol (30.8%)
2. Speeding (30%)
3. Distracted driving (26%).

While we’ve covered these tips in previous Ask Gary blogs, they bear repeating.

• Do not every drink or do drugs and drive.

• Read prescription bottle labels and do not drive when taking certain narcotics and painkillers.

• Do not text while driving. That’s the law!

• Don’t exceed the speed limit, particularly on side roads, where there are tourists, children, bikes and pedestrians.

• Check tire pressure. And be sure the vehicle has the correct fluids, particularly air conditioner coolant.

• Be sure windshield wiper blades are working and all lights are working. In Massachusetts it is the now the law to have your lights on when your windshield wipers are being used. This is for safety.

• Car accidents are the number one killer of children 1 to 12 years old in the U.S. Protect your children by putting them in the right car seat for their age and size. Reevaluate their current safety seat, and if you’re unsure if it’s the right fit, visit a local car seat inspection site.

• Driving while drowsy is a contributing factor in 100,000 accidents annually, reports the NHTSA. On long trips, schedule frequent breaks along the way to eat, drink, and snap family pictures. If you have someone else to share the driving, know when it is time to stop driving. If you don’t, stay at a hotel or stop and nap in a safe place before continuing the journey. Coffee, cool temperatures and loud music can help.

• If you do need to pull over for an emergency, pull as far over as possible and stay in your vehicle while waiting for help.

• Carry an emergency kit: flashlight, batteries, snacks, water, windshield washer, first aid kit, and a blanket. Many people think this is more important in the winter.

• Complete regular, scheduled maintenance including a battery check. When you visit the Jaffarian Service Department before a road trip, we will be more than happy to check your hoses, belts, tires and fluids. The time spent checking your vehicle is well worth preventing breaking down on the side of the road.

Have any other safety tips you’d like to share? Please send them to us through the comments section below.  Happy, safe driving!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

Which vehicles last the longest?

Vintage CorollaHave you seen the latest headlines in Consumer Reports and Forbes? “Toyota Leads Top 10 Longest Lasting Brands” according to Mojo Motors and Consumers Reports. Toyota has been named the maker of the longest-lasting cars and trucks! We at Jaffarian Toyota are very proud of this recognition.

The average age of a vehicle on the road today is about 11+ years. Therefore, it is getting more and more common for vehicles odometers to read 200,000 miles or more. People attribute their high mileage vehicles lasting longer to regular maintenance and consistent oil changes. For those who have older vehicles, the average expense is $550 per year to keep them on the road by replacing brakes, shocks and timing belts. Tire maintenance is also important: keeping tires properly inflated, tire rotations and replacing tires as needed. The better you care for your vehicle, the longer it will last.

The Consumer Reports study was based on one million vehicles still on the road. On the list of the top 10 vehicles that lasted the longest are the Toyota Prius, Corolla, Camry 4 cylinder, Sienna v6 and Highlander v6. In a USA Today article that cites vehicles that would last 200,000 miles, they listed the Toyota 4Runner, all with 6-cylinder engines and Toyota Sequoia, all with v8 engines.

Once a vehicle reaches the 200,000 mile-mark, most people purchase a new vehicle for two major reasons:

1— To avoid escalating maintenance costs of maintenance will continue to rise;

2— To enjoy new technology, including Bluetooth, blind spot monitoring, stability control, and many other safety features that weren’t available 10 years ago.

Many auto industry experts consider 200,000 miles the theoretical “worthless” point. (But many consumers consider that a real achievement in how well they’ve maintained their vehicle!)

Toyota makes the longest-lasting cars and trucks, at an average of more than 200,000 miles,” according to New York-based Mojo Motors, the company behind the used-car classified ad site mojomotors.com. “We’re a product company that’s awash in Big Data,” said Paul Nadjarian, founder and CEO of MojoMotors, which Forbes magazine bases their article on.

“As a statistical and mathematical exercise, we did a linear regression analysis to find out, with each mile added, how much value do you lose on a per-mile basis? And theoretically, at what point do you lose all value?” he said in a recent phone interview with Forbes.

The company came up with a list of the Top 10 brands, in terms of the maximum number of miles at which their cars and trucks become theoretically “worthless.” According to mojomotors.com:

#1. Toyota – 210,705 miles until worthless. No other manufacturer topped that number!

Nadjarian admits that some models (we believe Volvo) were not included in the one million vehicle study because of their smaller sampling numbers. However, Volvo has a “High Mileage Club” because they are also known to achieve extremely high mileage. You may remember that in late 2013, I reported the vehicle that made the Guinness Book of World Records for highest mileage with a single owner was a Volvo, the other brand we represent at Jaffarian Volvo! That was a 1966 Volvo 1800S which reached 3 million miles! Next on the High Mileage Club list are several Volvos which reached more than 1 million miles!

At Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion, we are here to help you make an informed buying or leasing decision whether you wish to reach the 200,000 mile mark or prefer a 3-year lease! Whatever your preference, regular maintenance is important. Call or schedule online with our top-ranking Service Department where certified technicians take care of your vehicle, working in state-of-the-art surroundings, including air conditioning for these hot, humid days. We want our team to be focused on your vehicle’s needs, not on trying to stay cool. Let us help you keep your vehicle on the road for many years to come.

The beautiful weather is here! Drive safely and enjoy this nice driving season!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

The push to wear seatbelts is old news, why do we still need to promote seatbelt use when it’s the law in Massachusetts?

CIOT-Infographics_1Massachusetts first passed the seat belt law in 1994 and is still considered a “secondary enforcement” law, meaning you may not be stopped for not wearing your seatbelt but you will be fined if you are stopped for another violation and not wearing your seatbelt. However, as a state, our usage is still low at 77%. Most states have stronger seatbelt laws. New Hampshire is the only state in the nation that does not have a seatbelt law other than requiring minors under 18 wear a seatbelt, although about 72% do wear seat belts.

For all those who don’t wear seatbelts, putting their lives in danger, they need to be reminded and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) “Click it or ticket” campaign is one way to do that. From May 18-31, there will a national program to promote seatbelt use and the police are asked to ticket people who are not wearing seatbelts.

New statistics show that people tend to wear seatbelts during the day when traffic is heaviest, but they feel they don’t need to wear them at night—WRONG! You need to wear them all the time. Some people feel they don’t need to wear them when they’re staying in town and not driving on a highway – WRONG! You need to wear them whether you’re going around town or on the highway. Seatbelts save lives and the accident fatality statistics show that time and time again.

The “Click it or Ticket” campaign was created to crackdown on violators 24-7, but a strong enforcement effort is urged between the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., due to the significant number of violators and fatal crashes during this time. That’s why this year’s theme is “Day or Night: Click it or Ticket.” Massachusetts has participated in this national program since 2002. It is through this initiative the state claims seatbelt usage went from 51% to 77% in the past 12 years and fatalities involving non-restrained (belted) vehicle occupants dropped significantly from 57% of crash fatalities to 28%.

It has been well-documented that seat belts help reduce the risk of serious injury or death in the event of a motor vehicle crash. Drivers and passengers increase their risk of injury or death by up to 50% when not wearing seat belts. In 2012, Massachusetts recorded 349 fatalities and 4,384 incapacitating injuries related to motor vehicle crashes on the roadway of the Commonwealth. This was a marked decrease from the 374 fatalities and 4,853 incapacitating injuries reported in the previous year.

Massachusetts law requires all occupants to be properly restrained by seat belts when riding in a private passenger motor vehicle, including vans and trucks. Please remember to “click it” all year long. Your life and your safety are in your hands.

AAA is predicting Memorial Day 2015 will see the highest volume of travel in a decade due to lower gas prices as 37.2 million Americans are expected to hit the road for the unofficial start of summer. Start your weekend by buckling up and being certain every passenger buckles up before you get on the road.

From all of us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion, stay safe and enjoy this beautiful weather and the long Memorial Day Weekend!

Categories: Ask Gary
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