best deals, car values

The Best New Car Deals: November 2019

MSRP $36,873
Average transaction: $30,208
Discount: $6,665
Percentage off MSRP: 18%

Click here for the Autoblog Smart Buy program, which brings you a hassle-free buying experience with over 9,000 Certified Dealers nationwide.

The Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid compact sedan with striking looks that are sleek and wedge-like. It offers the best of both worlds, able to run on electric power for 53 around-town miles, then switch to gas power to reach the next charge or the end of the tank of fuel on a road trip. If you don’t have a long commute you’ll rarely spend any money on gas. 

The Volt’s quality and capability were vastly improved for its second generation, so much that New Car Test Drive named it the Best Commuter Car for 2016. It hasn’t changed much since. 

The Volt uses two motor-generators to drive the front wheels. They get their power from a lithium-ion battery pack with a capacity of 18.4 kilowatt-hours. One thing different about the Volt from most other plug-in hybrids is that even under full throttle, it doesn’t switch to gas; this means that if you drive it hard under electric power, you won’t be able to go 53 miles, because it will use up its charge at a faster pace. However, it isn’t burning gas when you don’t want it to. 

One exception: the engine will switch to gas power when the outside temperature is below freezing. It does this to heat the cabin. 

Alternately, the Volt can go far on a tank of gasoline: 380 miles on its 8.9-gallon tank. 

It takes nine to twelve hours to fully charge the Volt using a household 120-volt outlet and the conveniently located charging cable in the car. Using the optional 240-volt Level 2 charger, that time is cut to four-and-a-half hours. 

Among plug-in hybrids, Volt’s 53-mile range is topped only by the BMW i3 REx, with 73 miles. But the i3’s tiny two-cylinder engine isn’t powerful. 

The Chevrolet Volt effectively has no competitors among plug-in hybrid cars. However, if a commuter is set on using electric power but finds that 53 miles isn’t quite enough, he or she might look at the Chevy Bolt, an all-electric subcompact with 238 miles of range. 

The Volt’s internal combustion engine is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder making 101 horsepower, new for this generation. Combined with the motor-generators, the total horsepower is 149 (111 kilowatts), with an impressive 294-pound feet of torque, as much as some V8 pickup trucks. The Volt can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in eight seconds, which is quicker than a Prius; and that’s an all-electric versus gas-powered drag race, because the Prius switches to gas power under full throttle while the Volt stays with electric. 

The Volt’s EPA combined rating, using both electricity and gasoline, is 42 miles per gallon; but that’s almost meaningless because it’s based on some hypothetical person’s combined city-highway driving. An owner who never leaves the city might not use any gasoline; indeed, some say they use their engines only enough to ensure the gas stays fresh. 

Another rating that applies to plug-in hybrids is Miles Per Gallon Equivalent (MPGe), defined as the distance a car can travel electrically on the amount of energy contained in a gallon of gasoline. The Volt hits a strong 106 MPGe. 

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car values

2020 Hyundai Sonata pricing starts at $24,330

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata in base SE trim will start at $24,330, including a $930 destination charge. That’s a $750 increase over the previous Sonata that began at $23,850. Not a bad price to pay, considering the sedan was completely redesigned for 2020 with a much more premium angle.

The most luxurious Sonata Limited trim goes for $34,230. That’s $1,050 more than the last Sonata Limited 2.0T, though the new Sonata Limited is only available with the less powerful 1.6-liter turbocharged engine in 2020. It’s a totally new engine design, offering 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. We found it to be plenty sufficient in our first drive review of the new Sonata, but it won’t light up the front tires like the outgoing 2.0-liter turbo.

The cheaper SE still comes standard with a fair bit of equipment. It includes forward collision-avoidance assist, lane-keep assist with lane-centering, adaptive cruise control, auto high-beam assist and an 8-inch infotainment system. This car is equipped with the 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder that makes 191 horsepower.

The SEL retails for $26,430 and includes revised fascias, heated mirrors, 17-inch alloy wheels, a power driver seat, auto climate control, heated front seats, a 4.2-inch gauge cluster display and blind spot collision avoidance and rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assists. Adding the $1,200 SEL Convenience Package brings a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, wireless phone charging, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Hyundai Digital Key tech, an auto-dimming mirror, second row air vents and a second row USB port. Another $1,850 nets you the Bose 12-speaker audio system, leather seats and a heated steering wheel. Finally, another $1,000 adds on a panoramic sunroof.

The SEL Plus trim is an in-between trim level that costs $28,380 and builds on top of the Convenience Package. It includes the 1.6-liter turbo with 18-inch wheels, aluminum pedals, suede seating surfaces, larger Michelin or Pirelli tires and glossy black exterior trim.

Sonata Limited models get all of the previous features plus a color head-up display and Hyundai’s trick remote parking assist that’ll back in and out of tight spots on your command. Hyundai says production of the new Sonata has begun, and it’ll be arriving in dealers any day now.

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best deals, car values, new car deals

The Best New Car Deals: October 2019

MSRP $36,727
Average transaction: $30,184
Discount: $6,543
Percentage off MSRP: 17.8%

Click here for the Autoblog Smart Buy program, which brings you a hassle-free buying experience with over 9,000 Certified Dealers nationwide.

The Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid compact sedan with striking looks that are sleek and wedge-like. It offers the best of both worlds, able to run on electric power for 53 around-town miles, then switch to gas power to reach the next charge or the end of the tank of fuel on a road trip. If you don’t have a long commute you’ll rarely spend any money on gas. 

Volt’s quality and capability were vastly improved for its second generation, so much that New Car Test Drive named it the Best Commuter Car for 2016. It’s now in the third reliable year of that generation. It didn’t change much for 2017, as there were no bugs to work out, nor has it changed for 2018. 

Volt uses two motor-generators to drive the front wheels. They get their power from a lithium-ion battery pack with a capacity of 18.4 kilowatt-hours. One thing different about the Volt from most other plug-in hybrids, is that even under full throttle, it doesn’t switch to gas; this means that if you drive it hard under electric power, you won’t be able to go 53 miles, because it will use up its charge at a faster pace. However, it isn’t burning gas when you don’t want it to. 

One exception: the engine will switch to gas power when the outside temperature is below freezing. It does this to heat the cabin. 

Alternatively, the Volt can go far on a tank of gasoline: 380 miles on its 8.9-gallon tank. 

It takes nine to twelve hours to fully charge the Volt, using any household 120-volt outlet and the conveniently located charging cable in the car. Using the optional 240-volt Level 2 charging station, that time is cut to four and one-half hours. 

Among plug-in hybrids, Volt’s 53-mile range is topped only by the BMW i3 REx, with 73 miles. But the i3’s tiny two-cylinder engine isn’t powerful. 

For all practical purposes, the Chevrolet Volt has no competitors among plug-in hybrid cars. However, if a commuter is fixed on electric power, but finds that 53 miles a day isn’t quite enough, he or she might look at the Chevy Bolt, an all-electric subcompact whose range is a world-beating 200 miles. 

Volt’s internal combustion engine is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder making 101 horsepower, new for this generation. Combined with the motor-generators, the total horsepower is 149 (111 kilowatts), with an impressive 294-pound feet of torque, as much as some V8 pickup trucks. Volt can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in eight seconds, quicker than a Prius; and that’s an all-electric versus gas-powered drag race, because the Prius switches to gas power under full throttle while the Volt stays with electric. 

Volt’s combined EPA rating, using both electric and fuel power, is 42 miles per gallon; but that’s almost meaningless because it’s hypothetical and theoretical, based on some average person’s combined city-highway driving. An owner who never leaves the city might get infinite miles per gallon; indeed, some say they use their engines only enough to ensure the gas stays fresh. 

Another rating that applies to plug-in hybrids is Miles Per Gallon Equivalent (MPGe), defined as the distance a car can travel electrically on the amount of energy contained in a gallon of gasoline. The Volt hits a strong 106 MPGe. 

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