New Diesel Cars for 2014

The Victor crew
found that has a list of new 2014 Diesel cars for better fuel efficiency. Here they are:

Audi – 3.0 liter V-6 turbodiesels:
Audi A6 TDI mid-size sedan – for 29 mpg starts at $57,500
Audi A7 4-door coupe – 29 mpg starts at $66,900
Audi A8 large luxury sedan – 28 mpg starts at $82,500

BMW – 180 hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel
3-series sport sedan – 32 mpg city; 45 mpg highway; slightly lower with xDrive all-wheel drive option; starts at $39,525 without xDrive; another $2000 with
3-series Sports Wagon – up to 43 mpg; only comes with xDrive; starts at $43,875

Chevrolet – 151 hp 2.0-liter turbodiesel four cylinder:
Cruze Diesel – starts at $25,695; 27 pmg city; 46 mpg highway

Jeep – 240 hp 3.0 liter V-6 turbodiesel
Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel – 21 mpg city; 28 mpg highway;

Ram (formerly Dodge Truck) – 240 hp 3.0 liter V-6 turbodiesel
1500 EcoDiesel pickup truck – priced $2,850 higher than Ram 1500 gasoline

Ride on.
~Joe Victor

Joe Victor is stoked about the Jeep Gladiator

Joe Victor, Jody Victor‘s son, just learned about the Jeep Gladiator. Here is what he had to say:

Ok, all you truck enthusiasts, this is hot! Hopefully this will graduate from a concept to production and possibly to my garage. Jeep calls it the Gladiator, seems appropriate for a tough little truck. There is no mention of power train availability so let?s hope for a decent size V8 with plenty of torque, the Hemi from the Dodge line up would be nice. Hey, Jody Victor® lets go off-roading! See more about this concept vehicle here.

Joe asks Jody Victor®: Best Cars for Summer Sports

For every sport or outdoor adventure, there’s a perfect vehicle for ferrying your gear and getting you where you need to go, be it your favorite surf break, a new backpacking route or the ideal stretch of pavement for pedaling your road bike. But a kite surfer has different transportation criteria than a mountain biker, and a fisherman’s needs are not the same as those of an all-terrain-vehicle enthusiast. I asked Jody Victor  to tell us more about it from and article by Claire Martin of MSN Autos and

Jody Victor: Sometimes you need all-wheel drive; other times, all you care about is whether your cooler will fit in the trunk. Here are the best cars for various outdoor sports, factoring in cargo capacity, hauling capability, horsepower, maneuverability and, of course, aesthetics, in 2 parts.

Surfing | Jeep Wrangler

The main benefit to the Wrangler is that your surfboard — long, short or anywhere in between — can fit in the vehicle when the top is off. If it hangs out a little bit, you’ll look all the more cool. When scoping out remote surf spots, the high ground clearance and 4-wheel drive come in handy. To keep valuables out of sight while you’re in the waves, the “add a trunk” feature creates a 3-cubic-foot mini trunk in the rear of the vehicle.

Mountain Biking | Honda Element

With enough space to fit three bikes and one rear-seat passenger, or two bikes and two friends in the back, the Element is ideal for mountain-bike outings. No need to hoist anything onto the roof of the car or to deal with a clunky rear-mounted bike rack. And you won’t have to remove your bikes’ front tires to fit them in, either. The vehicle’s all-wheel-drive capability helps get you to the trail. After your excursion, any dirt that collects on the Element’s urethane-coated floor is easy to sweep out.

Kite Surfing | Volvo XC70

This wagon’s minivan-size storage capacity lets you easily pack the bulky gear that kite surfing requires — boards, kites, harnesses and the like. But it’s also agile enough that you can negotiate winding coastal roads with power and ease. The XC70 is the longest of the Volvo models, making it easier to carry your quiver of boards inside the car without anything hanging out a window. Extra ground clearance and all-wheel drive keep you from getting stuck in any sand traps en route to the wind-whipped water. The optional plastic trunk liner keeps your wet gear from stinking up the car.

Road Cycling | Audi A3

If you’re a road cyclist, chances are you spend a lot of time on pavement that’s as fun to drive as it is to pedal, so you’ll want a car that handles well on twisting, curvy roads. The Audi A3 is turbocharged whether you buy the gasoline version or the diesel, and it has speed-sensitive power steering — helpful in hairpin turns. Roof rails make for easy installation of a bike rack, but because the A3 is a wagon, you could store your ride inside. Flip one seat down for one bike, or both to store two.

Backpacking | Ford Flex

To accommodate the bulky backpacks, tents and sleeping pads required for a backpacking trip, the Ford Flex has 83 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats down. If you’re taking a day hike, sans gear, the Flex is perfect for ferrying a group of friends to the trailhead; its three rows of seats accommodate seven passengers. Four skylights on the roof let you take in the beauty of your wilderness surroundings before you even get out of the car. Opt for bucket seats in the second row and you can also get a refrigerated console to keep your water supply cold.

Thanks, Jody! More next time.

Joe Victor

Joe asks Jody Victor®: What Vehicle Is Best for Your City? II

Cities are cities, right? Not necessarily! While there are many similarities, the differences are what makes certain vehicles more useful to one area than another. I asked Jody Victor  to continue with the second part of the article by Erik Sofge of MSN Autos and

Jody Victor: Hey, Joe, here they are, the rest of the vehicles best suited for cities around this great country of ours.

City: Phoenix | Vehicle: Dodge Challenger SRT8 392

The criterion for a vehicle in a desert city is pretty simple: heat-bouncing, lighter-hued interiors. There’s nowhere to tow your personal watercraft, no sane reason to go camping and no weather to sully the long stretches of blacktop carving through the dunes. So you can drive whatever boring thing you want, or you can channel your inner Mad Max with the Challenger SRT8. It’s pure, vintage muscle on 20-inch, 5-spoke aluminum wheels. Its only shortcoming is that the 6.4-liter 470-horsepower Hemi V8 engine doesn’t punch right through the racer-striped hood.

City: Jacksonville, Fla. | Vehicle: Jeep Wrangler

Miami might get the attention, but Jacksonville is the bigger city (with more than 800,000 residents, more than double Miami’s population), and it is surrounded by more diverse day or weekend destinations. So, for transitioning from open-air highway driving to powering through swampy conditions to rolling right onto the beach, the venerable Jeep Wrangler just makes sense. It’s the only 4×4 convertible, becomes the ultimate beachcomber with the doors fully removed, and it can ford up to 30 inches of water. But remember, this is gator country — don’t go fording with the doors and roof off.

City: Boston | Vehicle: Subaru Outback

The unpredictability of New England weather is so bad that it’s long been a point of pride for local residents. It’s also why Subaru, and the Outback, specifically, have always been so ubiquitous in the area. And so it goes for Boston, where the Outback and its symmetrical all-wheel drive is as adept at gripping rain-clogged streets as it is at forging through mud-spattered New Hampshire trails and snow-swept Maine roads. The 3.6R, with its 256-horsepower boxer engine, isn’t a necessary upgrade, but the rumors are true: Whether in rain, sleet or snow, Boston drivers go fast.

City: Seattle | Vehicle: Volkswagen Tiguan

For rainy Seattle, we could have just as easily picked the Subaru Outback again for its proven performance on wet roads, but the Volkswagen Tiguan is a capable all-weather traveler. VW’s power-juggling 4Motion all-wheel drive, and an off-road drive mode that’s exclusive to this model, provide more precise torque control, improved braking on loose surfaces and automatic speed adjustments during hill climbs and descents. The Tiguan has room to spare for outdoor gear, but it’s also a relatively luxe ride, with built-in iPod connectivity, leather two-toned interiors and a hipper overall look than its competition at Subaru.

City: Denver | Vehicle: Range Rover Evoque

The Evoque is a renaissance Range Rover, equally at home charging up and down the Rockies as it is cruising through downtown Denver’s LoDo neighborhood. This crossover won’t even ruffle the feathers of the famously environmentally active locals, with a fuel economy that is a rather commendable 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway. It’s not the rugged outdoors vehicle that other Range Rovers are, but it’s a snowy-weather road warrior, and the most stylish SUV on the market.

Thanks, Jody! We’ll be sure to check these great vehicles out!

Joe Victor

Joe asks Jody Victor®: 8 Convertibles You Can Buy for Less II

Twisting and turning down a tree-lined, back road with the sun on your face, and the wind in your hair. We’re talking about convertibles, of course. “I can’t afford one,” you say. We respectfully disagree. I asked Jody Victor® to tell us why.

Jody Victor®: Thanks to our recent economic downturn and ever-rising gas prices, the number of relatively affordable convertibles is down. But a number of models are still available for less than $30,000. Here’s the second half of the article by James Tate of

Jeep Wrangler

Didn’t expect to see this one, did you? What can we say — it’s a convertible, after all, and at $22,045 it’s less than $30 grand. Besides, you can’t have a list of just seven cars. Despite having grown significantly in girth in its 2007 redesign, this old icon continues to be no less appealing. Its 3.6-liter 285-horsepower V6 engine is years ahead of the previous engine, and the interior can even be called livable now. Naturally, the Wrangler comes standard with 4-wheel drive, which can make your convertible adventures considerably more interesting. As you might expect, the gas mileage is horrible, at just 17 mpg city/21 mpg highway.

Chrysler 200 Convertible

This is the where our list starts to get a little questionable. When eight cars in total meet the criteria, the rundown is less a list of “best,” and more one of “in existence.” A disclaimer having duly been dropped, let’s meet the $26,775 Chrysler 200 Convertible. Its double-overhead-cam 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder engine, which makes 173 horsepower and returns 20 mpg city/31 mpg highway, is a bit weak. There is a more powerful 6-cylinder option, but it costs five grand more. The premium, in our opinion, isn’t worth it.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder

The Eclipse Spyder seats four, looks like a flattened jelly bean and, at $27,999, sports a 2.4-liter inline-4 engine with 162 horsepower. (A V6 option is available, but it costs $32,828, so that’s out of the running.) The inline-4 comes with a 4-speed automatic transmission (those are apparently still made) and manages 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway. On the plus side, you get heated leather seats as standard and a 650-watt Rockford Fosgate stereo that’s pretty rockin’. Also a plus: The power top is down in just 19 seconds.

smart passion cabriolet

Sorry for this recommendation, but for $17,690, you get a very, very small car that has a top speed of 90 mph, goes from zero to 60 mph in 12.8 seconds, and has a 1.0-liter 70-horsepower engine and a 5-speed automated manual transmission that will make you wish you were walking. Now, once you’ve stopped worrying about being run over in traffic, there are a couple of pluses. Because it’s just 98.4 inches long, you can park it practically anywhere. You’ll also get 34 mpg city/38 mpg highway.

Thanks, Jody! We’ll be sure to check these vehicles out!!

Joe Victor

Joe asks Jody Victor: 10 Best Resale Value Cars, 2012 Part II

Resale values come from a complex set of calculations based in part on historical data and economic predictions, as well as competition in each automotive segment, how strong a car’s brand is, and supply (including fleet and leasing sales) versus demand. I asked Jody Victor® to continue with the article By Jessica Anderson of Kiplinger for

Jody Victor®: Hey, Joe, resale value may not seem like the most important thing when buying a new car. But if you only intend on keeping it for a few years it could be worth your while in the long run. Here’s the last five vehicles from


Sticker price: $23,105 (base coupe)
Invoice price: $22,040
TrueCar national average price: $20,974
3-year resale value: 63%, 5-year: 46%
City mpg: 19, Hwy: 29

Ford’s classic pony car won Best New Car last year with a redesign that added more power (305 horsepower from the 3.7-liter V6 engine) but kept fuel economy a priority. One of its shining achievements is a stellar resale value: It’ll be worth 63% of the sticker price after three years.


Sticker price: $30,670
Invoice price: $28,767
TrueCar national average price: $29,259
3-year resale value: 60%, 5-year: 46%
City mpg: 19, Hwy: 24

Kiplinger’s Best in Class small crossover for the second year running, the Subaru Forester has sure-footed handling with the brand’s standard all-wheel drive, loads of interior space and a speedy yet thrifty turbocharged engine.


Sticker price: $48,375
Invoice price: $44,575
TrueCar national average price: $45,706
3-year resale value: 62%, 5-year: 45%
City mpg: 16, Hwy: 23

With seating for up to seven passengers, German-engineered driving dynamics and high resale values, BMW’s X5 has always been appealing. For 2012, more standard features are added: roof rails and a cargo cover for added utility and an iPod/USB connection and Hi-Fi sound system for added enjoyment while driving.


Sticker price: $22,845
Invoice price: $22,261
TrueCar national average price: $22,295
3-year resale value: 61%, 5-year: 46%
City mpg: 17, Hwy: 21

Jeep’s classic go-anywhere off-roader stays ahead of the pack on value. It offers the best mileage in its class (outside of hybrid models), with 17 mpg in the city, and tops the resale charts.


Sticker price: $27,110
Invoice price: $25,138
TrueCar national average price: $25,599
3-year resale value: 56%, 5-year: 42%
City mpg: 18, Hwy: 25

Redesigned last year, the Toyota Sienna is the only minivan to offer models with a four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. It seats up to eight passengers and features seven airbags, and its 3.5-liter V6 puts out 265 horses. It narrowly edges out the Honda Odyssey for Best Resale, and it receives a Worth a Look nod.

 Thanks, Jody! We’ll be sure to consider these vehicles when we go car shopping!

Joe Victor