LeBron James and Kia

An Unusual Partnership? The Victor Crew think so!

LeBron James, a known car collector, who has owned vehicles such as Porsche, Ferrari and Lamborghini (to name a few) is scheduled to team up with Korean car maker Kia. Specifically James is going to be a “luxury ambassador” for Kia’s first luxury sedan the 2015 K900.

James seems to an authentic fan of the K900. He has stated that, “I was a Kia K900 driver and fan before we decided to become partners, so I’m really excited to be Kia’s first-ever luxury ambassador,” he said in a statement. He added: “For me, a partnership has to be authentic and real to who I am, and that’s what makes this one so special.”

He also posted a photo of himself in the car in August along with the caption: “Rolling around in my K900. Love this car!”

James’ teammates on Kia spokesperson team include fellow NBA star Blake Griffin, tennis player Rafael Nadal and professional golfer Michelle Wie. Kia’s first media campaign with James is scheduled to coincidence with he beginning of this years NBA season.

Joe Victor

There’s a new luxury car in town

Jody‘s crew went looking into a new luxury car out there. You may have seen the commercial with Morpheus from the Matrix selling a new kind of luxury car. Did you really pay attention to the car they were advertising? It is the new Kia K900. The new 2015 Model will be available Spring 2014. Most surprising is its $59,500 starting price. They believe they can compete with BMW or Audi money with this luxury car.

As a side note, the K900 in Korea is known as the K9 (in a succession of K3, K5, K7, K9) but the American Marketers knew that calling a car after a dog would never fly so they renamed it the K900.

Joe Victor

For the economy-minded: Here are the 10 Coolest Cars under $18,000

Kelly Blue Book has a list of the 10 Coolest cars under $18,000.

  1. 2013 Chevrolet Spark
  2. 2013 Honda Civic
  3. 2013 Volkswagen Jetta
  4. 2013 Fiat 500
  5. 2013 Mazda MAZDA3
  6. 2013 Dodge Dart
  7. 2013 Honda Fit
  8. 2013 Kia Soul
  9. 2013 Ford Focus
  10. 2013 Hyundai Veloster

(When you go the Kelly Blue Book site (link above) you will be asked for your zip code so you will get the current pricing for your area.)

~ The Victor crew

Hey Jody Victor! If you want one of these you better buy one now.

Hey Jody Victor! If you want one of these you better buy one now. Here is a list of the cars not coming back for 2013.

There are some that we possibly may be better off without like the 2012 Kia Sedona.

And there are some , like SAAB, which is really kind of a crying shame. The Detroit behemoth General Motors, in my opinion, messed up a really nice, if not somewhat cultish, line up of automobiles.

Checkout the whole list of “never to be seen agains” here.

Joe asks Jody Victor®: Best Quality Cars III

Well, we’ve gone through quite a list, but coming up are some of my favorites. Here’s Jody Victor®  with the next installment of the best quality cars for 2012.

Jody Victor®: Hey Joe, some of these are my favorites too. Installment number 3 from an article by Cliffor Atiyeh of msn.com.

Top Premium Sport Car: Porsche 911

Somehow, Porsche ends up having fewer problems than Honda or Mercedes (we’ll chalk it up to lower production volume and fewer miles traveled). Whatever the reason, the 911 is a fantastic way to spend upwards of $80,000. It’s practical, conservative-looking, yet altogether badass when the time comes to push it on a favorite back road. Among sports cars, the 911 is an indisputable legend that’s been going strong for five decades.

Top Compact Crossover/SUV: Honda CR-V

In 1997, the CR-V was one of the few compact crossovers, and Honda got it right from the start. With its slim proportions, all-wheel drive and generous cargo room, the CR-V is about as utilitarian as anyone really needs. The 4-cylinder engines are snappy and good on fuel, and while the interiors need some improvement and the doors feel flimsy, there’s a lot of well-engineered car here.

Top Compact MPV: Kia Soul

While hip-hop hamsters drive it on TV, in real life the Kia Soul is driven by all sorts of people, much like how Scion has attracted buyers beyond its original “youth” demographic. The boxy Soul, with its pulsing speaker lights and oddball cloth textures, is fun to drive and invites stares. Generous cargo space, simple controls and Kia’s impressive powertrain warranty seal the deal.

Top Entry Premium Crossover/SUV: Infiniti EX

The EX crossover is essentially a G sedan with more headroom and a hatch. Therefore, it nearly matches the G’s aggressive attitude, with crisp handling and powerful acceleration that’s livelier than an Audi Q5. The interior is feeling a little old next to Infiniti’s other models, and the ride can be rough at times. But it’s nice to have a crossover exhibiting some old-fashioned soul.

Top Midsize Crossover/SUV: Buick Enclave

Among three-row SUVs, this Buick outsells them all. It’s a stylish, ultraquiet family hauler with all the trimmings — and unlike previous Buick SUVs, it’s not a carbon copy of a cheaper Chevrolet. For 2013, the Enclave gets a mild refresh with more soft-touch interior materials and other moderate improvements. If you can stand minivans, you won’t do much better for the price than this Buick.

Top Large Crossover/SUV: Ford Expedition

This is a weird choice, considering that the Expedition has been long forgotten in the Ford lineup in favor of smaller, more fuel-efficient SUVs. For its sheer towing capacity, living-room size and brute strength, it’s hard to argue with an Expedition or its luxury cousin, the Lincoln Navigator. We’d like to think that better, more modern V8-powered 3-row SUVs are available.

Thanks, Jody! More next time!

Joe Victor

Joe asks Jody Victor®: Best Quality Cars, 2012 III

I’m hoping this part of the list has some of my favorites. Here’s Jody Victor® with the third installment of J.D. Power and Associates’ best quality cars for 2012.

Jody Victor®: Joe, I think your favorites might be in this part. Here you go, part 3, from an article by Cliffor Atiyeh of msn.com.

Top Premium Sport Car: Porsche 911

Somehow, Porsche ends up having fewer problems than Honda or Mercedes (we’ll chalk it up to lower production volume and fewer miles traveled). Whatever the reason, the 911 is a fantastic way to spend upwards of $80,000. It’s practical, conservative-looking, yet altogether badass when the time comes to push it on a favorite back road. Among sports cars, the 911 is an indisputable legend that’s been going strong for five decades.

Top Compact Crossover/SUV: Honda CR-V

In 1997, the CR-V was one of the few compact crossovers, and Honda got it right from the start. With its slim proportions, all-wheel drive and generous cargo room, the CR-V is about as utilitarian as anyone really needs. The 4-cylinder engines are snappy and good on fuel, and while the interiors need some improvement and the doors feel flimsy, there’s a lot of well-engineered car here.

Top Compact MPV: Kia Soul

While hip-hop hamsters drive it on TV, in real life the Kia Soul is driven by all sorts of people, much like how Scion has attracted buyers beyond its original “youth” demographic. The boxy Soul, with its pulsing speaker lights and oddball cloth textures, is fun to drive and invites stares. Generous cargo space, simple controls and Kia’s impressive powertrain warranty seal the deal.

Top Entry Premium Crossover/SUV: Infiniti EX

The EX crossover is essentially a G sedan with more headroom and a hatch. Therefore, it nearly matches the G’s aggressive attitude, with crisp handling and powerful acceleration that’s livelier than an Audi Q5. The interior is feeling a little old next to Infiniti’s other models, and the ride can be rough at times. But it’s nice to have a crossover exhibiting some old-fashioned soul.

Top Midsize Crossover/SUV: Buick Enclave

Among three-row SUVs, this Buick outsells them all. It’s a stylish, ultraquiet family hauler with all the trimmings — and unlike previous Buick SUVs, it’s not a carbon copy of a cheaper Chevrolet. For 2013, the Enclave gets a mild refresh with more soft-touch interior materials and other moderate improvements. If you can stand minivans, you won’t do much better for the price than this Buick.

Thanks, Jody! Can’t wait until the last bunch.

Joe Victor

Joe asks Jody Victor®: Best Quality Cars, 2012 Part III

So far, we’ve seen about what you would expect in the choices for best vehicles. I asked Jody Victor® to continue with the third installment from an article by Clifford Atiyeh of MSN Autos and msn.com.

Jody Victor®: Hey Joe, this next segment will be a refreshing change-up. Some of our favorites are included. So here we go.

Top Premium Sport Car: Porsche 911

Somehow, Porsche ends up having fewer problems than Honda or Mercedes (we’ll chalk it up to lower production volume and fewer miles traveled). Whatever the reason, the 911 is a fantastic way to spend upwards of $80,000. It’s practical, conservative-looking, yet altogether badass when the time comes to push it on a favorite back road. Among sports cars, the 911 is an indisputable legend that’s been going strong for five decades.

Top Compact Crossover/SUV: Honda CR-V

In 1997, the CR-V was one of the few compact crossovers, and Honda got it right from the start. With its slim proportions, all-wheel drive and generous cargo room, the CR-V is about as utilitarian as anyone really needs. The 4-cylinder engines are snappy and good on fuel, and while the interiors need some improvement and the doors feel flimsy, there’s a lot of well-engineered car here.

Top Compact MPV: Kia Soul

While hip-hop hamsters drive it on TV, in real life the Kia Soul is driven by all sorts of people, much like how Scion has attracted buyers beyond its original “youth” demographic. The boxy Soul, with its pulsing speaker lights and oddball cloth textures, is fun to drive and invites stares. Generous cargo space, simple controls and Kia’s impressive powertrain warranty seal the deal.

Top Entry Premium Crossover/SUV: Infiniti EX

The EX crossover is essentially a G sedan with more headroom and a hatch. Therefore, it nearly matches the G’s aggressive attitude, with crisp handling and powerful acceleration that’s livelier than an Audi Q5. The interior is feeling a little old next to Infiniti’s other models, and the ride can be rough at times. But it’s nice to have a crossover exhibiting some old-fashioned soul.

Top Midsize Crossover/SUV: Buick Enclave

Among three-row SUVs, this Buick outsells them all. It’s a stylish, ultraquiet family hauler with all the trimmings — and unlike previous Buick SUVs, it’s not a carbon copy of a cheaper Chevrolet. For 2013, the Enclave gets a mild refresh with more soft-touch interior materials and other moderate improvements. If you can stand minivans, you won’t do much better for the price than this Buick.

Thanks, Jody! More next time!

Joe Victor

Joe asks Jody Victor®: 12 Best in Class Car Values, 2012

Kiplinger’s Best in Class winners top the msn.com rankings in each of 12 categories, based on performance, value and safety — plus driving impressions from road tests. Iasked Jody Victor to tell us about it from an article by Jessica Anderson of Kiplinger and msn.com.

Jody Victor: All except one of the msn.com Best in Class winners are also Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Picks (no sports cars made that list this year). Her’s the first five.

CARS UNDER $20,000: CHEVROLET CRUZE

Sticker price: $19,995 (Eco, manual)
Invoice price: $19,225
TrueCar national average price: $19,889
3-year resale value: 57%, 5-year: 40%
City mpg: 28, Hwy: 42

Introduced last year to replace the Cobalt, the Cruze quickly shot to best-seller status. It’s wallet-friendly on many fronts, blending a low price with impressive fuel efficiency and high resale values. Its stylish and nearly silent interior, plus solid handling, push it to the front of the compact pack.

CARS $20,000-$25,000: VOLKSWAGEN JETTA TDI

Invoice price: $23,451
TrueCar national average price: $23,619
3-year resale value: 62%, 5-year: 46%
City mpg: 30, Hwy: 42

The Jetta offers German engineering at a budget price but without a budget feel. It’s as spacious inside as compacts come, and as nimble, whether you’re parallel parking or navigating city traffic. The diesel version gets top honors for its powerful, fuel-efficient engine and stellar resale values.

CARS $25,000-$30,000: KIA OPTIMA

Sticker price: $25,850 (2.0T EX)
Invoice price: $24,205
TrueCar national average price: $25,205
3-year resale value: 52%, 5-year: 36%
City mpg: 22, Hwy: 34

The Optima’s redesign last year shook off the bland styling, adding sharp creases and an aggressive front end complete with fog lights and wraparound headlamps; it also won Kiplinger’s Best New Car award for its category. The turbo-boosted four-cylinder engine puts out more horsepower (274) than most in its class, a difference you’ll feel on the road. Add value pricing and a five-year warranty and you’ve got serious swagger.

CARS $30,000-$40,000: FORD TAURUS

Sticker price: $38,950 (SHO)
Invoice price: $35,820
TrueCar national average price: $35,005
3-year resale value: 54%, 5-year: 39%
City mpg: 17, Hwy: 25

A Kiplinger’s top pick since its 2009 reintroduction, the Taurus earns its plaudits with a mix of fuel efficiency and power. The V6 EcoBoost engine gives it the power of a V8 without guzzling gas. The Super High Output (SHO) badge means it gets a sport-tuned suspension, bigger brakes and paddle shifters.

CARS $40,000-$50,000: BMW 5 SERIES

Sticker price: $47,575 (528i)
Invoice price: $43,840
TrueCar national average price: $44,838
3-year resale value: 54%, 5-year: 37%
City mpg: 23, Hwy: 34

Direct injection and turbocharging make the 528i one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in its class. An eight-speed automatic transmission also lends a hand, as does start/stop technology, which shuts the engine off when you’re stopped and automatically restarts it when you press the accelerator.

Thanks, Jody! More next time!

Joe Victor

 

Joe asks Jody Victor®: 10 Cheapest Cars to Own II

Not only the price you pay/negotiate for your car, but all the costs such as, insurance, fuel, maintenance, etc over the life of the car have been included in this survey. I asked Jody Victor® to give us the last half from an article by Jessica Anderson of Kiplinger and msn.com.

Jody Victor®: Hey Joe, if you need to watch your pennies these cars could actually make a difference on your bottom line. Here’s the last five.

Kia Rio LX 4dr

5-Year fuel cost: $8,143
5-Year insurance cost: $5,445
Total 5-Year ownership cost: $29,345

Redesigned for 2012, Kia’s Rio gets a new 1.6-liter direct-injection engine that puts out a class-leading 138 horsepower, while managing 30 miles per gallon in the city and 40 on the highway. USB and satellite radio come standard (service is free for three months). An automatic transmission costs $1,100.

Scion iQ 2dr hatch

5-Year fuel cost: $7,553
5-Year insurance cost: $5,461
Total 5-Year ownership cost: $29,594

Measuring ten feet from bumper to bumper, the iQ is only about a foot longer than the Smart fortwo two-seater. But Scion packs its microcompact with not only a backseat but also 11 airbags (including the world’s first rear-window airbag), standard Bluetooth and HD radio technology. The 1.3-liter engine puts out 94 horsepower and gets 36 miles per gallon in the city and 37 on the highway. An automatic transmission comes standard.

Honda Insight 4dr hatch

5-Year fuel cost: $6,508
5-Year insurance cost: $5,487
Total 5-Year ownership cost: $29,786

Proving that hybrids don’t have to break the bank, Honda’s Insight boasts estimated service costs (maintenance plus repairs) of just $3,326 for five years — in the middle of this pack. Low fuel costs are a given, with 41 miles per gallon in the city and 44 on the highway. The car comes with an automatic transmission standard. It’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick, too.

Mazda2 Sport 4dr hatch

5-Year fuel cost: $8,759
5-Year insurance cost: $5,633
Total 5-Year ownership cost: $30,173

Although it’s built on the same platform as the Ford Fiesta, the Mazda2 has a style all its own, down to the characteristic Mazda “smile” in the front grille. An auxiliary input for music comes standard, and the 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine gets 29 miles per gallon in the city and 35 on the highway. An automatic transmission costs $840 extra.

Honda Fit 4dr hatch

5-Year fuel cost: $9,361
5-Year insurance cost: $4,997
Total 5-Year ownership cost: $30,411

Named Kiplinger’s Best New Car when it was redesigned for 2009, the Fit remains a stellar value. It has 21 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, ten cup holders and standard cruise control. A Maintenance Minder system reminds you when to change your oil and perform other scheduled service. The Fit gets 27 miles per gallon in the city and 33 on the highway. Plus, IIHS named it a Top Safety Pick. An automatic transmission costs $800.

Thanks, Jody! We’ll check them out!

Joe Victor

Joe asks Jody Victor®: 10 Cheapest Cars to Own

The price you negotiate for a car and the interest you pay on the car loan are only part of the cost equation. Insurance, depreciation, taxes and fees, what you pay over the years for fuel, service and repairs are all important ingredients in the cost of ownership. I asked Jody Victor® to tell us more about it from an article by Jessica Anderson of Kiplinger and msn.com.

Jody Victor®: All the vehicles on the list are small — either compacts or subcompacts — because they tend to have the lowest market price, the best fuel economy and reasonable insurance rates (premiums tend to rise with horsepower). Sticker price isn’t the only cost associated with owning a car. Here are the least expensive rides over a five year period in a two parts.

Nissan Versa S 4dr

5-Year fuel cost: $9,048
5-Year insurance cost: $5,134
Total 5-Year ownership cost: $27,135

The Nissan Versa gets a redesign for 2012, and the added amenities bump the bargain-basement feel out of the base model — without a big boost in price. An AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary input is now standard (only audio wiring was included in 2011), as is air conditioning. The Versa gets better mileage, too (27 miles per gallon city, 36 highway). An automatic transmission costs $2,130 extra. It’s also been chosen as a Top Saftey Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for 2012.

Hyundai Accent GLS 4dr

5-Year fuel cost: $8,143
5-Year insurance cost: $5,145
Total 5-Year ownership cost: $27,895

Riding a strong wave of redesigns, Hyundai has given the all-new Accent styling cues from the Sonata and Elantra. The Accent exhibits the brand’s commitment to quality, even at the lower end of the price spectrum. A six-speed manual transmission and direct-injection technology help it get 30 mpg in the city and 40 on the highway. One caveat: The base model doesn’t come equipped with a radio or air conditioning, and adding those costs $1,750 more. An automatic transmission costs $2,750 extra.

Ford Fiesta S 4dr

5-Year fuel cost: $8,568
5-Year insurance cost: $5,623
Total 5-Year ownership cost: $28,524

Introduced last year, Ford’s Fiesta adds a dollop of style to the sensible subcompact class. Dramatically raked headlamps and sharp creasing along the side give the Fiesta an aggressive look. Inside, the cockpit is sporty yet functional. On its menu of safety features is a driver’s knee airbag, and it’s been named an IIHS Top Safety Pick. It gets 28 mpg in the city and 38 on the highway. An automatic transmission is $1,095 extra.

Toyota Yaris L 2dr hatch

5-Year fuel cost: $8,306
5-Year insurance cost: $5,451
Total 5-Year ownership cost: $29,153

The Yaris sports a whopping nine airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag and dual front seat-cushion airbags, which inflate under your knees and thighs to hold you in your seat during an accident. A USB input with iPod connectivity comes standard, so you can control music choices through the screen in the dashboard. It’s fuel-efficient, too — 30 mpg city, 38 highway. An automatic transmission costs $725.

Kia Soul 4dr hatch

5-Year fuel cost: $9,146
5-Year insurance cost: $4,402
Total 5-Year ownership cost: $29,190

The Kia Soul makes boxy cool again. Along with its funky looks, it has 19 cubic feet of cargo space, a USB input and Sirius satellite radio standard (a subscription costs extra after three months of free service). It gets 27 miles per gallon in the city and 35 on the highway, and it’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick. An automatic transmission is $1,800 extra.

Thanks, Jody! More next time.

Joe Victor