8 Best Cars for California

California is the third largest and the most populous state in the USA. It is the beautiful scenery which makes driving through it a pleasure.

If you are moving or recently moved to California, you’ll want to make sure you find a vehicle that fits the local climate and follows local fashion trends, especially in Long Beach area where the image is of great importance.  Here are 8 great cars for California that are not only convenient but will also help you to fit right in.

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The most popular brands in California

Californians do have a good taste for cars, which may differ slightly from the rest of the Americans. The evidence from different surveys such as preferred car brand in California or the top best-selling cars reveals that they are five makes that dominate the market in this state: Honda, Toyota, Ford, Nissan and Chevrolet.

  • Chevrolet Silverado – this is the preferred pickup truck for Californians. It is imperative for those who take care of big houses and yards and those who live in the suburbs and drive a lot. In a nutshell, this is a full-sized V8-powered pickup that is light on the wallet at the pump. It is a do-it-all vehicle that has been part of top 10 best-sellers for California for quite a while.
  • Honda Accord – this vehicle comes packed with lots of extras at a very reasonable price to make driving round Long Beach, LA and other busy areas a pleasure. It is perfect for the tech savvy who has to spend a lot of time in the car, and comes equipped with Bluetooth audio streaming, hands-free calling and other features at a lower cost than expected. No wonder Honda Accord was the best selling vehicle for California just three years ago.
  • Chevrolet Corvette – an iconic car that combines image with power and brilliant handling. If you are an experienced driver, you surely deserve to drive around Long Beach in this vehicle.
  • Toyota Camry – the vehicle is perfect for those who need to use it just to get from point A to point B. It can be used both by young singles and families and you can trust that it will behave well on the roads of California, especially in areas with high traffic.
  • Ford F-150 – yet another bestselling truck for the entire USA and one of the top 10 vehicles for California. It is a great choice for commuters who take care of houses with yards in the suburbs. It is the best when it comes to heavy-duty work.
  • Fiat 500 Cabriolet – the best small car for Long Beach area with an old-school roll-back top that opens up almost the entire roof. You can enjoy a scenic ride and the fair weather, without worrying about the cost, since the car is fuel-efficient. It also comes at quite affordable price – just over $20K, which makes this compact quite attractive.
  • Mazda MX-5 Miata – this is another small car that is easy on the eyes and easy to park. It is relatively inexpensive and fuel efficient and is fun to drive. It can be compared to the Fiat 500 but it has a less retro-look and moves faster (even its roof opens quicker). If you love spending time driving on scenic roads around California, then this is the car you need to own.

What to look for this year when driving in California

Taking into account the heavy traffic in Long Beach area and in other parts of California, we recommend two types of cars that you should be looking for in general:

  • Any hybrid – if you want to save gas (and money) the hybrid is the perfect car for you. Despite the initially higher investment, this type of vehicle is truly the answer for anyone who drives a lot around California. The battery comes with a ten-year warranty, so you can even save money by buying a used hybrid. You will enjoy a comfortable ride and take pride in protecting the environment at the same time.
  • Anything with start/stop button – in a densely populated state as California traffic jams are quite common especially in large metropolitan areas such as Long Beach. When you are stuck and moving just a few inches per hour, you are wasting gas and playing bad on your engine. A start/stop system, however, can solve this problem for you. It has been introduced in the United States fairly recently, so you need to consider cars manufactured after 2010.

The ultimate car to drive in California

Whether you live in Long Beach area or elsewhere in California, there is this one car that you simply need to drive – the Tesla Model S. This is the ultimate car for the Golden State as it has it all – from the ultimate in gas savings to the perfection in both image and comfort. It is true that Tesla launched newer and more expensive models recently, but the Model S is still the one you want to own if you want to make a statement. The ultimate sports car, loved by all Americans, the Tesla Model S deserves to top the list of the cars you should drive in California.

We know that choosing a car can be overwhelming. Hopefully, our list of the best 8 cars to drive in California has given you some useful insights. Already drive one of the cars we recommended? Let us know in the comments!

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Investing in a Budget-friendly Cars

Budget-friendly Cars that deserve a look

If you are considering investing in a new car, make sure prioritize what is important to you in a vehicle. Price should not be the only consideration. You need a vehicle that gives you the maximum comfort and suits your needs.

Six budget-friendly cars to buy new

Investing in a Budget-friendly CarsPurchasing a new car is a good investment, especially if you get a quality vehicle packed with extras at a reasonable price. Here are a few great options:

CHEVROLET SONIC LS SEDAN
  • Approximately $16,000
  • 138 horsepower
  • Turbocharged 1.4L ecotec engine

This car which comes in 10 different colors offers a lot of amenities: it has 10 airbags, forward collision alert, rear park assistance, OnStar automatic crash response system, air conditioning, infotainment display, keyless entry, 7-inch diagonal color touch-screen display, Wi-Fi connectivity, tilting and telescoping steering wheel. This car is small and compact, which makes it the best car for singles or young couples. In addition, the rear 60/40 split-folding seats make a lot of space in the back for those who travel.

HYUNDAI ACCENT SE
  • Approximately $15,500
  • 6-liter four-cylinder engine
  • 137 horsepower

This car not only looks good on the road but also provides you with a lot of comfort, utility and good performance. It has both manual and automatic six-speed transmissions, it is quiet, has a lot of back space, and drives smoothly on the road, which makes it an excellent choice for people who commute or take road trips.

KIA RIO SEDAN
  • Approximately $15,000
  • 6-liter four-cylinder engine
  • 138 horsepower

This car has long warranty coverage, quick acceleration, LX non-telescoping steering wheel, and big seats for more comfort. It is a great choice for people who need a ride that is going to take them from point A to point B with comfort. Kia Rio Sedan comes with a stellar list of extras that feature 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, fog lights, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, four-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, a USB port. It guarantees both security and good time while on the road.

CHEVROLET SPARK
  • Approximately $13,800
  • 4-liter four-cylinder engine
  • 98 horsepower and 94 pound-feet of torque

     This is a great and inexpensive car for people who need a daily driver. This car comes equipped with a rearview camera, 7-inch touchscreen, 4G LTE hotspot, 15-inch steel wheel, air-conditioning, 60/40-split folding rear seat, trip computer, OnStar telematics system, Bluetooth connectivity, and USB port. Furthermore, Chevrolet Spark is a really safe car thanks to the four-wheel antilock brakes, hill-hold assist, front and rear side airbags, front-seat knee airbags, stability and traction control, automatic crash notification, and forward collision alert. Chevrolet Spark makes the best choice for people who have just started driving because it is easy to maneuver, offers smooth drive, and is easy to park because of its compact size.

MITSUBISHI MIRAGE ES
  • Approximately $13,800
  • 74 to 78 horsepower
  • 2-liter three-cylinder engine

This model also makes a perfect daily driver. It has 14-inch steel wheels, rear view, LED taillights, a tilt-only steering wheel, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, four-speaker sound system, USB connectivity, fog lights, key-less ignition, cruise control, 6.5- inch touchscreen. Mitsubishi Mirage is a very safe car thanks to its four-wheel anti-lock brakes, front-seat airbags, a driver knee airbag, front rear parking sensors, and traction and stability control. It is surely a good choice at a great price and deserves to make it to your list of potential options.

NISSAN VERSA S
  • Approximately 12,800
  • 6-liter four-cylinder
  • 109 horsepower
  • 107 pound-feet of torque

This car provides safety, smooth ride, class, a lot of room inside for a more comfortable ride, and a large trunk. The model comes with four trim levels: S, SL, SV, and S Plus. It offers 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, tilt-only steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, trip computer, sound system, keyless entry, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, USB port, satellite radio, audio system, and more. Nissan Versa S provides excellent safety measures like antilock brakes, traction and stability control, airbags, cruise control, and rearview camera. Moreover, this model has passed a lot of crash tests with excellent results, which makes it an excellent choice in terms of road safety.

Two suggestions for affordable used cars

If you are thinking about a budget-friendly vehicle, you should also consider buying a used car. There are many good models that will meet your needs without stripping you out of cash. Here are two suggestions:

1982 – 1992 BMW 3-SERIES

These are, indeed, older models. However, they are classics and are a great choice for new drivers. Prices can be as low as $2000 and you will have paid for a car that looks good, drives well and is budget-friendly. If you are wondering which car to buy for your son who just got a driver’s license, the BMW 3 Series are the right choice and are made to last for years ahead.

2001 – 2007 VOLVO S60

These are, once again, classic cars which are made to last years! The prices start from $2000. You will have peace of mind driving these models because they have passed a lot of collision test with great results. Besides, we all know that Volvo engines are made to outlive their owners, so you can trust in the reliability of the make.

The list above is far from exhaustive, but hopefully it will help you decide on the best option for you.

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7 Best Family SUVs 2017-2018

It’s been a long time since SUVs were frowned upon as being cumbersome, heavy-cargo vehicles, designed for off-road. They’ve proven themselves as the car of choice for families with kids and car manufacturers have been trying to make them even more appealing to those customers.

This year brought us some really nice models from Toyota, Jeep, and Ranger Rover, as well as brands which – until recently – were hardly associated with “family” cars like Bentley and Porsche. Now 2018 promises even broader range of SUV models to be presented to the market. Their features are already announced and it is clear what we can expect. It is going to be hard to pick one that’s best, but perhaps our list will help you choose the one that’s best for you.

1.     2017 Toyota 4Runner

7 BEST FAMILY SUVS 2017-2018This old-school SUV will get your vote if you are a fan of tough-looking vehicles. The 2017 TRD Pro comes with the impressive 270 horsepower and 5-speed transmission. With its greater ground clearance, under-body protection, and electronically controlled suspension that adapts to different types of terrain, we could say that its main purpose is to get you wherever you’re going. If you plan to get off the beaten path, that’s the car for you.  Toyota is known for their reliable vehicles and you can be confident that this SUV won’t let you down.

2.     2018 Volkswagen Atlas

7 BEST FAMILY SUVS 2017-2018When we talk about Atlas, it comes down to three things – it’s big, it’s functional, and it looks good. The inside space is more than plenty, with room for 7 passengers and/or lots of cargo. The 280-horsepower going out to all four wheels is just enough to make it more agile than one would expect by looking at it. And the curvy design adds a distinguishable modern feel to it, so you can drive in the city with confidence and pride.

 

 3.     2017 Tesla Model X

7 BEST FAMILY SUVS 2017-2018 You may be tired of hearing about Tesla, but we feel that our list wouldn’t be complete without their large Model X. Its standard model comes with seats for six, but it is possible to opt in for 7 seats. It is mostly known for its electric motor, making it extremely cost-efficient, compared to its gasoline and diesel engine rivals. And don’t get us started on its futuristic Falcon Wing doors. But there is a lot more to it that could make you want to make it yours. It is definitely built with families in mind, focusing on comfort and safety.

4.     2017 Hyundai Santa Fe

7 BEST FAMILY SUVS 2017-2018

Santa Fe has long been a top selling SUV and has a well-deserved place in every “Best SUV” list. It is popular mostly thanks to the competitive price – quality ratio with a very low base price which makes it perfect for families. Even though its V6 engine is far from being astonishing, Hyundai achieved great results when it comes to safety, comfort and overall performance on the road. They also made sure to include quite a few of the latest technology features – some of them being AndroidAuto and Apple CarPlay – as available options. Overall, Hyundai Santa Fe is a great family SUV.

5.     2018 Ford Expedition MAX

7 BEST FAMILY SUVS 2017-2018 Yes, the Ford Expedition that we know will now be called Ford Expedition MAX. As you probably imagine, the change in name is because this SUV is getting bigger in size. It will be almost a foot longer while – fortunately – losing on its weight. The engine has the staggering 450 horsepower and you can opt for a 10-speed automatic transmission, making it a real pleasure to drive. It will also come with a much-needed facelift, and a modern look, as you can see on the images. With a price of about $47k, it is worth thinking about taking this wonderful family vehicle to your garage.

6.     2017 Nissan Pathfinder

7 BEST FAMILY SUVS 2017-2018

2017’s Pathfinder was a pleasant surprise with several tasteful design tweaks, making it stand out of the crowd. In addition, it got some important technical enhancements, a safety boost, and more power (which was a major downfall in previous models.) The 284 horsepower V6 engine is great, but if that’s not impressive enough, think about the Forward Emergency Braking, the Intelligent Cruise Control, and other driver assist features which granted it a 5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The base model comes with a price of just above $31000, which is an excellent price, considering the features included.

7.     2017 Honda Pilot

7 BEST FAMILY SUVS 2017-2018This is probably the most practical SUV in our list. With Pilot, Honda managed to combine everything that makes for a perfect family vehicle. With lots of inner space, fun to drive both in the city and on the highway, safe and beautiful Honda Pilot is a top pick for a family SUV. Its three rows of seats allow for a very comfortable trip for not 7 but 8 passengers. All rows can be folded, and the SUV easily turns into a spacious cargo-truck. To no surprise, this SUV has a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS, and we all know this is an important factor when choosing a family car. The price of about $34000 positions the model in the mid-range, but looking at the interior you could easily think that it is on the edge of luxury.

There are many more family SUV models on the market, each of them with their advantages and downfalls. The best SUV for your family might not be on our list, but there is definitely one out there that would meet – and surpass – all your requirements. Before you start looking, our advice is to decide whether you need a low-, mid-, or luxury range model to limit the options. And even after you’ve compared all the numbers, make sure to go to your local dealer and actually try before you buy. Often the difference between two is the way they make you feel.

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