2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Car Review

KBB Editors’ Notes: In a consumer economy driven—at least to a certain extent—by tax cuts extended to the super wealthy, the uptick in luxury and exotic car sales won’t constitute much of a surprise. Managers of the venerable British franchise, Aston Martin, have taken note and moved aggressively in broadening Aston’s offerings—previously limited to the outgoing Vanquish S and DB9—to include a two-place coupe (and upcoming roadster) designed to capture the eye of the 911 prospect. The end result, the V8 Vantage, constitutes a beautiful blend of traditional Aston design cues with an unexpected dose of athleticism.

What’s Significant About This: Today’s V8 Vantage is a clean-sheet approach to a Sports/GT. Benefiting from an all-new platform and V8 drivetrain, the tightly-drawn two-seater supplies the Aston prospect with an “entry level” choice while providing Aston Martin and its dealers with a better business model. The Vantage is expected to constitute approximately two-thirds of Aston’s sales volume.

You’ll Like This Car If: If you enjoy a classic combination of sensuous sheetmetal and a well-connected chassis, the V8 Vantage won’t disappoint. Its 4.3-liter V8 is a visceral yet viable piece of machinery, offering performance more accessible than its $115K price point might suggest. In contrast to the Vantage’s day-in, day-out capability, the performance parameters demonstrated by many of its more exotic brethren (Porsche 911 Turbo, Ferrari F430) are not as accessible, often requiring a private track to properly demonstrate and/or enjoy.

You May Not Like This Car If: If your dream coach is one capable of carrying you, a companion and two weeks’ worth of luggage, the V8 Vantage will disappoint. Its interior is generous within the context of the genre, and it does offer space for two (reasonably) well outfitted travelers, but don’t press the V8 into service for runs to the airport or Home Depot. The V8’s proportions constitute an extension of the driver, assuming that driver is neither 300 pounds nor a serial shopper.

Exterior: With the popularity of Aston’s direct competitors (Porsche 911, Mercedes SL) making their shapes—at least in major metro areas—almost commonplace, the aggressive, albeit mature, lines of the V8 Vantage demand your attention. While some might draw comparisons with Jaguar’s XK Coupe, the smaller Aston offers a visual balance speaking to both the carmaker’s storied past (Aston Martin won LeMans in ’59 with Carroll Shelby as co-driver) and now-promising future. The V8’s front is dominated by Aston’s traditional grille and (optional) xenon headlamps, while its profile is marked by a compelling side vent and strake and the roof tapers provocatively to a functional hatch and integrated spoiler.

Interior: In what Aston describes as “a synthesis of high technology and hand-crafted elegance” the prospect is struck by the Vantage interior’s authenticity and comfortable accommodation. The leather seating epitomizes its “bucket” descriptive, but will realistically accommodate a “wide” variety of dimensions. Speedo and tach are front and center, and feature an organic electroluminescent display, more easily read—we’re told—than more conventional LCDs. Finally, the tach—reading to 8,000 rpm—registers counterclockwise, a process which should amuse throughout the ownership period. Everything—as reviewers are wont to say—falls readily to hand, with few of the ergonomic nightmares that often befall the limited production sports car.

Notable Standard Equipment: The list of standard equipment is fully appropriate to a $115K purchase. Functionally, the base model includes Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control and Electronic Brake-force Distribution. Inside, you’re supported by a full-grain leather interior, remain comfortable with automatic temperature control and kept secure by an alarm and immobilizer.

Notable Options: Typically, we’d note the attractiveness of the Sportshift manumatic, navigation system and premium 700-watt sound system; however, ordering a Vantage V8—or anything from Aston Martin—is anything but typical. A choice of twenty exterior colors and twenty interior hues is augmented by “Out of Range” paint (you want Miata yellow—you can get Miata yellow) for $1,595 or “Match to Sample” paint for $3,785. You can spec the interior in a similar manner. The Sports Pack provides more aggressive Pirelli tires in combination with alloy wheels finished in an anthracite finish. Notably, not every addition requires a four-figure check. Fine stitching is only $220, a color-keyed steering wheel is under $300 and piano black fascia trim is $750. Personalization of this order is rarely this inexpensive.

Pricing Notes: A Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $114,550 confirms the Vantage V8 as expensive. However, among a growing number of big-buck GTs from Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati, this Aston seems almost attainable. With the gas guzzler penalty and transportation, along with typical options, expect to invest around $125K for a V8 built to your order.

Driving Impressions: Everything in the Vantage’s new spec is designed for the driver. Beginning with a bonded structure composed of aluminum alloy, steel, magnesium and composite materials, Aston installs a 4.3-liter V8 and rear-mounted, six-speed manual transmission. The balanced 49/51 weight distribution is immediately evident, as is the powertrain’s relatively flat torque delivery. As Aston suggests, the driving characteristics are perfect for both track days and shopping treks, helped in no small part by precise shifting, reasonable visibility and accurate rack-and-pinion steering. The multi-link suspension is well controlled, and supplies prodigious grip and adequate comfort even on the pock-marked pavement of our urban test.

Our Favorite Features: Six-Speed Manual Transmission

Aston’s rear-mounted transmission makes a compelling argument for shifting gears yourself. Engagement is precise and intuitive, with ratios well-matched to the engine’s power delivery. Its location allows the engine to sit further back in the Vantage chassis, and assists in achieving the advantageous weight distribution. A Sportshift (at $4,000) will be available in the second quarter of 2007, but the manual—in our opinion—renders it irrelevant for everyone but your valet.

Functional Hatchback

Unlike many in the Sports/GT category, the Vantage V8 provides accommodations for both people and their things. Over ten cubic feet of luggage space, in combination with available Aston luggage, supplies a touring capability very close to grand. Golfers will appreciate room for a deluxe bag of clubs, and skiers—with removal of the security cover—can carry skis inside the car, something Bond couldn’t do with his Lotus Esprit.

Under the Hood: Aston describes its 4.3-liter V8 as both powerful and musical. And while behind the wheel you won’t be reminded of the London Symphony, the DOHC V8’s 380 horsepower (at 7,300 rpm) and driving characteristics do provide a Royal Command Performance. Beyond the impressive horsepower (almost 90 naturally-aspirated horsepower per liter) are details such as an alloy block, four-into-two-into-one exhaust manifolds, dry sump lubrication and hand assembly—elements more typical of racing powerplants than sports car engines produced in volume. The manufacturer claims a zero-to-60 time of under five seconds and a track-only maximum speed of 175—we have no reason to doubt either figure.

Customer Review – Suzuki SX4 Car Review

Looking for an affordable car with good gas mileage? Who isn’t, right? Well are you looking for a car that resembles the off spring of a MINI and a Subaru? (That narrows the field down quite a bit) If you’re still with me then you’re the perfect candidate to read this Suzuki SX4 review.

The 2007 Suzuki SX4 is “America’s most affordable standard wheel drive” according to Automedia. “The SX4 was also one of five econocar finalists for Ward’s Auto World magazine’s Interior of the Year award.”

The three main reasons to buy a SX4 are:

1.) Performance

With 24mpg city driving and 30mpg on the highway, this car will save you more in more ways than just the price tag. Not that anyone really needs to but you could get from 0 to 60 in just about 11 seconds. Be sure that’s not a police car next to you at the traffic light.

2.) Personal Space

Unless you’re six foot tall there is more than enough in the front and the “spacious” back seat for you. There are plenty of handy storage compartments, door pockets and cup holders for all your stuff. The dark cloth is great for covering up spills and other accidents – though it does get warm in the summer months.

3.) Price

In this day and age how can you scoff at a car that bases less than $15,000? And when you deduct for Suzuki’s over the top rebates you just can’t go wrong. Don’t forget about the money you’ll be saving due to the awesome gas mileage.

So if you like a car with flowing design elements, good gas mileage, a great starting price plus awesome rebates… then you should definitely check out the Suzuki SX4 before you make your final buying decision.

Audi A3 Car Review

The Audi A3 has an extensive range including four different petrol engines and three diesels. The A3 takes corners efficiently if unsurprisingly and grip levels and body roll is good, with its ride being nicely managed. The Sport models with their extra tightened suspension settings can be overly harsh for some.

The interior is strong with the German company using its typically sturdy, but unexciting finishes. Alloy wheels, electric windows and remote central locking are fitted to each car. The entry-level 1.6-litre three-door has a very basic specification and comes without air-conditioning or a CD player, but things get better further up the ladder and cruise control is fitted to the SE models. Leather is an option on every specification except Sport.

The three-door model doesn’t give a huge amount of rear leg-space, although the five-door is much better. Head room is adequate in both, as is the size of the boot at 350 litres (three-door) and 370 litres (five-door), giving plenty of room for everyone’s luggage and making it a practical option for all users.

The Audi A3 is also fitted with electronic stability control and electronic brake force. Running costs should be reasonable throughout the range. The new 100bhp 1.9 TDi returns an incredible 62.7mpg and emits just 119g/km of CO2 which results in a cheap company car and road fund tax.

The Audi A3 is definitely an investment for the future resulting in a good quality three and five door hatchback that’s comfortable and strong. A great entry level Audi that is fun to own.

Auto Insurance Reviews

It is a fact that the business related to auto insurance business is a bit complicated one and the reviews done is also difficult to understand. The performance, the level of business and how it was generated and all the minute details are being details in the reviews. The auto insurance is an agreement between you and the company ad so it is better to have an idea of the obligations you have in regard to the insurance related to the car or the vehicle you have

You will find numbers50/100/25 which means the limits, the insurance company will paying the e event of an accident. To understand the auto insurance e reviews is to go on studying the terms of your obligations. 50 stand for$50,000 which the insurer will pay to the person when there is an accident. 100 stands for $100,000 and this will be the maximum the company will be paid to any one in the accident. The 25 means that have $25000 worth of property and liability insurance

Whether the limits are enough it can be decided by you only and will be held for any amount of money exceeding the amount on your insurance policy. Some people go for specific insurance company though it may have been the drivers fault. So the main thing which comes out is that when an auto insurance review is taking place to decide t he insurance company it was also the need of the hour is to understand the terms of the policy which is being offered and it is made sure that the reviews are in not anyway biased

Most of the people have accepted that the business related to auto insurance is no doubt a very complicated one and so some insurance reviews are very difficult to read and understand. To make ourselves very free with all the terms of insurance reviews it is essential to go through the terms and to understand the various obligations which comes along because of the agreement between the insurer and the insured. It is advisable to for reviewing car insurance each time a car insurance coverage is reviewed which helps in getting the low insurance rates. So reviewing of car insurance coverage is done to get low insurance rate and bring a sense of relief from spending more on insurance cost that affects many of us.

Auto Warranty Reviews Important to Understand Your Coverage

There are two types of auto warranty reviews that you, as a cautious consumer, ought to do. The first one should be done before you sign any agreements for extended warranty coverage. The other should be done… well, before you sign any agreements for extended warranty coverage. The difference is, the first and most important check should be of the terms and conditions of your agreement. The second check should be on the company itself.

First and foremost, before you sign any agreement, you should carefully read the whole thing. It doesn’t matter if your extended warranty is backed by the manufacturer, the dealership, or a third party provider. Don’t let anyone push you – take the time to read it. If a prospective provider won’t let you review the terms and conditions prior to signing, don’t even bother to say goodbye – just walk away (or more likely, hang up – there are plenty of telemarketing scams that prey on people’s fears of enormous auto repair bills). Make sure you understand all the different aspects of your new extended warranty. Every fact you skip over could be a bill you will have to pay later on. Know what is and isn’t covered, how long and how many miles your coverage is good for, and how much you’re paying.

The second check you’ll want to do is on the company itself. The easiest way to do this is to check the internet. There are dozens of sites devoted to reviewing extended warranty providers. These sites will give you first-hand reports of what it’s like to deal with this company when push comes to shove, and you need to have repair work done. You will find out who pays the repair shop promptly, and who lets your car sit there for a few days while payment is processed. You’ll hear who has the customer services levels you need, and who treats their customers poorly. And you’ll probably pick up a few more questions to ask, the next time you see your warranty broker.

Both types of auto warranty review are incredibly important. You need to know who you are dealing with, and how you are being dealt with, before you sign anything or give your money to anyone. With the wealth of information available these days, there is no excuse not to be informed when making such a big decision. If you want to keep your car running like new for years to come, you have to take your time here, and make sure you pick the right company to do business with.

Since 2005, Gregory Nelson and his company, Motor Vehicle Services, has helped over 11,000 car owners protect their vehicle and gain financial peace of mind.

Tips For Using Auto Insurance Reviews

Finding the right insurance company used to be an almost overwhelming drain on time and energy. With the use of tools made possible through the Internet, it is no longer a timely and tedious process. You can use comparison websites with auto insurance reviews that are available online. These sites features unbiased reports on various companies, the products they offer and how well they perform. Here are some of the reasons why you will enjoy checking the information on the site.

The review sites are convenient and easy to use. They feature interactive information. If you have no interest in luxury car coverage, you won’t have to wade through pages of details about this type of policy. You will see information that is specific to your location. There is no point to reviewing a carrier, only to find out that it doesn’t operate in your state.

The best companies appear on comparison sites. They are the ones that are checked by the Insurance commissioner in your state. They have to maintain a clean record financially and have adequate business structure to achieve the coverage that they offer. You want to be able to be certain that the company has the capital base to pay out a large claim if it is needed in your situation.

When you look at the company reviews, you will see that they compare the same information about each company. You won’t see apples and oranges compared. Usually the comparisons list financial soundness, types of policies and locations where the company operates. There may be other categories such as customer service, company size, number of claims.

When you use the review sites, you should check to see all of the above things. Make certain that your data is entered completely and accurately to get a current premium cost quote. You may be surprised at the price savings that you can achieve. Since the rates are more competitive with information so easily available, prices can drop over time. You should do a review of the quotes and companies on a regular basis, at least once per year.

Auto insurance reviews can help you to make informed decisions about the amount of coverage you need. Links to the companies that participate in the websites are typically available. You can check prices, look for ways to reduce your insurance premium costs or purchase additional coverage for your protection. Purchasing the policy you want or saving your efforts for a later decision is possible.

Audi A8 Quattro Car Review

If there is any criticism that could find its way up Audi’s incredible sedans is the stiff-necked hard approach to mileage or in simple terms massive fuel guzzling. This worsens in the 4.2-litre V8 engine, but if you are an Audi fanatic and you want better fuel economy then the 3.0L engine wouldn’t be a bad consideration. If you think that is still too much, get a Raja bicycle and forget everything else.

On paper the Audi A8 looks very impressive but you’ll be amazed to find out its even better “in person.” It’s good for 343 horsepower and a driveshaft-twisting 590 lb.-ft of torque at just 1750 rpm, enough to send BMW 3-series packing. This sedan is capable of 37.2 mpg on the combined European cycle with CO2 emissions of 199g/kg and an acceleration of 0- 62 mph in 5.5 seconds. What paper can’t communicate though is the harmonious drive quality with almost zero mechanical intrusion into the cabin. Under the bonnet is a lulling hush with the lack of feedback found in Mercedes S – Class, lifting this car to heights of super-luxury vehicles. This car is superb on fast motorway journeys, comfortable and engaging making long travels a notable experience.

What makes the Audi A8 sedan stand out is the interior quality which is very good, an innovative switchgear and muscular engine. When it comes to available options, there are three pre-set chassis tunes and a customizable one which is set according to the driver’s preferences. The pre-set driving modes include Comfort, Auto and Dynamic. In “Dynamic” mode, engine torque is divided unequally between the rear wheels effectively “pushing” the car around bends – It seems that BMW’s xDrive Technology has eventually found a worthy competitor. “Auto” mode is best for the average urban driving which involves much stop-and-go instances as it cuts low on fuel consumption while “Comfort” is ideal for rural driving though the steering is a bit slow.

The Drive Select system also changes the steering weight, throttle response, damper settings and the shift points on the 8-speed automatic transmission, with the effects best felt in Dynamic mode: firmer dampers, enhanced steering around corners and closer gear ratios. Standard on the Audi A8 is the sport differential, which offers both sport engagement as well as urban comfort.

Auto Insurance Reviews – Where to Get the Cheapest Auto Insurance Online

There are hundreds of companies offering affordable insurance for your car. When you start with your online search you are bound to meet with information overload. You may not know which company to select from. Here are some tips that you can follow to get the best deal online.

o Online Comparison tools

One way of obtaining the information about auto information from various companies is to call them up. This will be quite a time consuming activity. You may spend a few hours to get the information. Nevertheless, online comparison tools offer you a comparison of various options at the click of a mouse. You need to provide basic information by filling out a simple questionnaire online. Some companies offer online chat services to help you out with your questions regarding insurance. The articles section will carry the answers to most of your queries.

o Check Ratings

It is necessary to check the rating of a company before you finalize your deal. Ambest.com and jdpower.com offer ratings of various companies, Also, check if the company has got a good customer service.

o Increase Your Deductible

Deductible is a sum that you agree to pay before your company processes your claim. Based on the deductible you will get a discount on your premium. Higher the deductible larger will be the discount. So it makes sense to increase the deductible to save on to premium. Suppose you agree on a deductible of $250 to get a discount of 30 percent. Increasing the deductible to $1000 could save you 50 percent of the premium.

Therefore do your homework properly before selecting your auto insurance company. You will save a lot of money for this small bit of diligence.

It is important to compare insurance quotes before getting signed up with an insurance policy. When you compare insurance quotes you can rest assured you are saving both time and money because you are guaranteed to get the lowest insurance quote.

Given the current recession it is important to make sure to prioritize your money and compare insurance quotes online. A good place to state would be an online website that actually allows you to compare insurance quotes online for free.

Erie Auto Insurance Reviewed

Erie Auto Insurance was founded in 1925 by H.O. Hirt and O.G. Crawford. Originally an automobile insurer, it quickly created multiple lines of insurance and is now the 16th largest auto insurer in terms of revenue by Fortune Magazine in 2008. In addition, Erie the insurance company was awarded the following:

o A rating of an A+ superior by A.M. Best Company

o Noted as the 21st largest property-casualty insurance group based on 2006 Policyholder surplus

o Noted as the 21st largest property-casualty insurer in the nation based on total lines net premiums written

o Noted as the third largest insurer in Pennsylvania.

Erie promises disciplined underwriting for low competitive auto quotes to consumers. However, the company also notes its high levels of costumer service. Consumers looking to buy insurance will see that Erie respects the minimum state requirements for driving. Therefore, the agency believes that the key to finding the best auto insurance is to be flexible towards its consumers.

The agency also provides benefits to its policyholders to encourage safe, responsible driving. Like Hirt, Erie hopes to give their policyholders as near perfect protection and service for the lowest cost.

In addition, Erie has several lines of insurance for assets or consumers’ lives:

-Homeowners insurance
-Personal property and liability
-Life insurance and retirement
-Business insurance

Erie auto insurance can be found in 11 states between the Midwest and the Eastern seaboard, as well as in the District of Columbia. Under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer and President Tony Cavanaugh, its 7,200 or more agents are willing to help policyholders in filing claims and assist them in selecting the right policy. Consumers and policyholders can call the agency during or after business hours.

Direct Auto Movers Review – My Experience With These Auto Movers

I needed to move my Ford F-150 Lightning from Texas to San Diego. So I called Direct Auto Movers and this is what happened.

First of all, I’ve been a shipping manager for over 6 years, so I have experience with various different shipping companies. Most have been LTL, though. When I needed to move my truck I called my broker and he recommended Direct Auto Movers since he doesn’t deal with auto moving. So I called them up and talked to Bryan.

It didn’t take long for Bryan to get me a quote and then by my surprise my truck was actually picked up the next day. We scheduled a time for it to get picked up and the driver was there almost exactly on time. He told me 2:00 and that’s when it was. So far so good.

I was flying in to San Diego three days later and I needed to have my truck as soon as I got there. I told him when my flight landed and we scheduled to meet up 2 hours later just in case there were any delays. Again, he was right on time. I took a taxi to meet up at the parking lot and he started unloading the truck as soon as I arrived. It took him about 15 minutes to do that.

Again, being a shipping manager, I’ve had way to much experience with damaged shipments and I was a little worried about dents or scratches. I looked over the truck and thank goodness, there were no scratches at all. Just a little bird poop. So I got it washed.

I wanted to write this review because Bryan was so helpful and courteous and I got my truck moved without any problems at all. I would definitely recommend Direct Auto Movers to anyone needing to move their car. I don’t think they were the cheapest, but definitely worth the price I paid.