2017 Pickup Truck Buying Guide

Please view the West Lake Imports Truck Buying Guide below.
Content Provided by Edmunds.com

Once solely a utilitarian affair, pickup trucks have become more powerful, more efficient and more comfortable. Beyond their towing and hauling capabilities, they offer heaps of modern technology and luxuries. Some improvements are practical, such as advanced traction control systems and trailer backup assist systems, and some are high-end perks such as leather upholstery and smartphone integration. New engine technologies have pushed power output higher than ever, and new manufacturing approaches have reduced weight and improved handling and ride quality. Of course, functionality and utility remain as important as ever, and basic work trucks still abound in the market. A diversity of body styles and bed lengths can be combined to accommodate any need. Regular-cab, crew-cab and extended-cab bodies can be fitted with short, medium and long beds, then combined with a dizzying number of different powertrains to meet any requirement, whether for work or play.

2017 Honda Ridgeline

  • EPA Fuel Economy: 21 mpg combined
  • Bed Lengths: 5.3 ft.
  • Available Total Seating: 5
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5yr./60000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains: AWD
  • Government Crash Rating: 5 Stars

2017 Chevrolet Colorado

  • EPA Fuel Economy: 19-22 mpg combined
  • Bed Lengths: 5.2, 6.2 ft.
  • Available Total Seating: 5
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 yr./60000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains: FWD, RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating: 4 Stars

2017 Toyota Tacoma

  • EPA Fuel Economy: 20-21 mpg combined
  • Bed Lengths: 5.0, 6.1 ft.
  • Available Total Seating: 4
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 yr./60000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains: RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating: 4 Stars

2017 GMC Canyon

  • EPA Fuel Economy: 21-22 mpg combined
  • Bed Lengths: 5.2, 6.2 ft.
  • Available Total Seating: 5
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 yr./60000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains: RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating: 4 Stars

2017 Chevrolet Silverado

  • EPA Fuel Economy: 19-20 mpg combined
  • Bed Lengths: 5.8, 6.5, 8 ft.
  • Available Total Seating: 3
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 yr./60000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains: RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating: 5 Stars

2017 Ford F-150

  • EPA Fuel Economy: 19-20 mpg combined
  • Bed Lengths: 5.5, 6.5, 8 ft.
  • Available Total Seating: 6
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 yr./60000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains: RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating: 5 Stars

2017 Ram 1500

  • EPA Fuel Economy: 17-20 mpg combined
  • Bed Lengths: 5.7, 6.4, 8 ft.
  • Available Total Seating: 2 - 3
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 yr./60000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains: RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating: 4 Stars

2017 GMC Sierra

  • EPA Fuel Economy: 19-20 mpg combined
  • Bed Lengths: 5.8, 6.5, 8 ft.
  • Available Total Seating: 3
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 yr./60000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains: RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating: 5 Stars

2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty

  • EPA Fuel Economy: N/A
  • Bed Lengths: 6.75, 8 ft.
  • Available Total Seating: 6
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 yr./100000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains: RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating: Not Rated

2017 Ram 2500/3500

  • EPA Fuel Economy: N/A
  • Bed Lengths: 6.4, 8 ft.
  • Available Total Seating: 6
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 yr./60000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains: RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating: Not Rated

2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD

  • EPA Fuel Economy: N/A
  • Bed Lengths: 6.5, 8 ft.
  • Available Total Seating: 3
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 yr./60000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains: RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating: 4 Stars

2017 GMC Sierra HD

  • EPA Fuel Economy: N/A
  • Bed Lengths: 6.5, 8 ft.
  • Available Total Seating: 3
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 yr./60000 mi
  • Available Drivetrains: RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating: 4 Stars

Source: Edmunds.com (2017)

10 Good Reasons to Buy a Used Car

Please view West Lake Imports 10 Good Reasons to Buy a Used Car
Content Provided by KBB.com

Whether you're exclusively browsing used-car listings or the latest television advertisement has you set on a brand-new model, each avenue offers benefits and drawbacks. To help you decide, we’ve compiled 10 reasons to buy your next car used.

1. Depreciation

Let’s get this one out of the way. Cars depreciate. With a few outstanding exceptions, buying a new car as an investment is a bad idea. Cars are lasting longer and longer, but vehicles still lose most of their value early in their lifespan. While some models handle depreciation better than others, most shoppers can expect a new car to lose up to 50% of its value within three years of rolling off the lot. Dad always said, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” and, unfortunately, that holds true with cars; for all the perks that come packaged with new vehicles (warranties, free maintenance, low financing), the inevitable law of depreciation remains a substantial cost and a great reason to shop used instead.

2. More Car for Your Money

This is where shopping for a used car can be a lot more fun than budgeting for a new one. Thanks to that pesky depreciation, your hard-earned money can take you a lot further in the used car market than if you were to buy new. Your budget may afford you only a base trim or entry-level car on the new market, but if you shop used, that same budget can buy you something significantly more fancy or better equipped.

3. Certified Pre-Owned Options

For many shoppers, having a warranty to protect them against a vehicle’s shortcomings is well worth the premium they pay for a new car. Today, however, virtually all carmakers offer some version of a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program, making a used-car purchase a much less worrisome endeavor. CPO programs vary depending on the manufacturer, and there is a significant difference between manufacturer certified and dealership certified, with the former almost always offering a more robust package. All manufacturer certified vehicles include some level of warranty (although the mileage and time covered vary) and often additional perks like free roadside assistance or a free loaner car when yours needs to head to the shop.

4. Variety

Every year, roughly 350 models are offered for sale on the new-car market in the United States, but if variety is the spice of life, consider the used-car market worthy of Emeril Lagasse’s kitchen. Three hundred fifty models may sound like quite a few, but that number is positively dwarfed by the number of models available on the used-car market. We all have different tastes, and maybe the car you want isn’t made anymore. Luckily, the used market has you covered. There aren’t many truly small pickups made today, but the used market will deliver Ford Rangers and Chevy S-10s. How about a retro hatchback? The Chrysler PT Cruiser and Chevy HHR have you covered. Want a V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive station wagon with wood paneling? Well…you get the picture.

5. Data

Ah, data. We’re bold, so we’ll say it: This is where CarGurus shines. We have tons of data on both new and used cars, but the simple nature of time and history has allowed us to compile reams upon reams (or spreadsheets upon spreadsheets) of used-car pricing data. Tools like CarGurus’ Instant Market Value, which compares similar listings in our database, help shoppers estimate how much a particular used car should cost. By analyzing specific criteria beyond simply make and model, IMV can help ensure that no one overpays.

6. Lower Insurance Costs

Your car’s value is the primary item your insurance company considers when determining rates. That makes sense; the more valuable a car, the more money they’ll potentially have to shell out in the case of a wreck. It’s understandable that a BMW purchased used will cost less to insure than one purchased new, and that all comes back to depreciation. You might not notice the difference between your 3-year-old BMW and a brand new one, but rest assured, your insurance company will.

7. Cheaper Registration Fees

It depends on where you live, but older cars often cost less to register, too. Sure, some states charge the same fee no matter what kind of car you’re registering, but others vary their cut based on a car’s age, weight, or even power. Buying used won’t save you money on registration if you live in Missouri, where the fee goes up as horsepower goes up, or Illinois, which treats all cars equally (to the tune of $101 per year). But some states, like Montana, structure registration fees based on a car's age. On top of registration, many states charge yearly taxes, which are also often based on a vehicle's age. In Massachusetts, for instance, an excise tax is levied on all vehicles, but that tax is reduced dramatically once a car is two years old and bottoms out in the car’s fifth year.

8. Cars Last Longer Now

There’s a reason nobody sells cars with 5-digit odometers today. The option of a CPO warranty should mollify many used-car doomsayers, but the mere existence of these CPO programs lends credence to a decidedly convenient truth: Cars last longer than ever. In terms of mileage, 200,000 may not be the new 100,000, but nonetheless, automakers have taken impressive strides. Used-car shoppers should still be sure to have potential purchases inspected by a mechanic, but often concerns about a used car’s remaining lifespan deserve to be put to rest.

9. Vehicle History Reports Make Used Purchases Less Risky

If “cars last longer than ever” isn’t enough to sway you, the availability of vehicle history reports might. The emergence of AutoCheck and CarFax has helped shoppers gain greater peace of mind when considering used cars. The companies offering vehicle history reports rely on their sources to provide accurate and up-to-date data, meaning any time a vehicle changes hands, has an accident, or is repaired, the vehicle history report should reflect it. There’s a catch, of course, in that these incidents need to be reported properly in the first place. A good rule of thumb is that a bad history report can save you from buying a bad car, but a good history report does not render an independent inspection unnecessary.

10. Used Cars Have Helpful Aftermarket Communities

One of the beauties of the used-car market is the unyielding potential of aftermarket communities. Whether you’re shopping for a Honda Civic or a Studebaker Dictator, there is a corner of the Internet devoted to owners like you. CarGurus offers its own Questions section, where countless users have asked and answered thousands of mechanical questions. While the new-car market is constantly handling recalls and other unexpected setbacks, often times the common problems surrounding used models have already been solved.

Source: CarGurus.com (By Matt Smith)

Top Ten Car Care Tips

Please view the West Lake Imports Top Ten Car Care Tips
Content Provided by KBB.com

What you can do yourself to keep your car on the road?
If everything on TV were true, then keeping a vehicle running great, looking good, and lasting a long time would be the easiest thing ever. Advertising will tell us over and over that all we really need to do to keep that car or truck running forever and looking brand new for years is to pour some bottles of miracle liquid into the crankcase, sprinkle magic dust on the paint, or spray some sort of ionized wonder water on the interior. Unfortunately this is not the case.

Following the old adage that "if it sounds too good to be true it probably is" comes the news that regular, proper care and maintenance are what really keep vehicles going into the high six-figure mileage ranges. Miracle cures, magic fairy dust, mystery polymers and the like are all fine and good for infomercials, but most likely won't do much good for your vehicle.

Regularly scheduled maintenance and lubrication using the manufacturers recommended type and formulation of oil, grease and liquids is what will do the trick. Replacing normal wear-and-tear parts such as timing belts before they break is also a good path to follow on the road to long vehicle life. Taking good care of your vehicle can make the difference between being the proud owner of a good looking, long lasting, reliable machine, and saying goodbye to a rusty, faded-paint jalopy that fell apart or broke down long before it was designed to.

  • TIP 1: Check and change the oil. No single step will help an engine last more than regular oil and filter changes will. Conversely, nothing will destroy an engine faster than neglecting oil-level checks or fresh-oil changes.
  • TIP 2: Flush the cooling system and change coolant once a year. A 50/50 mix of coolant and distilled water will keep the cooling system in good shape and prevent corrosion and deposits from building up inside the cooling system.
  • TIP 3: Change out transmission and differential oils. While not requiring frequent service, these fluids must be changed according to service intervals. Always use transmission fluid or gear oil of the recommended type and viscosity.
  • TIP 4: Keep it clean. While washing the outside of the vehicle is obvious, most everything the vehicle ran over can also get stuck to the underside. Hosing off winter salt and road grime is a good idea.
  • TIP 5: Everything with moving parts needs grease to survive. This ball joint went into early retirement due to poor lubrication.
  • TIP 6: Nothing keeps paint looking good and protected like a coat of quality wax. Apply wax at least every six months.
  • TIP 7: Driveline components such as u-joints also require regular lubrication. The driveline may have to be removed to access the zerk grease fitting.
  • TIP 8: Protect the interior plastic by parking the vehicle in the shade, using a window deflector screen, and applying a UV protectant to prevent the plastic and vinyl from drying out.
  • TIP 9: Inspect, clean, and repack wheel bearings with wheel bearing grease according to service intervals. Wheel bearings and grease are inexpensive compared to spindle and hub replacement, or liberated wheels rolling down the road ahead of you.
  • TIP 10: Brake fluid is hygroscopic. This means it is adept at attracting moisture. Moisture causes components to corrode and fail. Replace fluid and bleed system once a year. Brake fluid is cheap. Calipers, hoses, and sensors are expensive.

Original Source: KBB.com, Mike Bumbek

What Exactly Is Auto Consignment

Please view West Lake Imports What Exactly Is Auto Consignment? below.
Content Provided from CarLotz.com

Most people know how a regular consignment works. You drop off whatever you want to sell at the consignment store, whether it’s clothes, a book, or an old teapot, and let the consignment shop do the work. Once your item has been sold, you receive a check equal to the sale price of your item, less the fees you pay the store.

Recently, a growing trend towards auto consignment has emerged based on the same simple model. The hassles of private car sales make car consignment well worth considering, but as you might guess, having someone sell your used car is a lot different from having someone sell your books. To professionally market a high priced item like a car requires significant prep work, product knowledge, skills to facilitate negotiations, the ability to meet buyers’ needs for financing and service contracts, and a variety of other factors that complicate the sale process.

So, with all that said, how exactly does vehicle consignment work?

Determining Your Car’s Market Value

Bring your car to any dealer, traditional or consignment, and the first thing they will do is conduct an appraisal. Their professionals will look over the car, ask you questions about its history, check out the mileage, assess condition and marketability, and present you with their valuation.

In the case of a traditional dealer, this valuation will be the price they will pay for your car on the spot.

In the case of a vehicle consignment store, the valuation is the price they believe they can sell your vehicle for in the private market. The consignment price is typically thousands more than the dealer’s offer because it represents what many refer to as the “Private Party” price for your vehicle – in other words, what another private buyer will pay for your car whereas the dealer’s price represents the “Wholesale” price for your car.

Marketing Your Car to Potential Buyers

Marketing your vehicle properly is critical to selling it quickly and at the right price. Auto consignment stores should have a professional customer service team, a safe and well-lit lot, and an attractive website that all help advertise and sell your vehicle.

Some vehicle consignment stores will photograph and list your car on Craigslist, Cars.com, Autotrader.com, and other popular sites frequented by car buyers. Some consignment stores will offer cleaning and detailing services to get your vehicle showroom-ready before it is photographed and marketed to potential buyers.


Premium listings, like this Cars.com ad, put consigned vehicles in front of the right shoppers.

Before consigning your car, talk to the store’s representatives so you fully understand the services they will provide. Wherever you go, selling on consignment offers greater visibility and broader access to buyers than slapping a “For Sale” sign in your rear window and parking it on a busy street.

Setting the Right Price

Pricing is an area where consignment stores may vary most. Some stores will offer pricing guidance and advice but leave the ultimate pricing decision in your hands. Others will require that you follow a strict pricing schedule set by their staff. Either way, auto consignment professionals know the market and should aim to obtain the highest value possible for your vehicle.

While your advertised price is important, you’ll need to consider how much of the final sale price you get to keep. Some stores take a percentage of the price, usually between 10% and 20%. Others charge only a flat fee, and some do a mixture of both.

A percentage fee can be advantageous for low-priced cars but can mean big dollars to the store for high-priced cars. A flat-fee model ensures that all the vehicles on the lot are treated equally. Sellers and buyers typically prefer a flat-fee model, but consider your options before deciding which makes the most sense for your situation.

Selling, Negotiating, and Handling Paperwork

Perhaps the biggest benefit of vehicle consignment stores is that they handle the actual sale transaction.

Vehicle consignment stores may handle all test drives, buyer inquiries, and DMV paperwork. These essential pieces to private party car sales can suck up a great deal of time and are best left to experienced consignors.

Some shops will also manage buyer negotiations, a valuable service that can be a huge comfort to buyers and sellers alike, as negotiating with strangers can be difficult. While some put buyers in direct contact with sellers, others act as a buffer between the two parties, making the transaction anonymous to both sides. The safest and process for the buyer and seller is to allow the consignment store to handle all negotiations, payment processing, and DMV paperwork.

Transferring Value to Consignment Car Buyers

While consignment can maximize the proceeds and speed of sale for the seller, it is also a convenient and efficient option for vehicle buyers.

Safety is a key concern in private party car sales, and consignment shops protect sellers and buyers alike. Consignment shops also have the ability to offer products and services that many buyers need but often cannot purchase on their own in the private market. A few of these services include:

  • Vehicle Financing: Consignment stores may have the ability to arrange purchase financing for buyers.
  • Extended Warranties: Consignment stores can help buyers eliminate much of the risk of buying a used car by offering aftermarket service contracts, which provide many buyers peace of mind as they drive off the lot.
  • Shipping: Some consignment shops can ship cars directly to buyers, expanding the seller’s customer pool to shoppers nationwide.
Again, these valuable options help both sides of the transaction. In addition to the buyer benefits outlined above, warranties, financing, and shipping make sales go more smoothly and quickly and are difficult if not impossible for sellers to provide on their own.

Auto consignment offers an attractive option for vehicle owners who would like to get more money for their car than the dealer trade-in price, as the vehicle will be marketed professionally without the traditional hassle and frustration of trying to sell it yourself. The consignment model is pretty simple – it’s your car, but someone else sells it for you. A good auto consignment store brings a level of professionalism and service that most individuals are unable to achieve on their own, maximizing the sale price while removing the traditional danger and hassle of the sale-by-owner market.

Source: CarLotz.com (April 21, 2015)

Midsize Sedan Buyer's Guide

Please view the West Lake Imports Midsize Sedan Buyer's Guide below.
Content provided by KBB.com

Roomy, comfortable, efficient, tech-savvy, and sometimes even fun to drive, today's midsize sedans deliver more bang for the buck than perhaps any other category of vehicles. It's no wonder they remain among the top-selling cars in the country.

Explore your 10 options below -- listed in alphabetical order -- or scroll past the cars to get your first peek at new models, pick up some smart sedan test-drive tips and more.

2019 Chevrolet Malibu
Starting Price: $22,965
The roomy, stylish tech-savvy Malibu offers a sporty new RS model, and an available hybrid powertrain.

2019 Ford Fusion
Starting Price: $23,735
The boldly styled Fusion continues to turn heads and win buyers with its good looks.

2018 Honda Accord
Starting Price: $24,465
All-new for 2018, this is the most advanced, most refined Accord to date.

2019 Hyundai Sonata
Starting Price: $23,185
With a low starting price and excellent warranty coverage, the roomy and feature-filled Sonata is a better and better value.

2019 Kia Optima
Starting Price: $23,820
The Optima mixes a sporty and stylish persona with established value.

2018 Mazda Mazda6
Starting Price: $23,890 (w/auto)
Arguably the most stylish, most fun-to-drive midsize sedan, a more powerful turbocharged engine and updated styling make the Mazda6 even more appealing for 2018. 

2019 Nissan Altima
Starting Price: $24,645
The Altima is all-new for 2019, with two new engines, a sporty attitude and, for the first time, available all-wheel drive.

2019 Subaru Legacy
Starting Price: $23,430
The Legacy's claim to fame remains its standard all-wheel drive, but its stellar reputation for reliability is equally compelling.

2019 Toyota Camry
Starting Price: $24,765
All-new last year, the venerable Camry is as easy to drive and reliable as ever, but with a new sense of style and sportiness.

2018 Volkswagen Passat
Starting Price: $23,845
The only European entry in the segment, the roomy, comfortable Passat is also a pleasure to drive. 

Source: KBB.com (November 1, 2018)

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