Be Informed With Your Next Car Purchase

Written by lyricsmama on July 31, 2017 – 8:16 PM -

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Car Shopping…..Does anyone really like it? I’ll admit, I kind of do, the shopping part, the looking, the test driving, that’s all the fun stuff when shopping for a new car. But the researching and financial aspect sometimes that’s not so fun.

It’s not as simple as getting into a dealership and picking out a car and saying that’s it. It’s a major purchase that requires some thinking, debating and time. A place I’ve found to be a great help is Cars.com. You can find a ton of information to help you with your next car purchase. As a blogger, when it comes to making a purchase of any kind, I love to read reviews, and see reviews in videos and that’s why I love Cars.com because I’m able to see real reviews, and videos of the cars I’m interested in, without having to go to the dealership and dealing with sales people. Finding unbiased opinions especially if I have a few different cars in mind is what I look for.

Walking into a dealership not knowing what you want, or knowing really anything about the cars you’re dealing with is a big no no. Sales people can smell that a mile away, and you’re more than likely going to get sucked into something you didn’t want, or need. Going in with a clearer idea of what you’re looking for, and having information about it means you’re more informed to make a proper decision.

So go ahead, take the time to get educated, have a few options in your head that you might be thinking of, and walk into those dealerships with a sense of confidence in knowing what you want, not leaning into what they think you want. The time you take to do this, will save you from overspending or settling for something you may regret. A car purchase is a major purchase and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Take your time, don’t stress out about it, and go at your own pace, and with your research behind you, you’ll make out much better with the process!

GOOD LUCK!

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A Mini Van To Love – 2013 Toyota Sienna Review

Written by lyricsmama on November 2, 2013 – 11:05 AM -

102213sienna

Here’s the thing… I AM NOT A MINI VAN PERSON! I really mean it, I think in my few years of doing car reviews, I’ve purposely stayed away from doing reviews on Mini Vans, because I hate them! The stigma that goes along with them, is totally not me, so I’ve avoided them at all costs. Until now!

This month I decided to give a mini van a try, and wound up with the 2013 Toyota Sienna for review. The first day driving it, I think the words, I hate this thing came out of my mouth more than once, I wasn’t impress, but I think it was my view on Mini Vans that was clouding my judgement, becuase as the week went on, I started to enjoy this vehicle more and more.

sienna Collage
Yes, the Toyota Sienna is still a Mini Van, it’s still got the “soccer mom” image riding around, BUT the amount of interior space and comfort and convenience that it gave, far outweighed my personal hatred for the van, it was drawing me in! I think I may have been converted by the Toyota Sienna!

The interior is beautiful, the dashboard provides the driver with an easy angle to get to every button and screen. Everything is spread out in a way where either the driver or front seat passenger has easy access to just about everything. The seats are comfortable, even for short little me, I was able to see properly in every angle that I could.1030130826a

What I love most is the room that the 2013 Toyota Sienna provides. It seats up to 8 people, but here’s the strange thing, in the  trunk you’ll find a small removable seat that snaps between the second row captain chairs, it’s small, like seriously small, and I don’t think would be comfortable for an adult, maybe a child at that. Either way, it’s not something we used, or even if I owned the vehicle would be something I would use at all. The second row seats in the Sienna were kid tested and approved by comfort and room by my two daughters. I also loved that the 3rd row seating does provide enough room for adults as well as children. I’ve found in a few vehicles that third row seating can be almost pointless for a grown adult, but the Sienna provides the space!

The doors on both side of the van are automatic open and close via the key fob, or just a push of a button inside the van, no more pulling and tugging, let the Toyota Sienna do the work for you. The back seats in both rows have lots of storage and cup holders as well as A/C vents (which my girls love so they can control their temp back there).

When you’re not in need of the 3rd row seating, they fold down completely with just a single handle great if you need more trunk space.

The Toyota Sienna comes equip with six airbags – front and side for the front seats as well as curtain airbags. It also has electronic stability control. Also available in the 2013 Toyota Sienna is a pre-collision system, blind spot monitoring system, and a backup camera.

When it comes to technology the Toyota Sienna doesn’t disappoint. It has a touch-screen navigation system as well as a wide screen entertainment screen in the back, which I was a little worried about it obstructing my view, but there wasn’t an obstruction at all. The screen also can display two things at once, you can have a DVD playing on one side, and a Video game on another, less fighting for the kids!!! YAY! Always a plus!

I admit, this van seemed huge when I first got into it, and I wasn’t used to the way it handled, like I said I’ve avoided mini vans for a long long while. However, once I got driving around the ride was great, it was stable, and easy to maneuver, even when parking. Fuel economy is about 19 MPG city and 26 MPG highway.

2013 Toyota Sienna
Base-model Siennas start at $27,245, and come with everything a growing family needs: Rear air conditioning, cruise control, remote locking, and a height-adjustable driver’s seat. And like all Toyotas, the Sienna’s price includes all scheduled maintenance for the first two years or 25,000 miles. Next up is the $30,795 LE model, which adds power sliding doors, a nicer stereo, and improved trim. Other choices include the sporty SE ($34,385) and luxury-themed XLE ($34,205) and all-wheel-drive Limited ($42,135) models.

The Sienna offers so many options, some of the list includes: a dual-pane sunroof, power tailgate, navigation system, leather upholstery, automatic headlights and wipers, radar cruise control, and the aforementioned dual-view entertainment system. Opt for everything and you can spend well over $47,000 on your Sienna..

Overall, I really fell in love with the Toyota Sienna, yes this Mini Van hating Mama said it, I fell in love with a Mini Van. We travel A LOT and the amount of space the 2013 Toyota Sienna gave us as a family was just what I’ve been thinking and looking for in our next vehicle purchase. Toyota I think you’ve won me over!

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Posted in #toyotatestdrive, Auto Reviews, Reviews | 3 Comments »

Running around town with the 2013 KIA Optima #KIATestDrive

Written by lyricsmama on October 19, 2013 – 7:12 AM -

KIA vehicles have started to put a little soft spot in my heart, I wasn’t too sure when I started checking them out a few years back, KIA has slowly though moved up and into one of my favorite vehicles.

2013Optima

I was recently able to check out the 2013 KIA Optima, and although I’ve done a KIA Optima Hybrid in the past, I wanted to check out the newest available. Sedans aren’t really my thing, but with 2 kids, a husband and traveling a lot, I like to keep my options open to find the best!

One of the cool features of this car is that the locks are push button, whats that? It means that if I have my hands full, all I have to do is push the button on the handle and my car will unlock, I don’t have to fumble around with my keys, the key just has to be close by, in my purse is perfect!

Another thing I loved on this car was dual climate control. I’m always hot, I mean always, so my hubby doesn’t have to have the cold air on him at a high fan rate, perfect for him, perfect for me, and perfect for the kids because the vents were also in the back. The push button start took a little getting used to as I wanted to pull the key out each time. It’s nice having to just leave the keys in my purse at all times and no really have to take it out every time I need to start the car, or even get in it!

You can find radio and Bluetooth controls for your phone not only on the sleek looking dash, but also on the steering wheel for easy access for the driver, the ECO button also easily accessible tames your Optima down a bit, giving you less power but more economic gas mileage for when you don’t need that hard boost.

A must have when you have kids, is having the ability to clean the car easily. On the back of the 2 front seats, you’ll find a hard plastic back, which means scuff marks from kiddos are easily wiped off vs. Having to clean a fabric back. For a family of 4 (plus a dog) we had a bit of a cramped issue with the car seats being in the back, but without them there was a ton of room both in the front and back seats. The ultimate test was seeing if hubby (who’s 6’1”) had comfort in both the front and back, and he did. Lots of head room, and leg room. The trunk also had a ton of space, very large and you could easily fit everything a family of 4 needs for a road trip back there.

Check out what my daughters though of the 2013 KIA Optima below:

I loved driving the KIA Optima, it was comfortable, stylish and functional for myself and my family. If interested in finding out more, head to your local KIA dealership or visit KIA.com for more information.

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Meet the 2013 Suzuki Kizashi

Written by lyricsmama on October 4, 2012 – 4:49 PM -

The 2013 Suzuki Kizashi impressed me this time around. I reviewed the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi last year, and it was an OK car, I found it a little small, but the 2013 model seemed to impress me a little more than the earlier year.

We had plenty of space with our family of 4 inside the vehicle. My husband was able to sit comfortably in the passenger’s seat while my daughter still had plenty of leg room in the back seat. Both of the kids were comfortable and had ample room in the back. Although only 1 of my girls are still in a booster seat, I’m sure with a full size car seat there still would have been a lot of room back there. The back seats also provide a60/40 split-folding locking rear seats with rear armrest/center pass-through.

The 2013 Suzuki Kizashi comes equip with pairing for your phone via Bluetooth and it’s satellite radio ready. You’ll also find a sun roof, and radio controls and cruise controls on the steering wheel. Bluetooth Streaming Audio is also available, but I didn’t get a chance to check it out. There’s also an available USB port for your MP3 player.

One thing we didn’t find with the 2013 Suzuki Kizashi was a build in GPS/Navigation. We also did find that the phone pairing option was almost pointless as you had to dial out the number in full rather than just saying “Call Bob” and it dialing the number for you. Instead you would have to say “Dial 555-555-5555” then you would have to press the button to ‘pick up’ the phone, and again to ‘hang up’ it’s not really a full hands free system, something that needs to be fixed in my opinion to be a little more user friendly.

The Suzuki Sedan looks great, the control was good, although I felt that the Kizashi was a bit sensitive when it came to acceleration and breaking. Fuel economy was pretty good, Iaveraged about 26mpg doing city driving, and the cabin seemed quiet, although at times you could hear it rev up when you accelerated.  Climate control is automatic, or you can manually set it as well. You also have the option to have the driver and passenger sides controlled.

Front Wheel Drive, or All Wheel drive is available based on your road conditions. The Suzuki Kizashi also gives you ample trunk space, I was truly impressed with it as you didn’t expect so much space in this car when you’d first look at it.

In all, I really enjoyed driving around with the Kizashi, I do wish I had more time with the vehicle as I wasn’t able to drive it around as much as I had wanted to since my youngest ended up getting sick (hence no review from the girls this time).

Check out the technical specs below for more information, as well as my interior view of the car.  The 2013 Suzuki Kizashi starting MSRP is $19,999.

Exterior Dimensions
Overall length (in.) 183.1
Overall width (in.) 71.7
Overall height (in.) 58.3
Wheelbase (in.) 106.3
Front tread (in.) 61.6
Rear tread (in.) 61.6
Ground clearance (in.) 5.7

Capacities
Seating capacity 5
Fuel tank capacity (liters/gallons) 63 / 16.6

Powertrain
Engine type 2.4 liter, DOHC, inline 4 cylinder, 16-valve, digital fuel injection
Bore x stroke (in.) 3.62 x 3.54
Compression ratio 10.0:1
Fuel distribution Multiport Injection
Maximum output (HP and torque) MT Models 185 HP @ 6,500 RPM, 170 lbs.-ft. @ 4,000 RPM
Maximum output (HP and torque) CVT Models 180 HP @ 6,000 RPM, 170 lbs.-ft. @ 4,000 RPM
Maximum output (HP and torque) 170 lbs.-ft. @ 4,000 RPM
Final drive ratio, MT 4.117 —
Final drive ratio, AT — 5.798

Chassis
Steering Electronic power steering with rack & pinion
Suspension, front MacPherson strut and coil springs
Suspension, rear Multi-link
Brakes, front Vented disc
Brakes, rear Solid disc
Wheels 17″ Alloy 18″ Alloy
Spare wheel T145 / 90 D16 (for temporary use only)
Tires P215/55R17 P235/45R18
Tire Hazard Protection Trunk- Mounted Tire Inflation Kit Spare Tire

EPA Fuel Economy
City / Highway FWD MT Models 20 / 29
City / Highway FWD CVT Models 23 / 30
City / Highway AWD CVT Models 22 / 29

You can find out more information by visiting your local Suzuki dealer or suzukiauto.com.

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Posted in #drivesti, Auto Reviews, Cars, Reviews | 11 Comments »

Taking A Roadtrip As A Family, Takes The Right Vehicle!

Written by lyricsmama on August 20, 2012 – 9:12 PM -

As you saw from my first post of our summer vacation, we were able to take a long with us another guest, the 2013 KIA Sorento, as you can see we had some packing issues, but once those were resolved and we were on the road, we were alllll good!

We spend the night in Georgia on our way to Florida, the 2013 KIA Sorento held up well with three adults, and 1 child and our luggage. My best friend occupied the back second row seat along with my youngest daughter, as my oldest daughter decided to tag along and ride with her grandparents. They had lots of room, and were very comfortable back there, even with my daughters booster seat.

The weather was HOTTER than HOT, but we were riding comfortably all the way to Florida and back thanks to the Sorento’s great air conditioning, that we could each set the temperature for as well, if I wanted it colder, and hubby wanted it not so cold, we could fix that with the dual climate controls.
All of the controls were right at your fingertips, from the windshield wipers, turn signals, Bluetooth, radio and cruise controls, everything within the drivers reach, so I never felt like I was trying to ‘navigate’ through the car to find things. I also loved that there were 2 preset’s that were able to be set for the driver’s seat. So, when I drove, I’d just hit the #1 and the seat, steering wheel, and side view mirrors were all set to where I set them when I was driving. If hubby was in the drivers seat, he’d simply press #2 and all settings would be for his preference. This was excellent since we’re very different in size. Another amazing thing about heading to Florida in the Sorento…. Cooled seats! That’s right, the drivers and passengers side seating had the ability to be cooled, or heated! The lumbar support was also great for the long ride.

As with most car’s these days, the 2013 KIA Sorento has a keyless entry and push button start. The satellite radio kept us alive during the ride. While the kids enjoyed Radio Disney on the way down, on the way back, us adults got to listen to some hits from the 90s and today on a variety of different XM and Sirus stations. Having the ability to contact our parents driving in the other vehicle was also made easier by the hands free connectivity with Bluetooth. An easy “Call Mom” after hitting the button instantly dialed them and connected them to us.

We used the GPS a few times while in Florida, it was very easy to use once we punched in the address we needed, and it gave directions clearly.

I loved the option of the 3rd row once we were unpacked. We were all able to go a lot of places with everyone together in one vehicle, however, it’s probably also one of my least favorite things about the car (if you remember our packing situation at first), if you need a 3rd row, and also need trunk space, I’d probably skip the Sorento, you just can’t have both.

Gas mileage was decent for a mid size SUV. We averaged about 26 MPG on the highway, which is what I expected. We didn’t do a whole lot of city driving so I couldn’t really give you a good gauge on if the 20 MPG city they claim the Sorento does is accurate or not.

The 2013 KIA Sorento is a great car! For a family of 4 it’s perfect, any larger, I’d be a little weary about it because of the trunk space or lack there of. Take a peek at the video below to check out the interior.

We had a great time on vacation, and with the KIA Sorento, if I had the chance, would I drive it again? Own it? Take one on vacation?  Probably, even with the space issues aside it drove well, kept us comfortable and got us to where we needed to be all in one space!  See what the girls thought below.

You can visit the KIA website to find specifications about the 2013 KIA Sorento or to find a local KIA dealer near you where you can test drive and check one out in person.

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Posted in #drivesti, #KiaTestDrive, Auto Reviews | Comments Off on Taking A Roadtrip As A Family, Takes The Right Vehicle!
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