Wednesday December 7th, 2011 08:00 German Car Manufacturers – In a League of Their Own

There are a number of countries that have a prominent motor manufacturer market but few are able to compete with Germany. The cars that Germany produces are second to none, and they compete fiercely with each other for very similar markets. They don’t just compete in Germany either, as they have thriving demand throughout the rest of mainland Europe, the UK and the US too.

As the economies of India and China also develop there is an increase in demand for luxury cars where the Germans are also sitting comfortably at number one. The Americans have tried their hands at luxury cars such as Cadillac, but they have never hit the mark of quality and driving experience on the same level as their German counterparts.

The French have got a strong market share in the more affordable car sector with brands such as Peugeot, Renault and Citroen competing for affordable small, mid-sized and family cars across Europe. Citroen leasing offers remain some of the most popular in the industry. The Japanese market is also strong with brands like Toyota, Honda, Mazda and Nissan all holding their own, targeting the Asian markets and mid-priced industries with their well-built and reliable cars. When it comes to luxury and premium marques however, it always falls back to Germany. They have 5 major brands that compete in similar markets and make some of the most desirable cars on sale today. Here they are:

BMW– One of the most recognised car manufacturers in the world. BMW make a range of premium executive saloons, 4x4s, and sports cars with great avail. They brand their cars as the ultimate driving machine as they only allow the power to be delivered through the rear wheels. The balance of their vehicles is always spot on, and they have a huge following all around the world.

Audi – Audi make a number of cars in the same category as BMW and although have a smaller market share, they are constantly growing. With the success of their Quattro rally car, they have built a reputation for attractive and well-handing models that have been inspired by this heritage. The R8 supercar has further increased their profile.

Mercedes-Benz – One of the world’s most powerful and recognised brands. There is a huge range of Mercedes models on the market, and they range from small, to executive and luxurious. They also produce a number of fast and powerful cars with their AMG tuning division and McLaren partnership. The recent retro-modern adaptation of the classic SLS has reminded us what Mercedes are capable of.

Volkswagen – VW are slightly more affordable than BMW, Mercedes and Audi, but are parallel in terms of respect and quality. The ‘car for the people’ brand image has created some highly desirable family cars and their success with the Golf GTi throughout the years has brought them much acclaim.

Porsche – The legendary cars created by Porsche have gone down as some of the greatest sports cars in history. Although not as big as their German brothers, the desirability of their models and strength of their brand has led them to become one of the most profitable car manufacturers in the world. Their racing heritage has even inspired ranges of clothes, luxury watches and baggage.

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Monday December 5th, 2011 12:39 The Best Family Cars of 2011

The three cars, pictured above, seem to know exactly what ingredients make the best family cars. Ranging from the safest to the most luxurious, these car companies are some of the top rated family vehicles on the market right now.

First Place: The 2011 Subaru Forester

Pros: The federal government has not yet tested Subaru’s 2011 cross over, however, the 2010 model received top five-star scores for standard safety ratings such as: Driver and passenger protection in frontal crash tests, as well as front and rear-seat occupant protection in side crash tests. The government also awarded a four-star rollover score, indicating a mere 17 percent risk of rollover in a single vehicle crash. Likewise, the insurance industry endowed the Forester with a “Good” rating in roof strength tests and named it a “Top Safety Pick.”

The 2011 Forester gets 24 miles per gallon (MPG), and costs around 20,000 dollars (which makes it the cheapest of the three vehicles).
Cons: For families saving money this is a good option, however, it may not be the best option for large families, as the Subaru only seats 5 people.

Second Place – 2011 Audi Q5

Pros: Among a combination of expert automotive industry publications, the 2011 Q5 was the highest rated. It was also a Top Safety Pick across the insurance industry; this model includes key safety features like: Brake assist, child seat anchors, driver and passenger seat airbags, front fog lights, side and curtain airbags and traction control. As opposed to the Subaru, the Audi has a renowned reputation for drivability, an 8-speed automatic transmission and All-Wheel Drive. But like the Subaru, the Audi gets 24 miles per gallon.

Cons: The Q5 doesn’t do the environment any favors; it got a 58 out of 100 on aggregated expert green ratings. It also costs $35,000 ($15,000 more than the Subaru) and only seats 5 people.

Third Place – 2011 GMC Acadia Denali

Pros: This 2011 GMC Crossover is probably one of the most luxurious family cars on the market. It seats 8 and has the most interior features, which include things like: Hands-free calling, heated and cooled seating, rearview camera control, auto-dimming rearview mirrors and keyless ignition. The Denali also received some of the best safety ratings, mostly due to the center 3-point seating, child safety locks and post-collision safety system. The Denali is the only one of these three vehicles that has both all-wheel and 4-wheel drive.

Cons: Among aggregated expert ratings, the Denali was ranked the lowest of these three vehicles. It also only gets 21 MPG and is 43,200 dollars (23,200 more than the Subaru).

All in all, today’s auto industry has given families a multitude of options to choose from for their vehicles. Once a potential buyer finds what is important to them in their vehicle, they have the power to customize a search built to their needs, essentially finding a personalized automobile specific to their family.

To research and compare other safety concerns such as car seats or car insurance, visit FindTheBest, an unbiased, data-driven comparison engine.

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