About Cherise Threewitt

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So far Cherise Threewitt has created 28 blog entries.

2017 Lexus RC 350

2017 Lexus RC 350 This sporty coupe brings a few practical elements to the table. By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, | May 2018 What is this vehicle? As Toyota’s luxury brand, most of the Lexus lineup consists of, shall we say, elevated Toyotas. They’re far from the only brand to do this, yet the family resemblance sometimes looks and feels more obvious than it does with competitors. The Lexus RC is a slight departure from the formula. It features the high safety and reliability ratings that are common with Toyota, yet the look and feel of this two-door, four-passenger, rear-drive coupe are worth considering on their own merit. Though the Lexus RC 350 provided for this review is a 2017 model, this car carried over to 2018 mostly unchanged. However, a Wi-Fi hot spot and the Lexus Safety System+ suite of active safety features were made standard on every 2018 RC model, and V6 models (including the RC 350) gained a few more horsepower. Who is this vehicle for? It’s easy to describe the pros and cons of the Lexus RC 350, but piecing those perks and quirks into a sketch of a target customer is a little more tricky. For all its practical attributes — good safety test scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, reasonable fuel economy, strong predicted reliability — there are some drawbacks. The two rear seats [...]

2018-05-24T11:08:30-04:00May 2018|Car Reviews|

2018 Toyota 4Runner Limited

2018 Toyota 4Runner Limited This brawny SUV is balanced by unexpected elegance. By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, | May 2018 What is this vehicle? The Toyota 4Runner is one of the few traditional, body-on-frame midsize SUVs that remains on the market. Early SUVs were little more than a pickup with a built-in cap, though today’s 4Runner is also comfortable and elegant. As automakers continue to move toward more efficient crossovers to serve the midsize SUV market (Toyota’s own Highlander is an excellent example), truck-based models such as the 4Runner are becoming a relic of sorts. The Toyota 4Runner is an extremely capable vehicle, but its main downfall is that it is actually more capable than most potential buyers actually need or will use. Who is this vehicle for? The 4Runner is really an SUV for people who want truck-like abilities with the added benefit of extra seating, and are willing to pay for it, both up front and as the years go by. If you need towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds, or would actually use the 4Runner’s off-road-specific features and options, you’re on the right track. Why is this vehicle important to you, the buyer? Though the 4Runner should not be confused with the car-based crossovers that make up most of the midsize SUV class, it does serve a niche. True 4Runner customers are out there, and Toyota understands [...]

2018-05-17T12:47:33-04:00May 2018|Car Reviews|

2018 Toyota Prius c

2018 Toyota Prius c This subcompact hatchback is extremely easy to live with. By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, | Apr 2018 What is this vehicle? The Prius c is the smallest vehicle in the Toyota Prius lineup. It’s designed for high density, urban areas and boasts great fuel economy ratings, a reasonably comfortable interior, and a lot of useful and interesting features. The Prius c is an alternative to regular gas-powered subcompact cars as well as larger and more expensive hybrid models. It was added to the Prius lineup in 2012 as part of a larger expansion of the Prius nameplate. For 2018, the Prius c got refreshed exterior styling. The most significant change is a more cohesive front end design. Who is this vehicle for? The Prius c blends into the crowd better than most other Prius models, so it’s a good choice for buyers who want a vehicle with good gas mileage but dislike the trend of self-conscious, standout styling that you’ll find on many hybrids and EVs (including some of Toyota’s other vehicles). Like most subcompact cars, it’s designed for city living and is perfect for students, young singles and couples, and other urban dwellers who will use it primarily for short trips. It’s a little more expensive than regular compact and subcompact cars, so it’s best for buyers who don’t mind paying a little more up front in [...]

2018-05-01T19:57:38-04:00May 2018|Car Reviews|

Should my car be totaled?

Should my car be totaled? Why you might not want your crashed car back. By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, | Apr 2018 What does “totaled” even mean? If you’ve never been involved in a serious car crash before, consider yourself lucky. Not all crashes result in injuries, but all crashes are a headache to deal with, even if your insurance company is one of the better ones. Navigating the process and the paperwork for the first time is always stressful, but it helps to be familiar with the terminology. Put simply, your car is “totaled” if the insurance company decides it is a total loss. In other words, it will cost more to fix your car than the car is worth. Why would an insurance company total my car? First, it’s important to note that there are thresholds for a total loss that may vary by state or by insurance company. If your insurance policy states that damage equaling 75 percent of the car’s value is a total loss, then $8,000 of damage to a car worth $10,000 will probably be totaled. After your accident, the insurance company will assign a value to your car, based on its age, mileage, condition, and approximate resale value. The approximate resale value is determined based on published sources (like Kelley Blue Book) and sales and listings (or “comps”) of similar vehicles near you. The insurance [...]

2018-04-18T15:41:04-04:00Apr 2018|Research|

Subaru 50th Anniversary Heritage Edition Overview

Subaru 50th Anniversary Heritage Editions The love is shared across the brand’s lineup. By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, | Mar 2018 This February marked the Subaru brand’s 50th anniversary of selling cars in the United States, so Subaru turned its Chicago Auto Show appearance into a celebration. Rumors of special editions began circulating late last year and proved true when the company unveiled the Heritage Edition lineup during the Chicago show’s media preview event. What is this vehicle? The 50th Anniversary Heritage Edition is a collection of Subaru models with an exclusive color and styling elements. There will be 1,050 Heritage Edition models available for each of Subaru’s volume sellers, including the Outback (across the 2.5i and 3.6R trim levels), Forester (split amongst 2.5i Touring and 2.0XT models), Impreza (2.0i Limited sedans and 2.0i Limited hatchbacks), Legacy (2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited), and Crosstrek (Limited). However, there are just 1,050 Heritage Edition models total across the WRX Limited, STI Limited, and BRZ Limited. WRX buyers have the best shot, since there are 600 of those, but there are only 250 Heritage Edition BRZs and just 200 Heritage Edition STIs. Who is this vehicle for? The Heritage Edition is primarily an appearance package, which makes it a fun option for a potential buyer who was already in the market for a new Subaru. Why is this vehicle important to you, the buyer? [...]

2018-04-17T15:58:34-04:00Apr 2018|Research|

2019 Volkswagen Arteon

2019 Volkswagen Arteon Can this new “Four-Door Coupe” stand out when all sedans now have this style? By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, | Feb 2018 Among the handful of new model unveilings at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, the Volkswagen Arteon was among the most anticipated. The Arteon is the key to both VW’s design evolution and value proposition at a critical juncture for the brand. We were on hand for the Arteon’s official reveal and got a close-up look at this new flagship. Here are the details on the all-new VW Arteon. What is this vehicle? The Arteon is Volkswagen’s newest entry to the entry luxury midsize segment, intended to be the brand’s “halo car” and a “spiritual successor” to the CC. Though the Arteon is billed as a replacement for the CC, it’s quite a bit larger. The body is longer and wider, anchored by a wheelbase that is more than 5 inches longer than the CC. Volkswagen says the Arteon is “a true fastback,” due to its sloping rear roofline, but this car is functionally a midsize sedan, and that’s where it will compete. Who is this vehicle for? If you are planning to buy a midsize car in the near future, the Arteon is worth a look. Since VW hasn’t yet provided pricing, it’s tough to compare the Arteon to specific competitors, but we know the Arteon is [...]

2018-03-12T21:27:09-04:00Feb 2018|News|

Ram 1500 MOPAR Accessories Overview

Ram 1500 MOPAR Accessories Overview MOPAR Unleashes the Most Customizable Truck Ever By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, | Feb 2018 The MOPAR performance brand may be most closely associated with Dodge, but the Ram truck family has made it clear that it wants and will get a piece of that action. Ram unveiled the redesigned 1500 pickup in January at the Detroit Auto Show, but came to Chicago with even more to show off. The MOPAR line was the highlight of the brand’s presentation at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. The Ram 1500 has the highest customer loyalty in the 1500 segment, beating out heavyweights like the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado. What is this vehicle? The 2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn Sport 4x4 truck unveiled at the launch was finished in flame Red paint and customized with an outdoor enthusiast in mind. This model showed off the all-new Ram Rack adjustable storage system, designed specifically for cargo that doesn’t fit in the bed. In this case, two kayaks were secured to the rack, with the front ends strapped over the cab and the backs supported above the bed. This design leaves the bed open for more storage, and enables users to stand in the bed to secure and retrieve items on the rack. This item isn’t available yet, but MOPAR says it is on the way soon. The 1500 also showed off [...]

2018-03-12T20:23:09-04:00Feb 2018|News|

2018 Chicago Auto Show Overview

2018 Chicago Auto Show Overview The Windy City showcases important vehicles for the coming year. By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, | Feb 2018 The Chicago Auto Show might not be the most important in the country in terms of new model reveals — that honor would go to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and, arguably, the Los Angeles Auto Show. However, Chicago’s positioning early in the calendar year and closer to new model year launch timing, as well as the sheer size of the two combined show floors which is the largest in the country, demands attention. Several auto manufacturers chose Chicago again for significant reveals, updates, and celebrations. This year, the halls of McCormick Place saw new model introductions kicking off on Thursday, February 8, followed by another day of media-exclusive previews and the annual First Look for Charity gala. The show opened to the public on Saturday, February 10, and wraps up on February 19. The Chicago Auto Show features vehicles from 40 manufacturers, ranging from concepts to prototypes to production vehicles. It’s a lot to take in, especially if you’re coming at it from a consumer’s perspective — learning more about your options for your next new vehicle — but we’re here to help. Here are some of the most interesting and important models that were on display at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. New model [...]

2018-03-12T21:30:57-04:00Feb 2018|News|
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