UCBC: The 2 Seeds

Wow, how quickly a month+ has passed since the last entry of UCBC. I have to be honest with you all. I actually ended up purchasing my new car! So many of you already now the “winner” of the tournament. But alas, I must finish what I started, and well, the UCBC is a fun process, and I actually filled out the bracket in determining the winner.

Granted, the fact that I got an offer I couldn’t refuse did further the cause of the eventual winner, but it was actually going to be in the semi’s probably in the finals anyway!

This entry reveals the 2 seeds. Here we start stretching just a little bit when it comes to desired price range/gas expenditures/insurance, but of course, the UCBC is all in good fun, right? These cars are some of my favorites, and perhaps have a greater chance of winning it all over the soon to be announced 1 seeds.

2003+ Acura TSX

2006 Acura TSX rear

Acura has been an award winning luxury brand for decades. 2003 saw the introduction of the TSX, Acura’s foray into the entry-level vehicle competition. Sleek and clean cut, the TSX is an automotive beauty. Distinguishable and envied at the parking lot, while not coming at a steep premium. This little car has got some giddy-up as well, with over 200 hp I-4 and an aggressive looking dual exhaust system.

The interior is sure to please even the pickiest of luxury-seeking palettes. Leather to best match the exterior color, beautifully designed accents inside, and a killer stock sound system make the TSX poised to perhaps take it all!

2003+ Infinity G35

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Nissan’s Infiniti luxury line has been a reputable namesake for years, similar to Acura’s reputation thanks to historic reliability of Honda. Infiniti’s advantage has often been imaginative design. Yes, some will argue that it’s nothing but a Nissan 350Z with makeup and a few extra pounds, but just looking at the picture, you have to admit that it is a beauty.

Under the hood, it packs 275 hp with a 3.5 L engine. This roughly translates to breathtaking fun on the road… or multiple speeding tickets… The tail lights are LEDs. It is quite customizable. Some tint, rims, and other accents and you’ll have a sexy machine.

Below average MPG and mandatory premium octane gas along with a rumored high cost of maintenance make me a little cautious… but for those where looks are a priority, this is your car.

2006+ Dodge Charger R/T

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Oh, the muscle car wars of the 60s and 70s… where American car companies managed to carve out a niche in the automotive universe. The Charger namesake brings back memories of Hemis, gasoline smells, and the Dukes of Hazzard. Much to the dismay of the generation that grew up with these bad boys, Daimler-Chrysler christened a four door family car with the glorious name. A muscle car doesn’t have four doors! Or does it?

While DC did manufacture basic models (a 2.7 L V6? and increased to 3.5 only after complaints of its sluggishness!) to fulfill the role of a four door family car, they did produce the R/T and SRT-8 models. These two have a 5.7L 340 hp and 6.1L 435 hp engines respectively. More than enough power to pin you to the back of your seat, and then some. The SRT-8 has horrendous city MPG, as can be expected from a 6.1 L engine. So I opted for the R/T, which can actually take regular gas on occasion as well (in contrast to SRT-8’s strict diet of PREMIUM!)

The sharkish looks are unique, though the overall platform hints of Chrysler 3oo and Dodge Magnum (which are coincidentally in the tournament!). The interiors are alarmingly smilar and well, cheap looking. But what’s under the hood can make you forget about this easily.

2004+ Acura TL

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The TL has been Acura’s bread and butter since the late 80’s, winning numerous awards for design, reliability, and quality in the luxury midsize category. The 2004 redesign of the TL gave it a unique look, making it more beefy and muscular, while maintaining a refined, timeless, luxurious look.

Again, the interior is beautifully designed, and the leather seats are firm but comfortable. The optional Navi is rated the best system of all vehicles with a GPS option. XM capability, a sunroof, bluetooth connectivity, and power everything are all standard.

Honda provides its V6 270 hp VTEC engine, providing the car with a surprising amount of power during acceleration. It takes curves smoothly and full of confidence. Clearly, a practical affordable dream machine. Mid-grade and Premium gas are a must, but with the reliability of Honda, the TL is the sure favorite.

We’ll at last reveal the 1 seeds later this week, as well as the tournament bracket!

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

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‘Mobile Madness: The Ultimate Car Buying Championship

Today, I am up for a likely raise. After proving my ability for 6 months (a long 6 months at that) I will be reviewed today! So, in much deserved (and delayed) jubilation of graduating a year ago as well as being successful in my line of work, I have been thinking about getting a new car!

But now, which car should I get? There are countless used car dealerships in my area. How will I able to decide what suits me, especially since I will hopefully be able to afford a nice used car.

The solution? The creation of a “reality blog.”

Survivor. The Biggest Loser. The newly created X’s and O’s. There are a plethora of reality TV shows which pit contestant against contestant, often in grueling competiotion, to ultimately find the champion. So why not do this for my own car buying quest?

Later this week I will be starting a new segment. The Ultimate Car Buying Championship (UCBC) is an exclusive The Heap tournament of 16 car finalists. There will be four 1,2,3 and 4 seeds. 1s will match up against 4s in the first round, and 2s against 3s. For each match up, there will be a comprehensive review, research, comparion of stats, and a media portion- pics and youtube videos. And of course, I will get to use WordPress’ POLL feature! YOU willI’ll see if I can come up with some sort of rubric later, but it will be along those lines.

 

I’ll be announcing the seeds throughout the week with the tentative first match up this weekend!

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser