Car Insurance Ratings

Car Insurance Ratings

Shopping for a new Vehicle Insurance Company? Isn’t it great that you can shop for car insurance and get a car insurance quote online? Isn’t it great you can actually find cheap car insurance and car insurance policy information online? Isn’t it great you can even get your car and home insured, and have your entire policy approved and paid for online within minutes? Yet, why isn’t it the overall experience as great as it could be? Simply because there are so many choices, and finding the best car insurance company is about more than just an affordable car insurance policy. How many of us really have the time or desire to fully exhaust all of the possibilities and find more than just a cheap car insurance policy, and know we actually are getting the best car insurance company for our needs? It could take days, weeks – maybe even months to price out all of the different policies from various car insurance companies. Even then, there is more to a decent car insurance company than just price.  If it was only a matter of finding a cheap car insurance policy, we’d be done in minutes. So, what else do we need to know?

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What is a Good Vehicle Insurance Company?

Price is the first thing we all think about when choosing a Car Insurance provider. This is because cost is the easiest, most visible commodity in which we can shop, measure and compare to our current provider. Getting the bargain policy coverage may seem like a good deal until you actually have to use your provider or deal with them for claims, asking questions or making changes to your policy. Wouldn’t it be great if someone did an extensive research study on all of these car insurance providers, so you could know more about them than just their policy price ahead of time? You can. Thanks to an exhaustive 2008 National Auto Insurance Study by J.D Powers, Auto Insurance Provider Ratings are available to everyone, making it easy to find a starting point when choosing your next Car Insurance company. Auto Insurance Providers are rated on five different criteria and rated accordingly. Here is how their performance is broken down:

Auto Insurance Criteria

  • Customer Experience

    How satisfied are you with your provider?
  • Your Policy Options

    What kind of coverage do you have?
  • Your Policy Pricing

    How much does your policy cost?
  • Paying Your Bills

    How easy is it to pay your bills?
  • Contacting Your Provider

    How easy is it to get a hold of your provider?

Making Sense of Car Insurance Ratings

Using the information from the 2008 National Car Insurance Study, Product Review Ratings (PRR), thought it would be worthwhile to rank the Top-10 Car Insurance providers. So, with the same ranking system utilized in our Top-10 Monthly Car Lease Specials, we have broken down the Car Insurance Companies in a similar manner.Keep in mind, that what’s best for some, might not neccessarily be best for everyone. Just like leasing automobiles, Car Insurance can be dependent on personal needs and circumstances. These Top-10 Car Insurance Ratings should serve as a starting point and guideline when you are ready to shop for your next provider.

Top-10 Car Insurance Ratings

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Is the Hyundai Veracruz the Best SUV Under $30,000?

Hyundai Veracruz
Hyundai Veracruz

After driving Minivans for the last 12 years, why get an SUV? Well, mainly because I am a 47 year old man who’s sick of looking like a soccer mom hauling an unruly gang of daycare children. But, why else? One, they are hip and trendier than mini-vans. Two, they can get you up the steep icy cul-de-sac on a snowy, winter day. That was enough incentive for me anyway, when I finally traded in our family’s Chevrolet Venture Minivan on a 2008 Hyundai Veracruz. I simply needed an all-wheel drive vehicle that would be sure to get us up our very steep street on those rare winter days when the snow is deep, unplowed and impassable. Who owns a Hyundai Veracruz? You may not find many Hyundai Veracruz reviews,  but you will find plenty of satisfied owners. I predict that Hyundai Veracruz owners are going to be an extremely satisfied group of SUV owners for years to come. When you move into an SUV you get the all wheel drive and trendier looks, but you do give up few things over a minivan: Cash, Gas and Seats. The one thing I did not want to compromise was the 7 or 8 person seating capacity of our minivan. The Veracruz will accommodate 7-passengers, yet is not monstrously huge on the inside or outside. It is a nice looking vehicle and is available in three trim levels: GLS, SE and Limited Due to Hyundai’s leasing deal at the time, I was able to get into the 2008 SE at a price that was lower than the GLS, base model. The SE adds 18” tires (17” On GLS), Power Drivers Seat and Leather Wrapped steering wheel. For 3 – 5 Grand more, the Limited will give you Leather, Navigator, GPS, and just about every other luxury found on pricier Lexus’s, BMWs, etc.
Besides having the best new-car smell I’ve ever experienced in a new car, there are a few other reasons I highly recommend this vehicle: The Veracruz seats 7 passengers very comfortably. There are a couple of nifty third-row seats that fold neatly down into the floor, when not in use, allowing plenty of cargo room when only 4 passengers are seated. The Veracruz SE is equipped with just about everything you could possibly need or want: Cruise Control, Quality, 6-Speaker CD Stereo with XM, trip computer, programmable garage door opener with home link, built in audio control in steering wheel, fully-powered driver’s seat, and very slick compartment inside the console that can be used as a cooler. Also, there are plenty of cupholders and a number of other nooks and crannies for storage. There is not just one, but two sunglasses compartments just above the rearview mirror. (Very handy, my wife and I use them both) My 2008 Hyundai Veracruz SE priced out at about $31,000, which is $6,000 more than the Venture Minivan I traded in for it. Despite the heftier price tag, I actually saved on Auto Insurance due to the outstanding safety features Hyundai has made standard on the Veracruz: Front Air Bags, and dual side air curtains in both rows, Electronic Stability Control System (ESC) with Traction Control System (TCS), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Front and Rear Crumple Zones, hood buckling creases and safety stops, body reinforcements and anti-theft engine immobilization, just to name a few of the more prominent ones. If the safety features are not enough, sitting in the Veracruz and driving it for the first time will assure you of its stability and safety. It is a very solid and robust vehicle, and the best part of all is the how comfortable it is to drive. The 3800L 24-Valve V6 engine is not going to snap your head back, but it gives you ample power, even with a full load of passengers. The one thing that all family members and friends have commented on when sitting in the Veracruz for their first time is how quiet it is. It is really hard to tell the engine is running at stop lights. When accelerating from a stop the engine is very subdued, but responsive. For a vehicle this size, the steering and handling is remarkable. It really feels as though you are driving a much smaller vehicle. One nice feature that I find comes in handy with full passenger loads is the SHIFTRONIC shift setting, which gives you the flexibility of a manual transmission, when you need a little more power.Visibility is excellent, and the turning radius makes those illegal u-turns a breeze!It is a very nimble, sporty ride for an SUV of this size.I acquired this Veracruz right about the time gas prices started going through the sky, and though the vehicle is rated 15/22 MPG on the sticker, I was initially getting closer to 13 and 20. It seemed to me that right at about 3,000 miles, just after my first oil change, my fuel economy improved significantly. My wife is getting about 16MPG in stop and go city commuting, and I was able to get about 22 in mostly highway commuting the other day.Rave reviews and favorable comparisons to the similar Lexus SUVs encouraged me to take a look at the Hyundai. As the scores indicate, I am not at all disappointed I was led in the direction of a Hyundai Veracruz SE.

Final Ratings

  • Performance: 85
  • Steering and handling: 93
  • Ride and Comfort: 93
  • Features and Ammenities: 92
  • Safety: 95
  • Cargo Room: 86
  • Fuel economy: 80
  • Value: 93
  • New-Car Smell: 98
  • Overall: 90
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2005 Pontiac G6 Review

2005 Pontiac G6
2005 Pontiac G6

Pontiac G6 Review

Three years ago, I opted for a 2005 Pontiac G6,  after test-driving a 2005 Honda Accord. I chose this car for it’s V6 performance and features not found in the 4-Cyl Accord at the cost of the 2005 Pontiac G6.  Also, the looks were far more appealing to me than the Accord and many of the other cars in this class. I thought I’d share my impressions of the car after driving one for the past 3 years. I leased the Base V6 2005 Pontiac G6 after test driving a 4 Cylinder Accord EX. The V6 gives you smoother, better acceleration than an Accord 4-Cyl, and also equal, if not better equipment for the same price.  In fact, with GM incentives, my lease payment was significantly lower than it would have been on the Accord. I bought this car in 2005, when it was first introduced. The car has been reliable, but not without minor glitches.The dashboard creeks and cracks, and despite GM’s recommended fix, has never been resolved.  In fact, if not for the Pontiac G6 Forum, I would not have even known about this fix. I’m sure this problem has been resolved with the 2006 Pontiac G6, 2007 Pontiac G6 and 2008 models, as well as the Pontiac G6 Coupe. Aside from this, the car would be relatively quiet, if not for annoying wind noise in the driver’s side window. That too, was never resolved, despite two trips to the dealer. The rear visibility leaves something to be desired, and the wide front pillars are a hazard when pulling out on a busy street. The 2005 Pontiac G6 has nice amenities for a car at this price, especially the trip computer and remote ignition, but my jaw fell out when I took it home and learned it did not come with ABS! I thoroughly scoured the very extensive Pontiac G6 owners manual just to be sure. With so many features; trip computer, remote ignition… but no ABS? Be warned, this was not a standard safety feature in the 2005 Pontiac G6.  I believe this has been changed with the 2006 Pontiac G6.

V6 Performance

What attracted me to the car was the smooth acceleration of the V6 engine and the sporty look and feel, compared to the somewhat drab-looking 2005 Accord. The handling, I feel, is underrated for a car in the $20K price range.  It grabs the road and tracks quite well,  while giving you a very comfortable ride. I recommend this car only in the Base model. The extra money for the Pontiac GT brings it up in the price range of other, more refined V6 cars like the Accord, Maxima or Camry. The Highway Gas mileage is among the best I’ve ever had in a V6.  Depending on the levelness of the road, I’ve gotten anywhere between 30 and 34 MPG on the highway! Not nearly as impressive in the city (around 18 or 19MPG), and combined around 23-25. Interesting, how there is such a difference between City and HWY mileage. After 3.5 years, there has not been a mechanical problem, other than needing new front and rear brakes. A good, but not great car. I put 85 Octane gas in it because I’ve noticed literally no improvements or benefits in paying more for 87 or 91. In fact, the fuel economy seems to do better with 85.The G6 is a nice car to drive, and next to the Honda Accord, it just has a sportier look and feel. Unfortunately, my experience left me with the impression that it’s not quite as refined, and up to the quality standards of a Honda.  Otherwise, I would really consider the great-looking Pontiac G6 Coupe.

Final Ratings (1 – 100)

 

  • Performance: 85
  • Value: 85
  • Economy: 72
  • Comfort: 80
  • Handling: 84
  • Cargo Room: 65
  • Overall: 78.5
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