Tag Archives: Automobile

Leasing a Car vs. Buying a Car: When Should You Lease?

Can’t decide whether you should lease or buy your next vehicle? Don’t worry because you are just one of many people who contemplate this purchase decision on a daily basis in the United States. Just as kids and teenagers should be taught in school how to open a checking account, how to responsibly use a credit card, what to do to improve their credit history, how to change a flat tire, why you don’t wash your neon yellow shirt with your white Polo golf shirt, someone who has molded your mind thus far in life should have explained the differences between leasing and purchasing an automobile. Moreover, you need to fully understand what type of impact each could have on your daily life financially and logistically.

If you haven’t come to this conclusion as of yet, let me be blunt…Leasing a car versus buying a vehicle is very different. Buying or leasing a car boils down to two basic things; the person, primarily their driving habits, and the financial situation. When you weigh these two aspects against one another, the advantages and disadvantages of both choices will become evident and ultimately place you in the appropriate purchase bucket for you.

If you are an individual who intends to have the same vehicle for an extended period of time, let’s say a Nissan sedan, and prefer more flexibility when the time comes to sell the vehicle, buying a Nissan is the choice for you. On the flip side, if you desire to drive a new vehicle every two years or 36 months (these are two standard time frames to lease a vehicle for), the best financial decision for you is to lease your car. Here is a fun fact as you consider this point; a typical car lease lasts half the time of a typical car loan. Once the lease is up, you can move on to your next cool ride.

Another factor that may place you in the leasing bucket is whether or not your vehicle of choice is out of your price range. Reason being, leasing a car is best understood by the masses when compared to renting a shore house for the summer. Thus, you are only paying for the time and use (mileage) of the vehicle for the given and agreed upon lease term. By not buying the whole car, you will lower your monthly payments by 30% to 60% when leasing. You are only paying for a portion of the car and as a result your monthly payment is lower compared to your monthly payment when financing the vehicle and being responsible for the entire car regardless if you drive it for two years or 15 years. Plus, you pay sales tax only on the portion of the car you finance. To be exact, you finance the cost of the depreciation of the car while you’re driving it…that is your lease payment.

Furthermore, leasing has another financial aspect making leasing a better choice relative to buying a new car — like the fact that up-front out-of-pocket expenses are generally lower. For example, the down payment is usually low, and sometimes nonexistent. Have you ever heard the term “Sign and Drive”? This commonly used term in the auto industry simply means that you put no money down, sign the lease agreement and drive off into the sunset. Not only are monthly payments much lower than loan payments, leases are often easier to obtain than a loan.

Are you too busy to worry about the wear and tear of what will most likely be the second largest purchase you ever make in your life? It’s okay if you are because most Americans dread the chore and cost of maintaining their vehicle. When leasing a vehicle, the lease terms already include the wear and tear on the vehicle as well as the specific mileage so you never have to worry about anything aside from the rare $19.99 oil change every 6 months or so (really depends on the amount of miles between oil changes). Plus, some leases can include the cost of basic vehicle maintenance. To put this into concrete numbers, leasing saves the average car owner up to $1,200 a year on repair and maintenance fees. Eliminating the financial headaches of depreciation and mechanical problems are two driving forces that push people into leasing because knowing that your only responsibility is returning the car to the dealer at the end of the lease is gratifying in its own right. Keep in mind that you have also erased the headache of negotiating the value of your trade-in at the end of your lease because you don’t have one. You just drop it off at the dealer with the keys!

The length of a lease or ownership can be looked at from a number of different angles, and once again, comes down to your personal life. In a six year period, you could have leased two different vehicles or owned a single one. Looking at this from one of two ways, either you would have to return and repay for a new vehicle, or you have been given the opportunity to choose an entirely new model.

Those who plan on keeping a vehicle long term will benefit financially once the vehicle is paid off, avoiding the need to repay down payments and never ending monthly lease payments. Also, going beyond the pride in ownership, buyers will be able to customize the vehicle however they like, and sell it wherever and whenever they please. Did you know consumers in the USA on average spend $700 on vehicle modifications? Individuals who decide upon leasing will not have this luxury; however, depending on the purchase, some businesses consider a car lease a tax write-off.

Depending on your financial situation and priorities behind choosing a new car, we recommend you speak with our experts here at Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, NJ, who will be able to further help you weigh the options and make a decision you feel happy and secure with. To be honest, most people do not lease, or even consider leasing as an option, because lease contracts are confusing and Americans do not like to admit what they do not know. Hopefully, this article eliminates this bullet point since you should be far more educated than the average consumer upon reading this.

As the debate continues, a recurring theme that weighs on the decision to buy a car is flexibility. Mileage limits are not a problem so if you wake up on Wednesday morning and decide that you want to drive across the country, it is your car so you can do as you please. Plus, if you are committed to a lease and your driving needs change…tough luck. It is costly to terminate a lease early.

After buying a car, you can add the vehicle as an asset to your personal balance sheet because again, you own the car. Remember you are more or less borrowing the leased vehicle from the leasing company who is the true owner of the car. Many people view actual ownership of the vehicle as an important advantage because it can be more economical over the long run as you build equity in the vehicle over time.

While leasing may appear to be the best bang for your buck, especially if you avoid extra mileage fees, there are extra expenses with a lease that you must be aware of. Insurance rates are usually higher for leased vehicles since lease coverage may include gap insurance, which pays off what is still owed on the lease in the event the car is totaled. And, by returning your leased car every three years (really whatever your lease term is), if you lease a car that requires a down payment, that expense will come out of your pocket each time you get a new lease. Plus, each time you turn in your old car for a new one, there are added fees like doc, motor vehicle, NJ tire tax, etc..

Now consider the person who purchases or finances a car. At the end of five years of car payments, the car now belongs to him or her. Five years was the standard finance length for Americans, but leading up to the financial meltdown, many consumers were entering lengthier car loan terms along the lines of 72 and even 84 months. The pendulum has swung back in the other direction as many bank institutions prefer 60 month loan terms and therefore make extended term options so costly that most pass and agree to a 60 month car loan term. It might not have much value on the open market, but if you’re willing to drive it for several more years, it becomes nearly free transportation until the wheels fall off.

To put an end to this debate, here are the basic nuts and bolts in summary. Leasing makes it easier, and/or possible, to get more car for less money. You are essentially paying, “renting”, for a portion of the car, instead of buying the entire automobile. So, like many things, leasing looks great in the short run. However, if you really pencil the dollars and cents and you take the long view of economics, you will see that leasing will eventually be more expensive. It is more costly because once you begin leasing, there is a very high likelihood that you will continue to do so forever. Auto manufacturers’ and car dealers often entice leasing customers with private lease pull ahead offers that enable the lessee to return their vehicle 3 months early with no penalty and get into a brand new model. And by the way, this is a great offer and there is no reason not to take advantage of it; you would be silly not to. But, this means you will always have a car payment and never own anything.

Ultimately, leasing isn’t only a dollars-and-cents question — it’s about personal tastes and priorities. Whether you choose to lease a car or buy a new car, you must educate yourself so that you can negotiate a great price at the dealership either way.

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Winter Driving Tips

Top 10 Tips for Winter Driving

  1. For driving in the snow, increase your following distance of any vehicle in front of you to eight to ten seconds. If you were unaware, the normal following distance on dry pavement is three to four seconds. Basically, give a little more than twice the distance you normally would when driving in the snow. This increased distance of safety will provide you with enough room to safely stop.
  2. Whenever you drive on snow or ice, don’t stop if you can avoid it. There is a huge difference as it relates to beginning to move a Nissan Altima car from a full stop compared to slowly accelerating while the Altima sedan is still rolling. Keep this in mind when approaching a red traffic light. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling by time the traffic light changes to green, you will exponentially increase your odds continuing on your route without getting stuck.
  3. Do not use cruise control when driving on any type of slippery surface i.e. wet, ice, sand or snow.
  4. Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up. Furthermore, if your vehicle gets stuck or damaged, the extra gas will allow you to keep your vehicle running and thus keep you warm and safe.
  5. Clean all of your windows and make sure your wiper blades are clean of debris. If your wiper blades appear to be clean, but still streak across your windshield you need to replace them. Also, always make sure that your antifreeze washer solvent is topped off. On a similar note, be sure the wipers are turned off before starting the engine to prevent damage to the wiper motor.Image
  6. When driving in the snow or on icy surfaces, accelerate and decelerate slowly with the front wheels pointed straight. The best way to gain, or regain, traction is by applying the gas slowly. This will also reduce the probability of your car skidding as you begin to move. If you let the wheels spin, you will only dig deeper into the snow. A skid occurs when the driver applies the brakes so hard that one or more wheels lock, which is why it is imperative that you decelerate your sedan slowly.
  7. Before leaving in your car, truck, van or suv, start your auto and turn the heater on for approximately two minutes before using the defroster. Don’t you hate when you have a foggy windshield? If you are normal and your answer is yes, this trick will prevent moisture from fogging the windshield when warm air hits the frigid glass.
  8. If your vehicle gets stuck in the snow, STAY with your car. To start, your vehicle will provide you with shelter and keep you warm. Moreover, it is more likely for rescuers to find your vehicle in a storm vs. you on foot. There is also a chance that you could lose sight of your vehicle in a snowstorm with blowing snow. The only reason you should get out of your vehicle is to tie a brightly colored cloth or piece of clothing to the antenna to signal distress. If your vehicle does not have an antenna, place the bright article at the top of a closed window. If the sun goes down and you are still stranded with your vehicle, leave the dome light on since it only uses a very minimal amount of electricity.
  9. Remove all snow from your vehicle before you hit the road in your car. Depending on the amount of snow on your vehicle, the added weight can adversely affect how your vehicle steers, starts and stops. However, the main purpose is to protect the drivers around you. How do you think you would react if you were driving along and a giant slab of snow came flying off of the vehicle in front of you…and maybe even hit your windshield? You would freak out and most likely swerve and/or stop abruptly and neither of those actions should be performed while driving even in the best of conditions.
  10. Never warm up your vehicle in a garage. Technically, do not warm up your car in an enclosed area, but for 99.9% percent of people that means their garage. It is never a good idea to enter a room filled with carbon monoxide…especially when you are about to operate a car!

Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, New Jersey hopes that you find these 10 Winter Driving Tips helpful. Especially, if you happen to live on the East Coast and are enduring yet another horrid winter storm as we are at 590 U.S. 130 East Windsor, NJ 08520. Remember, always wear your safety belt and please drive safe!

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Nissan Frontier at Windsor Nissan of East Windsor, NJ


Looking for a Nissan Frontier? Look no further: Nissan Frontier at Windsor Nissan of East Windsor, NJ.

Nissan Frontier at Windsor Nissan of East Windsor, NJ

Nissan Frontier at Windsor Nissan of East Windsor, NJ


Blending full-size truck toughness with mid-size agility, the refined 2011 Nissan Frontier continues to be a leader in the mid-size truck category. Thanks in part to its extraordinary power, off-road athleticism, and solid build quality, Nissan Frontier at Windsor Nissan of East Windsor, NJ is a top pickup choice regardless of what you are into.

Nissan Frontier at Windsor Nissan of East Windsor, NJ

Nissan Frontier at Windsor Nissan of East Windsor, NJ


Forge your next adventure with an efficient mid-size body hugging a fully boxed ladder frame and a gutsy 261 horsepower V6 as your guide. The well-equipped 2011 Nissan Frontier is a versatile and capable pickup truck in a smart size that is extremely comfortable in a variety of environments and situations.

Nissan Frontier at Windsor Nissan of East Windsor, NJ

Nissan Frontier at Windsor Nissan of East Windsor, NJ


Engineered from the bottom up, Nissan Frontier at Windsor Nissan of East Windsor, NJ’s factory applied spray-on bed liner provides the protection and non-skid surface you need when the catch of the day is a 400-lb. boulder — secure the load with the Utili-track™ Cargo Channel System to make sure the rock doesn’t roll. Hook up to any toy up to 6,500-lbs. and tow to your heart’s content. Let Frontier’s Bluetooth® hands-free capability handle all the calls. And fire up your ears with an available Rockford Fosgate-powered audio system featuring 10 speakers.

Nissan Frontier at Windsor Nissan of East Windsor, NJ

Nissan Frontier at Windsor Nissan of East Windsor, NJ


The rugged Frontier is available in two body styles: King Cab and Crew Cab. A 6-foot cargo bed is standard on King Cab models, while Crew Cab buyers have a choice of a standard 5-foot bed or an optional 6-foot version. Trim levels include: entry-level S, the midrange SV, off-road-oriented PRO-4X, and the top-of-the-line SL (crew cab only).

Nissan Frontier at Windsor Nissan of East Windsor, NJ

Nissan Frontier at Windsor Nissan of East Windsor, NJ


Solid to the core, Nissan Frontier at Windsor Nissan of East Windsor, NJ is available with heavy-duty Dana® rear axles, an incredible 10.1″ ground clearance, hill descent control, and a 2-speed transfer case with impressive crawl ratio. PRO-4X’s electronic locking rear differential delivers equal power to the rear wheels to boost traction. Bilstein® off-road performance shocks and BFGoodrich® Rugged Trail T/A® tires flawlessly deliver race-proven off-road performance.


Safety is also a priority with Nissan; accordingly the 2011 Nissan Frontier at Windsor Nissan of East Windsor, NJ received the highest rating from the IIHS in front, side, and roof strength evaluations.


Drive a nimble, innovative, and brawny Nissan Frontier at Windsor Nissan of East Windsor, NJ today.

2011 HHR Review

For 2011, the HHR sees few changes. The SS turbocharged model is discontinued, as is the LT panel model. Black, Aqua Blue, and several accent stripes are no longer available, as are Cashmere cloth interior trim and Cashmere leather interior trim. Black Granite Metallic is a new extra-cost color and Mocha Steel Metallic is also now available.

2011 Chevy HHR Dimensions

HHR stands for “Heritage High Roof,” and it is the high roof that provides ample interior headroom and generous cargo volume. Combined with a highly configurable interior, including removable rear seats, the HHR is a versatile passenger and cargo hauler. Captain-style seating allows good visibility and SUV appeal.

2011 Chevy HHR

Chevrolet’s HHR debuted in 2006 to much enthusiasm, selling over 100,000 units in its first year. The attention-grabbing style continues in 2011, featuring a big chrome grille and a long, smoothly curved hood reminiscent of Chevy’s 1949 Suburban. The rear tailgate is framed by two small, round taillights, making the HHR one of the most unique looking vehicle in Chevrolet’s lineup. The HHR’s front wheel drive platform is borrowed from the Chevy Cobalt, yet is aimed at those looking for more style and greater cargo room than the Cobalt provides.

2011 Chevy HHR Interior

The base LS and the 1LT come with a 2.2L inline 4-cylinder engine making 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. The 2LT upgrade comes with a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine, which makes 172 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque. The standard 5-speed manual transmission can be upgraded to a 4-speed automatic on all trims. The base LS comes with standard 16-inch wheels and many common standard features, such as cruise control, air conditioning, power doors and windows. Floor mats, luggage rack, MP3 player and remote engine start are some of the options available on the base LS.

2011 Chevy HHR Panel Truck

The LT trim adds a power driver’s seat and cargo net over the LS. Available options for the LT include steering wheel controls, a leather wrapped steering wheel, leather seats, heated front seats and power lumbar support. The 2LT trim, which increases the price by about $1,700, adds a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, premium sound system, fog lamps, steering wheel controls, wireless cell phone hookup and chrome 17-inch wheels.
Standard safety features on all HHRs include StabiliTrak stability control, 4-wheel ABS, a full array of airbags front and back and a tire pressure monitoring system. Upgraded wheels, audio systems and a variety of comfort and luxury features are available across the model range, allowing buyers to choose their level of customization. Running boards are standard on the 2LT, optional on 1LT and LS. A sliding sunroof/moonroof is optional on LTs.

2010 Nissan Versa

The Versa feels more substantial than other cars in this class and has a nice, smooth ride, along with a quiet cabin and an especially roomy interior; Nissan claims best-in-class rear legroom. In its upper S and SL trims, it can be very well equipped by checking a few options boxes. And for those who wish to keep it basic, the Versa is one of the first models you should look at. With a starting price of just $9,990, the Versa Base is one of the least expensive new cars available in the U.S.
2010 Versa

2010 Versa

The front-wheel-drive Versa is offered as a 4-door sedan or 5-door hatchback, with two different engines-designated 1.6 and 1.8, with 107-horsepower 1.6-liter and 122-hp 1.8 liter 4-cylinder engines. 1.6 models are only offered as sedans, while both body styles are offered in 1.8 form.

2010 Versa Interior

2010 Versa Interior

The 1.6 Base model is only offered with a 5-speed manual transmission, and the top-of-the-line 1.8 SL comes only with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), Most of the other models come with the choice of a 6-speed manual gearbox or conventional 4-speed automatic.

A MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension, with stabilizer bars front and back, is tuned for a comfortable ride while also maintaining maneuverability. All Versas have a front disc, rear drum brake arrangement; anti-lock brakes are included with 1.8 models but optional on the 1.6. Hatchback models are a little more versatile, with seats that fold forward easily to expand cargo space; the back seats don’t fold in most Versas, but top SL sedans get a split-folding back seat and trunk pass-through.

With either engine, the Versa performs reasonably well; 1.6 models are considerably lighter, so they don’t feel any slower. The manual transmissions shift easily and smoothly, and as for automatics, shoppers should take both versions-the CVT along with the conventional 4-speed-out for a spin and decide which one they like best; the CVT allows faster acceleration and offers the best EPA ratings, at 28 mpg city, 34 highway, but invites more engine noise.

The 1.6 Base model is about as simple as new cars come today, with no power windows or locks, no air conditioning and no radio either. The upgraded standard 1.6 model adds air conditioning. Meanwhile 1.8 S models include a 4-speaker sound system, cargo area lamp and adjustable rear headrests. On 1.8 SL models, there’s a 180-watt sound system with iPod interface, cruise control, keyless entry, power locks and windows, larger alloy wheels and electronic stability control. All Versas get front side-impact airbags and full-length side-curtain bags. The Versa 1.8 can be equipped with a Bluetooth hands-free interface, XM Satellite Radio and the Intelligent Key entry and ignition system and a Navigation/Satellite package will add an in-dash navigation system with 5-inch screen, to arrive late in the model year.

Nissan GT-R and 370Z Capture Edmunds’ Inside Line ‘2009 Readers’ Most Wanted Awards’

The two all new Nissan sports cars, the Nissan GT-R and Nissan 370Z, have been named on Edmunds’ Inside Line ‘2009 Readers’ Most Wanted Awards’ list. The GT-R and 370Z were the only nissan vehicles taking two categories each. The Nissan GT-R was named most wanted in the categories of “Speed over $30,000” and “Instant Classic Over 30,000.” The GT-R, which was released in July 2008, has also earned the rewards of Motor Trend “Car of the Year,” Automobile magazine’s 2009 “Automobile of the Year” and winning a “2009 Best Resale Value Award” from Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com. The Nissan 370Z was named most wanted in the categories of “Speed under $30,000” and “Instant Classic Under $30,000.” The Nissan 370Z went on sale in December 2008 and now offers a standard 332 horsepower 3.7 liter engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL).

Nissan GT-R and 370Z Capture Edmunds’ Inside Line ‘2009 Readers’ Most Wanted Awards’

The two all new Nissan sports cars, the Nissan GT-R and Nissan 370Z, have been named on Edmunds’ Inside Line ‘2009 Readers’ Most Wanted Awards’ list. The GT-R and 370Z were the only vehicles taking two categories each. The Nissan GT-R was named most wanted in the categories of “Speed over $30,000” and “Instant Classic Over 30,000.” The GT-R, which was released in July 2008, has also earned the rewards of Motor Trend “Car of the Year,” Automobile magazine’s 2009 "Automobile of the Year" and winning a "2009 Best Resale Value Award" from Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com. The Nissan 370Z was named most wanted in the categories of “Speed under $30,000” and “Instant Classic Under $30,000.” The Nissan 370Z went on sale in December 2008 and now offers a standard 332 horsepower 3.7 liter engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL).

Automobile Magazine Names the 2009 Nissan GT-R “Automobile of the Year”

The 2009 Nissan GT-R was named “2009 Automobile of the Year” yesterday. The GT-R received top honors from the magazine out of four awards given, including “Design of the Year,” “Man of the Year,” and “Technology of the Year.” Jean Jennings, the magazine’s president and editor-in-chief, said “for decades, previos versions of the GT-R were never exported to the United States. Now we know what we’ve been missing, and are we happy to be invited to the party. What we love about the GT-R is that it refuses to compromise. It is not comfortable, it is not trying to make friends and it is not trying to influence people. It exists for one reason only – to go fast – and it does.”

Automobile Magazine Names the 2009 Nissan GT-R “Automobile of the Year”

The 2009 Nissan GT-R was named “2009 Automobile of the Year” yesterday. The GT-R received top honors from the magazine out of four awards given, including “Design of the Year,” “Man of the Year,” and “Technology of the Year.” Jean Jennings, the magazine’s president and editor-in-chief, said “for decades, previos versions of the GT-R were never exported to the United States. Now we know what we’ve been missing, and are we happy to be invited to the party. What we love about the GT-R is that it refuses to compromise. It is not comfortable, it is not trying to make friends and it is not trying to influence people. It exists for one reason only – to go fast – and it does.”

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