2013 Chevy Malibu Coming Sooner Than We Thought

by staff writer Peter Kottwitz
Rapid Chevrolet Cadillac

Move over Camry Hybrid, you’re going to have to share the road with a new rival! Since its re-release in 1997 the Chevrolet Malibu has been well received as a solid midsize mid-priced commuter car. Enter 2013, the Malibu has been totally redesigned to give the Toyota Camry a real run for its money, featuring options and luxuries previously only seen on S class Mercedes. Have you ever heard of Sound absorbing glass? Us either, we recently had a chance to experience this new technology for ourselves in Denver Colorado, they played a stereo at 120DB directly outside the window of the Malibu, and it sounded like a whisper outside, it was still very easy to carry on a normal conversation, as soon as the window went down, you had to cover your ears from the noise, something that really blew us away!

With the midsize market leader (Toyota Camry) holding strong at 15% of the market share the Malibu (10%) hopes to take the lead with improvements such as an e-Assist motor (well get to that in a minute) a standard 6 speed transmission, premium cloth seating, dual zone climate control, Bluetooth, a 7” articulating color screen with Navigation and hidden storage compartment, and hill assist. The exterior also got a few improvements including Camaro inspired taillights a much more aggressive hood and something called “pedestrian collision protection”, which is actually technology built into the front of the car that makes it more survivable should someone be hit by the moving vehicle.

The biggest breakthrough for this car is the eAssist which is an electric motor that has 115v and provides a 15hp boost during heavy acceleration, with this technology the 2.4L 4-Cylinder creates 182 horsepower and 172 lb ft. of torque and gets 25 city/37 highway mpg. Another neat feature of the Malibu’s eAssist is that during deceleration the gasoline motor shuts off, and only the electric motor continues to spin, which continuously runs your power steering and air conditioning. When your ready to take off from a stoplight, in the blink of an eye the electric motor starts the gasoline engine at 600 RPM (4 times as fast as your cars starter) and your off!

GM revved up production of this car which was set for release late 2012, it should be available nationwide by early April, it is worth noting that at this time only the ECO model will be released the LS,LT, and LTZ models are due for release at their usual time in October 2012.


Business Use Tax Deduction – Section 179

2012 Deduction Limit = $139,000
Section 179 Deduction limit after adjustment for inflation has increased to $139,000 (maximum allowance would have been only $25,000 prior to the new legislation).

2012 Limit on Capital Purchases = $560,000
Section 179 Threshold for total of equipment & software that can be purchased has increased to $560,000 (threshold would have been only $200,000 prior to the new legislation).

2012 Bonus Depreciation = 50%
The new law allows 50% “Bonus Depreciation” on qualified assets placed in service during 2012

Please Note:

Section 179 Deduction is available for most new and used capital equipment, and also includes certain software.

Bonus Depreciation can be taken on new equipment only (no used equipment, no software)

When applying these provisions, Section 179 is generally taken first, followed by Bonus Depreciation – unless the business has no taxable profit in 2012.

What is the Section 179 Deduction?
Most people think the Section 179 deduction is some mysterious or complicated tax code. It really isn’t, as you will see below.

Essentially, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. That means that if you buy (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from your gross income. It’s an incentive created by the U.S. government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and invest in themselves.

Several years ago, Section 179 was often referred to as the “SUV Tax Loophole” or the “Hummer Deduction” because many businesses have used this tax code to write-off the purchase of qualifying vehicles at the time (like SUV’s and Hummers). But, that particular benefit of Section 179 has been severely reduced in recent years, see ‘Vehicles & Section 179‘ for current limits on business vehicles.

Today, Section 179 is one of the few incentives included in any of the recent Stimulus Bills that actually helps small businesses. Although large businesses also benefit from Section 179 or Bonus Depreciation, the original target of this legislation was much needed tax relief for small businesses – and millions of small businesses are actually taking action and getting real benefits.

Essentially, Section 179 works like this:
When your business buys certain items of equipment, it typically gets to write them off a little at a time through depreciation. In other words, if your company spends $50,000 on a machine, it gets to write off (say) $10,000 a year for five years (these numbers are only meant to give you an example).

Now, while it’s true that this is better than no write off at all, most business owners would really prefer to write off the entire equipment purchase price for the year they buy it.

In fact, if a business could write off the entire amount, they might add more equipment this year instead of waiting over the next few years. That’s the whole purpose behind Section 179 – to motivate the American economy (and your business) to move in a positive direction. For most small businesses (adding total equipment, software, and vehicles totaling less than $139,000 in 2012), the entire cost can be written-off on the 2012 tax return.

Limits of Section 179
Section 179 does come with limits – there are caps to the total amount written off ($139,000 in 2012), and limits to the total amount of the equipment purchased ($560,000 in 2012). The deduction begins to phase out dollar-for-dollar after $560,000 is spent by a given business, so this makes it a true small and medium-sized business deduction.

After passage of the ‘Tax Relief Act of 2010’, large businesses that exceed the threshold of $560,000 in capital expenditure can take a Bonus Depreciation of 50% on the amount that exceeds the above limit. Nice.

All businesses that purchase, finance, and/or lease less than $560,000 in new or used business equipment during tax year 2012 should qualify for the Section 179 Deduction. If a business is unprofitable in 2012, and has no taxable income to use the deduction, that business can elect to use 50% Bonus Depreciation and carry-forward to a year when the business is profitable.

Most tangible goods including “off-the-shelf” software and business-use vehicles (restrictions apply) qualify for the Section 179 Deduction. For basic guidelines on what property is covered under the Section 179 tax code, please refer to this list of qualifying equipment. Also, to qualify for the Section 179 Deduction, the equipment and/or software purchased or financed must be placed into service between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012.

The deduction begins to phase out if more than $560,000 of equipment is purchased – in fact, the deduction decreases on a dollar for dollar scale after that, making Section 179 a deduction specifically for small and medium-sized businesses. However, as noted above, large businesses can expense all qualifying capital expenditures with 50% Bonus Depreciation for the 2012 tax year.

What’s the difference between Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation?
The most important difference is both new and used equipment qualify for the Section 179 Deduction (as long as the used equipment is “new to you”), while Bonus Depreciation covers new equipment only. Bonus Depreciation is useful to very large businesses spending more than $560,000 on new capital equipment in 2012. Also, businesses with a net loss in 2012 qualify to deduct some of the cost of new equipment and carry-forward the loss.

When applying these provisions, Section 179 is generally taken first, followed by Bonus Depreciation – unless the business has no taxable profit in 2012 because the unprofitable business is allowed to carry the loss forward to future years.

Section 179’s “More Than 50 Percent Business-Use” Requirement
The equipment, vehicle(s), and/or software must be used for business purposes more than 50% of the time to qualify for the Section 179 Deduction. Simply multiply the cost of the equipment, vehicle(s), and/or software by the percentage of business-use to arrive at the monetary amount eligible for Section 179

Change your oil every three months or 3000 miles!

Sound familiar? More than likely your parents ground it into your memory, so every time the little sticker in the corner of our windshield matches our odometer we immediately head for the nearest Jiffy Lube.

When was the last time you went 10,000 miles without changing your oil? If your like most of us, probably never, however, some cars are made to run that long or longer on a single oil change thanks to tighter engine tolerances, better materials, and synthetic oils.

According to a recent government survey only 33% of people had ever driven their cars 4000 miles or more on a single oil change.

The truth is, changing your oil every 3000 miles is just too often, todays engines are made to run 5, 8, 10, and even 20,000 miles between oil changes. The average oil change costs around $30, and lets say we drive the standard 12,000 miles a year, that’s $120 a year in oil changes when really you should only be spending half that, it’s not a big savings, but over time really can help line your pocketbook.

Every year we throw away millions of gallons of half used oil, one analyst from Edmonds.com said “you wouldent change your bath water halfway through, why would you change your oil” and he’s right. If you want to find out how often you should change your oil you can either check your service manual, or go to http://www.checkyournumber.org put in your year make and model, and it will tell you how often you really need to stop in to the service station.

What wiper blades should I buy?

You’re driving down the road, it’s raining & you can’t see out of your windshield due to the fact that your wipers have gone bad.  The next question you’re asking yourself is what brand should you get & what is going to be reasonably priced?  Well according to Consumer Reports the best windshield wiper blades are Valeo 600 Series & they cost only $11.  That’s 38% cheaper than PIAA Super Silicone & Bosch Icon blades.  Other brands they tested left streaks, smeared water around & missed areas of wiping after only 6 months of use.  So the best way to go when picking out wiper blades is to purchase the top-Rated inexpensive wipers. Don’t forget to replace them every 6-12 months for best results.

2012 Chevy Cruze at Rapid Chevrolet

Every time a vehicle manufacture releases a new model of car their always thinking of how to make the next year’s model bigger & better in order to wow customers & give them features that continue to update just as humans continue to evolve.  The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze is the perfect example of this.  Since the 2011 was released Chevy has made updates to improve the 2012 model & continue to think of how they can improve the 2013 model as well.  So what are the updates that have been made to the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze?  Well read on & you will see that the changes might interest you.

One of the updates for the 2012 Chevy Cruze is better fuel economy.  Chevrolet says gas mileage with the Cruze’s 1.4-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder & six speed automatic the Cruze’s most popular engine & transmission combination improves slightly, going from 37 mpg on to the highway to 39mpg.  The reason behind this improvement is made possible by a lower axle ratio.

The 2012 Cruze also receives more standard equipment then the 2011, so for those of us who like our cars to be as technology savvy as we are the 2012 doesn’t disappoint.  The Cruze now offers Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB port, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, cruise control, a leather wrapped steering wheel & a shift knob are all standard.  These upgrades were only available with the $525 Connectivity Plus Cruise package on the 2011 models.  90% of American consumers ordered the option package which made the decision to make this standard fare.

The 2012 Cruze also received several new features.  Keyless start is now optional for the Cruze 2LT & standard on the upscale LTZ model.  The Cruze Eco gains an available navigation system that was previously limited to the 2LT & LTZ trims.  Another new feature is 17-inch alloy wheels which replaced the 16-inch version that came on the 2011 2LT.  Lastly, the 2012 Cruze LTZ now boasts standard fog lamps which were optional on the 2011 Cruze model.

With the new bells & whistles the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze offers as well as the improved gas millage how could you not be curious?  There is even talk of a diesel Cruze being released in 2013 but no for sure word as of now.  So hurry on down to your nearest Chevrolet dealer to take the 2012 Chevy Cruze for a test drive.


Is the Chevy Volt Safe?

I’m sure in the last few months you have seen pictures of the Volts catching on fire in Wisconsin, weeks after they were put through side impact crash tests.

Recently the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) closed its safety defect investigation into the risk of the Volts spontaneously combusting, after not finding any discernible defect with the vehicle. General Motors will now send out a team to drain the charge from the battery’s after a crash is reported, just to stay on the safe side.

Based on NHTSA’s research on the Chevrolet Volt, they found that electric vehicle does not pose a greater risk of fire then gasoline-powered vehicles. They concluded that in a serious crash all vehicles pose some risk of fire.

Chevy Sonic

Often when you are looking for a car, there’s what you want to buy, and what you need to buy. These two different worlds don’t often jive together; often you’re stuck with a bare bones subcompact that is not really much to brag about.

Turbo charged engine, Leather heated seats, alloy wheels, remote start. What comes to mind when you think of these things?

I bet you didn’t say the new 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, built in the heart of Michigan the youthful Sonic is trying to reinvent the subcompact market, muttled in an arena with competitors like the Fiesta, Mazda2, and the Honda Fit. The Sonic features a sporty 1.8L ecotech engine as well as a 1.4L turbocharged engine paired with either a 6 speed manual or automatic transmission that is capable of getting well over 35 mpg on the highway.

Available in both Hatchback and Sedan versions, in three different trim models there is plenty to choose from, all feature a sporty double mouth grill, OnStar, halogen lights, and a digital speedometer. Other than the Chevrolet bowtie the old Aveo and new Sonic are really light years apart. Lets take a look at all the features available.

  • ·         1.4L turbocharged engine
  • ·         OnStar
  • ·         Leather Heated Seats
  • ·         Digital Speedometer
  • ·         1 free year of XM satilite radio
  • ·         Bluetooth hands free talking
  • ·         Remote start
  • ·         Build in the USA
  • ·         30.7 cubic feet with the seats down
  • ·         Alloy wheels standard in all models and trims

If you plan on tuning in like the other 110 million people this weekend to watch the Giants play the Patriots, be sure to watch the Sonic in action, since it has been made the sonic has been busy doing high speed kick flips, skydiving, bungee jumping, and being revealed at the Super Bowl, playing music?

The Sonic LS is starting at $14,495 in the USA and the fully equipped LTZ will be available for around $18,000 either way, an amazing deal!

Chevy Sonic Superbowl Commerical

AWD 2012 CTS Performance Coupe by Rapid Chevrolet Cadillac

by Peter Kottwitz

Welcome to the new world of sports cars. In today’s age people want a track ready race car, as well as a car you can cart your grandmother to church in. Introducing the Cadillac CTS All-Wheel-Drive Performance edition, this car is a more subtle version of the modern CTS-V released in early 2009, with 318 horsepower, and 273 pound feet of torque, paired with a 6 speed automatic or manual transmission the performance does 0-60 in a blistering 6.8 seconds, and with a price tag for a fully equipped model just under fifty two grand, and getting 18 city and 27 highway miles to the gallon, it’s also good for your wallet!

With the CTS, its specialty is not American strait line muscle, the magic really starts happening in the corners! Between its Nürburgring sport tuned suspension, larger brake calipers and more “hands on” feeling in the steering wheel this car will absolutely come alive!

The sports car feeling starts as soon as you go to open the door, it features poplock handles recessed behind the door frame for the best in aerodynamics, as well as push button door handles on the inside taken directly from a page in the Corvettes hand book. There is a cool modern touch from the LED lights at night that make you feel like you’re driving a spaceship. The interior offers very comfortable power heated seats for both the driver and passenger, as well as memory seats for the driver, so switching drivers is a breeze. The inside of the CTS also features a 7 inch touch screen navigation system that retracts into the dash with the push of a button, and with the new 40 gigabyte hard drive you can store all your music right in the car and not have to worry about unsightly cords from your IPod or mp3 player.

The cargo room in the CTS is class leading, beating out the reigning champ BMW 3 series. It features 13.6 cubic feet of trunk space, plenty for carrying your golf clubs to and from the green on Sunday afternoon.

All in all, we love the new CTS Performance Coupe, it has a distinct shape we have never seen before in any other cars, as well as features that you wouldn’t get anywhere else but in a $100,000 Mercedes S class, and with the maintenance being covered for 4 years or 50,000 miles and a powertrain warranty going all the way out to 5 years 100,000 this is without a doubt a big bang for your buck.

2012 Cadillac CTS

2012 Chevrolet Suburban at Rapid Chevrolet Cadillac

by Holly Johnson

For over seventy-five years the Chevrolet Suburban has gone through many changes from 1936 when it was a 2 Door panel truck to current day with a smoother body frame and 4 doors with all the upgrades of the 21st Century.  The Chevy Suburban has come a long way from an inline six cylinder engine with 90 horsepower to the current day engine choices of a 5.3L V8 with 320 horsepower or 6.0L V8 with 325 horsepower both are coupled with a 6 speed automatic transmission.  This makes hauling that boat to the lake for the weekend a piece of cake or even driving the family around town, a comfortable enjoyable ride.  With an SUV that can work just as hard as any full size truck why would you look at anything else?  With new changes to the 2012 Chevrolet Suburban isn’t it worth a look to see what it can offer you?  Even if you purchase a new or used Suburban you will be making yourself a great investment in the long run.

The 2012 Chevy Suburban holds up to nine people, some full size vans don’t even hold that many or you can easily convert the cargo space to provide 137.4 cubic feet of room for whatever you need to haul.  When it comes to fuel economy, space, and amenities, the 2012 Suburban has a leg up on the competition be it the Dodge Durango, Buick Enclave, Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia.  The 2012 Suburban also offers over 8,100lbs. of towing power when properly equipped.  Kelly Blue Book named the 2010 Suburban “Top 10 Family Car”.  In 2011 the Chevy Suburban was “U.S. News and World Reports” top two pick as being an affordable large SUV.  With the beginning of 2012 there is no doubt that the award winning Suburban will continue to top the “best of” charts.  With a low MSRP of $41,335, the 2012 Chevy Suburban is a truck based SUV that offers supreme value to buyers.

In spite of the 2012 Chevy Suburban’s truck based platform and being a workhorse functional SUV it has a modern sophisticated interior that outshines the bland design of other utilitarian vehicles.  The refined cabin is loaded with plush features giving the Suburban’s interior a contemporary look that sets it apart from its other large SUV competitors.  With each of the different trims available each one has different features such as Bluetooth, full power accessories, satellite radio, rear seat audio controls, heated outside mirrors rear parking sensors, tri-zone manual climate and remote vehicle start just to name a few.

No matter the changes the Chevy Suburban has endured it has still managed to last through history as being one of the longest made SUV vehicles on the market.  With the ability to haul anything from a boat the size of a small studio apartment to the kids Soccer team wouldn’t the 2012 Chevy Suburban be the ideal fit for you?  If you can’t afford to purchase a new Suburban even a used model will be a good investment for your present and future.

2012 Traverse Break Down from Rapid Chevy

Americans are always ready for change be it a job, a new place to live or starting a family so the fact that the average American family has 2.6 kids shouldn’t be surprising but what if you have the Brady Bunch as a family?  Well you’re in luck then because the 2012 Chevy Traverse can hold a family of eight comfortably and still has room to bring the groceries home too.  Edmunds ranks the 2012 Chevrolet Traverse 3 out of 23 Affordable Midsize SUVs which they based on analysis of 26 published reviews and test drives of the Chevrolet Traverse as well as analysis of reliability and safety data.  Why not go down to your Chevrolet dealer and check out the Traverse and take the family for a spin?

If you’re constantly on the move and your mobile device is your best friend the Traverse has features you’ll love.  OnStar Remote link mobile app lets you start your engine and lock or unlock your doors remotely from your IPhone or Android operating system.  You can check your fuel range, tank level, as well as remaining oil life or connect remotely to OnStar.  You can even schedule service making it easier to get that oil change scheduled using MYCHEVROLET to find the nearest Chevy dealer to book your appointment.  You can even use the app to call for roadside assistance, check what the warning lights and indicators mean or for some of those who lose their vehicle at a busy shopping center you can set a reminder of where you parked.

Before purchasing any vehicle you want to know it’s going to offer safety that will protect you and your family with whatever Mother Nature wants to dish out.  The 2012 Chevrolet Traverse will put your mind at ease.  Antilock disc brakes, traction & stability control, front seat side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags for all three rows is standard on all 2012 Chevrolet Traverses as well as OnStar.  In Edmunds brake testing a Traverse LTZ was able to stop from 60mph in 130 ft, a Traverse LT with smaller tires was able to do it in 135 ft.  In government crash tests, the Traverse earned a top five-star rating for overall performance, with four out of five stars being given for overall front-impact protection & five stars for overall side impact protection.  The Traverse also aced the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, where it received the highest rating of “Good” in all frontal-offset, side-impact & roof-strength tests.  

So not matter if you have a Brady Bunch sized family or a smaller family the 2012 Chevy Traverse will be able to accommodate you all.  With safety features, plenty of room, & accessories that make managing everything a piece of cake isn’t it worth it to check out the 2012 Chevy Traverse to see what it can offer you & your family?