Best Windshield Wiper Blades
Best: Rain-X- 5079281-1- Latitude-Wiper- Blade [Amazon]
- Offers great visibility in the rain, sleet and snow.
- Rain-X offers 2 different styles standard or curved
- Ice resistant frame helps to prevent snow and ice build by eliminating exposed metal components
Using high quality materials the Rain-X 5079281-1- Latitude wiper blade outpaces the name brand competition. The blade is made from a graphite coated rubber which helps eliminate metal exposure which in turn provides resistant’s to ice and snow build up during the winter season. The rubber is long lasting and very flexible great for gripping the glass surface of any vehicle which provides excellent performance year round. Rain-X provides up to 10 different size options with the ability to remove the blade, turn it around and use it again on the same side of the vehicle. High quality construction long lasting wiper blade means more bang for your buck, with easy installation this wiper blade provides the best choice for your vehicle.
2nd Place – Bosch-26A- ICON-Wiper- Blade [Amazon]
- Exclusive Dual rubber technology encompasses flexible soft layer reducing chatter
- Hard wiping edge for superior wiping performance
- 40% longer performance life vs other leading premium brands
The Bosch ICON-wiper blade comes in at a close 2 nd place to Rain-X. As far as durability is concerned Bosch have provided a wiper blade that is far superior in longevity. High end FX dual rubber material is built to last around 40% longer than other premium blades. Bosch has a patented beam design that is specifically designed to provide high visibility even when the weather is extreme. With an asymmetrical design the blade distributes the weight evenly across the entire length of the blade. Combined with contouring design it provides streak free clean sweep across your windshield. This blade comes in 12 different sizes and is a favorite among many customers. Great value and performance in rain, sleet, and snow
3rd Place – ANCO-31–31- 24-Wiper- Blade [Amazon]
- Provides aerodynamic design that works effectively even at high speeds. Great value for money
- Doesn’t last multiple seasons
The ANCO-31- 31-24 wiper blade good choice for value seeking customers. The wiper blade provides an economical solution with its DuraKlear rubber in poor weather conditions. The blade comes in 16 different sizes, with a bridge that is vented and flexible which provides a tight fit onto the windshield. Included with the blade is a KwikConnect Kit for installation, which will allow it to fit most vehicles.
Substitute: If you don’t want to get new wipers, but need to do better in the weather get: the Best Windshield Anti-Precipitation Solution: Rain x for Cars [Amazon]
Best Car Air Freshener: Air Spencer CS-X3 Squash Scent [Amazon] OR to get rid of smells – Ozium [Amazon]
Don’t get: Chemicalguys spray (only lasts a few days, Stripper scent is the best one), Febreze, Little Trees
Best Dash Cam
Z-Edge 3″ 4k $100 [Amazon]
Best Car GPS
Best GPS: Garmin nüvi 2539LMT $200 [Amazon] (better than Tomtom)
Best Hands-free Bluetooth Speakerphone
Best Speakerphone: Anker SoundSync Drive – for both phone calls and music (aux in only) $18 [Amazon]
Best Electric Vehicle Charging Station (Nissan Leaf, Tesla, etc.)
Bosch 51253 Electric Vehicle Charging Station [Amazon]
Other things to have
Best Floor Mats: WeatherTech
Best Car Cleaner
Note: Armorall is crap, and hard to get off
Best Scratch Remover
Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound [Amazon]
Follow the manual (ie whether synthetic or not). Name brand does not matter, but always get the correct viscosity.
While I encourage buying lightly used cars (~30k miles and 3-5 years old for about half of MSRP new car), due to the ever-changing nature of used car values, below are recommendations for buying new.
Also, On Reliability: In my eyes, Honda is one of if not the most reliable automobile manufacturer. I would always give them the edge, as their cars regularly last 200k+ miles with low maintenance. Of course, longevity depends on how a car is driven (which is why one should take careful consideration of the current owner when buying a used car).
For DIY car maintenance, use this guy’s videos: EricTheCarGuy. How To’s for changing oil and tires, rotating tires, replacing vital fluids (brakes, washer, coolant and power steering) and knowing when regular maintenance needs to occur for your car. A lot of people get ripped of by mechanics because they do unnecessary maintenance too soon or they wait too long and something goes horribly wrong.
Best “A to B” Vehicles
Super economical $20k:
Toyota Prius C 53/46 MPG, $20k
Family-friendly, economical (Small Cars) ~$17k:
Honda Fit $16k (better in its latest 2014 redesign: 13hp more, 33/41 mpg vs the older 27/33, slightly less noisy on highway than old version but still noisy, and more refined less “jittery”/unstable driving dynamics but less engaging)
Ford Fiesta (manual 27/38 MPG $15.1k) (auto 29/39 MPG $16.2k)
Family-friendly, economical and moderate fun (Medium Cars) $20k:
Honda Accord $22k 27/36 MPG (slightly expensive but good quality)
Mazda 3 auto-only hatchback or 4dr 27/39 MPG $17.5k-$20k [comparison – Honda Accord is more reliable but is slightly less “fun” with slightly worse driving dynamics than the Mazda 3]
Family-friendly, economical and semi-luxury $22k:
Hyundai Sonata $22k 28/38 MPG
Family-friendly, luxury sedan $35k:
Lexus ES 350 $35k (don’t think it is worth it, however, over an Accord or Sonata)
BMW 3 Series (328i) $35k (if you don’t care about reliability, but care more for styling and definitely more driving fun than the Lexus). Better than Mercedes C300 (BMW is faster, handles better, more fun to drive, more luxurious, bigger, better tech)
SUV: Family-friendly, economical and utility $25k:
Honda CR-V $25k (AWD option) 27/34
“Fun” but also utility $27k: Subaru Impreza WRX $27k 19/25 MPG [not very economical and might not be reliable but 4 wheel drive so good for bad weather]
Don’t get: Boring (Nissan Versa, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic – latest 2014 Honda Fit better than it, Hyundai Elantra – not “fun” but nice interior and MPG and price, any of the V6 Sedans like V6 Honda Accord or V6 Hyundai Sonata – just get the Subaru WRX for more power and AWD)
Best Off-Road or Luxury SUV Vehicle
Value: Toyota 4Runner – $33k 17/22 Better Off-Road than the $30k Highlander, Reasons people prefer 4Runners over Land Cruiser – Smaller and more nimble on the trails, Better fuel economy (14 vs. 17+), Cheap to get into and cheaper to fix up then LCs, IFS (Much more comfortable on the road / dirt roads), More reliable (at least the bullet proof 3rd gens w/V6). More manly and better off road than the Honda Pilot.
Ultimate: Toyota Land Cruiser $80k 13/18 MPG (better than the Ranger Rover, Mercedes GL350, Nissan Patrol)
Semi-economical and sporty “Fun”:
Toyota GT 86 / Scion FR-S 22/30 MPG (manual) 25/34 MPG (auto) $26-$27k (would get this over the Fiesta ST, slightly more fun to drive as it is Rear Wheel Drive and Toyota is more reliable)
Ford Fiesta ST manual-only 26/35 MPG $19k [comparison – Honda Fit may be more reliable, has more space but is less “fun” with worse driving dynamics than the Ford Fiesta] (Volkswagen GTI is said to be nicer to drive your family and kids to dinner, but the Fiesta ST is definitely more fun! It is also said to be more fun than a Subaru WRX even though the WRX works better in winter weather)
“Fun” but also utility / winter weather:
Subaru Impreza WRX 19/25 MPG $27k
Most fun, small (roadster), handling:
Why get a used Corvette or other high-powered car when it is illegal to use it anywhere near its full potential? A smaller low-powered car is more fun because you can push it while still staying under the speed limits.
Used: Mazda Miata ~$5-15k
Used: Honda S2000 $15k
New: Mazda Miata – 300 lbs lighter, nicer styling, great short-throw manual shifter comparable to the silkiness of Honda manuals, better gas mileage with the Skyactiv engine. The 86 / FRS/ BRZ has practicality but Miata is a more fun experience, regardless of the speed.
Super sporty and powerful:
used Corvette Z06 ~$25-35k – A used Corvette (especially the Z06) is the ultimate value in super cars. In general, people who own Corvettes baby them (low mile-age and garage-kept). However, I recommend daily driving them instead of keeping one as a garage queen (if you have it, why not enjoy it).
new Corvette Stingray – the new Z06’s extra $20k cost is probably a waste over the Stingray
Note on Snow / Wet Driving: Winter tires are more important than “AWD” and “clearance.” (And no All-Season tires are not the same as Winter Tires. There are people who survive in snowy areas like Buffalo, NY and Canada with the Honda Fit with Winter tires.
Honda Fit Hybrid Concept gets 86 mpg