How to Save Money but Still Get that V8 Engine

 

Very often drivers find themselves torn—they want to feel the need for speed with that V8 engine, but they also don’t want to spend a lot of money. Unfortunately, it’s usually a give and take; you can have one, but not both. However, the good folks at Automobile Magazine recently ranked the 10 cheapest cars with a V8 engine, and low and behold, you can many of them at Jim Shorkey! Check out which ones made the list and what the mag had to say about them.

2015 Ram 1500 Tradesman, 5.7-liter V-8, 383 hp/400 lb-ft
You might think the stripped-down, $27,420 Ram Express is the go-to pickup for cheap power, rugged capability, and no nonsense. The heart and soul of that brutally basic pickup is the iconic 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, but there’s actually an even cheaper route to get the Hemi. Opt instead for the Ram 1500 Tradesman and tick the box for the 395-hp Hemi with 407 lb-ft of torque, and you’ll walk out the door paying $690 less than you would for a Ram 1500 Tradesman with a V-6. The secret is that the Hemi can be paired with an old-school six-speed auto; it undercuts the cost of the newfangled eight-speed automatic, which is included as standard on the V-6 to eke out every last MPG. More power, less money. What more do you want?

Tradesman Express

2015 Ford F-150 XL, 5.0 V-8, 385 hp/387 lb-ft
The cheapest way to get a V-8 engine in the new, aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F-150 pickup is in a regular-cab, short-bed XL model with rear-wheel drive. The 5.0-liter V-8 itself costs $1,595 over the base 3.5-liter V-6, meaning that it slots in between the F-150’s two Ecoboost V-6 engine options, price-wise. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, but not much else—the bare-bones XL does without a CD player, power windows and locks, and cruise control, making for a no-nonsense work truck with old-school V-8 power (385 hp to be specific).

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2015 Ford Mustang GT, 5.0 liter V-8, 435 hp/400 lb-ft
There’s been a lot of buzz about the 2015 Ford Mustang’s new EcoBoost four-cylinder turbo engine, but America’s original pony car still comes with a honkin’ V-8 engine to please traditionalists. The cheapest Mustang V-8 is a base GT, which comes standard with the 435-hp 5.0-liter Coyote engine and a six-speed manual transmission. This 2015 AUTOMOBILE All-Star winner comes decently equipped to start, with features like HID headlights, a backup camera, and Ford Sync as standard, but at this price you’ll miss out on the appealing GT Performance Package ($2,495) that gives the ‘Stang a tighter suspension, better brakes, and upgraded wheels and tires.

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2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack, 6.4-liter V-8, 485 hp/475 lb-ft
People tend to lose their minds over the 707-hp Challenger Hellcat, but the real gem of Dodge’s muscle-car lineup is the Challenger R/T Scat Pack. Reviving a 45 year-old package, the R/T Scat Pack brings the monstrous 6.4-liter naturally aspirated V-8 from the $46,990 Challenger SRT 392 into sub-$40k territory. With 485 hp and a swift 4.1-second sprint from 0-60 mph, it combines the affordability of the R/T line and the performance of the SRT line. Take your pick of either the standard Tremec six-speed manual or the optional, $1,400 eight-speed automatic, and leave your opponents in the dust. The R/T Scat Pack would be even cheaper if it weren’t for Uncle Sam, who takes a $1,000 bite out of your wallet for the gas guzzler tax.

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Where Are the Best Gas Prices Around Pittsburgh?

We enjoyed a drop in fuel prices a couple of months ago around the Pittsburgh and North Huntingdon areas, only to see it slowly creeping up again.

And while many of you drive our fuel-efficient Kia Optima and Optima Hybrid, Mitsubishi Mirage, Chrysler 200, Ford Focus, and more, climbing gas prices are always a sore sight.

But don’t let these hikes pinch your wallet; check out AAA’s fuel finder tool, which can be used to find the lowest gas prices around you.

Browse our inventory here, and check out AAA’s fuel finder tool for yourself at http://aaa.opisnet.com/index.aspx!

AAA Fuel Finder

Winter Weather Fuel Economy

The Jim Shorkey Auto Group has an ample collection of vehicles with a fantastic fuel economy, including the best-in-class Mitsubishi Mirage, both the Kia Optima and the Kia Optima Hybrid, the Chrysler 200, and any Ford vehicle with Ecoboost (and even some Ford vehicles without).

And as far as we can tell, there’s only one thing that puts these fuel-efficient cars to the test: cold weather.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fuel economy tests show that, in short-trip city driving, a conventional car’s gas mileage is about 12% lower at 20°F than it would be at 77°F. It can even drop as much as 22% for very short trips, lasting about 3 to 4 miles.

But why?

Cold engine oil and other drive-line fluids cause engine and transmission friction to increase in cold temperatures. Also, it takes longer for your engine to reach its most fuel-efficient temperature when starting from a much lower temperature. This affects shorter trips more, since your car spends more of your trip at less-than-optimal temperatures. And don’t forget—those heated seats, window defrosters, and heater fans that you LOVE use additional power. Finally, colder air is denser, increasing aerodynamic drag on your vehicle, especially at highway speeds, causing it to work harder.

temperature-gauge

 

What can you do?

Park your car in a warmer place, such as your garage, to increase the initial temperature of your engine and cabin. Try carpooling or combining trips when possible so that you drive less often with a cold engine. As much as we hate to say it, don’t use seat warmers or defrosters more than necessary. Check your tire pressure regularly to ensure proper inflation. Additionally, remove accessories that increase wind resistance, like roof racks, when not in use. Finally (and maybe most harshly), minimize idling your car to warm it up. Most manufacturers recommend driving off gently after about 30 seconds. The engine will warm up faster being driven, which will allow the heat to turn on sooner, decrease your fuel costs, and reduce emissions.

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