What Are the Best Cars for New Graduates?

Graduation season is about to start, and what new graduate doesn’t need a new car?! From driving to interviews to starting a new job to moving across town or the country, new grads need reliable transportation. Yahoo Autos recently compiled a Best Cars for Recent Graduates list, and to no surprise, some Jim Shorkey cars made the cut! Check out what they had to say about each one.

Jim Shorkey New 2015 Ford Fiesta Pittsburgh North HuntingdonNew: 2015 Ford Fiesta

Used: 2012 Ford Fiesta

Another compact car that comes in both a sedan and a hatchback and is fun to drive is the Ford Fiesta. For 2015, a base Fiesta starts at $14,455, and can be priced up to the super sporty Fiesta ST for $21,435, Like the look but not the price? A 2012 Fiesta still can bring all of the fun but will set you back $5,000 to $6,000 less than a brand new version — although you won’t find a Fiesta ST older than 2014 because that was its first year of production.

 

Jim Shorkey New 2015 Kia Optima Pittsburgh North HuntingdonNew: 2015 Kia Opima

Used: 2011-2014 Kia Optima

If a midsize sedan is what you are seeking, look no further than the Kia Optima. For 2015, the Optima’s styling has held it’s own and is still as sleek, sophisticated, and sporty as the day it was first revealed in 2010. While a used 2011-2014 Optima can be found at discounts from the original MSRP, it’s probably a good idea to keep an eye on the 2015 model year which will soon be marked down to make way for the newly redesigned 2016 Kia Optima coming out later this year.

 

Jim Shorkey New 2015 Jeep Renegade Pittsburgh North HuntingdonNew: 2015 Jeep Renegade

Used: 2011-2013 Jeep Patriot

Looking for a modern looking SUV and the brand that epitomizes American off-road driving? For 2015, Jeep has introduced the five-seater Renegade. Starting at $17,995.00 for the front-wheel-drive version, the Renegade is a sophisticated new look for Jeep that compliments the elegant Grand Cherokee, but on a smaller scale. It even comes in the dirt-loving Trailhawk 4X4, starting at $25,995. The older, less well-liked Patriot will have more cargo room and can be found used for under $15,000, although Jeep quality has been iffy in the past; as with any used car, a thorough inspection is recommended.

 

How the Jim Shorkey Car Brands Got Their Names

As most of you know or could guess, The Jim Shorkey Auto Group is named after the man who started it as just a 3-car showroom – Jim Shorkey. Now decades and dealerships later, Jim Shorkey Auto Group is still a family run business and has become one of the most recognized automotive names in Western Pennsylvania.

But how did the car brands we sell get their names? Just like Jim Shorkey, Ford, Chrysler and Dodge we’re named after their founders. While Mitsubishi, Kia, Jeep and Ram have a different story. Check out below as we break down how these iconic brands got their names!

Mitsubishi
It’s not often that a company is named after its own logo, but that’s been the case with Mitsubishi since the 1870s. Mitsu is Japanese for three, and Hishi (pronounced Bishi at the end of a word) means rhombus, or diamond. The logo is a combination of two familial crests: that of the founder, and that of his first employer.

Kia
According to Kia Motors, the name “Kia” derives from the Sino-Korean words ki (“to come out”) and a (which stands for Asia), it is roughly translated as “arise or come up out of Asia” or “rising out of Asia”

Ford
Ford Motor Company’s name pays tribute to the man, the myth, the legend himself – Henry Ford. Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production.

Chrysler
Chrysler falls into the same category as Ford and Dodge in naming their company after themselves. Walter P. Chrysler was an American automotive industry executive and founder of Chrysler Corporation.

Dodge
Dodge owes its name to the two founding brothers – Horace and John Dodge, who were both automobile manufacturing pioneers.

Jeep
Everyone always assumes Jeep comes from the slang version of the army term “general purpose,” or GP. That’s not entirely wrong, but it runs deeper than that. The Willis Overland was more frequently called the “Peep,” since it was a reconnaissance vehicle. As such it was coded GP, which meant it was a government vehicle with a wheelbase of 80 inches.

Ram
Although Dodge had produced trucks since 1917, the 1981 pickups were the first to sport the Ram name. Dodge actually used a Ram’s head hood ornament back in 1933 to characterize its trucks as rugged vehicles. The symbol was dropped in the 1950s and then resurrected for 1981 when Lee Iacocca (then President and CEO at Chrysler Corp.) and Dodge’s marketing team decided to name Dodge’s trucks after the tough beast and brought back the old mascot.

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Stop by any of our dealerships and take these iconic car brands out on a test drive today!

 

Keep Fido Safe on Your Next Road Trip with These Simple Tips

In just a few short weeks, people will start planning their summer road trips. Or maybe you’re ahead of the game, and already have your trip planned. Either way, one thing is evitable: you WILL be taking a road trip this summer.

But before you hop in your car and take off, give Fido some consideration. Instead of leaving your pooch at home or dropping him off at doggie day camp, think about taking him with you! And here at Jim Shorkey, we can help! Check out some tips below on how to protect your dog (and car) on road trips.

Buy a Ramp. It can be difficult for dogs to leap into SUVs and trucks. Consider investing in a ramp that extends from the ground to the vehicle’s load floor. This easy stroll into and out of your car can prevent unexpected injuries and expensive vet bills that may keep you in park for longer than intended. Bonus: Most ramps currently on the market fold up for easy storage.

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New Threads. Consider a tight-fitting, Velcro-closing shirt specifically designed to calm anxious canines by making them feel hugged and comfy. Therefore, if they start to panic on the road, you can calm them down without any major catastrophe.

Harness your Hound. You (hopefully) wouldn’t let a child ride in the backseat without a seatbelt, and your pooch is no exception. Keep your dog safe with a harness—most include some sort of padded vest with dog-to-car anchor points that distribute crash forces evenly over a dog’s body. They also offer several options for securing your dog in place, from a single lockdown for riding in a cargo area to two latch child-seat anchors with a human three-point seatbelt looped through the harness.

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Ahhh, That’s the Life. If your dog is traveling on vacation with you, chances are he is already living the dream. Why not make his time in the car even better with a hammock! If you can believe it, there are various hammocks for dogs available on the market that provide a comfy, waterproof berth for your dog while keeping the backseat clean.

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Keep your Distance. As all dog owners know, dogs are very excitable, especially when out of their element. To keep them from treating your car like their playground, you may want to confine them to the backseat with a partition. Most partitions currently on the market are model specific, but offer adjustable feet and sliding crossbars that allow you to customize the partition to your liking.

 

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

What Are the Best Safety Add-Ons for Cars?

Car manufacturers are deep into the technology game, constantly trying to outdo one other to come up with the latest and greatest gadget that sways car shoppers in their direction.

Unfortunately, this technology isn’t always found in used cars. And while you can rest assured that each used vehicle we sell at Jim Shorkey has undergone rigorous safety and mechanical inspections by our knowledgeable and trained mechanics, these cars may not match the same technological level as their new counterparts. But never fear, here at Jim Shorkey, we found this Consumer Reports list that details three of the best a la carte safety systems you may want to consider.

  • Radars, cameras, and other sensors are used by forward-collision warning systems to scan the area in front of your car and then warn if they calculate that you’re closing in too fast on a car. The leading aftermarket purveyor is Mobileye. A top product in their line is the Mobileye560. Using a miniature camera installed behind the inside mirror and a small display with a built in speaker that mounts to the dash, the Mobileye 560 gives audible and visual warnings if you are following too closely, begin leaving your lane without signaling, or are approaching a pedestrian or bicyclist. It can even read speed-limit signs, monitoring your speed, and dip your high beams automatically. You can also use a smart phone as the display for its various warning functions.
    Mobile eye

  • Looking where the driver may struggle to see, blind-spot warning (BSW) systems provide alerts when vehicles are lurking in the blind zones in adjacent lanes. Several aftermarket kits are available to add this useful feature, complete with sensors, electronics, and LED warning lights that are installed near the outside mirrors. When the system detects a vehicle in one of the blind zones, it lights up LEDs mounted near your side mirrors. An audible warning chirps if you start changing lanes into the path of a vehicle or some other obstruction alongside

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  • Backup cameras are both a safety and a convenience item. With their bumper-level view, they can help prevent back-over accidents, and they’re also very handy for parking in tight spaces and for lining up a trailer with your hitch. Prices start at around $100, with many name-brand systems available in the $300 to $500 range. The easiest to install are wireless systems, which use a small transmitter to beam a signal from the rear-mounted camera to a display screen on or near the dashboard. That’s simpler to install than a wired system, which involves running concealed cable from trunk to cabin. Features to look for include a wide angle of view, night-vision capabilities, and guide lines that overlay the video image, showing the car’s path. To minimize interference from other devices, look for a system that uses a digital rather than analog signal.

History Lesson: The Muscle Car

We know that its spring, which means its almost summer, which means school is almost out! But trust us, this is a history lesson you wont want to miss! And since Jim Shorkey is home to two of the most famous muscle car manufacturer’s (Dodge and Ford), we decided to pay tribute to these American classics.

The year was 1964, Beatlemania had taken over the US, NASA was training for the unthinkable, and the automotive industry launched something that would change history – The muscle car.

Due to the hot rod movement, brash, fast cars was nothing out of the ordinary. But after three decades of the same, America was left wanting more. A manufacturer’s attempt to amp up the automotive industry took the world by storm, capturing the imagination of car enthusiasts with speed, style, and the desire of the open road
.GTO

With a simple “A ha!” moment from General Motors, the muscle car was born. Pontiac Lead Engineer John Z. Delorean, had this “A ha” moment in a brainstorming meeting with his team on a spring weekend in 1963, when he realized that the midsize Tempest’s 326 cubic-inch V8 could be switched out with a torquey 389 from one of the marque’s large cars. This amped up vehicle got the name “GTO” or Gran Turismo Omologato.

The GTO had inspired many other manufacturer’s to pony up their vehicles, including auto guru, Ford. In 1964, Ford introduced the big engine/lightweight vehicle – the Mustang. The Mustang boosted an impressive appearance but also had the capability of seating four. The Mustang had paved the way for competitors like the Chevy Camaro, the Pontiac Firebird, and the AMX Javelin. Dodge had stepped up their game the most with the introduction of the Challenger and Plymouth Barracuda, which offered a more luxurious, larger footprints, sleeker styling, and massive Hemi powerplants.

The cars capabilities alone appealed to enthusiasts, but another factor also played apart – the visual. Automotive Journalist Matt Stone stated: “A big part of the muscle car fun was the image. The image, graphics, and colors went along with it. Mopar had the high impact colors [like Hemi Orange and Top Banana Yellow].”

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With the muscle car movement in full swing, independent tuning shops wanted in on the action. Among the most famous of this lot was Carroll Shelby, the former chicken farmer who raced for Aston Martin before convincing Lee lacocca to supply might Ford V8s, which he jammed into the bodies of AC Aces roadsters, yielding the legendary Shelby Cobra. Shelby also went on to modify Mustangs.

2015-dodge-challenger-srt-hellcat_100473531_l

Today, muscle cars are producing outrageous amounts of horsepower. With Ford currently offering track-ready versions of its Shelby-branded Mustangs, Chevrolet building powerful Camaros and Corvettes, and Dodge producing the roaring 707 horsepower Hellcat Challengers and Chargers under the SRT banner, there is one thing we know for sure, America will always crave the need for speed.

On the Horizon: Three Automotive Trends to Look Out for This Year

Things are constantly changing—from the seasons to the latest fashion trends to the menu at your favorite restaurant. And the automotive industry is no exception. Like clockwork, a new crop of cars, crossovers, SUVs, trucks, and subcompact cars enter the market, each one trendier than the next.

And here at Jim Shorkey, we like to stay up-to-date on all things car related. So here are our best guesses on what to except this year and beyond.

Techs and Specs Are Standard. As the times change, so do the cars. Automakers are constantly trying to stay one step ahead of each other, much to the benefit of drivers everywhere. And it’s our guess that cutting-edge technological advances are just around the corner, with even more breakthroughs coming in the form of better electric vehicle technology, first ever dirt-repellant car paint, fuel-economy saving transmissions, web-connected in-car experiences, vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V), high tech safety technology, and so much more. The industry is even looking at energy-storing car body panels for hybrid/EV usage.

Just the Way You Like It. Automakers understand everyone wants a vehicle designed for them. So get ready for a more customized, design-shifting experience over the next few years in the automotive industry.

Lots of automakers already offer such a customized experience, but moving forward you’ll be able to fine tune the way your car drives, glows (yes, glows), holds things, and potentially even the way it looks with relatively little effort.

Cozy Cabin Quarters. Already apparent in cars like the 2015 Chrysler 200, in-car cabin quality is being forever changed through feedback from user experiences and a higher class of materials being used. Thank you, carbon fiber and beautiful wood trim.

There also seems to be a trend appearing to unfold that makes the passenger and driver experience more pleasing inside the vehicle – partnerships with companies, including Beats by Dre, Bose, Siri, and Google Maps.

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Look for this to continue with an emphasis on infotainment applications (apps), entertainment (USB backseat ports), and even comfort (a la NASA-inspired seating).

Become a Master Technician with These How-To Videos

Do you need help checking your tire pressure? What about changing your cabin air filter? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Our master technician, Johnathan, is here with quick and easy how to tips on common car questions. Click the videos below and find out how to become a master technician yourself! If you haven’t mastered the craft, and need to make a service appointment, click here, and we can do it for you! We’re always looking for suggestions! Leave your car questions in the comments below!

Power Days at the Jim Shorkey Auto Group

The Jim Shorkey Auto Group has teamed up with CBS Radio to bring YOU tons of great prizes, including two box seat tickets to a ‪#‎Pirates‬ baseball game, a $50 gift card to Grille 36, a $50 gift card to a sporting goods store, and an autographed baseball! To enter, simply stop by one of our Jim Shorkey locations, fill out an entry form, and drop it into one of our ballot boxes! Contest ends 3/30/15. Good luck!

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Things Families Should Look for in SUVs

The family car has come a long way in recent years, from station wagons to souped up SUV’s, the family car has been equipped to make for a perfect road trip. If you’re in the market for an upgraded family vehicle, take a look at these tips on what to look for.

Maneuverable Second- and Third- Row Seating
When dealing with kids and child-safety seats, your car needs to accommodate it. In a two-row SUV, a sliding backseat, like the Jeep Cherokee has, allows you to move the seat forward when more cargo room is needed. You can also so it in the mos rearward position to create more space for rear-facing infant seats or those growing teenagers. In three-row seating SUVs, such as the Mitsubishi Outlander, a sliding second row is essential for the second-row passengers. This allows them to slide their seat forward to create more legroom for grateful third-row occupants.

2015 Jeep Cherokee Jim Shorkey Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

Low Step-in Height and Easy Third-Row Access
One of the most desired features in an SUV is the higher seating position that gives drivers a more commanding view of the road. Although the higher seat position is desired by the driver of the vehicle, the height can make it challenging for younger kids to climb inside. Look for a low step-in height, which refers to the distance between the ground and the bottom of the door opening.

Low Cargo Floor
In addition to a low step-in height, parents should also look for a low load floor in the cargo area. The Kia Sorento has a low load height that makes it easy to lift kids equipment, like strollers and sports gear.

2015 Kia Sorento Jim Shorkey Kia North Huntingdon

Child-Safety-Seat-Friendly Cars
Since children will be in a car seat for a few years, it’s worth making sure your SUV will work well with them. Look for easy-to-find lower Latch anchors. While all cars with a backseat are federally mandated to have two sets of lower Latch anchors in the backseat, some automakers go above that and offer three or more sets.

We’ve got the best selection of family friendly SUV’s at the Jim Shorkey Family Auto Group! Stop by our showroom and take one for a test drive today!