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.


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


  • 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.

Autonomous Cars: Right Around the Corner?

Flashback to your younger days, pondering if life would be like a Jetson cartoon when you were older—living on Mars, driving spaceship-like hovercrafts around, and talking to people without actually moving your lips.

Flash-forward to this year, and one of those estimations may not be too far off. While we cannot exactly call them spaceship-like hovercrafts, several automakers are working on autonomous vehicles—that is, self-driving vehicles.


And while automakers work away, it may be a while before we see any of these cars on the road, as some legislation is keeping them at bay. Understandably, the governing powers seem to be concerned about letting untested technology share the streets with the general public, as there are worries about endangering lives and property.

Currently, only four states (Michigan, Florida, Nevada, and California—no PA!) and the District of Columbia permit self-driving cars. Notably, California has several new rules in place for manufacturers that are planning to test a self-driving car in public. This includes a mandatory $5 million insurance policy and a fleet that doesn’t exceed 10 vehicles. Additionally, any accidents or incidents where the autonomous driving function needs to be overridden must be reported to the DMV.


It’s easy to see why people are so interested in self-driving cars. In theory, these cars could help cut down on accidents and fatalities on the road. They could operate regardless of the age or condition of its passengers. They could also drive themselves to a service center for maintenance or repairs. For the driver, they open up the time otherwise spent commuting for more productive or leisurely activity. Finally, all the mental frustration of being lost in an unfamiliar area could be eliminated.

On the other hand, for every advantage of an autonomous vehicle, there seems to be an unanswered question too. For example, if an accident does occur, who is liable? Should self-driving cars have redundant controls for an operator to take control? How reliable and secure is the software behind autonomous cars? What would happen to individuals whose livelihood depended on driving a vehicle, like bus drivers, truck drivers and taxis?

Robot Car

Beyond the concerns about safety many want to know how much an autonomous vehicle will cost. A survey conducted by JD Power in 2012 pointed out that while 37 percent of respondents would consider buying an autonomous vehicle, only 20 percent would consider it if the feature cost $3,000 or more.

Until autonomous cars become a reality, we’re left dreaming about the Jetson life.

Top Car Add-Ons People Can’t Live Without

Customizing a car to your liking is a must! From GPS Navigation to satellite radio, the add-on options are endless! Below is a list of top car add-ons.

GPS Navigation. Always know where you are going! Navigation systems are extremely popular with many car owners. Though many cars have pre-installed systems, these add-ons are more flexible and better designed than the former. They are portable units that can be used in different vehicles, as required. Many of them also have Bluetooth connectivity and other technologies that make them simpler to update and use.


Intelligent Keys. Intelligent keys are the latest trends! Intelligent keys free the car owner from being stuck to using a physical switch to get the car started. These keys can automatically configure car seats and radio stations, as well as the mirrors according to the owner’s preference.

Alloy Wheels. Wheels are one of the first things people upgrade! Alloy wheels are an option that have a very positive impact on the handling and performance of the car and also add value in a very simple manner.


Heated/Air-conditioned Leather Seats. Keep cool on a hot summer day or stay warm on a bitter cold winter night with heated/air-conditioned seats!

Satellite Radio. Sirius XM is a must in today’s cars! A large percentage of consumers are spending a lot of money on electronic upgrades, and these offer a good return-on-investment at the point of sale. These may be satellite radio or even premium stereo packages and DVD entertainment systems

sat radio

Additional Updates. Body kits such as grills, running boards, fog lights, and legal window tinting or even taillight treatments are the updates that add can add value to your car.

What are some add-ons that you can’t live without?

Pets: Man’s Best Friend AND Travel Companion

With the end of summer right around the corner, you’re trying to fit in as many last-minute vacations as possible, even if it is just a long drive for a day or a trip to Jim Shorkey! Here’s some tips to make sure you and your pet get the most out of your road trip!

Jack Russell Terrier Dog Enjoying a Car Ride.

1. Keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. Carriers come in a wide variety of sizes, from wire mesh to hard and soft-sided. Whichever one is right for your pet, make sure it’s large enough for your per to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around in. And don’t forget to secure the crate or carrier so it wont slid or slip at a quick stop.

2. Prepare your pet for a long trip by taking them on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car.

3. Feed your pet 3 to 4 hours prior to your road trip. This allows for the food to digest so your pet won’t get car sick. Don’t feed your pet in a moving vehicle – even if it is a long trip. Take a break and walk your furry friend in a pet-friendly rest stop.

4. Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no time. And on a cold day, the car can become an icebox in a matter of minutes!

5. Pack your pet’s traveling bag. Make a checklist so you don’t forget all of your pet’s necessities. Travel papers, food, bowl, leash, waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication , pet first-aid kit, and your pets favorite toy!

6. Make sure your pet has a microchip for identification and wears a collar with a tag imprinted with your home address, cell phone number, and any other relevant contact information.

7. If you plan on traveling across state lines, bring along your pet’s rabies vaccination record, as some states requires this proof at certain interstate crossings.

8. Don’t allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window; they could be injured by flying objects. And for safety reasons, keep them in the back seat in a crate or with a harness attached to a seat buckle.

9. Bring bottle water or tap water stored in plastic jugs. Drinking water from an area that they are not use to could result in an upset stomach.

10. If you travel frequently with your pet, you may want to invest in rubberized floor liners and waterproof seat covers.


Don’t forget that we are pet friendly at Jim Shorkey! So bring your pet in and find the perfect vehicle for you and your furry friend!

What To Do Before Your Lease Agreement Ends

Remember our blog post, To Buy or to Lease: That is the question? Well, for all of those who decided to take advantage of our great leasing specials and go the leasing route, here’s some pointers that will help you prepare for a lease inspection.


Step 1: Read your lease agreement to make sure you are clear on what is acceptable wear and tear. You will not be charged for normal wear and tear, but the specifics of what constitutes “wear and tear” can vary. For example, minor scratches, dents, and dings are considered to be normal. Damaged interior, dented trim, and missing parts are considered to be more excessive and you will most likely be charged.

Step 2: Go through the leased vehicle and remove all of your personal property. Make sure you check the trunk, glove compartment, center console, nooks, and crannies for all personal belongings. Check that nothing is missing, such as the car’s manual, lighter cap, floor mats, and anything else that came with the car when you originally leased it.

Step 3: Inspect the vehicle yourself for things to do to prepare it, and note any concerns you may have. Note any concerns you have about the vehicle and what would be considered wear and tear. List any concerning marks, scratches, and damaged areas that may pose a problem or cause a car lease penalty.


Step 4: Consider getting your leased vehicle detailed before its inspection. A professional cleaning and waxing will help prepare your car for inspection at the end of your lease. Detailing will also ensure that you didn’t miss anything minor before handing the car in.

Step 5: Check the tire treads as part of your car inspection preparation. Typically, your tires should have more than 1/8-inch of thread. Check your agreement for the requirements when turning in your leased vehicle. Additionally, you should make sure all the tires are the same, or you may have to purchase a new set.

And if you are turning your leased vehicle in, feel free to check out our inventory here!

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Is Heading to Auction

The first production of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is heading to the Las Vegas auction block in September. Dodge said the vehicle with VIN0001 and a Viper exclusive Stryker Red exterior will be auctioned on September 27th during the Barrett – Jackson Las Vegas 2014 auction.


Tim Kuniskis, Dodge and SRT president and CEO stated, “The 2015 Challenger Hellcat is already guaranteed to be one of the hottest cars that will roll through the Barrett-Jackson auction lanes in decades to come, the VIN 0001 being auctioned this year is the ultimate one-of-one collectible 2015 Dodge Challenger, as Dodge is ensuring there will never be another one like it.”

The Hellcat models are due out later this year and will feature the vehicle’s standard 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 engine rated at an unprecedented 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft of torque and class-exclusive TorqueFlite 8-speed paddle shift automatic transmission.


The vehicle heading to Vegas includes exclusive Hellcat accessories, like a Hemi-painted presentation box with a VIN0001 electronic vehicle build book and video documentary, still shots, vehicle footage, and an authentic Hellcat embossed Laguna Leather iPad sleeve.

Proceeds from the auction will go to Opportunity Village, a non-profit organization that serves people with significant intellectual disabilities in the Las Vegas Area.

The supercharged  vehicle is expected to arrive in dealerships in September, but the Hellcat already has a solid resume with a National Hot Rod Association-certified quarter mile elapsed time of 11.2 seconds at 125 miles per hour (with drag radicals, the run dropped to just 10.8 seconds at 126 mph). It’s these performance details that make it the most powerful production muscle car to date.


The Hellcat, starting at roughly $60,000, anchors a lineup of updated 2015 Challengers that includes nine other models.

How much do you think the Hellcat will go for in the auction? Don’t forget to check our inventory in September for the exclusive Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat!



Warranty Forever: What is it and how does it work?

Sure you hear “Warranty Forever” when you visit the dealership, listen to Jim Shorkey commercials on the radio, or browse new and used vehicles on our website, but what does “Warranty Forever” truly mean? Simply stated, “Warranty Forever” is—are you ready for this?!—a warranty forever.


We believe you should browse and buy with 100% confidence. Therefore, we provide the exclusive Warranty Forever® program with every eligible new and used vehicle we sell. This includes an engine, transmission, and drive train warranty, including seals and gaskets, for as long as you own the vehicle. When we say “forever,” we mean forever. There is no deductible or separate parts and labor charges, and we do not tact on maximum mileage or ownership term criteria. Best of all, it comes at absolutely no cost to you. You don’t have to worry about “opting in” and getting hit with another couple $1,000 on your bottom line.

All we ask is you perform the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance on your vehicle. That’s it.

We recently sat down with Jim Shorkey III, and asked him to explain Warranty Forever® in his own words. Check out the video below! If you still have any questions, visit the information pages on our website here.

SUVs, Crossovers Beat Out Sedans for “Most Popular” Title

Chances are an SUV or crossover vehicle just passed you on the road. Perhaps even while you were driving an SUV or crossover yourself. Why are we willing to go out on a limb with this? Because SUVs and crossover vehicles have overtaken sedans as the most popular vehicle body style in the U.S., according to analysis of new vehicle retail registrations by IHS Automotive. In fact, SUVs and crossovers now account for 36.5% of the new vehicle market versus 35.4% for sedans.

The Jeep Cherokee, among others, is credited with being a “key” driver in the growth of the SUV and crossover segment. According to the study, consumers appreciate such attributes as a higher seating position, higher ground clearance, more interior space, and towing capacity.

Jeep Cherokee

Interestingly, even as little as 5 years ago, sedans held the number one spot with 36.3%, while SUVs and crossovers accounted for 31.4%.

“The sedan no longer holds the dominant position it once did,” said IHS Automotive in a statement. “Through the first five months of 2014, the most popular body style in the industry among individual consumers has been SUVs and crossovers.”

Beside the Cherokee, check out some of our popular SUVs and crossover vehicles!


Kia Sorento


Kia Sportage

Kia Soul

Mitsubishi Outlander


Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Dodge Durango

2014 Dodge Journey Limited

Dodge Journey

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep Compass


Jeep Patriot

10 Car Trends That Should Have Happened

In today’s day and age, it is easy to customize a vehicle to your liking. From the exterior to interior, electronics to wheels, clicks of the mouse and clanks on the keys, you can have your dream car built in no time! But what if you had the option of turning your minivan into a convertible? Here’s a list of car trends that should have happened but never did.

1. Customizable Horn – No, we don’t mean the Dukes of Hazard horn, but any sound you wanted! Imagine the sounds you would be hearing while riding down the road.

2. Hubless Wheels – Invented by Franco Sbarro, the hubless wheel offered light weight, great rigidity, and a great deal of other benefits. Although Franco has built a variety of working hubless vehicles, the hubless wheels never caught on. They are difficult and expensive to manufacture, requiring a great deal of precision machining, and the design leaves the bearings and other mechanical parts largely exposed to the elements.

build a car

3. Rotary Engine – Used as an alternative to conventional inline engines, the rotary engine was designed with an odd number of cylinders per row in a radical configuration, in which the crankshaft remained stationary, with the entire crankcase and its attached cylinders rotating around it as a unit in operation. The rotary has a substantial power-to-weight ratio, delivers smooth power, and has fast-moving airflow. Although the rotary engine was created mostly for aviation, a few cars were built with the rotary engine, including NSU Ro80 vehicle and a variety of Mazda vehicles such as the RX-series.

4. Modular Vehicles – A modular vehicle is one in which substantial components of the vehicle are interchangeable. The modularity is intended to make repairs and maintenance easier, or to allow the vehicle to be reconfigured to suit different functions. Want a convertible? No problem. Hard top? You got it. Canopy top? Why not.

5. Exhaust Whistle – Get a whistling exhaust to complement your customizable horn!

6. Three Abreast Seating – You could be the center of attention and take two friends along for a ride! (This will help resolve all of those fights over who gets shotgun)

build a car2

7. Side Pipes – Sure they have a propensity to immolate your legs, but they look cool while doing it!

8. Off-Road Sports Car – Imagine a vehicle with the power of the Ram 2500 Altitude and the looks of the K900.

9. Wagoning – Why not have the option to wagon-size every vehicle? Kia, Mitsubishi, or Chrysler? Who do you think would be the first to jump on the band wagon and have this option?

10. Convertible Mini Van – The practicality of the mini-van and the enjoyment of drop-top motoring! Could you imagine a convertible Kia Sedona?

What would you like to be able to customize in your vehicle?