Author Archives: James Raia

Best new cars for about $20,000

The 2014 Fiat 500 C is among the best cars in the U.S. for $20,000.

The average price of a new car in the United States is about $30,000. Doesn’t that still seem like a lot? What if the average car buyer can only afford around $20,000 on a new car? Are there new cars with price tags of $20,000 that are worthy purchases? In a word, yes. Family sedans ... Read More »

What’s in a badge? Everything for carmakers

BMW badge

By any name — badge, emblem, insignia, logo, nameplate — whatever symbol a car manufacturer uses to market and showcase its vehicles means a lot in the automotive industry. Some car badges are globally recognizable, while other a far less well known but remain distinguished among collectors and automotive insiders. A car badge is some ... Read More »

Joan Rivers, comic, Dodge spokeswoman, dead at 81


Throughout her long and often raunchy career, Joan Rivers maintained the ability to laugh at herself. She even did so as a spokesperson for what seemed out of character — promoting Dodge. Rivers, who died Sept. 4 at the age of 81, didn’t know anything but full-speed ahead. She ripped celebrities. She told dirty jokes. ... Read More »

2014 FIat 500: Proud little Italian subcompact

The Fiat 500 Pop model has a lot to offer for $18,000.

Since the FIAT 500 returned to the United States four years ago for the first time in about 30 years, I’ve driven at least a half-dozen of the little cars. They’re fun to drive and they have a refreshing amount of attitude as little engines that can. The FIAT acronym stands for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili ... Read More »