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Taxes and Buying a Car

When purchasing a car, taxes can be tricky.  Taxes vary by State and sometimes by County, Parrish, or City.  Some States tax negative equity while others don’t.  If you’re trading a car in, some States deduct that amount from the taxable total.  If you’re purchasing a vehicle out of State, you’ll either pay your State tax rate at the car dealership (via a reciprocal agreement between States) or you’ll take care of taxes and fees at the DMV or Secretary of State office in your home State.  The Finance / Business Managers at most car dealerships can answer any questions you have regarding taxes when purchasing a new or used vehicle.  At Anderson Toyota and Lexus of Rockford we collect the 6.25% tax that is required in Illinois and the County we’re located in.  Being on the border of Wisconsin, we make sure to let Wisconsin residents know that they’ll only pay their 5.50% tax.

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The All New 2013 Rav4 . . . coming soon

The newly redesigned Toyota Rav4 was introduced to the world at this years Los Angeles auto show.

Toyota Press Release:

• All-New Bold, Athletic Design
• Six-speed automatic with Sequential Shift and Sport and Eco Modes
• Class-leading cargo capacity; class-leading eight standard airbags
• Available All-wheel drive with Dynamic Torque Control
• Available Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 28, 2012) –The all-new 2013 RAV4 crossover SUV made its world
debut today at the 2012 Los Angeles International Auto Show. Toyota’s fourth-generation
RAV4, the world’s original crossover sport utility vehicle, arrives early next year.
With a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine, new six-speed transmission, two-row seating
for five, and a host of available in-cabin technologies, RAV4 offers a nuanced balance of
performance and all-around capability, including class-leading cargo capacity, striking design,
class-leading eight standard airbags, and a compelling array of standard features. RAV4 will be
available in three well-equipped grades: LE, XLE, and Limited.

Performance, Handling, and Efficiency

For 2013, RAV4 will provide a number of powertrain technologies that help deliver an
engaging driving experience. It will feature Toyota’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which will produce 176 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 172 ft. lbs. of torque at 4,100 rpm. The optional V6 of the previous-generation RAV4 will be discontinued.

Replacing the previous four-speed automatic will be a six-speed transmission with
Sequential Shift. First and second gear ratios will be optimized for around-town performance.
To keep engine revs lower at highway speeds and enhance fuel mileage, fifth and sixth gears
will be overdrives.

RAV4 front-wheel-drive models have received EPA- estimated fuel efficiency ratings of
24 mpg city/31 highway, while all-wheel-drive models are EPA-estimated at 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway. A new Eco mode is designed to promote more efficient driving thus helping to
enhance fuel efficiency.

The new RAV4 will provide its active owners a more dynamic drive, with new
technologies like a Sport Mode, enhancements in suspension performance, and optimized
electric power steering. The spring rates have been enhanced, and the shock absorbers have
been optimally tuned to help the vehicles handling characteristics.

RAV4 has a MacPherson strut front suspension, double-wishbone rear suspension and
four-wheel disc brakes. The LE will ride on 17-inch steel wheels, XLE will feature 17-inch
alloys, and Limited will be equipped with 18-inch alloys.

In both front- and all-wheel drive RAV4’s, driver-selectable Sport Mode sharpens
transmission shift timing and action, and throttle response. Calibration of the Electric Power
Steering assist is also modified in Sport Mode, providing a firmer feel and sharper response to
input. When down shifting the RAV4 six-speed automatic transmission in “S” Mode, engine revs
rise with a clearly audible “blip,” adding to the driving experience.

A Toyota first, 2013 RAV4’s with All-Wheel Drive (AWD) will have Dynamic Torque
Control, a system that automatically shifts from front-wheel drive (FWD) to AWD when
accelerating or when sensors detect wheel slippage.

Dynamic Torque Control has three different drive modes: Auto, Lock and Sport. In Auto
Mode, RAV4 delivers power primarily to the front wheels under most driving conditions,
switching automatically to AWD only when needed. By only engaging the rear axle and
delivering power to the rear wheels when needed, Auto Mode helps enhance fuel efficiency and
reduce drivetrain wear.

In Lock Mode at lower speeds, RAV4 essentially has a full-time AWD system with power
delivered to all four wheels. At speeds below approximately 25 mph in Lock Mode, up to 50
percent of engine power is sent to the rear wheels, enhancing traction and helping RAV4 “dig”
through sandy or muddy conditions. Lock Mode reverts to Auto Mode when vehicle speed
passes approximately 25 mph.

As on the front-drive RAV4’s, Sport Mode sharpens shift timing, throttle response, and
steering response. In RAV4 with AWD, Sport Mode has additional benefits. It can provide
smooth and nearly instantaneous torque transfers between the front and rear wheels to help
enhance cornering performance. Under certain conditions, Sport Mode can automatically
deliver up to 50 percent of engine power to the rear wheels.

In Sport Mode, the AWD system also can apportion power based on input from the
steering angle and yaw rate sensors of the Vehicle Stability Control system. When turning into
and through a corner, power is sent to the rear wheels to maximize traction available at each of the four corners of the vehicle. Under braking in a straight line in Sport Mode, power delivery to the rear wheels can be momentarily suspended to best leverage the benefits of ABS and VSC.

Exterior Design & Body Structure

The new RAV4’s design achieves strong proportions while conveying the agile and fun
character. Sophisticated and dynamic, the exterior features a progressive silhouette, with a
sleek-sloping roofline and an aggressive character line. The new RAV4’s interior has a
premium, sophisticated look with soft-touch accents and driver-centric controls.

RAV4 pursues the design goals defined by Toyota President Akio Toyoda, with
aggressively sculpted front and rear fenders and boldly proportioned taillights that define
RAV4’s athletic presence.

In a significant break with its heritage, RAV4 will switch from its side-hinged rear door to
a convenient roof-hinged liftgate with a space-saver spare tire will be stored under the cargo
floor. Standard on the Limited grade will be a one-touch power rear liftgate with driver selectable memory height settings.

As on other recently introduced Toyotas, RAV4 engineers paid special attention to
aerodynamics, the most obvious detail being small vortex generators molded into the taillight
cases and near the base of the A-pillars. Less obvious are the aerodynamic undertrays
beneath the passenger cabin that help smooth and control airflow.

Following body-engineering principles debuted in the 2012 Camry and 2013 Avalon,
RAV4’s body structure will include high-strength steel to help achieve several significant goals, including a robust and stiff platform that enhances steering and handling precision, and a body structure that is both strong and light. RAV4 engineers used several grades of high-strength steel to form key structural components in the roof, rocker sills, floor, engine compartment and door frames. The weight savings were in part invested in sound deadening materials and an acoustic windshield, helping to create a quiet passenger cabin.

Interior Design & Packaging

The new RAV4’s dash panel is driver-centric and asymmetrical, with primary and
secondary controls all within easy reach. On the passenger side, the sculpted dash panel
creates a sense of airy spaciousness.

RAV4’s dash panel and gauges all feature Clear Blue illumination, which provides crisp
visibility in most ambient light conditions, and a unified, coherent appearance at night.
RAV4 will come standard with a manual tilt/telescope steering column, with the LE and
XLE featuring a urethane steering wheel. The Limited grade will have a leather-wrapped
steering wheel. All RAV4 steering wheels will have controls for audio, Bluetooth® hands-free
phone and audio, and the Multi-Information Display (MID).

All RAV4’s will have driver and front passenger seats with high seatbacks and a slim
back, enhancing rear-passenger knee room. The RAV4 LE driver’s seat is six-way adjustable,
including seat height.

The RAV4 XLE driver and front passenger will ride in premium bucket seats with sport
bolstering, providing ample support of the lower hips, lower torso and shoulders during
cornering. The XLE will have premium fabric with French stitching on the seats and portions of
the dash panels.

The Limited will have the same premium driver and front-passenger bucket seats found
in the XLE but will also come equipped with an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat with
memory, plus heaters in the front seat bottoms and seatbacks with two temperature settings
and driver power lumbar. All RAV4 Limited seats are trimmed in high-quality, breathable
SofTex with French stitching. SofTex also covers the center armrest, and portions of the door
and dash panels.

All RAV4’s will feature 60/40 split/fold second-row seats that recline several degrees to
enhance passenger comfort.

In contrast to 2013 RAV4’s compact exterior dimensions, the cargo area is deeper,
larger and easier to access than in the previous generation, with just over 38.4 cu. ft. of cargo capacity behind the rear seats. With rear seats folded, RAV4 class-leading maximum cargo
capacity of 73.4 cu. ft.

Privacy glass, Daytime Running Lights (DRL), cruise control, power side mirrors, power
door locks and power windows are standard on all RAV4s. RAV4 XLE and Limited feature dualzone automatic climate control, integrated fog lights, power moonroof with sliding sunshade, and heated outside mirror with turn signal indicators.

In-Cabin Technology, Audio

Standard on all RAV4 models is a Display Audio with a 6.1-inch LCD touchscreen.
Significant for this market, RAV4’s Display Audio includes a standard backup camera and
Bluetooth connectivity. When shifted into reverse, the audio display will show the image of what the backup camera captures. The image will include an overlay of positioning lines representing the parking space and approximate distance to obstacles.

XLE and Limited will offer an available GPS Navigation and Entune™ multimedia system
with satellite radio and advanced voice recognition. The Limited grade will also offer an
available JBL® GreenEdge™ Premium Audio with 576-Watts of maximum power, 11 speakers,
and GPS Navigation and Entune.

The Limited grade will offer an available Blind Spot Monitor system (BSM) that operates
when RAV4 is traveling at approximately 25 mph or above. It can be turned off with a
dashboard switch. When the system detects a vehicle in the adjacent lane, it alerts the driver
with a blinking light indicator in the side mirrors. If the turn signal is on when there is a vehicle in the blind spot of the driver’s intended lane, the indicator on the corresponding mirror will warn the driver with a solid light.

The available Blind Spot Monitor incorporates Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), which
uses the Blind Spot Monitor radar sensors at the lower rear bodywork of the vehicle. The RCTA
works at speeds between 0 and 15 mph and activates when the vehicle is in Reverse. When
backing up, the RCTA senses vehicles approaching from either direction and provides an
audible warning combined with a flashing indicator in the appropriate outside mirror.


All 2013 RAV4s will have a class-leading eight standard airbags. Like every Toyota,
RAV4 will feature the Star Safety System, which includes Traction Control, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Brake Assist, an Anti-lock Braking
System, and Smart Stop Technology.

Winter Driving Safety Tips

Driving in unsafe conditions due to inclement weather can be stressful and scary. A quick review of these tips for safe driving will prepare you to confidently face some of the most common conditions that can otherwise give cause for alarm to motorists.

Preventative Safety Tips for Any Driving Conditions 

  • Always carry a first-aid and medical kit
  • Keep jumper cables and flashlights in your vehicle
  • Stay up-to-date on your regular maintenance to ensure tires have good tread and are properly inflated
  • Regularly check that lights and turning signals operate properly
  • Ensure that your fuel tank stays above the halfway mark is a good general rule of thumb because you will be less likely to run out of gas if caught in sudden, unsafe conditions. There’s an added benefit in the winter as it facilitates easier starts in cold weather due to reduced condensation.

General Safety Tips for Driving in Unsafe Conditions 

  • Slow down! Whether it is rain, snow, ice or even heavy winds causing tricky conditions, it will take longer to stop and respond to what is going on around you. Slow down and allow more space between you and other motorists.
  • Always turn your headlights on when driving in any type of precipitation, regardless of the time of day. It may increase your own visibility and more importantly it will definitely help other drivers see you.
  • Minimize, if not avoid, using your brakes and instead decrease speed by taking your foot off the accelerator (Another reason to slow down!).
  • Leave your cruise control off and keep both hands on the steering wheel with gentle use of all the main controls – steering, clutch, brake and accelerator.
  • Stay home if at all possible. If travel can be avoided in snow, ice, rain, heavy thunderstorm or high winds, stay home. You will ensure your own safety while also reducing the number of vehicles battling the elements and thus reducing the chance accidents might occur.

Tips for Driving Safely In Rainy Conditions

  • Drive in the tracks of cars in front of you for better traction and stay in middle lane as water tends to pool in outside lanes.
  • Don’t attempt to cross moving water or large puddles. If you do end up hydroplaning don’t press the brakes and attempt to turn, rather let your foot off the gas slowly and attempt to steer straight until the tires regain traction.
  • Check your wipers (and replace roughly once a year) to ensure they adequately remove water from the windshield.
  • If your wheels start skidding, turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid and ease up on the gas or gently pump the brakes.
  • If rain becomes so heavy that you cannot see other vehicles or the edges of the road pull over and wait it out. Be sure to pull off the road as far as you safely can and keep headlights as well as hazard lights on so other motorists can easily see you.

Tips for Driving Safely in Snow or Ice 

  • Don’t idle a cold engine for a longer period to warm it up, the best way to warm the engine is by driving. If you’re driving a manual transmission, starting in second gear can also help reduce tire spinning.
  • Snow (or rain) can quickly cause windows to mist up inside the car. Use the defrosters with the A/C switched on to get the air moving which will cut down on condensation and improve visibility.
  • Use generous amounts of wiper fluid to keep the windshield clean and clear, and if driving in snow often enough switch to a low temperature fluid which will not freeze.
  • If you know you will be driving in snowy weather ahead of time, consider packing tire chains, a long tow rope, reflective triangles, a mobile charging kit and even a kit containing warm clothing plus spare food and water.
  • If your climate yields frequent snowfalls, consider investing in a good set of snow or winter tires as they will provide more traction than all-purpose tires, which may suffice only for the occasional or light snow.

This guest post was written by Freedom Rims, a Responsible Military Lender since 1983. Freedom Rims offers rims financing for a variety of performance rims and tires, including chrome rims. We offer fast and convenient credit on a large inventory of tires and wheels with our military financing options.