Whether on a backroad blast or sunset cruise, there’s not much better than driving a car you love. But the whimsy disappears if warning lights come on, it makes strange noises, or it breaks down and leaves you stranded. Regular maintenance is essential, and best left to professional mechanics. However, your daily driving habits can help your car stay out of the shop and on the road. Here are four super simple – and inexpensive – ways to maintain your whip.


Warm it up

So often you’re in a rush to get out the door. You get in the car, fire it up, and roll right away. But cars are (sort of) like people: they need to warm up before they get moving. After you turn your car on, give it some time to idle before you drive. This allows motor oil to lubricate engine components thoroughly, without which harmful metal-on-metal contact occurs. Wait a minute to let oil circulate. It’s likely your car will run more smoothly, and will definitely help prevent long-term wear.


Pump it up

The air pressure in your car’s tires has a huge effect on how it drives. Underinflated tires wear down faster, decrease fuel efficiency, increase strain on the engine, and are more likely to blow out if you hit road debris. Fortunately, keeping your tires at the right PSI is just about the easiest way to maintain your car.

Every 1,000 miles or so, make sure they’re inflated properly. The PSI rating is usually printed on a sticker under the driver’s door, or in the owner’s manual. Use the air compressor at a gas station, or invest in a portable compressor to keep in the trunk. Elevation and ambient temperature affect tire pressure, so check if you drive up into the mountains, and when seasons change. With correct tire inflation, you’ll notice your car drives better right away.


Keep it light

Lotus’ lightweight sports cars are engineered under a singular philosophy: “Simplify, then add lightness.” What that means is that lighter cars drive better, which you don’t need a sports car to appreciate. Trimming weight helps with maintenance, too. The more stuff inside your car, the heavier it is, which reduces component lifespan and MPG.

That’s not to suggest you rip out the air conditioning and speaker system, but form a habit of removing excess clutter. You don’t need to carry tire chains in the summer. Outdoor gear like a bike rack only helps when you’re headed outdoors. And piles of school or work documents are better off in a filing cabinet. Sure, the difference might be incremental, but over many thousands of miles, keeping your car lightweight helps.


Keep it clean

Would you have guessed that washing your car makes it last longer? There’s a lot of gunk on the road which, over time, degrades your car’s paint and components on the undercarriage. This exposes metal to the elements, which can cause rust that’s difficult or impossible to repair. The key to preventing this is to wash your car. You don’t need a full detail and wax job, but if your car’s exterior looks grimy, give it a wash. Keeping it clean is especially important in wintry climates where salt is used to de-ice roads. That salt causes rust that eats right through the body, and it doesn’t take any explaining why extra holes in your car is bad.

Remember these tips next time you go for a drive. With them in mind, you’ll be able to avoid taking your car to the mechanic, improve your MPG, and help your car drive better overall.

Cars have come a long way since the first Fords rolled off the assembly line. Every time technology has advanced over the last 100 years, we’ve found a way to incorporate it into our cars.

So with the momentum of progress, how much do we expect cars to change in the coming year? What high-tech features can we expect to see incorporated into more and more car models?


1. Autopilot

Tesla has currently cornered the autopilot market with its self-driving features that come equipped on nearly every Tesla model. But Tesla won’t be alone in this niche market for very long. Self-driving cars are well on their way to becoming standard equipment in a variety of different car models, which seems to be a good thing. Experts have estimated that once self-driving cars become a standard option, they could potentially reduce car accidents by up to 90 percent.

Since most car accidents are caused by human error, if you reduce the human element from driving, you reduce much of the potential for accidents. This could save upwards of 30,000 lives in the United States alone annually.

Cadillac is the latest manufacturer to join the self-driving car craze with their 2018 CT6 Sedan.


2. Heads-up displays

Anyone who’s played a first-person-perspective video game in the last 20 years is familiar with the concept of a heads-up display, or HUD, where pertinent information is displayed in front of your eyes so it can be easily accessed.

In a car, the HUD usually appears on the windshield, bringing information like speed, RPMs, engine temperature, and fuel up from the dashboard so the driver doesn’t need to look down to determine how fast they’re driving.

HUDs have become almost standard equipment in high-end luxury cars like those offered by BMW and Volvo, but they’ve started appearing in Chevrolets, Mazdas, and Minis, too.

In the future, these HUDs may be customizable to include only information pertinent to the driver, or incorporate navigation tools, but for now, they are a great way to help keep your eyes on the road and off the dashboard.


3. Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence gets a bad reputation thanks to movies like “Terminator” — where an AI takes over the world and destroys all of humanity — but it can actually be a useful tool to keep drivers safe and will probably be appearing in more models as the software becomes more mainstream.

Tesla’s cars already use a rudimentary collective AI that allows the cars to learn about traffic conditions, road changes, and other obstacles.

If one connected Tesla encounters, say, a roadblock due to construction, it canconvey this information to the cloud, where it can be downloaded by other Teslas, allowing the cars to learn how best to avoid the problems.

In spite of his inherent dislike of artificial intelligence, Elon Musk has suggested that, in the future, your car may be intelligent enough to predict your destination before you even tell it where you want to go.


4. Mobile spa visits

Image: SlashGear

If self-driving cars become mainstream, what are you supposed to do during your morning or evening commute? How about a mini spa treatment while you travel? Mercedes has introduced a new “Energizing Comfort” function that provides customized spa treatments for each seat.

Offerings include temperature controls, massaging seats, customizable climate control and even audio and aromatherapy.

These functions can be customized for each seat of the car. If you need some extra energy but your passengers need to relax, you can each experience your own custom spa treatment.

There are even pre-programmed “training” programs that allow you to perform low-impact exercises designed to help you relax — just the thing you need after a long day at the office.

Mercedes is the first manufacturer to offer this sort of in-car spa treatment. But if it catches on, you may find it coming standard in any cars that are equipped with self-driving features.


5. Automatic valet parking

Finding a parking space, especially in a busy or populated area, can be a nightmare.  Self-driving features could potentially change all that. What if all you had to do was hop out at the curb and tell your car to go park itself?

Some places are already working on creating self-parking facilities. These parking lots or garages are overseen by a master program that tells the cars what parking spots are open, where to park, and when to return to pick up their drivers.

Unfortunately, it won’t work with just any car yet. It relies on existing self-driving software to work, so if your car can’t drive itself there’s no way it can park itself.

Once self-driving cars become more common, though, parking will become a breeze even in densely-populated areas.

We’re watching technology change before our eyes and we couldn’t be more excited! What high-tech features are you most looking forward to in the coming year?

Deluxe & Super Deluxe Class cars

More thrills, more frills

Guests on Turo are continually awed by driving the jaw-dropping, heart-stopping, drool-worthy cars that hosts share on Turo. So now, the experience of finding and booking higher value cars is way easier, to get more qualified guests on more trips in more swanky cars.

Esther’s Rolls-Royce Ghost, Los Angeles, CA


New badges and filters

Booking a high value or dream car is one of the most undeniable thrills of Turo. To make these cars simple to search for, they’ll be getting new Deluxe and Super Deluxe badges on their car pages, and guests will be able to filter by these categories when they search. Vehicles in the US valued from $55K to $85K will receive a Deluxe Class badge, and those valued above $85K will receive a Super Deluxe Class badge.


Breezy Super Deluxe Class driving

The opportunity to drive a Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, or a modified Porsche is enticing to many guests. However, until now, the experience of booking these cars involved a manual review process that could take 1-2 days. Now the entire process has been automated, and guests can book these extraordinary rides via the app itself, without waiting on a manual review.

Premier Auto Miami’s Ferrari 458 Italia, Miami Beach, FL

Keep in mind, guests still have to qualify to book Super Deluxe Class cars. They will need to pay a deposit of US$1,500 and also will be required to select one of the protection plans offered via Turo. If guests have personal insurance that provides comprehensive and collision damage, they can enter their insurance information to get $500 knocked off their deposit. Additionally, guests will still have to be 30 years old or older to book Super Deluxe Class cars.


Deluxe Class upgrades

While Deluxe Class cars aren’t quite as exclusive as Super Deluxe Class, they’re still striking head-turners, like an iconic Porsche Cayman or an exhilarating Jaguar F-Type. Today, guests have to be age 30 or older to book these cars. Going forward, we’ll be lowering that age restriction to allow responsible guests age 25 and over to book Deluxe Class cars, as long as they meet our additional requirements.

Lawrence’s Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Los Angeles, CA

Approved drivers aged 25 and older, but under 30, will need to pay a US$1,500 deposit and will be required to select one of the protection plans offered via Turo. If guests have personal insurance that provides comprehensive and collision damage, they can enter their insurance information to get $500 knocked off their deposit. The experience for guests 30 and older will remain unchanged.


Make a splash

The Deluxe and Super Deluxe Class vehicles that hosts list on Turo are part of what makes our community so unique and fun. These changes will not only improve the experience for guests trying to book these cars, but will also help hosts give more guests amazing experiences in their awesome, swanky cars.


Advice from a fellow giant

Sometimes, being a tall car geek feels like a curse. I’m six feet, ten inches, and I know there are cars I’ll never be able to drive because I simply won’t fit behind the wheel. No matter what’s available on Turo, many cars don’t have the legroom or headroom — or either — for me to get comfortable. There are days I wish I were shorter so I could have more options to drive.

But since I can’t change my height, I have to find ways to pursue my automotive passion. Over the years I’ve had opportunities to drive lots of cool cars, and sometimes I’m surprised at what works and what doesn’t. With some, it’s fairly unbelievable I can even get inside.


Mini Cooper

Kristian’s Mini Cooper (Seattle, WA)

This little car might be the biggest surprise of all: the Mini Cooper is among the most spacious vehicles I’ve driven. It has tons of space in the driver’s seat, at the expense of anyone sitting in the back — but they’d be squeezed regardless. I’ve road tripped a 2010 model from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and I was comfortable the whole way up. My legs were stretched out almost fully and I had plenty of headroom. While the car’s nimbleness made it darty on long freeway stretches, it did the trip in just over one tank of gas, and I would’ve been happy to head back south the next day.


Mazda Miata

David’s Mazda MX-5 Miata (Phoenix, AZ)

The ultimate tiny roadster is a definite no-go for tall people. I went to try the current-generation ND Miata when it hit showrooms but I couldn’t get my legs under the steering wheel. Shame, because I hear this version is the best one yet.

However, a friend with an original NA model let me drive his for a laugh. Somehow I was able to jam myself in the driver’s seat — top down, of course — but I wouldn’t call it a success. My left knee got stuck between the door and steering wheel, which held the turn angle and prevented the wheel from returning to center, leading to a few sketchy situations. The laughs didn’t last and we decided not to try again.


Scion FR-S

Jeff’s Scion FR-S (Portland, OR)

Conversely, the Miata’s main rival, the Scion FR-S, works a lot better. While I wouldn’t want to spend hours in it, I fit surprisingly well, enough to verify the car’s fun-to-drive hype. I had to hunch a little to not hit my head on the ceiling, but the small-diameter steering wheel let me get my legs underneath. The FR-S is quite wide, so my passenger and I weren’t brushing shoulders. With an aftermarket bucket seat positioning me lower in the chassis, I’d consider making the FR-S my daily driver.


Porsche 911

Steven’s Porsche 911 Carrera S (San Diego, CA)

This legendary sports car is also my favorite, in no small part because it’s so spacious for tall folks like me. I’ve sampled the 997 and 991 generations and both were excellent fits, with plenty of adjustment at the seat and steering wheel. The car’s rear-engine layout means it drives unlike anything else, with massive traction at the back and a light yet solid front end. It’s no surprise the 911 has been in production for 50 years, and I hope they keep it tall person-friendly for future generations.


Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Pavel’s Porsche Cayenne Turbo S (Emeryville, CA)

It may seem strange that Porsche’s giant truck fit me worse than their classic coupe, but the Cayenne had a similar problem to other SUVs I’ve sampled. The high driving position puts my knees at an angle, like I’m sitting in a chair, whereas in a coupe I sit lower and can usually stretch out further. Headroom was abundant, but after a while the inability to stretch my legs led to cramping. Regardless, the Cayenne’s turbocharged acceleration was impressive.


Tesla Model X

Quan’s Tesla Model X (Milpitas, CA)

Speaking of impressive acceleration, the Model X was both a stunner and very spacious. The entire drivetrain is packaged in the floor of the car, meaning there’s no hump for a driveshaft or other mechanical bits encroaching on the interior. This led to an open feeling inside, and the seat provided lots of adjustment for me to get comfy. The massive windshield also aided how roomy it felt. Oh, did I mention the acceleration? Once you’ve experienced an electric motor’s instant torque, nothing feels the same.


Lamborghini Huracán

Premier Auto Miami’s Lamborghini Huracán (Miami Beach, FL)

Sadly, this sleek Lambo was impossible for me to try. I saw the Huracán at a car show when it was still brand new. As I stood among the throngs of onlookers, a company rep noticed me and waved me over. He was curious to see how I fit in the car — market research, he said. I took a moment to strategize my entry, but realized it wasn’t going to work. My torso alone was about eight inches longer than the bottom of the seat to the top of the ceiling. While I’ll never be able to drive the Huracán, I’ll always admire it from afar.


McLaren MP4-12C

Sean’s McLaren MP4-12C (Hermosa Beach, CA)

For some cars I’m willing to origami myself just so I can say I drove it. Such was the case with the MP4-12C. The gullwing doors opened wide but inside was a horrible fit. My drive was uncomfortable, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity simply because I was cramped. This was a supercar in every sense: acceleration, braking, handling, and looks. Clearly, however, McLaren’s engineers skimped in the “fit ridiculously tall people” department.


Mercedes-Benz S550

Erika’s Mercedes-Benz S-Class (Chicago, IL)

The quintessential luxury sedan is the only car I’ve driven where I didn’t have to put the seat all the way back. That I could actually move it forward a few inches means that someone even taller than me might be comfortable. What’s more, I fit in back even with the driver’s seat adjusted for me. With huge space and a pillowy ride, it’s no wonder the S-Class is popular with NBA players everywhere.

An ode to fallen heroes

The auto industry is a tough place. Nearly a dozen American car brands have called it quits in the last few decades, some fledgling startups and some legendary hundred-year old companies. Tesla is the only significant American automaker started in the last 60 years that’s still alive, a testament to the kind of innovation and cultural revolution necessary to gain a foothold in the market.

Some failed manufacturers were too niche or poorly run. The more recent brands to kick the bucket were victims of the 2008 housing crisis, dropped by their parent companies to streamline portfolios and concentrate resources into the moneymaking marques. Those business decisions are understandable, but for those of us who enjoy variety and consumer choice in the auto industry, regrettable.

James’ 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP (Las Vegas, NV)

To celebrate and honor the founding of these United States of America, we’re taking a stroll down memory lane to visit some of the fine products made by now-defunct American carmakers. Some of these brands have century-old model histories, so we’re focusing on the more recent examples found right here on Turo. Take a gander at the last breaths of some American greats and try driving a piece of history.


Mercury (1938-2011)

Mercury was a division of the Ford Motor Company from its inception, essentially offering premium rebadged Fords throughout its 73-year lifespan. Despite producing some successful models like the Cougar and the Comet, Mercury dwindled into insignificance during the twenty-first century, and Ford axed the brand after the 2008 crash.

Junjian’s 2008 Mercury Mariner (Burlingame, CA)

Today, the Mercury brand engenders little enthusiasm — their recent models were affordable and largely unremarkable. But one day these cars will be recognized as a part of history, and their Mercury badges will make them more interesting than their Ford counterparts. This 2008 Mariner is recognizably a Ford Escape — a practical, no-frills family SUV.

AZValueCarRentals’ 2005 Mercury Montego (Scottsdale, AZ)

This last generation of the Mercury Montego was introduced as a version of the Ford Five Hundred, a full-size sedan assembled in Chicago. The Montego was developed alongside Volvo, who helped ensure acceptable build quality and finish.


Pontiac (1926-2010)

The loss of Pontiac was truly a cause for sadness in the enthusiast community. The storied make acted as General Motors’ performance brand since the ‘60s, producing many legends during the golden era of muscle. The Pontiac Tempest GTO was the very first muscle car, and Pontiac followed it up with favorites like the LeMans, Firebird, and Fiero. Somewhere along the way, Pontiac lost its edge. Sales fell sharply during the ‘90s, ultimately leading GM to cut the brand in 2010.

James’ 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP (Las Vegas, NV)

Here is something exciting. The full-size Pontiac G8 (a rebadged Holden Commodore) was one of the standouts of Pontiac’s last decade, offering impressive performance for the price. This 2009 G8 GXP is a true gem — the top-level GXP trim was only offered for one year, during which fewer than two thousand units were made. This car makes 415 horsepower from a 6.2L V8, the same engine found in the Corvettes of the time. It has a manual transmission, Brembo brakes, and upgraded suspension, and it’s safe to assume this baby will be soon be sought-after as a classic.

Al’s 2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP (Brooklyn, MI)

The Solstice was a budget roadster with a friendly face. But this one here is in the GXP trim, which had a turbocharged 2.0L engine making 260 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. It was the very first direct-injection engine offered from an American manufacturer, so this car too is a piece of history.

Ryan’s 2006 Pontiac GTO (Tempe, AZ)

The GTO is perhaps Pontiac’s greatest contribution to automotive history, but the last generation of the legendary name fell short of the legacy. It received a lukewarm reception from consumers who felt it was too conservative. However, this 2006 GTO packs a 6.0L V8 and 400 horsepower, so give it a whirl and get back to me about just how conservative it really is.


Hummer (1992-2010)

Hummer was what happened when AM General packaged its Humvee military vehicles for civilian use. The Hummer was a bit of a cultural phenomenon, becoming popular for its gigantic size and rugged, boxy look. Both the H2 and smaller H3 had famously terrible fuel efficiency, offering about 10 mpg and 14 mpg, respectively. GM unsurprisingly discontinued the Hummer brand after it filed for bankruptcy in 2008.

Alexander’s 2008 Hummer H2 (Jersey City, NJ)

Marcelo’s 2006 Hummer H3 (Miami, FL)


Saturn (1985-2010)

GM introduced Saturn in the ‘80s and billed it as “a new kind of car company.” Saturn never really took off like it was supposed to, and it ended up simply poaching customers from other GM brands. Not many Saturn models are looked back upon fondly, and the brand met a messy end after failed attempts by GM to sell the company.

Ernest’s 2007 Saturn Sky (Los Angeles, CA)

Look familiar? The Sky roadster was Saturn’s version of the Pontiac Solstice. It received slightly revised styling, but otherwise it’s very much a Solstice with a Saturn badge.


Oldsmobile (1897-2004)

Oldsmobile was one of the world’s OG automakers when it was finally shuttered in 2004. Olds was founded in 1897 and made over 35 million vehicles during its run, closing up shop as the oldest surviving American automobile marque. Its history is long and rich, and Oldsmobile produced countless cherished cars over the decades. In the end, Olds was doomed by GM’s crowded stable of brands and the emergence of luxury Japanese makes like Lexus, Acura, and Infiniti.

Ross’s 1955 Oldsmobile 88 (South Jordan, Utah)

This beautiful machine is a prime example of American automotive design in the ‘50s. This 1955 Oldsmobile 88 is a full size sedan, with pillar-less windows, gleaming chrome, and many delightful details. It carried a “Rocket” V8, which made 170 horsepower, but just look at this thing. Really — click the link and go through the pictures. It’s fantastic.


Plymouth (1928-2001)

In 1928, Chrysler introduced Plymouth as its entry-priced brand. During its long tenure, many successful and now collectible cars bore the Plymouth name. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, muscle cars like the Barracuda, GTX, and Road Runner represented the height of Plymouth’s achievements. The marque saw much success in drag racing with these models until the oil crisis. In 2001, Chrysler (then DaimlerChrysler) absorbed a few of the remaining Plymouth models, and the brand was discontinued.

Jeffrey’s 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda (El Cajon, CA)

The Barracuda is one of the most collectible muscle cars of the golden era of muscle. This 1970 340 ‘Cuda rocks a 5.6L V8 and plenty of attitude to match. The Barracuda is the Plymouth most affectionately looked back on, thanks to its style and differentiation from the more common Camaros and Mustangs. Oh, and it has one of the coolest names ever put on a car.


DeLorean Motor Company (1975-1982)

John DeLorean was an engineer and General Motors executive when he left to start his own company. Seeking favorable tax incentives, the DeLorean Motor Company built its factory in Belfast, Northern Ireland, then torn apart by sectarian violence. Delays, budget overruns, and inexperienced workers led to DeLorean’s car, the DMC-12, to suffer many build quality issues as it began production in 1981.

As his company hemorrhaged money and the DMC-12 underperformed in the market, John DeLorean became desperate to find funding. In 1982, he was filmed conspiring to smuggle millions of dollars worth of drugs into the US. DeLorean was ultimately acquitted as it was revealed he was set up as part of an FBI sting operation designed to arrest drug traffickers.

Eliezer’s 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 (Marina del Rey, CA)

But the damage was done, and DeLorean’s reputation was tarnished. All hopes for much-needed investment went out the door and the DeLorean Motor Company went bankrupt, having produced around 9,000 cars from 1981–1982.

Andrew’s 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 (Marina del Rey, CA)

Best comic book and movie cars

A mechanical ode to Comic Con

Comic Con in San Diego this weekend is the world’s premier comic book, pop culture, and entertainment convention. Picture cars and fictional whips are great fun to see outside the context of their stories, and even better when you can drive them yourself.

We thought we’d join in on the Comic Con fun and compile a bunch of our favorite cars from comic books, TV, and movies. What follows is a list of these vehicles, all of which are available to drive right here on Turo!



Leslie’s Pursuit Special V8 Interceptor (Howell, MI)

Mel Gibson’s Pursuit Special V8 Interceptor in the original Mad Max was based on a 1972 Ford Falcon, just as this right-hand drive, fan-made replica is.



Cameron’s 1959 Chevrolet Corvette (Redondo Beach, CA)

In Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Phil Coulsen drives a beloved 1962 cherry red Corvette named Lola (Levitating Over Land Automobile). This first-generation Corvette also looks the business, but is a few years older and does no levitating over land, as far as we are aware.



Cameron’s 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 (Redondo Beach, CA)

I think we all know what this is from as soon as we see it. If you’re going to build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?



Michael’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (Marquette, MI)

In Tokyo Drift, American high school student Sean Boswell learns and eventually masters drifting after Han loans him his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX. This Evo IX is also heavily modified with body kit, new turbo, wheels, and much, much more.



Sungjin’s 2011 Audi R8 Spyder (Chicago, IL)

Iron Man made the R8 famous before the supercar was even released. In the second Iron Man installment, Tony Stark used an R8 Spyder to haul his father’s business park map/element blueprint up the PCH. Not a common use-case, but still a cool car.



Jon’s KITT (Los Angeles, CA)

The self-driving, bulletproof, turbo-boosted Pontiac Firebird driven by the Hoff in Knight Rider is one of television’s most lovable mechanical characters. Fight crime and take names with this KITT replica whenever you’re in LA.



City Center Exotics’ 2017 Acura NSX (Houston, TX)

For The Avengers, Tony’s daily driver was upgraded to the Acura NSX, and this sleek supercar turns just as many heads as its German counterpart.



Simply Rent a Car’s 1969 Mini Cooper (Inglewood, CA)

The original The Italian Job has an excellent chase scene that featuring over seven minutes of 1968 Mini Coopers scampering through malls and sewage tunnels with only three lines of dialogue. This 1969 Mini Cooper packs 134 horsepower from its 1.8L engine and makes 40 mpg. And it’s right-hand drive like in the movie, so there’s also that.



Andrey’s 2012 Chevrolet Camaro (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

We could go on and on about the vehicles in Transformers, but the Bumblebee Camaro in the first Transformers film is the classic modern movie car. Even though Bumblebee was a Volkswagen Bug in the original cartoon, he helped make Chevy’s new Camaro generation a hit when Transformers came out back in 2007.