Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
Best Bets get above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
Expert Reviews 2 of 5
By Warren Brown
January 21, 2001
What looks like a sport-utility vehicle on a balmy day behaves a lot like an ordinary station wagon in the snow. That's the lesson from a week in the 2001 Chevrolet Tracker LT, a two-wheel-drive crossover model competing in the
mini-sport-utility market. A crossover vehicle attempts to bridge the perceived gap between a car and a truck -- providing a car's generally smoother ride and handling, some of a truck's utility and the appearance of all of a truck's
ruggedness. Popular crossover models include the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Mazda Tribute and Toyota RAV4. They are good conveyances for urban hauling, such as carrying bulky loads in congested areas. In the mid-Atlantic region and the
South, where snowstorms aren't the norm, it makes sense to buy those models with two-wheel drive instead of the available four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive systems. That is, it makes sense until "normal" weather turns "abnormal,"
leaving you with a sudden, pervasive sense of vulnerability. That is what happened on a recent trip through northern Maryland. I should've paid closer attention to the weather reports. Snow was supposed to fall on the District of
Columbia. It didn't. I seized the moment and hit the road moving north, where snow -- lots of it -- fell instead. Very quickly, the two-wheel-drive Tracker LT (in which the rear wheels get the power) reminded me that it lacked lockable
front hubs for four-wheel-drive traction and that it had no ability to apportion power, to automatically transfer power from gripping to slipping wheels, as would be the case with all-wheel drive. The rear end slipped -- not badly, but
just enough to get me to slow down. I was grateful for the warning, but my resulting behavior frustrated drivers behind me. Many motorists believe snow means "Go faster!" They have little patience for people in supposed sport-utility vehicles who choose
that moment to go slow. But in better weather and on drier roads, the 2001 Tracker LT held its own. Under those circumstances, the little sport-ute was discernibly better than earlier Trackers, with their standard 1.6-liter
four-cylinder engine. That 90-horsepower engine was adequate for short, urban commutes without cargo or passengers. But on the highway, and under loads, it was a slouch. The new Tracker LT comes with a 16-valve, two-liter four-cylinder
that develops 127 horsepower at 6,000 revolutions per minute and 134 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm. That engine revs nicely -- producing more-than-adequate power without much noise. That's saying something, considering that the Tracker is more like a
truck than its rival mini-utility vehicles, which have car-type unibody construction. By comparison, the new Tracker LT is built on a traditional, rigid truck frame. That means in
four-wheel drive -- with skid plates underneath its engine, fuel tank and transfer case -- the Tracker would be a better bet off road than, say, the Honda CR-V. But genuine off-road enthusiasts are a distinct minority in the
sport-utility world, which is one of several reasons that market is breaking up into myriad sub-segments. For example, the true marketing intent of the two-wheel-drive Tracker LT is to capture "young adult" buyers -- that is, young couples with jobs,
apartments and homes -- who are psychologically unable to commit to minivans or station wagons. It's a form of motorized escapism that works -- until it snows. Join Warren Brown tomorrow at 11 a.m. at
www.washingtonpost.com/ liveonline for "Real Wheels," his live discussion about cars.