2012 Mini Coupe

Mini Cooper sales are still strong as the model enters its 11th model year since its re-launch in 2002. The Mini brand, which is owned by BMW, has since expanded beyond the Cooper, the turbo-charged Cooper S, the John Cooper Works, and the Cooper convertible, to new models such as the larger Cooper Clubman and the new Mini SUV in 2011, the Countryman.

Mini is adding the two-seat 2012 Mini Coupe to its lineup for the new model year. The model is based off the Cooper, which is a four-seat hatchback model, with a similar front end and the same engines but sits an inch lower, has a rear spoiler, and a more sporty appearance.

Fuel efficiency is expected to be better a couple mpg better in the Coupe than the more traditional Cooper. The Coupe base gets EPA estimated fuel economy of 30-mpg city and 39-mpg highway with the six–speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic is also offered. Expect a Mini Coupe 0-60 time of about 8 seconds in base form.

The 2012 Mini Coupe has a starting MSRP of $22,000, about $2,000 more than the Cooper. With its lighter weight and lower profile, expect the Coupe to have superior handling than even the Cooper’s famously go-kart like agility.

Mini recently celebrated the production of the 2,000,000th modern Cooper. British Prime Minister David Cameron drove the model off the assembly line floor and Mini plans to hold a contest to give away the car. The model is a convertible and has a special Two Million Mini paint job and a special interior only found in this car.

The 2012 Mini Cooper is largely a carryover from the 2011 model. It offers the same 1.6-liter 121 horsepower four-cylinder base engine, the 1.6-liter 181 horsepower Cooper S, and the 1.6-liter 208 horsepower John Cooper Works trims. A convertible model is available in all trim lines.

The 2012 Cooper does offer new option packages and customization options for the interior surface, upholstery, and exterior colors. It also has an optional rear view mirror with digital compass. Mini enthusiasts can even add an 8-gear collapsible bike that fits into the back of the hatchback.

The Mini is not one of the cheapest new cars but it has helped reshape the public’s perception of small hatchbacks making them fun, luxurious, and sporty. The brand’s sales success has helped lead to the explosive growth in the small car market, moving it beyond just basic, cheap transportation.

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Originally posted 2011-09-02 23:28:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

2011 Honda Civic

The 2011 Honda Civic is a compact model that has been a strong seller for Honda for more than 20 years. This is the sixth year of its current generation. The 2011 Civic is unchanged from the 2010 model year. This is due to the fact that an all-new Civic will be released for 2012.

The Civic has a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $15,605. It is offered in four primary trim lines in sedan and coupe forms. Trim lines in order of price are: DX, LX, EX, and Si. The coupe models only have two doors while the sedans have four doors with seating for up to five. In terms of price difference, the entry level DX coupe has an MSRP of $15,605 while the DX sedan’s MSRP is $15,805.

The Si is for drivers who want performance, as the engine has 57 more horsepower than other trims. Si trims have a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine producing 197 horsepower. There is also a Civic Hybrid, which is offered in sedan form only and provides even greater fuel economy. But it is technically a separate model.

Most 2011 Civics are offered with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine producing 140 horsepower. This is about average for its class. However, the all-new 2012 Ford Focus has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 160 horsepower and offers a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2012 Focus is already on sale.

When the Civic debuted in 2006, it had a striking design for a compact car and received rave reviews from the automotive press. It won the Motor Trend 2006 Car of the Year award. However, after six years, some of its competitors have released new models that have exceeded the Civics power, fuel economy, interior refinement, safety features, and transmission. For example, many new compact models offer traction control and electronic stability control as standard features.

An up-level Civic LX sedan with an automatic transmission (AT) has a starting MSRP of $20,405. It comes standard with sunroof, air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, CD, ABS, and driver, passenger, and side airbags. The Civic offers an optional navigation system and ECS. To get traction control and ESC standard and add leather seating, buyers would need to step up to the Civic EX-L sedan with AT and navigation of $23,955. Only Civic 4-door models (except SI) with optional ESC made the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s safest 2011 small cars list.

Pictures of the 2012 Honda Civic have been released. It will be interested to see what improvements Honda makes in the new Civic. In the meantime, buyers may be able to find good deals on 2011 Civics. For example, until May 2, 2011, Honda is offering 0.9% financing for 60 months for qualified Civic sedan buyers. The 2012 Civic is expected to go on sale later this spring.

Originally posted 2011-04-10 17:26:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

2011 Ford Fiesta vs. 2011 Honda Fit

The Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit are two of the best subcompact cars. The 2011 Fiesta is a new model for Ford as it returns to the U.S. subcompact market. It is offered in sedan and hatchback forms. Since the Fit is only offered in hatchback form, it is only fair to make a 2011 Ford Fiesta vs. 2011 Honda Fit comparison with the Fiesta in hatchback trim. The Fiesta is assembled in Mexico while the Fit is made in Honda’s home country of Japan.

The 2011 Fiesta comes in a total of five trim lines: S sedan, SE sedan, SE hatchback, SEL sedan, and SES hatchback. The SES hatchback has a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $17,120, with a five-speed manual transmission.

Since its debut in the U.S. for the 2007 model year, the Fit has consistently been named one of the top subcompact models with its large interior space for its size, agile handling, and Honda reliability. The 2011 Fit is offered in five trim lines: 5-Spd MT, 5-Spd AT, Sport 5-Spd MT, 5-Spd AT, and 5-Spd AT w/ navigation system. The Sport 5-Spd MT has a starting MSRP of $16,860, which is a little less than the Fiesta SES.

Both models have standard features that include air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, and CD player. However, the Fiesta adds power seats as a standard feature where as it is an option in the Fit. With an automatic transmission and added options, the Fit climbs several thousand dollars in price above the Fiesta.

Both models have comparable engine power. A 1.6-liter 119 horsepower four-cylinder engine powers the Fiesta while a 1.5-liter 117 horsepower four-cylinder engine powers the Fit. Torque is 109 pound feet in the Fiesta compared to 106 pound feet in the Fit. According to Motor Trend magazine, with the automatic transmissions, the Fiesta has a superior 0-60 time of 9.5 seconds, compared to the Fit’s 0-60 time of 10.2 seconds. The Fiesta is helped by a six-speed automatic transmission, where as the Fit has only a five-speed automatic.

With its more modern engine, the Fiesta has better fuel economy getting an EPA rating of 28-mpg city and 37-mpg highway. This compares to the Fit’s fuel economy, which is 27-mpg city and 33-mpg highway.

In terms of safety features, both models have ABS brakes, electronic stability control, traction control, and front, passenger, and side airbags. The Fiesta was named a “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety, where as the Fit was not.

Where the Fit clearly wins against the Fiesta is in cargo room. It has a spacious 57.3 cubic feet or cargo room with the rear seats folded flat and 20.6 cubic feet with the rear seats up. This is almost as much total cargo room as the Chevrolet Equinox compact SUV. The Fiesta SES has a much smaller 26 cubic feet with the rear seats down, and 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up. Fits are also highly regarded for their agile handling.

In our opinion, the winner in a 2011 Ford Fiesta vs. 2011 Honda Fit comparison is the Fiesta. It is more efficient and a better overall value. However, this may soon change. Honda will likely make improvements to the Fit for the 2012 model year. If it has improved fuel economy and new features, it could move it ahead of the Fiesta. And if you want more cargo room, the Fit is the better choice even in 2011.

Originally posted 2011-04-02 06:41:35. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Most Stolen Cars

Car theft is a major problem throughout the country. Each month, many thousands of cars are broken into and stolen. Some owners park their car one night only to wake up the next morning and never see it again. Car break-ins affect nearly all neighborhoods, and are a significant contributing factor to high auto insurance costs.

LoJack, a company that provides theft prevention and car recovery services, has released its 2010 “Vehicle Theft Recovery Report”. It is the second year the company has published the report, which lists the top 10 most stolen cars in America. According to LoJack, the number one most stolen car in 2010 was the Honda Accord, a popular midsize sedan. Number two on the list was the Honda Civic, a compact sedan.

This is a flip from 2009 when the Civic finished as the most stolen car and the Accord finished second. Hondas have been popular theft targets for years due to their renowned reliability and popularity for parts and ability to make modifications. Honda makes Acura, which had a model place fourth on the list, making three of the top four most stolen cars in 2010 Honda products.

Below is the top 10 list for most stolen cars of 2010 according to LoJack:

1. Honda Accord

2. Honda Civic

3. Toyota Camry

4. Acura Integra

5. Cadillac Escalade

6. Toyota Corolla

7. Dodge Ram

8. Nissan Altima

9. Nissan Maxima

10. Chevrolet Tahoe

Three of the cars on this list are compact models – the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Acura Integra. The Integra is actually a compact sport coupe that was sold from 1995-2007. Excluding the two SUVs and one pick-up, all cars in the top 10 list were made by Japanese automakers.

No matter how much your car is worth, if you wish to better protect it from theft, you may wish to consider purchasing LoJack’s service. It is available at many auto parts stores. How it works is that a LoJack transmitter is installed, hidden inside of your vehicle. In that way, if your car is stolen, the tracking device allows police to find and recover it. With this device installed, vehicle recovery usually only takes a few hours.

LoJack has a high success rate noting that nearly 90% of the vehicles equipped with its tracking hardware were recovered in 2010. The company is now offering a 24-hour recovery guarantee.

Originally posted 2011-04-17 12:54:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

2011 Small Sedans

Several magazines have recently published articles comparing 2011 small sedans. These reviews focused on new sedans that have a starting price below $17,000. In the April 2011 edition of Consumer Reports (CR), eleven small sedans were tested. The Volkswagen Jetta finished dead last.

Volkswagen had a highly successful year in 2010 with increased sales and nearly $10 billion in profits. It is aspiring to increase its sales by 20% in the U.S in 2011 and it may be well on its way to doing that. However, in order to position the Jetta at a lower price entry point, according to CR, Volkswagen has left little to like about the car, besides the $15,995 MSRP. CR cited its worse interior and suspension than the 2010 model and weak handling.

The Jetta base and S trim line have a 2.0 liter, four-cylinder engine 115 horsepower, which is largely the same engine that Volkswagen has been using for more than 15 years. Even when CR tested a trim line with the larger 2.5-liter, 170 horsepower, five-cylinder engine, they called it coarse-sounding and came away disappointed with long brake distances and a six-speed automatic transmission that was reluctant to downshift.

However, if you are looking for fuel economy, the Jetta is offered with an efficient turbo diesel that gets an impressive 30-mpg city and 42-mpg highway, which is superior fuel-efficiency than even subcompact such as the Ford Fiesta.

In a recent Car & Driver magazine article comparing new or recently redesigned small sedans, the Jetta also finished last among the five tested. The cars tested, and the order they finished in the comparison were the 2012 Ford Focus SEL, 2011 Mazda 3 s Sport, 2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited, 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LT RS, and 2011 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 SEL. All of these models were upper level trim lines with as tested prices between $22,830 and $25,345. The 2012 Ford Focus SEL was declared the winner but also had the highest as tested price.

There are more than a dozen different types of 2011 small sedans for buyers to choose from. While prices typically start in the $15,000 to $17,000 range, some small sedan models now offer options previously not seen in this class, such as leather seats and navigation systems. These features can bring their price up to near $25,000.

Originally posted 2011-04-07 15:31:28. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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