New Civic For 2012

With all-new or substantially revised models such as the Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Elantra, and Ford Focus having been released in the past year, the compact car class is really heating up. When Honda announced they were releasing a new Civic for 2012, the expectations were high. The Civic has been one of the best selling compacts for years.

The Civics last generation debuted in 2006 and was a striking change in design and a move forward for the compact class. It offered more room and more power with better fuel economy. The model went on to win the 2006 Motor Trend Car of the Year Award and has been a huge success. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the new generation Civic is only a subtle design change from 2011.

Honda has made minor changes to the Civic’s front fascia and headlights. The rear end is noticeably different, similar to the Accord. Despite reducing its wheelbase by about an inch, the 2012 Civic has more interior hip room and shoulder room up front, and overall has 3.7 more cubic feet of passenger space. The Civic has more rear legroom than many of its competitors. Perhaps the most noticeable change in the 2012 Civic outside of the exterior tweaks is the control panel, which has a different layout than the 2011 model.

What is surprising is that Honda made no real changes to the engine. While competitors have upped the ante raising power while still improving fuel economy, Honda has only worked on improving fuel economy. The Civic retains its 1.8-liter 140 horsepower four-cylinder engine producing 140 horsepower. In comparison, the 2012 Focus offers a 2.0-liter 160 horsepower four-cylinder engine.

Honda has improved fuel economy for the 2012 Civic, keeping it inline with many of its competitors. It is rated at 28-mpg city and 39-mpg highway, a significant improvement over the 26/34 returned from the 2011 model. Honda was able to do this despite still just offering a five-speed manual and five-speed automatic transmissions. Many of its competitors offer a six-speed automatic transmission. The Civic HF model, which is designed for extra efficiency, returns 29-mpg city and 41-mpg highway. To help maximize fuel economy, Honda has installed its Eco Assist System on every new Civic, except the Si trim.

The MSRP for the 2012 Civic LX is $18,605 with destination. This is only $100 more than the 2011 model, making it worth it for prospective buyers to await the arrival of the 2012 Civic in their local dealer lots. Honda has decided to not offer a hatchback version of the model, unlike many of its competitors. While the all-new Civic for 2012 is not a dramatic departure from the 2011 model, it continues to raise the bar for the compact class.

Originally posted 2011-04-25 12:06:33. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Best Selling Small Car

When you are talking about small cars these days, you are talking about subcompacts and “mini-cars” such as the Smart Fortwo, Mini Cooper, and Fiat 500. These are the ‘A’ and ‘B’ segments of the automotive industry. So which is the best selling small car among 2011 models in the U.S.? The winner is the Nissan Versa, and the margin is wide. According to Nissan, they sold 99,705 Versa in the U.S. in 2010. This compares to 55,000 Honda Fit, its closest competitor.

The 2011 Versa comes in six trim lines; four are in sedan form (1.6 base, 1.6, 1.8 S, and 1.8 SL) and two are in hatchback (1.8S and 1.8SL). The 1.6 base sedan is a car largely for marketing purposes. It is the one of the cheapest 2011 cars you can buy with an MSRP of $9,990. However, this trim is so decontented it does not even come with a radio! It is largely just for Nissan to publicize they sell a car for less than $10,000. The Versa is assembled in Mexico.

As the name indicates Versa 1.6 base sedan comes with a 1.6-liter liter four-cylinder engine producing 107 horsepower. While the model does offer driver, passenger, and side airbags, anti-lock brakes are optional and traction control and stability control are not available. Most new cars have these features standard. The five-speed manual transmission returns EPA rated fuel economy of 26-mpg city and 34-mpg highway.

On the other end of the trim range is the 1.8 SL hatchback. It has an MSRP of $17,190. This price point gets buyers a standard continuously variable transmission, CD player, air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control. The 1.8-liter engine produces 122 horsepower, with EPA rated fuel economy of 28-mpg city and 34-mpg highway.

The Versa has a model name derived from the word versatility. Hatchback trims have 17.8 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and 50 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. This is actually more than the Nissan’s sporty Juke subcompact SUV, which has curvy styling. Versa sedans have 14 cubic feet of trunk space.

While the Versa is relatively large for the subcompact class, it falls short to the Honda Fit in cargo room as the 2011 Fit has 20.6 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and 57.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. The Fit actually has more cargo room than some compact SUVs such as the Hyundai Tucson. However, Versa are also known for their roomy interiors with good legroom.

The Versa accounts for about 20% of subcompact sales in the U.S, 2/3 of which are for hatchback trims. This is a shift, as U.S. buyers historically have been known to favor sedans over hatchbacks. However, hatchbacks offer more cargo room with comparable fuel economy to sedans.

Nissan is releasing a revised Versa for the 2012 model year, which is said to have significantly better fuel economy than the 2011 model. The 2012 Versa sedan made its debut in April at the New York Auto Show. Surprisingly, these changes for 2012 are for sedan trims only. Hatchback buyers will have to wait until the 2012 calendar year for these changes to show up in Versa hatchbacks. With the improvements in the 2012 Versa, the days of a sub $10,000 Nissan may be numbered but it should remain in the running for best selling small car.

Originally posted 2011-05-08 14:37:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Compact Car Insurance

With the present condition of the US economy, most people are trying their best to manage their budgets in such a way that helps them save money and utilize it in paying off other obligations. As they keep an eye on their household expenses, they also take a watchful decision when buying their new vehicle so that they could lower the costs of their auto insurance policy. When it comes to buying a vehicle, a buyer is often considering getting a compact car and getting auto insurance quotes with the thought of saving his hard-earned dollars on the monthly premiums.

There have been many debates about whether or not driving compact cars can help you lower your auto insurance costs. The plain and simple speculation is that if you meet with an accident with your compact car, the car will more likely endure a larger amount of damage and the persons inside the vehicle are even more likely to put up with physical injuries when compared to larger vehicles like sports utility vehicle or truck. According to the IRC or the Insurance Research Council, the cost of auto insurance claims on the smaller vehicles is higher than their large counterparts. Have a look at some warnings that you must consider while insuring your compact car.

Small car injury claims have been surging recently

As mentioned earlier, the Insurance Research Council has studied that the auto injury claim payment in accidents that are caused by light-weight vehicles was 14.5% greater than the payment in accidents caused by heavy vehicles. Since most consumers in the US are looking for ways to boost their savings, they’re buying small compact cars in response to the expensive gas prices; this is directly affecting the number of injury claims. Thus, you must consider the actual auto insurance rates before going for compact auto insurance quotes.

Small car medical claims have increased lately

Another warning that you must consider while getting your compact car insured is the higher number of small car medical claims. As per the Insurance Research Council, the medical or PIP (personal injury protection) claims were 9,250 in the year 2009 and thus this rising amount of medical claims that are associated with the compact cars must be taken into account by the car owners.

While many people tend to think that with a smaller car, the cost of car insurance will be cheaper. But the actual fact is far from being true as the compact car insurance costs will be more than that of the larger vehicles. Though compact cars can run at a greater speed than the trucks and heavy vehicles, but you need to consider the safety issue when it comes to the accidents caused by the compacts. Due to the high accident probability of the compacts, you may come across a high rate when you go in search of auto insurance quotes. So, if you want to go for cheap auto insurance quotes, make sure you go with a sedan rather than a compact car.

Originally posted 2011-04-27 12:14:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

2013 Dodge Dart

The Dodge Caliber never really hit the mark in the compact class. The five-door hatchback got off to a decent start when it debuted in 2007 but sputtered in recent years as it lagged its competitors in terms of fuel economy, interior quality, and other features. Also, unlike many of its competitors such as the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, and Toyota Corolla, and its predecessor the Dodge Neon, the Caliber was not offered as a sedan.

Chrysler hope to change its compact fortunes by reviving a name from its past as the automaker has had success bringing back names like the Challenger and Charger. The result is the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart. Fiat, which is the majority owner of Chrysler, will use a platform used for the Alfa Romeo Giulietta for the model.

2013 Dodge Dart R/T
Creative Commons License photo credit: sarahlarson

In a press release, Chrysler stated:


Dodge Dart Blends Alfa Romeo DNA and Dodge’s Passion for Performance Resulting in a Groundbreaking Car with the Ultimate Blend of Power, Fuel Economy, Handling and Style.


Taking on the Compact Sedan Class

The Dart becomes one of the most anticipated new models of 2013. The model will be offered as a sedan only, which is surprising considering hatchback sales have been on the rise in the compact class. Fiat is introducing the 500L, which is a four-door version of the Fiat 500 hatchback, perhaps hoping hatchback buyers go for that model.

The Dart will also offer sporty 18-inch wheels and an SRT model, which will produce about 300 horsepower in a compact package. The SRT would take on the likes of the Focus Focus ST, Subaru Impreza WRX, and Mazda MazdaSpeed3.

Despite its Alfa Romeo platform, the Dart will feature Dodge styling cues such as the split-crosshair grille, projector headlamps, fog lams, accentuated fenders, and LED ‘racetrack’ tail lamps. The model will also feature class-exclusive integrated dual exhaust, adding to athletic and muscular stance.

Dodge Dart at NAIAS 2012
Creative Commons License photo credit:

Dart Safety Features

The Dart offers class-leading safety with standard features that include:

  • 10 Standard Airbags
  • Reactive Head-Restraint System
  • Blind-spot Monitoring
  • Rear Cross Path Detection
  • All three rear seat positions featured Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children
  • ParkView® rear backup camera
  • ParkSense® rear park assist
  • Four-wheel, four-channel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution and traction control system
  • Brake Assist
  • Brake-lock differential
  • Electronic Roll Mitigation
  • Hill-start Assist

Engines & Fuel Economy

The 2013 Dodge Dart will offer three fuel-efficient engines including the 1.4-liter MultiAir® Turbo, which is found in the Fiat 500 Abarth. Drivers can also choose from other four-cylinder engines – new Tigershark 16-value 2.0-liter MultiAir Intercooled Turbo engine and a 16-vale 2.4-liter MultiAir engine.

Chrysler claims class-leading aerodynamics for the model. With this in combination with the fuel-efficient engines, expect fuel economy topping 40-mpg highway in some trims.

Built in America

Despite its European roots, the 2013 Dodge Dart will be built at Chrysler Group’s Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Illinois. The Dart made its public debut recently at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Dart will have a starting MSRP of $15,995, which is about average for its class, but significantly less than the $17,380 starting price of the outgoing Caliber.

The Dodge Dart release date is June 2012 for most trims. For more photos and information, go to the official Dart website.

Originally posted 2012-02-01 01:01:57. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

New Civic Si and Civic Hybrid for 2012

The Honda Civic enters its ninth generation for the 2012 model year. The changes to the normally aspirated 2012 Civic are primarily in the interior and exterior styling as the engine is largely a carryover from the 2011 model, albeit with greater fuel efficiency. However, engine carryover does not apply for the 2012 Civic Si and Civic Hybrid.

The 2012 Civic Si will be sold in both sedan and coupe versions. It features a more powerful 2.4-liter dual overhead camshaft power plant that produces 201 horsepower. This is an increase of 0.4-liter and 4 horsepower over the 2011 Civic Si. However, the big change is in torque as the larger engine produces 178-pound feet of torque, a 22 percent improvement from the 2011 model. This will give the 2012 Si a lot more oomph off the line.

The Si is definitely for performance enthusiast drivers. It has 61 more horsepower than other Civic trims. The Si also has sharper steering, quicker braking, a firmer suspension, significantly better acceleration, 17-inch wheels, and even a sweeter exhaust note than other Civics. The 2012 Civic Si’s 0-60 time is about 6.5 seconds. It comes standard with a short-throw six-speed manual transmission with limited slip differential.

Despite the power increase, fuel economy actually improves. The 2012 Si has EPA rated fuel economy of 22-mpg city and 31-mpg highway. This compares to the 2011 Si, which is rated at 21-mpg city and 29-mpg highway. In comparison to a competitor, the 2011 Volkswagen GTI, which produces a similar 200 horsepower for a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, gets EPA rated fuel economy of 21-mpg city and 31-mpg highway with a six-speed manual and 24-mpg city and 33-mpg highway with the six-speed automatic.

The 2012 Civic Hybrid also features a new engine. It uses a more powerful 1.5-liter gas engine combined with a new Lithium-Ion battery. The new battery is more compact and lighter with denser energy than the 2011 model. The Civic Hybrid is only available with a CVT automatic transmission. The Civic Hybrid only has one trim line and does not offer power seats, leather seats, sunroof, or a navigation system.

Fuel economy improves for the 2012 Civic Hybrid. Its EPA fuel economy rating is an impressive 44-mpg, up 3-mpg from the 2011 model. Despite the increase, the Civic Hybrid’s fuel economy is still about 5-mpg less than the Toyota Prius.

The Civic Hybrid’s fuel economy is about 25% better than comparably equipped standard Civic models. The Hybrid’s MSRP is $24,050, which is $5,395 more than the comparably equipped Civic LX sedan with a five-speed automatic transmission. The 2012 Hybrid has an MRSP $100 higher than the 2011 model.

The Civic is a compact model that appeals to a wide range of buyers from fuel economy minded with the Hybrid to the performance oriented Si. It comes in sedan and coupe forms but does not offer a hatchback like some of its competitors such as the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze and Mazda Mazda3. However, the Honda Fit is a subcompact hatch that is spacious for its class.

Originally posted 2011-05-13 16:01:07. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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