2012 Chevy Sonic

The all-new 2012 Chevy Sonic is the first vehicle built on GM”s new global small-vehicle architecture. This four-door sedan and five-door hatch replaces the Daewoo built Aveo and Aveo5 as Chevy’s subcompact model when it debuts fall 2011. Chevy says the vehicle is designed to be the most fun to drive 40-mpg model sold in the U.S.

The Sonic is certainly a big step up from the Aveo and Aveo5. It has a vastly improved interior and all trims get standard allow wheels. Even rear seat passenger room is relatively spacious with room for six-foot tall adults. North American sold Sonics will be built in Michigan.

2012 Chevrolet Sonic
Creative Commons License photo credit: MSVG
2012 Chevrolet Sonic
Creative Commons License photo credit: MSVG

The Sonic utilizes the engines found in Chevy’s compact model, the Cruze, which debuted in 2011. Buyers can choose from the base 1.8-liter, 138 horsepower engine or an optional turbocharged 1.4-liter 138 horsepower four-cylinder engine. The turbocharged engine produces 23 more pound feet of torque than the normally aspirated four (148 vs. 125).

40-mpg highway fuel economy is expected from both engines. The Sonic comes standard with a five or six-speed manual transmission depending on the trim line. A six-speed automatic transmission is optional. The Sonic’s 0-60 time is expected to be between 8 and 9 seconds.

New models such as the 2012 Hyundai Accent and Sonic are really upping the power buyers can expect from the subcompact class. While most engines previously were in the 100-120 horsepower range, these two models both have more than 135 horsepower from fuel-efficient engines.

The Sonic made its debut in January at the 2011 North American International Auto Show. It is an important model for Chevy as it attempts to take a bigger chunk out of the growing subcompact market. The 2011 Cruze compact has been a big hit for Chevy already and in recent months has been the top selling compact model in the U.S.

Chevy Sonic LTZ Rear View
Creative Commons License photo credit: saebaryo
2012 Chevy Sonic
Creative Commons License photo credit: MSVG

One added selling point for the Sonic is that it is the only subcompact model assembled in the U.S. Its key competitors, the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit, are assembled in Mexico and Japan respectively.

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Originally posted 2011-07-03 11:37:49. 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

Best Small Cars of 2012

Compact models are safer, more fuel efficient, and more spacious than ever before. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has announced its 2012 “Top Safety Picks”. An impressive 19 compact models made the list, giving small car buyers plenty of safe models to choose from.

We make our picks for the 5 best small cars of 2012:

#1. Chevrolet Sonic – The Sonic is Chevy’s all-new subcompact model that is offers as both a four-door sedan and five-door hatchback. The model features a 1.8-liter 138 horsepower four-cylinder engine and an optional 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that returns great fuel economy of 29-mpg city and 40-mpg highway with the standard six-speed manual transmission. The Sonic hatchback has a starting MSRP of $14,635 and comes standard with 10 airbags.

2012 Sonic
Creative Commons License photo credit: Stradablog

#2. Honda Fit – The Fit, a five-door hatchback, is refreshed for 2012. Besides solid driving dynamics and Honda build quality, where the Fit really stands out is in cargo room. The Fit has more cargo room than the Hyundai Tucson SUV.

#3. Hyundai Elantra – The Elantra was redesigned for 2011 but Hyundai has improved the model’s steering for 2012. The Elantra gets impressive EPA-estimated fuel economy of 29-mpg city and 40-mpg highway with a 1.8-liter 148 horsepower engine.

The Fit has more cargo room than the Hyundai Tucson SUV

#4. Mazda Mazda3 – The Mazda3 has been a big hit for the Japanese automaker. For 2012, the Mazda3 gets a refreshed interior and exterior but the biggest news is the addition of the new SkyActiv engine technology. The optional 2.0-liter 155 horsepower SkyActiv engine returns fuel economy of 28-mpg city and 39-mpg highway for the hatchback, which is about 20% better than the base 2.0-liter engine.

#5. Subaru Impreza – The Subaru is also offered as both a sedan and hatchback and comes standard with all-wheel drive. It also boosts fuel economy considerably. While the model’s engine has decreased in size and power, its lighter weight and better efficiency increases fuel by 20% to 27-mpg city and 36-mpg highway. This makes the 2012 Impreza the most fuel-efficient all-wheel drive model sold in the U.S.

All of the above 5 best small cars of 2012 were IIHS “Top Safety Picks”. The Honda Civic is also a strong contender but has been criticized for a lower quality interior in the 2012 model. The 2012 Ford Focus is also a solid pick. The model was redesigned for 2012 and has the most powerful standard engine in the compact class.

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Originally posted 2011-12-22 00:22:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Best 2012 Compact Cars

Compact cars are now out selling midsize cars, which is a big shift for the U.S. market. As car prices rise and middle class incomes stagnate, buyers are looking to stay within their budgets and purchase more affordable, fuel-miserly cars. Unlike midsize models, most compact models are also offered in hatchback form, which offers buyers more choices and utility.

In 2010, there was a combined total of nearly 700,000 Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, and Ford Focus sold in the U.S. This is an impressive figure and the numbers look to be up even more for compact cars in 2011. But with all the competition out there are these three models really the best compact cars?

Competition is fierce and the push to get new models to market is swift. You can already purchase new generation 2012 Ford Focus and the new generation 2012 Honda Civic at your local dealer. The 2012 Mazda3 will offer a more fuel-efficient and more powerful base engine.

Toyota is not debuting an all-new Corolla until 2013 and the pressure is on for them to take a big step forward with the model. The model’s engine has changed little since 2003. Production delays from the March 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami have hampered Honda, Toyota and other Japanese automakers.

At the wheel
Creative Commons License photo credit: brownpau
Creative Commons License photo credit: irrezolut

Our votes for the three best 2012 compact cars are:

1. Hyundai Elantra – The Elantra has a stylish modern design and sophistication with great features and luxurious interior. For less than $21,000, the Elantra Limited offers heated front and rear leather seats, a navigation system, and backup camera. There are very few cars under $40,000 that offer this feature making the car a great value. The Elantra is also lauded for its comfortable ride and offers fuel economy of 29-mpg city and 40-mpg highway.

2. Honda Civic – The 2012 Civic is lighter, quieter, roomier, and more-fuel efficient than the 2011 Civic. Despite not increasing its power, Honda has made the existing 1.8-liter, 140 horsepower several miles per gallon more efficient. The model’s five-speed automatic transmission is now antiquated in this class.

3. Mazda Mazda3 – The Mazda3 has perennially been ranked near the top of the compact class since it debuted in 2004. The 2012 Mazda3 features new SkyActiv engine technology, which boosts power while increasing fuel-economy. The 2012 model also has improvements in suspension and steering for better ride quality and greater aerodynamics.

While deciding the best 2012 compact cars is subjective, the Elantra, Civic, and Mazda3 are three great choices in this class. The Elantra is also offered in station wagon form as the Elantra Touring. The Civic is only offered in coupe and sedan forms. Honda buyers will have to opt for the Fit for a hatchback. The Mazda 3 is offered in four-door sedan and hatchback forms.

For fuel-efficient minded drivers, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI is a best compact car choice. It offers fuel economy of 30-mpg city and 42-mph highway, which is better than many hybrid models, for an MSRP of $22,995. Its turbo-charged diesel engine generates a lot of torque for spirited acceleration. According to Motor Trend, the Jetta TDI has a 0-60 time of 8 seconds, which is faster than most of its compact competitors. The Jetta also has the largest cargo volume of any compact sedan model.

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Originally posted 2011-06-06 13:34:30. 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: Autoviva.com

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

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