How to Buy Used Cars

We usually focus on smaller new cars on this blog, but for those on a budget or just looking to save on vehicle costs, used cars can be the way to go. However, when buying a used car, buyers need to carefully inspect the vehicle and spend more time investigating its history and condition than they would a new car.

Instead of writing a lengthy post providing tips on how to buy used cars, we are providing this infographic below courtesy of our friends at While this infographic was prepared for a British audience, these tips are global in nature.

used car infographic

Originally posted 2012-05-09 09:58:08. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

2012 Toyota Yaris

The 2012 Toyota Yaris is a refreshed version of this subcompact model. While the model has many changes for 2012 perhaps the biggest change is that the sedan is no longer offered. With the growing sales of hatchbacks and their greater cargo capacity, Toyota has decided to refocus the Yaris as a hatchback only.

The Yaris comes in thee primary trim lines: L, LE, and SE. The SE trim is offered as a five-door only and has 16” alloy wheels. The L and LE offered three door trims. USB, Bluetooth, and auxiliary connections are standard.

2012 Changes

The 2012 Yaris has a sharper exterior with new front and rear fascias and new headlights and taillights. While the 2009-2011 Yaris had an awkward appearance, the 2012 Yaris looks a bit sportier, more along the lines of the new Hyundai Accent hatchback. The model’s height has been lowered by 0.6” inches to improve handling and balance.

The 2012 Yaris has a new instrument panel and redesigned thee-spoke steering wheel. The wheelbase grows by 1.9” allowing for greater interior room. Cargo room increases by an impressive 25% over the 2011 model. The Yaris also offers an impressive nine airbags standard.

Engine & Fuel Economy

Toyota seems to be going the way of Honda and making only modest engine changes. The model still has a 1.5-liter 106 horsepower four-cylinder engine.

The Yaris also retains its antiquated four-speed automatic transmission option (a five-speed manual is standard) while several of its competitors offer six-speed transmissions. Toyota has made the engine lighter and extracted more fuel economy in the Yaris.

The 2012 Yaris’ fuel economy improves to 30-mpg city and 38-mpg highway with the manual and 30/35 with the automatic, which is comparable to the Honda Fit and Mazda Mazda2. According to Motor Trend, the 2012 Yaris SE has a 0-60 time of 9.1 seconds with the manual.


The 2012 Toyota Yaris has a starting MSRP of $14,115 with the 3-door L model. The top line Yaris 5-Door SE with the four-speed automatic starts at $17,200. The 2012 Yaris is on sale now.

Originally posted 2011-12-05 01:19:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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 Hyundai Elantra

The 2011 Hyundai Elantra is all-new from 2010. It bodes sleek styling and an innovative design for a compact sedan, in line with Hyundai’s “fluidic sculpture” design theme, also seen in the larger Hyundai Sonata. The Elantra stands out among its compact competitors – in a good way. This is important as buyers have more than a dozen compact models to choose from.

The 2011 Elantra is offered in three trim lines. The entry level is the GLS M/T, which has an MSRP of $14,945. It comes standard with power door locks, power windows, air-conditioning, and CD player. All 2011 Elantras come with a 1.8-liter, 148 horsepower four-cylinder engine, which is about average for the compact class.

At the wheel
Creative Commons License photo credit: brownpau
2011 Shanghai Auto Show * Elantra Girls
Creative Commons License photo credit: jiazi

The Elantra GLS M/T comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, which helps it achieve impressive fuel economy of 29-mpg city and 40-mpg highway. The GLS A/T offers a six-speed automatic transmission that also achieves 29-mpg city and 40-mpg highway. It has an MSRP of $17,195.

The top trim is the Elantra Limited. It has an MSRP of $20, 195. It comes standard with leather seats and sunroof. A navigation system is an optional feature. All Elantras come standard with an impressive list of safety features including traction control, ABS, electronic stability control, and driver, passenger, and side airbags. The Elantra is on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s list, making it among the safest small cars.

The Elantra is offered only in four-door sedan form. Its trunk has 14.8 cubic feet of cargo space. The model is not offered in a sporty, performance-oriented trim, such as the Honda Civic Si. According to Motor Trend, the Elantra’s 0-60 time is 9.1 seconds with the six-speed automatic transmission. This is 1.1 seconds faster than the 2010 Elantra but 0.5 seconds slower than the turbocharged Chevrolet Cruze. However, the model’s six gears make the car feel quicker.

The Elantra Touring model is a station wagon version of the Elantra. However, for 2011, Hyundai retained the previous generation styling for the Touring. It has not been announced when the new design will be incorporated into the Touring, which offers a stout 65.4 cubic feet of cargo space, significantly larger than the Hyundai Tucson compact SUV.

The 2011 Elantra is assembled in Ulsan, South Korea. It comes with a 5-year/60,000 mile basic warranty, a 10-year/100,000 power train warranty, and a 7-year/unlimited mileage rust warranty. This is the best in the automotive industry.

The 2011 Elantra is off to a strong start. In April, it was the 9th best selling car in the U.S, and the 4th best selling compact model. The model is definitely worth considering if you are looking for a compact sedan. Its key competitors are the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, and Mazda Mazda3.

Originally posted 2011-05-31 02:15:30. 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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