Most Reliable Compact Cars

Consumer Reports 2010 Vehicle Reliability Survey shows what their research indicates are the most reliable compact cars. Despite the troubles Toyota faced with recalls last year, Asian automakers continue to score well in reliability ratings. They are again in the lead although American automakers have made improvements. Seven of the top ten makes for 2011 predicted reliability are Asian automakers.

According to Consumer Reports, the top ten most reliable car companies are:

1. Scion
2. Porsche
3. Acura
4. Honda
5. Infiniti
6. Toyota
7. Subaru
8. Volvo
9. Lexus
10. Ford

Scion, the number one overall brand which is made by Toyota, sells only compact and subcompact models, which are primarily aimed at younger buyers. Scion’s most reliable model was found to be the xD while its least reliable model was the xB. Another standout among small cars was the Toyota Yaris, which was the make’s top rated model. Hyundai, Mazda, Kia, and Nissan finished in 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th places, respectively, in the rankings.

In terms of the least reliable subcompact and compact cars, Mini finished 25th out of 27 automakers. Its worst ranked model was the Mini Cooper Convertible. Chrysler finished in last place. For Chevrolet, which finished in 17th place, the subcompact Aveo was its lowest ranked model for reliability. Subaru models were round to be reliable with only the Impreza WRX model falling below average. The Nissan Cube did not fare well in its first year of being rated, finishing as the least reliable of Nissan’s models.

Despite the Asian automaker’s dominance in the ratings, U.S. automakers made significant strides in reliability from previous years. Chevy had 83% of its model lineup received scores of average or better. Ford, the 9th place finisher, had 90% of its model lineup received scores of average or better. However, not a single Chrysler product was able to receive a reliability rating higher than average. European brands were a mixed bag.

Consumer Reports is a leading authority on product reviews. The magazine only recommends models that have performed well in road tests, safety tests, and have a score of average or better in predicted reliability based on its annual survey

Reliability is an important factor for car buyers, as they want their car to last and be as trouble free as possible. High reliability ratings can help automakers sell cars. These most reliable compact cars mentioned herein are worth considering if you are in the market for a small car.

Originally posted 2011-04-20 16:37:20. 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

Toyota Yaris vs. Mazda Mazda2

In the compact hatchback car segment, buyers have more than half a dozen models to choose from. To help drivers narrow down their choice, in this post we make a Toyota Yaris vs. Mazda Mazda2 comparison and decide which offers the most features and convenience equipment for the price paid.

Engine And Powertrain

Both the 2012 Toyota Yaris and Mazda2 have a 1.5liter engine, but Yaris gets about 38 mpg highway compared to 35 mpg for Mazda2. The Yaris also delivers about 106 horsepower compared to 100 in the Mazda2. Both cars are front-wheel drive, have independent front suspension, and come with variable valve timing.

The cars are almost identical in weight, about 2,300 pounds. Both come standard with a 5-speed manual transmission, offer good handling, and are easy to park in tight spaces. Despite being behind in the numbers, Mazdas are well known for their solid driving dynamics making the Mazda2 a more fun car to drive.

Mazda 2

Exterior Features Comparison

The size of the two vehicles is comparable, but the Yaris is more like a coupe in terms of the shape and dimensions of the doors. Both models are available in a wide variety of colors, and the standard features are virtually the same. Both cars have a remote fuel filler door release, intermittent wipers, and come equipped with steel wheels.

Interior Amenities

Considering the price of the two models, the number of interior convenience features is impressive. Both Yaris and Mazda2 have climate control, auxiliary input jack, side guard door beams, single zone climate control, and power door locks. One advantage for the 2012 Toyota Yaris is the addition of an outside temperature gauge, something left out on Mazda2.

The Yaris also comes equipped with a cargo area light and an onboard computer, both of which are not available on the base trim Mazda2. The seatback storage is also standard on Yaris and missing entirely from Mazda2.

The front and rear headroom is virtually the same on both models. There is 39.3 inches of front headroom on the Yaris, compared to 39.1 on Mazda2. Hip room is also identical, but Mazda2 has about 87 cubic feet of interior volume compared to 84 cubic feet inside the Yaris.

Toyota Yaris Sport 2012

Safety For Driver And Passengers

Both Yaris and Mazda2 have the latest in safety technology built into the vehicle. Electronic brake distribution, 4-wheel ABS brakes, and seat belt height adjustors are standard on both models. Front deployment airbags and front side curtain airbags are included.

Halogen headlights are also standard on both Yaris and Mazda2. The vehicles have a low tire pressure indicator and pretensioners on the seat belts.

Warranty Information

Toyota and Mazda offer outstanding warranties on all models. Both Yaris and Mazda2 have an unlimited anti-corrosion protection no matter how many miles have been driven. The powertrain warranty is 60,000 miles on both vehicles, with a 36-month bumper-to-bumper protection plan.

Toyotas are highly regarded for their lengthy reliability. However, Mazdas have also proven to be reliable in recent years.

Pricing Information

The MSRP on Yaris is $14,875, and the ticker price for the 2012 Mazda2 base trim is $15,325. Comparably equipped, Mazda2 will cost on average about $450 more than Yaris. The resale value of Mazda2 is superior, however. Buyers will want to remember that the Yaris depreciates more rapidly, especially the base trim.

These two vehicles should be strongly considered in the compact hatchback class. The features are nearly identical, so buyers comparing a Toyota Yaris vs. Mazda Mazda2 will probably want to test-drive both models before making a choice about which car to purchase.

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Originally posted 2012-06-04 16:48:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

2012 Cheapest New Car

The day of the under $10,000 new car is dead. 2012 marks the first year in automotive history that car buyers cannot buy a new car for this price. Last year there were two new models with MSRPs below $10,000, the Nissan Versa and Hyundai Accent. For the 2012 model year, there are none. Prices are up for 2012, particularly in the subcompact class.

But the increased prices is not necessarily a bad thing. New safety regulations take effect this year that required every car sold in the U.S. in 2012 to offer standard electronic stability control and auto manufacturers are offering more features to buyers.

The 2012 cheapest new car is the Nissan Versa. The Versa could be had for an MSRP of $9,990 last year. The 2012 model has raised $1,000 in price to an MSRP of $10,990. However, buyers get more standard features. The 2012 Versa comes standard with air conditioning and AM/FM/CD/AUX stereo, unlike the 2011 model. The Versa was also the cheapest 2011 new car sold in the U.S.

The Versa is also the cheapest automatic model for 2012. The Versa 1.6 S CVT, with its continuously variable transmission starts at $12,760. This engine gets 33-mpg combined fuel economy. The top trim Versa 1.8 SL CVT starts at $15,660 and offers great features such as Bluetooth, USB input, and a touch screen navigation system.

Creative Commons License photo credit: pulloa
Benson and his Nissan Versa
Creative Commons License photo credit: Rhea C.

Despite the hatchback accounting for nearly 80% of its sales, only the Versa sedan is a new generation model for 2012. The Versa sedan is built on Nissan’s new front-wheel drive global “V” platform. With its redesign and fewer components, the 2012 Versa sedan weighs about 150 pounds less than it did in 2011. The sedan has actually shorter in length and height than 2011 but has the same wheelbase and width dimensions.

While the engine is lighter weight for 2012, output is almost unchanged at 109 horsepower and 107-pound feet of torque in the 1.6-liter engine. However, fuel economy in the base sedan improves to 27-mpg city and 36-mpg highway compared to 26/34 in the 2011 model. This still lags its competitors in the subcompact class, many of which are rated at 40-mpg highway driving.

One area the Versa really shines in is passenger room. The model offers more rear legroom that the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, which is a large luxury sedan. Unfortunately unlike Nissan’s other more upscale subcompact, the Cube, the Versa did not make the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s list of safest 2011 small cars.

It will be interesting to see how the largely unchanged 2012 Versa hatchback fares against the all-new Chevy Sonic and the new generation Hyundai Accent it competes against. The Versa is currently the number one selling subcompact car in the U.S.

As the 2012 cheapest new car, the model represents Nissan’s commitment to providing affordable automotive transportation. The Versa is assembled in Mexico.

Originally posted 2011-08-12 23:41:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Compact Car Sales For May 2011

Compact car sales for May 2011 show the strength of the segment. The class sold more than 130,000 units combined with the Chevrolet Cruze (22,711), Ford Focus (22,303), Hyundai Elantra (20,006), and Volkswagen Jetta (16,671) being among the leaders. Despite being the class sales leader, the Cruze’s sales were actually down nearly 10% from April 2011 when Chevy sold 25,160 units, when it finished behind the Honda Civic.

The sales figures show that Americans are being increasingly drawn to fuel- efficient cars. The Jetta TDI with its fuel-efficient turbo-charged diesel engine accounted for 22.5% of the model’s monthly sales. Overall, the redesigned Jetta is on pace to sell more than 150,000 units in 2011, an impressive total.

Detroit Institute of Arts
Creative Commons License photo credit: MichiganFirstCU

2011 Chevy Cruze

4. Firmenlauf in Köln
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ford Deutschland

2012 Ford Focus

The Japanese earthquake and tsunami that occurred in March had a significantly negative impact on sales for Japanese automakers. The Honda Civic sold just 18,341 units compared to 26,777 units in April. Honda has announced that supply shortages of key electronic parts and raw materials from Japan have reduced production of the 2012 Civic to 50% of capacity till the fall. For the first time in years, only one Japanese model was in the top 10 in sales for the month, with the Nissan Altima selling 25,525 units, good for 4th place.

The Toyota Corolla/Matrix sold just 16,985 units in May after selling 24,214 in April. The Matrix’s sales have taken a dip as the model ages and an increasing number of hatchbacks are on the market. According to Ward’s Auto, Toyota sold just 14,592 Matrix in the U.S. last year. However, the model is still a decent seller in Canada.

Toyota is determining whether or not to offer the Matrix when the redesigned 2013 Corolla is launched. However, hatchback sales are up overall. Ward’s Auto has reported that 43% of the 2012 Ford Focus’ sales have been hatchbacks. The Focus is one of the Corolla’s key competitors.

In terms of overall May 2011 auto sales, the Japanese production problems made it a big win for American manufacturers as GM, Ford, and Chrysler finished 1-2-3, respectively. Jeep posted a 55% gain in sales compared to May 2010. Jeep sold 35,573 units. Toyota finished fourth with 108, 387 units sold for the month. Its Lexus luxury division had one of the largest dips of any brand with sales falling to 12,305, down 44.6% from May 2010.

Korean manufacturer Hyundai/Kia finished fifth, a huge step for the company, as it sold 107,426 units, just behind Toyota. Kia posted a large gain with a 53.4% increase in sales to 48,212, compared to 31,431 in May 2010. Hyundia/Kia pushed Honda to sixth place in the overall rankings. American Honda/Acura sold just 90,773 units combined. Acura performed poorly selling 9,000 units, down 23.5% from last year.

Originally posted 2011-06-02 15:47:01. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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