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

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

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

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

Safe 2013 Small Cars

Small cars have a reputation for being less safe in accidents. Modern technology has solved many of the safety deficiencies as far as body construction is concerned. The smallest compacts now have advanced crumple zone engineering, side-impact door beams, and numerous better-positioned airbags.

The 2013 models have been put to the test by the IIHS, with the results showing good to excellent scores for a number of models. Here is a short list of what most experts consider to be three of the safest small cars of 2013. All have performed well in frontal, side, rear, and rollover crash tests, and each model has some very innovative safety technology built in.

2013 Dodge Dart R/T - CIAS 2012

Dodge Dart

Dodge reintroduced this old favorite for the 2013 model year, but elderly consumers will hardly recognize this new compact. It bears little resemblance to the Dart of old, is full of standard convenience features, and contains well-designed safety components.

The 2013 Dart received good to excellent scores on all of the IIHS crash tests. This model is redefining what overall safety and security means in a compact vehicle. One of the few cars available with 10 airbags, Dart also comes with a highly advanced, stiff-formed safety cage and includes the revolutionary reactive headrests.

Optional safety equipment on the up-level trims includes blind spot monitoring and rear cross path detection. All three of the rear seat positions have head restraints, the rear seating area is equipped with the LATCH system for child safety, and electronic stability control. Experts agree that the overall traction control experienced when driving this model over slick roadways is superior to most other small cars on the market.

Prius c WAS 2012 0647

Toyota Prius C

The 2012 offering is carried over for the 2013 Prius C model, which is one of the most fuel-efficient cars on the market. It’s also equally impressive in its ability to withstand high impacts while keeping occupants safe. This hybrid model achieved good IIHS test scores for front and side impacts, is full of brand new safety technology, and is offered with an extremely affordable price tag.

Prius is equipped with the Star Safety System™ which includes traction control, electronic stability, electronic brakeforce distribution, and brake assist. The driver and front passenger occupy seats designed with whiplash protection engineering, and all seating positions have 3-point seat belts.

The Prius C is manufactured with high-tensile steel body panels, features a front crumple zone, and includes a specially designed roof strengthening system that minimizes damage should a rollover occur. Standard equipment includes rear door child-proof locks, a total of nine airbags, vehicle proximity warning, and daytime running lights.

2013 Subaru BRZ

Subaru BRZ

The new Subaru BRZ earned a Top Safety Pick and is loaded with standard safety/security features. This model scored very high on crash tests and impressed critics from all corners of the automotive industry.

This sporty coupe looks a bit daring and dangerous, but once consumers examine the list of safety features, impressions turn to admiration and awe. The 2013 Subaru BRZ is equipped with frontal, seat-mounted, and side-curtain airbags, tilt-adjustable active head restraints, height-adjustable 3-point seat belts, and the LATCH system in the rear seating area.

The model comes with vehicle stability control, daytime running lights, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, and tire pressure monitor. The 2013 Subaru BRZ earned the IIHS top award for safety in the smaller, 2-door model segment. The BRZ’s sister model is the Scion FR-S.

Originally posted 2013-01-16 14:36:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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