2012 Ford Focus

The 2012 Ford Focus is an important vehicle for the automaker. It is Ford’s compact car that is sold globally in both four-door sedan and five-door hatchback forms. Compact cars are popular in world markets as they are less expensive and more fuel-efficient than midsize or large cars. With rising gas prices, they are a key segment in the U.S. market as well. The Focus is significantly redesigned for 2012.

The 2012 Focus has received mostly excellent reviews from the automotive press. In addition to is sleek styling and solid engine performance the Focus has also garnered positive feedback for its modern, chic interior. Ford has taken the model slightly more upscale offering a new Titanium trim line. One critique has been that the Focus can get rather expensive, near $25,000, in top Titanium trim line with added options.

The 2012 Focus’ engine is a real stand out in the compact class. All current trim lines have the normally aspirated 2.0-liter 160 horsepower four-cylinder engine. The engine is now the most powerful base engine in the compact sedan class, slightly higher than the 155 horsepower engine in the 2012 Mazda3. In comparison, the 2012 Honda Civic has a 1.8-liter 140 horsepower four-cylinder engine that despite having twenty less horsepower gets very similar fuel economy to the Focus. Expect a Focus 0-60 time to be about 7.5 seconds.

The Focus’ engine produces good power for the compact class while returning excellent fuel economy. With the optional six-speed automatic transmission, the Focus gets 28-mpg city and 38-mpg highway. With the five-speed manual, the Focus is rated at 26-mpg city and 36-mpg highway. Ford has utilized technology from the automakers’ EcoBoost turbo-charge engine program such as twin variable valve timing and a specially-ported intake manifold to increase air flow, helping to boost the Focus’ power.

In the U.S., the 2012 Focus is offered in four trim levels for both sedan and hatchback body styles. The sedan is available in S, SE, SEL, and Titanium trims. The hatchback comes in SE, SEL, and Titanium trims. The hatchback is about $800 more than the sedan trims but offers significantly more cargo room without compromising fuel economy.

The S trim is the entry-level sedan that has an MSRP of $16,270, which comes standard with air conditioning, CD player, power front windows (manual rear), and a five-speed manual transmission. Even in this trim, the Focus comes standard with great safety features such as ABS, traction control, electronic stability control, and driver, passenger, and side airbags.

Each trim line adds more features. The SEL sedan, which has an MRSP of $20,270 comes with the Ford sync entertainment and communication system, MyFord driver connect system, fog lights, dual-zone automatic climate control, and alloy wheels, among other features. The top line Titanium trim, which has a starting MSRP in hatchback form of $22,765, adds features that include keyless access and starting, Sirius and HD radio, 10-speaker Sony audio system, rear spoiler, and 17″ tires. However, leather seats, power seats, sunroof, and a navigation system are still optional features.

The 2012 Focus is definitely worth taking a look at if you are considering a new compact or even subcompact sedan or hatchback. It offers a responsive engine and handling, sleek styling, great fuel economy, and a variety of trim lines to meet your needs. In addition to the Civic and Mazda3, the Focus’ competitors include the Chevy Cruze, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla, Kia Forte, and Subaru Impreza.

Originally posted 2011-05-02 09:45:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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

2013 Hyundai Accent Changes

Car buyers have new choices in the subcompact automobile segment for the 2013 model year. The 2013 Hyundai Accent changes include a long list of standard features normally unavailable on an economically priced import. Even though the new generation Accent was just launched in 2012, the model is already altering its design.

Both the sedan and 5-door hatchback Accent have undergone a design change that alters the outward appearance. A bit sleeker, the 2013 Accent has graceful side contours and a swept-style front end. The color choices range from electrolyte green to ultra black, with two different shades of blue and a darker Boston red.

The Accent 5-door SE trim has a new, aerodynamic rear spoiler and a longer wheelbase. The rear hatch door is taller and allows for easy stowing of cargo. The sedan has a new rear bumper design, and both models are available with 8-spoke, 16-inch alloy wheels.

2012 Hyundai Accent 5

Dropping The Base Trim

A new GLS model has replaced the ultra affordable base trim offered in years past, and the price of the entry-level trim has risen by approximately $2,000. Apparently, competing for the lowest priced subcompact is no longer a priority for Hyundai. What comes with the increased sticker price is a GLS trim that contains more standard features than any other vehicle in its class.

The in-line 1.6L, 4-cylinder engine is now standard across the board. The advanced direct-injected engine produces 138 horsepower and 123 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,850 rpm, resulting in smooth acceleration and superior handling at any speed. The transmission is now 6-speed on all trims, with the buyer’s choice of manual or automatic.

Interior and Exterior Features

The base trim GLS now has standard air conditioning, cloth door accents, and AM/FM SiriusXM satellite radio with CD player and MP3 playback. The audio system features an iPod auxiliary input jack and six speakers. The power sunroof is a new feature for 2013 and is available on the SE model.

The 2013 Hyundai Accent also introduces a new design of the instrument cluster. There is a remote keyless entry system now available, and the interior of the vehicle now contains a sunglass holder, front map pockets and bottle holders. The rear seats are 60/40 split fold-down, allowing for the storage of items larger than can be carried in most competing models.

The base trim now has a few convenience amenities never before available on a car of this price. The body-colored side mirrors are now heated, the door handles are now body-colored as well, and the up level SE trim now has turn signal indicators located on the exterior mirrors.

Superior Fuel Economy

The new engine design with its GDI technology is a first in the subcompact automobile segment. Several automobile critics have chosen the engine as a Top 10 power system, and the all-aluminum construction helps to significantly reduce weight. The result is a very impressive 40 mpg highway, and the 86 horsepower per liter of displacement is tops in this auto segment.

Safety And Security

The 2013 Hyundai Accent comes with a total of six airbags, the advanced Vehicle Stability Management system links together the Electronic Stability Control and Motor-Driven Power Steering, and the electronic brake force distribution works to balance the braking power between all four wheels.

The 2013 Accent is designed with both front and rear crumple zones and includes 3-point seatbelts for all seating positions. The front seatbelts have pretensioners, and all trims come with active front seat head restraints.

Considering the increase in the base model price, buyers are paying more for these changes but getting a lot in return. No other 2013 model year subcompact offers such a list of convenience features combined with overall performance and fuel efficiency. Hyundai is offering a compelling value without offering a cut rate base model to attract buyers solely on price.

Originally posted 2012-08-08 13:39:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

2011 Honda Civic

The 2011 Honda Civic is a compact model that has been a strong seller for Honda for more than 20 years. This is the sixth year of its current generation. The 2011 Civic is unchanged from the 2010 model year. This is due to the fact that an all-new Civic will be released for 2012.

The Civic has a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $15,605. It is offered in four primary trim lines in sedan and coupe forms. Trim lines in order of price are: DX, LX, EX, and Si. The coupe models only have two doors while the sedans have four doors with seating for up to five. In terms of price difference, the entry level DX coupe has an MSRP of $15,605 while the DX sedan’s MSRP is $15,805.

The Si is for drivers who want performance, as the engine has 57 more horsepower than other trims. Si trims have a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine producing 197 horsepower. There is also a Civic Hybrid, which is offered in sedan form only and provides even greater fuel economy. But it is technically a separate model.

Most 2011 Civics are offered with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine producing 140 horsepower. This is about average for its class. However, the all-new 2012 Ford Focus has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 160 horsepower and offers a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2012 Focus is already on sale.

When the Civic debuted in 2006, it had a striking design for a compact car and received rave reviews from the automotive press. It won the Motor Trend 2006 Car of the Year award. However, after six years, some of its competitors have released new models that have exceeded the Civics power, fuel economy, interior refinement, safety features, and transmission. For example, many new compact models offer traction control and electronic stability control as standard features.

An up-level Civic LX sedan with an automatic transmission (AT) has a starting MSRP of $20,405. It comes standard with sunroof, air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, CD, ABS, and driver, passenger, and side airbags. The Civic offers an optional navigation system and ECS. To get traction control and ESC standard and add leather seating, buyers would need to step up to the Civic EX-L sedan with AT and navigation of $23,955. Only Civic 4-door models (except SI) with optional ESC made the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s safest 2011 small cars list.

Pictures of the 2012 Honda Civic have been released. It will be interested to see what improvements Honda makes in the new Civic. In the meantime, buyers may be able to find good deals on 2011 Civics. For example, until May 2, 2011, Honda is offering 0.9% financing for 60 months for qualified Civic sedan buyers. The 2012 Civic is expected to go on sale later this spring.

Originally posted 2011-04-10 17:26:13. 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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