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 Scion iQ

If you are looking for a 2-door subcompact, there is another model to choose this fall. The all-new 2012 Scion iQ will go on sale offering a stylish design, a host of modern standard features, great fuel economy, and Toyota reliability. The iQ will be the world’s smallest four-seat vehicle making it a great commuter vehicle.

The 2012 iQ is not really competing for price, it is competing for value, styling, and features. The model will not be among the cheapest new cars. The iQ is really aimed to take on other premium micro sub-compact models such as the Mini Cooper. The model will come nicely equipped with a starting MSRP of $15,995 including destination. This is several thousand dollars more than the larger scion xD and just a few hundred dollars less than the much larger Scion xB.

2011 Scion IQ
Creative Commons License photo credit: MSVG
2011 Scion IQ
Creative Commons License photo credit: MSVG

The iQ features a class-leading 10 standard air bags including the world’s first rear-window curtain airbag. Air bags will also be for the front and rear head, and dual front side. Its impressive list of safety features also includes ABS, vehicle stability control, traction control, emergency brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution, and child seat anchors.

The 2012 iQ will offer a 1.3-liter, four-cylinder engine with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that delivers 90 horsepower. Fuel economy has not been published at this time but expect the iQ to be the most fuel efficient gas powered model on the road.

The iQ will come standard with 14” wheels, leather steering wheel, an MP3 player, and reclining rear seats. Despite having a tiny rear cargo area of 9.3 cubic feet behind the rear seats, this is larger than the Mini Cooper or Smart fortwo. The iQ has a total maximum cargo capacity of 25.7 cubic fee. The model’s curb weight is 2,295 pounds, which is several hundred pounds lighter than a Mazda MX-5 Miata.

The iQ will go on sale in four phases in the U.S., starting with the West Coat in October, the South in January, and the East and Midwest shortly thereafter. The iQ’s competitors include the Mini Cooper, Fiat 500, Smart fortwo, and Mazda Mazda2. The iQ is larger than the two-door Toyota Yaris but smaller than the Smart.

Which is your favorite under $20,000 premium micro subcompact model?

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Originally posted 2011-07-17 06:51:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Fiat 500 Safety

The Fiat 500 is one of the smallest cars on the roads, which causes many to wonder about Fiat 500 safety. The model received a big vote of support for its safety when it was awarded a “Top Safety Pick” designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Thus far, the 500 and the Ford Fiesta are the only 2012 “mini-car” models to receive the award.

So it came as a bit of a surprise when the 500 received only a three-star rating recently from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This has called Fiat 500 safety into question. Five-stars is the top rating. The only other models to receive three-star ratings are the outgoing Ford Escape and Dodge Caliber.

Fiat 500 ferrari edition
Creative Commons License photo credit: StreetcarsL

What the NHTSA Tests

The NHTSA puts car models through a battery of tests to determine their safety rating. They test frontal, side crash, and rollover strength. The 500 got a four-star rating on both frontal and rollover but fared poorly in the side crash, receiving only two out of five stars. Overall the Fiat 500 safety rating was three-stars.

Below see how the Fiat 500 fared back in 2007 in a crash test with the much larger Audi Q7.

Originally posted 2011-12-09 01:07:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

2012 Honda Civic News

The 2012 Honda Civic is already on sale in the U.S. However, supplies are limited. Honda has announced that production delays caused by the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011 will allow for only 50% production capacity until this fall. This should have a significant impact on 2012 Civic sales. It is expected that competitors such as the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, and Hyundai Elantra will benefit from the diminished supply of Civics.

The new Civic, which includes the sporty Si and Civic Hybrid, is a big part of Honda’s portfolio, as it is the number one selling compact car in the U.S and number five on the list of best selling 2011 cars overall. The Civic is actually assembled in Greensburg, Indiana and Alliston, Ontario but relies on key supplies of Japanese made electronic parts and raw materials in its production. Honda expects that production will return to 100% by August for its other models. The delays have not caused any layoffs at Honda’s 14 North America production plants.

Creative Commons License photo credit: micah.d
Creative Commons License photo credit: irrezolut

Honda has increasingly shifted production to North America, as it is a key market and it does not use union labor keeping costs down. In 2010, 87 percent of the Honda and Acura cars sold in the U.S. were assembled in the market. This is actually a significantly higher percentage than American based manufacturers such as Ford and GM, which assemble many of their car models in Mexico.

In more positive news for Honda, the 2012 Civic made the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety’s list of “Top Safety Picks”. The Civic joins competitors such as the 2012 Ford Focus and 2011 Hyundai Elantra in the group of safest small cars. Among a recent group of 13 compact cars tested, only the Suzuki SX4 and Dodge Caliber received “Mediocre” ratings in some crash tests.

In other compact car news, Mazda announced reaching the sales 3,0000 unit sales figure for its Mazda3 model. The Mazda3, which was first introduced in 2004, is the fastest selling model in the company’s history. It has sold more than 1.1 million units of the model in North America alone.

The 3,000,000th Mazda3 rolled off the assembly line on April 26th at its Yamaguchi, Japan production facility. The model is also built at the Changan Ford Mazda Automobile plant in Nanjing, China and at the AutoAlliance in Thailand. The 2012 Mazda3 should continue its momentum as it has a more fuel-efficient engine and other updates to keep the model fresh. It should also benefit from the limited supply of 2012 Civics.

Originally posted 2011-05-28 03:48:37. 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

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