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

2012 Volkswagen Beetle

The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is a new generation model that will go on sale this fall. It is the first significant redesign of the model since it was re-introduced for the 1998 model year. The new design is a subtle change but there are noticeable differences with a less bulbous shape, flatter roof, narrowed windows, and a sharp crease along the side.

Volkswagen (VW) seems to be going more for sport for the new model also known as the “Bug”, rather the cute, positioning it to better compete with models such as the Mini Cooper and Fiat 500. The company hopes the changes will allow new Beetle to have more appeal with men, which would help Volkswagen improve its sales and make strides toward meeting its goal of tripling sales in the next decade.

The 2012 VW Beetle will be more upscale. It will have more luxurious materials, a significantly larger trunk, and an optional navigation system, which is not offered in the 2011 Beetle.

The 2012 Beetle will have a base engine derived from the current 150-horsepower, 2.5-liter, inline five-cylinder gas engine. The Beetle will also offer a sportier 200-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a fuel-efficient diesel engine, which will get about 40-mpg highway. The return of the turbocharged engine to the Beetle is another indication of an attempt to bring in more male buyers. There are no current plans to offer an electric or hybrid engine for the Beetle.

The New Beetle is an important model for Volkswagen. Sales of the Beetle have dwindled in recent years. The model has remained largely unchanged for more than a decade, which combined with an economic recession, lead to low sales. The model reached its sales peak in 2003 with 93,000 units sold when the convertible was introduced. In 2010, the Beetle sold only about 16,500 units. The Mini Cooper outsold the Beetle almost 3-1.

The small car landscape has changed dramatically since the Beetle was reintroduced in 1998. There are many new compelling models and the Beetle’s distinctive, funky design competes against other models such as the Kia Soul, Scion xB, and Nissan Cube, in addition to the Mini Cooper and Fiat 500. However, high gas prices do lead to increases in the sales of smaller cars.

The 2012 Beetle has several barriers to overcome. The 2011 Beetle base model has an MSRP of $18,690, which is more than $3,000 higher than competitors such as the Kia Soul and Nissan Cube, or compact cars such as the Toyota Corolla. The New Beetle does not offer a highly fuel-efficient gas engine. Its base engine actually has quite poor fuel economy compared to its competitors.

The 2011 Beetle base 2.5L model has EPA rated fuel economy of 20-mpg city and 29-mpg highway. This compares to the Mini Cooper, which has a smaller engine that returns 29-mpg city and 37-mpg highway. Fuel economy figures and starting retail price are not yet known for the 2012 Beetle.

Originally posted 2011-04-19 05:25:38. 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

Cheapest 2011 Cars

Below is our list of top ten cheapest 2011 cars. These our manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) for base models and do not include destination charges, added options, sales taxes, dealer markups, or other costs. All of these cars are subcompact or compact models with MSRPs below $15,000 and all come standard with a five-speed manual transmission.

1. Hyundai Ascent GL 3-door, $9,985
2. Nissan Versa, $9,995
3. Chevrolet Aveo LS 4-door sedan, $11,965
4. Chevrolet Aveo5, $12,115
5. Kia Rio, $12,295
6. Toyota Yaris Liftback 3-door MT, $12,955
7. Kia Soul, $13,300
8. Ford Fiesta S, $13,320
9. Mazda Mazda2 Sport, $14,180
10. Hyundai Elantra GLS M/T, $14,830

These cars are listed by MSRP only. Buyers should consider a variety of factors besides price when making a vehicle purchase such as the five-year total cost of ownership. This includes the cost of buying, owning, and operating a car over a five year period. Vehicle resale costs are also an important consideration. For example, despite the Ford Fiesta having a higher price, it is quite likely it will have a lower five-year total cost of ownership than the Aveo.

Just missing this top ten cheapest new car list at number eleven was the Scion xD with an MSRP of $15,045. At number twelve, was the Honda Fit with an MSRP of $15,100. However, the Fit has long been considered the benchmark model of the subcompact class. At number thirteen, was the Kia Rio5. However, we should note that the Kia Rio5 was the only model in the top 13 to come standard with an (four-speed) automatic transmission. Automatic transmission typically cost about $1,000 more than manuals.

We did not include the Smart fortwo on this cheapest 2011 cars list. It would have been number four on our list as it has an MSRP of $11,990. However, while Smart is still selling 2010 fortwo’s, it did not release a 2011 model.

There are several high quality 2011 subcompact cars on this list that are worth considering. Be sure to be on the lookout for automaker incentives that can further reduce the price of a vehicle model. If you are on a really tight budget, it is reassuring to know that even in 2011, it is still possible to purchase a new car for less than $10,000.

Originally posted 2011-03-22 15:34:43. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

2011 Ford Fiesta vs. 2011 Honda Fit

The Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit are two of the best subcompact cars. The 2011 Fiesta is a new model for Ford as it returns to the U.S. subcompact market. It is offered in sedan and hatchback forms. Since the Fit is only offered in hatchback form, it is only fair to make a 2011 Ford Fiesta vs. 2011 Honda Fit comparison with the Fiesta in hatchback trim. The Fiesta is assembled in Mexico while the Fit is made in Honda’s home country of Japan.

The 2011 Fiesta comes in a total of five trim lines: S sedan, SE sedan, SE hatchback, SEL sedan, and SES hatchback. The SES hatchback has a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $17,120, with a five-speed manual transmission.

Since its debut in the U.S. for the 2007 model year, the Fit has consistently been named one of the top subcompact models with its large interior space for its size, agile handling, and Honda reliability. The 2011 Fit is offered in five trim lines: 5-Spd MT, 5-Spd AT, Sport 5-Spd MT, 5-Spd AT, and 5-Spd AT w/ navigation system. The Sport 5-Spd MT has a starting MSRP of $16,860, which is a little less than the Fiesta SES.

Both models have standard features that include air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, and CD player. However, the Fiesta adds power seats as a standard feature where as it is an option in the Fit. With an automatic transmission and added options, the Fit climbs several thousand dollars in price above the Fiesta.

Both models have comparable engine power. A 1.6-liter 119 horsepower four-cylinder engine powers the Fiesta while a 1.5-liter 117 horsepower four-cylinder engine powers the Fit. Torque is 109 pound feet in the Fiesta compared to 106 pound feet in the Fit. According to Motor Trend magazine, with the automatic transmissions, the Fiesta has a superior 0-60 time of 9.5 seconds, compared to the Fit’s 0-60 time of 10.2 seconds. The Fiesta is helped by a six-speed automatic transmission, where as the Fit has only a five-speed automatic.

With its more modern engine, the Fiesta has better fuel economy getting an EPA rating of 28-mpg city and 37-mpg highway. This compares to the Fit’s fuel economy, which is 27-mpg city and 33-mpg highway.

In terms of safety features, both models have ABS brakes, electronic stability control, traction control, and front, passenger, and side airbags. The Fiesta was named a “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety, where as the Fit was not.

Where the Fit clearly wins against the Fiesta is in cargo room. It has a spacious 57.3 cubic feet or cargo room with the rear seats folded flat and 20.6 cubic feet with the rear seats up. This is almost as much total cargo room as the Chevrolet Equinox compact SUV. The Fiesta SES has a much smaller 26 cubic feet with the rear seats down, and 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up. Fits are also highly regarded for their agile handling.

In our opinion, the winner in a 2011 Ford Fiesta vs. 2011 Honda Fit comparison is the Fiesta. It is more efficient and a better overall value. However, this may soon change. Honda will likely make improvements to the Fit for the 2012 model year. If it has improved fuel economy and new features, it could move it ahead of the Fiesta. And if you want more cargo room, the Fit is the better choice even in 2011.

Originally posted 2011-04-02 06:41:35. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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