The Cheapest New Pickups of 2012

We normally talk about compact and subcompact cars on this blog but if you are looking for cargo carrying capacity, pickup trucks can be a necessity. Today, buyers have fewer small pickups to choose from than in years past. The demand for compact and mid-size trucks has dwindles over the years and now the Ford Ranger is not even being sold in the U.S.

However, many of the current compact and mid-size 2012 model pickup trucks are quite affordable, carry an adequate payload, and have a good resale value. Below we look at the 3 cheapest new pickups of 2012 and their starting prices.

2012 Toyota Tacoma

Toyota Tacoma

Ever since it was introduced, Toyota’s Tacoma model has been a solid seller in the U.S.. Starting at under $17,000, this pick-up is one of the most affordable on the market and carries with Toyota’s reputation for reliability. The regular cab trim has a surprising number of standard features, with options available that begin to increase the price to some degree.

The exterior of this model includes such standard equipment as halogen headlamps, sheet-molded composite inner bed, a full deck rail system, fixed cargo bed tie-downs, and rear mud flaps. For a few extra dollars consumers will receive dual rear-hinged access doors and power outside mirrors. The base model comes with 15-inch steel wheels, with the up-level trims equipped with 16-inch or 17-inch alloy wheels.

Air conditioning is standard on the base model. The interior of the cab includes a nice AM/FM audio system with CD player. The front bench seat is 4-way adjustable, and the analog instrumentation panel has a LCD display with a clock and trip meter.

The Tacoma comes standard with a four-cylinder engine that gets EPA-estimated fuel economy of 21-mpg city and 25-mpg highway. Step up to a more powerful V6 trim with front-wheel drive and fuel economy drops to 17-mpg city and 21-mpg highway.

Tacoma is equipped advanced stability control, brake assist and smart stop technology. The cab has side-impact door beams, 3-point seatbelts, and front airbags. All in all, Tacoma offers buyers a lot for the money.

2012 Chevrolet Colorado

Chevrolet Colorado

The Colorado starts at under $18,000 and is loaded with standard features. The Colorado ranks high among the cheap new pickups, with advanced safety equipment, good payload capacity, and rather good fuel economy.

Colorado is available with a 2.9L, 4-cylinder engine that cranks out 185 horsepower. The 4-wheel drive is supported by torsion bar front suspension and multi-leaf rear suspension. Traction control and the Stabilitrak® electronic stability system is standard on both the 1WT and 1LT trims.

The cab is nicely appointed. Cruise control, 60/40 bench seats, and single zone climate control are all standard. The steering wheel is adjustable and has a nice leather wrap.

Head curtain side airbags are located in both front and rear. The 2012 Chevrolet Colorado has a standard anti-theft protection system and an advanced tire pressure-monitoring sensor. This is one of the most fully stocked pickups for the price paid.

2012 GMC Canyon Work Truck

GMC Canyon Work Truck

GMC Canyon with a Fancy Grille

The Canyon is the sister model to the Colorado. GMC offers buyers the choice of a modestly priced pickup truck capable of hauling heavy loads. The Canyon Work Truck is the base trim, with the SLE-1 and SLE-2 models costing a bit more. The 2.9L engine delivers 185 horsepower, and the 5-speed manual transmission is standard.

The truck has a maximum payload of 1,429 pounds and can tow well over twice this weight. Cruise control is standard on all trims, and the OnStar® subscription includes the Directions and Connections® plan. Canyon is one of the best cheap new pickups available when all the convenience features of the base model are taken into account.

Making the Decision

The cheapest new pickup trucks do not all perform equally well, nor do they have the highest resale value. The models mentioned above have received favorable customer reviews, but none of them have an extraordinary amount of horsepower. They do get reasonably good gas mileage, have excellent safety features, and are built tough enough to get the job done.

One word of caution with this vehicle category is that prices can bet quickly more expensive as you add features such as all-wheel drive, four-doors, and more options.
Other compact and mid-size pickup trucks to consider include the Nissan Frontier and the Suzuki Equator (built on the Frontier platform). Both of these models start at under $20,00.

If you have a larger budget, the Honda Ridgeline is a good choice. The models starts at a price near $30,000 but does come standard with four-doors and a powerful V6 engine.

Which is your favorite 2012 pickup with a starting price under $20,000?

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Originally posted 2012-03-23 10:09:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

New Civic For 2012

With all-new or substantially revised models such as the Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Elantra, and Ford Focus having been released in the past year, the compact car class is really heating up. When Honda announced they were releasing a new Civic for 2012, the expectations were high. The Civic has been one of the best selling compacts for years.

The Civics last generation debuted in 2006 and was a striking change in design and a move forward for the compact class. It offered more room and more power with better fuel economy. The model went on to win the 2006 Motor Trend Car of the Year Award and has been a huge success. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the new generation Civic is only a subtle design change from 2011.

Honda has made minor changes to the Civic’s front fascia and headlights. The rear end is noticeably different, similar to the Accord. Despite reducing its wheelbase by about an inch, the 2012 Civic has more interior hip room and shoulder room up front, and overall has 3.7 more cubic feet of passenger space. The Civic has more rear legroom than many of its competitors. Perhaps the most noticeable change in the 2012 Civic outside of the exterior tweaks is the control panel, which has a different layout than the 2011 model.

What is surprising is that Honda made no real changes to the engine. While competitors have upped the ante raising power while still improving fuel economy, Honda has only worked on improving fuel economy. The Civic retains its 1.8-liter 140 horsepower four-cylinder engine producing 140 horsepower. In comparison, the 2012 Focus offers a 2.0-liter 160 horsepower four-cylinder engine.

Honda has improved fuel economy for the 2012 Civic, keeping it inline with many of its competitors. It is rated at 28-mpg city and 39-mpg highway, a significant improvement over the 26/34 returned from the 2011 model. Honda was able to do this despite still just offering a five-speed manual and five-speed automatic transmissions. Many of its competitors offer a six-speed automatic transmission. The Civic HF model, which is designed for extra efficiency, returns 29-mpg city and 41-mpg highway. To help maximize fuel economy, Honda has installed its Eco Assist System on every new Civic, except the Si trim.

The MSRP for the 2012 Civic LX is $18,605 with destination. This is only $100 more than the 2011 model, making it worth it for prospective buyers to await the arrival of the 2012 Civic in their local dealer lots. Honda has decided to not offer a hatchback version of the model, unlike many of its competitors. While the all-new Civic for 2012 is not a dramatic departure from the 2011 model, it continues to raise the bar for the compact class.

Originally posted 2011-04-25 12:06:33. 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

2011 Chevy Cruze

The 2011 Chevy Cruze is an all-new compact sedan from the American automaker. It replaces the dated Cobalt in Chevy’s product lineup. Chevy has aimed to make a dent out of the sales of the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Ford Focus in the compact class. The Cruze is offered in the U.S. in sedan form only with four doors and seating for up to five passengers.

The 2011 Cruze is offered in five trim lines with two different engines. The trims are: 2LS, 1LT, 2LT, ECO, and LTZ. The base 2LS has an MSRP of $16,525 and comes standard with power door locks, air-conditioning, and power windows. The 2LS offers a 1.8-liter, 136 horsepower four-cylinder engine that gets 26-mpg city and 37-mpg highway with standard six-speed manual transmission. The optional six-speed automatic gets EPA rated fuel economy of 22-mpg city and 35-mpg highway.

2012 Chevrolet Cruze
Creative Commons License photo credit: MSVG

The Cruze is offered with a second engine type. The 1LT is offered with a 1.4-liter 138 horsepower turbo-charged four-cylinder engine. This engine is all-new to Chevy and GM and helps boost torque while still being miserly on gas. The 1LT has an MSRP of $18,425 and comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. Its fuel economy is rated at 24-mpg city and 36-mpg highway.

The top trim LTZ has a starting MSRP of $22,225 and comes standard with leather seats. Sunroof and a navigation system are optional features. In the LTZ trim, the Cruze has a 0-60 time of nine seconds according to Motor Trend magazine. For fuel economy minded drivers, the ECO trim, which has the 1.4-liter Ecotec Turbo engine is rated at 28-mpg city and 42-mpg highway when paired with the six-speed manual transmission.

All Cruzes come standard with a host of great safety features including ABS, traction control, electronic stability control, and driver, passenger, and side airbags. The Cruze made the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s “Top Safety Picks” list making it among the safest 2011 small cars.

The Cruze has a sleek styling and is roomy for a compact. Among compact sedans, only the Volkswagen Jetta has more trunk space. However, some writers in the automotive press have complained about the Cruze’s powertrain, especially the 1.4-liter Ecotec engine.

It does seem that Chevy could have done more to differentiate the two engines offered in the Cruze as they offer similar power and fuel economy. The model is also heavy for the compact class. The 2012 Honda Civic weighs nearly 500 pounds less than the Cruze and the 2011 Hyundai Elantra weighs nearly 400 pounds less.

Chevy is selling hatchback trims of the Cruze in Europe but is not currently offering them in the U.S. It will be interesting to see if Chevy changes this in 2012. The Cruze is assembled in Mexico. Other compact sedan competitors include the Mazda Mazda3, Kia Forte, and Subaru Impreza.

If you like the Cruze, vote for it in the poll in our “Best 2012 Compact Cars” post.

Originally posted 2011-06-14 15:40:16. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

New Yaris for 2012

Entering its sixth model year in the U.S., the subcompact Toyota Yaris is being redesigned for 2012. Unfortunately, it will not be on sale until late in 2011 giving newly designed 2012 competitors the Hyundai Accent and Chevy Sonic an edge out of the gates.

The 2012 Yaris will sport a redesigned exterior and interior improvement. Its power train and underpinnings are largely expected to carryover from the 2011 model, but expect better fuel economy. The 2011 model has a 1.5-liter 106 horsepower four-cylinder engine across all trim lines.

The 2011 Yaris gets EPA rated fuel economy of 29-mpg city and 36-mpg highway with the five-speed manual and 29/35 with an automatic transmission. Toyota is working on an ultra efficient 1.3-liter engine with start-stop technology but that is not expected to debut in North America for a few years.

Expect Toyota to do something about the antiquated optional four-speed automatic transmission in the 2011 Yaris. The Yaris currently offers a less powerful engine than nearly all its competitors without offering better fuel economy. Perhaps a continuously variable transmission will be in the offing to replace the four-speed auto to get the model to the 40-mpg highway range.

The 2011 Yaris is offered in six trim lines with a three-door hatch, five-door hatch, and four-door sedan. While the five-door hatch and four-door sedan will be seen in the 2012 Yaris, it is unknown whether the bargain priced three-door hatch will continue. The Yaris is known as the Vitz in its home market of Japan.

Toyota Vitz RS 1.5 2007
Creative Commons License photo credit: Peter Zoon

Expect the 2012 Yaris to have a starting MSRP in the $14,000 range when it debuts late this fall. Toyota has been starting to get production back on track after the fallout from the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The Yaris is assembled in Japan. Other competitors include the Ford Fiesta, Mazda Mazda2, and Honda Fit.

Originally posted 2011-07-07 00:27:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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