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Originally posted 2012-03-29 09:59:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

2013 Chevy Spark

While the new subcompact 2012 Chevy Sonic debuts this fall replacing the Aveo and Aveo5, Chevy is going even smaller for the 2013 model year. The 2013 Chevy Spark will debut in the U.S. during the 2012 calendar year.

The Spark will be basic, no frills transportation catering to the frugal car shopper and first time buyers. It will offer one of the smallest, most fuel-efficient gas engines in the U.S. The model’s 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine is expected to output 80 horsepower. This is smaller than even the tiny but more upscale 2012 Scion iQ, which will offer a 1.3-liter 90 horsepower four-cylinder engine.

Expect the Spark’s fuel economy to be in the mid 30-mpg range for city driving and mid 40-mpg in highway driving. The model will come standard with a five-speed manual and is expected to offer a six-speed automatic as well.

Despite it being aimed to compete on price, expect the Spark to offer iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, and OnStar navigation as options. Photos of the Spark show the model has the familiar Chevy grille but with very large headlights.

The Spark will be offered as a five-door hatchback without a sedan trim. This is in contrast to the larger Sonic, which will be offered in both sedan and hatchback trims. The Sonic will also offer two engine choices, with both being about 55 horsepower more powerful than the Spark. The Sonic is definitely the choice among the two for enthusiast drivers, although it will have a starting price of approximately $2,500 more.

If you are looking for a lot of interior room, the Spark will not be your top choice. The model measures only 143 inches long, just shy of twelve feet. This is nearly a foot shorter than the outgoing Aveo5 and even several inches smaller than the three-door Mini Cooper. However, the Spark is a good three feet longer than the diminutive Smart fortwo.

The Spark’s anticipated starting MSRP is $12,000, which will make it among the cheapest new cars. This will definitely put Chevy back in the ballgame when it comes to a low starting price pint, especially as models such as other subcompact models such as the 2012 Hyundai Accent have put more emphasis on features and quality rather than starting price.

The Spark is already on sale in European markets. The Spark’s economical, fuel-efficient nature makes it appealing in global markets and Chevy anticipates selling the car in more than 100 countries around the world by 2013. Korean automaker Daewoo builds the Spark, as they also built in the Aveo and Aveo5. This is contrast to the Sonic, which is assembled in the U.S. at Chevy’s Michigan Orion Assembly Plant.

The right-hand-drive Spark will be assembled at GM’s Port Elizabeth, South Africa Plant beginning in early 2012. The right-hand-drive Spark will be marketed in South Africa and exported to Asia-Pacific markets such as Australia and New Zealand.

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Originally posted 2011-07-29 13:29:17. 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.

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Originally posted 2011-07-17 06:51:29. 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

2011 Kia Soul

Subcompact hatchback cars are becoming increasingly common. They offer roomy interiors in a small, fuel-efficient package, often representing a good value. The 2011 Kia Soul is a five-door subcompact hatchback that is worth considering if you are purchasing a car in this class.

The Kia Soul is offered in four trim lines: Base, Plus (+), Exclaim (!) and Sport. The Soul Base is the only trim to offer the less powerful 1.6-liter 120 horsepower four-cylinder engine. The other Soul trims have 2.0-liter engine producing 142 horsepower. Standard safety in all Souls includes electronic brake assistance, ABS brakes, traction control, and a vehicle stability control system. The Soul earned a top safety pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Soul Base is only offered with a five-speed manual transmission, which returns fuel economy of 26-mpg city and 31-mpg highway. It has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $13,300. At this price, the Soul is one of the top ten cheapest 2011 cars.

Standard features in the Soul Base include air conditioning, tachometer, tilt steering, tilt steering column, tire inflation/pressure monitor, trip computer, and CD player. To add more features, buyers will need to move up in trim lines. The Soul Base weights 2,560 pounds.

The Soul +, !, and Sport trims offer an optional four-speed automatic transmission, along with a variety of other features. Starting MSRPs for these trim lines are $15,495, $18,495, and $18,495, respectively. Fuel economy is 24-mpg city and 30-mpg highway with the automatic, which is below average for its class. For example, the new 2011 Ford Fiesta, which has a 1.6-liter 119 horsepower f-our-cylinder engine, offers an optional six-speed automatic transmission that helps it get mileage of 30-mpg city and 38-mpg highway.

The Soul seats five passengers, although it will be pretty tight for three adults in the rear seats. It does offer a spacious 39” of rear legroom, which is excellent for its class. Front legroom is 42.1”. Total interior cargo room for the Soul with the rear seats folded flat is 53.4 cubic feet and 19.3 cubic feet with the rear seats up.

In short, the Soul’s positives are that it offers a spacious passenger area, useful and well-designed interior and bold exterior color choice. Its negatives are its below average fuel economy for its class, weak acceleration, and outdated four-speed automatic transmission, which is not even offered on the base trim.

The 2011 Kia Soul has been marketed to younger buyers that offers the practically to suit drivers of all ages. It offers a sporty, more desirable look than boxier, more spacious competitors, the Scion xB and Nissan Cube. The Soul is unchanged in 2011, having made its debut in 2010. It is assembled in South Korea. Competitors to the Soul include the Honda Fit, Dodge Caliber, and Nissan Versa hatchback.

Originally posted 2011-03-27 09:27:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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