In the world of the American sedans, there are many different levels of quality. These levels are clearly defined, as some are terrible, some are bad, and a few are decent. There are a couple that are good, but not many, and that’s something that we hate to say because the midsize sedans from Japan have gotten a bit dull over the years.
In the good category, we have the Ford Fusion. It looks good, drives well, but it suffers from a bad transmission. The Chevrolet Malibu is decent. It’s a start in the right direction, but not quite there yet. Then we come to the Dodge Avenger. For many years, this car was just appalling, a word that we don’t often use to describe a car, but in this situation it works quite well.
For 2011, Dodge has redone the Avenger in the hopes that it can climb out of the cellar and compete with the Fusion and the many other Japanese sedans.
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Nissan Sentra is entering the 2011 model year with a few more packages and some exterior modifications. The Sentra will again be offered in 6 models including the 2.0, 2.0 S, 2.0 SR, 2.0 SL, SE-R, and SE-R Spec V with prices ranging from $15,520 for the 2.0 version to $18,850 for the SL version.
The 2011 Sentra comes with a standard 140-HP 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine mated with a 6-speed manual transmission or a fuel-efficient Nissan Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission).
Some of the changes made to the 2011 Nissan Sentra are an improved EPA estimated fuel economy as well as the addition of a SE-R style rear spoiler for 2.0 CVT, 2.0 S, and 2.0 SL models. The Sentra 2.0 now comes with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) as standard while the Sentra 2.0, 2.0 S, and 2.0 SR will get Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS) as standard. As an option, Sentra owners will also have the opportunity to receive the new SL Value Package, the Visual Audio Package, or the SL Audio Package.
Press release with more details after the jump. Full story
Smart has already revealed details on the new generation Fortwo mini car. However until it goes on sale this fall, German customers will get another special edition based on the current generation to satisfy their Smart thirst. It is called the "Limited Silver" and will be priced at 12,990 euro.
The "Limited Silver" Fortwo will be offered in either a stylish silver or a gray metallic exterior paint. It will get a smart radio 9 with MP3-compatible CD player, a lockable glove box, and the smart drive kit for the iPhone as standard.
This Smart special edition will be distinguished by new 15" Brabus light metal wheels "Monoblock VII", Brabus LED daytime running lights, a Brabus LED brake light, and the "limited silver" logo in the mirror triangles. It will be available with the environmentally friendly micro hybrid drive (MHD) unit that develop 71 HP and gets the new start-stop system that helps reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions significantly.
For those of us who don’t want to drive around town in a vehicle the size of a train, there have always been small cars to keep us happy. They have gone through many changes since they first became popular during the gas crisis. No longer is it acceptable to just be small and fuel efficient, as the automotive buying public demands much more out of these tiny vehicles.
Today’s modern small car has to be quick and fun to drive, while also having plenty of room inside the cabin. If the car doesn’t manage over 30 miles per gallon then it’s a big disappointment. Not to mention looks. A small car needs to look good as well as not be completely boring to look at everyday.
We have compiled a list of the top ten best small cars on the market in the United States and, like always, we have one rule; the price needs to be under $20,000. That should give us plenty to choose from.
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Fuel-sipping sedans are the in things in today’s economy. No longer are we buying massive military vehicles or run-around-the-town-and-get-5-miles-per-gallon SUVs. With high gas prices, come small vehicles.
While they can be fashionable, they can also be downright nasty. Take for instance the Toyota Corolla. Now, this isn’t a bad sedan, it’s just not great. Nothing stands out or makes you get excited when you drive it. So with that in mind, we took out our three favorite fuel-efficient sedans, starting with the king, the Honda Civic.
The once little Civic has grown up. From a tiny hatchback of the 1970’s to a nearly midsize sedan that simply put, dominates the sales charts. With a gas motor and the option of a hybrid, the Civic is a midsize sedan for everyone.
Don’t want a Honda? Well, the second car in this test is the Mazda 3. The 3 is a fantastic little car that smiles at you when it’s going past. It handles well and has always been a good seller in the midsize segment.
While the Civic and Mazda have been around the block a few times, the 2010 Kia Forte is just a newborn. With brilliant looks, a fantastic interior, and more power than the Civic, the Kia is a great alternative to the mass market Civic and 3.
Sounds like a round of testing is coming up. Full story
Today, Subaru announced prices for the 2011 Impreza models, including the 2.5i, the 2.5i Premium, and the Outback Sport. The Impreza 2.5i sedan starts at $17,495 with the 5-door version starting at $17,995. The Impreza 2.5i Premium sedan starts at $18,495 with the 5-door version at $18,995. The Outback version is priced at $19,995. The 2011 Subaru Impreza is scheduled to arrive in dealerships in July.
The Special Edition Package is replaced by the power moonroof value package that includes the all-weather package, fog lights, and a power moonroof for just $500. All models will be offered with Subaru symmetrical all-wheel drive, vehicle dynamics control and brake assist, 17" alloy wheels, raised suspension, and fog lights as standard equipment.
New for the 2011MY, Camellia Red Pearl and Sage Green Metallic will be offered as monotone exterior colors on the Outback Sport. Obsidian Black two-tone, Marine Blue two-tone, and Steel Silver two-tone complete the Outback Sport color line up.
Press release after the jump. Full story
The 2010 Honda Civic sedan is one of the most iconic cars in the world. Sometimes, iconic cars can get a bit soft, like the Toyota Camry, but the Civic has continued to push the boundaries in terms of style and performance. The new 2010 Civic is a really good, economical car and still sells very well. In times of high gas prices, the Civic proved to be a best seller. It’s offered in a wide variety of styles, trims, and prices and it can be tailored to meet everybody’s expectations.
Once Honda’s smallest car, the Civic is more of smaller mid-size sedan than a compact one. The 2010 Civic is actually the same size as the Accord was 15 years ago. Yet, despite the size increase, the Civic retains its agility, efficiency, comfort, and reliability. That being said the Honda Civic is a good car, but it’s not great. A few years ago the Civic was a fantastic little car and the best buy in the segment, but years have passed and the competition is becoming a real threat. The Civic is due for a refresh.
Some of the Civic’s design elements are too weird for us, like the dual-tiered instrument panel. This means that the rev-counter is on the bottom tear, while one tier up and far back in the digital speedometer. Most shoppers will forget about this odd fashion, but it never really grew on us in the time we had the car.
The 2010 Honda Civic is available in sedan form or as a coupe. For both, there are five trim levels: DX, LX, EX, EX-L, and Si. On the Civic sedan, Honda offers the DX Value Package, the LX-S, a GX, and a Hybrid.
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Nissan announced today prices for the 2011 Versa, both sedan and hatchback. For 2011, Versa will be offered in a range of nine models, including a choice of 1.6-liter and 1.8-liter engines and four available transmissions. Prices will start at $9,990 and will go up to $16,900.
Standard equipment includes: Nissan Navigation System, Nissan Intelligent Key™, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System and XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately). And for a few extra dollars customers can also get a Navigation/Satellite Package with a 5-inch LCD touch screen monitor, XM® Satellite Radio and XM NavTraffic® with Real-Time Traffic Information.
Press release after the jump. Full story
Scion announced the official details on the 2011 xB urban utility vehicle that will go on sale this month at a price of $16,000. For 2011 the Scion xB gets a newly redesigned front and rear bumpers, grill, headlights and taillights.
The interior also gets redesigned seats with a new light gray fabric, there’s a new center console that offers better storage solutions, a sliding armrest and a new steering wheel.
The 2011 xB will be offered in seven exterior colors including the all-new Army Rock Metallic and Elusive Blue Metallic. Hypnotic Teal will no longer be offered in the xB color palette.
Press release after the jump. Full story
In short, Hyundai Elantra can be described like this: a cheap, economy car. And if you’re looking for more than this, then you should keep looking. Its true the car is no Genesis, but hopefully Hyundai will do something about it. While not impressive, the 2010 model adds a few changes: improved EPA fuel economy, chrome grille and rear chrome trim and black interior choice. The 2010 Elantra comes in three trim levels: Blue, GLS and SE, with prices ranging from $14,145 to $17,845.
The 2010 Hyundai Elantra is offered only with a 2,0 liter four-cylinder engine that develops a total of 138 hp and 136 lbs-ft of torque. A manual transmission is offered as standard, but a four-speed automatic one comes as an option. Fuel economy is 26 mpg city, and 35 mpg highway.
At the safety chapter, Elatra offers six standard airbags, ESC, Traction Control and Brake Assist, but also a fully independent suspension, front and rear stabilizer bars and motor-driven rack-and-pinion steering.
UPDATE 07/01/2010: Hyundai released a rendering of the revamped interior of the 2010 Hyundai Elantra. Check it out after the jump!
Full details in the press release after the jump. Full story