$10K-$20K

$10K-$20K

In a market rife with competition from some notable models, the 2014 Kia Rio 5-Door is determined to make its mark.

Over the years, the Rio has done just that, keeping pace with its rivals with a package that can best be described as pleasant. But with the new generation Rio only a year old, Kia is becoming more aggressive in its desire to be a player in the compact hatch market.

That’s where the 2014 Rio comes into the picture. Mixing attractive aesthetics with a comfortable interior and an impressive powertrain, the 2014 Rio is bent on making waves. To its credit, it’s got all the tools to do sol; the only caveat is whether it can topple some of the more established models already in the fold.

Legitimate questions that the 2014 Rio has answers for. And if you’re still not sold on the model, maybe its high time you introduce yourself to Kia’s little hatch-that-can. Besides, it’s ready to show you what it’s got — and then some.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Kia Rio 5-Door.

Posted on by Simona  

Mitsubishi introduced the Lancer nomenclature to its lineup back in 1973 and since then it became one of its most successful models, with more than six million units being sold over the years. Depending on the market, Lancer was sold under different names, ranging from Dodge Colt (first generation) in the United States and up to Galant Fortis (current generation) on the Japanese one.

The model was sold under different body versions, and starting 1992 it received an Evolution version - which is basically a high-performance version featuring a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive system.

For the 2014 model year, the Lancer continues to be offered in four trim levels: ES, SE, GT and Ralliart - each of them offering different upgrades for the new year. Still, you shouldn’t expect anything big, because all the major updates were reserved for the next generation.

Updated 06/13/2014: Mitsubishi announced details on the 2015 Lancer which comes with quite an impressive number of updates and new features. As usual, Mitsubishi focused its attention on upgrading the Lancer’s safety, so for the 2015 model the sedan was updated with an advanced, seven air bag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) that offers the best protection for both front and rear passengers. Also, all models will get new heated side view mirrors with turn indicators and a slew of new, standard features.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer.

The 2015 Chevrolet Cruze finally makes its debut at the New York International Auto Show and while we initially thought that Chevy was preparing a next-generation model, it’s now been confirmed that this model instead carries mild modifications that allows the Cruze to now be more in line with its big brothers, the Impala and the Malibu .

But there’s no reason to be dissappointed, at least if you were expecting an all-new Cruze with a whole lot of changes. The 2015 refresh still has some noticeable changes that only makes the sedan that much more appealing. A new front section is the biggest change from the 2014 model but it’s really all the new technological goodies that really separates the new model.

Needless to say, Chevrolet took that age old "if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it" approach on the 2015 Cruze. Based from what we’ve seen so far, it looks like a smart decision.

Updated 04/14/2014: The 2015 Chevrolet Cruze will make its official debut at the 2014 New York Auto Show in just a few days, but the first official details were already dropped.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze.

The Corolla quietly makes its way into its 45th year of production as we enter the 2013 model year. Toyota, not one to mess with success, chose to let the Corolla’s 45th anniversary pass with no fanfare. In fact, the 2013 model year pretty much carries all of the same trimmings from the 2012 model year, save for a few minor changes.

The Corolla can carry on unchanged and not lose any steam because it is only two model years removed from a slight refresh and that it has a very specific role: draw in young buyers with a low price and high quality. It is not in Toyota’s lineup to dazzle anyone out of $30K. It is happy providing basic amenities at sub-$17K prices.

The goal in this is to get buyers impressed with the entry-level `Yota sedan and that should eventually lead to these buyers snagging up a top-line Avalon – so theory says.

The 2013 Toyota Corolla comes in three trim levels: L, LE and S. With each level comes a little more luxury and the S model actually makes the Corolla fairly bearable for even picky buyers.

Click past the jump to read our full review on the 2013 Toyota Corolla

Okay, I have worked in many repair shops in my day. During my tour as a service manager, I came across a fair share of “Mountain Man Mechanics,” which is the politically correct thing to call them. These guys love taking the strangest vehicles and creating monsters out of them.

There was one mechanic that took a 1980s Honda Civic hatchback and dropped a 1300 cc Hayabusa engine in it, thinking it would increase the Civic’s performance. He didn’t quite grasp the logic of torque-to-weight ratio and ended up with only a really cool sounding Civic .

Another monster that sticks out in my mind is when a mechanic tore apart his unwilling wife’s mid-1990s Mitsubishi Mirage and dropped its body on a self-shortened S-10 frame. He then dropped a 307 cubic-inch Oldsmobile engine in it and connected the Olds engine to the transmission and transfer case on the S-10 frame. It actually looked and sounded mean when he was done, but instead of re-welding the frame together, he used several bolts to secure it. Guess what happened...

What’s my point here? Well, a new monster has recently come to our attention, which is for sale on Craigslist. The owner has dubbed this machine a 2007 Willys Trike. This trike has a stretched Jeep CJ-2 body with a motorcycle wheel on the front. The body sits on a custom frame – hopefully it’s welded – and has the rear independent suspension from a T-bird.

Instead of having the old Jeep CJ-2 engine, this beast has a Chevy 4.3-liter Vortec engine, which is good for around 190 horsepower, if it is stock. Plus it has a four-speed transmission connecting the engine to the rear wheels.

The handle bars for the motorcycle wheel span all the way from the front of the vehicle through two slots under the windshield. We bet this thing is a scary animal to maneuver at high speeds. But anyways, this “Mountain Man” monster can be yours for “just” $11,000. We bet this thing sits on the market for a while.

Source: Craigs List

The three door version of the new Volkswagen Up! was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, and now Volkswagen has released the first details on the five-door model. In Germany, the new version will go on sale March 6th with first deliveries arriving in May. Prices will start from 10,800 euro, or about $14,000 at the current exchange rates.

The five-door Volkswagen Up! features the same dimensions as the three-door version, but the difference is the rear doors which open wide and allow easy boarding. The interior also offers more space, with 94.7cm (37.2 inches) of headroom and 79cm (31.1 inches) of legroom. The rear passengers will be even more comfortable thanks to raised seating positions.

As for power, the new Up! will be offered with a 1.0-liter petrol engine with BlueMotion technology offered in either 60 or 75 HP versions. Both of these options are combined with start-stop function and an impressive fuel economy of 4.2 liters/100 km.

Just like with three-door Up!, the new five-door model will be offered with City Emergency Braking - a new safety technology system that automatically actives at speeds of under 18.6 mph and uses a laser sensor to detect the risk of any imminent collisions. Next to this feature, the new five-door Up! will also get touchscreen navigation, Bluetooth, and other entertainment systems.

Scion has announced the new special edition 2012 xB Release Series 9.0 that will arrive in dealer showrooms in October 2011. The model will be offered exclusively in Hot Lava and will be priced from $18,110 when equipped with a manual gearbox and $19,060 when equipped with an automatic transmission. It will be limited to only 1,500 units.

The xB’s new Hot Lava exterior color will be combined with a unique honeycomb patterned lower grille that cleverly incorporates the brand name "Scion" into the mix. For the interior, the Release Series 9.0 will get exclusive perforated synthetic suede front and rear seat covers that feature an embossed Scion logo and Hot Lava color-tuned highlights. The xB wears an illuminated badge that is individually numbered.

The list of standard equipment include an all-new AM/FM/CD/HD/USB 160-watt maximum output Pioneer audio system, HD Radio technology, and Bluetooth connectivity that allows both hands-free phone connection as well as streaming audio capability.

The current generation Toyota Tacoma has been in production since 2005 and it’s about time the truck got some changes. For the 2012 model year, the Tacoma has been updated with a restyled exterior look and a redesigned and modernized interior, with some technological goodies to boot. What hasn’t changed is the power source: the Toyota Tacoma will still be running on either a 2.7 liter four-cylinder engine producing 159 HP and 180 lb-ft of torque or the 4.0 liter V6 delivering 236 hp and 266 lb-ft.

Some of the highlights for the 2012 Tacoma include a redesigned hood, new grille, new headlamps, and a new front bumper. The inside is where Toyota got real schnazzy, sprucing up the truck with a new six-speaker system with an AM/FM/ Satellite Radio-capable head unit and a single-disc CD player for the Access Cabin model and the new Entune infotainment system with seven speakers for the Double Cab model.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Toyota Tacoma.

Subaru offered up a small taste of what was to come with the first image of the new 2012 Impreza revealed in both sedan and hatchback versions at the 2011 New York Auto Show. The 2012 Impreza will be offered in base, Premium, Sport Premium, Limited and Sport Limited models when it arrives in dealerships later this fall.

The 2012 Impreza comes with an improved fuel economy achieved with the use of a 2.0-liter horizontally-opposed four-cylinder producing 148 HP and 146 lb-ft of torque which debuted in Europe earlier this year. This engine replaces the current 170 HP 2.5-liter SOHC aluminum-alloy engine. Further aid is offered with the use of the new continuously variable transmission.

The new model will come with a totally new design that "will propose roomier cabin space with new level of comfort and refinement for enhanced product appeal."

UPDATE 08/22/2011: Subaru has announced prices for their 2012 Impreza. The base model 4-door Impreza 2.0i with a five-speed manual transmission starts off at $17,495 to match last year’s prices. The automatic version, offered exclusively with Subaru’s newly designed continuously variable transmission (CVT), starts at $18,495. The base 5-door Impreza 2.0i starts at $17,995 when equipped with a five-speed transmission and $18,995 for the CVT-equipped model.

Posted on by Thomas Nelson 5

Not too many things remain static throughout our lives. Yet throughout mine one thing has remained a part of the landscape of my life: my dad’s 1968 BMW 2002. He has had this car since it rolled out of Munich in 1968. I have many childhood memories sitting in those Recaro bucket seats. The learning did not cease; if anything it picked up because as I became more interested in cars, this car become the embodiment of everything I look for in a great car: style, performance, fuel economy. Then my dad and I upgraded virtually every component of it and made it better.

This was my study hall where some of my fondest memories were with my dad installing the engine and soaking up the knowledge like a new sponge. Now as I sit in its seats, the recollections flood back. Yet when I turn the key, the engine rumble prompts me to go out into the world and make new memories.

Details on the 1968 BMW 2002 after the jump.


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