Posted on by Bryan 13

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.

Hit the jump to see the list.

Posted on by Bryan 12

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.

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.

Posted on by Bryan 7

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.

Hit the jump for the full review.

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.

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.

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.

Redesigned in 2009, the Honda Civic gets refreshed exterior and interior styling features comprised of updated headlight and taillight combination; new alloy wheel designs for Civic EX, Civic EX-L and Civic Si; and updated seating cloth materials for a more premium interior feel. For the sedan version prices are ranging from $15,655 to $25,340, and for the coupe version from $15,455 to $24,255.

The 2010 Civic (both sedan and coupe versions) are powered by a 1,8 liter inline 4-Cylinder engine with a total output of 140 hp. The SI versions get a 2,0 liter engine with an output of 197 hp. The standard model get either a 5-speed manual transmission, or a 5-speed automatic one. The SI version 6-speed manual one.

The technologies line-up includes: Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure; side curtain airbags; driver’s and front passenger’s side airbags with a passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS); and dual-stage, dual-threshold driver’s and front passenger’s airbags (SRS).

UPDATE 06/18/2010: Check out our review of the 2010 Honda Civic by clicking here .

Press release after the jump.

At the 2009 Los Angeles Motor Show Hyundai unveiled a facelift version of the Tucson SUV, a model that will compete with entry level SUVs like the Honda CR-V, Toyota Toyota RAV-4 and Subaru Subaru Forester. The 2010 Tucson will be powered by the same Theta II GDI 2.4 Liter DOHC inline four cylinder engine that will be found under the hood of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata delivering a maximum output of 176 HP, 26% more than its predecessor, and 168 lb-ft of torque. The engine will be mated to either a six speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC manual control or a standard six speed manual transmission.

Following in line with Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy, the new Tuscon demonstrates athleticism and sophistication through its flowing lines, full bodied surfaces and muscular profile. Along with the overall appearance, the new Tuscon features details like Hyundai Hyundai ’s new hexagonal front grill and swept back headlights complimented by a sleek greenhouse and wraparound taillights while chrome accents in the grill and door handles gives an added level of sophistication to the top of the line Tucson Limited. The Tuscon will range from $18,995 for a well equipped GLS six speed manually shifted model and go all the way up to $24,345 for a top of the line Limited model.

Press release after the jump.

For the 2010 model year, the Volkswagen Jetta is being offered in two distinct body styles including the traditional four door sedan and an even more practical sport wagon. The 2010 Jetta’s front end gets a narrow double bar grill framed by the traditional metal surround with a pair of halogen headlamps on either side while the sport wagon comes standard with integrated roof racks; however all models come standard with amenities like air conditioning, cruise control, eight speaker AM/FM/CD stereo system with MP3 CD player and auxiliary input as well as an updated instrument cluster and a new three spoke steering wheel. Meanwhile both the SE and TDI versions come complete with chrome window trim.

For 2010 the Jetta will be offered with a choice of two engines. The first being the 2.0 Liter four cylinder clean diesel TDI rated 140 HP and 236 lb-ft of torque that gets as much as 42 MPG on the highway and is eligible for a $1,300 government tax credit as well as a 2.5 Liter gas burning five cylinder that delivers a total of 170 HP and 177 lb-ft of torque with the faster version able to accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 8.2 seconds and reach a 130 MPH top speed. The sedan starts at $17,605 and the station wagon goes for $19,265 while the more efficient diesel burning TDI powered versions start at $22,660 for the sedan and $24,310 for the estate.

Press release after the jump.

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