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$20K-$30K

$20K-$30K


Fiat is at it yet again. Just a few weeks ago, we complained about the fact that Fiat keeps on reusing the “500” name in the U.S., and once again we are apparently in for more 500s. Just like government documents spoiled the surprise that Fiat’s subsidiary company, Chrysler , was planning a revival of the Barracuda nameplate, government documents are now spoiling the fun for Fiat itself.

Documents leaked from the NHTSA and CARB are showing two models under the 500 umbrella that currently do not exist. One of those vehicles is the 500T, and “T” in this instance obviously means turbocharged. The other, and less newsworthy, is a 500 Abarth Convertible.

For those that know Fiats, you are likely wondering what’s going on, as there is already a turbocharged 500, it’s the 500 Abarth , which has a 160-horsepower Multi-Air 1.4-liter engine. What all of us experts – or so we like to call ourselves – agree upon is that this new 500T will likely feature a slightly detuned version of the Abarth’s 1.4-liter engine, ranging somewhere in the 130 to 140 horsepower range.

What Fiat would be doing with this is trying to target buyers that want a higher performance 500, but don’t want to fork out the $22,000 that it costs to get into an Abarth. If the 500T hits 130 horsepower, that would be 29 horsepower greater than the standard engine and likely enough to satisfy the hunger for a little more performance.

Using reasonable estimations, we would assume that the Fiat 500T would have an MSRP in the $20,000 range, as to keep it less than the Abarth, but slightly more than the 500 Lounge (the top trim level before the Abarth). That would position it just under the base MINI Cooper ($20,200) and well below the MINI Cooper S ($23,800).

Given these two models pan out, and the 500X that Fiat teased us with earlier comes to be, this would put the 500 at a whopping seven models. It’s starting to get a little ridiculous, Fiat.

Posted on by Brad Anderson 5
Subaru BRZ

With the American-only Scion FR-S being priced recently, the only question left unanswered was how much its bigger brother the Subaru BRZ would cost. Thankfully however, Subaru has just released pricing for its latest rear wheel-drive sports car, and we have to say, it seems to be a bargain as all variants will sell for less than $30,000.

Putting the possible BRZ, WRX, and WRX STi aside, the car will come in two main trim levels being Premium and Limited with both of these different version cars being offered with manual and automatic transmissions.

Unsurprisingly, the manuals are a bit cheaper than the comparable automatics, with a base Premium manual to cost $26,245 while the auto will cost $27,345. Just like the aforementioned Limited version, the Premium comes with a host of features not offered on the cheaper FR-S, with satellite radio being one of the biggest additions for the Subaru.

The Limited edition comes fitted with even more equipment which helps to warrant its $28,245 base price when fitted with the manual. In fact, the BRZ Limited will come standard with heated seats and dual-zone climatic control as well as a whole host of upgrades including alcantara and leather upholstery.

Just as a quick reminder, the BRZ features the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as its FRS brethren, producing an equal 200 horsepower from this small engine. And of course, this package wouldn’t be complete without RWD and with a Torsen limited-slip differential finishing the package off, the BRZ promises to be a true driver’s car.

Hit the jump for a full list of standard and optional features.

Say a driver loves the way the Challenger R/T or SRT8 looks, but is not down with driving around town with a high-output V-8 engine under the hood. For a while, customers were stuck with either the SXT or SE model, both of which are rather bland in styling when compared to the R/T and SRT8. Dodge came to bat by releasing the all-new 2012 Challenger Rallye Redline.

This mid-level 2012 Challenger features Dodge’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, just like the Challenger SXT . This means drivers are not going to be able to go out there and compete with the likes of the Mustang GT and Camaro SS when it comes to performance. However, they will also not be pulling over at every other gas station to top up at $4.00 per gallon like they would in these high-performance models.

Pitting apple against apple, the 2012 Challenger Rallye Redline just might be a formidable foe for the V-6 powered versions of the 2013 Ford Mustang and 2012 Chevy Camaro. Let’s see how this newcomer to the Challenger lineup holds up against these other members of the 300-horsepower V-6 muscle club. We may be surprised how a few slight modifications can put one car ahead of the pack.

Hit the jump for more details on the 2012 Dodge Challenger Rallye Redline.


Last year, the standard Avenger and Avenger R/T came out and today Dodge has added a new entry level model to the Avenger line-up. The new SE V6 version is priced from $21,495.

The Avenger is powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine that delivers a total of 283 HP and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, along with a best-in-class EPA highway V-6 fuel economy rating of 29 mpg. The engine will be mated to a standard six-speed automatic transmission.

The new SE V6 version will be distinguished by a new set of 18" aluminum wheels, a rear decklid spoiler, and dual exhaust with bright tips. The list of standard equipment will include LED taillamps, a premium interior with soft-touch surfaces, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, electronic stability control with traction control and electronic roll mitigation, premium cloth seats, speed control, tilt/telescoping steering wheel with integrated audio and speed controls, and a CD player with four speakers.

Posted on by Deric Raymond 13

After several years of lackluster sales, Volkswagen’s small, car-based SUV has finally taken off. With sales up nearly 30% over last summer’s sales, it seems customers have found the Tiguan endearing...finally.

With their mid-cycle refresh coming up for the 2012 Tiguan, it features a few upgrades. Things like park assist, ride control, and start/stop functions are a welcome (and frankly overdue) addition. The downside? Virtually none of the sweet tech upgrades will make it to U.S. shores citing cost reasons.

While the Tiguan is a great car, we think that when the complete model refresh happens (production should move the U.S. by that point), that will be the time to jump and snatch it up at a possible lower price.

Hit the jump to read the full review and thumb through the hi-res gallery.

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.

The Toyota Camry first debuted back in 1982 and after thirty years on the market, the sedan will now be entering its seventh generation. The new Camry has received a bold, sophisticated new design with a more spacious interior, improved driving dynamics, and an even quieter ride than before. Also, both of the vehicle’s engines have been improved to deliver more HP and improved fuel economy.

"The all-new 2012 Camry blends an evolution of the car’s values – such as comfort, efficiency, reliability and safety – with a more appealing design and engaging driving experience," said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. "Competition in the midsize sedan segment is the strongest it’s ever been, and the all-new Camry is designed to maintain its long-standing leadership while also broadening its appeal."

For 2012, the Camry will be offered in four different model grades: entry-level L, value-driven LE, premium XLE, and sporty SE. Prices start from $21,955.

Hit the jump to read more about the seventh generation Toyota Camry.

The year 2011 marked a new time for the Jeep Wrangler after Chrysler introduced a facelifted version of the off-road vehicle. A year later, the 2012 model has been released and while it looks pretty much the same as that of the 2011 model , Jeep is introducing a new powertrain that is significantly more powerful than the last model.

With the new engine, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler now produces an output of 285 horsepower and 260 lb/ft of torque, an improvement of 83 horsepower and 23 lb/ft of torque from the 2011 model, while also carrying an improved fuel efficiency rating of 21 mph. This comes as an improvement from the 15 mpg city / 19 mpg highway rating of the facelifted 2011 version.

“Our new 3.6-liter V6 engine gives the ever-capable Wrangler a completely new, more refined on-road driving experience – complete with more fuel efficiency, power and torque," said Mike Manley, President and CEO of the Jeep brand.

Find out more about the 2012 Jeep Wrangler after the jump.

The Toyota Highlander entered production in 2000 and, in 2007, Toyota was already offering the second generation of the SUV. Being the first car-based midsize SUV or midsize crossover offered in North America, the Highlander soon became one of the most successful models on the market, setting the industry standard for car-based SUVs in innovation, comfort, and sales.

The second generation revealed in 2007 was significantly larger, roomier, and more powerful than the previous Toyota Highlander. It is noticeably quieter, smarter, and more spacious with improved unprecedented versatility and ride comfort. It is powered by a new 3.5-liter V6 with dual independent variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) that delivers a total of 270 HP - a 55 HP increase over the previous generation. This engine delivers an impressive fuel economy of 31 city and 27 highway, making the Highlander the most-fuel efficient mid-size SUV.

Hit the jump to read more about the second generation Toyota Highlander.

Posted on by Thomas Nelson 6

When you ask most Americans what comes to mind when you say Fiat, one word consistently came up: "broken." Now with Fiat making a re- entrance behind their fantastic 500 , feelings are changing. Although the Fiat 500 has only been on US soil for about a year, it is already gaining momentum like a blue whale rolling down a hill. It has just been announced that the long awaited Fiat 500 Abarth will make its American debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show and go on sale in the first half of 2012 . This is a huge move forward because according to Inside Line, the initial debut for the Abarth models was supposed to be introduced in the first half of 2013.

When this hot hatchback hits the market its major competitors will be the venerable VW Golf GTI and the Mini Cooper S . The angle that the Fiat successfully utilizes is that over the years both of its competitors have gone somewhat soft and strayed quite far from their roots. In the Fiat Abarth, the lineage is as clear as day and also adds a touch of warm nostalgic familiarity. As soon as your right foot hits the gas, a direct channel to your adrenal glads will be opened. The exhaust note from this peppy 1.4 liter engine reminds us of a little Boston terrier behind a fence, it sounds big but it’s really not. These primal signals will serve as a reminder of how a ’hot’ hatchback can enrich your life.

We adore the little Fiat . Its sense of style, presence, and plucky attitude make it a must have vehicle. This admiration will be multiplied with the Abarth Abarth version of this venerable Italian hatchback. The Fiat 500 Abarth serves as a case in point for automakers; in order to move forward, one must often look back.

Source: Insideline

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