economy cars

economy cars

  Resonabled Priced Car

Posted on by TB +  

The Chevy Sonic gets so little coverage from car magazines that it is easy to forget it even exists. Even the Chevrolet team does not seem too excited about the subcompact’s prospects with American buyers. Maybe that is why most of the official images are just renderings of the car inserted into picturesque backdrops via Photoshop…

If Chevrolet can’t be bothered to actually take its mini car to the desert for a photo shoot, why should buyers care?

There are a few reasons that the Chevrolet Sonic is storming up the sales charts recently to become the top-selling supermini in the U.S. for the last few months. Offered in five-door hatchback or four-door sedan body styles, the Sonic line is well-positioned in style, price and interior tech to overcome rivals, like the Hyundai Accent , Kia Rio and Ford Fiesta .

A new-for-2013 RS trim added lower gear ratios to help improve acceleration in the top 1.4-liter turbo engine guise. While relatively exciting versus the bread-and-butter LS, LT and LTZ trims, the 2014 RS deserves a review of its own – published in the near future so check back for more details.

The focus here is on the volume model sedan and hatchback Chevrolet Sonics with highlights of the new-for-2014 features and options.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Chevrolet Sonic.

Posted on by TB +  

The Kia Forte5 is the forthcoming hatchback variation of last year’s new Forte sedan but packs some interesting and timely updates that make this one of the few hot hatches offered in the U.S. market. The highlights include a powerful turbocharged engine, sophisticated front and rear LED lighting, and a cabin with some boy-racer appeal via carbon-fiber-style surfaces and a six-speed manual box.

Let’s face it: hot hatches just aren’t sexy here. As much as our Euro counterparts get excited about the Fiesta ST , there’s a collective “huh?” in U.S. showrooms over the same car. It just seems too tall, too narrow and diminutive for someone to commit to years of payments. The Honda Civic Si is about as close to the recipe as possible and even this is only offered in staid sedan or also-staid coupe bodywork.

This is set to change with the new Forte5. The name is the dorkiest part: the style of low, crisp and wide proportions makes this car look more like a slammed Sportage or Cayenne than an econobox. The mechanical packages on the Kia show a half-step improvement versus corporate sibling Hyundai , with the turbo engine finally delivering some of the sportiness Kia says defines its products.

So where does the Forte5 site within the Forte line that also includes sedans and coupes? Right in that hot-hatch sweet spot, just moved a little further toward “cool” from the embarrassing current hatchbacks: the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Spark .

Click past the jump for the full review of the Forte5 ahead of its arrival in U.S. dealers at the end of summer 2013.

Posted on by TB +  

Introduced two years ago, the current Elantra sedan is now part of a three-strong lineup that also includes the Hyundai Elantra Coupe and Elantra GT hatchback in U.S. showrooms. The core package is shared by all three, but the latest Elantra sedan benefits from the newest interior tech from each of the spin-offs.

Despite little new styling flair, the Elantra sedan remains one of the finest small cars on the road and its new features keep it top-of-class versus the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla that inhale most of the compact-sedan sales.

Hyundai ’s great progress since 2007 hit a serious snag with the admission that the company’s internal EPA figures used the wrong testing procedure. Automakers often do the testing themselves using a very specific protocol that ensures parity across makes and models. Believed to be a good-faith mistake, the EPA dispatched multiple teams to the Seoul-based headquarters of Hyundai-Kia to show them how to run the tests properly.

Existing Hyundai and Kia owners were compensated with checks to cover the difference between advertised economy and the new results, typically a few hundred dollars. Not a big ding in reputation, but all advertising had to be pulled and re-done so there’s been a bit of radio silence in 2013.

The lineup for 2013 is frankly better than ever, especially this perky little Elantra sedan.

Click past the jump for the full review and image gallery.

Posted on by TB +  

Toyota still leads the pack when it comes to electrified models and is asserting that lead with a new contest, the Prius Plug-in MPG Challenge, which pits 30 New York metro region drivers against each other to log the highest MPG over a one-month loaner period. The program kicks off its first wave of contestants today at a key hand-off in New Jersey.

The MPG Challenge underscores Toyota’s confidence in their Hybrid Synergy Drive’s ability to deliver amazing real-world returns, something that marks their models apart from pure EV’s like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S as well as conventional economy hatchbacks like the Hyundai Elantra GT and Ford Fiesta . Toyota’s point of view in the efficiency debate is valuable. They’re betting that their Prius Plug-in can entice normal drivers to "hyper-mile," a term meaning to maximize potential range through creative (and very slow) driving.

Can the Prius Plug-in Hybrid resolve the range anxiety of EV drivers and the disillusion felt by buyers of small gasoline-powered cars that can barely get near their official EPA stats – no matter how slowly they drive. The idea is to use the MPG Challenge as both a sales promotion and consumer education platform, while also highlighting the latest tech advancements in the 2013 Prius Plug-in Hybrid in the hands of real-life potential buyers.

How is Toyota positioned to weather the current state of evolving eco-car priorities? As the hard-core greens adopt full EV models, will Priuses start coming factory-direct in Taxi-cab yellow with barf-proof vinyl upholstery?

Click past the jump for the full review of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, including detailed info on ordering dedicated chargers from Toyota’s new home-electricity partner Leviton.

Posted on by TB +  

The revised 2013 Honda Civic sedan lives up to the “Better” advertising hype. Then again, “Better” is not exactly a lofty goal or a proud boast from the top compact car in U.S. sales. Is chrome on the grille and trunk lid enough to banish the memories of last year’s poverty-spec Civic sedan ?

Despite being a total snooze to sports car enthusiasts, the Civic sedan packs the most diverse powerplant options of any passenger vehicle ever sold commercially, including: gasoline, hybrid and CNG

This little econobox is singlehandedly preparing for the diverse energy mix we all have in our futures. The Civic’s hybrid system finally matches Toyota’s third-gen Prius for sophistication and economy, while the CNG option is looking more enticing than ever thanks to America’s natural gas revolution pushing prices to record lows.

Additionally, Honda has taken a number of complaints about the 2012 Civic to heart, such as the unacceptable road noise and harshness, negative amounts of road style, and an interior full of unusual shapes jammed together like a losing Tetris game. Can the 2013 Honda Civic sedan pivot from mediocrity with blankets of NVH material, some LEDs and infotainment tech from the new Accord ?

Click past the jump for the full review of the Honda Civic Sedan.

Posted on by David Hurth  

Volkswagen has announced the launch of the new Passat Wolfsburg Edition. The special edition sedan will sit between the base S and mid-level SE in the model lineup.

This special edition looks to build on the company’s heritage, as Wolfsburg where all VW models ultimately hail from. When VW started making the original Type 1 (a.k.a. Bug) most cars came with the Wolfsburg Castle image on the car’s horn button.

The German automaker’s headquarters has been used in many past special editions and the cars that bear the Wolfsburg name usually give buyers a few upgrades over the base model and additional badging.

The new car is based on the S model trim, but includes a number of standard features to add some extra value to the pot, while keeping costs as low as possible. The Wolfsburg model is distinguished by special wheels and badging.

Hit the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Passat Wolfsburg Edition

Posted on by David Hurth  

The 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage debuted at the 2013 New York International Auto Show . And while its power may not impress, its mpg may start making hybrid cars start shaking in their low-rolling-resistance tires.

Let’s face it the Mirage isn’t the sexiest car to roll out of Mitsu’s factory; in fact, it’s just another econo-hatch that easily blends into the scenery as you head down the highway. Mitsubishi is hoping to change that with the new model and this time around, the Mirage will try to make its way back into the hearts of Americans for the first time since 2002.

The car has been redesigned with all new styling that Mitsu hopes will attract new buyers, which is something the floundering company needs to help keep it in the American market. Unfortunately, it is heading into a market – the sub-compact hatchback market – that is quickly becoming overfull.

Perhaps its practicality and relatively large amount of storage space will help push it over the other motorized roller-skates on the market.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage.

Just like with the rest of the Skoda lineup, the Superb is also about to receive a mid-life update. Our spy photographers have caught the car testing today for the first time and, even though the prototype is wearing camouflage, you can clearly see that the updates will be similar to those initially unveiled in the MissionL concept.

This means that the front end will be pretty similar to the one revealed in models like Rapid and Octavia . So, you should expect a new front grille, new headlights and front bumper. For the rear, the model will get redesigned lights, meaning they will change from the slotted lights with the inner part on the trunk lid into a one-piece version. Together with a new rear bumper, this will give the back a cleaner look. The interior will also be slightly revised.

There are no details on the engine lineup just yet, but you should see expect the new engines from the Octavia lineup.

British customers will enjoy a new addition to their already very impressive Kia Soul Originals collection. The new addition, the Soul Shaker will be offered in both petrol and diesel engine variants and will carry a relatively low price.

The model sits above the "2" specification version and shares some high-tech features with other models in the Soul Originals range, including iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control and air conditioning.

When compared to other Soul models in the lineup, the new Shaker edition will be distinguished by an exclusive paintjob, a new set of alloy wheels, and premium interior in a new unique ’Houndstooth’ design.

Kia also paid intensive attention to the car’s safety level and equipped the new Shaker with technologies like electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, vehicle stability management and hill-start assist control.

Hit the jump to ream more the 2013 Kia Soul Shaker.

Geneva Motor Show is still almost two months away, but as usual, we will know nearly everything about it long before the official opening. For example, Kia has unveiled today the first teaser images of a new "provocative and racy new urban concept car" set to be unveiled in Geneva.

The company kept the name a secret, but confirmed the concept will feature the "company’s signature tiger-nose morphing into a mischievous, yet friendly, grille and headlight arrangement, coupled with strong styling lines that exude speed and energy from every angle."

We have also notice lots of carbon fiber used in the front bumper, a new set of wheels and, of course, an overall aggressive presence. Also, we expect this new concept to be a hybrid vehicle, but this is just simple speculation.

Full details on the new concept will be unveiled on March 5th, during the its official debut in Geneva, so stay tuned!


Back to top