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Looking To Save On Gas? Consumer Reports Ranks Subcompacts

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On: Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 2:10PM | By: Chris Weiss

Looking To Save On Gas? Consumer Reports Ranks Subcompacts

Subcompacts have traditionally been good for saving some money up front if you didn't mind enduring a little less power, comfort and prestige. These days, subcompacts not only save you money up front, but their small size and efficient engines save you money on the ever-rising cost of gas. Cars that were once the black sheep of the industry are now kind of cool and relevant.

Well, if you happen to be considering a subcompact, Consumer Reports has ranked its favorites among models redesigned for the 2012 model year.

The Kia Rio EX sedan ($17,275 MSRP as tested) topped Consumer Reports' list. The publication appreciated the car's handling and well-equipped interior. The Rio hatchback didn't perform quite as well as the sedan, but scored midpack among subcompact hatches.

The Chevy Sonic LT sedan ($17,920 MSRP as tested) - 2012's auto daredevil - also did well, scoring points for its quiet cabin, solid braking and agile handling. On the other hand, testers felt the Sonic's 1.8-liter powertrain's fuel economy was mediocre in the class, though noted that the 1.4-liter turbo offers improved economy. The publication was also disappointed with the turbo Sonic LTZ, feeling it had a high price and lacked the sportiness anticipated.

The lowest models in test were the Toyota Yaris hatchback and Nissan Versa sedan. The Yaris, which also scored poorly before its 2012 redesign, got poor marks for noisiness, a rough ride and a poorly appointed interior. The Nissan Versa slipped from the top of the pack to the bottom thanks to what CR found to be a loud engine and jittery highway ride.

CR said sedan and hatchback Hyundai Accent models weren't fancy but did "hit the mark for basic, sensible transportation and are good values." Fuel economy was also cited as a positive for Accents.

Overall, CR found the subcompact class to be a solid field. David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Connecticut, explained: "Subcompact cars were once collectively known as 'penalty boxes' for their noisiness, rudimentary interiors, uncomfortable rides, and weak performance. But now improved redesigns, combined with an affordable prices and impressive fuel economy, make a number of subcompact models good all-around choices for people looking to stretch their budget."

The cars tested all ranged from $15,490 (Nissan Versa) to $19,870 (Chevy Sonic LTZ). You can see video of the individual reviews in the source link below.



Didik | 6:45PM (Mon, Jun 25, 2012)

Unsafe Product!! DO NOT BUY!1 starReviewer: Anonymous , Madison, WI Date: September 02, 2010When rear-facing, this car seat will flip towards the back seat. This will sreeevly hurt your baby! Look at coccoro flip issue on youtube to see what I mean. And the company is aware of this problem! Their solution is a foam block they ship to you. Seriously, call them and ask if you don't believe me!! This product should be removed from the market. I have never been so upset with a product as I am with this one. It is NOT SAFE! Do not purchase!Comments from The Staff:We contacted Combi on behalf of this situation, and this is what they had to say:The Combi Coccoro is fully compliant with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 requirements for performance and design. It?s unique rounded bottom is designed to fit very well into most vehicles. We have identified some very dense vehicle seat cushions as posing a challenge in keeping the Coccoro at the correct pre-crash rear facing angle. We offer several solutions for the compatibility issue:1. The use of a Combi Zeus 360 Recline Adjustment Pad (firm foam block) eliminates the back-flip by adding additional friction and support to the bottom of the seat when placed at the vehicle seat bight. The Adjustment Pad is available to all consumers at no charge by calling our Customer Care Line.2. A slim swim noodle or tightly rolled towel wrapped in 1 layer of non-skid shelf liner will also offer additional friction to the bottom of the Coccoro and prevent back-flip.It is very important for consumers to understand that unless a rear facing child restraint is equipped with Rebound Management Technology (commonly referred to as ?Anti-Rebound?) the child seat is designed to rotate toward the vehicle seat back cushion to manage the energies of the crash and allow for further rearward ride down of the infant?s body. As long as the rear facing seat is in position prior to the crash event, the seat will protect the child to its fullest intended capacity. This concept is valid for all rear facing child seats that do not have anti-rebound technology.We have viewed the video posted by ?audlily27? on YouTube and have found that there are additional measures that could be taken to assure correct pre-crash installation on the demo seat in the video:1. It is unclear if the Coccoro is correctly installed onto the demo seat with the lower LATCH Anchors. If it is, the seat belt may offer a better fit. The Coccoro has 3 options for seat belt installation technique:a. Using the European Routing where the shoulder portion of the seat belt is secured around the back of the Coccoro through 1 blue lock-offb. Using the common latch-plate (buckle tongue) to retractor path then engaging the retractor into the locked modec. Using the latch-plate (buckle tongue) to retractor path and locking the Coccoro into place using the provided separate unidirectional lock off.2. The demo seat used does represent a real world vehicle but the seat back should be reclined to allow for better fit of the Coccoro. Whenever the vehicle seat back has the capability to recline, the Vehicle Owner?s Manual should always be consulted for correct vehicle seat back angle.For further questions or concerns about this issue, please feel free to contact Combi Customer Service directly at 1-800-992-6624.Thanks!-Combi

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