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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Car News

Best Cars For Back To School

On: Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 9:36AM | By: Chris Weiss


Best Cars For Back To School test 2

Back when I was in college about 10 years ago, your car was quite a status symbol. Kids drove around campus with their bright-rimmed, leather-seated, current-model-year rides pumping bass and feeling good about themselves. Nevermind the fact that the car lease was being paid for by the kid's grandma, the car made him look and feel like a player.  With gas prices hovering around $1 a gallon, fuel economy wasn't even a thought in the back of your mind, and you were free to get the biggest, loudest engine available without remorse.

The world has changed a lot in a decade. Market analysis like this has demonstrated that the car is sliding rapidly as a status symbol among youth. Many young people look at cars simply as a necessary evil needed to get around. With the world pushing greener lifestyles, the car may even be seen as a dirty, old remnant of outdated technology compared with newer, cleaner modes of transportation. So it's no surprise that the recommended cars for students aren't hot sports coupes--like the Acura Integra I used to drive around in college--but more practical, safe commuters. These options should make both kids and parents happy.


Time For A New Brand: Hyundai To Continue Moving Upmarket

On: Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 3:02PM | By: Chris Weiss


Time For a New Brand: Hyundai To Continue Moving Upmarket test 2

One of these days, Hyundai is going to need to release an upscale brand, a counterpart to Honda's Acura and Toyota's Lexus. Because despite the fact that the brand has made a steady climb upmarket with offerings like the $58,000 Equus, it's still hard to think of Hyundai in the same category as BMW or Mercedes. And the company has no plans of slowing down in its move up market.

According to AutoWeek, Hyundai plans to expand its offerings over the next few years, including moving into several higher end segments. It will also continue to offer more traditional, low priced models like the Accent and Elantra.

And therein lies Hyundai's problem from a marketing perspective – it's just hard for people to grasp a brand that offers the 1.6-liter four-cylinder-powered Accent, one of the lowest priced cars on the market, with high-end sports coupes and luxury sedans. It would behoove the brand to spin-off a luxury unit.


2012 Toyota Camry Gets Price Drops

On: Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 9:03AM | By: Chris Weiss


2012 Toyota Camry Gets Price Drops  test 2

America's long-standing best-selling car may just sell even better this year. Toyota revealed the 2012 Camry earlier this week. The mid-sized market-staple loses a little price over the outgoing 2011 model while gaining some updates.

Toyota introduced the car via a California-based Web production on Tuesday. According to the NY TImes, Toyota exec Bob Carter said of the unveil: "That’s the most excitement that we’ve ever had for the introduction of a new model."

However, it sounds like most of the excitement was generated from the event itself, an event that included skateboarders, dancers and other entertainers – because there really isn't anything that exciting about the 2012 Camry. It is a Camry, after all—solid, reliable, inexpensive—but not really exciting.


Ford Focus Electric Gets Greener With Solar Charging

On: Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 4:31PM | By: Chris Weiss


Ford Focus Electric Gets Greener With Solar Charging test 2

Despite the fact that studies—like this one from the Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicle Data Center—have shown that the overall emissions of electric vehicles are less than gas-powered vehicles, the sentiment about electric vehicles not being clean because they rely on dirty, dirty electricity still prevails. Well, Ford is attacking that sentiment head-on with a new solar-charging option for the 2012 Focus Electric.

The Focus Electric, which will be giving the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt some competition when it starts hitting dealers in select markets later this year, has gotten a little greener. Ford announced recently that it will offer a solar-charging option with the compact. The 2.5 kW solar option, offered in conjunction with SunPower, hooks up to your home via a solar roof panel and provides enough juice for about 1,000 miles worth of Focus Electric driving per month. It will provide up to 3,000 kWh per year.

So, if you choose this option and average less than 1,000 miles per month, you won't be taking a drop of juice from the power grid. And then you can officially tell all those EV naysayers to shove it—shove it good.


 

Subaru Impreza: Another 2012 Price Hold

On: Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 12:14PM | By: Chris Weiss


Subaru Impreza: Another 2012 Price Hold test 1-1

With a tumultuous, uncertain auto market ahead, it seems many automakers are taking conservative approaches to the 2012 model year. We've already watched Chrysler drop prices on three models and Honda hold prices steady across the entire Accord line. Now, Subaru has joined in transferring 2011 prices over to 2012.


2012 Hyundai Veloster Prices In At $17K

On: Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 9:11AM | By: Chris Weiss


2012 Hyundai Veloster Prices In At $17K test 2

In the market for an entry level sports car? Consider the 2012 Hyundai Veloster. Due to hit the market this fall, the Veloster will price in well under competitors like the Honda CR-Z, providing a solid package of sporty performance and affordable price.

Hyundai announced this week that the Veloster will start at $17,300, some $2,000 less than competitors—the 2011 Honda CR-Z and 2011 Scion tC. That price provides a 1.6-liter GDI engine worth 138-hp and a six-speed manual transmission. Those that prefer automatic shifting can opt for Hyundai's all-new EcoShift dual-clutch. Thanks to a curb weight of just 2,584, the Hyundai Veloster will be plenty lively and will offer an estimated 40 mpg. And it still manages to offer some of the most interior volume in its class.

The Veloster's styling isn't necessarily for everyone, but it's definitely distinctive. Defining elements include the near-flat, sloped roofline, front-end air cuts, wraparound-like greenhouse, and unique three-door design.


Cadillac Unveils Ciel Convertible Concept

On: Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 9:05AM | By: Chris Weiss


Cadillac Unveils Ciel Convertible Concept test 2

Last Wednesday, when Cadillac announced that it was producing the Converj plug-in concept as the ELR, it mentioned that it would launch a concept the following day at the Concours d'Elegance Pebble Beach. If you read it quickly, it appeared the concept was going to be the next version of the ELR, since the entire press release save for the last paragraph was about the ELR. But if you read a little closer, Cadillac simply said: "Cadillac will reveal another new concept car on Thursday, Aug. 18, at a special event prior to the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance."

The new concept isn't the next iteration of its plug-in, but a classicly styled convertible that it calls the Ciel.


Buyer Incentives May Come As Detroit Suffers Customer Satisfaction Blow

On: Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 3:54PM | By: Chris Weiss


Buyer Incentives May Come As Detroit Suffers Customer Satisfaction Blow test 2

After seemingly being back after their highly public woes of 2009, American automakers have suffered another blow. It seems that customers just aren't as satisfied with many of Detroit’s brands as they were last year. The American Customer Satisfaction Index has brought bad news to several key American brands and good news to Japanese counterparts.


2012 Jeep Wrangler Gets Engine Reduction?!

On: Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 12:09PM | By: Chris Salamone


3.6-liter Pentastar test 2

We’ve waited, and waited, and waited. Since the Wrangler’s inception, some of the vehicle’s strongest characteristics have remained its greatest weaknesses for everyday driving: low-end torque and gear ratios meant for off-roading. That potent mix of rock-crawling power has historically meant terrible gas mileage and unfortunate off-the-line acceleration times. Finally, as of 2012, Jeep has decided to rework the Wrangler’s engineering to try to maintain the vehicle’s legendary off-road prowess while improving fuel economy and quickness.

The devout Jeep driver may recall how the company has reduced engine size offerings over the years, fearing their beloved overlander would become just another ‘soft-roader’. But really, Jeep’s recent decision to utilize the 3.6-liter Pentastar engine over last year’s 3.8-liter makes perfect sense. Other than an ego-slashing drop in physical size, the latest Pentastar offers more torque, more horsepower, and greater fuel efficiency (up to 21 mpg).


Kia Launches RWD Sports Car Concept

On: Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 10:25AM | By: Chris Weiss


Kia Launches RWD Sports Car Concept test 1-1

Well, as promised, Kia has announced its own sporty sedan concept. Unfortunately, the car looks like a cheap Korean-made knockoff of the million-dollar Aston Martin One-77. Not exactly the best way to announce that you've arrived in the serious performance car market. The four-door rear-wheeler will make its debut at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show. Kia provided a sneak peak last week.

Despite the fact that its pointed headlamps and vertical air intakes look ripped off and dumbed down from the One-77, some of the car isn't a bad effort. The car packs four seats and four doors into a flowing, extended-coupe profile. We're not too sure we can take the hood-mounted rear-views seriously on a Kia, however. And from what we can see of it, that flat-faced rear-end yells misfortune.


2012 Honda Accord Price Holds Steady

On: Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 9:12AM | By: Chris Weiss


2012 Honda Accord Price Holds Steady test 2

Some good news and some bad news. Good news: The 2012 Honda Accord sedan and coupe will be priced exactly the same as the 2011 Accord sedan and coupe. The bad news is they'll also be pretty much the same models with nary an improvement or addition. Then again, when you're a solid market-leader like the Accord, maybe that's good news/good news.