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Compact/Subcompact Cars: Volkswagen Beetle 2.5L
An attractive price tag doesn’t always mean you’re getting a good deal for your money. That’s especially the case when you’re shopping for a car and you have to take into account its depreciation, cost of maintenance and even how much it’ll run you each time you have to fill up the gas tank.
Because of all those variables, Consumer Reports has released its list of new cars with the worst value, taking into account all the previously mentioned variables. As a result, the publication determined the five-year ownership cost for each vehicle and ranked them accordingly to determine which vehicles in today’s market gives you the worst bang for your buck.
While it certainly has its appeal as an iconic model in the automotive world, the Volkswagen Beetle 2.5-liter is actually the worst value in the compact/subcompact car category. With a starting price of $20,815 including destination, the Beetle 2.5-liter isn’t exactly an expensive car but considering it only gets 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, it’s not the most fuel efficient either. The Beetle is powered by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine with 170 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque, but over five years its depreciation is worse than the average car in its category and its cost to maintain certainly gives it poor value.
10. Ford Taurus (3.5L EcoBoost)
If you’re shopping for a new car and reliability is at the top of your list of priorities, you might want to avoid the following vehicles found on this top 10 list.
Based on Consumer Reports‘ reliability studies and surveys, these are the top 10 least reliable new cars on the market right now with the rankings based on survey results covering 17 potential trouble spots.
Kicking off the list is the Ford Taurus 3.5-liter EcoBoost model. The American automaker’s sedan is good for 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque from the 3.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6. That specific model (SHO) starts at $40,695 while getting 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The SHO model comes with a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle activation with 19-inch wheels as standard.
You can read AutoGuide‘s review on the Ford Taurus here.
Strong acceleration is important, it’s useful when merging onto a crowded expressway or towing a heavy trailer through the mountains. Speed is especially important for police vehicles as it gives law enforcement officers the power to take down bad guys. But who has the fastest cop car?
When Size Matters
Large and in charge. Big is beautiful. Size matters. Yes, there are endless clichés to support the notion that the bigger something is, the better it is. In the automotive kingdom, some vehicles not only adhere to this philosophy, but redefine it. We aren’t talking the puny realm of offerings like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry or even Dodge Charger. No, this is for the serious four wheeled hippos. The cars where it is more fun to be in the backseat than the front seat.
If you have more money to burn than the average NFL Quarterback, then there are some serious vehicles you can buy that are seriously long. How about the 220.9-inch Phantom Coupe? Not long enough for you? You could upsize to the 239.8-inch Phantom extended-wheelbase sedan, or maybe the 242.7-inch Maybach 62?
But for the rest of us mere mortals, there are some sizable vehicles out there under $100,000. Heck, two of the top ten are even under $30,000. So we will now present to you the top ten vehicles that are longer than The Hobbit.
Top 10 Large Sedans With the Greatest Range
There’s something magical about going on a road trip. Whether it’s the allure of visiting a far-flung destination or just the call of the highway, piling into a car and eating up miles satiates mankind’s wanderlust.
Of course some vehicles are better for long-distance drives than others. A quiet interior, comfortable seats and smooth ride are prerequisites, but plentiful cup holders and storage spaces for snacks can’t hurt, either.
In a lot of ways large sedans were tailor-made for cross-country trips. They’re roomy, relatively efficient and don’t beat you up like a race-prepared Miata. Last week we examined 10 such cars, ranking them based on trunk space. This week we’re comparing those same four-doors but focusing on driving range.
We took each car’s EPA highway fuel-economy rating and multiplied it by the total gallons of fuel in their respective tanks to arrive at a maximum possible range. So, which of these full-figured cars is the ultimate bladder-buster? Click ahead to find out!
Top 10 Large Sedans With The Biggest Trunks
America is the land of the free and the home of large sedans. With miles and miles of miles and miles, drivers don’t have to contend with congested urban parking or dreadful highway traffic like their European counterparts. We’re free to relax and stretch our legs clear across the continent if we so desire.
U.S. Interstates and two-lane back roads were the breeding ground for a unique automotive species: the large sedan. Spacious, comfortable and smooth, Detroit’s Big Three created the original recipe for these highway cruisers, but foreign automakers have a thing or two to say about how to prepare them.
Trunk space is one of the most important metrics to examine when comparing big four-door cars. How many golf bags can be crammed into a cargo hold? What about suitcases for a weekend road trip to Atlantic City? People need to know! Here’s a list of the Top 10 large sedans ranked in order of trunk volume.
10. 2009 Ford Fusion: $2,890
Insurance isn’t kind to teenage drivers. Rates are usually double the price of experienced drivers. Luckily CarInsure.com has provided a list of the top 10 best vehicles to insure for teenagers.
The rates are calculated based on a Washington family: a married couple driving a 2011 Honda Accord and a 2009 Chevrolet Traverse, with a clean driving record and good credit. Their teenage driver is a 16-year-old male, also with a clean driving record. This list covers a five-year insurance impact. The vehicles on this list are from 2008, or 2009.
Tenth on the list is the 2009 Ford Fusion, equipped with ESC. This car gains its price thanks to a perfect NHTSA front impact score and the highest score possible for frontal-offset and side impact tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The key to this model though is the optional electronic stability control.
NHTSA announced today that it is increasing the number of Ford vehicles under investigation for sticking throttle issues to 1.92 million automobiles.
Previously, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration initially announced an investigation into 360,000 Ford Taurus’ built from 2005 to 2006. Now NHTSA has expanded its inquiry to include all Ford Taurus’ and Mercury Sables (same car, different name) built from 2001-2005, an estimated total of 1.92 million cars.
The issues began when NHTSA received 14 complaints from Ford Taurus owners who said the engine revved as high as 4,000 rpm after the car had been shifted into park or neutral. One Taurus owner says that while sitting at a red light the car began to accelerate, and holding the brakes down with two feet wasn’t enough to keep the car stationary.
Thankfully, no accidents have been reported as a result of these malfunctions.
It might come as a surprise to some that it’s possible to purchase a six-passenger sedan, but in previous decades, large sedans with front bench seats and space for an extra passenger in the middle were mainstays of the American automotive landscape.
While cars like the Ford Taurus and Mercury Grand Marquis were once available with six seats, the sole remaining sedan available with a front bench seat is the Chevrolet Impala. But with a new model coming in 2013, GM has to decide whether to keep producing a six seater vehicle, which accounts for roughly 25 percent of Impala sales.
With the new Impala salted to be built on a narrower platform, and GM offering a full lineup of crossovers that can carry more than 5 passengers, it makes little sense for the company to continue producing a six seater Impala. If the General continues down this path, we’ll be seeing the end of an era for American motoring – not that we’re too torn up about it.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
So the new Ford Taurus was only introduced last year. Why, then, did Ford refresh it for 2013 at the New York Auto Show—why go through all that effort now? Because, according to Ford head design honcho J Mays, the new front end is supposed to showcase Ford’s new global look, and the Mondeo and Falcon are gonna nab a piece of it.
Yes, for once the Ford global look sets its standards from America, not Europe or Australia. The new corporate look, said Mays, will still allow these three diverse sedans to retain their own character. The design elements can be altered to create subtle or aggressive looks across a model range. And the trapezoid grille was influenced by those from Audi—where J Mays used to hang his hat.
The 2013 Ford Taurus was a bit of a surprise for car fans, since the mid-cycle upgrade came early for the barely 3 year old car. Unveiled at the 2011 New York Auto Show, the new Taurus features a host of fairly substantial mechanical upgrades.
First on the list is a 2.0L Ecoboost 4-cylinder engine option, good for 237 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. While performance is expected to be adequate, the real news is a 31 mpg highway rating, which Ford boldly boasted as being better than an Audi A6. Hardly anyone will cross-shop an Audi and a Taurus, but the big Ford should handle better with the addition of a torque-vectoring system, which acts like an ersatz-limited slip differential, using the brakes to control excessive front wheelspin.
MyFordTouch and SYNC, two in car entertainment systems that are likely too advanced for the 60-plus set that buys the car, will also be available. We expect that the 31 mpg rating will be the biggest selling point for Ford’s biggest sedan, with the fact that the Ecoboost is missing two cylinders also downplayed so as not to scare off buyers worried about sluggish performance.
Gallery: 2013 Ford Taurus
Ford is asking dealers to curtail orders of three shades of red paint, and one hue called “Tuxedo Black” due to difficulties sourcing metallic elements needed for the paint. The element, which is produced by a Japanese supplier, is unable to be produced to due damage resulting from the natural disasters that occurred in the country.
So far, full-size pickups and SUVs are unable to be ordered in Tuxedo Black, while vehicles like the Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS will have their supplies of the color restricted. The shades of red will be scaled back on cars like the F-Series Super Duty and Ranger pickups, Focus, Econoline and Lincoln Navigator.
Ford says it is looking to find a replacement for the substance, called Xirallic, which is used to give the paint a metallic finish.
[Source: CNN Money]
We bet that you wish you could be in the car whenever your teenager takes it out for a spin. Sure, you trust them, but you would feel better if you could make sure they weren’t going too fast or you could turn the radio dial when Howard Stern comes on. Thanks to Ford’s enhanced MyKey system, you’ll feel a lot better the next time your teen asks for the keys.
The latest version of Ford’s MyKey technology actually lets parents block explicit satellite radio content in the vehicle – think of it as a cable or Internet blocker that ensures your kids can’t watch any adult movies while you’re away at work. It will come standard on next year’s Ford Taurus and Ford Explorer, and in the future will be available in a variety of Ford and Lincoln vehicles. Don’t think of it as a nagging device – the MyKey system was designed to help parents encourage safe teen driving habits.
And not only will the MyKey feature limit radio access, it also limits driving speeds too. This easily programmable key lets you limit a vehicle’s top speed at four different settings – 65, 70, 75 or 80 mph. It will also limit radio volume and ensure that your teen puts on a safety-belt usage by muting the radio until they buckle up. The current version of the MyKey feature that launched in 2009 only allows drivers to limit the vehicle’s top speed to 80 mph, with chimes sounding at 45, 55 and 65 mph.
Would a feature like this make you more likely to purchase a Ford? And for all you teen drivers out there, how do you feel about having your parents put a limit on your radio usage and speed limits? Let us know in the comment section below.
The 2011 Ford Mustang V6 makes as much power as the 2005-2009 V8 version did, proving that six-cylinder technology is no longer for the runts of the Mustang litter. Add a couple turbochargers and direct-injection, and you get Ford’s wonderful EcoBoost motor, which has all the power you could ever want from a big V8, while getting better fuel economy.
Ford customers seem to agree, and an internal study shows that buyers are very satisfied with the performance of the EcoBoost engine. While the survey was probably not the most scientific, real-world experience with a Taurus SHO was enough to prove that the technology is sound, and the rumored four-cylinder Ecoboost should be a treat.
Press Release After The Jump
Ford posted a $2.1 billion profit for this quarter, beating market expectations by a full year despite a lull in the new vehicle market. Ford has undergone a series of cost-cutting measures, including plant closures and layoffs, but has also introduced a torrent of new product in nearly every segment.
Ford hasn’t earned $2 billion profit since 2004, when the company sold 17 million vehicles. Expectations for this year include sales of fewer than 12 million cars and trucks. Ford’s strong performance has been attributed to a number of factors. New products like the Fiesta, Mustang, Edge and Fusion have been extremely well received by the automotive press and well as consumers. Sales of the full-size Taurus are up 96 percent from the previous generation. Ford’s image has also remained strong, as it avoided taking government loans (unlike rivals GM and Chrysler), and avoided the quality problems that have plagued Toyota.
However, Ford’s executive chairman told the New York Times that the success of the company was attributable to its own strengths, not the weaknesses of its competitors.
“I don’t know how much it really helped because it’s all about the product,” Mr. Ford told reporters after a speech in Detroit this month. “People will come into our showrooms but if they don’t see anything they like, they’ll go elsewhere.”
Volkswagen brands walk away with half the awards
The Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) has just announced the list of nominees for Canadian Car of the Year and Canadian Utility Vehicle of the year. This list is made up of the winners from each of the 12 categories and includes the Mazda3, Mazda3 Sport, Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI, Ford Taurus, BMW 335d, Porsche Panamera Turbo, Volkswagen GTI, Audi S4, Audi A5 Cabriolet, Subaru Outback, Volkswagen Toureg TDI and Lexus RX450h.
Highlights include the Mazda3 as Best New Small Car under $21,000; the Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI for Best New Family Car under $30,000; the Ford Taurus for Best New Family Car over $30,000; the Subaru Outback for Best New CUV/SUV and the Porsche Panamera Turbo for Best New Prestige Car. In total Volkswagen brands walked away with half of the awards.
AJAC released the list this morning in Niagaro-on-the-Lake in southern Ontario where 70 of Canada’s “elite” automotive journalists spent the week testing a long list of 156 vehicles at the organizations annual Test Fest event.
The 12 class winners will now be submitted for the 2010 Canadian Car of the Year or the 2010 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year, which will be announced at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, Ontario on February 11.
Follow the jump for a list of the individual class winners:
We still have more than half of 2009 to go and already the list of 2010 North American Car & Truck of the Year nominees have been picked. That’s because the list is essentially a list of every new model for 2010.
Nominated for car of the year are: the Audi S4, BMW Z4, BMW 335d, BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Fusion, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Ford Mustang, For Mustang GT500, Ford Taurus, Ford Taurus SHO, Honda Insight, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Kia Forte, Kia Soul, Lexus HS250h, Lotus Evora, Mazda3, MazdaSpeed3, Mercedes E-Class, Nissan Cube, Nissan 370Z, Porsche Panamera, Subaru Legacy, Suzuki Kizashi, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Golf TDI.
The 2010 North American Truck of the Year list is only slightly shorter and includes: the Acura ZDX, BMw X5 xDrive 35d, Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Transit Connect, GMC Terrain, Honda Crosstour, Land Rover LR4, Lincoln MKT, Subaru Outback, Toyota 4Runner and Volvo XC60.
Many off these vehicles have yet to be officially released and some (like the Honda Crosstour) haven’t even been officially named yet.
Jurors will now begin the lengthy process of making a short list, with the final winners chosen at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Last year’s winners were the Hyundai Genesis and the Ford F-150.
New six-speed automatic transmission mated to 268hp 3.5-liter V6
Thanks to Ford’s new Global Product Development System the company was able to bring the new Taurus to market 12 months sooner – and not a moment too soon. The old 500/Taurus was a relative flop and considering how successful the Fusion has been, a more impressive full-sized sedan was much needed.
Ford believes the 2010 Taurus will bring back the sedan’s past successes and to do so they will offer it at the same MSRP as the outgoing model – $25,995.
The 2010 Tauris will be powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts down 263hp and 249 ft-lbs of torque. Power will be put to the wheels through a six-speed transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The new transmission will also feature “grade assist” to help during hill starts.
Ford claims a vastly improved interior in terms of both materials and design. As for the exterior, the body panel margins rival those of German luxury sedans.
The look of the Taurus is all-new as well and the sedan will come with 17-inch wheels stadard with sizes ranging all the way to 20-inches.
Technological highlights include Adaptive Cruise Control and a Blind Spot Information System.
Official release after the jump: