AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The New Face of Zoom-Zoom
Zoom-Zoom, it’s what sets Mazda apart from other car companies. The small Japanese manufacturer focuses on driving dynamics far more than other mass-market automakers. The result of that relentless toil is a lineup of cars and crossovers that are more entertaining than their competition. Paraphrasing one of the company’s TV commercials, if it’s not worth driving it’s not worth building.
One of Mazda’s most important products is the compact Mazda3. Available as either a hatchback or sedan it’s the cornerstone of the brand’s global sales. It’s never an easy task updating a successful product; drastic changes can attract new buyers but they also risk alienating existing customers. Fortunately for everyone the company has made common-sense updates to the 2014 model that should actually please everyone. Here are 10 things you absolutely must know about the new Mazda3.
Like a Broadway premiere the 2014 Mazda3 will take a bow in New York City today. Mazda’s best-selling compact car has received a bumper-to-bumper redesign along with some significant improvements. The company’s latest C-Segment offering brings a healthy dose of style, performance and technology to an extremely competitive slice of the market.
10. Hyundai Elantra - 24,445 Units
The sales numbers are in for April 2013, and we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best-selling cars for last month.
Kicking off the list is the Hyundai Elantra with a starting MSRP of $16,965. The compact model from the Korean automaker saw 45.2 percent more sales this year than last in the month of April, and has sold 78,991 units so far this year. It’s worth noting that 25 percent of Elantra sales come from the Coupe and Elantra GT hatchback models, which weren’t available last year.
SEE ALSO: 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT Review
Two-doors, too cool
Lets face it, two-doors cars are more fun and better looking than sedans. But you don’t have to break the bank to drive around in a stylish coupe.
We have a list of the top 10 most affordable two-doors, starting at just under $26,000. We had to draw the line and not include any hatchbacks, like the Scion tC or Fiat 500. Still, you’ll find plenty of big and small coupes in this list, each providing great looks or driving dynamics.
Bottom 10 Vehicles with the Largest Declines Dependability
Quality is an ever-moving target; it’s something automakers have to constantly monitor. And like the Mongol hordes conquering vast swaths of Asia in the 13th century, problems can easily overwhelm an unsuspecting company’s defenses. Like arrows toppling a mighty war elephant, just a few small issues can devastate even the most reliable vehicle on the road. To keep these nomadic defects at bay, engineers and product planners must remain vigilant.
Along with Consumer Reports, J.D. Power is one of the major firms that tracks automotive quality. Its annual Vehicle Dependability Study is highly anticipated by OEMs and media alike. Think of it as a report card for automakers.
For nearly a quarter-century the study has kept a careful eye on quality by tracking problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). It measures things that have gone wrong with 3-year-old cars and trucks as reported by their original owners.
Like America’s Most Wanted, J.D. power has just released a list of 10 vehicles that have suffered the largest declines in quality. These vehicles have had the greatest year-over-year increase in PP100. Some of the cars and trucks on the list may really surprise you.
Back Seat Space
A couple weeks ago our Top 10 target was the large-sedan segment. We looked at a diverse lineup of full-figured four doors, comparing them based on their theoretical maximum range. We multiplied the number of gallons in their respective fuel tanks by each of their highway economy ratings.
Against all expectations the Volkswagen Passat TDI drove away with top honors, and it did so by a wide margin. It wasn’t just the comparison’s valedictorian; it skipped two grades took all AP classes and still wound up with a GPA of 4.2. This diesel-powered “People’s Car” can devour nearly 800 miles on a single tank!
On the other hand, today’s big idea is small. We’re examining cars at the opposite end of the spectrum, specifically C-Segment sedans. We’re comparing a crowd of popular compacts based on, wait for it… rear-seat legroom! Which popularly priced car offers the most-spacious back bench? Which one will give an agoraphobic night terrors? Click ahead for all the details you can stomach.
As 2012 comes to an end, it’s always interesting to see what vehicles were most popular on everyone’s research list for the year.
Extended wheelbase models are becoming a necessity for any automaker’s lineup if they wish to succeed in the growing Chinese auto industry.
10. Kia Forte
USAA has compiled a list of the top ten cars for teens based on a recent survey where parents determined their most important factors when choosing a vehicle for their teenager. Those factors were reliability, a high safety rating and affordable auto insurance.
At number 10 on the list of top 10 cars for teens is the Kia Forte, a compact offering from the Korean automaker that comes in two-door coupe, four-door sedan, and five-door hatchback form. Starting at $15,200 the Forte comes with either a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 156-hp and 144 lb-ft of torque, or a 2.4-liter with 173-hp and 168 lb-ft of torque. Both powerplants offer great fuel mileage as well, with the 2.0L automatic getting 26-mpg city, 36-mpg highway and the 2.4L netting 23-mpg city, 32-mpg highway.
Fuel economy numbers are more important now than ever before, as gas prices continue to rise in North America.
An impressively high number, even a class-leading car like the Hyundai Elantra, which gets 40 mpg highway, only achieves an average of 33 mpg. While the exact fuel economy figures have yet to be released and a 40 mpg highway rating is still in sight, when the Dart (above) goes on sale later this year it most certainly will not get 40 mpg average; not in real world driving and not even on the window sticker.
Dodge wasn’t wrong. They’re not even entirely to blame. If fact, they were just using a different testing method to get their fuel economy numbers. Or to put it more accurately, they weren’t even doing the testing. So why would a different testing method be used? It’s a long and complex story, but the gist of it is that according to a government mandate, in order for Fiat to take control of Chrysler it needed achieve three goals, the final one being building a 40 mpg car on American soil. Being government related, that number is a CAFE number, not an EPA number. What’s the difference? Read on.
Now here’s something you don’t see everyday. Strong winds out in South Korea managed to push a container on top of a Hyundai Elantra, making it appear to be a low rider cruising with a hydraulic suspension.
Thankfully no one was injured in this freak accident, and surprisingly the Elantra held up pretty well which makes it no surprise that Hyundai posted the image on its Facebook page. Ironically enough, the container has Hyundai mud flaps. Perhaps it was destiny that the two met.
“A car that won almost every Car of the Year (COTY) award around the world preventing a container from getting blown away by strong wind,” said Hyundai on its Facebook page, trying to make the best of a bad situation.
GALLERY: Flattened Hyundai Elantra
[Source: Hyundai Facebook]
Hyundai is rolling out a new advertising campaign with a twist: the host of the commercials is trying to hypnotize you, right through the computer screen.
These ads are for the Hyundai i30, or as we know it in America, the Elantra. They feature professional hypnotist Peter Powers, who does his best to hypnotize any consumers daring to watch the video. The video features a disclaimer that assures you ”Peter Powers has performed the hypnosis with suggestions of a positive and fun nature, a formal procedure for the removal of hypnosis and with no instructions to perform unlawful, negative or unseemly behavior.”
Powers’ sow, calm voice tells us to fall in love with the i30 and that the headlights look like eagle eyes and the tail lights are just like the wind. It is clearly a little bit sensationalized for entertainment, but Hyundai is probably counting on some weak willed people to be enthralled by Peter Powers spell and run out and buy a new i30.
You can see for yourself whether or not the hypnotization works on you by clicking here.
Watch the video below for a preview of exactly how powerful hypnotization can be.
Hyundai offered a 2010 model year Elantra Blue briefly, featuring a manual transmission and special gear ratios helping it to achieve better fuel economy than a standard Elantra. Now it appears that the Korean automaker might revive the Blue package for its compact Elantra.
On the EPA’s fuel economy website, Hyundai has a listing for an Elantra Blue model that shows a 34-mpg combined rating, which is 1 mpg more than the standard Elantra. It appears that the 1 mpg bump is in city economy, while both the Elantra Blue and standard Elantra have 40-mpg highway.
“Hyundai is continuing to study the application of start-stop technology in our vehicles. Hyundai chose to certify a vehicle with start-stop to see the benefits in EPA testing, although plans to sell an Elantra Blue in the U.S. market have not been finalized,” said Hyundai representative Jim Trainor to Leftlane News.
Though it doesn’t exactly confirm the model’s existence, it does confirm that the Korean automaker is looking to integrate start-stop technology in its vehicles, and that the Elantra would be a fitting model to release it on. We currently see the start-stop technology being used in the sister company, Kia‘s Rio sedans.
If there is indeed a fuel economy difference in the Elantra Blue, it might not be solely attributed to start-stop technology. The Korean automaker in the past has admitted that start-stop alone doesn’t help in EPA testing.
With the New York Auto Show around the corner, there is a chance that the Korean automaker may make an announcement then.
[Source: Leftlane News]