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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.
The 2012 Nissan Cube is getting a little more expensive, though not by a significant margin. The company chose to raise the base price $260 to $15,760, which includes a $780 destination charge.
The real news is that the decision to cut back from four to three versions of the box on wheels has been confirmed. Their top-of-the-line 1.8 S Krom Edition isn’t available anymore, leaving potential buyers to choose from the formerly mid-range 1.8 SL, the 1.8 S mid-range or the 1.8 S base model, priced $19,300, $17,200 and $15,760 respectively.
The Indigo Limited Edition is also available and costs $1,900 to add to the base model, making it slightly more expensive than the mid range car. That near $2 grand package gives you indigo seats, navigation, a rear view moniter, Rockford Fosgate audio, Nissan Intelligent Key and 15-inch aluminum alloys.
You can expect the same 1.8-liter inline four under the hood, making 122 hp and mated to either a continuously variable transmission or a 6-speed manual.
There are five new colors to choose from, though the only real change over last year is “Bali Blue” replacing “Sapphire Black Pearl.” Whatever they choose to call the shades of paint, we won’t be totally shocked if the cube sees further cuts after this year.
The strangely shaped car sold a sorry 198 units last October, well after we would have expected tsunami-related recovery to take place. It was also discontinued in Europe about a year ago. In fact, the vehicle hasn’t done well anywhere but Japan.
Despite recently weak sales, Nissan is adamant that the Cube “has found its place in the market” and will keep it in its lineup even though they haven’t mentioned a word about a next-generation model.
When the Cube was first introduced in 2009, it sold 21,000 units while 2010 followed up with 23,000 units. For 2011 though, Nissan has sold just a mere 13,850 units through October. Only 198 Cubes were sold in the month of October.
Brian Carolin, head of Nissan North America’s sales, claimed that the Cube’s demand rose when gas prices went up and that Nissan was having a tough time keeping up with demand. And even though one could argue that the Cube’s year-to-date sales is weak due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, a parts shortage earlier this year doesn’t explain its horrible October sales.
GALLERY: Nissan Cube
Nissan‘s Cube has had a lukewarm reception outside its home market of Japan, and sales have been so poor in Europe that Nissan has decided to axe the vehicle entirely.
Nissan is citing exchange rate issues between the yen and the euro as the underlying cause, but the dismal sales are likely an equal culprit in the company’s decision.
Nissan dealers are apparently sold out of the car, save for a few outlets in central London.
Nissan has just announced it will offer a new line of custom wraps and vinyl graphics for three of its models: the Cube, Juke and Frontier. The custom add-ons are provided by Original Wraps Inc. and are designed to be applied by a professional, leaving nothing behind when they are removed. The wraps themselves are designed to last for roughly three years on the car, so if you can switch-up the look of your car when you want.
At launch, only graphics for the Cube are available, but Original Wraps will soon add items for the Juke and Frontier.
Check out the extensive offering of decals and how they’ll look by visiting www.nissangraphics.com
GALLERY: Nissan Custom Graphics
Some rides are better suited for your dogs than others. From your dog’s point of view, all they need is an open window to stick their head out of, but the American Automobile Association (AAA) has put a bit more thought into compiling their list of the best canine-friendly vehicles.
“More than 45 million households in the U.S. have a dog, and many are taking Fido along for the ride on a regular basis,” said John Nielsen, AAA National Director of Auto Repair and Buying Services. “There several vehicles with features that can help keep pets safe, comfortable and easy to clean-up after while also addressing other driver desires such as sportiness, adventure or luxury.”
In order to put together the most through list, AAA Auto Buying’s team of experts test drove and reviewed hundreds of vehicles. The list was based on a wide variety of factors such as crash test ratings, safety features, fuel economy, ease of animal ingress and egress, cargo area size, availability of tie-down hooks and easy-to-clean interiors.
Broken down into six categories, see the winners after the jump:
Kia‘s Soul compact car has a commanding lead over the Nissan Cube and Scion xB, outselling the Cube by a near 2:1 margin. But Kia is hesitant to expand the Soul’s lineup by spinning off variants of the boxy small car in the quest to increase sales.
Speaking to Ward’s Auto, Orth Hedrick, director of product planning at Kia, the Soul “tends to be a niche vehicle.” “There is very high appeal to a very narrow group of buyers.”
Kia introduced the Soul’ter convertible concept at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, but so far there has been little push to build it. Structural changes as well as design considerations would necessitate a substantial investment that would be hard to justify.
On the other hand, Kia’s 88% rise in the geographic market that covers New York City and Boston is largely attributed to the Soul, and Hedrick knows this well. “We’re very fortunate the product is relevant in all parts of the country, but clearly the Northeast is a success for us,” he said.
The Soul is due for a re-fresh in 2012.
[Source: Ward's Auto]
Nissan has just announced a recall for the 2009-10 Cube model for a recall involving the fuel system. According to a NHTSA press release, the vehicle did not pass its fuel leak test, in which the amount of fuel leaking from the car exceeded, “allowable limits” in the agency’s crash test. A fire could result as a consequence. The recall affects 46,000 Cube models built between January 30, 2009 and July 30, 2010.
A fix for the problem will be available by August 30th at which point owners are asked to contact their dealers.
Official press release after the jump:
Nearly a year after Nissan Canada launched a successful social media campaign for their Cube subcompact, the company is getting ready to launch their Juke compact SUV with an innovative microsite.
The microsite features an interactive, 360 degree view of the Juke, as well as product information relating to styling, technology, performance and “adaptability”. In addition, technical specifications, photos and videos are made available.
Donna Trawinski, senior manager, marketing communications at Nissan Canada, told Marketing Magazine that the Juke’s marketing campaign will be focused on digital efforts. “That’s where we believe the target buyer lives,” said Trawinski. “We call them urban adventurers, young people who are very connected, savvy and plugged in.”
[Source: Marketing Magazine]
For more Nissan Juke news and information visit JukeForums.com
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.