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.
Cheap and Excellent on Gas
Last week we exposed the cheapest and most fuel minded vehicles on the market. All hybrid vehicles, the list started at the $30,000 mark, with the most affordable being the $19,320 Honda Insight.
If you’re looking for a car that is even more affordable than those hybrids, you’ll have to sacrifice some fuel economy. Here’s a list of cars that net 40 miles per gallon on the highway or better. This segment is quickly growing in popularity, and is soon to be joined by the upcoming 2014 Fiesta with its 1.0-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine, which Ford claims will hit at least 40 mpg on the highway.
The week is drawing to a close and while that can mean several things, most importantly (of course), it’s time for another installment of Ask AutoGuide, the information superhighway’s most exciting semi-regular feature. Beating the competition to market with mildly informative and generally accurate content is the name of the game. Our skilled geniuses are ready to spread their expertise like frosting on a sheet cake; just scoop it out of the tub and smear it all around.
Top 10 Affordable Rear-Wheel-Drive Cars
Lawmakers in Washington D.C. and California are armed with a legislative battleaxe and they’re bringing it to bear against the automotive industry. Fuel-economy regulations are hitting like a war hammer, disrupting the market and crushing carmakers. In a mad dash to meet upcoming CAFE standards manufacturers are dramatically shifting their product offerings. Downsized vehicles, hybrid drivetrains and diesel engines are some of the tools in their defensive arsenals.
One unfortunate victim of this efficiency stampede is rear-wheel drive. Slowly but surely over the last 30 years automakers have made the switch to front-drive, a layout that’s more economical in a number of ways. But not everyone is content driving a Nissan Sentra, or getting by in a minivan. For enthusiasts that care about performance rear-wheel drive is king, but it’s a monarch that’s under siege. Keeping the dream alive, here’s a list of the Top 10 (reasonably) affordable RWD cars on the market today. Act fast before they’re gone in a puff of tire smoke.
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.
The automotive industry is a global business that is constantly evolving and growing, and we here at AutoGuide know it can be hard to keep up sometimes. So here is a summary of the top stories you may have missed this week:
J.D. Power has released a study today which details…
The Nissan Sylphy debuted today at the Beijing Auto Show in China, and when it hits our showrooms here in the U.S. later this year it will be the new Nissan Sentra.
Nissan released a teaser video of the American spec Sentra this morning, which does not reveal to much of the car, but enough to tell that the Sentra and Sylphy are practically identical. The small Sentra takes a lot of its design cues from the new Nissan Altima, getting curvaceous body lines, LED daytime running lights, new taillights and the redesigned backwards sweeping front grille.
At the 2012 Beijing Motor Show, Nissan unveiled an all-new global sedan and Nissan North America announced that this new model will be the basis for the 2013 Nissan Sentra.
The all-new Sentra won’t make its official debut in the U.S. until later this summer and will go on sale in the fall. The new Sentra will be the third of five all-new core models that the Japanese automaker intends to introduce in a 15-month “product onslaught”.
The 2013 Sentra launch coincides with Nissan celebrating its 30th anniversary in the U.S..
“The all-new Altima goes on sale this summer and will be followed closely by the all-new Pathfinder and Sentra. And when the next two new models launch in 2013, we will have refreshed 75 percent of our volume, rewarding our loyal owners and attracting new customers into Nissan showrooms,” said Brian Carolin, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America.
Watch the 2013 Nissan Sentra teaser video below.
Summer is almost over, which means back to school shopping. Forget about pens, pencils and binders; what about picking up a new set of wheels? Surely that will make the thought of heading back to class a little better!
Kelley Blue Book has put together a list of vehicles that it believes will appeal to kids. There are some odd choices though.
The new car picks all seem to be decent, all are affordable, efficient and attractive. However the used choices are surprising. The Kia Sedona probably won’t be very appealing to students because well, minivans are not cool. As well, the F-150 is a pretty large truck and although it is the best selling vehicle in America, it’s hardly fuel efficient. The HHR was also an interesting choice because not many young people drive them. The new vehicles are probably better choices overall, but who knows, maybe minivans are secretly cool among teenagers… or maybe just teenagers trying really hard to be ironic. What do you think?
Check out the list of new and used vehicles after the jump:
The Altima, Sentra, and Titan are getting long in the tooth, and even the Maxima and Murano. Those will get replaced with all new cars before 2014. Infiniti will get a new three-row luxury crossover, tenatively called the JX, and a front-wheel-drive hatchback to fight the Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series compacts. The NV200, now the official taxicab of New York City, will soon be available to Cash Cab enthusiasts. The popular G37 and G25 will get replaced, possibly without their manual transmissions, and an electric vehicle based on the Leaf will allow luxury drivers to assuage their financial guilt.
If you counted only 10 cars in the preceding paragraph, it shows that you’ve been paying attention (thank you!), and you would be right—there are still two surprises Nissan is holding from us. One is the return of the flagship Infiniti, for those lamenting the death of the unloved Q45. And one could be a mystery vehicle for Nissan that could be as wacky as the Murano CrossCabriolet—could it be a small sports car like the Urge concept? After all, the 240SX deserves to make a comeback.
[Source: Car And Driver]
Nissan is set to recall nearly 14,000 2010 and 2011 Sentras due to an engine malfunction that could cause the motor to cut out while the vehicle is running.
NHTSA summarized the problem as “The bolt/washer surface on the positive battery terminal cable end may allow for a gap to occur in the contact area of the terminal. This can result in a voltage drop that may cause difficulty starting the vehicle and could cause damage to the engine control module. This issue can cause the engine to stop running while the vehicle is in motion at low speed with a difficult or no start, increasing the risk of a crash.”
The vehicles in question were apparently produced between May and July of 2010. Nissan owners can contact the company at Nissan owners can contact the automaker at (800) 647-7261.
[Soure: Inside Line]
Nissan is set to recall 605,000 vehicles over defects with the steering system and vehicle batteries. The recall will comprise of 303,000 Frontiers, 283,000 Xterras and 18,500 Sentras from the year 2000 to the year 2010.
The affected vehicles reside in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, with 85 percent of the cars being sold in the United States.
The steering defect can result in a cracked steering shaft due to possible corrosion, while the battery problem exists in the positive cable on Sentras, can can lead to difficulties starting the car or driving at low speeds. No injuries or deaths have been reported in relation to the recall.
Nissan‘s 240SX sports coupe is not coming back. According to an interview in Ward’s Auto World, Larry Dominique, chief product planner for Nissan, said that the company considered the car before the economy hit the toilet in 2008, but the 30,000 annual sales would not be enough to justify the investment.
“I’m not looking to fill every niche, every opportunity. If I let my product planners go, they could come up with 15 other cars we should have.” The 240SX revival would have apparently been front-drive anyways, but Dominique said that any sort of car would be under the Sentra nameplate, rather than an all-new model line.