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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.
 |  Jun 04 2013, 5:32 PM

2014-acura-ilx

Acura might have biggest changes in mind for its entry-level ILX than those it announced mid-May for the 2014 model year.

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 |  May 08 2012, 3:02 PM

The current generation Hyundai Sonata stunned the midsize-sedan segment, and the upcoming 2013 model is looking to expand upon its predecessor’s reputation for value. This means the new model will be equipped with more standard features and options for 2013.

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 |  Feb 14 2012, 2:12 PM

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The new 2012 Hyundai Azera has quite a list of new standard features, which makes the base model 2012 a better outfitted car than the outgoing 2011 fully loaded Azera limited.

The 2012 Azera will have a base MSRP of $32,000 and top out at $36,000 when loaded with the technology package. New standard features on the Azera include push button start, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlight accents, a 3.3L GDI DOHC V6 with 293 horsepower, heated front and rear seats and Blue Link telematics system.

While the lengthy list of standard features on this car is noteworthy, you must also consider that the base MSRP of the outgoing Azera sat at $29,495,which means standard equipment got a boost, but so did the starting price.

The Azera will get 20 mpg city, 29 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined for fuel economy, which is best in class according to Hyundai. Hyundai’s Active Eco system is equipped on the new model and helps to improve fuel economy by five percent.

The Azera will be available with one upgrade – the technology package, which adds xenon headlights, sunroof, infinity premium audio package, a power adjustable steering column, side window shades, interior ambient lighting and rear parking assistance sensors.

GALLERY: 2012 Hyundai Azera

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Watch AutoGuide’s first look video of the 2013 Azera below:

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 |  Oct 26 2011, 12:45 PM

Kia has released pricing details for its 2012 Rio sedan, starting at $13,400 or $200 less than the 5-door version. That price is before the $750 destination and handling fee.

The cheapest version comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, but if you aren’t willing or can’t drive stick the price jumps to $15,250 with a 6-speed automatic.

The Rio comes in three trim levels: LX, EX and SX, all powered by the same 1.6-liter gasoline direct injection (GDI) making 138 horsepower. The same applies to the sedan as did our review of the 5-door sibling. Even at it’s most basic, you’re getting a well equipped car, though it won’t be impressive to driving enthusiasts, of course that isn’t the market Kia caters to.

The Rio is all about value and practicality with a host of standard features and an estimated 30 mpg with city driving and 40 mpg on the highway. Fuel economy gets a boost thanks to and Idle Stop and Go generally reserved for hybrids and luxury cars. The engine shuts down when the car isn’t moving and starts when the driver’s foot comes off the brake pedal.

Standard features include air conditioning, electric power steering, an MP3-capable audio system with USB ports, SiriusXM Satellite Radio with three months of free service, electronic stability control, ABS, hill control assist and vehicle stability management.

If you opt for the premium SX package (starting at $18,250), Kia dolls the car up with LED accent lights on the front as well as LED tail lights. The interior gets also gets improvements with a leather wrapped steering wheel and metal pedals. Dual illuminated vanity mirrors and power-folding side-view mirrors and a backup camera are also meant to add a luxurious feeling.

Finally, the car comes with their Supervision meter cluster and a voice-activated “infotainment” system.

GALLERY: 2012 Kia Rio Sedan

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 |  Aug 25 2010, 8:53 PM

Want to set the mood while you’re driving with some help ambient lighting? Hey, it’s not that kind of mood we’re thinking of (so get you’re mind out of the gutter). These days, more vehicles are adding ambient lighting as a standard or optional feature because it makes drivers feel safe.

A soft illumination around the center console, door handles and pulls, cupholders and sometimes across the dash and in the footwells, ambient lighting has, in the past, been seen as a cosmetic feature. But according to a study conducted by BMW and the Lighting Engineering Group at Ilmenau University of Technology in Germany, this type of lighting can increase a driver’s perceived safety and quality of the car.

Research from the study found that ambient lighting increases spatial perception. This makes the car interior feel more spacious and it may also decrease fatigue at night. Unfortunately, information regarding ambient lighting’s influence on helping the driver stay alert or ability regarding changing the driver’s mood or performance was inconclusive.

Other interesting facts from the study include that drivers thought this type of lighting made the vehicle’s interior design and finish more attractive and the controls easier to use.

A critical factor in the study was the brightness of the ambient lighting. When the lights got too bright, drivers complained that it became distracting. The lights had to be kept below 0.1 candelas per square meter in order to keep the glare from forming on the plastics of the interior. This helps reduce the possibility of distraction. If a vehicle does have this type of system installed, the study found that drivers want to be able to control the illumination levels.

Most automotive manufacturers already include an ambient lighting system in their vehicles, and Ford has taken it up a notch, offering consumers the choice of seven different colors to set the mood.

[Source: Kicking Tires]