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.
Later this year, ZipCar will address one of the steepest challenges it and other brands like it face.
Honda has just introduced the third generation 2015 Fit for the American market. Set to go on sale this spring, Honda promises this new Fit will continue to offer great interior space and fuel efficiency while retaining the fun-to-drive reputation this little hatchback has earned over the years.
Caterham’s scheme to sell cars outside its traditional sports car niche is moving forward, but the brand won’t abandon its sports car heritage.
Incoming generations of car buyers want smaller cars than any of their predecessors.
AutoGuide Five-Point Inspection
The thought of a performance version of the Scion xD may not set our souls on fire, or anyone’s really. Based on the Toyota Yaris platform, the xD starts out life lacking any performance DNA to speak of. And, with the current generation of the Scion xD having been on sale since 2008, the vehicle is getting a bit tired and old as only minor updates have occurred during its lifespan.
But all of this hasn’t deterred Toyota Racing Development (TRD) from having a go at the sub-compact to make it more exciting and keep it interesting. So can TRD take the $16,500 xD, add $4,600 worth of style and performance upgrades, and make it something you’d want to buy?
Top 10 Most Fuel Efficient Non-Hybrid Cars
People buy hybrids because they think the “H” word is synonymous with fuel savings. While that’s true, hybrid appeal leaves a wide grey area between mildly improved mpgs and real returns at the pump, not to mention the higher cost of entry into the gasoline-electric segment.
Toyota’s success with the Prius often leads people to believe that anything called a hybrid offers immensely improved fuel economy. Not so. Take the Honda Insight. It even looks like a Prius, but the two are on different planes.
Then there’s the Chevrolet Malibu Eco, which gathered negative press and was even named the most “disliked car” of 2012 by Fortune magazine.
Why is everyone gaga for hybrids when many would be happy with reasonable mileage? The mystery remains, but in the spirit of spending less time at the pump, AutoGuide has compiled a list of the 10 most fuel-efficient non-hybrid cars of 2013.
The list excludes electric cars and uses EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimated average fuel economy figures.
Disclaimer: As many know, the EPA’s utopian estimates are to be taken with a grain of salt. This story uses them for consistency. Please don’t write angry letters if your car falls short.
Honorable mentions: both the Chevrolet Cruze Eco and Cruze Clean Diesel deserve to be mentioned. The diesel Cruze will be available in dealers soon and according to the EPA, offers 46 mpg on the highway, but falls just short of the list for combined fuel economy. In the same way, the Cruze Eco uses clever gearing and cuts weight to save gas.
The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is besting the competition for safety ratings, for now. The little sub-compact Sonic scored a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to beat out the Ford Fiesta, which only scored four out of five.
Safety isn’t the only thing we’re pleased to say makes the Sonic great, it’s a peppy starter car that comes available with a six-speed manual and a turbocharged four-cylinder that had us scooting past the speed limit with surprising ease. It also comes with 10 standard airbags.
The Sonic still has to go up against its other competition: this year’s Kia Rio and Honda Fit, which both have yet to be rated. The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan also still has to be rated, but the verdict isn’t looking good for its hatchback brother with three of five in the frontal crash category and four of five in rollovers.
Poor ratings aside, the Sonic hasn’t won the race yet. It got four out of five stars in the rollover category, so there is still a chance the unrated cars can equal or best it.
Of course, that rating is coming hot off the heels of a recall over missing brake pads in the Sonic. We’re willing to assume the rating is based on completely assembled cars.
The Sonic is also a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Read Autoguide’s Chevy Sonic review here.