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.
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.
Its hard not to daydream about diesel cars, with their great torque and excellent fuel economy, so here’s our top picks of cars that we’d love to see a diesel option for. Our criteria is simple, the automaker must have a diesel engine in use somewhere in its lineup or in an international version of the car. In other words, these are all very real possibilities.
10. Mazda CX-5 $20,995
Crossovers continue to be one of the most competitive new car segments in the industry, and that’s a good thing for car buyers. With more and more entries into the market, prices have dropped across the board. Here’s a quick look at the top 10 cheapest crossover vehicles.
10. 2009 Ford Fusion: $2,890
Insurance isn’t kind to teenage drivers. Rates are usually double the price of experienced drivers. Luckily CarInsure.com has provided a list of the top 10 best vehicles to insure for teenagers.
The rates are calculated based on a Washington family: a married couple driving a 2011 Honda Accord and a 2009 Chevrolet Traverse, with a clean driving record and good credit. Their teenage driver is a 16-year-old male, also with a clean driving record. This list covers a five-year insurance impact. The vehicles on this list are from 2008, or 2009.
Tenth on the list is the 2009 Ford Fusion, equipped with ESC. This car gains its price thanks to a perfect NHTSA front impact score and the highest score possible for frontal-offset and side impact tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The key to this model though is the optional electronic stability control.
Subaru is issuing a recall for 275,000 Foresters today, built between November 26, 2007 and March 13,2012.
NHTSA cites a fault in the automatic locking retractor in the rear center seat belt assembly as the source of the issue. This specific seat belt connector is used for restraining child seats, and because of the faulty locking mechanism, child seats can become unsecure while the vehicle is in motion, greatly increasing the injury risk for the child in the seat.
Subaru will contact all owners affected and replace the faulty seat belt component free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on or before April 13, 2012. Concerned customers can contact Subaru at 1-800-782-2783, or the NHTSA safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236.
Subaru will re-start their large car production plant, nearly a month after an earthquake caused parent company Fuji Heavy Industries to shut the factory down.
The factory builds the Legacy, Impreza and Forester, which comprise the bulk of Subaru’s U.S. lineup. The plant will only be running at 50 percent capacity initially. Subaru claims that they have an adequate supply of parts on hand, but admits that the situation is still not yet concrete and production may stop again if necessary.
Subaru recently cut production at its Indiana plant by 50 percent due to a parts shortage. The factory makes the Legacy and Outback, two popular models in North America.
[Source: Automotive News]
Fans of the Indigo Girls and flannel shirts rejoice! The Subaru Forester gets a one mpg bump for 2010, turning out 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. The price is up by $200, so you’ll have to decide whether the increase is worth the money.
A new Touring model is also available for 2011, with equipment like HID headlights, automatic transmission and xenon headlights. Excuse us while we take some amphetamines and try and get excited about this bit of news.
Note: We like the Forester. We really do. Hit the jump to see more.
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:
Nissan‘s controversially styled Juke has been priced at $18,960 for the base Juke S, which comes with front-wheel drive and a CVT gearbox. The 6-speed manual version will cost $20,260, while cheapest four-wheel drive model Juke S AWD (which is only available with a CVT) will cost $20,460. The top of the line Juke SL AWD will cost $24,550.
While the Juke is a strangle looking vehicle, its unique styling, turbocharged 188 horsepower engine and sophisticated torque-vectoring AWD system should make it an attractive proposition to the more upscale MINI Countryman and the rather staid Subaru Forester. The Juke will go on sale, but Autoguide is set to test drive the Juke next week at its launch in Vancouver, Canada.
Hit the jump to see the official press release and check out Juke Forums for more.
Osamu Namba, Subaru‘s new design chief wants to help move the company from a cult brand adored by outdoorsy types, Snowbelt buyers and performance enthusiasts into a mainstream brand capable of competing with offerings from major automakers.
“We want to broaden the appeal to make it accessible to more than a small, loyal crowd,” Namba said in an interview with Automotive News. According to Namba, form has traditionally followed function at Subaru, as their design was dictated by the low-mounted boxer engines, tall roofs (designed to help haul large items like bikes and other lifestyle gear) and sometimes outlandish wings and air scoops, necessitated by the rally-inspired performance items like big brakes and turbochargers.
Namba, who previously ran an independent design studio, was hired by Subaru after previous attempts at developing a unifying design language, faced a strong negative reaction from consumers. One review for the Subaru Tribeca famously called the new winged front fascia a “flying vagina”.
Using the current Legacy and Outback as a template, future Subarus will be more accessible, but also bolder, with fewer soft curves and more muscular styling, eschewing the understated and functional designs of the past. “I don’t want it to be just something serious and boring,” Namba says. “A lot of people don’t know that Subaru brand. If we can make styling more accessible, it will bring them in.
[Source: Automotive News]