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.
It’s hard to believe but this is the fourth installment of “Ask AutoGuide.” For an entire month now our certified experts have provided the finest motor-vehicle shopping advice available for the price. Our crack team of automotive oracles has been at our readers’ beck and call for 30 straight days, though admittedly it’s been mostly “beck” since they don’t have phones. We’re still trying to sort out the billing situation to get their Jitterbugs connected again.
J.D. Power and Associates has released its 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study, listing the top-rated SUVs from their segments.
10. Nissan Murano - 473 Thefts
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has released a list of the top stolen sport utility and crossover vehicles in the United States, compiling data from 2009-2011 model years only. In total, entry-level CUVs were the most stolen with 6,357 thefts while hybrid SUVs were the least with 67 – of course, there aren’t as many hybrid SUVs on the road as there are entry-level CUVs. The information also revealed that California had the most thefts with 3,003 with Texas in second (1,826 thefts) and Florida third (1,784 thefts).
The 10th most stolen SUV/CUV from 2009-2011 model years was the Nissan Murano, with 473 thefts last year. The mid-size crossover from Nissan first hit the market in 2002 as a 2003 model year and was the automaker’s first crossover for the U.S. market. The second-generation Murano began with the 2009 model year and got revised exterior styling that seems to have become a hit with some thieves.
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.
When last we spoke to Scion boss Jack Hollis, his interest in a small truck for the youth brand was undeniable. Now reports of increased production at the automaker’s RAV4 facility in Woodstock, Ontario have spawned new rumors about the as yet unconfirmed sixth model in the Scion lineup.
Increased production of the RAV4 (up by 25%) could simply be a method Toyota is using to keep costs down by reducing the number of RAV4 models it imports from overseas. However, it also supports the possibility that Toyota will build a Scion truck based on the compact crossover platform.
Currently compact pickups are a dying breed, with CAFE rules penalizing smaller trucks that still aren’t tiny. Toyota has bucked this trend with the Tacoma, due mostly to the compact pickup’s dominance in the segment and Toyota’s continued efforts to be a player in the truck segment.
A unibody “truck” that is designed more as a lifestyle vehicle and less as a work machine would continue to help out Toyota’s fuel economy, and could also be rebaged as a Toyota model and sold overseas.
With Toyota currently offering both a 4-cylinder and a V6 in the RAV4, this might also make way for Scion’s first-ever six-cylinder model.
10. Jeep Compass (tie): 52.7%
Ever wonder just how different men are from women when it comes to picking their vehicle of choice? Here’s a top 10 list of vehicles with the highest proportion of female buyers, provided by Polk via InsideLine. There are a few unexpected models on the list, and a couple of models that, to our surprise, are missing.
Tied for 10th is the Jeep Compass, the only American vehicle on the list. In a way it makes sense, the Compass never gets the respect it deserves, packing a four-cylinder engine and hardly has the rugged off-road ethos that traditional Jeep fans embrace. So in our most sexist tone possible, it makes sense that women embrace the Compass – no really, it’s Jeep’s baby SUV.
Toyota announced today the MSRP for the 2012 RAV4 compact sport utility vehicle. The overall price point on the compact crossover is being increased by an average of $100, or 0.4 percent on all models.
You can get the RAV4 in three different trim packages: the base RAV package, the middle of the road Sport package and the top of the line Limited package, with a choice between a 2.5-liter four cylinder engine or a 3.5-liter V6. Toyota also offers a choice between front wheel drive or electronic on demand four wheel drive.
The starting MSRP is $22,650 and stretches in range up to $28, 650. The 2012 RAV4 will hit dealers on December 20th.