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.
Which Crossovers and SUVs are the Most Reliable?
The crossover and SUV segment is one of industry’s fastest growing, and if you’re in the market for one, chances are you’ll want to know which ones are the most reliable out there. J.D. Power has compiled data collected from surveying thousands of vehicle owners to determine this year’s list of most reliable new crossovers and SUVs not in the luxury segment. Here they are listed in alphabetical order.
Each week, we recap the most popular videos from AutoGuide‘s YouTube channel so why should this week be any different? This week, AutoGuide went on a search for front-wheel-drive greatness, pitting the older 1998 Acura Integra Type R against a new 2013 Honda Civic Si.
Find out what happened, as check out the other two most-watched videos below.
The re-designed Venza’s exterior styling has undergone a serious update, and is getting a new upper and lower grille, new fog lamps and rear taillights. The body style has grown a little more minivan-esque, but is still classified as a crossover and retains some of its SUV styling. The rear loading height is almost the same as the Sienna minivan, and the rear hatch resembles the van quite closely as well. Three new color options are available with the re-design: Attitude Black, Cypress Pearl and Cosmic Gray Mica.
Inside, the Venza has seating for five and fold flat rear seats which optimizes cargo room in the rear of the vehicle. A new center console is also included which has three MP3 player holders with wire concealment features, sliding front cup holders, a storage compartment and USB, and auxiliary in ports.
Toyota’s Entune infotainment system will be included on the Venza as well, complete with smart phone compatibility.
The Venza will be available with two engine options, either a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 268 horsepower and 246 lb.-ft. of torque, or a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 181 horsepower and 182 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines will be standard front wheel drive setups, but will offer an all wheel drive package as well. A six-speed sequential-shift electronically controlled automatic transmission will be hooked up to both motors. The V6 will get an EPA estimated 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg highway for the FWD version and 18 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway for the AWD. The less thirsty four cylinder will get 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway for the FWD model and 20 mpg city,25 mpg highway for the AWD.
Three trim packages will be available to suit every customers needs, they are: LE, LXE, and Limited.
Click back to AutoGuide for live coverage from the 2012 New York Auto Show.
GALLERY: 2013 Toyota Venza
For 2013 the Venza is said by Toyota to gain some aerodynamics thanks to a redesigned grille, fog lamps and rear taillights. New 19-inch wheels will be offered as well as three new color options: Attitude Black, Cypress Pearl and Cosmic Gray Mica.
Two engines will be available for Venza, a V6 and a four-cylinder, both which can be paired to either a front wheel drive or all wheel drive drivetrain.
New standard features on the Venza LE, the cheapest of the three trims, will include display audio, puddle lamps, outer mirror turn signals and blind spot mirrors. The Venza XLE, the middle of the road trim will get driver memory seat, display audio with navigation and Toyota Entune and reverse tilt outer mirrors. The top of the line Venza, known as the Venza Limited will receive standard LED daytime running lights and premium HDD navigation with Toyota Entune and JBL sound system.
No pricing has been announced, but we can expect more information at the upcoming 2012 New York Auto Show.
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:
Sometimes, okay just doesn’t cut it. Like when it comes to how well the roof of your midsize SUV holds up in a rollover. New results from the first roof strength tests on midsize SUVs conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that automakers still need to make improvements to these types of vehicles.
Out of 12 midsize SUVs tested, six earned the top rating of good for rollover protection, one came in at acceptable, and the last five earned the second lowest rating of marginal. Making the good grade are the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox (twin GMC Terrain) built after March 2010, Jeep Liberty (twin Dodge Nitro), Toyota Highlander and Venza, as well as the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Kia Sorento. Coming in at an acceptable rating was the 2010 Ford Edge. The midsized SUVs that didn’t fair so well by earning marginal ratings were the Honda Accord Crosstour, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-7, Mitsubishi Endeavor, and Nissan Murano, all 2010 models.
“Midsize SUVs are a big group so we’re testing them in stages,” says Institute president Adrian Lund. “First results show that automakers are making progress in rollover protection, but it’s disappointing that a new design like the Crosstour didn’t perform better.”
Institute research shows occupants in vehicles that roll benefit from stronger roofs, and the IIHS has, in turn, based their rollover rating system on this information. In order for a vehicle to be rated as good, their roof must be more than twice as strong as the minimum required under the current federal safety standard. A rollover is one of the most serious crashes to be involved in, and this test is designed to help drivers pick a vehicle that will best protect them.
Stats show that nearly 10,000 people a year are killed in rollover crashes. These types of crashes are so deadly because as vehicles roll, their roofs hit the ground, deform, and crush. Since stronger roofs crush less, they minimize injury risk from contact with the roof itself.
[Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety]
“Add lightness,” is the world famous maxim of Lotus founder Colin Chapman, and decades on, the British specialty firm rigidly adheres to their mantra, producing cars like the Elise, Exige and Evora that can hang with the world’s best supercars and still deliver terrific fuel economy, thanks to their featherweight construction and efficient powertrains.
But the sports car market is limited in its scope, and Lotus is looking to bring its trade secrets to the mainstream world. Lotus held a demonstration featuring a Toyota Venza that had been given a weight reduction treatment by Lotus, and the improved car was 38% lighter, excluding the drivetrain.
Despite retaining the same interior and exterior dimensions, as well as safety characteristics, the car used lighter interior pieces, climate control units and re-designed suspension components that allowed for more efficient packaging of the car, and exotic materials were kept to a minimum.
Lotus claims that lightweight cars will have a positive effect on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and boost fuel consumption, although no specifics were given. Lotus has collaborated with other manufacturers in the past, notably General Motors and Ford, but their projects have always been performance rather than economy cars.
[Source: World Car Fans]