Posts Tagged ‘Honda’
Small SUVs are one of the hottest vehicle categories. Their good fuel economy, easy access, all-weather traction, and plenty of passenger and cargo space make them an appealing choice for many car buyers. In this crowded segment, it can be challenging for consumers to determine which one is best to buy. That’s where we come in.
Most automakers offer a small SUV in their lineup, but the list below focuses on popular models priced between $20,000 and $30,000. All score high enough to earn a Consumer Reports Recommendation, although not all have proven their reliability to be worthy of the accolade.
The list is organized in rank order of overall test score. While we cover the highlights here, it is well worth visiting their respective model pages to read the detailed road test and review the complete ratings.
Subaru Forester: The straight-A student
The 2014 redesign brings many changes that helps the Forester go to the top of the class, leaving its competition far behind. Improvements include class-leading fuel economy at 26 mpg overall and 35 mpg highway, a standard backup camera, excellent visibility, a roomy interior, and very easy access. In addition, the Forester is the only small SUV to receive a Good score in all five Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests. It isn’t perfect, however. The ride is a bit jittery, and the infotainment system feels antiquated.
Honda CR-V: Easy-going and sensible
Buyers prizing reliability and space will appreciate the CR-V. A flexible and roomy cabin provides plenty of storage and cargo space. The engine is smooth, but fuel economy is falling a bit behind the curve, thanks to Mazda and Subaru. Handling is responsive but emergency handling is less competent. Road noise is excessive. A standard backup camera is welcome, especially as rearward visibility is challenged.
Mazda CX-5: Aimed at fuel-frugal fun-seekers
Combining quick acceleration, impressive fuel economy, and agile handling seems like a tall order, but the CX-5 manages this feat. The new 184-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine feels more muscular and provides much quicker acceleration than the previous-generation powerplant, now relegated to the base Sport trim. Plus, the CX-5 got the same impressive fuel economy—25 mpg overall—with the bigger engine. However, cabin noise is loud and the price is relatively high. A blind-spot monitoring system comes on most trim lines. A sleeper in this class, the CX-5 is good enough that consumers should wake up to its virtues.
Toyota RAV4: A good all-around package
The RAV4 is a safe overall choice, even if it doesn’t stand out in any one attribute. Its 2013 redesign made notable improvements, such as removing the awkward side-hinged rear gate and moving the spare tire to under the cargo floor. Handling is now more agile, too. Power and fuel economy are good from the capable four-cylinder engine and slick six-speed automatic. Interior trim gained attractive touches in some places but skimped elsewhere. Still, rear-seat room is generous, access is super easy, controls are mostly intuitive, and a backup camera is standard.
Ford Escape: Sophisticated and athletic, at a price
Many small SUVs tend to be loud and stiff riding. But the redesigned Escape is solid, sophisticated, and athletic. Highlights agile handling and an impressively supple and composed ride, plus its cabin is one of the quietest in the class. However, there are a few shortcomings, including controls that are needlessly complicated, such as the optional MyFord Touch infotainment system. You need to pay a lot to get a model with the optional rear camera. Plus, we don’t have reliability information yet. Consider the Escape to be the model reaching for the luxury class, both in refinement and price.
Nissan Rogue: Starting to feel old
Compared to the other models on this list, the Rogue is one of the oldest small SUVs available; a redesign is imminent. Handling is responsive and the ride is supple. The 170-hp engine is raspy at high revs, and fuel economy isn’t keeping up with newer competitors. The cargo area is small and rear visibility is poor. We expect a redesign to bring similar improvements as seen on other freshened models, such as a standard backup camera and improved fuel economy to make it more competitive.
Kia Sportage: Sporty and reliable, but less practical
With appealing styling and nimble handling, the Sportage adds some sport to the small SUV segment. But the styling makes for difficult rear visibility. You also sacrifice refinement for sportiness, with a stiff ride and pronounced road noise. Performance is leisurely, unless you get the optional turbocharged engine, and fuel economy is falling behind newer competition. On the plus side, the Sportage has been very reliable.
Hyundai Tucson: Styling stands out, but little else
Unlike many of its boxy rivals, the Tucson’s more coupe-like styling catches the eye. But the sloping roof robs cargo space and inhibits the view to the rear. Overall, facing freshened competition, the Tucson proves forgettable. Buyers seem to agree, as owner satisfaction is below average. Handling is secure but uninspiring, and the ride is stiff. Road noise is pronounced, making the Tucson feel insubstantial.
On paper, many of the small SUVs look the same, with similar size, features, and power. Through the road tests, we’re able to discern meaningful differences. Continue your research in our SUV buying guide and model pages, then test drive the standouts yourself and see if their personality is a good fit with yours.
With the release of our Tesla Model S road test, there have been many questions regarding what other models stand out. Here, we present the current class valedictorians, those cars that have faced our more than 50 tests and managed to earn an A.
Sure, the Tesla Model S may be our newly named prom queen, but there are a dozen other current cars that have scored 90 points or above on a 100-point scale. The most significant takeaway here is the diversity, where we’re seeing family sedans, sports coupes, and luxury sedans stand out with impressive overall scores. It is clear, that it isn’t necessary to spend $90,000, like we did on our Tesla, to get a great car. It just takes a few minutes of research and your own test drives.
|Make & model||Price as tested||Overall test score|
|Tesla Model S (base, 85 kWh)||$89,650||99|
|Infiniti G37 (sedan)||$37,225||95|
|Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE||$29,052||93|
|Audi A6 (3.0T)||$56,295||93|
|Lexus LS 460L||$79,354||92|
|Chevrolet Corvette Z06||$64,890||92|
|Hyundai Genesis 3.8 (sedan)||$39,850||92|
|Toyota Camry XLE (V6)||$32,603||92|
|Audi A8 L||$91,275||91|
|Honda Accord LX (4-cyl.)||$23,270||90|
|Honda Accord EX-L (V6)||$30,860||90|
There are a lot of vehicles to choose from this year, but Consumer Reports has made it easier by choosing their top picks in 10 categories.
The selection is based on 3 criteria:
- Road test. Each must rank at or near the top of its category in overall test score.
- Reliability. Each must have earned an average or better predicted-reliability Rating, based on the problems Consumer Reports subscribers reported on 1.2 million vehicles in CR’s latest Annual Auto Survey.
- Safety. Top Picks must perform adequately if tested in crash or rollover tests conducted by the government or insurance industry.
Each model’s overall road-test score, predicted-reliability Rating, overall fuel economy, detailed pricing, and much more is available on their model pages. Prices reflect the sticker prices when we bought our tested cars.
Follow are Consumer Reports’ Top Picks in each category:
Budget Car - Hyundai Elantra
Compact Car - Subaru Impreza
Green Car - Toyota Prius
Luxury Car - Audi A6
Midsize Sedan - Honda Accord
Midsized SUV – Toyota Highlander
Mini Van – Honda Odyssey
Small SUV - Honda CR-V
Sport Sedan - BMW 328i
And all of these vehicles would look even more sleek and elegant with their windows tinted by Midwest Glass Tinters. Call us today for a quote or to make an appointment at 847-438-1133.
Despite being in an area known for the highest concentration of stars in the U.S., the LA Auto Show lacked star power. The hottest car in Los Angeles – the new Lamborghini Aventador Spyder – wasn’t there, and neither was the industry’s car of the year, the Tesla Model S.
But for those models that were there, the best were still able to stand out amidst other models stuck with designs dictated by regulations more than aesthetics. Here’s Yahoo Auto’s list of the Best 3 and the Worst 3 of the LA Auto Show:
Ford Fiesta ST - A featherweight hatch making nearly 200 hp & getting up to 34 mpg
Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series – Amazing styling and gull-wing doors
Honda Civic – The Civic has been tweaked to make it more exciting and fun to drive
Fiat 500E – Built to meet regulations requiring electric vehicles and with no revolutionary technology under the hood
Acura RLX – Run-of-the-mill – The very model of a modern major general car design
Lincoln – No personality
Regardless of which vehicle you chose, however, it will look that much sleeker and stylish with its glass tinted by Midwest Glass Tinters. Call today for a quote or to make an appointment. 847-438-1133.
Sometimes being the most popular brand of auto isn’t as desirable as it might seem. For example, to thieves the most popular car brand in the U.S. continues to be Honda. Honda’s 1994 Accord came in first again among cars stolen in 2011, as it has for the past several years, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau rankings. A close second, was the 1998 Honda Civic.
Older model cars are more desirable to thieves, in many cases, because newer models have more anti-theft options including keys with embedded chips and tracking technologies. Additionally, older model parts are always in demand.
Rounding out the list of the 2011 top ten most coveted cars by thieves are:
- 2006 Ford F-150
- 1991 Toyota Camry
- 2000 Dodge Caravan
- 1994 Acura Integra
- 1999 Chevy Silverado
- 2004 Dodge Ram
- 2002 Ford Explorer
- 1994 Nissan Sentra (the only model not on the 2010 top list)
If you own one of these models, you may want to consider adding an anti-theft device. Tinted windows can also act as a deterrent to thieves. If you you want to give your car a sleek new look, while lowering your risk of theft, give us a call at Midwest Glass Tinters of Deer Park — 847-438-1133 — and we’ll tint your ride.
CNNMoney.com recently featured an article on Lamborghini’s concept car, the Sesto Elemento, which Lamborghini says can go from 0 to 60 in just 2.6 seconds. Originally unveiled at the 2010 Paris Auto Show, it will soon go into actual production.
For those of you with a spare $2.2 million, looking to buy one of only 20 that will be produced, you should know ahead of time, it’s not street-legal in the U.S. or in Europe. The car can only be used on a track.
With a 570 horsepower V10 engine, the Sesto Elemento weighs only 2,200 pounds (less than a Honda Fit subcompact) due to the fact that it’s made almost entirely of very expensive carbon fiber. Aside from the body, its wheels and part of the suspension system are also made of carbon fiber.
And because it’s not street-legal, you’d better buckle up. The Sesto Elemento is not going to have airbags or other safety equipment required for legal use on roads in the U.S. or Europe.
If you are one of the lucky buyers of this carbon-fiber masterpiece, or if you’re just a regular Joe who wants to give your auto a cool new look, be sure to bring it to Midwest Glass Tinters of Deer Park, and let us tint your ride.
As we mentioned in a previous post, Midwest Glass Tinters of Deer Park has the opportunity to tint some really high-end cars. We recently tinted a Fiskar Karma, which is a beautiful vehicle, and obviously one that only a select group of wealthy drivers will ever have an opportunity to own.
Aside from Karmas, though, what other vehicles are the wealthy driving? CNBC recently answered that question based on research done by Truecar.com. While some vehicles, like BMW and Mercedes, were expected, others were somewhat surprising. Following is a list of the top 10 cars the wealthy in the U.S. are driving:
1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – A runaway favorite, the $51,365 E-Class was a top hit in wealthy U.S. cities.
2. BMW 328i - The $35,795 BMW 328i is also a top pick for discriminating drivers in the U.S.
3. At $36,095, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class comes in third, particularly in zip codes where residents earn an average income of $659,000.
4. In fourth position, is the Lexus RX Luxury SUV at $39,950, a big hit in wealthy areas where the average income is $633,000 a year.
5. Interestingly, the eco-friendly Toyota Prius is one of the most popular cars in three very affluent zip codes where residents’ average income is $672,000 a year.
6. Coming in sixth place is the Volkswagen Jetta at $26,085. Despite the fact that residents in the communities where the Jetta is most popular make an average of $782,000 a year, this low-profile, reliable vehicle is a big hit.
7. In Manhattan’s 10274 zip code, despite the high incomes of residents, many are more than happy to drive the $23,070 Honda Accord, which is one of the most popular cars among Manhattan’s drivers.
8. The BMW X5 luxury SUV comes in 8th in popularity among wealthy drivers in the U.S. At $58,595, it’s one of the most popular vehicles in areas where the average income of $5,711,000.
9. The $25,535 Toyota Camry has long been Americans’ reasonably-priced mid-size car of choice, even in high income areas such as downtown Chicago, where drivers tend to drive non-luxury vehicles like the Camry, Honda, Volkswagen and Jeep.
10. Rounding out the top ten is the $29,575 Honda CRV, which is not only one of the most popular cars among the wealthy in Manhattan; it’s driven by working class and middle class Manhattan residents as well.
If you’re driving one of these vehicles, you’re certainly in good company, and if you get your vehicle’s windows tinted by Midwest Glass Tinters of Deer Park, you’ll be even cooler.
Despite the renewed popularity of American-made cars in 2011, foreign automakers took home top honors at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.
Hyundai captured Car of the Year honors for the second time since 2009 when its luxury Genesis won. For 2012, the Hyundai Elantra took the title, beating out the Ford Focus and the Volkswagen Passat. “Sporty, yet sensible. Luxurious, yet affordable. Spunky, yet safe,” said Jayne O’Donnell of USA Today, one of the judges. The Elantra is a series of paradoxes, and every one is another argument for the latest impressive entry in the Hyundai lineup.”
In the SUV of the Year category, the Range Rover Evoque, which had also won Motor Trend’s 2012 SUV of the Year award, topped the competition in Detroit for its combination of performance and fuel efficiency. “Range Rover successfully charts a new direction for the venerable SUV trailblazer with a fresh design and advanced thinking about environmental issues,” said Fortune magazine’s Alex Taylor, one of the judges. The Evoque is made at Indian automaker Tata’s UK-based facility.
Powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and with a six-speed automatic transmission, the Evoque beat out Honda’s CR-V and BMW’s X3 SUVs.
Just 8 months after a new version of the Civic hit the showrooms, Honda is looking to retool the popular model. Traditionally, car models aren’t overhauled for at least 3 years, but when the new Civic model came out earlier this year, critics said it was less agile than previous models, had a choppy ride, took too long to brake and had an inferior interior. The previous Civic, first launched in 2005, was known for its sporty ride, high-quality interior and excellent braking. The new version “seems to have fallen apart in those areas,” says David Champion, senior director of auto testing for Consumer Reports. Honda has also had to recall more than 1,000 2012 Civics because of a fuel line manufacturing error.
Honda has positioned the retooling as an effort to get “two or three laps ahead of the competition” in the small car market.
American Honda President, Tetsuo Iwamura, said that the company will improve the Civic’s drivability, and Honda has told dealers that a reworked Civic will arrive before the end of next year. The Civic starts at around $16,000 and the base model, with an automatic transmission, gets about 32 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving.
For the first time in a long time, this year has seen a surge in the purchase of domestic vehicles with 6 of the top 10 best-selling vehicles made by GM, Ford & Chrysler. Some of the shift can be attributed to the natural disasters in Japan affecting imports, but with domestic producers having really stepped up their game, that void was filled by American-made vehicles.
Surprisingly, two past favorites – the Honda Civic and Honda CR-V as well as the Hyundai Sonata dropped from the top 10, nudged by more popular American-made vehicles. According to Forbes.com, Ford’s F-Series pickups and GM’s Chevy Silverado continue to be America’s sales champs, as they have been for the past 3 years. Pushing their way to the top are the Ford Fusion and Escape and the new compact from Chevy – the Cruze.
Based on year-to-date results through October, 2011, following is the list of best-selling vehicles from Forbes.com:
- Ford F-150 Pickup
- Chevy Silverado Pickup
- Toyota Camry
- Nissan Altima
- Ford Escape
- Ford Fusion
- Honda Accord
- Toyota Corolla
- Chevy Cruze
- Ram Pickup
With new models launching, it will be interesting to see what 2012′s best-sellers will be.