Posts Tagged ‘Nissan’
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.
Negotiating your way to a great deal on a new car is a good start toward saving money, but it you don’t consider the long-term ownership costs, over time you may sped a lot more than you think you will. Kiplinger’s asked Vincentric, an automotive-data firm, for the 2013 models in four categories with the lowest five-year ownership costs. The numbers include fuel (assuming 15,000 miles a year), insurance, maintenance and repairs, and taxes. They also include financing the vehicle with a five-year loan, the opportunity cost of not investing your out-of-pocket expenses elsewhere, and depreciation. (The calculations assume you will sell the vehicle after five years.) In each category, we note the cheapest vehicle overall as well as the one that we think represents the best value, based on our annual rankings. Each vehicle named is a Top Safety Pick of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Compact cars. The Nissan Versa S (with a sticker price of $12,780) is the cheapest car sold in the U.S. That goes a long way toward lowering the overall ownership costs because you’ll pay less in interest and taxes. Plus, it gets 36 miles per gallon on the highway. Total ownership cost over five years: $27,405. But we think the Kia Forte LX ($16,175) is a better value. Its 2.0-liter engine puts out 156 horsepower (compared with 109 hp for the Versa’s engine) and delivers 34 mpg on the highway. Its interior and cargo space are competitive with larger cars, and the Forte’s standard features include USB and Bluetooth. Five-year cost: $29,769.
Family sedans. The midsize car with the lowest ownership costs is Nissan’s Altima Base ($22,550). It beats compact-car fuel economy, getting 38 mpg on the highway, and it received a Top Safety Pick + award for passing the new test that simulates a crash into a tree or telephone pole. Over five years, the Altima’s ownership costs total $34,404. The redesigned Ford Fusion S ($22,495) is our midsize value pick. It has killer new style, offers generous passenger and cargo space, and is great to drive. That helped the Fusion garner our Best New Car award in our $20,000-to-$25,000 category. It gets a Top Safety Pick + designation and features eight airbags (versus six for the Altima). Ford’s voice-activated SYNC infotainment system comes standard. The standard 2.5-liter engine delivers 170 hp and 34 mpg on the highway. Over five years, ownership costs for the Fusion S are $37,005.
Luxury sedans. The Buick Regal 2.4L ($29,910) slides into the cheapest slot for luxury sedans. Standard eAssist technology (think hybrid lite) helps keep fuel economy up (31 mpg highway) and costs down. We rated it Worth a Look in our rankings. Its five-year cost is $43,493.
Our value pick, the all-new Lexus ES 300h ($39,745), is $10,000 more than the Regal but costs only about $3,500 more to own for five years ($46,976). Combined city and highway fuel economy is 40 mpg, and maintenance costs are reasonable. The 300h puts out 200 hp and has ten airbags.
Family crossovers. Once again, the Dodge Journey SE ($19,990) is the cheapest midsize crossover. But you’ll pay extra for options other brands include as standard equipment, such as Bluetooth and a power driver’s seat. Total five-year cost without options: $37,849. The better-equipped Toyota Highlander Plus ($31,170) is our value pick, despite its $11,000 higher sticker price. In addition to a comfortable ride for seven, the Highlander’s standard features include a backup camera, Bluetooth, a power driver’s seat, seven airbags (same as the Journey), and one-touch, fold-flat levers for the second row. Over five years, you’ll pay $42,232.
SEE FULL SLIDE SHOW: 10 Cheapest Cars to Own, 2013
TODAY, The Chicago Auto Show is pitching an alt-fuel road rally that’s likely to be far quicker than the one that inspired it more than a century ago.
Thirteen vehicles ranging from the Tesla Model S all-electric to the Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid to the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in to the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid will challenge each other in a rally that will start at the city’s McCormick Place and run about four hours.
The race is inspired by 1895′s Chicago Times-Herald Motor Race, regarded as the first road rally in US history. That “race” featured six vehicles attempting the 50-mile round trip between Chicago and Evanston, IL. Just two of the six vehicles finished, with the winner – a Duryea, pictured – crossing the finish line in about nine hours, according to The Henry Ford Museum website.
For anyone keeping track, That Racing Channel recently staged a drag race with a Model S and a Volt. The Tesla finished a quarter mile almost five seconds (and at 20 miles per hour) faster than the Volt.
Rounding out the Chicago Rally are the Nissan Leaf all-electric; Fisker Karma extended-range plug-in; Tesla Roadster EV; Toyota’s Prius and Prius C hybrids and Prius plug-in hybrid; a Volkswagen Passat TDI diesel; a Via Motors Silverado extended-range plug-in; and a Smith Electric Delivery Vehicle.
Reprinted by Midwest Glass Tinters
If you’ve been holding off on buying that new car, the end of the year may be your ticket to great savings. Keep in mind,though, that some models that are left on the lot may be there for a good reason, and your selection of colors and accessories may be limited. Additionally, certain days are definitely better than others in negotiating a great deal. Forbes.com says that car buying experts agree that shoppers visiting showrooms on New Year’s Eve will likely obtain the best deals of the month, with the next-best days to go car shopping being December 27-30 and especially Christmas Eve, when relatively few patrons tend to come walking through a dealership’s door.
Following is Forbes List of the Top 10 Best Year-End Car Deals:
Deal: 2012 models up to $3,000 cash plus $1,000 owner loyalty; 2013 models up to $1500 cash plus $1,000 owner loyalty.
Deal: Up to $3,500 cash on 2013 ActiveHybrid 3, $4,500 on 2012/2012 ActiveHybrid 5, $3,500 on 2013 ActiveHybrid 740 and $7,500 on 2012 ActiveHybrid 750 or 3.29 percent financing to 72 months on select models plus $750 owner loyalty bonus. It’s year-end discount madness on the full range of eco-friendly gas/electric hybrid-powered BMWs. The ActiveHybrid 3 is the best bet here, with lively driving dynamics and at 25/33 mpg city/highway, the best fuel economy of the bunch, with the larger and costlier ActiveHybrid 5 a close second at 23/30 mpg.
Deal: 2012 models up to $4,000 cash or 0.0 percent financing to 60 months, 3.9 to 72 months. The compact SRX luxury crossover SUV gets several revisions for 2013, but the outgoing model (pictured) is still worthy, especially with an additional $4,000 on top of the dealer’s markup to whittle down in the closing room.
Deal: 2012 models up to $4,000 cash or 3.24 percent financing to 72 months; 2013 models up to $1,500 cash or 0.0 percent financing to 72 months. The V6-powered versions of Chrysler’s stately full-size near-luxury sedan will see the biggest rebates and discounts, and they’ll save buyers an estimated additional $500 a year in fuel expense over the V8-powered 300C.
Deal: 2012 models up to 3,000 cash; 2013 models up to 1,000 cash. This attractively boxy seven-passenger crossover is ideal for large families and it’s far easier to drive and more economical than a full-size SUV, with many novel features offered.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Deal: 2012 SRT8 version up to $4,500 cash or 3.24 percent financing to 72 months; other 2012 Grand Cherokee models up to $1,500 cash or 0.0 percent financing to 36 months, 1.9 to 60 months, 3.9 to 72 months; 2013 models (except SRT8) up to $1,500 cash or 1.9 percent financing to 36 months, 2.9 to 48 months, 3.9 to 60 months, 5.9 to 72 months. Jeep dealers are eager to move last year’s version of the sporty SRT8 Grand Cherokee, which is a guilty pleasure with its truly quick 6.4-liter 470-horsepower V8 engine. The rest of the line isn’t too shabby, either.
Land Rover Range Rover
Deal: 2012 models up to $5,000 cash or 0.0 percent financing to 36 months, 1.9 to 48 months, 2.9 to 60 months. The venerable Range Rover gets a major makeover for 2013, but if you can settle for not being the first one in your cul-de-sac to have the latest version, slashing $5,000 off the top on the outgoing model is a good place to start negotiating at the dealership.
Deal: 2012 models up to $9,775 cash and $1,000 owner loyalty bonus. That’s a hefty discount on this compact all-electric vehicle, provided its inherent range limitations (about 75 miles on a charge, often less) are copasetic with the length of your daily commute.
Deal: 2012 models up to $3,750 cash or 0.0 percent financing to 60 months, 1.9 to 72 months; 2013 models up to $1,500 cash or 2.9 percent financing to 36 months, 3.9 to 48 months, 4.9 to 60 months, 6.9 to 72 months. While the 2013 version of the full-size Ram 1500 (pictured) comes with many improvements, including a more powerful and efficient base V6 engine, the outgoing version may be a better deal with the added discount if you’re choosing the 5.7-liter V8, which carries over.
Deal: 2012 models (Executive, Lux, Sport versions) up to $5,750 cash or 0.0 percent financing to 72 months. Depending on one’s perspective, this midsize crossover SUV tends to either be overpriced compared to much of the mainstream competition, or a deal compared to the model with which it shares platforms, the Porsche Cayenne. Expect the line’s higher trim levels, mentioned above, to garner the top deals before New Year’s Day.
And be sure to make your new ride even sleeker by adding windows tinted by Midwest Glass Tinters.
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.
Despite the economy, consumers showed the auto industry some love with auto sales up for some brands by as much as 36% in September.
Pickup trucks and SUVs lead sales in September, with pickups accounting for nearly 13% of new light vehicle sales. Of the seven top-selling vehicles, four are made by the Big Three in Detroit, and three are made by Japanese manufacturers. True to historical patterns, pickup sales are often higher in the second half of the year, and incentives and advertising both contributed to increases in auto sales last month.
For those of you considering purchasing a new vehice this Fall, following is the list of the Top Five hottest-selling vehicles in September, based on sales increases and actual volume, according to The Street.com:
With dealer incentives continuing into October, consumers should still be able to get a great deal on a new car. And when you do get that great deal, we’ll be here to tint your ride.
Like many of us, if you’ve held off on purchasing a new car, October may be the time to get a great deal. October has some of the best new car deals we’ve seen all year, and deals are available on all brands. In addition, dealer incentives from September have rolled into October, and with the model year-end approaching, dealers may be even more inclined to negotiate.
According to TrueCar.com, transaction prices have dropped for the 4th straight month this year, and this trend for 2011 autos is expected to continue through the end of the year.
Here are some of the best deals on 2011 models in October according to US News:
Mazda CX-7 — 0% financing for up to 60 months AND $500 back
Honda Fit — 0.9% financing for 24-36 months
Hyundai Elantra — 1.9% financing for up to 236 months in most regions
Buick Regal — 0% financing for up to 60 months OR $1,000 cash back
GMC Sierra — 0% financing for up to 60 months AND $1,000 APR cash OR $4,505 cash back
Chevrolet Traverse — 0% financing for up to 60 months AND $1,000 APR cash OR $2,000 back
Nissan Maxima – 0% financing for 36 months; 0.9% financing for 60 months; 1.9% financing for 72 months OR $3,000 cash back
So if you’re thinking about buying a new auto, October is definitely a good time to do it.