Category: Low Cost Cars

By on March 30, 2016

2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.5, Exterior, headlights, Picture courtesy of Alex L Dykes

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has started rating headlights, and just released a report that takes a dim view on the performance of most midsize cars.

Only one vehicle out of 31 testers earned a rating of “good” from the road safety nonprofit, with the bulk of midsize vehicles earning a rating of “marginal” or “poor.”

The results are even less dazzling when you take into account optional lighting packages, which pushed the number tested to 82. Even then, it was only the LED-equipped advanced technology package on the Toyota Prius V that earned the IIHS’s acclaim. Read More >

By on March 24, 2016

2017_Mirage_G4_HR-27

Mitsubishi today pulled the cover off its new Mirage G4 sedan, which adds a longer wheelbase and a trunk to the occasionally-maligned subcompact, the 2016 New York International Auto Show. As we noted with the restyled hatchback, 4 more horsepower — for a total of 78 — will hum from the Mirage G4’s 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine, and Mitsubishi will make available Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as an option.

Read More >

By on March 23, 2016

Scion-tC

Sophia writes:

Thank you for taking the time to read and answer this email, it’s greatly appreciated.

I have a budget of $6k and would like to buy a used car (automatic transmission). I really like the Scion tC models from ’06-’08 (I’m a fan of its smooth curves).  Is it worth spending $6k on a car that has ~100k miles? I live in Silicon Valley and most the Scions I’ve seen for sale are in Sacramento or LA; I wouldn’t mind traveling a bit for the right car. By that measure, I love to drive and need a car that can take me all along the West coast as well as the weekly commute and won’t break the bank when it comes to repairs. Am I asking too much of a used vehicle? My 2001 civic made it through 235k miles, and while I prefer to stick to the Honda or Toyota family, am I missing out on a reliable American vehicle?

Again, thank you for the advice.

Regards,

Sophia

Back when I used to judge high school solo and ensemble music competitions for money in college, I seriously considered buying a rubber stamp that said “More dynamics.” I mean, every single kid needed to use more dynamic contrast (loud and soft playing), so I literally wrote “More dynamics” on every single judge’s sheet. The stamp would have been a YUUUUGE time saver. After about three months of doing the Ask Bark column, I’ve decided to buy two rubber stamps—one that says “Pontiac Vibe” and another that says “Scion tC.”

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By on March 14, 2016

Elio Motors 2016 NAIAS, Image: © 2016 Ronnie Schreiber/The Truth About Cars

In a move that has already generated criticism from disappointed deposit holders, Elio Motors announced that production of its enclosed tandem three-wheelers will be delayed, yet again, to an undisclosed date sometime in 2017.

In a statement issued on Friday, Elio Motors said, “the bulk of the consumer launch will have to be moved into 2017 at a date to be determined, as the company continues to seek additional funding.”

Ironically, that delay was made public as the company appeared to make progress towards getting at least some vehicles built in Shreveport later this year. Founded in 2009, Elio had previously announced production dates of 2014 and more recently the end of 2016. Read More >

By on March 9, 2016

Smart car snowmobile Image: Autobahn Tuning Inc./Facebook)

Let’s face it: when it comes to modern cars, no model is as maligned as the diminutive two-seat Smart Fortwo. Well, maybe the Mitsubishi Mirage.

Measuring just 8-feet-10-inches in length, the rear-engined Smart looks less like a car than a rolling phone booth, or perhaps the bubble that would take Patrick McGoohan back to The Village in the TV show “The Prisoner.”

Jokes and instances of car-tipping aside, the Smart harbors a secret ability that sets it apart from its larger peers — and it took an Ontario mechanic to find it.

Read More >

By on February 29, 2016

2016 Honda Civic Sedan, Image: © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

The CEO of Honda is pulling the car over and giving a stern lecture to the kids in the backseat.

That, a Scion gets a corporate makeover, Google goes in for autonomous feng shui, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is drowning in modules and a famous British racetrack could get even Britisherafter the break!

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By on February 10, 2016

VW ameo 1

How automakers address the sedan question in India is particularly interesting. It doesn’t involve increasing legroom or wheelbase. It doesn’t involve creating a reason to increase the average transaction price of those cars. And despite India having some of the deadliest roads in the world, it doesn’t involve safety.

In India, most automakers go in the exact opposite direction with their sedans — by building them shorter and cheaper, but no more safer — yet they remain just as comfortable inside as the models on which they’re based.

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By on January 25, 2016

Sneak Peek at New Mitsubishi Motors Sedan Destined for Toronto Show

Mitsubishi in Canada on Monday posted a teaser shot of the rear end of the new Mitsubishi Attrage that’ll make its debut in Toronto at the 2016 Canadian International Auto Show next month before it goes on sale in the U.S. and Canada.

Mitsubishi’s spokesman John Arnone posted a picture of himself standing next to the sedan at a shoot in Vancouver, which doesn’t really leave much to question. It’s clearly the small sedan, which will be one of two new models bound for Canada and the U.S. in 2016.

Perhaps next we’ll get a teaser of the Outlander PHEV’s roof with a Tim Hortons coffee cup sitting on it. Thrilling stuff.

Read More >

By on January 25, 2016

ford-headquarters

The big Blue Oval is setting in the Land of the Rising Sun.

That, Volkswagen’s labor boss doesn’t like what he hears, Detroit’s big show and Kia’s big plans for the Rio … after the break! Read More >

By on January 20, 2016

2015 VW GTI 2-Door Exterior Side 7

Dealers are shaving thousands off of Volkswagen’s Golf GTI — up to $5,000 at some dealers — and the hatchback is relatively easy to find at rental car counters across the country.

So, is everything going OK with 2015’s North American Car of the Year™?

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By on January 15, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Spark

Chevrolet might be trying to sell its newest Spark in the United States for $12,660 ($13,535 with freight), but the automaker is bringing its game to other low-priced subcompacts in Canada with a starting price of $9,995 CAD ($11,595 CAD with freight/PDI).

That means the Spark costs $6,880 USD on the Canadian side of the border after adjusting for current exchange rates. Either GM Canada is taking a massive financial hit on the Spark, or Americans are getting hosed — by $5,780 USD, to be exact — for the Korean-made hatchback.

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By on December 30, 2015

Mary-Barra-Chevrolet-Cruze

Leasehackr has a screaming deal on a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze Limited (the old body style) 1LT Automatic if:

1) You can sell it for more than $13,000 after two years;
2) You’re were a Costco Auto member before Sept. 30;
3) You can get $1,800 off of MSRP, or thereabouts;
4) Max incentives;
5) You’re a current lessee of another automaker;
6) You don’t mind driving a Chevrolet Cruze Limited 1LT Automatic for two years.

If you ticked every one of those boxes, congratulations! You can lease a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze for $40 or less*** per month for 24 months.

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By on December 15, 2015

WRX

Subaru and Lexus brands topped Kelley Blue Book’s annual resale list for the second year in a row, the auto industry group announced Tuesday.

Subaru claimed four model winners for 2016 and Lexus nabbed six honors in the annual survey that measures projected retained value for five years of ownership. Toyota and General Motors each earned five segment winners this year and Tesla earned its first award for its Model S.

According to KBB, the top 10 cars with the best resale value were: Chevrolet Camaro and Colorado; GMC Canyon and Sierra; Jeep Wrangler; Subaru Forester and WRX; Toyota 4Runner, Tacoma and Tundra. Read More >

By on November 19, 2015

2017 Mirage GT

Seriously, they did! Look at it! Instead of being some anonymous South Asian egg, the Mitsubishi Mirage now looks like an anonymous European egg.

Okay, okay. It isn’t going to set your heart alight with desire, but Mitsubishi has done a stellar job upgrading the Mirage with the few resources it has at its disposal. This little subcompact hatchback will be the first Mitsubishi ever to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Its 1.2-liter MIVEC three-cylinder engine gets an ever-so slight bump to 78 horsepower (+4 over the current Mirage). The Japanese automaker even gave the exterior and interior a fairly thorough re-work considering this is a mid-cycle refresh. And considering this is Mitsubishi we’re talking about here.

Those of you who were totally sold on the Rockford Fosgate special edition, fear not! You can still get that in the new Mirage, too, though minus the badging that tells thieves which car to hit in the Kroger parking lot.

Read More >

By on October 30, 2015

2015 Mitsubishi Mirage ES

Mitsubishi announced Thursday that it would make available Rockford Fosgate Special Edition badges attached to a Mirage.

The badges, which cost $14,495 to start, include a car that still has four speakers (five if you count a 6.5-inch subwoofer) and four wheels.

Read More >

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