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2012 Ford Focus Hatchback Review

Friday August 3rd, 2012 at 8:88 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By contributing editor David Colman

Vitals Statistics:
$19095      Focus 5dr HB SE
4-Door Front Wheel Drive , 160 bhp, 146 lb-ft, 5-sp Manual, 26/36 mpg
5 passengers, 2900 lb, 2-liter, 4-cylinder engine, 18.1 lb/bhp

Likes:

  • Euroslick styling
  • Gem-like interior fittings
  • Razor sharp handling
  • Eager engine that is happy to work hard
  • Hatchback model has added utility over sedan and looks great
  • Long list of upgrades and high-tech options

Dislikes:

  • Lack of paddle shifters for dual clutch automatic
  • HVAC dials where radio controls should be and vice versa
  • Driving concentration distracted by Ford Synch GUI

YouTube Preview Image2012 Ford Focus Test Drive & Car Review. This video is brought to you by Autobytel

If you think of the Focus as Ford’s VW Golf beater, you’re aiming too low. Golf was just the low hanging fruit in Ford’s quest to redefine the sport compact sedan. The real target was Audi’s A3, a loftier goal indeed. Has Ford succeeded in outdoing the A3? Not quite, but close enough to give Audi reason to be concerned. If you want to build a better sport sedan than Audi, you’d best hire Germans to design it, and that’s just what Ford has done. The Focus was conceived in Germany, and has been on sale across Europe for more than a year. It has already established a successful track record in World Rallye competition as well as World Touring Car track contests. While Focus may be new to the US, it is by no means an unproven entity abroad.

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Posted in Feature Articles, Ford |Tags:, , || 10 Comments »


2012 Fiat 500 Abarth

Wednesday April 18th, 2012 at 8:44 AM
Posted by: berrichondanny

By Danny Chang

2012 Fiat 500 Abarth
BASE PRICE $21,500 (est)
PRICE AS TESTED $23,000 (est)
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front engine, FWD, 4-pass, 2-door hatchback
ENGINE 1.4L/160-hp/170-lb-ft turbo SOHC 16-valve I-4
TRANSMISSION 5-speed manual
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 2564 lb (64/36%)
WHEELBASE 90.6 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 144.4 x 64.1 x 58.7 in
0-60 MPH 6.8 sec
QUARTER MILE 15.3 sec @ 89.8 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 117 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.86 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 26.9 sec @ 0.65 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON 27/32 mpg (est)
ENERGY CONS, city/hwy 125/105 kW-hrs/100 mi (est)
CO2 EMISSIONS 0.67 lb/mi (est)

Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/hatchbacks/1202_2012_fiat_500_abarth_first_test/#ixzz29VDfKZ13
Pros

  • Endearing styling
  • Rev-happy engine with good MPG (30/38)
  • Fun 5-speed gearbox

Cons

  • Lackluster interior doesn’t match great exterior styling
  • Tight rear seat
  • No trunk space

Although Fiat introduced the Nuova 500 back in 2007, 2011 is the first time the cleverly styled mini-compact is coming to the US. With its arrival, Fiat makes its return to the American market. The new 500 is styled after the original rear-engine Nuova 500 introduced in 1957. Although the new one is front-engine and front wheel drive, it looks like a giant next to the original city car. But that doesn’t mean it’s big in any way. The 2012 Fiat 500 slots in nicely between the Smart ForTwo and the MINI Cooper.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Fiat |Tags:, , , || No Comments »


Fourth Generation 2012 Honda CR-V Ready for U.S. Late 2011

Monday July 25th, 2011 at 10:77 AM
Posted by: Derek

2012 Honda CR-V concept

This is the all-new, fourth-generation CR-V that is set to go on sale in the U.S. by the end of 2011 and in Europe in Autumn 2012

The new Honda CR-V goes for a distinctive new design and bold styling direction. Compared to the previous generation CR-V, the concept model has a more aggressive stance with deeper sculpting of the body lines and a bolder front grille. Overall the lower front bumper design integrates more smoothly into the fascia for improved aerodynamics and curves upward to convey off-road capability. There are also five-spoke alloy wheels and bolder fender flares.

Powertrain details haven’t been released, but the new CR-V is expected to be outfitted with a more efficient engine and deliver improved fuel economy. Also look for more interior room and reduced curb weight.

Posted in Honda, Press and News |Tags:, , , || 5 Comments »


Video: Preview of the 2012 Porsche 911

Tuesday July 19th, 2011 at 3:77 PM
Posted by: Derek

Spy shot of next gen "991" Porsche 911

The next generation Porsche 911, internally known as project 991, isn’t set to be officially shown until September at the Frankfurt Auto Show this year. Spy shots have been posted on such sites as autospies.com and WordCarFans. Now a video from Porsche has been released on their YouTube channel.

Clear differences between the new model and the current 997 are the more upright headlights, a slightly longer body, and the side mirrors are now positioned at the side of the doors and not at the window.

Other new features for the new 911 will include extensive use of lightweight carbon materials and active aerodynamics–surfaces that react to what the car is doing, and how fast it’s doing it. Expect adjustable front and rear spoilers, dynamically opening and closing air intakes and an automatic rear wing.

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Posted in Porsche, Press and News, Viral Video |Tags:, , , , || No Comments »


2012 Toyota Prius v Wagon Review – Building upon the success of Toyota’s popular hybrid

Tuesday June 14th, 2011 at 7:66 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2012 Toyota Prius v
By contributing editor David Colman

PROS:

  • 58% more room
  • Double sunroof
  • Airy interior

CONS:

  • Reduced MPG
  • Awkward shape
  • Plethora of driving distractions

A couple of years ago, 3 of us set out on wine country safari in a second generation Prius 4-door. By the end of the day, the cabin of that car was beginning to feel very small. The trunk was loaded with cases of wine and the rear springs sagged accordingly. Our spirits flagged from sharing such close quarters. While the trip was a success, the Prius was judged to be undersized for the mission.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, hybrid, Toyota |Tags:, , , || 3 Comments »


2012 Mazda3

Friday May 13th, 2011 at 11:55 AM
Posted by: aquadog

2012 Mazda3

The refreshed 2012 Mazda3 features an all-new SkyActiv-G 2.0-liter, 155-horsepower engine and a SkyActiv-MT six-speed manual transmission or optional SkyActiv-Drive six-speed automatic transmission for sedan or hatchback models. The Mazda3 is the first to include SkyActiv fuel-saving and performance-oriented technologies, achieving 40-mpg on the highway and a potential 540-mile range. The MZR 2.0-liter engine will continue to be available, along with a Mazda MZR 2.5-liter engine.

Mazda says that the new 2.0-liter, direct-injection four-cylinder is good for 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, which offers modest increases over the old, non-DI 2.0-liter engine.

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Posted in Mazda, Press and News |Tags:, , , , || 1 Comment »


2012 Kia Rio

Friday May 13th, 2011 at 10:55 AM
Posted by: aquadog

2012 Kia Rio

The all-new, redesigned 2012 Kia Rio (Rio5 in North America) features a 1.6-liter, GDI 4-cylinder, 138-horsepower engine and a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, that both achieve 40-mpg on the highway and 30-mpg in the city. The Rio will come in 3 trims, the LX, EX and the SX and will also offer ISG technology, which turns the vehicle’s engine off when it’s not in motion for lower fuel consumption. The Rio also has increased space by becoming longer, wider, and lower and features a reduced engine weight of 29 pounds over previous models.

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Posted in Press and News |Tags:, , , || 1 Comment »


2012 Hyundai Veloster

Thursday May 12th, 2011 at 5:55 PM
Posted by: aquadog

2012 Hyundai Veloster

The brand new 2012 Hyundai Veloster features a 1.6-liter, GDI 4-cylinder, 138-horsepower engine and a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Veloster’s sleek and lightweight design, and direct-injected engine give it an extremely efficient estimated highway 40-mpg.

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2012 Hyundai Accent

Thursday May 12th, 2011 at 4:55 PM
Posted by: aquadog

2012 Hyundai Accent

The 2012 Hyundai Accent features a 1.6-liter, I4, 138-horsepower engine and a 6-speed manual transmission. The all-new Accent has a bold front fascia and rear bumper giving it an eye-catching, fluid and modern design.The Hyundai Accent GLS achieves 40-mpg on the highway and 30-mpg in the city and includes distinctive 16″, 8-spoke alloy wheels with low rolling resistance silica tires for maximum fuel economy. Active Eco System modifies engine and transmission control for improved fuel economy and the Accent’s aerodynamic body, kick-up design on the trunk edge, shielded tire and optimized engine undercover help minimize resistance.

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Posted in Hyundai, Press and News |Tags:, , , || No Comments »


2012 Honda Civic Sedan HF

Thursday May 12th, 2011 at 3:55 PM
Posted by: aquadog

2012 Honda Civic Sedan HF

The 2012 Honda Civic Sedan HF features a 1.8-liter, I4, 140-horsepower engine and a 5-Speed automatic transmission. The HF is new to the Civic lineup and takes fuel efficiency to higher levels with 41-mpg on the highway and 29-mpg in the city. The Eco Assist system enhances efficient vehicle operation and provides feedback to the driver to promote more efficient driving styles. Honda also enhanced the HF’s aerodynamics by lowering the ride a bit compared to other Civic models and also adding special wind-cheating underbody panels.

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Posted in Honda, Press and News |Tags:, , , , , || 1 Comment »


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