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Posts Tagged ‘small cars’

Elio Forces Feds to Set Autocycle Rules

New legislation develops guidelines for three-wheelers.

by on Mar.13, 2015

Elio Motors new three-wheeler is causing lawmakers to write new legislation governing autocycles.

An autocycle?

It’s a vehicle classification that most folks don’t give much thought, but 26 states have laws or are developing them, for three-wheeled, enclosed vehicles otherwise known as autocycles.

The Last Word!

Perhaps the best known of the group currently is the Elio from Elio Motors, which touts 84 mpg for just $6,800 with the bonus of being American made: in a former General Motors plant in Shreveport, Louisiana. (more…)

Kia Soul Tops List of Must-Have Cars in the City

Surprisingly, Smart ForTwo doesn’t make Top 10.

by on Aug.12, 2014

Kia's 2014 Soul was named the top choice for city dwellers due to its ride-and-handling as well as its convenience features.

Many folks imagine that once you move to a large urban center, like New York or Chicago, that the need for a car evaporates; however, the reality is that city denizens need to get around and that means hundreds of thousands of vehicles are clogging those streets.

If you’re going to have a car in the city, it needs to be small enough to squeeze into tight spots, turn around in small spaces, yet be able to carry lots of stuff. Fortunately, the folks at have compiled a list of what they believe to be the 10 best cars for city dwellers.

Auto Insight!

The website’s top pick is the 2014 Kia Soul and not because it’s so easy to drive even a hamster can do it. According to the website, the Soul’s ride-and-handling, abundance of convenience features, such as heated front and rear seats as well as a heated steering wheel – features typically found on pricier rides – combined with Kia’s Android-based UVO multimedia system made it the best ride. (more…)

Nissan Versa Gets a Familiar New Look

2015 sedan’s facelift puts it in line with sedan siblings.

by on Apr.15, 2014

The 2015 Nissan Versa takes on the familiar styling of the rest of Nissan's sedan line-up.

The Nissan Versa sedan received a makeover for the 2015 model year and now the company’s starter vehicle looks like the rest of the line-up. The automaker said Versa’s new “‘Nissan family’ front-end styling adds a more substantial visual presence.”

“Versa Sedan is the entry point for the dynamic Nissan sedan lineup, attracting many first-time new car buyers to the brand,” said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc., in a statement.

Your Auto Show Source!

“It’s critical that we keep Versa’s look and feel fresh and its value equation high, with a rewarding driving and ownership experience.” (more…)

New Renault Twingo Offers Hint of New Smart ForFour

Smaller outside, bigger In – with new rear-engine layout.

by on Mar.05, 2014

The new Renault Twingo will share its platform with the upcoming Smart ForFour 4-seater.

There’s a big car inside the little Renault Twingo making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show this year – and it offers some significant hints as to what’s to come when Smart unveils its own new minicar, the Forfour, later in 2014.

The two vehicles were developed as part of an expanding alliance pairing the French automaker and Smart’s German parent Daimler AG – along with Renault’s Japanese partner Nissan.  The three makers are jointly developing an array of vehicles, from microcars to compact luxury models.

Full-Size News!

The new Twingo is more than just a modest redesign. Working with Smart, Renault made some radical changes – starting with the decision to mount the engine in the rear, a strategy that offers a number of advantages, contends Benoit Bochard, the program’s product planning chief.  Among other things, it helped engineers move the front axle forward, yielding significantly more space for both passengers and cargo.


Nissan Bringing New Microcar to North America

But no plans – yet – to sell Nissan Micra in the U.S.

by on Jan.20, 2014

Nissan's new Micra will launch in Canada for 2015.

Nissan is bringing its Micra minicar to the North America — but not to the United States, at least for now.

Nissan has announced that it plans to sell the new, 2015 Micra in Canada, a move that reflects the fact that Canadian motorists tend to be more interested in small cars than their American counterparts.

Stay in the Know!

“Micra will change the automotive landscape and provide Canadians with the value and fun they deserve in an entry-level car,” said Christian Meunier, President, Nissan Canada Inc. “With great visibility, impressive agility and excellent turning radius, Micra is designed for Canadian drivers.  It will offer a small and fuel efficient, yet spacious and fun choice – at a great price.”


Honda Fit-ting in Among New Sub-Compacts

Maker’s 2015 model ups the ante in the segment.

by on Jan.13, 2014

The 2015 Honda Fit got a significant makeover aimed at improving handling and response while ensuring it has all the gadgets young buyers want.

With gas prices remaining above $3 a gallon, the competition for small car buyers remains intense. Makers have been plowing significant resources into the development of their small cars.

The Nissan Versa, Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic and Fiat 500L have pushed the boundaries in the expanding subcompact segment and now Honda’s introduced its revamped version of its subcompact, the 2015 Honda Fit, to add one more option to field that is only getting more crowded.

Fuel for Thought!

Set to go on sale in the U.S. this spring, the new Fit offers more style, interior space, better performance and fuel efficiency plus leading-edge safety and vehicle connectivity, according to the automaker. (more…)

Mini Might Add Three More Models

Little Rocketman is one option, though British brand could get bigger options, too, execs hint.

by on Feb.05, 2013

Mini may yet bring the Rocketman to production.

With the new Paceman coming onboard, Mini will now offer a total of seven different models – never mind all the variants it is delivering to showrooms around the world. But the maker is far from done as it fleshes out its line-up, company officials say.

If anything, “Our management has said that in the future a full line-up of vehicles for the brand could be 10 models,” suggested David Duncan, Mini USA’s sales director, during a conversation in Puerto Rico, where the Paceman is getting its first media drive.

News You Can Trust!

Exactly what’s in store, Duncan and other Mini team members weren’t ready to discuss – beyond hinting they’re looking to fill “any segment that makes sense for a small car.”

In fact, small is apparently a relative term for the British maker, a subsidiary of Germany’s BMW.  Mini delivered a shock to many traditionalists when it introduced the Countryman, a couple years back, not only the first four-door model and the first with all-wheel-drive but also the brand’s biggest offering ever.


Honda Tells Dealers, Clear Out Old Civic for “Emergency Refresh”

Early update aimed at resolving compact's many problems.

by on Oct.23, 2012

Honda will have an "emergency refresh" of the Civic in showrooms several years earlier than the normal mid-cycle update.

Honda will reveal an “emergency refresh” of its much-faulted Civic model next month, likely at the annual L.A. Auto Show, hoping to address the numerous problems that generated a critical drubbing of the long-popular Civic after its 2011 redesign.

In the meantime, the maker is pressing dealers to clear out leftover 2012 Civics as quickly as possible because the coming update will make it “a difficult model (to) sell,” according to an exclusive report by

Power Up!

The irony is that despite taking hits from many reviewers – including some downright hostile words from normally Honda-friendly Consumer Reports – the current Civic, flaws and all, has continued to be a strong force in the U.S. market.


First Look: Ford’s Updated Fiesta

One of several new products debuting later this week.

by on Sep.05, 2012

Ford CEO Alan Mulally will reveal several new products, including the updated Fiesta, during an event in Amsterdam.

Hoping to reverse the company’s huge losses in Europe, Ford CEO Alan Mulally will pull the wraps off an assortment of new products later this week at the maker’s “Go Further” product preview.

Among the new and updated vehicles slated for unveiling at the Amsterdam event is the revised Ford Fiesta, the 3- and 5-door versions shown here.  The subcompact will now share key styling cues seen on other recent Ford models, notably the distinctive trapezoidal grille from the all-new Ford Fusion debuting in the U.S. for 2013 – and which will be sold in Europe as the next-generation Mondeo.

Your Inside Source!

“Fiesta has been one of the world’s best-loved small cars across five decades, and the sporty appeal of the last generation Fiesta inspired real passion among global compact car customers, contributing to its status as the world’s most successful small car,” said Martin Smith, Ford of Europe executive design director. “We had to keep that vital part of Fiesta’s make-up – but we also wanted to give it a more sophisticated look.”


Downsizing Doesn’t Mean Downgrading, Says J.D. Power’s New APEAL Study

“Better vehicles than we’ve ever seen.”

by on Jul.25, 2012

Chevy wins three awards for products including the Sonic and the Volt, shown here.

American motorists no longer need worry about what they’ll have to sacrifice trading in a larger vehicle for a smaller one.  A new study by J.D. Power and Associates finds that, “across the board,” manufacturers are offering small car buyers the sort of features and amenities they might not even have found in larger vehicles of a decade ago.

And from the most basic transportation all the way to the most expensive and exotic, the industry is delivering far more than ever before, according to Power’s annual APEAL study, which looks at automotive performance, execution and layout.

Your Auto Source!

“Automakers are designing better cars than we’ve ever seen,” said Dave Sargent, Power’s director of global automotive operations. “It’s not just one or two manufacturers.  It’s across the board, which means that for consumers it’s a great time to be in the car market.”