2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS Priced at $20,995

2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS

When the slightly sporty Chevrolet Sonic RS goes on sale early this fall, it will do so with a starting price of $20,995, including destination, and $22,280 for a Sonic RS equipped with an automatic transmission. It is offered as a four-door hatchback only.

Pricing is in line with other sporty-minded subcompacts. The 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth starts at $22,700, and the 2013 Honda Fit Sport with a navigation system costs $20,480.

By Colin Bird | August 22, 2012 | Comments (0)

Car Companies Satisfy Buyers Better Than Apple

Car Companies Satisfy Buyers Better Than Apple

Customer satisfaction for the automotive industry is at its highest point in about 20 years, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, as reported by USA Today.

The automotive industry ranked 84 out of 100, tying its best-ever rank in 2009. Automotive satisfaction scores are similar to ones for the soft-drink and consumer electronics industries, and the auto industry beat out industries such as hospitals, computer software (including Apple, which scored 83), newspapers and federal and local governments in overall customer satisfaction, says USA Today.

By Colin Bird | August 22, 2012 | Comments (2)

2013 Hyundai Genesis: What's Changed

2013 Hyundai Genesis

  • Most significant changes: 4.6-liter V-8 dropped; 5.0-liter V-8 now a rare option  
  • Price change: TBA 
  • On sale: TBA  
  • Which should you buy, 2012 or 2013? If you had any interest in an affordable new V-8 Genesis, buy now

For the 2013 model year, the Genesis sedan gets a reconfigured engine lineup, making it harder to obtain a V-8 engine in the premium sports sedan. Another big change is the addition of a more sophisticated multimedia system and Hyundai's Blue Link communication system.

Blue Link is also newly available in the 2013 Genesis Coupe, too.

The Genesis changes, particularly the all-new multimedia system, are likely aimed at stemming expected sales losses to its new competitor, the Kia Quoris luxury sedan, which will debut later this year. An all-new Genesis sedan is expected in the next year.

By Colin Bird | August 16, 2012 | Comments (4)

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid Already has $1,000 Cash Back

2013 Ford C-Max

The Ford C-Max Hybrid isn't even on sale yet and it already has cash on the hood. Ford's first dedicated hybrid has a $1,000 cash-back program or 5.9% financing for 72 months in most major markets. That means the $25,995 starting price, including a $795 destination fee, is really $24,995, pricing the model just about the same as a regular Toyota Prius hatchback ($24,795). Ford has a history of dangling a bit of cash on its new models to get its nameplates up and moving in neighborhoods. We recall seeing the same thing on the new Ford Focus and Ford Edge when they first arrived on the scene.

The Ford C-Max Hybrid comes in SE and SEL models; the SE trim has standard 17-inch aluminum wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control and Ford's Sync system. The SEL trim ($28,995, including destination) comes with leather seats, MyFord Touch, a 10-way power driver's seat and heated side mirrors.

By Colin Bird | August 8, 2012 | Comments (0)

The Lousiest Things Mechanics' Customers Do


Tom and Ray Magliozzi of Car Talk deliver the Top 10 Lousiest Things Customers Do on Cars.com today. Why such a list? Well, mechanics can literally make or break your car. Wouldn’t you want to know how you can help them get your baby running like new again?

Check out the list and discover how even the family pet can become a problem for mechanics.

Top 10 Lousiest Things Customers Do

By David Thomas | August 6, 2012 | Comments (2)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: July 2012


Automakers had a mixed July as shoppers paid more for their cars. CNW Marketing Research says average transaction prices increased 8.5% versus July 2011 — the third month in a row of year-over-year increases greater than 8%. Compounding all this was the fact that used-car prices declined for the third straight month in July, according to vehicle auction firm Manheim, though they remain higher than at any point before November 2010. Would new-car sales stand a chance?

Well, yes. Sales for the top seven automakers rose 9.3% in July as Toyota and Honda roared back from last year’s earthquake-related shortages — or at least perceived shortages, in Toyota's case. Honda was the only Japan Three automaker really pinched on inventory a year ago, Automotive News data shows. Either way, both have made a comeback. July sales flew 45.3% at Honda and 26.1% at Toyota, as cars like the outgoing Honda Accord and redesigned Honda Civic trumped onetime top-10 placers the Chevy Malibu and Hyundai Sonata. It's easy to see why: The Accord has as many incentives as discount-wary Honda would ever unleash, and the Civic's once-paltry inventory is back to near-industry-average levels.

By Kelsey Mays | August 1, 2012 | Comments (12)

2013 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Priced at $37,035

2013 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE

What Chevy calls its "most capable track-day" Camaro yet, the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro with the 1LE Performance Package makes good on the carmaker's promise of coming in under $40,000. It will start at $37,035, including a $900 destination charge, when it goes on sale later this year. That’s a bargain compared with the track-ready 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302, which starts at $42,995.

The new 1LE Performance Package is offered on SS coupes with a manual transmission only. Updates in the $3,500 package include a variable-effort electric power-steering system, a dual-mode exhaust system, a manual transmission with liquid cooling and a higher final-drive ratio, and monotube rear dampers. Twenty-inch aluminum wheels and ultra-high-performance Goodyear tires complete the package.

By Colin Bird | July 31, 2012 | Comments (6)

Saturn Aura, BMW 335i See Biggest Used Price Drops on Cars.com

Saturn Aura, BMW 335
Late-model used-car prices on Cars.com have eased a little recently, dropping slightly from June 1 to July 1, but a number of used cars saw big decreases in asking price.

The Saturn Aura midsize sedan saw the biggest percentage decrease, declining 12%, or $1,764, to $13,197. The BMW 335i compact luxury car had the next greatest drop with an 8% decline, resulting in a $3,446 decrease in the average asking price to $39,969. BMW recently redesigned the 3 Series sedan for the 2012 model year.

From June 1 to July 1, used-car prices for 2009 to 2011 models slid a modest $31 to an average $22,350. Though lower than last month, this average is still $554 greater than it was at the beginning of the year for used cars from these model years.

The charts below details the top 10 used cars from the 2009 to 2011 model years with the biggest price drops — as well as the 10 with the biggest increases. To be eligible for the list, a model had to have 500 cars in Cars.com's national inventory to give potential shoppers a chance at finding one nearby.

By Mike Hanley | July 30, 2012 | Comments (0)

Natural Is In for Car Colors

Cars.com Photo by Evan Sears

Silver, white and black will still make up about 50% to 80% of all car colors, but natural colors like brown, blue and green will be the hot trend in the next five years, paint specialists at BASF say.

BASF released its Global Automotive Color Trend Report on Thursday. It says consumers want more color on their cars, or at least more variations on the tried-and-true silver, white and black. That's why some car models you see have three different grays. We're looking at you, Infiniti.*

We saw a Land Rover Range Rover Evoque in Galway Green a few weeks back and were impressed by the use of a dark green that used to be more commonplace, even on British makes. And we've probably seen more brown cars in the past few years than in our entire history on everything from the Lexus GS sedan to Kia’s Sorento.

What car color has impressed you recently?

*The Infiniti M comes in Liquid Platinum, Storm Front Grey and Platinum Graphite.

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2013 Model Year Preview

By David Thomas | July 27, 2012 | Comments (16)

2013 Volkswagen Passat: What's Changed

VW Passat

  • Most significant changes: A backup camera is now available  
  • Price change: TBA 
  • On sale: TBA 
  • Which should you buy, 2012 or 2013? 2012; the changes are too minor to warrant waiting for the 2013.

The Americanized Volkswagen Passat enters into its second model year as a carryover; the biggest change is the addition of a backup camera on some trims.

As strange as this omission sounds, the 2012 Passat wasn't available with a rearview camera no matter how high you climbed up the model's trim levels. For 2013, the hole has been plugged; a backup camera is standard on all SEL-trimmed models. The 2013 Passat is available in S, SE, SEL and SEL Premium trims with either a five-cylinder, inline-four-cylinder diesel or V-6 powertrains.

All SE and higher trimmed models also get a new center console design that now sports a pair of rear-passenger air vents, new cupholder designs and a new cover for the front storage area, according to the automaker.

A release date, pricing or additional trim updates weren't made available as of this posting. With only those pair of changes mentioned, there's really no reason to wait for a 2013 Passat unless you're dead set on having the backup camera.

More Volkswagen Passat News 
2012 VW Passat Fender Stereo a Welcome Surprise 
Cars.com Reviews the 2012 Volkswagen Passat

By Colin Bird | July 25, 2012 | Comments (7)

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