2013 Nissan Altima: Explaining the Trim Levels

Altimatrimlevels
One of the hardest parts about buying a new car — besides deciding on the model itself — is deciding what trim level is the right one for your tastes and budget. Automakers don't make it easy on you. Heck, some call the base model "Premium." Others use a jumble of letters to space things out.

If you're interested in the redesigned 2013 Nissan Altima that is just hitting dealers now, we're here to arm you with a rundown of the different trims, how much they cost and what content they pack.

By David Thomas | June 28, 2012 | Comments (6)

The Zen of Cupholders

Cupholders

One of the things I've learned from reviewing cars is not all cupholders are in fact cupholders. When an automaker says there are 14 cupholders in the latest crossover, that quantity is usually a variety of beverage-holding areas.

Usually in the front row there are the traditional, all-American cupholders. They sit between driver and front passenger and can be lined with rubber or have various grippers to hold a venti latte or skinny water bottle. They usually do a pretty good job of holding cups in place. These also can be upgraded to heated and cooled cupholders; they can be lit, and they can become your best friend depending on how much you like to be hydrated while driving.

There are just two of these cupholders in most cars. Two. Not six, not 10, not 14. Two.

What other kinds of cupholders are there, you ask?

By Sara Lacey | June 28, 2012 | Comments (2)

2013 Subaru Forester: What's Changed

2013 Subaru Forester

  • Most significant changes: Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming are standard 
  • Price change: TBA 
  • On sale: TBA 
  • Which should you buy, 2012 or 2013? No need to wait on 2013; get a 2012

The Subaru Forester hits the 2013 model year with only incremental changes. It’s due for a complete redesign that should debut in the coming year as a 2014 model. Changes to the 2013 version include additional equipment options to the base 2.5x trim.

The 2013 Forester is available in 2.5X, 2.5X Premium, 2.5X Limited, 2.5X Touring, 2.5XT Premium and 2.5XT Touring trims.

For the 2013 model year, the base 2.5X gets Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity with audio streaming, iPod controls and a USB port, all standard. Steering-wheel-mounted audio and Bluetooth controls are also newly standard equipment.

By Colin Bird | June 27, 2012 | Comments (8)

Dodge Dart's Fashion-Forward Influence

Dartcolors

If you hadn't read anything about Dodge's new Dart, you're doing a great job of avoiding coverage of the brand's first compact sedan since the Neon. It's an extremely important model for a company that has seen success with minivans, SUVs and large sedans but not much else. While many of us (me included) have a preconceived notion of Dodge being a manly man's brand, you may be surprised to hear that the Dart's interior has a decidedly feminine influence.

By Kristin Varela | June 26, 2012 | Comments (3)

2013 Mazda3: What's Changed

2013 Mazda3

  • Most significant changes: 40-mpg engine added to more affordable trim level 
  • Price change: TBA  
  • On sale: TBA 
  • Which should you buy, 2012 or 2013? Until 2013 price changes are made available, there's no reason not to get a 2012 model

For the 2013 model year, the most important changes coming to the Mazda3 includes greater availability of the company's new SkyActiv powertrain as well as more standard comfort features.

The 2013 Mazda3 is available in i SV, i Sport, i Touring, i Grand Touring, s Touring and s Grand Touring trims.

By Colin Bird | June 25, 2012 | Comments (33)

Base 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Priced at $23,150

2013 Chevrolet Malibu

The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco has been on sale for a while now, with a starting price of $25,995. Today, the rest of the 2013 Malibu lineup was priced, with a base 2013 Malibu LS starting at $23,150, including a $760 destination fee.

That puts the Malibu toward the higher end of midsize sedans in terms of base pricing. The 2012 Toyota Camry ($22,815), 2013 Nissan Altima ($22,280), 2012 Volkswagen Passat ($20,765) and 2013 Hyundai Sonata ($21,670) can all be had for less and with essentially the same features. When you compare the price to a 2012 Malibu, the price change is more subtle — just $280 more.

By Colin Bird | June 21, 2012 | Comments (17)

2013 Infiniti G Line: What's Changed

2013 Infiniti G Line

  • Most significant changes: No more Infiniti G25  
  • Price change: Coupe and convertible see price increases, expect the same with the sedan 
  • On sale: Sedan in September; coupe and convertible are on sale now  
  • Which should you buy, 2012 or 2013? Few significant changes and the elimination of the most affordable options makes recommending the 2012 an easy call.

For the 2013 model year, the Infiniti G line gets many changes that ultimately reduce the breadth of G offerings — most notably on the affordable end of the spectrum. The "streamlining," as Nissan calls it, points toward a possible Infiniti G replacement for next year.

Nissan dropped the Infiniti G25 sedan family and the base G coupe for the 2013 model year. The G25 originally debuted in the 2011 model year as a more affordable, fuel-efficient model to compete against the likes of the Acura TSX and Lexus IS 250. The G25 starts at $32,600, which is $3,800 less than the current base G37 sedan. The G25 sedan will stay in production until December 2012, according to Nissan.

By Colin Bird | June 20, 2012 | Comments (1)

Jeep Liberty, Chrysler 300 Used Prices Drop More Than 10% on Cars.com

2011 Jeep Liberty

Average used prices for the Jeep Liberty and Chrysler 300 dropped by 15% and 11%, respectively, over the course of a month when prices for late-model used cars as a whole held steady.

The average asking price on June 1 for a Jeep Liberty from the 2009 to 2011 model years fell by $3,435 to $19,534; the Chrysler 300's asking price sank by $2,501 to $20,373. The average price on Cars.com for all used cars from these model years rose about one-10th of a percent, or $27, to $22,381.

By Mike Hanley | June 20, 2012 | Comments (1)

2013 Chevrolet Sonic: What's Changed

2013 Chevrolet Sonic

  • Most significant changes: 7-inch touch screen and Chevy’s multimedia system added to the mix  
  • Price change: TBD 
  • On sale: This summer 
  • Which should you buy, 2012 or 2013? Standard Bluetooth and other features make the 2013 worth the wait, especially with scarce incentives on the 2012.

For the 2013 model year, the just-released Chevrolet Sonic gets a smattering of changes, including more available features on lower trims levels. A new 7-inch touch-screen featuring Chevy's MyLink multimedia system is now standard on higher-trimmed models. Also new for the model year is the sportier 2013 Chevy Sonic RS, which is available only as a hatchback model; it will hit dealerships later this fall.

The 2013 Sonic is available in sedan and hatchback body styles and in LS, LT or LTZ trims; these trims will be available this summer.

By Colin Bird | June 19, 2012 | Comments (3)

2013 Chevrolet Equinox: What's Changed

2013 Chevrolet Equinox

  • Most significant changes: More powerful V-6 
  • Price change: TBA 
  • On sale: August  
  • Which should you buy, 2012 or 2013? If you're a V-6 shopper, you should wait for a 2013; otherwise, a 2012 shouldn't bring buyer's remorse.

For the 2013 model year the Chevrolet Equinox gets a more powerful V-6 option, new suspension tuning and greater availability of convenience and safety features. It will continue to be available in LS, LT (1LT and 2LT) and LTZ trims.

The new V-6 engine — first unveiled on the 2013 GMC Terrain Denali — produces 301 horsepower and 272 pounds-feet of torque, which is 14% more horsepower and 22% more torque than the previous 3.0-liter V-6. Fuel-economy figures for the 3.6-liter are the same as the 3.0-liter: 17/24 mpg city/highway for front-wheel drive (subtract 1 mpg from both figures for all-wheel drive).

By Colin Bird | June 18, 2012 | Comments (12)

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