What's the Most Affordable Car in 2014?


Shoppers may face legitimate sticker shock when they're shopping for a new car. TV and radio advertisements may lead them to believe that new cars all get at least 35 mpg for less than $15,000, but the price of entry for even a modestly equipped new car is well above that.

Related: What's the Most Affordable Compact SUV for 2014?

That's why we've taken the cars with the lowest sticker prices and added a dose of reality. A vast majority of buyers never consider buying a car with a manual transmission (often the standard equipment on inexpensive new cars), so right out of the gate the car they're shopping for costs significantly more than they thought it would. Opting for an automatic transmission can cost $1,000 or more.

By David Thomas | July 21, 2014 | Comments (8)

Recall Alert: 2006-2010 Toyota Yaris, 2008-2010 Scion xD


Vehicles Affected: Approximately 158,000 model-year 2006-2010 Toyota Yaris hatchbacks, 250,500 model-year 2007-2010 Toyota Yaris sedans and 64,000 model-year 2008-2010 Scion xD hatchbacks.

The Problem: The seat rails for the driver in all models as well as the seat rails for the front passenger in three-door models have springs that could break. If this happens the seat may not lock into position, and in a crash, it could lead to injury. Toyota says cars with seats that are adjusted with greater frequency are more likely to experience a problem.

The Fix: Toyota has not yet determined a fix for this issue or a timetable for when owners will be contacted. Until the vehicles are repaired, owners should check to make sure seats are properly locked into position before driving.

What Owners Should Do: Toyota will notify owners by mail, but no date has been given for when the notices will begin. Concerned owners can contact Toyota at 800-331-4331 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov for more info.

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Manufacturer photo

By David Thomas | April 9, 2014 | Comments (1)

Scion Makes Touch-Screen Standard


Scion announced this week that its 2014 lineup would get a touch-screen audio system. All models will come with the Scion Display Audio System featuring a 6.1-inch LCD touch-screen, AM/FM/CD/HD Radio, hands-free phone and music streaming via Bluetooth and an AUX/USB port with iPod connectivity.

"Scion is the first non-luxury car brand to feature a touch-screen audio system as standard equipment across its entire lineup," the automaker said in a statement.

In addition to the base audio system, all new models will offer the Scion BeSpoke premium audio system, featuring Aha internet radio as an option. The $1,198 system features navigation, social-media integration and smartphone access to 30,000 free audio stations.

Scion's 2014 lineup includes the xD ($16,675), xB ($17,725), tC ($19,965) and FR-S ($25,455). New for the iQ lineup is the limited-production Monogram Series, starting at $17,275; all prices include a $755 destination charge. All 2013 xB models that begin production this month or after will also come standard with the new touch-screen audio system.

Scion Series 10 Limited Editions Celebrate Brand's 10th Birthday

2014 Scion tC Starts at $19,965

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By Matt Schmitz | August 19, 2013 | Comments (0)

Scion Series 10 Limited Editions Celebrate Brand's 10th Birthday

Coming to dealers in June will be special editions of Scion's entire lineup, including the just-announced 2014 Scion tC. Marking the brand's 10th anniversary, the Scion 10 Series editions of the xB, xD, iQ, FR-S and tC will all be painted one color — Silver Ignition — and feature the Scion name illuminated on the dashboard when drivers enter the vehicle before it fades to reveal the number 10.

More 2013 New York Auto Show Coverage

Each will be sequentially numbered, with a total run of 10,000 units to be produced. All will feature silver seat belts, LED Scion badges on the hood and rear that light up when the car is unlocked, and a solar-powered illuminated shift knob. The xB, iQ and xD models will come with unique alloy wheels, while the FR-S 10 Series will have standard high-intensity-discharge headlamps, dual climate control and smart key with push-button start ignition.

By Aaron Bragman | March 28, 2013 | Comments (1)

Scion xB and xD to Be Discontinued

Scion xB

Toyota plans to discontinue its iconic Scion xB and the ill-remembered xD, according to Ward's Auto.

Scion Vice President Jack Hollis told Ward's that the brand didn't "have plans for a direct xB or xD replacement."

Scion, which debuted in 2003, was aimed at drawing younger car shoppers to Toyota. To keep things fresh, part of Scion's mission statement was supposed to be a "one and done" marketing approach, Hollis said. That meant Scion models were supposed to stick around for only one generation and be replaced by new nameplates. The Scion xB and tC proved too popular to abandon; both models are now in their second generation.

By Colin Bird | April 23, 2012 | Comments (35)

40 mpg Ford Fiesta, Other Small Cars Flounder

Automakers quickly turned to small cars when gas hit $4 a gallon in 2008. Folks everywhere downsized, trading in giant SUVs for traditional compacts and the latest subcompacts, like the Toyota Yaris. The trend prompted Ford to bring its best global small car to the U.S., the Ford Fiesta, while it looked to beef up its compact, the Focus, to be a more premium offering. This trend of subcompact and larger compact is being seen across the industry.

The Fiesta has been on sale for a few months with a full inventory on most lots. (There are more than 9,000 in Cars.com’s national inventory.) However, the Fiesta isn’t setting the sales world on fire, and the rest of the segment isn’t, either.

By David Thomas | December 7, 2010 | Comments (35)

Cars.com Podcast: How We Picked Our College-Car Winner

College Cars

Last week, we published our latest Cars.comparison that pitted three small cars against each other in a battle for the best pick for those heading to college. In this week’s podcast, editors Joe Wiesenfelder, Kelsey Mays and Mike Hanley discuss the reasons why the Honda Fit outdid the all-new Ford Fiesta and the Scion xD in the three-car faceoff.

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By David Thomas | September 10, 2010 | Comments (2)

Cars.comparison: Off-to-College Cars

With the start of a new school year, kids across America are packing their things to head back to their far-flung homes of learning. For students who are tired of relying on mom and dad to tow their possessions back and forth from college, we just reviewed three great subcompacts – the 2011 Ford Fiesta, 2010 Honda Fit and 2010 Scion xD – that they can use to drive themselves. Continuing reading our latest Cars.comparison to see which vehicle is best for you.

Cars.comparison: Off-to-College Cars




By Colin Bird | September 2, 2010 | Comments (8)

What Affordable Car Works Best With iPod?

The iPod — on its own or as part of the iPhone — is the go-to music accessory for most car owners. Automakers have paid attention and integrated iPod connectivity via digital means, namely USB ports. But not every model does as good a job as others.

That’s what we tested when three affordable, USB-equipped models came into our fleet for a mileage challenge: the 2011 Ford Fiesta, 2010 Honda Fit and 2010 Scion xD. And after the long drive, not everyone was impressed with these cars’ aptitude for rocking a playlist. Editor Joe Bruzek and I took them out back to the digital shed to get down and dirty.  

We didn’t go about this lightly. We brought an iPod Classic, an iPhone 3G, a generic MP3 player from iRiver and a USB flash drive loaded with songs to see how well each vehicle handled music playback. We even used complicated scoring sheets that we dutifully filled out but the scores were so close and so lackluster they only illustrated that none of the contenders won us over.
By David Thomas | July 6, 2010 | Comments (6)

Mileage Challenge 6.3: Final Thoughts

Tooling around in four subcompacts all day to rack up miles for our latest Mileage Challenge left us with many comparisons between the 2011 Ford Fiesta SES, 2010 Honda Fit Sport, 2010 Nissan Cube Krom and 2010 Scion xD. Some impressed us and some did not. Below, we share which cars stood out and our picks if we have to spend another day behind the wheel of one of these subcompacts.
By Joe Bruzek | July 1, 2010 | Comments (5)

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