2012 His and Hers Reviews

If you've ever wondered if men and women look for different things in their next seat of wheels, you've come to the right place. Automobile Journal executive editor Don Hammonds and Automobile Journal writer Anne Fleming, who also has her own popular website, Women-Drivers.com, have teamed up to write their own column, published in newspapapers and websites across the country to provide gender-specific reviews of new cars and trucks. In this report, you will find coverage of 2012  Toyota Camry Hybrid, Dodge Avenger, Volvo oXC60, Dodge Charger, Mazda3, Kia Soul, Toyota Prius V, Honda Civic Hybrid, Kia Rio, Jeep Wrangler and Ford Focus. Read and enjoy!
2012 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4x4
Women pay less for auto insurance - It's a Fact. Compare car insurance companies and learn about online discounts.
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
HER HIS
Price
MSRP: $33,480 MSRP: Our test drive Sahara with Premium package came to $33,480; base is $27,970
Performance
                        The 2012 new 2-door Wrangler Sahara is a four-wheel drive. A more powerful engine than it's predecessor, the 2012 kicks in with  290-horsepower and a new 3.6-liter V-6 engine. It's also available in a standard transmission six-speed manual. Smart and quick acceleration. Steering occurred to me as loose on occasion, but generally it handled well - especially in the snow storm that arrived mid week of our test drive.                           The Sahara is equipped with a 3.6 liter V-6, with 285 horsepower and a five speed automatic. It had a base price of, and equipped with start, the price came to $33,480. The pitching and bucking that you have to endure when you hit a rough patch or a pothole with the Wrangler Sahara, which has live axles front and back, aren't exactly enjoyable either. And the steering felt uncertain and required correction often, too.
Fuel Economy
                        17 city /21 highway                         The fuel mileage rating is 17/21 - but we were hard-pressed to get 14 to 15 miles per gallon in city driving, and an average of 17 miles on the highway. The fuel consumption was a problem for our staffers, and the resulting expenses would make it a rather costly proposition for families that travel on a daily basis.
The Car
                        Ok, so I needed a pole vault to get in the vehicle - that is a mere technicality. I found a new patented way to grab the steering wheel and hoist myself inside. Then there was the task of reeeeeaaaaching over to shut the door - entirely another matter. Not smooth. Not smart. Doesn't work so well. I thought a remote control to shut the door could be in order. Electronic stability control with roll control, traction control, brake assist, tire pressure monitors, air conditioning and Hill Smart Assist are standard on all Wranglers. Other safety features include remote keyless entry, power window, and a security alarm. When I put my yoga gear in the back 'trunk' there was no light to see the space allotted and how and where to put my things. So I just pushed and prodded till everything fit; a light would certainly assist.                            It's so much better than its predecessors in many ways. Like all cars and trucks, it should be judged on its merits in comparison to its peers on the market, and on that basis, we think it's one of the best buys you can make if you're into off roading, and don't require it to be useful for everyday purposes for a family.  Still, we concentrate heavily on how products perform on a daily basis, not on just one mode of operation like off-roading. We expect our test vehicles to meet the needs in a way that would be expected by most people, and on that score, the Wrangler Sahara just simply did not work. The four door Jeep products, and there are several, make far better choices for those of us with kids. The positives of the Wrangler Sahara were many:  It was far quieter than any Jeep Wrangler we've ever driven, as long as you were on a fairly smooth surface. Secondly, it was much better built than any Wrangler we've driven in the past.  There were way fewer rattles, loose threads and flimsy material issues than we've experienced with other Wranglers. Luggage space? Behind the back seat, you may be able to get a duffel bag or two or perhaps a couple of grocery bags, but that's about it.
Technology
                        Technology on this model include a device that shows how eco-friendly the vehicle is driving (which isn't so eco), and an outdoor temperature gauge. Great connectivity and beach music can all be afforded with Bluetooth, My GIG music storage and Sirius Satellite. All enjoyed through Infinity's  7 surround sound speakers.                            The premium package options include the connectivity group, heated seats , a body-color three piece hardtop, a media center with navigation and a remote starter.
Aesthetics & Styling
                        Brighter colors really work for this unique, boxy and very rugged vehicle that has a look all to itself. For the outdoor enthusiast, the doors are removable and the windshield folds down; as well as the top. Chrysler really amped up this classic for 2012. The flashy colors and functional, on-trend interior really work. The instrument panels are designed and colored well, not so military like. I appreciated the elbow rests and ability to move the seat and the steering wheel to accommodate me - rather than in years past having to find creative ways to make my size work when driving this model. It has the appearance and feel of a very comfortable sedan on the inside.                         The interior is much more pulled together, more durable, and more attractive too.  The design and look of the dashboard-except for the relatively small, narrow glove box-was a particular strong point, looking way more upscale and being much more functional than past models.  The hard work put in by the Jeep team was clearly obvious in this 2012 model. However, getting in and out of the vehicle was a challenge. Even with a running board, the narrow door openings on this two door, the steep and rather obstructive step-down you have to negotiate to even get in the seat, and the contortions you have to go through to get two small children in the back seat, much less to get them buckled in which requires turning completely around in your already narrow space, and the balkiness of the handles to fold the front seats forward just made every trip a chore.
Warranty
                        5 Year, 100,000 Power train Warranty                         5 years - 100,000 Powertrain

Her and His Reviews

February 2012
2012 Ford Focus SEL 5-Door Hatchback
Women pay less for auto insurance - It's a Fact. Compare car insurance companies and learn about online discounts.
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
HER HIS
Price
MSRP: $24,250 MSRP: $24,250
Performance
                         This 6 speed automatic hatchback is propelled by a 2.0 liter, 160 horsepower engine. Independent rear suspension and great pick up and handling are in order.  Steering is compact and responsive. Gave the car a real test on the highway as we packed up and sped off to Bedford Springs @OMNI Hotels. For 2.5 hours each way the Focus drove well, albeit abit loud for my taste.                            2.0 liter, 160 horsepower four, attached to a six speed dual clutch automated manual. Power was brisk and lusty, but the awful six speed dual clutch automated manual, with its jerkiness, roughness and searching for the right setting was a real pain in the behind. Ford's now heard about this from many car writers and consumers, and I am confident they will do something about all this. I just hope it is soon.
Fuel Economy
                        27 city/37 highway.  The cap-less filler is flush with body of car and looks very clean.                         Great!  27/37 and annual estimated fuel costs of $1,454 based on 15,000 miles of driving at $3 a gallon for gasoline.
The Car
                        The car is completely redesigned and looks great. It is not one of the least expensive models in this class by any stretch; however, Ford has added a lot to make it more compelling.  The exterior is more aggressive and sporty and the inside, with My Ford Touch and Srirus, is well laid out and functionally easy to use, albeit tight. A single person or a couple with one child will most likely be the owner as space is a premium. The back seats easily give way to more luggage room with just the touch of a button. Also available in a sedan.                         The Focus is a beautifully designed, robust, "street racer" of a compact car that has a lot going for it--terrific styling that makes it look like its in  motion standing still, a gorgeous interior--if you get the top line models, not the one we tested-- and fabulous fuel economy. But it has issues. Interior room is very tight, and almost nonexistent in the rear seat, the interior of our SEL looked plain and dowdy next to competitors, and the price was too high for what you get.  For an optioned SEL you can get a number of top line compact sedans, and that suggests Ford needs to re-think its pricing. And as I said earlier, the tranny needs to be smoothed out--or dropped completely for another transmission that provides comparable economy.
Safety
                        The Focus has standard torque vectoring control - which adds stability to the car by the addition of brake force to wheels on one side when the car is turning. What is highly unique about this is the Focus is the first in its class to have this feature. Child safety rear door locks, driver and passenger airbags/curtains, anti-theft alarm, and tire pressure monitor system. MyKey restricts vehicle speed and stereo volume for your teen driver - a wonderful feature.                         The Focus has the usual gear: Airbags, anti-lock brakes, child safety rear door locks,  and if you don't mind paying for it, an optional system that allows the car to park itself.
Technology
                        Electronic stability control, MyFordTouch integration of communication/NAV/entertainment, Sirius satellite radio, andi-lock braking system.                           Advancetrac with electronic stability control, MyFordTouch (still way too complicated and awkward to operate smoothly without pulling over to the side of the road), antilock brakes, Easy fuel cap-less filler, etc.
Aesthetics & Styling
                        An all new sporty and athletic styling. Its chief competitor is the Elantra in its class, though the Fit and the Mazda3 also compete.                         It's a good looking, go-fast car, much like the European Focus it's based on. But I wonder if this styling, and that of cars like the Hyundai Elantra, will hold up against more classically appealing cars like the Chevy Cruze.
Warranty
                        3 year, 36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper and 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty                         3 year, 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty, and 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty.

Her and His Reviews

February 2012
2012 Dodge Charger SXT Plus AWD
Women pay less for auto insurance - It's a Fact. Compare car insurance companies and learn about online discounts.
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
HER HIS
Price
MSRP:$35,820 MSRP:$35,820
Performance
                         The engine is 3.6 liter, 292 horsepower V-6. It is powerful and brisk, absolute pickup and smoothness in sound and motion. An 8-speed automatic with innovative e-shifter transmission.                           3.6 liter, 292 horsepower V-6. Engine really moves this car quickly, and the deep sounds coming from the exhaust are exhilarating to say the least.
Fuel Economy
                        18 city and 27 highway; one of the best in this class.                         18 city and 27 highway, with the all new, smooth and precise eight speed automatic with "E shifter."  This and the all new V-6 really dramatically transform the Dodge Charger.
The Car
                        The 2012 Charger drove like a Lexus, absolutely, no kidding. Chrysler has done a transformative job with the vehicle and puts this traditional 'muscle' car' in a sphere of its own. It was an unconditional pleasure to drive the Charger - in the city, in the snow, on the turnpike. I even had the chance to extemporaneously interview 3 police officers who each were driving the Charger - and they said how much they enjoy driving such a reliable and quick vehicle.  Nonetheless, me thinks the amenities and accessories on the inside of their Charger are a tad bit different than mine! This vehicle rivals family cars it never has before, with ample space for the kids in tow, as the roomy inside is welcoming. The layout of the interior is a delight with luxurious touch points including the nappa red leather seats. The 8-way power driver's seats with lumbar adjust promises a comfortable ride. Love this stitching and of course, the adjustable heated seats. Powertilt steering wheel for personalized driving ease. Plenty of organization and room for cups, bottles, and tea/coffee mugs. Use the sunroof in the warmer climate days. No shortage of cargo room in the cavernous trunk.                           I really can't say enough for how wonderful this car is.  It's built solidly, has its own distinct All-American personality, has a strong sense of heritage, is almost insanely economical considering its size, and is a vast, vast improvement over anything Chrysler has done over the last few decades. I absolutely did not want to give it back!
Safety
                        The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the Charger a top choice out of five stars in various crash test. The blind spot monitoring system and forward collision warnings worked flawlessly - real plus safety features. Multi airbags/curtain, traction control, stability control, all wheel drive and  lane change warning system included.                         The usual airbags, traction control, stability control, all wheel drive, lane change warning system, etc.
Technology
                        The dash is laid out cleanly, starting with the 8.4" touch screen display , Uconnect voice commands through Bluetooth, remote USB, 6 premium speakers and satellite radio allowed for an auto-jam-fest.                            Standard equipment is generous, eight way power seat, heated front seats, rear arm rest with cup holder, satellite radio, UConnect voice command with Bluetooth, stability control and traction control, hill start assist and a 19.1 gallon gasoline tank. There's also rain brake support and "ready alert braking," too. With options, our tester priced out at $35,820, including options like a technology group package with blind sport with rear cross path  detection,  approach lamps, rain sensitive windshield washers, auto adjust in reverse exterior mirrors, power adjustable pedals with memory, power tilt/telescoping steering column, heated steering wheel, adaptive speed control, sunroof, and a host of other features.
Aesthetics & Styling
                        This year's Charger takes some of the design elements from the 60's and interfaces them newly into a 2012! The grill is as sturdy, strong and sexy a boilerplate as any on the market. Exceptional job with this vehicle all the way around.                         Way cool!  It looks tough, menacing, and all-American.  Really hits the spot
Warranty
                        5 year, 100,000 mile power train warranty 3 year, 36,000 mile basic limited warranty with 24 hour towing assistance - restrictions applies, ask Dealer.                         5 year, 100,000 mile power train warranty 3 year, 36,000 mile basic limited warranty with 24 hour towing assistance - restrictions apply, ask Dealer.

Her and His Reviews

March 2012
2012 Kia Rio EX 5-Door
 
Women pay less for auto insurance - It's a Fact. Compare car insurance companies and learn about online discounts.
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com  
March 2012
2012 Volkswagen Beetle
Women pay less for auto insurance - It's a Fact. Compare car insurance companies and learn about online discounts.
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
HER HIS
Price
MSRP: $29,865 MSRP: $29,865 but it starts at $19,765
Performance
                      The Beetle has a 2.5 liter, 170 horsepower engine.   Comfortable and agile handling. It snowed 1.5" early on a Saturday morning and the car did not budge one iota with me attempting to get the car out of my driveway - which has a slight and whopping grade of about 4 - 5%.                           2.5 liter, 170 horsepower I-5.  The Beetle was a blast to drive wherever we were, and acceleration, handling and cornering were all quite noteworthy.
Fuel Economy
                        22 city/30 highway                         22/30, but I think those figures were conservative.  Ours was more like 24, and we had plenty of gasoline left over after some pretty grueling driving.
The Car
                        Well, gusty is in and so VW took some of the 'femininity' out of the styling - in and out. On the outside, designers made it wider and a more aggressive stance. On the inside they took away the flower power holder. No more flowers. Krishna! It's been a chic car for years - let's see how the numbers and breakdown of buyers increases and shifts for VW. More interior space as well as larger seats in the back. Split rear seats for expanded cargo space.                           Based upon VW's venerable and delightful Golf, the new 2012 Beetle has been given a heavy dose of muscle power, via wider stance, bigger fenders,  a more masculine feel, and plenty of heritage cues dating back to the first VW Beetle. Everybody-male or female--loved it.
Safety
                        It tested well in front crash tests and for rollover risk. The "Intelligent Crash Response" system automatically shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors and turns on the hazard lights in the case of an accident.  Front side and side curtain airbags, traction & stability control, and ABS.                         You get ABS, front side and side curtain airbags, traction & stability control, and a crash response system that shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors and activates the hazard lights in case of a severe collision
Technology
                        Great mix of tech is packed in this model. NAV, rear view camera, etc.                            The usual stuff: full power accessories, climate control, six speed automatic, nice NAV and audio setup, 2.0 liter turbo charged version putting out 200 horsepower is available. But it's the little stuff I loved: dual glove boxes, elastic straps across door pockets that allow you to put in more stuff, split rear seats, and the best entry and accessibility that I've seen yet on a two door sedan.
Aesthetics & Styling
                        The overall look remains iconic Beetle. No worries, ladies  -  it still  remains sassy.                         The Beetle still has it after all these years. It looks a lot more robust, and quite a bit more contemporary, but is still a Beetle.

March 2012

2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
Women pay less for auto insurance - It's a Fact. Compare car insurance companies and learn about online discounts.
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
HER HIS
Price
MSRP: $27,500 MSRP: $27,500
Performance
                        This hybrid has just 110 horsepower and has an I-VTEC four cylinder engine. The vehicle - while getting top scores in fuel economy - was slow getting up our hometown hills.   Handling is unresponsive and broad.                           110 horsepower  I-VTEC four cylinder engine mated to continuously variable automatic transmission.  Acceleration isn't bad, and it moves pretty briskly on the road. Handling, as you would expect from Honda is sporty and fun to drive---not your typical hybrid.  But--there were issues with refinement; there were times when the engine felt jerky and reluctant to tackle hills, and the transmission's searching for the right setting didn't help, either.
Fuel Economy
                        Fuel economy is impressive up almost 10% this year to 44 city and 44 highways - a great buy for this reason alone as well are in now in the $4 a gallon world.  Interestingly, this hybrid comes out of the gate at a higher ticket than Toyota and their flagship hybrid, the Prius, which gets about 48 - 51 mpg. A miss.                         44/44, with estimated annual fuel costs at $1,022 based on 15,000 miles and $3 a gallon gas (Remember $3 a gallon gas?  I don't!)
The Car
                        The redesign is clean and the size is (actually) larger than last year's model. Its abit boring and bland next to its competitors. The Civic, a best seller for years for Honda, has created its own challenge. While appealing, this price point has much to choose from and there are def more stylish, bigger and option-heavy cars available. Leather seats afford a comfortable ride and there is ample leg room for any back seat drivers.                           Pleasant, dependable, fun to drive are the positive aspects of the Civic Hybrid.  But the interior presentation and materials left a lot to be desired, and the styling is just plain dull. Time to get some new stylists and fresh ideas, Honda!
Safety
                        Honda scored well on the IIHS crash and rollover tests; their Honda's new ACE body structure is a key factor. Driver and passenger airbags and side airbags. Side curtain airbags. ABS. Vehicle stability assists. Electronic brake distribution. LATCH system for child seats.                         Honda's much celebrated ACE body structure leads a long list of terrific safety features that also included vehicle stability assist, anti-lock brakes, front and rear crumple zones, etc.
Technology
                        Nice tech touches include NAV system, Satellite, Bluetooth, power windows and doors, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, 160 watt AM/FM radio/CD player and USB connection. MP3, USB connection and auxiliary input jack.                            Standard features include full power accessories like brakes, steering and windows, vehicle stability assist, electronic brake distribution, Honda's well regarded ACE Body structure, an easy to use navigation system, satellite radio, a 160 watt AM/FM/ CD audio system with six speakers including MP3/wma playback, climate control, cruise control, a maintenance minder system and a host of other items.
Aesthetics & Styling
                        Re-designed this '12 year - while, generally appealing, it is getting lots amongst its many competitors at this price point. Interior laid out well, but again, styling is bland.                         Shrug.  Just wasn't happening for me.  Sorry.

March 2012
2012 Toyota Prius V
Women pay less for auto insurance - It's a Fact. Compare car insurance companies and learn about online discounts.
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
HER HIS
Price
MSRP: $36,555.00 MSRP: $26,400 to $29,990, base price, but options can send that price skyrocketing. Be careful! Ours topped out at over $36,000!
Performance
                        Now, in the wagon version, the v has 134 horsepower and a 1.8 Liter four cylinder engine. As consistent as its' counterpart, the Prius, expect a good, reliable and steady ride.                         1.8 Liter four cylinders with 134 horsepower.  CVT transmission.  Driving the Prius v is a smooth, buttery experience. Not any drama.  Just capable, adequate acceleration.
Fuel Economy
                        44 city/40 highway.                         MPG ratings of  44/40
The Car
                        Toyota did a fine thing. They took a good thing and made gave it an option - more room. What I love about the Toyota Prius is the consistency of this vehicle. Since Toyota first began selling this model in the US some 11 years ago, the overall look has changed relatively little. In a world and industry where the 'next redesign' looks smarter, sleeker and sometimes with little bridge from its predecessor, Toyota has created the anti-redesign redesign; and I applaud them for it. It's no exception then, that v fits into the family brilliantly. With more room in the wagon version, the interior has the same cubic space as the Rav 4. Quite a compliment to the v.  17" allow wheels support the frame and the family, offering a bit more in steering control. A fully loaded interior and ample, comfortable space and leg room for five. The 60/40 split folding rear seats are easy to use and allow for a lot more cargo room with just a 'touch, or, tug' if you will.                           The Prius v is roomy, well-equipped, economical, and pretty cool looking, too. Lots of good stuff here. The headrests hit you just right, and there's plenty of stretch- out room, too. And since the rear seat reclines up to 45 degrees and slides too, it's especially cool for a nap for passengers en route to their destination. The 60/40 split, folding rear seats present four different seat arrangements that provide excellent usability for passengers and luggage, while a fold-flat front-passenger seat allows for extremely long cargo. Also available, and a Toyota-first, is a resin Panoramic View moon roof with power retractable sun shades that provides an open atmosphere in the cabin with a 40-percent reduction in weight as compared to conventional glass roofs of the same size, and heat insulation performance. We had one on our tester, and it really made the car feel airy and sunny, with fantastic views of rare blue Pittsburgh skies for everyone aboard. We loved it!  The Prius v has room for five, and the rear seat is particularly comfy for long trips.
Safety
                        The IIHS gives the 2012 Toyota Prius a 5/5 stars overall. It performed very well in crash tests. Standard features include traction control; anti-lock brakes, brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, and tire pressure monitoring system. It's equipped with seven (7) airbags. The pre-collision system engages the seatbelts tighter and applies the brakes if the system deems that a front-on accident is unavoidable. Safety Connect includes automatic collision notification, roadside assistance, stolen vehicle locator, and an emergency SOS button. Like "Lifeline" for the road!                         For a high level of safety, there are seven airbags, a high-strength cabin and an energy-absorbing body structure with impact beams, cross members and leg absorption pads. New driver and front-passenger seat design helps lessen possible whiplash injury during a collision.
Technology
                        Toyota is taking it Ford (and learning from their very complicated MyTouch system which has buyers returning to the dealers) with Entune - a multimedia system also developed by Bing and Microsoft.   Using the system you can link into support for mobile apps, such as OpenTable (tacking 15,000 restaurants), Bing, and movietickets.com, along with accessing useful travel-related services, such as live weather, traffic, stocks, sports, etc. Entune also includes support for read-back and replay capabilities for text messages.  Push Button Start, an electronic shift lever, Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), and a back-up camera are standard.                            Lots and lots of it.  Let's start with Entune. Entune multi-media system. The system uses the mobile phone to provide a richer in-vehicle experience with fully integrated and wireless upgradeable navigation, entertainment and information services. Using the system you can link into support for engaging mobile apps, such as Bing, OpenTable, and movietickets.com, along with accessing useful travel-related services, such as live weather, traffic, fuel information (location and price), stocks, news and sports. We found the system to be pretty easy to use, and certainly way more usable than Ford's confusing and complex MyTouch system. Toyota promises that it will also emit 66-percent fewer smog-forming emissions than the average new vehicle. Four driving modes (Normal, Power, Eco and EV) satisfy a variety of road conditions and driver preferences.  A Smart Key System with Push Button Start, an electronic shift lever, Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), and a back-up camera are standard. Available options include energy-efficient LED headlamps, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with a Pre-Collision System (PCS), and Advanced Parking Guidance System.
Aesthetics & Styling
                        Looks a bit like a stretched, futuristic Prius wagon--not a bad thing at all. It's got instant product recognition, that's for sure.                         Looks a bit like a stretched, futuristic Prius wagon--not a bad thing at all. It's got instant product recognition, that's for sure.
Warranty
                        24 mo./25,000 miles Roadside Assistance, Maintenance, Accessories. 60 mo/60,000 miles Power train. 96 mo/100,000 miles Hybrid Electrical Components                         24 mo./25,000 miles Roadside Assistance, Maintenance, Accessories. 60 mo/60,000 miles Power train. 96 mo/100,000 miles Hybrid Electrical Components

Her and His Reviews

May 2012
2012 Kia Soul
Women pay less for auto insurance - It's a Fact. Compare car insurance companies and learn about online discounts.
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
HER HIS
Price
MSRP: $20,350 MSRP: $20,350 with no options--and none needed, frankly.
Performance
                        Wow - has the Soul come a long way.  Considered quirky and unvetted just years ago, this model now gets a Consumer Reports Recommended rating. How about those apples? For that matter, the KIA brand has come a long way.  This year the vehicle now showcases a six-speed transmission, an amped engine that delivers 164 horsepower and has some get-up-and-go.  With the 2.0 liter engine, the vehicle has practicality, fun and features for the family.  Sported on the road by 18" alloy wheels.                         Equipped with the 2.0 liter four with 164 horsepower, the Soul! really scoots, both on the highway and in traffic.  No concerns whatsoever here.  The ride is taut, but might also feel stiff and harsh to some sensitive tushies.  But I didn't care. I loved it anyway.
Fuel Economy
                        26 city and 34 highway - an improvement from 2011.                         26/34. Okay, but not great.  There are other subcompacts that get better mileage--but on the other hand, you won't find many of those others as cool looking as the Soul.  But Soul hasn't hit the 40 mpg highway mark that seems to be the price of entry these days--and that may hurt sales a bit. Estimated fuel costs: About $1,553 a year based on 15,000 miles at  $3 a gallon
The Car
                        The Soul is a great buy for a single woman or younger family with its roomy seats in the back, cargo space and organization. At its price point, the Soul is one of the most affordable small cars on the market offering tremendous value and features. The loudness in the interior from previous years is now mitigated somewhat so it's no longer a complete challenge to have a conversation with the kids in the back or when speaking on your Bluetooth.                           The Soul is a terrific choice for urban drivers.  It's small but roomy, has easy entry and exit and a low lift over for the hatchback area, and it's chock full of little storage areas and nooks and crannies.  The interior is quite well finished, with materials and presentation that suggest a more expensive car.   It has lots of personality, and of course, those unique looks--which I loved.
Safety
                        ABS, Hill Assist control, Traction control and VSM (Vehicle stability management). Also standard are dual front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags. Front active headrests and Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children.  Excellent crash tests for the 2012 model.                         Equipment includes dual front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, anti lock brakes, electronic stability control, traction control and vehicle stability management. Hill assist control also is standard.
Technology
                        Remote keyless entry, Bluetooth for hands free driving, AM/FM /CD/MP3 audio system, UVO In-vehicle "info-tainment" systemâ??which is voice controlled for iPod and cell phone usage.  Always a great feature we love in smaller vehicle, the 60/40 split rear seats offers maximum storage and cargo room.   Tilt and telescopic steering column deliver a customized drive for you. Sunroof is included, also.                            Here's what you get at no charge: The 2.0 liter four cylinder with a six speed automatic transmission, a combo which nets 26/34 miles per gallon, and has an annual estimated fuel cost of $1,553 based on 15,000 miles of driving at $3 a gallon. Electric power steering, alloy wheels, front seat mounted a side airbags, full length side curtain airbags, front antilock brakes, traction and stability control, vehicle stability management AND hill-start assist control. All standard. And there's more. Air conditioning, power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, AM/FM /CD/MP3 audio system, UVO In-vehicle infotainment system--a voice control system for your iPod, cell phone and other equipment, cruise control, 60/40 split rear seats. Bluetooth wireless technology. Tilt and telescopic steering column. Leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob. Power tilt and slide sunroof.
Aesthetics & Styling
                        The Soul delivers a forward exterior design with a sense of meeting between styling and contemporary strength. The interior layout is clean and uncluttered, with vast room as well as height for all sizes.                         Fun. Muscular. Young and young at heart.
Warranty
                        The Soul comes with a 10 year/100,000 mile limited warranty on the power train, five year/60,000 mile limited basic warranty, and a five year, 60,000 mile roadside assistance program.                         The Soul comes with a 10 year/100,000 mile limited warranty on the powertrain, five year/60,000 mile limited basic warranty, and a five year,60,000 mile roadside assistance program.

May 2012
2012 Mazda 3
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                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
HER HIS
Price
MSRP: $24,495.  And, without options: $22,550 MSRP: $24,495
Performance
                        With "Zoom Zoom" and a smile, how can this car not be fun to drive? The power train consist of 156 horsepower and the new SKYACTIV Technology make this 4 cylinder engine in the best selling Mazda vehicle great in terms of fuel efficiency and still a great handler. The 6 speed sport with manual shift mode are there for the guys (do women really need this?) who love the feel of a stick.                         Needless to say, it's sparkling. Mazda3 has been at the top of the heap for some time in the compact car field, and the 2012 model is no exception.  Acceleration is instantaneous, braking is sure and safe, and handling is darned good, too. The engine is a 2.0 liter, 155 horsepower four cylinder with Mazda's much touted Skyactiv system. Lots of torque and oomph on hand here. More on this in the technology section below.
Fuel Economy
                        28 city and an average of 40 highway miles. Outstanding fuel efficiency.                         Mazda cracks the 40 miles per gallon on the highway barrier with aplomb, thanks to the Skyactiv system
The Car
                        Mazda has up'd the ante with the SKYACTIV engine and this great selling model is a top ranked for those who want great fuel economy and still want some kick in the car.  It is not the car for tall passengers, or a big family - it's a compact - so know that from the get-go. Nice dashboard and clean combination of satin and black matte plastic combo to give it a 'techy' feel. The 16" alloy wheels are an 'expected' on a sports model. Four adult passengers or three children in rear max. Great visibility in the car. What helps is the Tech Package: for $1400 the Blind Spot monitoring and alert warnings are like another set of eyes.                           Mazda3 demonstrates capably that you can have it all on a compact car. It's quite luxurious inside, with soft, supportive leather seats, nice matte black finishes, a console and dash that are angled nicely to give a sense of piloting a jet in a cozy cockpit setting. Lovely indeed, and expensive looking.  Outside, the styling is understated and elegant, and has worn well over the years.  Overall, I'd call it a Baby BMW Three Series.
Safety
                        This model scores 4 stars out of 5 from the Insurance Institute for Highways Safety. Included are anti-lock brakes, brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, traction and stability control and dynamic stability control. Lots of airbags are in this compact including Front airbags, front side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags are standard. Remote keyless entry, 24 hour roadside assistance and front and rear stabilizer bar.  LATCH Child Safety Seat Anchors. Rain sensing front wipers and the blind Spot warning alert system is extra.                         All the requisite bells and whistles here such as side airbags, traction control, stability control, etc. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Technology
                        Frankly, the Mazda3 is competing with highway mileage found in hybrids - that cost thousands of dollars more. For younger families and urbanites, this is a great and affordable choice.  The height-adjustable driver seat and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel allow for customized driving. Being an "arm-rest" driver (a must have feature), I am happy for the sliding armrest in the front. Though not a big car, the 60/40 split-folding rear seat afford some extra cargo space.  NAVIGATION system, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and surround sound Bose -speaker system are included.  Heated front seat and a sunroof are standard. Sirius XM radio subscription for 4 months.  Auxiliary input jack included.  Pollen filter in the air conditioner a real plus.                            Clearly, the most important thing here is the Skyactiv system. There are many components and features that make up the Skyactiv system. First the Mazda team found many parts and components within their 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine that were not operating as efficiently as possible, and some exhaustive changes were made to upgrade and improve them.  It all comes together to make a tremendous difference in the car's performance and economy. Standard features on our top of the line Grand Touring model includes power mirrors, power windows, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, air-conditioning, power locks, keyless entry, an outside temperature display, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, a rear-seat center armrest, a trip computer, Bluetooth (phone and audio streaming), and a sunroof. Other standard equipment includes a sunroof, 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system, heated mirrors, an eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats, leather upholstery, a sliding front center armrest, a color trip computer and a navigation system.
Aesthetics & Styling
                        Who can resist that smile-of-a-grill coming at you? It is so eye-catching and distinct. The clean exterior and interior make this universal design appealing.  Touch points are all nice effects and dials are all within reach. And steering wheel-mounted audio controls help with keeping two hands on the wheel and two eyes on the road.                         Quite lovely looking, but the styling has been around a bit, and with all the other brands changing their compacts rapidly, it's probably time to replace the current Mazda3, or at the very least, update it.
Warranty
                        Basic Coverage: 3 yr./36,000 mi. Drive train: 5 yr./60,000 mi.  Roadside Assistance: 3 yr./36,000 mi.                         Basic Coverage: 3 yr. / 36,000 mi. Drivetrain: 5 yr. / 60,000 mi.  Roadside Assistance: 3 yr. / 36,000 mi.

May 2012

2012 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD
 
Women pay less for auto insurance - It's a Fact. Compare car insurance companies and learn about online discounts.
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
HER HIS
Price
MSRP: $52,875 MSRP: Test driven $ 52,675. Base price of $43,700
Performance
                        Am absolutely beautiful vehicle. With remarkable 325 horespower and quick and nimble pick up, the turbocharged six cylinder engine rides as if on ice - smooth, extraordinarily smooth. The dream family machine can haul what is needed without sacrifice or stalling with its 364 feet of torque. The heaviness does impair the fuel efficiency with a disappointingly low 20 mpg.                         Standard features include a lusty 3.0 liter, 325 horsepower, turbocharged six cylinder engine, with continuous variable valve timing and a twin scroll turbocharged system. The engine has 364 pound/ feet of of torque, and it's backed by a six speed automatic with adaptive shift logic. The standard equipment list also includes stability control and traction control, independent front and rear suspension, and a "Ready Alert" braking system.  The XC60 T6 R-Design feels like a solid, heavy automobile. Until you hit the accelerator. The engine immediately reacts, and you'd best hold on. Learning modulation on the accelerator is a must with this one. Published reports suggest a seven second zero to sixty time, and we wouldn't doubt it. The muscle's all there.
Fuel Economy
                        17 city and 23 highways mpg make lots of room for improvement available to Volvo engineers. The clock is ticking.                         Fuel economy is just "meh," however. Though it's rated at 17/23 with a combined city/highway rating of 20 mpg, we got a bit less with ours, and there are competitors that do better on this score.
The Car
                        Volvo is trying to muscle and vie its way from a premium brand to the top luxury brand by 2020. With their 2012 XC 60 model, they are certainly on course. Impeccable Volvo-defined style leads the way with the XC60. Performance and panache are equally touted.  Volvo engineers think of everything. Contemporary auto designs allow for an awful lot of blind spots for today's drivers. The fact that the rear seat head restraints lower with the push of a button allows for the driver to have maximum visibility. What a plus when merging in and out of traffic.  All supported by 20" Alloy wheels. Fantastic cargo space for all the families needs.  A 2012 Women-Drivers.com Favorite.                           What's your idea of luxury in a car? Is it flash and bling? Aggressive-looking beauty? Understated elegance? How about architectural drama, subtlety and contemporary flair? If you have an eye for Scandinavian modernity, striking profile, and a complete absence of bling, we have your next luxury crossover: Volvo's 2012 XC60 T6 All-Wheel Drive. Included special R-Designed features like 20 inch five spoke wheels with all season tires, R-Design sport chassis, silk metal chrome plated skid plate and dual tailpipes, color-matched lower body moldings with matte finishes, R-design leather seats with accent inserts, grille with R-Design logo, "Blue Watch" Dial instrument cluster, R-Design aluminum inlays and aluminum sport pedals and a perforated leather sport steering wheel.
Safety
                        The brand known for absolute safety over the decades continues to prove its worthiness and status in this category. The Volvo XC60 is the only SUV/crossover with an IIHS Top Safety Pick and an overall "5 star" safety rating. This is quite a feat, considering the other top rated brands and safety engineering that goes into competing models.   Volvo City Safety can prevent an estimate 25% of low-speed crashes says the IIHS with the independent application of the brakes. Driving throughout Interstates 76 and 79, the Collision Avoidance optional features provides a warning when drivers leave their lane unintentionally, a warning for blind spots, and rear parking assist. I experienced this first hand at 7 pm approaching the Squirrel Hills Tunnels. With the sound alert, I was warned of an immediate stop of traffic (due to an accident) even before my eyes registered the 'stop'. Because of this fabulous feature, I was able to avoid the car ahead of me.  Home Safe Perimeter lighting, LED tail lights and intelligent driver information system add to the safety of this SUV and how it supports the driver. LATCH safety feature and Tire Pressure Monitoring System included.                         Those who are familiar with Volvo and its history and traditions know that the brand is best known for its emphasis on safety. The standard City Safety feature alone is worth its weight in gold. It allows the XC60 to, independent of the driver, put on the brakes if you're moving below certain speeds, to avoid an accident or at least lessen the damage allows the XC60 to autonomously apply its brakes below certain speeds to prevent or lessen damage if you're unable to avoid an accident. We'd like to give a "shout out" to the optional Collision Avoidance package. It gives you a lane-departure warning system, a blind-spot warning system, adaptive cruise control and other forms of assistance, all valuable to have. Our test car validated its safety prowess over and over. If somebody in front of us stopped suddenly, we were instantly alerted via flashing red lights and a warning buzzer as the car automatically braked for us. If a car was approaching us too closely-a common problem in crowded, narrow-streets of Pittsburgh- we were warned about that, too, via the car's amazing safety systems. And the seats were designed in a way that the head restraints were not uncomfortable, and looked terrific. As you can surmise, the safety equipment is extensive, and includes things like an adaptive steering wheel column safe approach and Home Safe Perimeter lighting system, intelligent driver information system, rear foglight and LED accent taillights. Optional equipment included the collision warning system with full auto brake, pedestrian detection with full auto brake, distance alert, driver alert control, lane departure warning system and other items.
Technology
                        Heated front and rear seats, a fabulous sound system, NAV function, rear parking assist, rain sensor for wiper start-up, climate control features and cruise control are great. Bluetooth connectivity, in dash CD, Mp3 capability and HD Radio.                            The optional equipment on our car included the XC60 Platinum package with a voice controlled navigation system, a premium sound system, rear parking assist camera, keyless drive, power operated tailgate, HomeLink, grocery bag holder, and lots of other features. There also was a climate package and technology package with heated front and rear seats, rain sensor for the wipers, interior air quality system, adaptive cruise control with queue assist
Aesthetics & Styling
                        The look, the feel, the layout, the design, materials and touch points, and the functionality are all top rated.  Volvo-esque ques and quality lines are evident and eye catching. From the steering wheel to the dashboard touch points and organization, to the comfort of the most exquisit and roomy seats, this vehicle is simply substanitive, powerful, strapping and luxurious. Every detail and cubic inch is unearthed.                         With lines and styling elements that would be just as at home in a contemporary art museum as on the road, stunning acceleration and muscle, along with plenty of practicality and safety features, it's a tough one to beat. It's so good in fact that we think it's squarely in the top tier of luxury crossovers. It appears we're not alone in our view: Consumer Reports places it in its highly coveted recommended category.  The interior is truly something to behold. No wonder Volvo has won so many awards for interior design. Check out the slender, eye-catching floating center stack. Or look around at the expensive looking metal trim and classy looking side profile of a human being that's used as part of the climate control system. The XC60 is a superb long distance traveler, and is equipped with seats adorned with buttery soft leather that you can sink into and feel like you're in your favorite easy chair. There's stretch out room up front for everyone, and this car is one of the very few-trust us on this one, VERY few cars-in which you actually have plenty of room to buckle car seats for the kids without busting your knuckles, wasting time, uttering curse words or setting off World War III with recalcitrant, "mad as hell" kids who loathe being buckled in.
Warranty
                        Volvo Safe + Secure Coverage Plan -- which is free.  5 years/50,000 miles for warranty, free scheduled maintenance and free replacement of wear-and-tear items (except tires).  Roadside assistance is free for 5 years/unlimited miles.                         Volvo Safe + Secure Coverage Plan -- which is free.  5 years/50,000 miles for warranty, free scheduled maintenance and free replacement of wear-and-tear items (except tires).  Roadside assistance is free for 5 years/unlimited miles.

Her and His Reviews

June 2012
2012 Dodge Avenger SXT
Women pay less for auto insurance - It's a Fact. Compare car insurance companies and learn about online discounts.
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
HER HIS
Price
MSRP: $23,995, list price $25,400 as tested MSRP: $23,995, list price $25,400 as tested
Performance
                        This is a power pack of a car â?? and does a good job trying to keep up to the Dodge big brother Challenger. With 283 horses, the 3.6 liter V-6 engine packs it in but doesn't produce very good fuel efficiency.                         The 283 horsepower 3.6 liter V-8 is at the top of the pack for family size intermediate sedans, the field that the Avenger competes in.  The car also is helped by much better handling and road manners
Fuel Economy
                        19 city and 29 highway.                         It gets 19/29 miles per gallon. Annual fuel costs are $2,525, based on 15,000 miles of driving at $3.70 for a gallon of gasoline. There's a four cylinder rated at 21/30, but that's about average for the field, nothing to shout about. And given the performance rating of the V-6â??it gets to 60 in about 6.5 secondsâ??the mileage advantage for the four isn't that great.
The Car
                        I love the 'new' Dodge brand; most of the entire lineup. And with all brands, there has to be a weak link. The Avenger is it. Having said that, the redesign is an improvement and the interior styling is eye-catching. The interior legroom for driver and front seat passenger is more than ample; the rear seating is not.  The car is rugged, but lags when paired up to other models in the mid-sized sedan grouping.  The colorful leather seats are not only attractive, but after driving some 200 miles in a given day, they proved supportive and sympathetic. A plus.  Not too much cargo is going to pass into the trunk. Dodge boasts 13.5 cubic feet; however the configuration of that space is not deep. The 60-40 split rear seats does help with storage.                           It's a normal car. And that's pretty much what the 2012 Dodge Avenger is. A normal car. No fuss, no muss. And we should tell you that it's far better built, far better equipped and even better looking than it was before. We even got a few glances and questions while we drove around in it. At any rate, all the tweaking, fixing and refining that Chrysler did during the bailout days has paid off in a much better product.
Safety
                        Anti- lock brakes are standard as well as a tire pressure monitoring system, airbags in the front/front-side and side-curtain positions. And, to its credit, this vehicle did test very well in crash tests at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.                         Nothing spectacular here.  The Avenger has the usual equipment, but that's about it.
Technology
                        Again, the interior has its pluses. The media center has plenty of benefiting tech gadgets including a 40 gigs hard drive, a 6.5" touch screen display, (my fave) Sirius XM satellite radio and CD/DVD/MP3 and HDD.  In our upgraded model, we enjoyed a Nav system, as well as the UConnect voice command with Bluetooth for two-handed driving.                            We don't mean to imply that this car doesn't have some state-of-the-art technology to boast about; it does. Standard equipment includes a media center with CD/DVD/and HDD. There's a 40 GB hard drive with 28 GB available, a 6.5 inch touch screen display, and Sirius XM Satellite radio, all standard equipment. And the optional package on our car included a 73N CD/DVD/ MP3/HDD and Navigation system, and UConnect voice command with Bluetooth, and a Sirius XM Travel Link system too.
Aesthetics & Styling
                        All the subjectivity in the world won't keep the Avenger around forever. Nope. The outdated exterior doesn't match the savvy interior; and the price-value is not where it needs to be.                         I thought it looked pretty cool--a lot like the last generation Charger.  But it's being replaced at the right time by the Dart, a much more contemporary design.
Warranty
                        5 year, 100,000 mile power train warranty 3 year, 36,000 mile basic limited warranty                         Five year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty, three year or 36,000 mile basic limited warranty.

Her and His Reviews

June 2012
2012 Toyota Camry
Women pay less for auto insurance - It's a Fact. Compare car insurance companies and learn about online discounts.
                    There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that!                     To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle –                         Her and His perspectives. Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com             His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com
HER HIS
Price
MSRP: $33,698 MSRP: $33,698
Performance
                        Toyota redesigned the Camry and while the brand elements are not too front-leading and clearly T-o-y-o-t-a, the universal appeal is there. It's been a best seller in America 13 out of 14 years. The handling is responsive with the electric power steering, and the ride well-groomed. The Hybrid, a front wheel drive with a 2.5 liter four cylinder engine uses a compact battery and an electric motor â?? and transitions easily from one to the other.  An improvement this year with an equivalent of 200 horsepower.                         Pretty decent, actually. It has a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder engine as part of its hybrid synergy drive system, and acceleration was really quite brisk.  Moreover, the Camry Hybrid has some tremendous handling improvements. With the electric steering system the car doesn't waver, nor does the steering need lots of correction as did prior Camry's. Handling has been tightened up considerably, and has become sharper around corners and more stable overall.
Fuel Economy
                        40 highway and 38 city, but we got an average of 43 miles to the gallon. Exceptional!                         It's rated as 40/38 but that's misleading in a positive way.  I consistently got 45 miles per gallon or better on the highway, and in city traffic, speeds up to 25 miles per hour--the norm in heavy conditions-- the car runs only on electricity. As a result there were several times when we got 65 miles per gallon with mixed condition city traffic.
The Car
                        A winner. Nothing stealth-like, although the brand has plenty of newer competition from Hyundai's Sonata Hybrid, VW Passat and others. The car's interior has been made larger; the touch points enhanced, and increased cargo volume. Transported by hearty 17" alloy wheels, this top-rated midsize sedan is great for the family. There no longer is a noise factor like in the 2011.  Great visibility in this model! Leather and heated seats, along with the adjustability of the two in the front, help with customized comfort.  Glad to see that the grill now showcases a bit more of an aggressive look to it.                           The new Camry Hybrid, like other new Camry models, has much better interior material, better presentation and much better fit and finish for starters. It's still not up to competitors like the all new 2013 Chevy Malibu Eco, hands down the midsized interior design leader.  The Camry Hybrid is pretty decent on content, too. Styling?  Well, a little better, but its way short of where it will need to be to attract attention in such a crowded market.
Safety
                        It is in this category, safety, which the Camry begins to step away from the Sonata. 10 airbags and blind spot monitors are a huge plus for me and my family. The optional monitors are integrated into the side mirrors â?? and cost $500, make such a difference. I believe this feature should be mandatory on all vehicles, as it serves as another pair of eyes for the driver. Other safety equipment includes traction control, electronic brake-force distribution, anti-lock brakes, and a tire pressure monitoring system.  Another feature is Toyota's Safety Connect, which offers the driver a "Lifeline" with roadside assistance, and automatic collision notification and more.                         The big news here is Safety Connect, an OnStar like system that provides roadside assistance, a stolen car locator system, and automatic collision notification among other things.  Otherwise, it's pretty much like most cars out there. Traction and stability control, plenty of airbags, anti-lock brakes, etc. and port with iPod connectivity.
Technology
                        The most-cool, voice activated Entune system is optional. It took yours truly a few extra go's-at-it, but that had nothing to do with the system. A sunny day had me poking around the screen with zero precision. However, in the evening's shade and after yoga (read: relaxed), it was quite intuitive. The system includes the satellite radio, HD radio, Bluetooth streaming audio, and the navigation among other items -- mobile apps and other data services are included. Oh, and don't the 'universal' styling fool you. Inside, prepare to jam with the subwoofer, amplifier and 8 speaker system. USB port with iPod connectivity.                            The display audio with Navigation Entune takes precedence here.  It includes an eight speaker system, subwoofer and amplifier, USB port with iPod connectivity, hands free phone capability, Bluetooth technology, advanced voice recognition, customizable text responses, music streaming with Bluetooth and other features are included.  It's easy to use and one of the best in the business. Pretty ho-hum to me.  Toyota is perfectly capable of doing things with more imagination, but so far, at least with Camry, it's too cautious.  More risk and daring is needed
Aesthetics & Styling
                        As said earlier, Toyota is a bestselling model, and they are not rushing to the front of the styling class. Be clear, that hasn't yet worked against them. The redesign for '12 is perfectly acceptable and with the other amenities on this hybrid, no one is complaining.                         Pretty ho-hum to me.  Toyota is perfectly capable of doing things with more imagination, but so far, at least with Camry, it's too cautious.  More risk and daring is needed
Warranty
                        The new Toyota Care is a nice touch: it allows for complimentary scheduled maintenance plan for two years or 25,000 miles. DO check with your dealer on specifics.                         The new Toyota Care is a nice touch: it allows for complimentary scheduled maintenance plan for two years or 25,000 miles. DO check with your dealer on specifics.

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