Top 10 Car-Related Surprises Of Last Year

Our colleges from have come up with a very interesting article about the 10 most significant automotive surprises of last year. I will re-order the rankings but basically it is the same top.

2011 Ford Fiesta

The most important automotive-related news of last year is in my opinion is the launch of many cars with great mpg ratings. It is safe to say that almost all automakers are now focusing on rolling out efficient cars. Sooner or later we will have to forget about gasoline-powered engines and plug our cars into the household outlet. Until then, all the major car manufacturers will make the conventional engines more efficient. A relevant example of an efficient car would be the Ford Fiesta which can do 40 mpg on the highway. Even more impressive is the 2011 Mustang which has a V6 305 hp that will do 30 mpg!

2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid

Speaking of Ford, they’ve dropped to only two brands, after closing down Mercury. In the years that have passed, the Blue Oval sold Jaguar, Volvo, Aston Martin and Land Rover and now the only surviving brand is Lincoln.

2011 Buick Regal GS

At third place, I’ve placed Buick as it was the fastest-growing automaker. Who would have thought that a couple of years ago, right? With the help of the all-new Regal model and the facelifted LaCrosse, they sold 55% more cars in comparison to 2009, which is double the growth in comparison to Hyundai and Subaru.

2011 Hyundai Sonata

Speaking of Hyundai, their 2011 Sonata model become a top seller. I can fully understand why this happened as it is a very beautiful car, affordable price tag and very reliable.

2011 Kia Sorento

Indeed a surprise for me was the rise of SUVs. Back in 2008 when the gas price hit $4 a gallon, we all thought that the days of big sport utility vehicles were over. However, this didn’t happen as U.S. car buyers are still interested in these cars and they’ve showed that last year. Most likely, the trend will continue this year.

In 2010 the gas price remained under $3 per gallon, hovering somewhere between $2.60 and $2.90, according to the United States Department of Energy. Until EVs will replace our conventional cars, we’ll have to depend a great deal on gas.

2011 Kia Forte

Last year Kia launched a couple of very interesting models, like the Soul and especially the Forte. Although I don’t like the Soul very much, it has an interesting design and I can understand why the car is successful. I for one would buy the Forte as it looks cool and from the reviews I’ve read, it is a great car and offers a great “bang for the buck” value.

To my surprise, Toyota’s problems with their cars did not end in 2010 and they recalled millions of their units. Although they had to suffer because of declining sales, they still remained the biggest car manufacturer in the world. If this didn’t take them down, nothing will, at least in the years to come.

Back in October, Google announced that they have been testing a modified Toyota Prius that could safely navigate highways and city streets by using high-tech cameras, radars and more. During these tests, a trained safety driver was onboard in case something went wrong. Google managed to do more than 140,000 miles with that car, pretty impressive.

NHTSA rolled out updated tests that are able to record more data and better account for real-world crashes. It seems that they are now using a wider range of test-dummy sizes. A premiere would be the use of a female test dummy. With these modifications, the number of cars that will get 5 stars will definitely decrease, but this isn’t entirely a bad thing.


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