The “Supermini”, is a compact, often fuel efficient, and affordable car, perfect for commuters who spend hours of their day driving to and from work. Commuters are often stuck in stop and go traffic on crowded freeways and rely on a maintenance free vehicle that won’t break down or become a “gas hog”. However, even the highest rated cars, luxury or affordable, are at risk for automotive defects. Before choosing the car of your dreams or the vehicle that will get you from point A to point B with safety and confidence, it’s always best to check out car reports and ratings.
Is Your Favorite Supermini Safe?
The U.K.’s Auto Car includes popular American cars in their “Top Superminis” List, but do their top picks meet up to your safety standards?
1.) Ford Fiesta: According to Edmund’s, Ford’s smallest car remains a popular subcompact vehicle and is a perfect fit for the “odd couple”. While it may look like some kind of humorous illusion, a 6 foot tall man can drive the Fiesta comfortably while the “Fiesta still proves perfectly friendly for the tall guy’s much shorter wife”.
In addition to its surprising comfort, drivers choose the Fiesta for its low starting price of about $13,200 and fuel efficiency. Commuters will find more “bang for their buck” when they get 29 mpg in the city and an even better 39 mpg on the highway. While the Fiesta lives up to its name with a party-size of popularity and praise, the compact vehicle doesn’t get perfect report.
Problems with the Fiesta: Ford is recalling certain 2011-2013 Fiesta vehicles because they fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). Some Fiestas are being recalled due to a faulty passenger side curtain air bag. In the event of a side impact collision, the air bag will not deploy when the front passenger seat is empty, which may affect the safety of a rear seat occupant on the passenger side. The vehicle defect increases the risk of injury to the rear occupant, in the event of an accident.
2.) Kia Rio: The Kia became popularized in the U.S. by its funky hip-hop hamster ads, bright color car options, and a “too-small-to-be-true” look. Like the Fiesta, the Kia Rio is a visibly cozy looking subcompact car that, with surprise to some hesitant shoppers, comfortably fits a driver and passengers. The Rio proves to be a good commuter car with its fuel efficiency, giving drivers 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Better news for the Kia driver? There are no National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalls within the last few years. However, owners of older Rio models should be aware of airbag malfunctions.
Problems with the Rio: Approximately 73,000 Rio models, years 2006-2008, have been recalled because of a potential passenger air bag malfunction. The air bag could deploy when a small child is seated in the front passenger seat due to problem with the sensor mat. The sensor mat is intended to detect if a child or an adult passenger is seated in the car seat. Because smaller children are at great risk for injury when an air bag deploys, the sensor mat was designed keep the air bag from releasing when a small child is present (as opposed to an adult passenger).
3.) Chevy: Chevrolet is an American icon and often has a loyal following, resulting in generations of Chevy drivers. In recent years, Chevrolet received a modernized makeover and listened to the needs and wants of drivers on a budget. The popular supermini, Chevy Aveo, was revamped into small, sleeker versions with new names and models like Sonic and Spark. While the 2011 Aveo sold for just under $10,000 and offers 27 mpg in the city and 30mpg on the highway, the new Chevy Sonic is a couple thousand dollars more.
Problems with Chevy: Both Aveo and Sonic models have had recalls for electrical systems and air bag malfunctions, additionally some Sonic models had braking issues.
Before you shop for the perfect vehicle, supermini or family van, it’s important to do your homework before committing to a financial investment. While car makers build and design a vehicle with hopes of having impressive mileage, impeccable safety standards, and satisfying capabilities, it’s vital that they stand behind their promise. If you own a vehicle that has been recalled for any reason, make sure it’s safe to travel the roadways, defect-free.
About the Author:
Jacob Masters is a freelance writer and author who has worked in the health industry for over a decade. His goal in life is to increase the internet knowledge base one article at a time. He also likes to push the boundaries through his city wide evening excursions as a guerilla gardener.
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