The first week of every month is usually full of car sale news. We covered all that this week, but–to our pleasant surprise–there was a cornucopia of stuff for the car-owning masses. Automotive analysis biggies Intellichoice and AutoPacific announced their Motorists Choice awards, while Nissan released pricing on its 2013 Sentra compact. One of our own flew across the pond to drive the Euro-spec Mazda6 at the Paris Motor Show while the Volkswagen Beetle convertible made an appearance before its debut at next month’s LA Auto Show.
Below are some more highlights of this week’s car news.
Monday, October 1
Honda, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, recalled more than 570,000 Honda Accord models manufactured from 2003-2007. Only V-6 models are affected; four-cylinder and hybrid Honda Accord models are not subject to recall. The issue? A hose for the hydraulic power steering mechanism that can deteriorate over time, causing hydraulic fluid to leak out. Not only does this make steering the car more difficult, but the fluid can leak onto hot engine components, potentially starting a fire. This recall is actually adding to one that began earlier this year, involving the Acura TL, a mechanically similar car.
Tuesday, October 2
The 2013 Nissan Sentra is expected at dealership lots across the country starting on October 16, and will sport seven different models. Prices for the base model 2013 Nissan Sentra S start at $16,770 including a $780 destination fee. On the other end of the lineup is the top-of-the-line Sentra SL with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), which goes for $20,540, also including destination. Every 2013 Sentra is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, which is mated to a six-speed manual transmission in the base Sentra S, or the next-gen Xtronic CVT in every other model. Nissan claims that all Sentra models equipped with a CVT are capable of achieving a 415 mile range.
Wednesday, October 3
Instead of waiting for its official unveil at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show next month, Volkswagen has decided to unveil its new ragtop Bug in early October. For the latest Beetle convertible, Volkswagen imitated the coupe variant with sporty and dynamic body lines. The flattened out roofline and a windshield that sits more upright give the latest Beetle convertible a look similar to the original convertible. Volkswagen chose to stick with a soft-top roof rather than go with a folding hardtop, paying off as it can fold down in just over 10 seconds. Three different engines available for the Beetle convertible: the base 2.5-liter five-cylinder, a 2.0-liter TDI clean diesel four-cylinder, and a 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI four-cylinder. Volkswagen will announce pricing for the third-gen Beetle closer to when it’s launched in North America. The Beetle convertible will begin showing up at dealerships across the country at the end of the year.
Thursday, October 4
Most consumers consider vehicle satisfaction and ownership costs as two major factors when looking to buy a new car. Auto analysis sites IntelliChoice and AutoPacific combined both for their Motorist Choice awards for 2012. In 15 popular lifestyle segments, the two organizations came up with two winners each: popular and premium. Categories included Active Lifestyle, Cargo Hauler, Cosmopolitan, Eco Friendly, and Fun to Drive among a much longer list, not limiting any one class to cars, trucks, or SUV/crossovers specifically. Each had a mix of the type of vehicles that won. And vehicles could win in multiple categories, too, which some did.
Friday, October 5
Automotive.com went overseas to cover the 2012 Paris Motor Show. There, assistant editor Matthew Askari drove the euro-spec 2013 Mazda6 mid-sized sedan. Deviating from a long, semi-successful strategy of making good, fun to drive cars, Mazda is prepping for a new generation of driver. The aim to achieve maximum fuel economy is apparent in the new Mazda, but he did find the 2014 Mazda6 Euro-spec model striking, with elegant styling that will turn heads; a solid build quality inside and out; a spacious and comfortable cabin; refined driving dynamics and great drive feel. There’s a clear sense of cohesion, the details don’t go unnoticed.