By Madelyn Miller, the TravelLady
Women like to change their look and style. As cars reduce their fuel usage, manufacturers seem to make the cars more visually exciting. Maybe it is a sense of confidence or a reflection of the increasing role of women in the marketplace. Women care a lot about how things look, and some of the newest models have great visual appeal. The changes and appealing new looks are both inside and out with newer, more exciting color options and combinations. And the cars don’t just look better. They drive more efficiently and more effectively. The trend is a combination of better gas mileage, lower emissions, and prices that are surprising values. Sometimes the news is a blend of new technology and a retro look.
2012 Camry Hybrid XLE
My mother knows best. She has a Camry and loves it. Unfortunately she can no longer drive. Fortunately she realized it herself and is giving me her car the next time I visit her. I have driven her Camry each time I was in Florida and loved the large trunk, smooth, quiet ride, and comfortable seats. I didn’t think there could be a better car for me until I had a chance to drive the new 2012 Camry Hybrid XLE.
The updated 2012 Camry Hybrid XLE has even more space than the original and gets better gas mileage, EPA 40 city and 38 highway. The set of three bright “Optitron” dials in the hybrid’s multi-information display conveys more mileage, range, and energy-flow information than the most curious driver could desire. I like knowing how many more miles I can drive.
To reflect the owner’s environmental consciousness, there are three hybrid badges—one per front fender, another on the trunk.
Every Toyota Camry comes equipped with a first-in-class 10 standard airbag system. It is easy to connect with the 2012 Camry Hybrid XLE Entune™. This is a collection of popular mobile apps and data services available on the 2012 Toyota Camry XLE. Want to find a good slice of pizza? Use Bing™. Need a restaurant reservation? Use OpenTable®. Looking for the ultimate road trip playlist? Use Pandora®. With Entune™, you can get what you want when you want without having to fumble for your smartphone.
Even when it comes to selecting cars, mother knows best. I would love to take her for a ride in the 2012 Camry Hybrid XLE. The Legendary Toyota Camry efficiency, reliability, and power is still standard. Best of all, the 2012 Camry Hybrid XLE is a great value. It received the 2012 best resale value from Kelley Blue Book. My mother always loves a bargain. I think she would be very proud of me if I bought the 2012 Camry Hybrid XLE. Actually, lots of mothers are proud when their children choose a 2012 Camry Hybrid XLE, because the Camry is America’s best-selling car.
For more information visit: www.toyota.com
The wow factor of this car is obvious even while it is parked. I saw people noticing this car wherever I went. And while I have none of the star power of the brand’s spokesperson, Jennifer Lopez, I did feel really special when I drove the Fiat 500c. The admiring glances, the people looking inside to see the flashy red leather interior, made me feel very proud to be driving this.
Italian design is legendary. The Fiat 500c had a subliminal effect on me. I realized I was dressing better, paying more attention to what I was wearing even when running errands. I felt a sense of keeping up with the car.
I showed off the Fiat 500c to a mechanic friend. When he saw it, his eyes got really wide and he said, “That is one cute car.” Not the word you expect to hear from a mechanic. He admired the chrome trim, noting that you don’t see that much now. But he went crazy over the convertible top. He thought it was a great design because it was so simple that there would not be the mechanical problems of most convertible tops.
The trunk is really, really small. There is barely enough room for two grocery bags. Perhaps trunk size is a sacrifice some women would be willing to make. Maybe you get used to having a small trunk and plan accordingly. There are trade-offs in life, and the appeal this car may override the inconvenience to many drivers. Maybe it is like carrying a small purse. It takes lots of planning and organization. Many women seem to manage that in order to look fashionable.
The interior cabin of the Fiat 500c actually has the most interior space (76.2 cubic feet) among key competitors (that’s more than a Mini-Cooper). The good gas mileage (38 mpg for 5-speed auto) is another one of the positive trade-offs.
This is the perfect car for an independent urban woman who wants to make a statement.
For more information visit: www.fiat.com
2012 Chevy Sonic
There are many things named Sonic—a restaurant chain, a computer game company, and now a car. All of them label something that is exciting and oriented to future trends.
My favorite Sonic is the Chevy Sonic. A peppy car with lots of features under the hood, it’s an all-American car that accurately reflects Chevy’s 100-year history.
The Chevy Sonic gets flying colors for how well it satisfies my three S’s: Safety, Storage and Seats. Sonic keeps every detail in mind, including you and your passengers’ comfort and safety—it’s the first and only car in its class with 10 standard air bags. And it comes with the support of OnStar® standard for six months. No wonder it’s also a 2011 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Two other features that are particularly important to me are the support of OnStar, standard for six months, and flexible cargo space in the back so you can create the right configuration for about anything.
You don’t usually think of a sub-compact as making a fashion statement. Sonic has a curvy overall profile that accents the larger front grill and headlights. The surprisingly affordable Sonic doesn’t look like an economy car. And you can customize your Sonic with luxury features including heated front seats, XM Satellite Radio, remote start and sunroof. There is also a MyChevrolet mobile smartphone App that can be utilized on the 2012 Sonic. It provides features such as a parking spot indicator and alert when metered parking spaces are running out of time.
It is easy to stay connected while you’re out and about. Bluetooth@wireless technology allows you to stream your favorite audio services on select smartphones and connect to your Sonic through mobile apps. Obviously a Sonic is a smart choice.
For more information visit: www.chevrolet.com/sonic-small-cars/
2013 Chevy Malibu Eco
I think of the 2013 Malibu Eco as the “more” car.
More sophisticated: The new 2013 Malibu Eco interior was designed to bring an element of sophistication to everyday driving, featuring an all-new dual cockpit design that creates an inviting, roomy, and comfortable environment. There is more space than in previous Malibu models.
More comfortable: The seat is so comfortable that I would love to have it as my desk chair.
More attention to details: From the dual cockpit to the sculpted doors, one thoughtful detail flows seamlessly into the next. You’ll be impressed by the nearly microscopic gaps—many as tight as 1mm—in 2013 Malibu Eco’s interior fit and finish. And you can even feel it because the designers went back and spent countless hours touch-testing seats, door frames, steering wheels, consoles, and just about every other surface to make sure everything felt exactly right.
More peace and quiet: The 2013 Malibu Eco was designed to have a superb level of quietness. The acoustic laminated glass and the liquid applied sound deadeners create a barrier to help reduce unwanted road noise.
More power: Power isn’t limited to the engine. Inside this thoughtfully appointed midsize sedan, you’ll find power windows, power-adjustable mirrors, power-programmable door locks, an available Power Convenience Package and even an available power-tilt/sliding sunroof. Everything is conveniently placed right at your fingertips.
More efficient: With 33 MPG in the city and highway mileage the 2013 Malibu Eco offers up to 528 highway miles on a single fill-up.
I instantly bonded with this car. On a test drive, I took the car for the afternoon and it handled well even on a rainy day. I returned just in time for dinner and hated to give it up. The 2013 Malibu Eco has everything I want in a car and more.
For more information visit: www.chevrolet.com