High Gear Media's editors know plenty about the newest 2011 cars, trucks and crossovers--but you, dear shoppers, are where the rubber truly meets the road.
So, what cars are getting you interested in buying something new?
According to last month's HGM traffic numbers, it's another strong month for Ford, Hyundai and Kia--the same brands that surveys show are the most heavily shopped brands in the U.S. this summer. What's the explanation for their surge? In part, it's the wave of new products arriving at in these brands' showrooms. We also chalk it up to a string of well-executed cars that are adding luster to their reputations, whether it's for styling, technology and features, or just plain fun.
Our most popular reviews in July included the Volvo XC60, Honda Fit and Jeep Grand Cherokee, but those models have drifted just out of the top ten as a clutch of new vehicles have risen in review traffic--more vehicles from Kia, Hyundai and Ford, it turns out.
For the month of August, these are the most popular new-vehicle reviews at High Gear Media:
1) 2010 Kia Soul: The Soul outsmarts fun urban wagons like the and Nissan Cube with uniquely kicky styling, more room, and an easygoing attitude.
2) 2011 Kia Sportage: With a little more SUV baked into its shape than its cousin Tucson has, the Sportage feels a bit more authentic--if you'll pardon the marketing-speak.
3) 2010 Hyundai Tucson: It's not quite the best small crossover, but it handily grabs "most improved" honors.
4) 2011 Hyundai Sonata - Hybrid - 2.0T turbo: One of the most highly-ranked family sedans is a huge win at its sub-$20,000 price point--with a Hybrid yet to come.
5) 2010 Kia Forte: A strong contender in every way—a surprisingly good-looking, enjoyable-to-drive car that will hold the budget down.
6) 2011 Ford Fiesta: A stylish and small subcompact that falls just size-shy of the roomy Honda Fit.
7) 2011 Hyundai Equus: More evidence that Hyundai's capable of executing high-quality, great-driving new products in just about any category.
8) 2010 Ford Fusion: Proof that Detroit can build a comfortable, high-quality, fine-driving, and hyper-efficient sedan.
9) 2011 Toyota Sienna: With more room and adult-duty second-row seats, the Sienna leaves ultimate flexibility and entertainment to the competition.
10) 2010 Ford Transit Connect: Ford's funky throwback cargo van comes in passenger versions, though we still think it's best for small businesses, not small families.
For the 2011 model year, High Gear Media is bringing you full reviews of nearly every new car on the market, reviews that give you our take on styling, performance, comfort, safety and features, with a numeric score. This year we're bringing them to you in a new, easy-to-read format with more of the information you need to make an informed decision. If you'd like to see more, different or better reviews on our flagship site, TheCarConnection.com, let us know at feedback [at] highgearmedia (dot) com, via Twitter @highgearmedia, or on our Facebook fan page.