Best Family Cars for 2010

Leading Japanese Family Vehicles for 2010

Potential car buyers have questions regarding the best family cars to buy from the automotive retail outlet.  Would it accommodate all the members of a family?  What is the luggage capacity if going on a vacation?  Is it fuel efficient? Here are two of the leading family vehicles of model year 2010. Among the leading choices for family vehicles from Japanese car makers,  Toyota Sienna and Mazda CX-9 are considered the best buy for the year 2010.

best family cars from japan

2010 Toyota Sienna

The Toyota Sienna minivan is here to stay and in spite of the downsizing happening around the world, Toyota stands by manufacturing new vehicles.

The 2010 Toyota Sienna sports an elegant exterior and is a pride to drive around.  It comes with a choice of two engines – a 3.5L V-6 engine which is fuel-efficient and produces 266 hp with a towing capacity of 3,500 lb., and a 2.7L 4-cylinder engine that generates 187 hp. Both are fitted with 6-speed smooth-shifting automatic transmission.

Toyota offers the new Sienna with interior options like reclining captain’s chairs in the second row, increased seating to hold seven to eight passengers, a center console that slides, leather upholstery, storage bins and cup holders, and a 10-speaker Bose audio system.  The seats can be adjusted to almost any configuration or height conceivable.  The new Sienna can take even pack plenty of luggage for a two-week vacation easily.

An eight-passenger Sport Edition V-6 model is also available aerodynamic sculpted, regular 19-inch wheels and side skirts effecting low-ground visuals.  This could perhaps be considered the perfect family vehicle.

2011 Mazda CX-9

This Japanese brand from Mazda is being produced in line with the RX-8 coupe and the MX-5 Miata roadster and is a five-door people-hauling wagon in the class of crossovers.

This CX-9 is a CUV having agile rack-and-pinion system of power-driven steering attributes.  It has a traction control system, and four-wheel disc brakes electronic brake force distribution, an electronic connection to an antilock brake system, dynamic stability control to make up for lateral skidding and a system to control traction.

Empowered by a V-6 engine transferring 3.7 liters, the CX-9 has a ratio of 10.3:1 for high compression.  The V-6 has an output of 273 hp at 6,250 rpm with the torque that can escalate up to 270 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm.

The cabin of the CX-9 is laid out in three rows of seats and a cargo hold in the aft bay.  The first row consists of two bucket seats that are bolstered and a floor console.  Three passengers can be accommodated in the second row in the bench-style seat with lounge backrests and five inches of front and back sliding space.  The third row is styled in a split bench to accommodate adults also. The wagon’s cargo space can be increased by folding the second and third-row benches flat.

To summarize, Toyota Sienna is an ideal choice for large families on a budget.  The CX-9 crossover that has sporty handing and sleek styling is a dutiful family-mover too.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Common Car Dealer Scams

Auto related consumer complaints rank among the highest among all the industries.  Enough to make even the hardcore auto enthusiast hesitate before buying a new or used car.  Being forewarned is to be forearmed.  Knowing the pitfalls and what to expect will prepare the buyer to avoid being accosted by false claims from salesmen and loan sharks and give him the confidence to make the intelligent choice. Here we present some common car dealer scams and tips how to avoid them.

The Quick Fix

The intelligent buyer decides what he wants in advance and asks the relevant questions to get answers to his satisfaction.  Salesmen want to hurry the buyer into closing a deal at the earliest and make all kinds of promises to secure the order.  His ammunition consists of one-time offers, haggling, and promises for on-the-spot delivery.  The customer should state what he wants and what kind of money he is willing to spend.  If they have what the customer wants, fine.  If not, there are other sellers.

Staying Guarded

When at a car dealer’s showroom, the buyer should try and stick to just one auto professional, instead of being shunted between different people.  The astute buyer is one that decides who would be the best person to provide him with the information he is seeking and only approach him.

car dealer scams

Car dealer scams to avoid

1. Advertising Gimmicks

Most car dealers make tall claims and promises with extras thrown in for good measure and display a great looking model to attract customers.  The customer is in for a surprise when he arrives at the showroom and is shown a lesser model and is coerced into buying it.  The smart customer should just walk away from such a trap.

2. The Hidden Bill

Prior to signing anything, the shrewd car buyer must ensure there are no hidden extras added to the final invoice.  He should read through the details to make sure the regular add ons like rust-proofing, extra-cleaning, alarms, fabric protection, etc are not being charged as extras.  The auto dealer will charge very steeply for doing the VIN (Vehicle Information Number) etching too.  It is far cheaper if the buyer gets a DIY kit and makes it at home.

3. Being held at ransom

The buyer needs to beware of auto professionals who ask for their current car keys to “test-drive” or use some such excuse to keep the buyer from escaping their sales pitch.

The surge in customer complaints against used-car dealers and their salesmen is on the rise.  Also, car sales volumes have dipped and are expected to decline over the next couple of years.  It is a daunting task for the dealers to ensure they get their customers to return.

The wise buyer should also seek his loan officer’s advice on how much he can prudently spend before buying a new car.

Japanese Minivans – Safety Features

A Minivan — also called as a multi-purpose vehicle ( MPV),  multi-utility vehicle (MUV) or people-carrier — is a type of vehicle that is designed for personal use and has a shape similar to that of a van.  Minivans are taller than a station wagon, hatchback or a sedan, and are designed with spacious interior.  Minivans are considered the safest among automobiles out on the road today.  They share this feature with SUVs which also have similar safety features.

Safety features in Minivans

Minivans are hefty, heavy and stable. In case of a collision, the sheer weight of the minivan has proved to be a saving grace.  The center of gravity in SUVs makes them prone to turn turtle, though they are heavier in weight in comparison with minivans.  Minivans are also collision-friendly with smaller vehicles in an accident as both vehicles are equally involved and absorb the energy of the crash more uniformly.

Minivans – Necessary Safety Features

Computerized stability systems and antilock brakes – All new minivans from Japan are equipped with electronic stability systems and antilock brakes.  Older models, even the ones manufactured in the year 2009, don’t have these features.  The electronic stability systems are computer-based and the throttle helps keep the vehicle under control by assisting in braking individual wheels.  Likewise, the antilock brakes let the driver to keep steering even after braking at the maximum and reducing stopping distance.

japanese minivans


Proven to be the best safety and survivability feature today, minivans contain a complete set of airbags.  Since September 2006, it is mandatory to have frontal airbags in all light trucks and cars manufactured, though side-impact airbags are not.  The latter help guard the passenger’s torso and are deployed from the seat backs. Some even extend upwards to protect the head of the occupant.  Side curtain airbags cover all the side windows and are vented down from the ceiling during an impact.

Minivans – Optional safety features

Consider having more safety features like adjustable head restraints to help shield against whiplash injuries.

A backup camera installed behind the minivan guards by beeping with an increasing volume when approaching an object while backing up.

Adjustable pedals in addition to a telescoping steering wheel which is also adjustable to suit the distance between the airbag and driver is the best combination among safety features.

The downside of owning a minivan also has its disadvantages. The sheer weight and size of the vehicle makes it unwieldy to avoid a collision. Braking time in comparison with a smaller vehicle is longer as compared to a smaller vehicle, to avoid collision. Visibility for the driver of a minivan could also be troublesome due to sloping hoods and vehicle height.

Minivans and children
The minivan is considered the safest for child passengers.  Child-safety seats and belts seats are huge and snug.  The rear seat entertainment video system keep the child entertained and out of trouble.  Installing a power-sliding door safety will keep the children safe as the touch-sensitive strip will keep them from closing by accident.  And seat belts are a must for rear seats.

Popular Japanese Minivan models include Toyota Picnic, Toyota Previa, Toyota Innova, Toyota Sienn, Honda_Odyssey, Honda Elysion, Honda StepWGN, Suzuki Wagon R, Suzuki Stringray, Mazda 8 and Nissan Quest.  If you are interested in buying a used Japanese minivan, please get in touch with your requirements and we can find a minivan to suit your budget and requirements.

Technorati Tags: , ,