First Look: Hot, New 2012 Models

First Look: Hot, New 2012 Models

The 2012 model year is still months away from starting. Then again, some new models released this spring such as the Ford Focus are designated as 2012 cars. Models years are blurring, but come this fall there will be several new cars on the market, hot models you’ll want to consider if you put off your new car shopping until after Labor Day.

Honda Civic — When was a Honda Civic ever considered hot? Well, it may not have the looks you’d want in a car, but it is a strong seller year in, year out. In addition, you can buy a Civic coupe and customize it to your heart’s content, a tuner favorite at that. For 2012 the Civic will be revised and it will offer improved fuel economy. That’s important because the demand for cars getting exceptional gas mileage is rising. Honda will answer that call by introducing a high fuel economy model pegged to get 41 mpg highway. All other models will enjoy decent fuel efficiency too, posting somewhere in the upper 30s on the open road. The 2012 Honda Civic goes on sale this spring.

Scion iQ — Sold as a Toyota in other markets, we’ll see the diminutive iQ in Scion badging when it goes on sale this summer. Powered by a 1.3-liter four cylinder, this car offers seating for three adults and one child. Paired with a continuously variable transmission, the iQ is expected to rack up exceptional gas mileage, perhaps nearing 50 mpg which would make it the gas mileage champ when it hits the market. This car is about the size of the Smart ForTwo, the only other A-segment model sold in America.

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Fiat 500 Convertible — This summer, the ultimate compact car drop top will be introduced. The Fiat 500 convertible joins the coupe and will roll out in time for your beach visits and around town excursions. This model hasn’t been priced yet, but is rumored to cost under $20,000 making it the most affordable convertible on the market.

Hyundai Veloster — Arriving before Thanksgiving, the Veloster takes off where the Tiburon once ruled. This unique coupe, with one door on the driver’s side and two doors on the passenger side, is underpinned by the same platform powering the compact Hyundai Elantra. This means you’ll get a car with sporty good looks and the capability of delivering 40 mpg on the highway, a winning combination no other model sold today can offer.

Ford Focus ST — The 2012 Ford Focus is out, but it isn’t the model rabid enthusiasts want to see. Instead, it is the Ford Focus ST, a performance hatchback designed to take on the Mazda 3 and Mitsubishi Lancer Raillart. This model will get an EcoBoost 2.0-liter four which means that direct injection and turbo power will unite to rocket this 250 horsepower machine down the road.

Other new models slated to show up for 2012 include the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO, a Toyota sports car, an unnamed replacement for the Dodge Caliber, the next generation Volkswagen Passat, a new Subaru Impreza and a handful of new products from Kia, BMW, General Motors, Mazda and MINI.