Sabtu, 14 Juli 2012

Cars of summer 14-07-2012

With summer in full swing, a question arises: Is your automotive attire appropriate?

The experience of enjoying the sun and feeling the wind in your hair far predates the automobile. Most of today's droptops start at more than $40,000, putting them out of reach for many buyers.

Still, there is more choice than you might expect if you're looking to go topless for less than $40,000.

Let's put the top down and take a ride.

Chevrolet Camaro

EPA rating 18 city/29 hwy

Base price $30,180

Modern muscle cars have V-6 engines that provide more power than V-8 engines did a decade ago. Consider the 2012 Camaro's 3.6-liter double-overhead-cam V-6. It produces 323 horsepower, 13 ponies more than the 2002 Camaro Z28 with a 5.7-liter V-8. But that muscle doesn't come at the expense of fuel economy. And its looks? Seductively retro.

Chrysler 200

EPA rating 18 city/29 hwy

Base price $26,955

The 200 is a true midsize convertible with room for four corn-fed Americans and the choice of a power soft- or hardtop. The base model comes with a 173-horsepower four-cylinder engine, which is best at relaxed cruising. If you can, spring for the 283-horse DOHC V-6 model. It costs $4,995 more, but improves performance and fuel economy.

Fiat 500

EPA rating 27 city/32 hwy

Base price $19,500

The least expensive convertible sold in America seems to have missed the call for y chromosomes; it's as cuddly as a basket of puppies. The 500's stylish interior hides its inexpensive nature, and there's more room than you'd expect. The 500 also has a comfortable ride, tons of style and enough power to move this iconic Italian with brio. Bravo!

Ford Mustang

EPA rating 19 city/31 hwy

Base price $27,200

Unlike its competitors, this classic American stallion has stayed in production for nearly 50 years, which speaks to the allure of the pony car. Constant updates have maintained the Mustang's youth, with a fuel-efficient 305-horsepower, DOHC 3.7-liter V-6, six-speed transmission and classic looks standard. Its affordable base price makes it perfect for any corral.

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