Car Insurance

Top 5 cars with the cheapest insurance rates

The Nissan Maxima is one of the cheapest cars to insure in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

ValuePenguin, which is owned by Lending Tree, has surveyed the vehicle landscape, finding the top five vehicles with the cheapest car insurance rates.

To determine the winners in this survey, ValuePenguin investigated the relationship between car insurance costs and safety, specifically looking at driver fatalities per million registered vehicles according to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The analysis determined that "vehicles associated with fewer fatal accidents tended to have lower car insurance costs. Conversely, cars associated with higher rates of fatal accidents saw more expensive car insurance rates."

Many of the vehicles listed earned a top IHS Top Safety Pick+ rating for 2020.

No. 5 - Subaru Legacy

2020 Subaru Legacy Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

The Subaru Legacy was completely redesigned for the 2020 model year. It now features a powerful engine, engaging drive dynamics, and high-tech infotainment and safety features. Subaru equips the model with standard all-wheel drive.

No. 4 - Volkswagen Golf GTI

2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The Volkswagen Golf GTI has been refined for 2020. It is now available in three trims—S, SE, and Autobahn - and VW has given the model additional standard safety technology. The Golf GTI is one of the few models still available with a manual transmission. The company recently revealed the next generation of the Golf GTI for 2021.

No. 3 - Nissan Maxima

2020 Nissan Maxima Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

​The Nissan Maxima doesn't compete against many other large sedans these days, but it still puts up a good fight giving buyers plenty of reason to explore the segment. The 2020 Nissan Maxima is relatively the same as the 2019 model. Nissan Safety Shield 360 is now standard on the car, adding automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, high beam assist, and rear automatic braking to every Maxima model.

No. 2 - Acura ILX

2020 Acura ILX Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The ILX is the entry point into the Acura brand and, despite not being the newest model in the company's portfolio, it's still attracting plenty of buyers. How long the ILX name will be around is up in the air. A recently leaked dealer slideshow discussed a new compact car coming soon. but did not explicitly call it the ILX name.

No. 1 - Nissan Leaf

2020 Nissan Leaf

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Leaf is one of the most popular electric vehicles the world. It's available in two battery grades that offer up to 226 miles of range. The popularity of the Leaf has made it one of the best-known EVs in the world. Recently, the company released the "Nissan EV Driver Etiquette" guide.

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Interesting backstory

Volkswagen Bus part inspired popular dog toy

The classic VW Bus inspired one of the most popular dog toys of all time.

Volkswagen

Product designs sometimes take inspiration from the places we expect the least. Moments of genius are driven by finding solutions to unique problems, and as it turns out, that's exactly how we ended up with KONG. The beefy, durable dog chew toy is modeled after a Volkswagen Bus part.

Joe Markham's shop Markham needed a dog for security, but he unexpectedly got a chew-crazy pet.Volkswagen

KONG's inventor, Joe Markham, adopted a German Shepherd to help with security at his auto repair shop in downtown Denver, CO. The dog, while a great addition to the shop, came with a few bad habits. The dog's most worrisome hobby was chewing, which he would do with almost anything he could find, especially rocks. As you might imagine, chewing on rocks is not good for the dog's teeth. Markham needed a durable chew toy, but nothing seemed to work, from animal bones to radiator hoses.

The solution came from an unlikely place: While working on a 1960sVW Type 2 Bus, Markham discovered that the rubber axle stop made a perfect chew toy. The dog had gotten ahold of the rubber stop, and while he was chewing viciously, neither the stop nor his teeth were damaged.

The discovery led Markham to spend the next six years experimenting with various rubbers, sizes, and shapes for his dog toy. After working with rubber experts in Germany, the design was finalized and the KONG was born. The shape for the toy ended up being very close to that of the axle stop. The funky, bulbous design meant that the toy wouldn't bounce like a ball, and would instead flop around randomly, which is similar to the way that small animals run away from predators.

VW Bus axle stop The axle stop from a VW Bus inspired KONG's shape.Volkswagen

It's worth noting that you should not intentionally let your dog chew on any part of your vehicle. Even unused automotive parts can contain chemicals and other harmful materials that could make your dog sick or worse. This isn't a pitch to buy a KONG, just a warning about the hazards of car parts being used as dog toys.

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New AWD performance car

The Subaru WRX is all-new for 2022

The new WRX's body cladding is already stirring up controversy.

Subaru

The Subaru WRX is a rally-bred performance car that offers a unique mix of rowdy all-wheel drive fun, a value price, and youthful styling. The car is long overdue for an update, though, and Subaru is doing just that for the 2022 model year. The fifth-generation WRX is all-new, and features a more powerful engine, along with several go-fast upgrades.

2022 Subaru WRX Both a manual and an automatic transmission will be offered.Subaru

A new GT trim joins the WRX lineup for 2022. It features a new automatic transmission, adaptive dampers, and drive mode selections. With various customization options available to the driver, the system offers up to 430 different settings combinations. The GT's interior adds Recaro seats wrapped in Ultrasuede with red stitching. The GT also gets exclusive 18-inch wheels.

Though still a Boxer engine, the 2022 WRX's powerplant is new and more powerful than before. It delivers 271 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, as well as a broader torque curve. Subaru says that the larger engine plus an electronically controlled turbo wastegate and air bypass valves improve responsiveness and acceleration.

2022 Subaru WRX A larger 11.6-inch infotainment screen is on board. Subaru

All WRX models come with Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel drive system and active torque vectoring, which can shift power to individual wheels that need the most traction. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but a new Subaru Performance Transmission is available, which features faster shifts and other features to improve performance.

The 2022 WRX also gets a tech upgrade that brings a large 11.6-inch tablet-style touchscreen. It runs Subaru Starlink infotainment, handles HVAC and vehicle controls, and offers split-screen functionality for two apps to run simultaneously. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is Bluetooth, SiriusXM radio, and HD radio. An upgraded version of the system also offers navigation with three years of free map updates.

2022 Subaru WRX Subaru will offer a new GT trim with upgraded suspension and finishes.Subaru

As it has done with many of its other vehicles, Subaru is equipping every WRX with its EyeSight suite of advanced driver aids. The packge includes lane departure prevention, adaptive cruise control with lane centering, and more. A new available automatic emergency steering system works with the car's pre-collision braking feature to help avoid collisions at speeds under 50 mph.

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