Enthusiast praise for the Mazda3 began before the current-generation compact Mazda arrived in late 2013. Previous iterations benefited from hugely positive reviews. “We’re going to love the 3 once it arrives in America,” Automobile wrote in December 2003. Credit for dynamic excellence was the norm a generation later. “Steering is direct and the suspension is firm enough for spirited driving and equally competent at soaking up bumps,” said AutoGuide in early 2009. I haven’t hesitated to get in on the action, writing in my second review of the latest compact Mazda, “The Mazda3 is still the best compact car you can buy.”
It’s therefore not surprising to see that in a five-way compact car comparison for the magazine’s July edition, Car and Driver named the 2016 Mazda3 i Grand Touring the winner of the test. Car and Driver handed the Mazda 203 points, 44-percent more than the fifth-ranked 2016 Nissan Sentra SL achieved.
Industry observers also won’t be surprised to learn that Car and Driver’s fifth-ranked Nissan Sentra produced 139-percent more first-half sales than the Mazda, while the other three losers all roundly outsold the Mazda, as well. (Read More…)
Hyundai set out to make its Elantra hotter, and it’s happy to report that the sedan’s output now tops 200 horsepower in newly unveiled Sport form.
The 2017 Elantra Sport brings a third engine choice to the model lineup — a turbocharged 1.6-liter direct-injection four-cylinder making “more than” 200 horsepower and 190 pounds-feet of torque, according to the automaker. (Read More…)
TTAC reader Gerard Van Ginkel writes:
I love your reviews.
I drove the Golf R last week and it was nice but it didn’t compare to my RS4. I was wondering, of all the cars you have driven recently, anything you would suggest that might be a reasonable replacement for this Audi RS4 monster?
Gerard obviously loves the horsepower and torque of his vehicle’s 4.2-liter V8, but the time has come to dump his German pocket rocket, which he identifies as a 2007 model. The 292 horses under the hood of the Volkswagen Golf R didn’t set Gerard’s heart on fire (or maybe the package was too Volkswagen), so what’s a reader to do?
Rather than have TTAC brass tell him what to do, we’re turning this question over to the minds of the Best and Brightest.
Put yourself in Gerard’s car-buying shoes and weigh in. With Golf R-level money ready to spend, what should this man buy?
[Image: © 2016 Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars]
General Motors wants to use a model name once applied to a compact, rear-wheel-drive sports coupe, and has the trademark filing to prove it.
The automaker applied to trademark the name “Chevrolet Code” for automotive use on June 2, AutoGuide reports, leading many to believe the taught, Alpha-platform Code 130R concept car shown at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show could soon be headed to production.
But is Chevrolet really going to slot another rear-drive coupe into the Chevrolet lineup? It’s very unlikely, and here’s why. (Read More…)
Murilee loves to wax about the scourge of Miserable Econoboxes infesting our shores during the Malaise Era. Turns out, a few of them skipped daily commuter duty and went straight to the track instead.
Hyundai sent its newly redesigned compact away for a lifestyle change, and it returned as the fuel-sipping Elantra Eco.
Sporting a new drivetrain and an EPA-estimated highway fuel economy rating of 40 miles per gallon, the 2017 Elantra Eco retails for $21,485 (after freight). City and combined ratings are 32 and 35 mpg, respectively.
The 2017 Elantra Limited we tested was no gas guzzler, often surpassing its 37 mpg highway rating, but the new Eco clearly has its competitors’ 40-plus mpg ratings in its sights. It’s also possible that Hyundai still has some lingering guilt over the not-yet-forgotten gas mileage scandal of four years ago. (Read More…)
Hyundai just revealed its Korean-market Avante Sport, but it’s also a preview of what North American customers can expect in their Elantra lineup.
The Avante is what people in Seoul call an Elantra, and the new performance model puts the automaker in a better position to fend off competition from the likes of Honda, Volkswagen and Mazda.
The redesigned 2017 Elantra Limited we tested had improved styling and a better ride, but was lacking in power. The Sport model’s Korean specifications shows 204 horsepower from a turbocharged and direct-injected 1.6-liter four-cylinder, as well as a multi-link rear suspension. (Read More…)
It looks like Cadillac doesn’t think the Chevrolet Cruze is a suitable platform for a new luxury model.
A source in a story we ran yesterday claimed an internal program code that popped up at General Motors points to a new Cadillac model based on the Cruze’s front-wheel-drive Delta platform, but the automaker is now refuting the claim. (Read More…)
FCA Canada only sold 220 Dodge Darts in June 2015, a 79-percent year-over-year decline. Through the first six months of 2015, Dart volume is down 55 percent to only 1,979 sales, one-fifteenth the total achieved by the best-selling Honda Civic and equal to just 1.1% of the compact car market.
The Dart’s market share in the United States, meanwhile, grew from 3.4 percent in the first-half of 2014 to 4.2 percent in the first half of 2015. Though no industry observer would suggest that the Dart’s U.S. uptick relates purely to increased desirability and demand – and not to cash allowances and fleet-friendliness – the car’s Canadian dive speaks volumes about FCA’s emphasis on light trucks and SUVs north of the 49th parallel. (Read More…)
While compact SUVs are doing well in the showroom, their success comes at the expense of midsize and compact car sales.