Tag: Compacts

By on August 12, 2019

While public interest in crossovers has encouraged Nissan to rejigger its global offerings, the automaker has refused to abandon small sedans. It’s something we’ve seen across the board with Japanese automakers. As the crossover craze hit full swing, both Toyota and Honda said that abandoning entry-level automobiles might mean leaving first-time buyers behind. Despite crossovers bringing in more customers and money, small sedans and hatchbacks have a tendency to reel in new, young customers. Japanese brands sees the prospect of gaining life-long patrons as an advantage, especially as other automakers (*ahem, the Detroit Three*) shift away from such vehicles.

Nissan’s situation is more complicated. It can’t ignore its bottom line after last months’s dismal financial report, and rumors abound that it will soon begin to pair down its lineup. However, that will not involve culling its small-car offerings.  (Read More…)

By on July 8, 2019

Today’s Rare Ride is the much sportier (but mostly the same) liftback version of the Horizon that everyone forgot. It’s a Plymouth TC3, from 1982.

(Read More…)

By on April 16, 2019

Today’s Rare Ride wears a lot of different badges. The most important ones are Fiat, Ritmo, and Abarth. Come and check out the sportiest version of the final evolution of Fiat’s replacement for the long-lived 128.

(Read More…)

By on February 8, 2019

A fourth-generation Nissan 200SX surfaced previously in an edition of Buy/Drive/Burn, where its squared-off good looks went up against two other Japanese coupes from 1986. Today, we step back two generations and have a look at an 200SX from the Seventies.

Maybe you can figure out if Datsun achieved what it was aiming for with this design.

(Read More…)

By on August 10, 2018

Tiny, mid-engined, and featuring those all-important gullwing doors, the Autozam AZ-1 has it all. And now you, too, can enjoy the things Japan was tired of in the 1990s.

(Read More…)

By on April 24, 2018

Occasionally on the vast and wondrous expanse of the Internet of Cars, I’ll run across one of these uniquely shaped little Volvos. In past instances they were either not for sale, were lacking in condition, or had few available photos.

All that changed the other day, when I sought out a photo of the 480 to make a point on Twitter. Let’s check out this charcoal-colored box, shall we?

(Read More…)

By on January 15, 2018

2019 Kia Forte

Today at the North American International Auto Show, Kia Motors bestowed the all-new 2019 Forte upon the world. Granted, it’ll mainly be in the hands those entering the workforce for the first time, but those budget-minded youngsters will be please to learn that the third-generation Forte boasts improved fuel economy and features.

It’s not all touchscreens and gas savings, however. It doesn’t look like the new model has had to make many sacrifices, but Kia is launching the base Forte with a CVT instead of the six-speed automatic the current generation uses. That has us a little uneasy, though Kia  promises it won’t be an abysmal substitute and that the rest of the improvements should help deliver a vehicle that represents a net gain in refinement. (Read More…)

By on January 11, 2018

2019 KIa Forte mockup

Kia revealed a few design renderings of the 2019 Kia Forte ahead of its debut at the fast-approaching North American International Auto Show. While highly reminiscent of the second generation of the Korean compact, the third-gen model offers a sexed-up profile and more sophisticated looks.

The headlights taper upward, set into creased bodywork, while large air inlets evoke a sense of sportiness. Kia says that’s intentional; it wanted the new Forte to borrow some of the spirit of the Stinger fastback sedan. For the most part, it seems to have done that gracefully.  (Read More…)

By on May 30, 2017

Image: Daihatsu Charade, via Craigslist

I really enjoy encountering the cheap and cheerful compacts of the past. Their lack of technological complexity, superb integrity in exterior design, and complete absence of flim-flam is refreshing.

Our Rare Ride today is such a compact, from a company many in North America don’t know. It’s the Daihatsu Charade.

(Read More…)

By on January 28, 2014

Geely GT

In an effort to sell their wares to Western markets, Geely and their subsidiary Volvo have teamed up to build a subcompact global car aimed at offerings from Ford, Honda et al.

(Read More…)

By on November 11, 2013

TTAC_compact-chart-October-2013

Four months ago, when we last looked into the U.S. compact car sales battle, the Toyota Corolla (including the Matrix hatchback offshoot with which Toyota combines Corolla sales figures) was the class leader. Yet the expiring Corolla’s lead over the Honda Civic was slim, and it didn’t seem promising.

(Read More…)

By on July 9, 2013

TTAC_June-2013-compact-car-sales-chart

 

Compact cars, many of which are now as roomy as older midsize cars, collectively sold at a significantly better rate in the first half of 2013 than in the first half of 2012.

It may have proven to be a bit of a disappointment thus far, but 35,764 of the extra 87,149 compact sales have come from the Dodge Dart. Exclude small Dodges from the equation and compact sales in America are up 4.8% this year. America’s auto industry has produced a 7.5% improvement. (Read More…)

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