Tag: small car

By on April 2, 2019

Badge-engineering is nothing new under the sun, especially for those of us who lived through Detroit’s offerings in the 1980s. Here in the 21st century, all hands are getting in on the action, with Toyotas appearing as Subarus and Nissans appearing as Chevys. This time around, the Big T is continuing to forge a relationship with Mazda, applying its Yaris nameplate to a small Hiroshima hatchback.

They’ve done more than just slap a badge on the thing, of course. Like the Yaris sedan, Toyota has grafted a tribute to the whisker fish to the 2’s nose during a fit of reconstructive surgery.

(Read More…)

By on February 28, 2019

Yes, yes. It’s a Corolla. I’ve cursed them in traffic, you’ve done the same, and more than a few of them are purchased by a segment of the driving public who view the car as an appliance.

The little sedan from Toyota didn’t become a success for no reason; they’re scattered around this country like litter after a ticker-tape parade, after all. Can the new-for-2020 base model pull the pursestrings of this flinty-eyed author? Or is the frugal shopper better off spending $450 and upgrading to the LE trim?

(Read More…)

By on November 8, 2017

2018 Kia Rio

About a month ago, departed Sales Tim (not newly-arrived Boss Tim) wrote about Kia’s littlest car and found it to be an inoffensive hatch that could stand to make a bit more power. His, and the B&B’s, main gripe was price, given the tester was a check-every-box example with all the toys.

Kia entered our market with a value play and, 20 years later, the new base Rio shows it still knows how to play the game. The level of standard equipment on this $13,900 sedanlet far outstrips the miserable econoboxes of yesteryear.

(Read More…)

By on September 12, 2017

2017 Volkswagen up - Image: VolkswagenThe global auto industry is not a place in which small car production is as straightforward as it was a decade or two ago.

Brought closer to home, Americans are buying roughly 30-percent fewer subcompact cars now than they were just three years ago. With next to no fuel economy advantages; limited payment upside; and less refinement, power, and space, why would a car buyer choose a subcompact over a compact sibling? Most buyers don’t. In the United States, compact car sales are five times stronger than subcompact sales. August’s top three compacts (Civic, Corolla, Cruze) outsold their subcompact brethren (Fit, Yaris, Sonic) by more than seven-to-one.

Many automakers don’t even bother selling their smallest cars in North America. Mazda’s latest 2 never saw U.S. import. FCA has left the compact market, having long since left the subcompact sector to rivals. Subaru doesn’t dive below the Impreza platform. And Volkswagen stops at the Golf, leaving the subcompact Polo for more small-car-friendly countries.

But how keen on small cars are those other countries? In some instances, not keen enough. Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess tells Autocar, “Selling small cars is not easy.” And he’s clearly not just talking about F-150-loving America. “It’s a very European problem,” says Diess. As a result, the Volkswagen Up city car, a Lupo successor, may pull out of Europe in favor of emerging markets only. (Read More…)

By on August 26, 2014

ka sedan

The Ford Ka was born as a provocateur with a challenging design and hints of refinement that solidified the idea that cars are not sold by the pound. Highly successful in Europe, this recipe proved less so in the rest of the world, particularly Latin America were the car was relentlessly cheapened out over its career and became irrevocably divorced from the European car in its second generation. Now, designed and developed by Ford Brazil (with some help from the European unit), the Ka, in its third generation, sets out from the tropics in its eventual quest to become an integral part of the One Ford strategy (sales in Europe, from a UK beachhead, should commence in the fall of 2015).

(Read More…)

By on April 22, 2014

honda-concept-b

 

This China-only concept, which previews a new small car that Honda will build just for that market, is the kind of product that Honda enthusiasts have been clamoring for.

(Read More…)

By on January 28, 2014

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV Exterior

Outside North America, this little blue pill of an A-segment car is known as the Daewoo Matiz Creative. It may look an obsolete computer peripheral (or a pregnant roller skate), but GM claims that the Chevrolet Spark has more torque than a Ferrari 458 Italia. As a self-described technology lover, and card-carrying resident of the Left Coast, I had to check it out.

(Read More…)

By on January 24, 2014

I have three choices for a “New or Used?” column today.

#1 Is a real estate agent from San Francisco who is looking at spending $13,000 on her next ride. She needs something ‘nice’ to shepherd around her clients.

#2 Is the owner of an Acura RSX Type-S that has 108,000 miles. He is looking at whether to spend about $1500 in new tires and suspensions components. Or whether to blow the budget and spend $40,000 on something new.

#3 Is Baba Booey

(Read More…)

By on June 6, 2013

 

2014_Corolla_S_001

By the time you’ve read this, I’ll have seen the new Corolla in the flesh. We’ll have more details shortly, but because you were dying to know, yes, the 4-speed automatic is back. But only on the very base model. Otherwise, there’s a CVT (which Toyota is calling a “7-Speed”) or a 6-speed manual. There will be an Eco model, targeting over 40 mpg, as well as an “S” model, seen here. The engine is a 1.8L with 132 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque, while Eco models get a revised valve timing system that puts out 140 hp and 126 lb-ft.

By on April 1, 2013

Buick’s been on a roll this year, their sales are up and their owner demographics are younger than they have been in recent memory. The cynic in my says that’s because half their clientele died of old age, but it has more to do with their product portfolio. Say what? Yep, it’s true, the brand I wrote off for dead last decade is targeting younger buyers with designs imported from Europe and finding sales success. The Verano turbo shattered my preconceptions, but can Buick do it again? A brown Encore arrived one rainy morning to see if it was possible. (Read More…)

By on November 20, 2012

With the TWATs under way and awards season about to gear up, I would like to take a moment to highlight the one car I’ve found that ticks all the boxes for me personally. It’s the Fiat 500 Abarth.

(Read More…)

By on October 9, 2012

More bad news from PSA – production of the brand-new Peugeot 208 subcompact will be cut by one third, as PSA grapples with an imploding market for small cars in Europe.

(Read More…)

By on September 11, 2012


Tercel. Echo. Yaris.

When the history of great cars is written, these models will likely not be anywhere near the short list.

(Read More…)

By on July 20, 2012

Glancing at its diminutive footprint and tiny engine specs, one would expect superlative fuel economy from the Chevrolet Spark, right? Wrong.

(Read More…)

By on July 11, 2012

Even though the Vauxhall Adam is named after its German twin’s founder, the British arm of General Motors felt it necessary to steal the ailing brand’s thunder, and release photos of their new city car – as if stealing production of the Astra wasn’t enough.

(Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • Inside Looking Out: No worries, there is always “sporty” Corolla available in your friendly Toyota...
  • SPPPP: Wow, I don’t remember ever hearing about that Pro-Tec option. Odd.
  • SPPPP: Did the steel beds get a lifetime warranty? I don’t remember that happening.
  • Bigazfordtruck: Agreed, however the local push seems to be for the boulevard option which will push more traffic onto...
  • SPPPP: For context, FCA’s gross revenue in 2018 was 110 billion dollars (billion with a B), but still, nearly a...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States