compact cars

compact cars

  Compact car is a largely North American term denoting an automobile smaller than a midsize car, but larger than a subcompact car. Compact cars usually have wheelbases between 2.54 metres (100 inches) and 2.67 metres (105 inches). Another definition specifies between 100 ft³ (2800 L) and 109 ft³ (3000 L) of interior volume.

With all the attention directed towards the unveiling of the next-generation Mazda Miata , Hyundai threw a little curveball our way with the release of this rendering depicting the all-new i20 Coupe. Yes, the little i20 is getting a three-door version to complement the recently revealed five-door model!

Hyundai hasn’t divulged any details surrounding the i20 Coupe, which is probably its way of teasing of what’s to come. Sneaky, sneaky, Hyundai.

To its credit, the Korean automaker did give a brief description of what we can expect from the i20 Coupe. For one, it retains the i20’s long hood while adding a few elements to justify its sports style billing. The Coupe , it turns out, will get a sharply raked roofline and a distinctive roof spoiler. Those two new elements are likely meant to enhance the car’s sporty appearance, which makes me wonder if this model will bear some resemblance to the Hyundai Veloster.

It’s definitely something that we can all look forward to. Hyundai’s promising more details "in due course," which is probably the automaker’s way of saying that the i20 Coupe will find its way to a major auto show soon.

Paris in October, perhaps?

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Hyundai i20 Coupe.

2013 was a great year for Buick . GM’s mid-level luxury brand sold a little over one million vehicles worldwide, topping a sales record that dates back to 1984. Deliveries of the Encore and Enclave models were decisive for the company’s growth, which is why Buick is adding a third crossover to its lineup as we move into the 2015 model year. Dubbed Envision, the new hauler slots between the Encore and the Enclave , in an already packed segment.

Launched on the Chinese market at first, with a North American release likely to follow for the 2016 model year, the Buick Envision comes with a couple of segment-first features. Additionally, the new crossover marks a premier for the brand, being the first Buick-badged vehicle to sport an Off-Road driving mode.

As with most GM vehicles built and launched in China, the Envision is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder unit that comes with decent output figures and a brand-new six-speed automatic transmission. The crossover promises to deliver class-leading fuel economy of nearly 27 mpg combined. Read on for the full details.

Updated 09/01/2014: Buick unveiled a series of new images and details on the new Envision. Click past the jump for more details.

Click past the jump to read more about the Buick Envision

Developed as a successor to the 1 Series Coupe, already a classic among BMW enthusiasts, the 2 Series is not just good-looking, but powerful as well. The 228i delivers 240 horses and strong performance while returning 36 mpg on the highway, and the M235i will make your heart pump faster with the 320 ponies residing under the hood. Add the fuel-efficient, yet still potent diesel engine available in Europe and you got a complete vehicle on your hands. But does this mean the 2 Series can’t be improved upon? Hell, no!

At least not if you ask the folks over at AC Schnitzer, who have been meddling with Bimmers since the late 1960s. There’s no such thing as a new BMW without an AC Schnitzer package, and the 2 Series is the perfect proof that the Aachen-based specialist means business. It didn’t take too long for AC Schnitzer to come up with a series of updates for the 2 Series, which can now benefit from increased output rating across the entire lineup. Well, almost, as the U.S.-spec 228i is not included yet. But AC Schnitzer’s new offering is not just about added horsepower. These compact Bimmers are also enhanced by aerodynamic parts and various interior upgrades. Check them all out past the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about AC Schnitzer’s program for the BMW 2 Series

Launched in 2014 in Europe, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is the company’s first front-wheel-drive vehicle. Mainly aimed at the Mercedes-Benz B-Class , the Active Tourer is powered by three different engines. A 1.5-liter, inline-three delivers 136 horsepower, while a 2.0-liter four-banger cranks out 231 ponies. On the diesel side, BMW offers a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder rated at 150 horses and 243 pound-feet of torque. Although U.S. availability for the 2 Series Active Tourer has yet to be announced as of August 2014, the Germans are already working on expanding the lineup, with a plug-in hybrid model is set to arrive in 2015. As we’re moving closer to the year the regular model is likely to hit U.S. shores, BMW has been caught testing a seven-seat version of the Active Tourer.

If you thought BMW went bananas by launching an MPV-like, front-wheel-drive vehicle, then be prepared to meet the Active Tourer’s bigger brother. Is BMW creating another niche? Well, it’s longer and it can carry up to seven people. Guess it’s different enough to survive on its own.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

BMW introduced the 1 Series compact in 2004. Initially available only as a five-door hatchback , the 1 Series gained a three-door version and two-door coupe and convertible iterations in 2007. While the first-gen hatchback was redesigned in 2011, the coupe and convertible models remained in dealerships until 2013 and 2014, respectively. In 2011, BMW launched the second-gen five-door hatchback, while the three-door version followed in 2012. Three 3.0-liter, inline-six powertrains were offered in the United States. The entry-level 128i model came with 230 horsepower and 200 pound-feet, the mid-range 135i had 300 horsepower and pound-feet, while the 135is cranked out 320 ponies and 317 pound-feet. As we move closer to the 2015 model year, BMW is readying a mid-life refresh for the second-generation 1 Series.

Expected to debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October, the facelifted 1 Series receives updated front and rear fascias, a slightly revised interior and mild upgrades under the hood. Our spy photographers have already spotted a test vehicle on the road with less than two months before its debut.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 1 Series

Jaguar Land Rover has been really working on its in-car technologies these days. Remember all the fancy self-learning software inside those Land Rovers in this video? Well, Jaguar is showcasing its own set of dashboard wizardry in the upcoming 2016 Jaguar XE with this swanky video.

With the help of animated parts exploding outward for detailed views, Jaguar’s Global Connected Car Director, Mike Bell, takes us on a tour of what we can expect from the upcoming luxury car .

The Jaguar XE will be the first of many Jaguars featuring the automaker’s "InControl Touch Infotainment system" that integrates many advanced features through an eight-inch touch screen in the dash and Jaguar’s new Plain Speech Voice Control system. The infotainment software will seamlessly connect with both Apple and Android devices for in-car integration of certain applications. An in-car Wi-Fi hotspot allows multiple devices to access high-speed Internet.

Also present is an optional laser-projected heads-up display system that shows information over the entire width of the windshield including driving directions, vehicle information, and even road sign recognition. Of course a premium audio system will be featured; this one coming from Meridian.

Protecting all this valuable technology and the entire Jaguar XE will be the InControl Protect and InControl Secure systems with the former allowing for SOS emergency and Jaguar Assistance calls to be placed without the need for a cell phone in the car while the latter allows authorities to track the vehicle should it become stolen.

Overall it seems Jaguar Land Rover is working hard on becoming the leader of in-car technology and smart phone integration. We’re looking forward to getting our hands on this gadgetry when it debuts in late 2015.

It’s a real shame Seat doesn’t offer its vehicles in North America. We’re aware the U.S. doesn’t need the Leon hatch and station wagon — essentially re-bodied versions of the Volkswagen Golf — but we wouldn’t mind driving or having the possibility of buying the Leon SC Cupra 280. With 280 ponies and 258 pound-feet of twist at its disposal, this Spanish-built hatch is one hot machine. So hot that it became the first front-wheel-drive car to lap the Nurburgring in under eight minutes.

Will we get it in here? Hell no! As much as we’d love for that to happen, it makes no sense for Seat to ship its models across the pond. Making things even more frustrating beyond the fact that Europeans get to toss it around, is that the British market has just gained a performance option for the hot hatch. Dubbed "Sub8 Performance Pack," the bundle adds a massive brake improvement to the Leon SC Cupra 280, while a set of new high-performance tires enhance the hatch’s track capability even further. Oh, the agony!

Click past the jump to read more about the Seat Leon Cupra 280 Sub8 Performance Pack

Famous for dropping more horsepower and torque in nearly every available Volvo model, ranging from the small C30 hatch to the V60 wagon, Polestar just added a new vehicle to its high-performance lineup. This time around, the Swedes got a hold of Volvo’s V60 D6 Plug-in Hybrid wagon, turning it into a more powerful, yet still fuel efficient vehicle. Unlike other Polestar-tweaked Volvos, the hybrid wagon comes with minor, barely-noticeable exterior changes. On the flip-side, the powertrain updates are obvious enough to to make the package appealing to those in need of more horsepower and torque.

Polestar’s major achievement with the V60 D6 Plug-In Hybrid is that, although the wagon is slightly more powerful and quicker, mileage and CO2 emissions remain the same. That’s just about any driver’s dream and it says a lot about the company’s vast experience with Volvo engines. As expected, Polestar only touched the vehicle’s diesel engine, leaving the electric motor in its stock form. Read on to find out why the V60 D6 is the most powerful diesel model wearing a Volvo badge.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volvo V60 D6 Plug-in Hybrid by Polestar.

Launched in 2012 for the 2013 model year, the Mazda CX-5 is one of the newest crossovers on the market. Sharing its platform with the smaller Mazda3 and Mazda6 sedans, the CX-5 was Mazda’s first vehicle featuring the new KODO design language and the company’s SkyActiv technology. Available in North America since 2013, the U.S.-spec CX-5 is offered with two engines. The base, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder generates 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque, while the 2.5-liter, four-banger is rated 184 ponies and 185 pound-feet. A six-speed autobox comes standard on three of four trims, while the FWD entry-level model is equipped with a six-speed manual. In Europe, Mazda is also selling a diesel version, powered by a 2.2-liter, inline-four that delivers as much as 173 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Coming into 2015, roughly three years since its debut, the Mazda CX-5 is received its first mid-cycle facelift.

Although the CX-5 is far from being old and still enjoys great success in the U.S. market, the Japanese automaker decided some nips and tucks are necessary in order for the crossover to keep up with its competitors. Changes are anything but wild, but customers will enjoy a couple of significant exterior updates.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mazda CX-5.

The Hyundai i20 was launched in 2007 as a three- and five-door hatchback to sit between the i10 city car and the i30 compact. The i20 replaced the aging Hyundai Getz on most markets, but it didn’t make it to the United States, where the Korean manufacturer sells the slightly larger Accent hatchback instead. Underpinned by an all-new platform developed by Hyundai Europe, the first-gen i10 was available with a wide range of inline-four engines. The gasoline units displaced between 1.2 and 1.6 liters, while the diesel mills came in 1.1-, 1.4-, and 1.6-liter sizes. Output began from 74 horsepower and topped 126 ponies in the more expensive trims. Moving into the 2015 model year, Hyundai is finally introducing the second-generation i20, a completely redesigned hatch meant to spur the company’s presence in Europe’s crowded B-segment market.

Scheduled to be unveiled at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October, the 2015 Hyundai i20 was also developed at the company’s European technical center in Germany. Likewise, the second-generation supermini won’t make it across the Pond, where we will have to settle for the fourth-generation Accent, which is already a four-year-old model.

Although the Paris Motor Show is still a couple of months away, Hyundai has released preliminary photos and details of the redesigned i20. Read on to find out more about the second-gen compact.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Hyundai i20.


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