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.

After three years of service, the Audi A1 is about to get a major facelift. This couldn’t come at a better moment, as a lot of its competitors, specifically the Mini Cooper , has just come out with a new look.

This heavily camouflaged mule of the A1 gives us an indication of what to expect when all the wraps are taken out. Looking at the photos our spy photographer sent us, the facelifted A1 looks to carry a number of similar styling characteristics with the performance-oriented S1 . The front and rear lights in particular, appear to be similar in treatment to the S1 while, the front bumper, even if its not completely distinguishable, looks to be a new design with an updated grille and new fog lights.

Overall, minimal changes were given, compared to all these next-gen models that are popping up. It may only be three years since the A1 arrived, but is it at all possible that Audi begins thinking about working on a next-gen A1?

We’re hoping that’s the direction it takes, but for now, the 2015 Audi A1 will retain most of its old digs.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Audi A1.

Let’s be real here for a second. There are only a certain amount of things you can to the Fiat 500 to make it more appealing to customers. The car doesn’t exactly look like a million bucks, although its retro-themed design does appeal to a certain segment of the car-buying population.

So when Fiat comes out with a special-edition 500 dubbed the "500 Cult" and describes it as a top-of-the-range version of its 500 line that offers an "exclusive level of style, technological content and performance," nobody’s doing any backflips thinking that this baby can compete with even the tamest of sports cars .

But all that isn’t to say that the 500 lacks in any appeal. Like we said, a lot of people dig the bygone looks and the tradition of the vehicle, so much so that rolling out new duds for the 500 isn’t such a bad idea.

Essentially, that’s what Fiat is banking on with the 500 Cult, offering a plethora of new options for both the coupe and convertible versions that puts even more emphasis on the hatchback ’s trendiness.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Fiat 500 Cult.

When Nissan introduced the Juke in 2011, its hip styling in a rather bland segment made it a near immediate hit. To this date, it is still the swan in a class filled to the brim with ugly ducklings. Add to that a base turbocharged engine that pumps out 188 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of twist that allows it to hit 60 mph in just 7.3 seconds, even with a cruddy CVT backing it up.

That was 2011 and now we are moving into the 2015 model year, so it is time for a mid-cycle refresh. And a refresh the Juke received, as Nissan unveiled the Euro-spec Juke at the Geneva Motor Show this week. Sure, a few of the engines won’t make their way to the U.S., but we did get a nice look at how Nissan added in its new design language and revised the only U.S.-bound engine: the 1.6 DIG-T.

Overall, the refresh is, well, refreshing. The Juke looks like a whole new car, despite sharing most of its sheet metal with the 2014 model. Unfortunately, the Juke’s interior is largely carried over, but the interior was never a complaint, except for cargo space, which was address with this refresh.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan Juke.

The Fiat 500 has tons of history, as does the Abarth line. One of the most famous of the Abarths debut at the Geneva Auto Show all the way back in 1964. This 695 had a 699.5 cc engine with a "whopping" 30 horsepower and could hit a top speed of 130 km/h (36 mph). Well, now 50 years later, Fiat is revealing a new Abarth 695, which it dubbed the biposto, with just a tad more power and a much higher top speed.

The 695 biposto checks in with a healthy 30-horsepower bump over the standard Fiat 500 Abarth and uses the same 1.4-liter engine. It also features an insane dog box transmission that is rarely seen in anything other than race cars, and even those are hard to come by.

On top of the racing transmission, the Abarth 695 drops loads of weight, gets a stripped-down interior and a half roll cage.

On the surface, the 695 biposto look like a massive heap of awesomeness on the surface, but is it still as awesome when I drill down into all of the details?

Click past the jump to read more and find out.

Fiat -Chrysler has unveiled its latest offspring at the Geneva Motor Show , the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade. The little Jeep represents the brand’s first foray into the small crossover market, but its global market reach will be anything but small. Fiat-Chrysler is will sell the Jeep in over 100 markets worldwide while targeting youthful, thrill-seeking customers.

That global reach hasn’t stopped the Jeep from showing its rugged roots though. Two four-wheel-drive systems, decent ground clearance, a removable top, a manual transmission option and loads of cargo room are all part of the Renegade’s tactical plan for world domination. And with its lineage tracing back to the Willys MB Jeep that helped win WWII, we’re not quick to discount the plan, despite the Renegade’s less than macho exterior appeal.

The Renegade will offer an unprecedented 16 powertrain combinations with 6 engine options in total, though the U.S. is only getting a small number of them, with both being familiar from other Fiat-Chrysler products. The 1.4-liter turbo I-4 from the Fiat 500L serves as the base engine, while the 2.4-liter Tigershark I-4 from the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 fills the top-tier slot. A six-speed manual transmission will come attached to the 1.4-liter while the 2.4-liter gets a nine-speed automatic unit. Front-wheel-drive will come standard with four-wheel-drive being an option.

With its attractive cuteness, clever interior packaging options, and impressive list of amenities, it’s easy to imagine the Renegade catching on worldwide. The question remains, however, is it worthy of the Jeep name and Trail Rated badge? Click past the jump to find out.

Click past the jump for all the info on the 2015 Jeep Renegade

A car that drives itself. That’s the dream, right?

For the longest time, though, it has remained as such: a dream. But a lot of automakers are beginning to tinker with the idea of an autonomous driving vehicle, and one that has been at the forefront of that is Renault .

The French automaker’s Next Two Autonomous Prototype is the culmination of years of testing and development. We probably shouldn’t even say culmination because the project is still a long ways away from being completed, but we all know where this is going.

Renault is developing a vehicle that could drive itself, similar to what we saw from the Jetsons back in the day. It still doesn’t fly — one technology at a time! — but having a car that drives itself while everyone on board gets to check their social media accounts?

That’s a pretty good start, right?

Click past the jump to read more about Renault Next Two Prototype

Source: Renault Blog

With a six-speed manual transmission, five doors and a starting MSRP under $19k, there is a lot to love about the 2014 Hyundai Elantra GT. If there is anything the Korean manufacturer has perfected over the years, it’s providing lots of car for not a lot of money. The Elantra GT follows in the same vein by offering items like alloy wheels, heated mirrors and fog lamps fitted as standard.

To make things even better for 2014, the Elantra GT has a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with direct injection and a better torque curve than before. Horsepower has also been increased. We all know that more power and more toque is always more better. The result is an Elantra that boasts more horsepower than the Impreza , Focus, Mazda3 and the Golf.

As an extra bonus to the increased power output, Hyundai is promising that a new “sport-tuned” suspension setup should make the most out that extra go.

Read on to find out what other tricks the Hyundai Elantra GT maybe hiding up its sleeve.

When the Volkswagen Tiguan received its first update at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show , a lot of people believed that it was only a matter of time before a next-generation crossover arrives in dealerships.

We all know now that an all-new Tiguan is scheduled to be unveiled early next year so these spy shots of a Tiguan mule has arrived at just the right time.

Our initial response upon seeing these spy photos aren’t all that impressive. Unless our eyes deceive us, the new Tiguan looks a lot longer than its predecessor, all while riding higher than we initially thought and carrying a bigger set of wheels.

That, of course, is partly explained by Volkswagen’s decision to base the new Tiguan on the MQB platform, which has a slightly longer wheelbase to allow more space for rear passengers to be comfortable, particularly in the legroom area. It’ll still be a five-seater because adding those two extra seats would mean it would overlap with Volkswagen’s plans of offering a new SUV that will be based on the CrossBlue Concept .

The front end doesn’t appear to carry any drastic changes in design, although there’s no clear shot of the front that would lead us to believe that its styling characteristic has been dramatically altered.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan.

Much like its sister company, Hyundai, Kia has been designing cars that not only offer its customers low-cost options to higher-priced brands, but also cars that offer high-quality workmanship and stylish appearances. We all knew that the Kia Forte is going to be up for a significant redesign when its 2014 model year debuts at the 2012 LA Auto Show, but we were not too sure what direction Kia would take it.

But now that the covers have been officially pulled and we have our answer.

We want to say that the Forte blew us away, but that just wouldn’t be fair to it. Sure, there are things about it that we like, but some elements of the car still leaves a lot to be desired. Then again, a car like the Forte, or any other in this segment for that matter, isn’t subject to an all-or-noting affection level.

There are things about it we liked. There are things we didn’t like. At the end though, the Forte received good marks from us because the things we liked outweighed the things we didn’t like.

Not by much. But hey, that’s still worth some salt to us.

Updated 02/24/2014: TopSpeed editor in chief, Justin Cupler, spent a week with a Kia Forte EX with all sorts of goodies installed. Did he love it? Check out the "Driving Impressions" section after the jump.

Find out what we think of the new 2014 Kia Forte after the jump

BMW 4 Series Coupe

Every year, hundreds of motoring journalists from all over the world descend upon New York City for the New York International Auto Show . Among the new car reveals, fancy parties and exciting concepts, the New York Auto Show also plays host to the World Car of the Year Awards.

This prestigious award is handed out by a collection of experienced automotive journalists from around the world. Some of this year’s jurors include writers from countries like Japan, Russia, South Africa, China, Australia and more. Overall there are nearly 70 jurors in total.

Some of the previous year’s winners include the Mk VII Volkswagen Golf and the Nissan Leaf .

Of all the cars that were eligible for this year’s award, twelve have been selected as finalists. We have brought together all twelve of the final candidates for you here, and we also included a little bit information about each one.
Which one do you think deserves to win and why? Sound off in the comments below.

Click past the jump to read about the World Car of the Year candidates


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