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.

If you happen to be a fan of slightly quirky Japanese cars with AWD, I have great news for you. It seems Subaru is finally spending the money to bring new platforms and engines to its lineup of cars.

The report comes from Automotive News, who is claiming that after six straight years of record-breaking growth, the Fuji Heavy Industries subsidiary is going to bring a new modular platform to market in a 2016. Along with this new platform that will underpin, the new Impreza and Outback as well as the Legacy and an unnamed three-row crossover , Subaru will add direct injection to every single engine it builds in an effort to improve fuel economy. Adding direct injection will also improve emissions and improve performance.

The goal is to make its models even more enticing to buyers by providing all the same Subaru greatness with even better fuel economy, traditionally a downside of Subaru’s love of AWD.

Click past the jump to read more about the current Subaru Impreza.

Volkswagen hasn’t confirmed if it will sell a Golf R wagon in the future, but it appears its engineers and test drivers are busy developing a hot grocery getter. Now just in prototype form, the Golf R Variant showed up at the Nuburgring track to practice its skills and give us a taste of what we may be getting in showrooms. Not surprising, the wagon borrowed many body details from the hatchback , including the more aggressive front bumper, the 19-inch wheels wrapped in low-profile tires and a quad-exit exhaust fitted below the rear bumper. Some of these features set it apart from the mule we’ve seen earlier this year .

There are no badges proving the wagon we’re looking at is the Golf R, but our spy photographers have confirmed that Volkswagen is indeed testing it on the Nordschleife before giving it the green light.

If the Germans decide to go ahead with the project, the Golf R Variant will most likely be powered by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-pot rated at 290 horsepower and 280 pound feet of torque. The wagon should take fewer than six seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 mph on its way to a top speed limited at 155 mph. The 4MOTION all-wheel-drive and the six-speed manual gearbox will come standard, while VW will offer the six-speed DGS as an alternative.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R Variant.

Only one year has passed since Nissan revived its Datsun brand by introducing the GO hatchback , and the Japanese manufacturer has just confirmed its return to the compact car segment (C-segment in Europe) with a brand-new vehicle.

Dubbed Pulsar, a name previously used for a line of compact cars sold in Asia and Australia since 1978 (not to be confused with the Pulsar NX sports car marketed in the U.S. between 1983 and 1990), the new vehicle is a five-door hatchback aimed at models such as the Volkswagen Golf and the Ford Focus .

Nissan ’s recipe for the Pulsar is pretty much simple and includes an instantly recognizable design with styling cues borrowed from the Qashqai , small, turbocharged engine that deliver decent power and return attractive fuel economy, and a price tag that’s likely to put the hatchback below most of its competitors.

A big bet for the Japanese automaker in Europe, the Pulsar is basically insignificant to the U.S. market, with Nissan having no plans to ship it across the ocean. This might very well change depending on vehicle’s success in Europe, but we’re at least a couple of years away from a pertinent verdict. Either way, the Pulsar is a hatchback worth looking at, and that’s what we’re about to do after the jump.

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

Oh Mini Cooper and its infinite number of look-alike models. It appears from these spy shots, the BMW sub-brand is further expanding its lineup with this five-door version of the standard hatchback, yet not to be a replacement for the Clubman. We say that because it’s seemingly parked next to a new, third-generation Clubman five-door.

This blue model coated in a yellow, swirly wrap still has its hatch-like trunk area, while getting the two extra side doors. It’s not clear what exactly separates the two side-by-side cars except their boots, but they are definitely being developed together. The car itself also appears to have gained some extra width with, surely helping its interior volume and passenger comfort.

Of course this new Clubman hatchback will join the slew of other Mini products in the coming months. It’s possible the cars will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show happening sometime in September, but that’s pure speculation. Just stay tuned to TopSpeed for any breaking news on Mini’s ever-expanding lineup of not-so-small cars.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Cooper 5-Door.

Posted on by Simona  

When the Cadillac CTS dropped onto the market, it was available in a variety of versions, including a sedan , a coupe and a station wagon . Now, the same recipe for success is being applied to the new ATS . Cadillac will first put out a sedan and a coupe version, but a station wagon version and a convertible are also said to be in the mix. Why? Well, Americans need cheaper alternatives to German coupes and Cadillac is ready to deliver just about anything we’re looking for in order to pick up sales.

They have the platform to build on and will more than likely make sure they get their money’s worth on it.

At the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, Cadillac finally revealed the all-new 2015 ATS Coupe, and borrowed a host of features from the sedan version, except for the new body panels, the equally new Cadillac badge and the sedan’s two rear doors

The ATS Coupe is also built on the same rear-wheel-drive Alpha platform and is offered with nearly the same engine lineup as the sedan: a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder with 270 horsepower, and a 3.6-liter, V-6 with 321 horsepower. The engines are combined with either a six-speed manual transmission or an automatic transmission. There will also be an option for an all-wheel-drive system.

BMW and Audi better start prepping themselves for some competition.

Update 5/15/14: Cadillac has announced a starting price of $38,990, including the $995 delivery fee for the 2015 ATS Coupe.

Updated 07/25/2014: We added a new set of about 50 high res images to our ATS Coupe gallery. Check the new pictures in the ’Photos’ tab.

Introduced in 2012, the Veloster Turbo isn’t the nimble hatchback Hyundai was hoping for. At least not against more popular choices like the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST .

That being said, we’re not at all surprised that the Koreans are revamping the compact for the 2015 model year. Spotted during testing for the second time the past week — this time at the Nurburgring track — the Veloster Turbo will adopt some of the styling cues seen on the recently unveiled 2015 Genesis, which our Mark McNabb took for a drive last month.

The visual updates will consists of an enhanced front grille, reshaped bumpers, and revised headlamps and taillights. It will also include a set of fancier, bi-color wheels for some added style. We’ve already seen the latter in the first batch of spy shots, but we’ll have to wait a bit longer to gain access to the full pictures.

The cabin is another area that won’t remain untouched, with an updated Supervision Cluster to replace the current unit. The overall configuration of the interior isn’t likely to change much, but expect more soft-touch surfaces and options to appear.

Things shouldn’t change much under the hood, where the 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine will continue to deliver 201 turbocharged horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Hyundai Veloster Turbo.

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer may have been a disappointing appearance to most brand enthusiasts, due to its front-wheel-drive layout, but the Bavarian manufacturer hopes to score big with the compact MPV in both North America and Europe.

The regular 2 Series Active Tourer, which is powered by a tiny, 1.5-liter, inline-three unit rated at 136 horsepower, will be followed by an M Sport version with a plug-in hybrid model to arrive shortly after.

Unlike its gasoline-exclusive counterparts, which will require an xDrive option to get all four wheels moving, the plug-in hybrid will feature an all-wheel-drive setup by default. Although BMW has yet to reveal any details, the same three-cylinder engine is likely to be in charge of the front axle, while an electric motor will be added to take care of the rear wheels.

Total output is expected to sit around the 200-horsepower mark, with 136 horsepower coming from the conventional mill and the rest provided by the silent, battery-powered motor. As for mileage, the Active Tourer Plug-in Hybrid should return at least 50 mpg when using both units, though it won’t be able to travel more than around 20 miles in EV mode.

Styling-wise, the hybrid version won’t be any different than the gasoline Active Hybrid, with only a few badges to highlight its greener nature. The MPV has already been spotted testing in Germany so we might see it in production form by the end of the year.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Plug-In Hybrid.

The Renault Captur is slowly making its way up the ranks of desirable entry-level crossovers. It’s an impressive ascent given how relatively new the Captur is. However, if you needed more proof that this crossover is the real thing, perhaps its collaboration with outdoor sport and leisure clothing brand Helly Hansen will seal the deal.

Together, Renault and Helly Hansen have announced a limited-edition Helly Hansen version of the Captur, blending the rugged appeal of this crossover with outdoor spirit Helly Hansen has come to be known for.

Adding to the list of "firsts" for the Captur, the Helly Hansen model is also the first Captur to receive Extended Grip, a system developed by Renault to optimize the crossover’s traction performance, especially when the vehicle travels on less than ideal road surfaces.

The inclusion of Helly Hansen in this collaboration makes perfect sense for the Captur as it seeks to stamp its presence in the urban crossover market in Europe . Being associated with an esteemed brand that has been around since 1877 goes a long way in developing that much-needed credibility, especially in a segment that has no shortage of competing models.

Interested buyers of the Helly Hansen Captur will also be thrilled to know that any of the engines available in the Captur catalog can be specified for this limited edition model. So if you’re eyeing this baby, look for it when it hits dealerships in a lot of European markets next month. Unfortunately, those in France, Belgium, Spain, and the Netherlands will have to wait. Renault won’t be delivering the crossover until September.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Renault Captur Helly Hansen.

It’s been a while since we heard anything of importance from Smart and as it turns out, there was a reason behind that. The Daimler -owned company has been busy with the testing and development of two very important models, the ForTwo and the ForFour .

As if to show everyone that it’s not cutting any corners with the development of both models, Smart decided to release a video of the two cars undergoing winter testing in Sweden . Why Sweden, you ask?

Well, Smart’s chief engineer Markus Riedel explains the rationale behind choosing Sweden as the testing ground is mainly due to its cold winter climate and snowy conditions. It allows the engineers to validate a number of things about the two Smart cars, including all of the car’s functions in the extreme temperatures. The car’s driving capabilities are also put to the test under the cold conditions, checking to see how the ForTwo and ForFour can handle while skidding across a sheet of ice.

After 14 days of testing near the Arctic Circle, Riedel expressed his excitement about both models, telling the world that the new ForTwo and ForFour models are ready to be launched. Finally, right?

Rumors about an SRT -prepped Dodge Dart have been floating around ever since the compact sedan was unveiled at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show . But hopes of a successor for the Neon SRT-4 – phased out in 2005 – were somewhat crushed when SRT CEO Ralph Gilles said at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show that the brand has yet to find the right powertrain for the car.

Months have passed since we’ve heard anything about the Dart SRT, but it appears Dodge finally came to its senses and started working on a high performance compact. The good news came straight from the Fiat Chrysler alliance, who has just unveiled its massive five-year production plan.

With the SRT brand now back under Dodge , a host of new models will be built by 2018, with a high performance version of the Dart among them. Although the company has yet to confirm whether the compact will roll out with a SRT4 badge, it did say the vehicle will arrive in late 2016, right after the current-generation Dart gets its mid-cycle refresh.

The big news is that the brawny version of the sedan will be motivated by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, just like the Caliber SRT4 and the Neon SRT4, and sold with an all-wheel-drive configuration. Specific details aren’t available at the time of this writing, but expect for the Dart SRT to get a beefed-up 2.4-liter Tigershark engine tuned to deliver at least 260 horsepower.

Naturally, the sportier version of the Dart will also arrive with a host of visual upgrades (check out our rendering here ), including a pair aggressive bumpers, a larger apron intake, a rear diffuser, and probably a hood scoop. Under-the-skin improvements are likely to include a stiffer, performance-tuned suspension and additional driving modes.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Dodge Dart SRT.


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