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.

The Suzuki Swift debuted in 2000, but its roots stretch back to the debut of the Cultus in 1983, which was rebadged as the Swift in countries other than Japan. The second-gen Swift hit the market in 2004 and the third — and current — generation launched in 2010. Heading into the 2014 model year, the Swift receives a new SZ-L Special Edition that receives some fancy paint work.

Oh, look. It’s a Suzuki . More importantly, or at least in this particular instance, it’s a Suzuki Swift SZ-L Special Edition! Wait, this is a special edition model?

The term "Special Edition" is supposed to apply to something truly special. Unfortunately, the automotive industry is prone to abusing this term, so we are not surprised to hear that this "special edition" Suzuki isn’t really all that special.

This Swift SZ-L does have features that standard Swift models don’t have, so we have to give Suzuki some credit here. Suzuki is packaging the Swift SZ-L Special Edition by adding an exclusive two-tone metallic paint finish with a choice of either a Boost Blue or a Cosmic Black hue. Both colors come with a contrasting Cool White roof, not to mention a rear spoiler, and door mirrors.

And...that’s about it.

Click past the jump to read more about the Suzuki Swift SZ-L Special Edition.

The current-generation Honda Civic is enjoying great success in the United States, where it is offered in both sedan and coupe body styles, which are powered by gasoline, natural gas, or even a hybrid powertrain. On the other side of the Atlantic, however, the hatchback version of the Civic, which Honda has yet to bring Stateside, just had its cool factor enhanced by means of a menacing special-edition model.

Dubbed Black Edition and wrapped in a triple black exterior that would make a 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner burst with anger, the new addition to Honda’s U.K. lineup is restricted to Great Britain, where it joins similar special-edition versions of the CR-V crossover and the Jazz hatchback (sold as Fit in the United States). Suddenly, it seems like the United Kingdom is a great place to be if you’re a Honda enthusiast.

But before we start feeling sorry for not getting it in the United States, let’s have a closer look and find out what the Civic Black Edition is all about.

Click past the jump to read more about the Honda Civic Black Edition.

Posted on by Austin Taylor  

Toyota , a known force to be reckoned with in the alternative-fuel automotive world, is releasing its zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, aptly named the FCV, in the summer of 2015. Limited to California initially, Toyota asserts an impressive 310-mile range. Also, the company has announced a partnership with FirstElement Fuels, to make refilling more convenient, with 19 new hydrogen refueling stations coming to the California area. Expect 100 stations in a decade’s time. Also, Toyota claims that re-filling will only take five minutes; significantly quicker than a recharge in a Tesla or Nissan leaf , also zero-emission vehicles.

Out here in California, the newest fad is always in the spotlight, and this new FCV should certainly turn a few heads and make people take notice. Also, being a zero-emission vehicle, it will be eligible for Carpool Lane access. And, hey, anything to shave a few minutes off an LA commute is invaluable. Take it from this Los Angeleno.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Toyota FCV.

BMW is currently working on a number of facelifts and redesigns for its current lineup, and the second-generation 1 Series is one of them. The updated compact is scheduled to arrive in dealerships for the 2015 model and, as the latest batch of spy shots we received in our inbox reveals, work is well underway.

Along with the regular model, which has yet to show its face on public roads, the facelifted 1 Series range will also include a slightly upgraded M135i . The refresh won’t bring many changes to the hatchback , which is scheduled to remain on sale for another three model years until the third-generation 1 Series arrives, but will help keep it fresh in the eyes of potential customers.

Only the front and the rear fascias of the M135i appear to have undergone surgery, and this pretty much explains why the vehicle spotted by our paparazzi is wearing very little camouflage. More changes will occur under the compact’s skin, where BMW will add a number of improved gadgets and more environmentally friendly engines.

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

When the BMW FAST , short for Family Active Sports Tourer, was first spotted testing in Germany back in 2011, it was believed the new vehicle is scheduled to reach showrooms by 2014. That didn’t happen and the FAST prototype disappeared for a while, only to resurface again in 2013. Now, the vehicle that’s set to create a new niche took German streets once again, hinting that BMW is indeed readying a production version of the Family Active Sports Tourer.

For those of you that are not familiar with FAST, it’s a vehicle destined to sit right under the BMW X1 , giving birth to a new crossover niche that blends the flexibility of an MPV and the sporty looks of the next-generation X1 . It will share the same UKL platform with the upcoming X1 and 2 Series Active Tourer and carries the same front-wheel-drive configuration. While BMW is still mum on the details, we expect the Family Active Sports Tourer to break cover in 2015 and go on sale for the 2016 model year.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW FAST.

Audi has been working on a facelift for the A1 for almost a year now, and it appears the revised hatchback is almost ready to make its public debut. Our spy photographers caught the supermini on the move somewhere in Southern Europe, where the Germans are testing the final tweaks operated on the vehicle’s drivetrain and chassis.

Although the A1 is still hidden under swirly camouflage, most of its visual updates are obvious and it seems we’re looking at the milder version of the hotter S1 . Our paparazzi weren’t able to take a peek inside, but don’t expect to see major improvements in that department save for some additional trim options and maybe a slightly revised center console.

Same goes for the engine lineup, which will mostly remain unchanged, with only minor improvements as far as power, fuel efficiency, and CO2 emissions go. Expect it to arrive with the same 1.2-liter TFSI, 1.4-liter TFSI, and 2.0-liter TDI in showrooms, although the range-topping version might carry a turbo 1.8-liter with 192 horsepower under its hood. We will find out more about that when the 2014 Paris Motor Show kicks off in October.

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

The MG3 nameplate was introduced in 2011, when SIAC, the current owner of the MG Motor brand, launched the five-door hatchback in China. The first-generation MG3, also known as the MG3 SW, replaced the Rover Streetwise and it can’t be purchased anywhere else but in China. Although the first-gen car is still in production, MG developed a second iteration to be sold in the United Kingdom as a low-cost vehicle. Previewed by the MG Zero Concept , the MG3 actually shares most of its design cues with the study shown at the 2010 Beijing Auto Show.

Available only as a five-door hatchback with a front-mounted engine, front-wheel-drive configuration, the Euro-spec MG3 is aimed at successful vehicles such as the Ford Fiesta , Renault Clio , and the Volkswagen Polo . The British-built supermini is cheaper than most of its rivals, and although its affordable sticker brings many shortages along with it, the MG3 has a few tricks up its sleeve. Check out our review below to learn more about the pros and cons surrounding the MG3.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 MG MG3.

When Volkswagen debuted the new Beetle with its retro-inspired design and strong, muscular stance, the world perked up and took notice. Now that the car has a two years under its belt, Volkswagen is looking to spruce it up with a new option for the 2014 model year. Dubbed the Premium Package, it adds a host of new equipment that was previously only offered on the R-Line trim and it even brings a few all-new items to the mix.

The new option package is available on both Coupe and Convertible models and is offered for cars with either the 1.8-liter turbo or 2.0-liter TDI engines. Some of the more noticeable changes include new wheels and bumpers, but a close eye will notice some lighting changes as well. The interior gets the most love with a new audio head unit, special seat covers and more.

As a top-of-the-line trim level, it isn’t exactly cheap though. The cheapest Premium Package Beetle you can get is the Coupe with the 1.8T, and it runs $27,355.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Beetle Premium Package.

There’s always a place for hot sports hatchbacks in the industry these days. The Volkswagen Golf isn’t an exception to that. This model is a certified seller for the German brand in large part because of its unique combination of hot aesthetic styling with its stellar performance capabilities.

But Volkswagen isn’t just keen on keeping the Golf stale. Sometimes, the company takes it a step further, introducing special edition models to keep the Golf fresh and appealing for its loyal fan base.

The launch of the Volkswagen Golf Match is proof of that. It’s been touted as a replacement model for the Golf SE with the added exception of it being more tricked out than the SE at no added cost. That’s incredible for fans of the Golf SE, a lot of whom already attest to the trim’s well-specified status.

Adding new features to the Golf SE is no easy task and yet, Volkswagen successfully did it by adding even more features to the Golf that customers will undoubtedly appreciate. These new features aren’t your run-of-the-mill additions, either. A lot of them, like the front and rear parking sensors, front fog lights, and mirror pack, all serve their own functions. Those mirror packs, in particular, comes with automatically folding door mirrors with puddle lights and reverse-activated dipping on the nearside. Functions, baby!

The Volkswagen Golf Match is already available to order starting at a price of $33,750 for the 1.4-liter TSI all the way up to $41,300 for the 2.0-liter TDI. Deliveries of the models are expected to commence in September.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Volkswagen Golf Match.

The Skoda Octavia vRS , a high-performance version of the company’s notchback sedan and estate, was launched in 2001, five years after the Octavia nameplate was revived. The first-generation model was powered by a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivered 178 ponies. The unit was later upgraded to displace 2.0 liters and churn out 220 horsepower. Going into the 2015 model year, Skoda is rolling out an even more powerful version of the Octavia, taking its output into the 280-horsepower territory.

Developed to mark the 40th anniversary of the RS brand, the fastest Octavia ever built joins the lineup to take over the range-topping model crown from the already powerful vRS. Dubbed Octavia RS+, the new member of the Octavia range also comes with a host of visual improvements meant to raise the bar in terms of sportiness and aggressiveness. A number of exclusive features set it apart from the regular Octavia and even the vRS, but we’ll talk more about that after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the Skoda Octavia RS+.


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