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.

Vauxhall is a largely unknown brand in the U.S., but it’s got a pretty big following in the UK. In fact, one of the brand’s most popular models is the Corsa supermini, a car that first broke into the scene back in 1982 as the Opel Corsa. The Corsa was actually called the Nova in its first incarnation out of fears that Corsa was too close to the word "coarser". It doesn’t exactly build up confidence that a model’s name sounds like a word that means "poor quality". Over time, Vauxhall finally adapted the Corsa name, beginning the supermini’s run that has lasted four generations. After years of bland facelifts and minor upgrades, Vauxhall finally welcomed the fourth-generation Corsa for 2015, complete with enough new features and new technology to make your head spin. Vauxhall also confirmed that it’s going to release a VXR variant of the Corsa. Good times all around!

Before diving into the Vauxhall Corsa, it’s important to remember that Opel and Vauxhall actually share the Corsa model. The two models are virtually identical except for the different company badges. The only difference is that the model is badged as a Vauxhall in the UK while Opel is used throughout Europe.

The Vauxhall Corsa is an incredibly popular model in the UK, routinely averaging over 83,000 units sold per year. That’s second only to its closest competitor, the Ford Fiesta . But here’s the catch: the Corsa was still getting strong sales numbers despite the fact that the third-generation model was in its last stages.

But with an all-new, fourth-generation model scheduled to hit showrooms for 2015, you can bet that more people will be clamoring to get a piece of the Corsa.

Is 100,000 units a year possible for the fourth-generation Vauxhall Corsa? We can’t tell you that right now, but all the signs seem to point to a resounding "yes!"

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Vauxhall Corsa

Launched in 1996, the first-generation Mazda2 had very little in common with the current supermini. More a minivan-like, tall hatchback with a boxy design, the Mazda2 , also known as the Mazda Demio, was offered with a couple of small-displacement, four-cylinder, gasoline engines that delivered 82 horsepower (1.3-liter) and 99 ponies (1.5-liter). The first-gen Mazda2 became a hit in Japan and was kept in production until 2002. The second-gen model brought major styling changes to the 2, but the company kept the tall, minivan-like design, while adding new gasoline engines, including a diesel. It was 2007 when the third-generation Mazda2 arrived and the compact started looking more like the supermini we all know today. The third-gen car is also the first Mazda2 to arrive Stateside, following its debut at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show. After nearly eight years on the market, the Mazda2 is finally receiving its much-needed overhaul for the 2015 model year.

The supermini follows into footsteps of the Mazda3 and Mazda6 in design and technology, as it comes to life as a production version of the 2014 Hazumi Concept . Set to go on sale in Japan by the end of 2014, the Mazda2 won’t hit U.S. shores until 2015 (2016 model year). But until it does, let’s have a look at what the redesigned supermini has to offer.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mazda2.

It appears that Audi is planning to ramp the number of models it offers to 60 by the end of this decade. Though 60 models sounds like a tremendous number, Audi already produces 50. Adding an extra 10 vehicles in the next five years will be no easy task, however. The news comes by way of an interview Audi exec Chairman Rupert Stadler had with Car Magazine.

Stadler wouldn’t discuss the exact makeup of the 10 upcoming vehicles, but he did reveal the details about one, the Q1 crossover. The Q1 will share many of its components with the small Audi A1 and act in relation to it like the Q3 does with the A3 . “You’ll see the Q1 at the end of 2015 or possibly early 2016,” Stadler told Car. “The Audi Q1 is part of our broad-based SUV strategy. It is designed on the basis of the MQB modular transverse engine concept and will round off our Q series at the bottom end.”

While the Q1 will be an all-new product, it’s unlikely Audi’s other nine vehicles will be so unique. Remember that Audi counts each sub model as its own, so the S- and RS-badged vehicles are counted separately in the overall number, despite them sharing a large majority of parts with the their less-powerful versions.

Stadler mentioned possible open slots for cars in the C- and D-segments for vehicles priced over €70,000 to 80,000 price bracket. That possibly means new spin-offs of the A6 , A7 , and A8 sedans. He says the A4 and A5 vehicles are an existing example, as it’s complete with Avants , coupes , and Sportbacks.

Click past the jump to read more about Audi’s future plans.

Source: CAR

In 2007, Honda rebadged its useful and popular Jazz model as the Fit and released it in America. Americans immediately took notice, as the unstable prices in fuel led us to start looking at smaller vehicles. What’s more, the debut Fit also had a massive 57-cubic-foot cargo area that no other compact hatchbacks could come close to. In 2015 — after a one-year break — the Fit returns with an all-new look, new cabin, updated engine, and a huge increase in rear-seat room.

I spent a week behind the wheel of the range-topping 2015 Fit EX-L — the first Fit to feature leather upholstery — and came away mighty impressed. The roominess was out of this world, the cargo area was incredible and the smattering of features were nice additions. As with most entry-level cars with leather interior, this was the sore spot in the whole thing. The leather seemed haphazardly slapped over cloth and hard plastic, leaving some fit and finish issues, and black leather is simply unbearable in the summer.

the real question is whether the iffy leather left a bad taste in my mouth or were the good parts of this compact hatch enough to make me overlook my problems with the cow hide?

Click past the jump to read my Driven review on the 2015 Fit and find out.

German manufacturer Volkswagen wasn’t the official car sponsor of the 2014 World Cup. That distinction belongs to Hyundai and Kia . But with Germany’s World Cup triumph over Argentina cementing Die Mannschaft’s fourth World Cup title in history, Volkswagen couldn’t resist getting in on all the celebration.

The company just couldn’t resist needling Argentina, could it? In a new ad promoting the new Volkswagen Golf , the company simulated the finals between Germany and Argentina using a bunch of Golf models to take the place of the players. Top Gear’s done something like this before so just go along if you recognize the setup.

Naturally, the Golf models with German flag liveries were the ones to come up on top and in the ensuing celebration, the commentator loudly exclaims "Goooooolll....f", a unique twist to the iconic play-by-play commentary of Univision. The commercial marries sports and the auto industry in a pretty cool manner.

Volkswagen beat its rivals to the punch with this one. Now we wait to see if Mercedes , BMW , Audi , or Porsche have something up their sleeves, too.

Posted on by Austin Taylor  

The new Audi Q3 will be released this fall as a 2015 model. A tad late to the compact, luxury-crossover party, mostly dominated by the BMW X1 , it should be worth the wait and give the Bimmer some legitimate competition. Based on the capable Volkswagen Tiguan , it shares the basic body but has its own unique Audi-esque styling cues, which include the familiar Audi grille , an attractive, coupe-like roofline, and a sharp character line that runs the length of the vehicle.

Other differences from the Tiguan include a lightweight aluminum hood, liftgate and suspension components. Power will come from the corporate 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four, netting 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque, connected to a six-speed automatic. This configuration has proven more than adequate in every Volkswagen and Audi application, and should have no trouble here, either. Quattro all-wheel drive will be an option. Expect typical Audi luxury, with a sumptuous interior, and top-notch fit and finish.

While we are certainly eager to get our hands on the new Q3, perhaps what are even more exciting are the reports of the second-generation model, due out for the 2017 model year. The biggest news is that we have received confirmation that the next-generation Q3 will be inspired by the legendary Audi Quattro , released in 1980.

Note: Current generation Audi Q3 pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Audi Q3.

Nissan seems to be taking a play right from Tesla’s electric car playbook, as the automaker introduces its “No Charge to Charge” program. As the program’s name suggests, it allows new Nissan LEAF owners to charge their all-electric cars at any one of Nissan’s growing network of charging stations. Already live in 10 markets across the U.S., the 2,600 public charging stations and 200 quick charging stations will accept Nissan’s EZ-ChargeSM card.

Acting like a credit card, the EZ-ChargeSM card will give owners the change to fill their batteries, but without a bill at the end of the month. Nissan is planning to grow the network of quick-charging stations by an additional 500 units at Nissan dealerships, and local businesses and municipalities across the country. Those businesses and municipal partners will include those who’ve partnered with Nissan in key LEAF markets.

The EZ-ChargeSM card also opens up the nation’s leading five EV charging networks that include ChargePoint, Blink, CarCharging, AeroVironment, and NRG eVgo. The stations are accessible in the top-10 LEAF market across the country including the cities of San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Seat Seat tle, Portland, Oregon., Nashville, Phoenix, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston and Washington, D.C. The dealer network will then extend into another 15 additional EV markets outside those cities.

LEAF owners will be able to charge their vehicles up to 80 percent in roughly 30 minutes at the quick-charging stations. Obviously the conventional charging stations will take longer to charge a depleted battery.

Click past the jump to read more about the Nissan LEAF.

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.


Back to top