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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.

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

Posted on by Christian Moe +  
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

The Golf lineup is one of the most versatile in the world. If you take all of the engines available, you’ll find that it has gasoline, diesel , CNG and electric models available in the global market, but there are still some holes to fill, according to VW. These holes include the plug-in hybrid segment and the fuel cell market.

Well, the former will be filled as of the 2014 Geneva Auto Show — the fuel cell variant is still in development — as Volkswagen has prepared the Golf GTE, which is a plug-in hybrid that bridges the GTI and e-Golf . Volkswagen built this bridge by taking small elements from both the e-Golf and Golf GTI, and tossing them all into the GTE model.

This little German hatchback is ready to put the world on notice, most notably the BMW i3, that the time is now to start developing new technology.

So, does the GTE live up to all its hype, or is it simply another sub-par plug-in hybrid that has no rear benefits? Click past the jump to read more about the Golf GTE and find out what I think.

Ford Focus

With three years on its ticker, the Focus is ripe for a mid-cycle refresh, and our spy shooters caught a few of these revised Foci out for a testing session. This time around, the Focus sedan and hatchback were caught on ice in Sweden, and the sedan version gave us a nice glimpse of the grille and taillights.

From these little sneak peeks, we can see that the taillights and grille will be revised, and this leads us to assume that the headlights will undergo a pretty significant overhaul too. In fact, this revision is one of the biggest I’ve seen in a while that was not a full overhaul. Leaked images and rumors point toward the typical Aston Martin -like grill, more rounded headlights, a smoother hood and revised bumpers.

Under its hood, the revised Focus will carry over its entire engine lineup and inherit the new 1.0-liter Ecoboost engine that should put down around 100 horsepower. Keep it locked in on TopSpeed.com for more details.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ford Focus.

Mired in the shadows of the more commonly known Passat, the Volkswagen CC is actually a much better option to consider for interested buyers.

That might be a bold statement, but it doesn’t come with any tinge of hyperbole, either.

There’s a lot to like about the CC. It’s body dimensions convey the look of a luxury car and the interior does its best to make you feel like you’re in the same environment. It also has a choice of powertrains that you can pick depending on your preference.

And best of all, you know that you’re not going to burn any holes in your pockets by buying one. Sure, getting the top-of-the-line 3.6 VR6 4MOTION Executive might be a stretch at $42,895, but all other models fall in the range of $32,000 to $38,000.

At the very least, you know you’re getting a ride that’s worth the money.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Volkswagen CC.

Posted on by Pratyush Rout  

Today joining the list of manufacturers who have showcased their cars ahead of the official release in Geneva is Audi with the S3 Cabriolet.

The S3 Cabriolet is the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer’s attempt at creating a new convertible for everyday use with a slightly insane engine, and the automaker has succeeded.

With prices announced and delivery of the S3 cabriolet expected to begin this summer in Germany, the new Audi convertible, with it’s high power and relatively low cost, will certainly act as a high volume generator for the German car maker.

As of now, we do not have any news of the new convertible arriving to the U.S. shores soon but still we welcome the new entrant as it creates a new segment where we will hope to soon see more challengers.

Click past the jump to read all that you need to know about the Audi S3 Cabriolet.

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

The Fiat 500L is the bigger version of the fun and funky Italian Fiat 500. In the stretch, some of the style and excitement was lost in the larger design. Where the 500 looks cute and lithe, the 500L looks a little…frumpy. The larger front end is a bit lumpy, and the longer wheelbase upset the near perfect proportions of the normal 500 .

Fiat has just gone a long way to improving the overall look and style of the 500L with the new Fiat 500L Beats Edition. With a full collection of special exterior embellishments and changes, added to a similar interior treatment, the 500L Beats Edition looks good.

Apart from the improved styling the Beats Edition also comes loaded with a signature Beats Audio stereo. As you may have guessed, the Beats By Dr. Dre stereo collaboration is what paved the way for this stylish five-door’s creation.

Read on for more details on the Fiat 500L Beats Edition

Posted on by Simona  

When the Kia Soul dropped onto the U.S. market in 2010 , hipsters everywhere saw Kia in a whole new light. This boxy compact car had all the tuning capabilities the Honda Civic had when it was a tuning phenomenon through the late 1990s and early 2000s, plus it had a catchy commercial with hip hop hamsters . All was well in the world of the Soul, and it’s about to get even more real with the preparation of the future-generation model.

Fresh off of its facelift in 2011 , the most sold model from Kia has just entered a new generation. The 2014 Kia Soul was unveiled at the 2013 New York Auto Show and will be put on sale in the third quarter of this year.

For the new generation, the Soul has switched to a new chassis, received a new design language inspired by the Track’ster concept and features significant suspension upgrades.

Updated 02/19/2014: TopSpeed editor in chief, Justin Cupler, got his hands on the top-of-the-line Kia Soul for a whole week. Check out the "Driving Impressions" section after the jump to see what he thought.

If there was ever a car in Volkswagen’s lineup that probably has nine lives, it’s probably the Eos . Talks of discontinuing the model have risen to the surface numerous times and yet, here it is, alive and kicking in 2014.

The 2014 Volkswagen Eos continues on in its slot as Volkswagen’s resident entry-level convertible . Not much has changed since the current generation model arrived in 2011 and in some ways, that can be attributed as a positive for the Eos.

See, over the course of its time, the convertible has been offered with some impressive features, including a hardtop roof, comfortable seating, and yes, the option to do away with a ceiling and let your hair enjoy the cool breeze of Mother Nature.

Even its turbocharge engine can be attributed as a boon for the Eos because at the end of the day, riding a convertible is only as good as the power it has under its hood.

So welcome to 2014, Volkswagen Eos. You’ve certainly earned your stay at the party.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Volkswagen Eos.

Volvo’s rise back to relevancy has caught the auto industry’s attention. At the Geneva Motor Show , the Swedish automaker is prepared to take it to another level with the upcoming release of its third and final concept car.

But before that, Volvo’s also introducing its new Ocean Race lineup for the V40 , V40 Cross Country, V60 and XC60. Each model will be given the "Ocean Race" nomenclature and will come with an assortment of colors, including Ocean Blue II, Bright Silver, Black Sapphire and Crystal White.

In addition, each of the Ocean Race models also stand to receive either black or blonde leather upholstery with matching orange stitching, as well as "Volvo Ocean Race" branded sill plates. The same stitching is also be found on the door panels and floor mats, with the latter also carrying a special rubber tag attached. And in case there’s any confusion on the uniqueness of these models, the V60 and XC60’s load cover will be decorated with a Volvo Ocean Race map and logo.

For their part, the V70 and XC70 Ocean Race editions have their own unique offerings, including high-gloss black accents, a special set of 17- or 18-inch Portunus-style alloy wheels, and a lowered suspension that’s exclusive to the V70. Likewise, both models come with black leather seats, cream contrast stitching and sport pedals.

The Volvo Ocean Race Editions will make their debuts at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show before going into production this spring.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Volvo Ocean Race Edition.


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