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 Nissan Versa Note is the smallest and cheapest hatch you can get from Nissan . It was built to provide the highest level of space and equipment for the lowest possible price. The car has been a solid seller for Nissan in the past, but for 2014 it is all-new. A new exterior shape comes to the car , along with a fresh interior design and new gadgets that have been pulled from some of the much more expensive cars in the Nissan family.

With a new design, revised equipment levels, improved interior space and the promise even better fuel economy, the Versa Note is offering a lot. Has Nissan had to cut corners on build quality and refinement to hit a price target? Will the increased fuel economy come at the cost of driving fun?

I was handed the keys to a top-level model with every bell and whistle Nissan could throw at it. Would the cheap five-door win me over, or did Nissan drop the ball with its reinvented people mover?

Read on to see what we thought about the 2014 Nissan Versa Note.

The Smart ForTwo will never be mistaken as a fast and powerful car and everyone knows that speed really isn’t its selling point. Knowing that has actually led us to ponder one of life’s most important questions: why would Brabus , a bastion of aftermarket power and performance, waste its time on a ForTwo?

The German aftermarket company has actually worked on the ForTwo before so an answer to the aforementioned question is really irrelevant at this point. Apparently, Brabus likes the ForTwo enough to turn it into its own version of a pocket rocket.

Recently, our master spy photographers managed to take a handful of photos of the Brabus-prepred Smart ForTwo. It’s heavily decked in camouflage so its hard to make out the exact work the German tuner did on the small city car.

It’s still unclear as to how much power Brabus has in store for the new Smart ForTwo. Rumors are circulating that this ForTwo will receive close to 120 horsepower under its hood. That’s an incredible number for a car of this size.

The 2015 Smart ForTwo by Brabus is expected to hit the showroom floor sooner than later, but before that, we’re anticipating it to be unveiled in a major auto show, possibly at Geneva in March 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the Smart ForTwo By Brabus.

Tesla has officially announced its next product: the Model III. Scheduled to debut in 2017 after the upcoming Model X SUV, the midsize Model III sedan has its sights set squarely on the BMW 3 Series . Tesla’s new car will slot under the popular Model S in both size and price.

Keeping with its unconventional business methods, Tesla announced the product in an interview with AutoExpress. CEO Elon Musk says the new car will cost $35,000 and have a range of 200 miles on a single charge. The candid interview continued with Musk mentioning he wanted the new car called the Model E, but ran into red tape with Ford , which apparently holds rights to the name.

To combat the nomenclature woes, Tesla will badge the new car with the Roman numeral “III.” We have to give pause to Tesla’s naming scheme, particularly because of the combination of the Model S, the Model E (err Model III), and the Model X. It seems the world can see Elon Musk’s rather interesting sense of humor.

While the Models S, III, and X are the main focus of Tesla’s future, the company is giving early adopters a substantial power boost. Musk continued in the interview saying Tesla will offer the original Tesla Roadster a replacement battery that extends its range to 400 miles while boosting power. Musk says, “which will allow you to drive from LA to San Francisco non-stop.”

Updated 07/23/2014: We prepared a rendering for the future Tesla Model III. Check it out after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Tesla Model III.

Source: AutoExpress

Skoda’s popularity in Europe can’t be understated, even if the brand is relatively anonymous in this part of the world. But Europeans love their Skodas and the company knows that, which is why it has undertaken an initiative to launch a special ’Black Edition’ set for the entire range. The Octavia is arguably the most popular Skoda model today. That’s why we’re focusing on this one instead of those ho-hum Citigo and Super Estate models. To its credit, the Octavia is actually a pretty decent model that comes packed with a lot of nice touches and useful technology.

The Skoda Octavia Black Edition is available in either the Hatch and Estate body styles, and carries a 2.0-liter TDi engine that produces either 138 horsepower or 167 ponies.

We’re never going to see the Octavia or any of the Skoda models here in the U.S., but for our friends across the pond, the whole range is available, including the Octavia Black Edition that retails for £21,685. That’s about $37,000 as of 7/22/2014.

Click past the jump to read more about Skoda Octavia Black Edition.

We haven’t been shy about the vehicles we admire here on Topspeed. The Lexus NX midsize SUV falls into that list. The arrival of the NX has given Lexus a model to compete against the likes of the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5 . But if the company really wants to make a statement, a smaller version of the NX should be on the horizon, right?

Lexus Europe Vice President Alain Uyttenhoven spoke with Autocar about the possibility of a smaller Lexus SUV . He wasn’t totally open but he also didn’t shoot it down, leaving us hanging with nail-biting phrases like “not impossible” and “makes sense”.

The man clearly knows how to evade leading questions, even if it comes at our unfortunate expense. But if you read between the lines, there is reason to be optimistic. For one, Uyttenhoven didn’t completely deny the possibility of a smaller, NX-based SUV. We’re going to take that as a sign that Lexus could be considering such a model in the future. For now, that’s a "win" in our book

Lexus does have a real gem in the NX SUV, and If it can use that as a basis for a smaller version, there will be no shortage of competitors sweating out the model’s arrival. Models like the BMW X1 , the Audi Q3 , and the Mercedes-Benz GLA should all be worried if Lexus does release a competing model.

The ball, it seems, is in Lexus’ court. What it does with it could change the landscape of the luxury , compact SUV segment.

Note: Lexus NX pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about Lexus NX.

Source: AutoCar

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.

Jaguar may not have as huge a presence at this year’s Geneva Auto Show now that its big reveals of the F-type Roadster and Coupe have been accomplished, but that hasn’t stopped them from teasing us with their next big reveal. All we have are a few teaser images and a few small details, but Jaguar has confirmed that their compact 3 Series -fighter is real and it is going to wear the name XE.

This new car will be the first that is built using Jaguar’s all-new aluminum architecture that was first previewed with the C-X17 Concept SUV . Jaguar has been building aluminum intensive cars for over a decade now, but this move will further reduce the weight of Jaguar’s many offerings.

The new XE will likely create the backbone of Jaguar’s sales once it hits showrooms in 2015 (US availability is 2016). It will likely eclipse the sales of all the other Jaguars combined in its first year on sale.

For such a mainstream model, expect a range of engine options and power outputs from a base four-cylinder all the way to a potential M3 fighter with the supercharged V-6 from the F-Type.

Updated 07/15/2014: Jaguar officially announced that the all-new XE will be officially unveiled in London on September 8th, 2014. Also, the model will offer a "lightweight construction expertise and sophisticated chassis technology in addition to the new family of Ingenium engines. Details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about 2014 Jaguar XE


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