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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.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Most of you are probably already familiar with the Honda Fit , the five-door subcompact that’s available nationwide with a puny, 1.5-liter four-pot under the hood. What you might not be aware of is that the automaker also builds a crossover on the same underpinnings. It’s dubbed the Vezel and has been offered in Japan since last December.

No biggie, because you’ll get to see it in person in the fourth quarter of 2014, when Honda brings it to America under the HR-V name. The new vehicle will fit right below the popular CR-V and will be manufactured in Mexico before being shipped to U.S. showrooms.

Details are limited at the time of this writing, but the first official photos released at the New York Auto Show reveal that the HR-V has very little in common with the Fit as far as design goes, bearing a styling of its own that includes a few trademark cues seen on the larger CR-V.

Honda says the HR-V will be quite the spacious and practical vehicle, thanks to "a unique center tank layout" and the Magic Seat system it will be fitted with. If you’re not familiar with the latter, it allows for multiple seating configurations and a second row that can be folded completely for extra cargo space.

There’s no word on powertrains, but expect the HR-V to be motivated by the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder unit found in the Fit. The engine delivers 130 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT, enabling the hatchback to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 8.5 seconds.

Pricing is also a mystery, but our guess is the brand-new crossover’s sticker will sit anywhere between $18,000 and $19,000.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Honda HR-V.

The 2014 New York Auto Show is here and Mini has brought with it the new 2015 Countryman . It’s safe to say that the Countryman has come a long way since being introduced to the U.S. in the 2011 model year, even establishing a following of its own that’s unique to all other variants of the Cooper .

Being a five-door model was probably a big advantage for those who sought a bigger Cooper. It was also the first all-wheel drive Mini , which made it ideal as one of the few Coopers that can hit the beaten path when called upon.

The 2015 Countryman doesn’t offer a lot of changes that will blow you away. But the success of the Countryman as a unique model should make the 2015 model another popular seller. If anything, the minor cosmetic tweaks can be described as a bonus relative to what the whole package is offering.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mini Countryman.

It goes without saying that the Lexus CT 200h is about as unique a car you can find for a hybrid hatch . Lexus has done a lot of work to bring out the best of this model in the past few years, even adding the unique spindle grille styling for the 2014 model. But even that wasn’t enough for the company because lo and behold, we now have the CT 200h F Sport.

The graduation from the standard model to the one with an F Sport stamp of approval is mostly limited to aesthetic and aerodynamic changes, but the difference between the two is pretty drastic, particularly on how sportier and more aggressive the front section of the CT 200h F Sport looks. Those inserts really do a lot to bring out the hybrid’s menacing look, right?

We certainly think so, and that’s one of the reasons why we think highly of the model, other than its obvious performance and efficiency numbers.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Lexus CT 200h F Sport.

Volkswagen has unveiled all of the juicy bits for the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI . Suffice to say, the MK VII Golf GTI has the refined power we all look for in a sports hatchback . The 2015 model not only has that in spades, thanks to a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, I-4 engine that packs 210 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, but it also has a lot of standard and optional features to choose from.

Even better, Volkswagen is set to offer a Performance Package for the Golf GTI later in the year. This package is expected to include larger brakes, a torque-sensing electronically-controlled limited-slip differential, and a 10 horsepower boost over the regular GTI, all for just $1,495. The Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adaptive damping system will also be available later in the 2015 model year on the SE and Autobahn models with the Performance Package.

Needless to say, there’s a lot to be giddy about with the 2015 Golf GTI and we won’t blame you for feeling the same way.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

The success of the Volkswagen Jetta is unquestioned. After all, it doesn’t earn the distinction of being VW’s best-selling vehicle for nothing. That being said, it’s a little disappointing that the 2015 Jetta , which is set to make its debut at the New York Auto Show , didn’t receive as many upgrades as we had anticipated. But hey, Volkswagen seems to think that the modifications it did put in are enough to continue the Jetta’s path as its breadwinner. It’s hard to argue on that front considering that the variety of Jetta models that are likely to be offered in the market will run the gamut of customer preferences.

Be it an entry-level Jetta, or the diesel-sipping Jetta TDI, this Volkswagen sedan is as versatile as they come in the business. Oh, and it’s got a workhorse GLI model, too, just in case you’re looking for one that has 200 horsepower under its hood.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Volkswagen Jetta.


Not to toot our own horn, but we did call this , didn’t we? Mini has officially announced the winner of the "MINI Originals” design contest and like we predicted, that Tron-looking Cooper, dubbed "DeLux" by creator Alex Coyle, was announced as the winner of the competition.

The blacklight-influenced Mini Cooper beat out some worthy challengers, but in the end, none were as popular to the Mini community as Coyle’s design, whose name he explained came from the word "lux," the "root meaning of the word ’light’".

As the winner of the contest, the young sophomore student studying creative advertising and photography at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA will now have the distinction of seeing his creation come to life in the form of a limited run of Coopers carrying the ’DeLux" package.

Anybody interested in it can now place orders on MINIUSA.com and through MINI dealerships across the country. Be warned, though, Mini has indicated that there will only be up to 56 models of Coyle’s DeLux package so if you’re pining for one, better place an order before the units run out.

In the meantime, the DeLux Cooper will be in attendance at the New York Auto Show next week so that’s also a good a time as any to have an up-close look at this very unique Cooper.

Click past the jump to read more about Mini Cooper.

The 2015 Ford Focus Sedan looks different, doesn’t it? That’s because Ford really went into detail on giving the sedan a refreshed look, at least much more than what you would expect when the word "refresh" is thrown around. But that’s been a Blue Oval strategy for the past few years and with that increased emphasis on keeping the car looking as fresh as possible should translate into renewed interest from the market.

In a lot of ways, the 2015 Focus Sedan is the latest example of that because the car is essentially the same save for the new face and a few interior updates. It’s hard to go against this strategy because Ford has been doing it in some capacity in the past few years and there have been occassions when other brands have adopted the same mindset.

But the real question is whether all these changes are enough to compel a new wave of buyers to be interested in the Focus Sedan, especially when you consider that it’s got some notable rivals in the form of the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla .

Ford’s banking on it and to its credit, it’s putting a lot of chips on the table to do it.

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


Audi is coming to the Beijing Motor Show later this month with what looks to be an all-new crossover concept that could serve as a preview of the future Q4 crossover. Rumors of this Audi crossover have been circulating for years, and if you take a good look at these sketches, it does bear a striking similarity to the Allroad Shooting Brake Concept that we first saw in Detroit last January.

Audi hasn’t released any details about the new concept, opting only to name the sketch as an "Audi showcar Beijing 2014".

Don’t be surprised then if we see a great deal of this concept in Audi’s future crossover lineup. The details are certainly there, specifically how the clamshell hood and the low, curved roof looks the part of a smaller crossover that should fit in nicely with the rest of Audi’s Q line. Likewise, the large chromed front grille that’s flanked by the sharp and sleek LED headlights are aggressive touches to the overall design.

Of particular note, though, are the wheel arches that appear to have been made from one component and wraps itself the entire concept. That’s something to look out for in future Audi models. Moving to the back, the unique exhaust detail shows a chromed bar with "quattro" lettering that connects the two exhaust pipes.

More details about this Beijing-bound Q4 concept are expected to be revealed in the coming days.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi Q4.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Previewed by a concept car that was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show last month, the next-generation Mini Clubman will break cover sometime next year, after the company’s engineers and test drivers are finished putting it through its paces. It was January when our skilled spy photographers previously caught the Clubman out in the open. The prototype was being tested in blistery Sweden, with very little to offer as far as its styling goes, due to its heavy camouflage.

More than two months have passed, and our lensmen met with the Clubman once again, this time in a less icy environment. Actually, they’ve encountered it in a place that’s not exactly suited for a fancy grocery-getter — the Nurburgring. Yes, I know, each and every manufacturer needs to hoon their vehicles on the "Green Hell" for approval, but it’s overrated if you ask me.

Anyway, this specific Clubman is slightly different than the one spotted in Sweden earlier this year. Firstly, the front bumper intakes and the wheels are different. Secondly, a quick peak around the back reveals a twin exhaust. These details suggest we might be looking at a Clubman S version, which would make more sense considering the location it was spotted in.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Clubman.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

With nine months of year-over-year sales gains during 2013 and off to a great start in 2014, the tiny Fiat 500 is becoming increasingly popular nationwide, mostly because of its classic look and affordable price. Its 101-horsepower, inline-four engine won’t break any speed records, but this is where the brawnier Abarth version comes in. Yes, the Fiat 500 Abarth is being readied for the 2015 model year as we speak, with the high-performance city car scheduled to be showcased during the New York Auto Show later this month, in both hatchback and cabrio guises.

To keep the 500 Abarth appealing for 2015, the Italians have operated a number of interior and powertrain updates without altering the vehicle’s sporty character. In fact, the new transmission the 500 Abarth is set to receive promises to offer "an even more engaged driving experience."

Last time we drove the Fiat 500 Abarth we dubbed it "mini Ferrari" . Now let’s find out if this little, turbocharged hatch is ready to carry its legacy even further.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio.


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