small family cars

small family cars

BMW ’s modern history with compact cars began in 1993 with the liftback version of the 3 Series . Discontinued in 2000, the compact Bimmer returned for the 2005 model year as the 1 Series . Four different body styles were built until 2013, when BMW decided to invent a new moniker for the two-door coupe and convertible . The coupe became the 2 Series , while the three-door and five-door hatchbacks continued as the 1 Series. The second-gen hatchbacks were launched in 2011 and a refreshed model is expected to debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show . Meanwhile, BMW is working to expand the 1 Series lineup to include a sedan, giving it yet another way to compete against its long-time German rivals from Mercedes-Benz and Audi .

Created to go against the A3 Sedan and the CLA four-door coupe, the 1 Series Sedan has become more than just an idea as of September 2014. Scheduled to break cover sometime in 2016, the four-door is already being tested on the company’s new UKL platform. This detail is of great importance, as BMW is switching to front-wheel-drive, a configuration Audi and Mercedes have already embraced for the A3 and the CLA, respectively.

Updated 09/11/2014: We have prepared a new rendering for you showing the future 1 Series Sedan. It features the latest BMW design language, that includes the updated headlamp style that run into the grill. Check it out after the jump.

The venerable Corolla has been a mainstay in Toyota’s U.S. lineup since its introduction in 1968. Toyota’s longest-running nameplate has undergone numerous alterations over the years, but has always remained a stalwart of the compact sedan segment. In 1997, the Corolla surpassed the Volkswagen Beetle as the best selling nameplate worldwide. That tradition continues today with the updated 2014 Toyota Corolla .

I recently spent a week getting to know a Corolla equipped in the LE Eco trim — the Corolla’s most fuel-efficient trim package. Equipped with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, electronic power steering, skinny tires, and a Continuously Variable Transmission, the Corolla earns an EPA economy rating of 30 mpg city, 42 mpg highway, and 35 mpg combined.

Coated in a deep Evergreen color, the Corolla did a great job at keeping its fuel-conscience end of the bargain. My weekly total average topped just over 31 mpg, besting the Corolla’s EPA city rating. A light throttle and careful driving quickly saw the average increase on slower highway jaunts, making the EPA’s estimates seem obtainable.

The Corolla proved to be a reasonable yet rather tossable set of wheels during its week stay, though there were a few quibbles about NVH.

Click past the jump for the full review of the new 2014 Toyota Corolla

Honda introduced the CR-V in 1995. The crossover was based on the Honda Civic and came with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Built until 2001, the first-gen CR-V came to the United States in 1997 and had a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine rated at 126 horsepower. A 1999 facelift saw power increase to 147 ponies, as Honda responded to criticism that the crossover was underpowered. The second-gen model arrived in 2001 with extensive visual and technology upgrades. Three new engines were introduced, including a 2.4-liter inline-four. The CR-V was redesigned yet again for the 2007 model year, when production of the crossover began at the company’s new East Liberty, Ohio plant. The fourth-gen CR-V debuted at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show and went on sale for 2012. In 2014, the vehicle is powered by a 2.4-liter, four-banger producing 185 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque. As we move into 2015, the current CR-V is getting ready to receive a facelift, which will arrive in dealerships for the 2016 model year.

Revised front and rear fascia, an updated interior and an enhanced engine are the main feats surrounding this mid-cycle upgrade.

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

The Legacy was a bit of a departure from the Subarus of the past when it rolled onto U.S. dealer lots in 1990. The all-new Legacy featured a new flat-four engine that was more refined and quieter than the automaker’s previous engines and it didn’t have to share the engine bay with the car’s spare tire. Yes, that was a thing. The Legacy’s first generation lasted until 1995 when the second generation took over. The Legacy was new again in 2000, 2004, and 2010 with the third, fourth, and fifth generations, respectively. Despite the changes over the years, the Legacy never lost its “quirkiness;” among which was a standard all-wheel-drive system and a manual transmission option.

Now totally redesigned for its sixth generation, the 2015 Legacy is a new bag of tricks. Subaru has seemingly traded quirkiness for quietness – a sort of yielding to the needs of the mainstream. Gone are the manual transmissions and visceral feelings of driving; replaced by a car better suited to compete with the likes of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

I recently spent a week getting to know this new Subaru inside and out. My particular tester came loaded to the hilt with the most inclusive option package. Decked out in the Limited Trim, the car came with the “Moonroof + Keyless Access & Push-Button Start + Navigation” package. What’s more, under the hood was the optional 3.6-liter flat-six-cylinder engine that powers all four wheels.

Click past the jump for the full review of the all-new 2015 Subaru Legacy

If you happen to own one of the most beautiful mid-size sedans on sale, the new Mazda6, you may want to get to your dealer really quickly. Mazda and the NHTSA are recalling more than 19,000 2014 Mazda6 models for issues with the fuel system.

Now what happens is actually little awkward, but apparently you can put too much gas inside the tank. The back pressure that should build up to shut off the pump doesn’t do so at a low enough volume. Sure, you could accidentally spill some fuel and ruin your new shoes, but the real concern is a much different issue.

Image you fill up your car on a nice, crisp spring morning, and the temperature is a brisk 45 degrees. If you have that tank too full and the temp gets hot outside, all that fuel will begin to expand. According to the NHTSA, that fuel could find its way into the charcoal canister which is a part used for improved emissions. Yes, that means fuel is going near the exhaust system. Last time I checked, hot metal and gasoline was a pretty reliable recipe for making fire.

All it takes to fix is a quick adapter in the tank shut-off valve, and it shouldn’t take very long to fix. Just make sure you get into your Mazda dealer to have it done. You don’t want your car to burst into flames because you were too lazy to see a dealer, do you?

Read more about the Mazda Mazda6 sedan after the break.

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

Honda’s entry into the hybrid hatch market hasn’t come without any adversity. It’s tough enough to break into a segment long dominated by the Toyota Prius and etch a name for itself; even more so that you’re coming into the fight with less fuel economy than the proverbial kingpin.

But all is not lost in Honda’s quarters. After all, the 2014 Insight still has some cards up its sleeve, starting with a price considered as the least expensive in the market. And like with most hybrids , fuel economy is always a hallmark for the Insight, thanks to its capability to hit 41 mph in the city and 44 mpg on the highway.

All that, though, and you’re still likely to take what you can get with the Insight. It doesn’t look nearly as good as what you’d like, but for a car that doesn’t do much outside give you bang for your buck in mileage, you take what you can get on the other things.

Click past the jump to read more about 2014 Honda Insight

Source: Honda Insight
Posted on by Simona  

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI arrived for the first time on the North American market in 1984, and to celebrate its 30th anniversary, the company announced today the special edition Edition 30. The model will be offered in two trim levels: Edition 30 and Edition 30 with Navigation, and will be put on sale in early 2014.

When compared to a base Jetta GLI, the new Edition 30 version will be distinguished by a red trim on the front grille, a trunk lid-mounted spoiler, "Edition 30" badges and a set of 18-inch, “Laguna” aluminum-alloy wheels. Buyers can order the Jetta GLI Edition 30 in just in four exterior colors: Deep Black Metallic, Pure White, Tornado Red and Reflex Silver Metallic.

The interior will be distinguished from normal Jetta GLIs by V-Tex leatherette seats with contrasting red accents, a new steering wheel with the same red contrast stitching. There will also be carbon-look trim inlays; "Edition 30" kickplates and floormats with red stitching.

Depending on the trim level, the new GLI Edition 30 offers as standard feature: leather-wrapped sport steering wheel, Premium VIII touchscreen radio with SiriusXM Satellite Radio or RNS 315 touchscreen navigation system.

Click past the jump for a short history on Jetta GLI’s presence on the North American market.

Posted on by Simona  

Mini decided to add some flavor to the Countryman and Paceman lineup and added a new Frozen Black metallic paint offered in a limited edition for the top models in the lineup. The new paint features a textured, shimmering matte finish and offers the Mini model a more expressive appearance.

Applying the new Frozen Black finish requires a special procedure, and Mini applies it in three layers: special surface treatment, color, then a clear lacquer finish. For the attached exterior parts, like the front and rear aprons and the exterior mirror caps the new Frozen Black metallic paint is applied separately.

This new paint is completely weather resistant and car wash resistant, but Mini advices against waxing or polishing it by hand. BMW BMW — Mini’s parent company — offers a special line of products developed for treating the Frozen Black metallic paint finish. Typical Bimmer move: specialize everything to maximize future profits.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Countryman and Paceman.

Posted on by TB +  

All this talk of gorgeous HD Point-of-View driving videos reminds me of a knockout drive to share here as part of a travel article.

The four videos show the high-def ascent of the Pikes Peak Toll Road outside Colorado Springs, Colorado. Taken earlier this summer by none other than this grinning goon.

The car of choice for this adventure is the only car for the job, in my opinion. My cherished but battered 2005 http://www.topspeed.com/cars/subaru... Subaru Legacy GT manual Wagon.

This is the car that I mention in my bio as currently non-functional in garage ion the updated TopSpeed Team page...

It is still needing a big electronics overhaul to come back to life as spunky as it was when new.

But watching the clouds roll by while the upgraded turbo spins furiously and boost spikes as high as 19 PSI.

Climbing Pikes Peak takes about 45 minutes and costs about $12.00 per car. It is mostly tourists driving very slowly, with double yellow no-passing zones all the way to the top.

But on that rare sunny day, the only things slowing you down are fear of heights and the thin atmosphere at the 14,000-foot crest of the peak.

Click past the jump for the next four videos in this series, in order, going up and coming down the legendary Pikes Peak in all its high-definition glory.


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