Compact Car reviews

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2023 BMW X1

2023 BMW X1

BMW’s entry-level SUV is in for a major overhaul that will include an all-electric version dubbed iX1

There is no secret that the X1 is getting a bit long in the tooth just like there is no secret that BMW is already working on the crossover’s replacement. Test mules have been spotted recently doing pre-production runs and with a debut slated for 2022, it is time to reassess what we know about the incoming BMW X1.

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MINI Cooper EV

MINI Cooper EV

The car was recently spotted testing in the EV avatar that will be sold alongside the fuel-powered Cooper

After entering the world of electrification with the Mini Cooper SE a couple of years back, the automaker is now gearing up for its next adventure. The next-gen Mini Cooper EV was recently spied in Sweden during a winter test session. The upcoming Mini Copper EV is still at least a couple of years away, but it will play an important part in shaping the company’s future. The car was spied with heavy camouflage that barely gives anything away, but here’s what we’ve documented about it.

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2021 Audi Q5 Sportback

2021 Audi Q5 Sportback

The Q5 Sportback is Audi’s offering to growing coupe segment

For the folks who like their SUVs with coupè-like sloping rooflines, here’s Audi’s latest product – the Q5 Sportback. Audi calls them Crossover Utility Vehicles, and the Q5 Sportback is the third product in this lineup, following the Q3 Sportback and the e-tron Sportback. The Q5 Sportback is Audi’s take on the BMW X4 and the Mercedes GLC Coupe. The Q5 Sportback commands a premium of $4,500 over the SUV style for mainly an exterior appearance package, sleeker looks, and some other minor aesthetic upgrades. Is it worth it? Well, you tell us.

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21 Awesome Hot Hatches That Americans Can't Drive

21 Awesome Hot Hatches That Americans Can’t Drive

Yes, twenty one

The world of hot hatches is far more interesting than what we in the U.S. can ever fathom. The Europeans are particularly fond of them (the Brits especially), which led to the development of some of the most amazing cars. Some of them have never even appeared on U.S. shores. Believe it or not, I have found 21 awesome hot hatches from the past five years that have never set their tires on this side of the pond.

While compiling this list, I have come to a conclusion that buyers and drivers in the U.S. are usually really predictable. Apart from some producers who do not sell in the U.S. at all, international safety (UNECE) standards for car production are the ones to blame for a shortage of some of these cars.

We’re not compliant with those standards as we have our own set of rules called the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. In short, a disparity like this makes it very expensive for car producers to create two different versions of a car. And, that is exactly what is needed if you want to sell the same car in the U.S. and in the rest of the world.

Nevertheless, walk through this 4,853 horsepower list and imagine what your life would be like if some of these hot hatches could actually come here.

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2021 Hyundai Bayon

2021 Hyundai Bayon

Hyundai has a new small SUV aimed at crossover-loving Europe

If it is not broke, do not fix it. The world’s appetite for crossovers and SUVs is still going strong and as long as people will buy these high-riding people carriers, carmakers will do everything in their power to milk the trend.

Hyundai is one of those carmakers and the milking will now be done via its new Europe-headed crossover, the Bayon. This is everything you need to know about the car that is supposed to poach customers from the likes of Ford Puma and Nissan Juke.

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2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

The Bolt EUV is better-equipped than the Bolt EV, courtesy of stuff like panoramic sunroof and Super Cruise technology

With a barrage of mass-produced EVs hitting the scene lately, Chevy’s offering to the segment, the Bolt, was looking more and more expensive by the day. Paying over $40,000 for a small hatch didn’t make much sense when you could get a competent product like Tesla Model 3 for that money. So, for the 2022 model, the automaker introduced some new features and reduced the price by $5,000!

However, to not create a vacuum and let the competition capitalize on it, the Bowtie also introduced a bigger “SUV-like” product called the Bolt EUV. It is priced on par with the outgoing Bolt and happens to be the first Chevy product to be offered with Super Cruise. Is this going to be the next-big-thing for the automaker in the EV market?

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2021 Toyota Yaris Cross

2021 Toyota Yaris Cross

The Yaris just got tougher and more electrifying

Toyota is in the midst of reorganizing its lineup and the Yaris Cross will be the next one to step in, as the brand’s newest compact crossover. With the Yaris Cross being positioned under the C-HR, Toyota will now have a complete portfolio of crossover vehicles. The model is aimed specifically for Europe, where compact dimensions, combined with a high seating position and rugged design are valued. The model will be assembled in France, where more than 150,000 units per year will be made. Here’s why Toyota is betting so much on it.

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2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

The refreshed Tiguan comes with new face, new tech, but the same old engine under the hood

The Tiguan is almost 15 years old and it won’t be wrong to say that Volkswagen has been a little slow to update it as per the segment standards. The second generation came out in 2016 and the German automaker milked the design for almost four years before bringing out the facelift. The 2021 Tiguan is the typical mid-cycle refresh one would expect. It comes with slightly revised aesthetics, new tech features, and also some announcements about newer offerings with the product lineup.

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2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

The 2022 Bolt EV is smarter, comes with refreshed interior, and receives a price cut of over $5,000!

With growing competition in the so-called affordable EV segment, Chevy had to make sure its offering, the Bolt, didn’t fade away into oblivion. For the 2022 model year, Chevy has refreshed the Bolt EV and simultaneously introduced an SUV-esque version of it called the Bolt EUV. The Chevy Bolt has been around for quite some time and can be credited with being one of the first mainstream automakers to have a solid EV offering. However, with a growing number of rivals, Chevy had to somehow make the Bolt look like a bang-for-the-buck product and not lose plot to the likes of Tesla.

While the range and the power outputs remain the same, the 2022 Bolt comes with refreshed interior and exterior, more standard kit, and a lower starting price. It definitely looks like a much better package overall.

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2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

A quirky exterior, spacious interior, multiple powertrain and battery options, but a poor range

Hyundai has had the Ioniq moniker in its arsenal for quite some time. In fact, it has jumped shipped within the portfolio many times. It was first launched as a hybrid car, then as an electric one, and finally as a plug-in hybrid. Last year, however, it received a promotion and became the South Korean automaker’s electric sub-brand. Hyundai plans to have 23 EVs by 2025 and the journey commences with the Ioniq 5.

The Ioniq 5 comes with futuristic looks, a couple of battery pack options, and an insanely spacious cabin that makes it one of the best crossover utility EVs in the market today. Will it set the tone for Ioniq’s bright electric future?

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2022 Genesis EV

2022 Genesis EV

The new EV crossover from Genesis is almost here and it’s just the beginning

Hyundai’s luxury brand Genesis has built up momentum. This coincides with the increasing demand for EVs, which is why the Korean luxury brand has recently announced the addition of a new EV crossover. The car wears the designation JW and has been spotted testing on the open roads. It is expected to hit the showrooms in the second half of 2021, following in the footsteps of Hyundai Ioniq and Kia CV. Here’s what we can expect from the latest addition to the brand’s EV lineup.

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2021 Cupra Leon

2021 Cupra Leon

The naughtier Leon shows its colors

The 2021 Cupra Leon is the performance version of SEAT’s Leon compact hatchback. Just like the regular Leon, it is offered as a wagon under the Sportstourer moniker.

The Cupra Leon, be it the hatchback or the estate, can be had with a plug-in hybrid powertrain geared for performance as well as a bunch of exterior and interior styling cues to set it apart from its more pedestrian-looking peer. Here is all you need to know about the Cupra Leon.

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2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport - Driven

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport - Driven

Subaru has upped the ante for the Crosstrek by introducing new safety tech, a new trim, and a more powerful engine

Subaru introduced the Crosstrek last decade as a successor to the Outback Sport. It was essentially an Impreza with an off-road bias. This formula worked well for the company as it soon became the best-selling Subaru in the U.S.

For the 2021 model year, Subaru introduced a new ‘Sport’ trim along with a new engine option that further makes this a desirable product. Will these upgrades help Subaru sell more than Crosstreks than it has in the previous years?

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2021 Mercedes-AMG B45 by Brabus

2021 Mercedes-AMG B45 by Brabus

The already-hot AMG 45 S hatch receives more power and component upgrades from Brabus

Brabus builds are quite expensive at the onset, but there’s no denying that they’re fun. This time around, the aftermarket company has laid its hands on the Mercedes-AMG A45 S. The Brabus build of this hatch is more than just a remap. The car comes with part upgrades under the hood, new wheels and tires, an upgraded suspension system, and a few changes inside the cabin.

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2021 Cupra Formentor by ABT

2021 Cupra Formentor by ABT

Here’s a powerful version of a performance-oriented crossover SUV by ABT

Spanish automaker Seat revealed its performance-oriented brand Cupra a couple of years back. The cars look good, come with a load of niceties, and of course, are strong performers. But, no amount of power or mods are ever enough and that is essentially what’s keeping the aftermarket companies running.

ABT Sportsline, the company which is known to work on Audi cars, and by extension, Volkswagen products, is here with its own version of the Cupra Formentor – a subcompact crossover SUV. The ABT Formentor comes with new wheels, a power boost, and a new exhaust system that makes it a different beast.

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2021 Abarth 595 Hercules Wide Body by Pogea Racing

2021 Abarth 595 Hercules Wide Body by Pogea Racing

A wide body, carbon fiber kit and performance enhancements make this a desirable hot hatch

The Abarth 595 is a pocket rocket that makes you grin every time you drive it. If you are someone who prefers driving a slow car fast instead of a fast car slow, this needs to go on your bucket list. And, it looks like Pogea Racing understands that. The company has brought out a Hercules version that doesn’t just look sinister, but also comes with a significant power boost that will plaster a wide smile on your face.

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2021 Hyundai Kona N

2021 Hyundai Kona N

The Hyundai Kona N is powerful and likely affordable enough to take on the BMW X1 and Audi Q3

The 2021 Hyundai Kona N is an upcoming high-performance version of the company’s subcompact SUV. Launched in 2017, the Kona has become so popular in just three years that Hyundai is pushing it into high-performance territory. The Kona is the brand’s first SUV to feature an "N" badge, joining cars like the i20, i30, Veloster, and Elantra. Is the 2021 Kona N just as powerful as Hyundai’s N-badged cars and will it come to the U.S.? Let’s find out in the review below.

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2020 Jeep Compass - Driven

2020 Jeep Compass - Driven

It’s not the best vehicle in the segment, but it checks almost all the boxes quite comfortably

Jeep Compass has been in the market for over a decade now and has become a staple moniker in the segment now. This two-row SUV is one of the rare models in this segment that can actually be taken off the roads without doubting its abilities. Of course, it’s no Cherokee, but it does a lot better than its rivals in this aspect. Although it features a heavy 2.4-liter engine, the power outputs aren’t that great and the nine-speed automatic gearbox makes the whole drive even more lethargic. However, it comes with a nice interior setup, decent tech features, and aesthetics that will please all and offend none. So, should you pick the Jeep Compass over the Honda CR-V or the Ford Escape?

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2020 Land Rover Defender - Driven

2020 Land Rover Defender - Driven

An SUV with a premium interior, powerful engine, and numerous gizmos that make off-roading a walk in the park

The Land Rover Defender needs no introduction. After a long run, the company sent it on a hiatus in 2016, only for it to return in a freshed, modern avatar to keep up with the competition. It came out looking a little less old-school, but still as rugged as ever.

This time, it wasn’t just the sturdy build that made it a compelling off-roader, but also the modern gadgets and gizmos that could put the other off-roaders out there to shame. The top trim is dangerously close to the six-digit price territory, but will that stop people from buying it? Or will customers look at other cheaper alternatives, like the Toyota 4Runner and to an extent, the Jeep Grand Cherokee?

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