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Archive for the ‘compact cars’ Category

PostHeaderIcon What’s The Best Sporty Luxury Sedan You Can Get For Less Than $50K?

At its most basic, a sport sedan should be a happy balance between two competing philosophies. The “sport” half of the equation should make it engaging, both in the way it drives, and the way it looks. A sport sedan should issue a dose of adrenaline when the hammer is down, and be a willing dance partner in the corners. It’s also gotta draw attention, turning heads as it goes, making its owner pause momentarily after exiting and locking the doors. Then there’s the “sedan” bit. A sport sedan isn’t supposed to be stripped down and basic – practicality and comfort are paramount. Often used as a daily driver, backside coddling should be there in abundance, complementing the car’s speed potential, rather than taking away from it. All told, it’s a big ask, but this segment has plenty of contenders vying for the title of best. In this comparison, we look at six of the top entries and sort them out, from first to last.

Listed in alphabetical order, this comparison will take a look at the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Chrysler 300, Infiniti Q50, Jaguar XE, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. We’ve evaluated each in terms of exterior aesthetics, interior comfort and technology, powertrain and drivetrain specs, and chassis and handling. We’ve also included a glut of info in chart and graph form to help you make a quick comparison. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the best sporty luxury sedan you can get for less than $50,000.

Continue reading for the full comparison.


PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Cruze RS – Driven

The Chevrolet Cruze was not hurting for fans. As its first generation neared the end of its run in 2014, Cruze sales reached their high point, with more than 273,000 copies sold. Curious, then, that the Cruze suffered a setback in sales when it was redesigned in 2016 for the 2017 model year. Having spent a week with it recently, I can say that confuses me. The Cruze got sexy new sheet metal, a more-efficient powertrain, a new hatchback model, and improved ride and handling when it was redesigned. Yet, it sold fewer than 200,000 copies for the first time ever in 2016, if you don’t count its late introduction in 2010 when it was on sale for just three months. So, what gives?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze RS.


PostHeaderIcon Subaru Outback

Subaru has been doing remarkably well lately, posting impressive growth and sales numbers over the past several years. Helping to fuel that success is a strong stable of vehicles that cover a broad range of segments, including a few that manage to straddle the line between segments and still offer the benefits of both. The Outback is one such vehicle. Framed as the “World’s First Sport Utility Wagon,” the Outback nameplate has been around since 1994 and is currently the brand’s top-selling model, bringing all the capability and utility of a crossover, but in a wagon body style that’s a little closer to a traditional passenger car. It’s a nice combo, and to keep it feeling fresh, Subaru unveiled a mid-cycle update for the Outback at the 2017 New York International Auto Show, giving it new styling, an updated interior, more technology for safety and convenience, and a few bits and pieces that lend it a more premium feel.

The appeal for something like this is clear, and on paper, it looks like it should do well amongst buyers looking for a non-SUV that fits their particular active lifestyle. But does the 2018 Outback have what it takes to steal sales from folks more inclined to get a crossover? Read on for details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Subaru Outback.


PostHeaderIcon Fiat 500 Abarth Ares by Pogea Racing

The Fiat 500 Abarth is a cute little ride, isn’t it? It certainly looks the part of one, but being cute and cuddly isn’t the only thing appealing about the 500. It’s also understatedly customizable, which is why we’ve seen so many special edition iterations of the car, not to mention tuning programs from some of the best tuners in the business. Pogea Racing counts itself in the latter group, and it has a real doozy of a kit for the 500 that gives the subcompact hatchback an output of 405 horsepower and 328 pound-feet of torque. Seems fitting then that Pogea Racing has dubbed this creation as “Ares,” after the Greek god of war. This Fiat 500 Abarth is ready to rumble with the best of them.

The program has more than just a fancy name and ridiculous power at its disposal. It also has an extensive menu of carbon fiber parts for the exterior, a well-dressed interior that brings some life to the hatchback’s cabin, and suspension upgrades to help the car’s 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder handle all that extra power.

The bad news is that this isn’t a program that Pogea Racing is producing in big quantities. On the contrary, the tuner only plans to build five such 500 Ares models and the cost of building one doesn’t come cheap. The upgrades to the engine alone cost more than the car itself so you can imagine what the whole thing will fetch for, donor car and all.

Then again, a 405-horsepower Fiat 500 Abarth doesn’t come cheap, nor should it.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Subaru WRX

The Subaru WRX is one of those sporty sedan rally cars that every enthusiast should drive at least once in their life. It went through a generational shift for the 2015 model year that made it even better, bringing new exterior looks, a longer A-Pillar, LED exterior lighting, a roomier interior, better outward visibility, and a new 2.0-liter four-banger that was 0.5-liters smaller than the outgoing unit but offered three extra ponies and 14 extra pound-feet which really helped to offset the 50+ pound weight gain than came with the new-gen model. It’s only been a couple of years since the new-gen model hit showrooms, and Subie has been busy putting together some minor revisions for the 2018 model year. There’s no power gain to speak of, unfortunately, but there is some minor exterior styling updates, improved suspension setup, updated manual transmission, and a new optional Performance pack – the latter of which you really want to know about if you’re hoping to ride off into the sunset with a new WRX.

So, while there isn’t a lot of big news in the aesthetics department, the mechanical bits under the metal got some serious reworking, and it’s exactly what the doctor ordered. Plus there are upgraded interior materials, a new rear-seat armrest (with cup holders,) and a few updates to help cut down on unwanted noise bleed through from the road For those of you into technology, the infotainment display has grown up a bit as well, with the screen size in base trims growing by 1.5 inches while the screen in the Premium trim grows by 0.8 inches.

For a mid-cycle update, there’s actually quite a bit to talk about when it comes to the WRX. Oh, and before I forget, the WRX STI also got some significant updates, so if you’re looking to get your hands on one of those, our man Jonathan Lopez has all of the details in his full review of that 300-horsepower beast here. Anyway, let’s scroll down and see what the 2018 Subaru WRX has to offer!

Update: 4/20/2017: Subaru has announced pricing for the 2018 Subaru WRX. Check out the prices section below to learn just how much it’ll cost you to roll out in a brand-new Subie!

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru WRX.


PostHeaderIcon Honda Civic Hatchback – Driven

The Honda Civic has long been a go-to car for practicality and honest transportation. Sure, there have been several hyped models with plenty of horsepower and fun, but the vast majority of Civics are built to handle the daily grind. Say what you will, but there’s merit in that endeavor. Well, Honda knew its customers needed something outstandingly practical, but mixed with some flare and excitement – sort of a witch’s brew of pragmatic and provocative. Enter the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback.

The Hatchback joins the Civic lineup for 2017, two years after the tenth generation debuted for 2015. It shares the spotlight with the popular Civic Sedan and fun-loving Civic Coupe. The trio now gives customers a choice in body style, while still delivering that Civic personality. All three ride on the same platform and share powertrain options.

Since the Civic Hatchback is new, Honda sent an example to test for a week for evaluations. Our tester was the EX-L Navi trim and came equipped with Honda Sensing. Otherwise, the car had no options, giving a full taste of the Civic Hatch’s second-most expensive trim. Even still, the as-tested price only rang up $27,175. That’s not bad for a vehicle with crossover-like interior room, leather seats, tons of in-dash tech, all the latest active safety features, and a turbocharged engine that averages 42 mpg on the highway. Color us impressed.

So how did the 2017 Civic Hatchback do? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for more information.


PostHeaderIcon Buick Regal TourX

Launched in 1973, the Buick Regal became a big hit in the 1980s, during the Grand National and GNX era. The nameplate soldiered on for two more generations until it was discontinued in 2004. Upon its return to the U.S. market in 2010, the Regal had become a re-engineered Opel Insignia. Although the “transplant” was received with some criticism by purists, the Regal once again became a big hit, especially in China. For 2018, Buick launched the sixth-generation Regal, a rebadged version of the brand-new Opel Insignia.

Although rebadged vehicles are rarely a case to get excited about, the new Regal is a big deal for Buick. With Opel having upped the ante in just about every department, creating a sportier, premium looking car with an upmarket interior, the Regal has also moved up the luxury ladder in a move that should have happened years ago. What’s more, Buick decided to also import the wagon version of the Insignia as the Regal TourX. Not only that, but the TourX also sports crossover-specific features and a raised ride height, which makes it a perfect, and much-needed competitor for the likes of the Subaru Outback, Volvo V60 Cross Country, and Audi A4 Allroad.

After two years of rumors and a highly debated trademark for the TourX name, Buick is finally offering a wagon after nearly two decades. Let’s find out more about it in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Buick Regal TourX.


PostHeaderIcon Volkswagen Updates the Golf Line, But Don't Expect Too Much

The seventh-generation Golf is entering its sixth year of production for 2018, but instead of updating the model extensively or bringing about a new generation, VW decided to provide some minor updates across the whole line. This includes LED taillights and daytime running lights as standard equipment on the outside to go with new trim panels and material options on the inside. Those looking to upgrade their headlights can now opt for full-LED units as opposed to the Bi-Xenon option of yesteryear. But, when it comes to the 2018 model year, it’s really about technology. Entry level models across the line will see an upgrade that replaces the outdated five-inch infotainment screens with 6.5-inch units. SE and SEL trim levels will now get eight-inch touchscreen units, while the Golf R gets Volkswagen’s digital cockpit as standard equipment.

Golf S models will now get automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, and a new chrome grille, while SEL models now include 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels and an auto-dimming mirror. Do I have any GTI fans out there? If so, you’ll be happy to know that the base Golf GTI gets a power update for 2018 that brings it up to par with the Sport and higher trim levels. Instead of getting 210 ponies and 258 pound-feet (on premium fuel, of course) the base model will now deliver the same 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet available at 4,700 rpm and 1,500 rpm, respectively. All three trim levels of the GTI still get the option of a six-speed DSG or six-speed manual. (Save yourself the heartache and just get the manual, okay?)

The Golf GTI S model gets a new stop-start feature when equipped with an automatic transmission and a new design for those 18-inch rollers. SE trim gets the performance brakes from the Golf R to go with the limited-slip VAQ differential. The GTI Autobahn trim gets new DCC suspension control. You’ll find all of the aforementioned updates, include the LED headlights DRLS, will show up in the Golf R.

Keep reading for the rest of the story


PostHeaderIcon Volkswagen Updates the Golf Line, But Don't Expect Too Much

The seventh-generation Golf is entering its sixth year of production for 2018, but instead of updating the model extensively or bringing about a new generation, VW decided to provide some minor updates across the whole line. This includes LED taillights and daytime running lights as standard equipment on the outside to go with new trim panels and material options on the inside. Those looking to upgrade their headlights can now opt for full-LED units as opposed to the Bi-Xenon option of yesteryear. But, when it comes to the 2018 model year, it’s really about technology. Entry level models across the line will see an upgrade that replaces the outdated five-inch infotainment screens with 6.5-inch units. SE and SEL trim levels will now get eight-inch touchscreen units, while the Golf R gets Volkswagen’s digital cockpit as standard equipment.

Golf S models will now get automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, and a new chrome grille, while SEL models now include 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels and an auto-dimming mirror. Do I have any GTI fans out there? If so, you’ll be happy to know that the base Golf GTI gets a power update for 2018 that brings it up to par with the Sport and higher trim levels. Instead of getting 210 ponies and 258 pound-feet (on premium fuel, of course) the base model will now deliver the same 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet available at 4,700 rpm and 1,500 rpm, respectively. All three trim levels of the GTI still get the option of a six-speed DSG or six-speed manual. (Save yourself the heartache and just get the manual, okay?)

The Golf GTI S model gets a new stop-start feature when equipped with an automatic transmission and a new design for those 18-inch rollers. SE trim gets the performance brakes from the Golf R to go with the limited-slip VAQ differential. The GTI Autobahn trim gets new DCC suspension control. You’ll find all of the aforementioned updates, include the LED headlights DRLS, will show up in the Golf R.

Keep reading for the rest of the story


PostHeaderIcon Volkswagen Updates the Golf Line, But Don't Expect Too Much

The seventh-generation Golf is entering its sixth year of production for 2018, but instead of updating the model extensively or bringing about a new generation, VW decided to provide some minor updates across the whole line. This includes LED taillights and daytime running lights as standard equipment on the outside to go with new trim panels and material options on the inside. Those looking to upgrade their headlights can now opt for full-LED units as opposed to the Bi-Xenon option of yesteryear. But, when it comes to the 2018 model year, it’s really about technology. Entry level models across the line will see an upgrade that replaces the outdated five-inch infotainment screens with 6.5-inch units. SE and SEL trim levels will now get eight-inch touchscreen units, while the Golf R gets Volkswagen’s digital cockpit as standard equipment.

Golf S models will now get automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, and a new chrome grille, while SEL models now include 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels and an auto-dimming mirror. Do I have any GTI fans out there? If so, you’ll be happy to know that the base Golf GTI gets a power update for 2018 that brings it up to par with the Sport and higher trim levels. Instead of getting 210 ponies and 258 pound-feet (on premium fuel, of course) the base model will now deliver the same 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet available at 4,700 rpm and 1,500 rpm, respectively. All three trim levels of the GTI still get the option of a six-speed DSG or six-speed manual. (Save yourself the heartache and just get the manual, okay?)

The Golf GTI S model gets a new stop-start feature when equipped with an automatic transmission and a new design for those 18-inch rollers. SE trim gets the performance brakes from the Golf R to go with the limited-slip VAQ differential. The GTI Autobahn trim gets new DCC suspension control. You’ll find all of the aforementioned updates, include the LED headlights DRLS, will show up in the Golf R.

Keep reading for the rest of the story


PostHeaderIcon The New Enclave is Here and Puts the Competition to Shame

The Enclave is said to be what the Buick brand stands for, which according to Duncan Aldred – the VP of Global Buick and GMC – is “smart, stylish luxury.” Be that as it may, the Enclave is no spring chicken and has been on the market since 2008, being updated just once in 2014. The second generation is finally here, and Buick looks to take on models like the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, and Infiniti QX60, among others. Offering seating for seven, the new Enclave is also lower and slimmer than before but sees an improvement in passenger space inside. There are a lot of new design cues to talk about, and some significant features that could really give the Enclave a fighting chance in this ever-evolving segment.

The new Enclave gets some serious updates to the exterior that includes a redesigned and shorter grille, new headlights and taillights, revised fascias, and some new body lines. To be more specific, the grille looks more modern while the headlights are finally on par with the rest of the market. The body lines of the new Enclave are similar to the outgoing model, but stands out by being sharper and more curved in all the right places. The rear quarter glass has changed dramatically and makes for a taller rear quarter. The taillights are sporty and upscale, while the rear fascia is upright and prominent. I’m pretty sure this thing has been doing squats, but we’ll save that for another conversation.

But, it’s not the exterior where the Enclave really stands out among the competition. No; it’s the interior where things have been dramatically redesigned. So much so, in fact, that you have to see it for yourself. Keep reading to learn more about it.


PostHeaderIcon Honda Civic Si Coupe

The Honda Civic has been around for the last 45 years, and boy has it been a rollercoaster ride. Some of the more recent generations are considered flops, while others are regarded as much more. For 2016, Honda introduced the tenth-generation Civic, a model designed around Honda’s new compact global platform, featuring a fastback design and some serious improvement to the interior over previous models. Best of all, the Civic Type R hatchback is finally coming to the U.S., but so is a new Si. The new Si comes with a turbocharged engine for the first time ever, displacing 1.5-liter and delivering 205 horsepower. It’s a few ponies short of what everyone hoped for, but not all is lost. It also gets its own styling cues to set it apart, not only from the standard Civic but, from the Type R as well, making it a well-rounded model even if it doesn’t balance well between the standard Civic and Range-topping Type R.

Long story short, the new Si is the torquiest Si ever made. It weighs a bit less and includes more upscale features like active shock absorbers. There’s even a limited-slip differential turning the front wheels. Unfortunately, Honda isn’t offering it with all-wheel drive, but it does get a short-throw, six-speed manual transmission to help even things out a bit. Some exclusive features inside will keep it fresh in your mind that you sprung for something better than the Civic EX-L or the Civic Touring. But, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves – the Civic Si is finally here in production form, so let’s take a closer look at it.


PostHeaderIcon David Brown Revives the Classic Mini Cooper with Modern Tech

Introduced in 1959, the original Mini Cooper revolutionized the city car market and became so popular that it remained in production until 2000. The nameplate was purchased by BMW and relaunched in a more modern form in 2001, but most enthusiasts agree that things haven’t been the same. Nearly two decades have passed since the original Mini was discontinued and David Brown Automotive is bringing it back to life.

Called Mini Remastered, the new old Cooper is more than just a reproduction replica. While carefully crafted to resemble the original car from 1959, the small hatchback has been remastered to “meet the demands of modern day life.” The exterior may not give away the modern production process of the car (unless you look closely), but the interior has been redesigned to include all sorts of high-tech features, including a premium infotainment system.

The original engine has also undergone a complete transformation. Not only more powerful, it also runs smoother than Mini’s original unit, while returning improved performance and fuel economy. David Brown Automotive says that over 1,000 man hours go into creating each Mini Remastered. Let’s find out why.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Is the New Civic Si a Tuner's Dream or a Disappointing Miscarriage?

Honda has finally revealed details about the new Civic Si, just a week after its torque output was leaked via e-mail and I criticized Honda for making it a glorified grocery getter. Well, as it turns out the leaked information was accurate, as the new Si – in coupe and sedan form – delivers 205 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. That makes it the most powerful and the torquiest Si in Civic history, but doesn’t do much to fill the gap between the non-Si Civic in range-topping form and the wicked Type R. To put things into perspective, the ninth-generation Civic Si delivered 201 horsepower and 170 pound-feet from a naturally aspirated, 2.4-liter, four-banger.

That accounts for an increase of four horsepower and 22 pound-feet from a much smaller engine, but there’s more to it than that. Honda hasn’t gone into specifics as to its official curb weight as of yet but has said that it’s “significantly lighter” than its predecessor. This is also the first Civic Si to come from the factory with a turbocharger in tow, which means that maximum horsepower and torque is available much lower in the powerband. It’s also sporting an adaptive power steering system, short-throw six-speed tranny, sport-tuned suspension with active dampers, a limited-slip differential and 18-inch wheels as standard equipment.

Jeff Conrad, the Senior VP of American Honda’s automobile division, said, “The 2017 Honda Civic Si is our first turbocharged Si and sets a new sporty compact benchmark in terms of agility and precise handling while building toward the launch of the Type R as the final chapter in our epic 10th-generation Civic story.”

Keep reading for the rest of the story


PostHeaderIcon Audi Q3 – First Impressions

Long ago, Audi was dominating Rallycross events in a Sport Quattro S1. It helped to brand Quattro as one of the best all-wheel drive systems in the world. Several years later, the A8 garnered popularity with its starring role in The Transporter, while the TT earned the attention of passersby who gave themselves whiplash as they took in the unusual design for the time. Since then, the RS4 and R8 eared themselves a spot on many dream lists across the world and more pedestrian Audis like the A4 were eating into BMW’s sales.

The aforementioned are all cars. Today, things are a bit different over at Audi as it seems the priority is to invest more and more into SUVs. In North America, there are already three in the lineup. A fourth, the Q2, is on sale overseas and is expected to eventually arrive on our shores. Then there’s the Q8 which is expected to be even bigger than the Q7 along with a four-door coupe-like SUV a la BMW X6 that is also expected to join the family.

Why are Audi’s SUV’s now overshadowing the cars in its lineup? I decided to take one out for a week to find out.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota Yaris

The 2017 Geneva Auto Show had plenty of supercar action, but the Toyota booth had quite the nice surprise for performance enthusiasts, in the shape of the new Yaris GRMN. Based on the WRC-spec rally car, the GRMN is the Polo GTi and Fiesta ST competitor we’ve been asking about for years, but it wasn’t the only Yaris show in Switzerland. Alongside the performance version, Toyota also displayed the regular Yaris, which just received a mid-cycle update.

Now sporting a revised front fascia with more angular lines and a sportier bumper and larger taillights around back, the Yaris has taken a more aggressive stance against the competition. The fresh design is backed by a revised interior with new technology and an enhanced safety package, while the drivetrain department has news to share too. On top of the new GRMN model with the supercharged 1.8-liter engine and a mild update to the hybrid version, the Yaris also ditched the 1.3-liter unit in favor of a brand-new, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Powerful yet more efficient, the new unit also makes the Yaris quicker, which is a big plus with so many nippy options on the market right now.

All told, the Yaris gained quite the comprehensive update and it’s now one of the most modern and advanced propositions in this crowded niche. Find out how it compares with the competition in the my review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Yaris.


PostHeaderIcon Subaru XV Crosstrek

When crossovers and SUVs got their second wind on the market, automakers jumped on the opportunity to open the gates and flood each and every segment of the market with as many models as possible. But, some automakers have taken an interesting approach where they take a car body and throw it on a jacked-up chassis and suspension – a quick way to create new models without spending heaps of cash on research and design. The new Subaru XV is one of these models and, like the 2016 Subaru XV Concept, it sports the body of the 2017 Subaru Impreza five-door with a raised suspension; just enough to make it appealing to the masses who, predominantly, love these high-riding people-haulers a lot more than they probably should. The big news, however, is that the new XV is built upon Subie’s revamped Global platform that brings extra rigidity and strength to the table. There’s also a revamped suspension system, revised interior, and 80-percent of the parts used in that 2.0-liter Boxer engine have been revamped to deliver more power and better fuel economy in an overall lighter package.

As was the case with the first XV model that hit the market in 2013, the XV is essentially an Impreza with jacked up suspension, but this time around, Subaru has gone the distance to make the XV safer, stronger, more powerful, and nicer inside and out. When it comes to strength and safety, we’re not exactly talking small numbers either – the new XV, according to Subaru, offers an increase in torsional rigidity of 70 percent and a decrease in body roll of 50 percent compared to the outgoing model. But, before we get too far into that, let’s a stroll down the page talk more about the “all-new” Subaru XV.

Updated 04/03/2017: Subaru announced that the 2018 Crosstrek will be making its North American debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek.


PostHeaderIcon BMW 2 Series Convertible

It’s been three years since BMW started rolling the 2 Series into dealer showrooms, effectively removing the coupe and cabrio body styles from the 1 Series lineup and giving those compacts a new name. Just recently we saw shots of a “facelifted” 2 Series coupe prototype heading out for some testing, and now we’re looking at the convertible version which, coincidentally, is wearing the same little bit of camo. As such, this so-called facelift isn’t bringing much in terms of change, but the car should get a new, smaller grille layout, slightly revised headlights, new graphics for the taillights out back, and maybe even a few changes inside as our photographers have reported that there was some covering over the dashboard. Word has it the engines that motivate the little cabrio that could even get an update, but you’ll want to take that with a grain of salt for now.

The updated 2 Series is expected to be revealed in late 2017 and go on sale for 2018 so there’s still a little while to wait before we get to see the few changes that come with the new model year. But, let’s take a closer look and see what’s going on with this prototype. There might be something interesting lurking in the finer details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 BMW 2 Series Convertible.


PostHeaderIcon The New Civic Si is Going to be a Glorified Grocery Getter

The hot hatch market is a busy one, and just about every Honda fan has begged Honda to bring the Type R to the U.S. for years. It’s finally going to happen for the 2018 model year, but we’re also getting the Civic Si, which was the performance go-to for Honda guys in the absence of an official Type R. It was the most powerful Civic off the production line here for the longest time. Well, with the Type R finally coming to the U.S., Honda doesn’t have a whole lot of motivation to make the Civic Si a showstopper in the power department, and, compared to the 2018 Type R, the Civic Si could be nothing more than a pretty looking (if you like the look) grocery getter. An e-mail sent out by Honda that leaked the Civic Si’s torque output doesn’t help matters, either.

According to the e-mail, which was sent to those who signed up for Honda’s mailing list, the Civic Si will deliver 192 pound-feet of torque – a figure Honda claims will make “everyday errands more exciting than ever.” To put that into perspective, the range-topping non-Si model (the Civic Touring) that uses the same engine offers up 174 horsepower and 162 pound-feet, while the Type R will offer 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet from a 2.0-liter. That means there’s a small gap between the Civic Touring and a massive gap between the Si and the Type R. Not cool.

Keep reading for the rest of the story


PostHeaderIcon Toyota Corolla iM – Driven

Ah Scion, Toyota’s youth-market sub brand. Now in 2017, we can only reminisce about bygone days when new Scion hatchbacks, coupes, and toasters sat in showrooms waiting for eager high-school teens to arrive with daddy’s money or senior citizens to stroll in looking for something more economical than their worn-out Mercury Grand Marquis. Those days are gone though, thanks to Toyota shuttering Scion and consolidating a few of its models into the Toyota fleet. One such example is the Scion iM.

The iM was all-new for the U.S. market in 2015, launched beside the Mazda-derived Scion iA sedan. The iM was basically a Toyota Corolla Hatchback, though you’d never hear a Scion salesman pointing that to potential buyers. The car featured the same, 1.8-liter four-cylinder as the Corolla, as well as the six-speed manual or optional Continuously Variable Transmission. But, sadly, the iM and iA couldn’t save the Scion brand. Toyota ended the brand’s 13-year run in August of 2016. Fast-forward to today, and Toyota has rebadged the iA, iM, and FR-S as the Yaris iA, Corolla iM, and the 86, respectively.

I recently got to sample the Corolla iM for a week – living with it during the daily grind. My tester came equipped with the six-speed manual transmission and zero options. It’s rare to have press fleet cars come so equipped. But rather than being a buzzkill from the usual whiz-bang gadgetry and overly complicated nature of many modern cars, the iM’s basic nature proved a welcomed reprieve and rather enjoyable. Heck, my tester didn’t even have floor mats. (I’ve heard Toyota is stingy with their floor mats.)

Of course, the most noticeable feature of this iM is its color – that big, bright, green color. Oh boy. Toyota calls it “Spring Green Metallic.” I call it ugly. Yet the color helped add a particular flare to car it wouldn’t have otherwise had. It also attracted everyone’s attention. I lovingly named my tester Snot Rocket.

Continue reading for the full driven review.


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