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Found 37 results

  1. A few weeks back we reported that the Toyota Yaris hatchback that we all knew and ...er... loved... would be ending production but we also found out that there was a possibility that the model name would continue in the form of a rebadged Mazda 2 hatchback like the Yaris Sedan. Yesterday, those suspicions were confirmed. Toyota released details ahead of the New York International Auto Show of the coming 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback. Like the sedan, it is based on the Mazda 2 but with a Toyota front clip and badging. Surprisingly, it is larger than the old model. Wheelbase is up by 2.4 inches over the outgoing model and features a trunk area with almost 16 cubic feet of room. Toyota describes the styling as "Cab-Rearward", giving the hatchback a hunkered down bulldog like look. The interior is standard issue Mazda with Toyota badging and we expect it to be excellent for the class. Toyota claims the Yaris Hatch will be a hoot to drive due to its use of ultra-high tensile steel frame. The high structural integrity combined with a MacPherson Strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension have been tuned for handling agility and comfort. The Yaris will come in just two trims, LE and XLE, both equipped with Navigation hardware (SD card with Maps sold separately), but you could also use the standard Apple Car Play or Android Auto for navigation on the standard 7-inch touchscreen. Stepping up to the XLE brings faux leather in gray or black, automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, automatic LED headlamps, and leather trim on the steering wheel, shift knob, and parking brake. Both trims of the Yaris will be equipped standard with low-speed pre-collision safety system, dynamic stability control, traction control, ABS, brake assist, and brake override systems. Powering the Yaris will be the same engine as in the Yaris Sedan, a 1.5 liter inline 4-cylinder that produces 106 horsepower and 103 lb-ft of torque. This engine has direct injection and a 12.0:1 compression ratio. A 6-speed automatic is the only transmission choice. No word yet on pricing, but expect a small bump over the $15,450 of the Yaris Sedan. The Yaris will debut on April 17th at the New York Auto Show and go on sale later this year. View full article
  2. A few weeks back we reported that the Toyota Yaris hatchback that we all knew and ...er... loved... would be ending production but we also found out that there was a possibility that the model name would continue in the form of a rebadged Mazda 2 hatchback like the Yaris Sedan. Yesterday, those suspicions were confirmed. Toyota released details ahead of the New York International Auto Show of the coming 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback. Like the sedan, it is based on the Mazda 2 but with a Toyota front clip and badging. Surprisingly, it is larger than the old model. Wheelbase is up by 2.4 inches over the outgoing model and features a trunk area with almost 16 cubic feet of room. Toyota describes the styling as "Cab-Rearward", giving the hatchback a hunkered down bulldog like look. The interior is standard issue Mazda with Toyota badging and we expect it to be excellent for the class. Toyota claims the Yaris Hatch will be a hoot to drive due to its use of ultra-high tensile steel frame. The high structural integrity combined with a MacPherson Strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension have been tuned for handling agility and comfort. The Yaris will come in just two trims, LE and XLE, both equipped with Navigation hardware (SD card with Maps sold separately), but you could also use the standard Apple Car Play or Android Auto for navigation on the standard 7-inch touchscreen. Stepping up to the XLE brings faux leather in gray or black, automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, automatic LED headlamps, and leather trim on the steering wheel, shift knob, and parking brake. Both trims of the Yaris will be equipped standard with low-speed pre-collision safety system, dynamic stability control, traction control, ABS, brake assist, and brake override systems. Powering the Yaris will be the same engine as in the Yaris Sedan, a 1.5 liter inline 4-cylinder that produces 106 horsepower and 103 lb-ft of torque. This engine has direct injection and a 12.0:1 compression ratio. A 6-speed automatic is the only transmission choice. No word yet on pricing, but expect a small bump over the $15,450 of the Yaris Sedan. The Yaris will debut on April 17th at the New York Auto Show and go on sale later this year.
  3. Last week we reported that Honda would be closing their UK manufacturing plant in Swindon. That plant produces Honda Civics and CR-Vs mostly for the European market. However, in addition to European production, the Swindon plant also produces the Civic Hatchback and Civic Type-R for North America. Production in Swindon is to finish out the model run into 2021. Automotive News reports that Honda CEO Takahir Hachigo said "Given out efforts to optimize production allocation and production capacity on a global scale, we have concluded that we will produce the Civic for North America in North America." The North American sourced Honda Civic is built in Alliston, Ontario and Greensburgh Indiana. The Honda Civic hatchback makes up about one third of Civic's 325,760 US sales for 2018.
  4. Last week we reported that Honda would be closing their UK manufacturing plant in Swindon. That plant produces Honda Civics and CR-Vs mostly for the European market. However, in addition to European production, the Swindon plant also produces the Civic Hatchback and Civic Type-R for North America. Production in Swindon is to finish out the model run into 2021. Automotive News reports that Honda CEO Takahir Hachigo said "Given out efforts to optimize production allocation and production capacity on a global scale, we have concluded that we will produce the Civic for North America in North America." The North American sourced Honda Civic is built in Alliston, Ontario and Greensburgh Indiana. The Honda Civic hatchback makes up about one third of Civic's 325,760 US sales for 2018. View full article
  5. It came as no surprise that Toyota decided to drop the Yaris Liftback for 2019 - they only sold 1,940 models last year. In our original report, Toyota spokeswoman Nancy Hubbell dropped an interesting bit of information by revealing they would have news on the 2020 Yaris at New York. Car and Driver has a possible guess as to what it could be - a rebadged Mazda2 hatchback. Some quick background: The current Toyota Yaris sedan is just a rebadged version of the Mazda2 sedan sold elsewhere in the world. It was introduced back in 2016 as the Scion iA and then became the Yaris iA a year later. Car and Driver is expecting the hatchback version to get the same front end as the Yaris sedan, while the rest of the body is unchanged. Power will remain the 1.5L inline-four teamed with either a six-speed manual or automatic. Source: Car and Driver View full article
  6. It came as no surprise that Toyota decided to drop the Yaris Liftback for 2019 - they only sold 1,940 models last year. In our original report, Toyota spokeswoman Nancy Hubbell dropped an interesting bit of information by revealing they would have news on the 2020 Yaris at New York. Car and Driver has a possible guess as to what it could be - a rebadged Mazda2 hatchback. Some quick background: The current Toyota Yaris sedan is just a rebadged version of the Mazda2 sedan sold elsewhere in the world. It was introduced back in 2016 as the Scion iA and then became the Yaris iA a year later. Car and Driver is expecting the hatchback version to get the same front end as the Yaris sedan, while the rest of the body is unchanged. Power will remain the 1.5L inline-four teamed with either a six-speed manual or automatic. Source: Car and Driver
  7. 2017 Cruze Hatchback Premier (1.4T/6A) Odo - 8051 mi We just took the Cruze on a 1,000 mile road trip (from Baltimore to Myrtle Beach and back) and this was my first extended, in-depth experience driving and living with the car for a week. I'll break down the review into sections if you want to skip around. Fuel Economy (EPA rated 28 city/37 highway): *Premium gas/mobil 1 oil used. Manual recommends regular gas, dexos approved synthetic oil. On our trip, we achieved 39.3 mpg leaving Baltimore and 41.0 mpg coming back, based on the gauge cluster. My wife reports that it's fairly accurate, if optimistic by an mpg. Hand calculation is pretty much out the window because we have to hit 3 different gas stations with wildly different pump shut-offs and then we burn half a tank around town for the week. Sorry, I'm just not that invested when I know we can trust the gauge cluster. We did not hypermile whatsoever, just used cruise control as much as possible. We passed slow traffic and drove aggressively when the situation called for it. No sitting behind slow traffic or drafting large trucks to fluff the numbers. We drove 7-10 over the speed limit, with most of the journey being 65 and 70 mph zones. - From what I can tell, 75 mph seems to be the 40 mpg cutoff. - 60 to 70 mph is the sweet spot for crushing the EPA highway rating. - The gauge cluster's "Best 50 mile average mpg" indicated we set a new high score of 49 mpg. Engine/Transmission 1.4T DI VVT is rated 153 hp/177 tq C&D test numbers for the premier hatchback auto: 0-60 in 7.7 sec, 1/4 mile in 16 @ 84 mph. In my experience, the direct-injected 1.4T provides more than adequate acceleration and feels peppy. The tires will peel out a bit when floored from a stop, and the engine offers strong torque for low-stress highway merging or passing even with 2 people and probably 150 lbs of luggage. I also drove with 4 adult occupants and acceleration remained adequate around town without revving hard. At full throttle, the engine starts getting out of breath above 5500 rpm. The transmission is more eco-tuned than I'd like, but the logic is a far cry from the mess of GM's first 6-speeds. Downshifting to accelerate takes a bit of prodding, but the downshift is drama free with a progressive surge of turbo torque that follows. After 6 hours on the road, we hit stop and go traffic briefly and under 25 mph the transmission tripped over itself a few times noticeably enough for my wife to point it out. Can't really be replicated on demand. Steering/Handling The electric power system in the Cruze has good heft to it, and the predictable turn-in seems to mask the electric numbness. It's easy to drive, which is a comment I found myself coming back to frequently in my thoughts behind the wheel. It's not sporty, but it nails easy driving and commuting. The tires are all-season performance firestone firehawk GTs in 225/45R17 size. They handle securely, but make a lot of road noise in an otherwise quiet car. Michelins or Continentals will make a world of difference. Brakes One of the weak points of the car is the brake pedal. It sits an inch further forward than the gas pedal, which is very awkward in use. There's also too much play between gentle slowing and heavy braking. It feels like you're pushing through the floor to stop quickly. Mechanically, the car has 4-wheel disk brakes, and they stop the car with authority. Pedal placement and feel is really the problem. Conclusion My wife and I really like the car. I keep coming back to the "easy to drive" sentiment, fun wasn't the goal here and I already have a car for that. It's very happy commuting and eating up highway miles at 40 mpg. I was comfortable in the seats for 8 hours of driving, which is very rare. The acceleration power straddles base versus optional engines of other cars like the Civic and Mazda 3 without sacrifice to maximum fuel economy, which is a good balance that hasn't left us wanting. With a set of good tires and perhaps a tune in the far future, this car will be hanging around well beyond the last payment.
  8. My wife's Cobalt Sport is at 140,000 miles and it's starting to nickle and dime her. It's been efficient (29 mpg average mostly highway) with a bulletproof powertrain (2.4L/4A), but it's loud, it's ugly inside, and it's run its course. Besides, it's not fitting of a young woman with a doctorate in pharmacy making good money. Her requirements for her next car were: -small/maneuverable -more efficient with longer range between fill-ups -peppy acceleration (Cobalt had a reasonable 173 hp) -good for highway commuting -decent tech features like good stereo, heated seats, remote start -reasonably nice inside and out -light color interior (tired of burning her ass on cheap black leather seats) She already liked the looks of the new Cruze, but she initially was only considering sedans. Thinking pragmatically, since I already drive a sedan, I suggested she consider a different body style for versatility sake. Memories of dowdy hatchbacks from growing up in the 90s and soccer mom CUVs made her recoil in fear, but I sent her pics of the Cruze hatch when it was unveiled and she made an instant 180 on her preconception. Given her highway commute, I sent her pics of the new Encore and said she had to give it a try. I knew the Buick's quiet tuning and interior would be really appealing in person. She wasn't in love with the tall styling, but admitted it was good looking for a crossover, and the compact size was nice. The Contenders: Chevy Cruze Hatchback Premier Buick Encore Essence Trim
  9. ccap41

    ccap's 2016 Focus

    Hey-o, I haven't really started a running thread for the new car yet so here it is. I think I owned the car for 8 days when I had my windows tinted 20% all the way around. I cannot stand driving a car w/o tint or the look of a vehicle w/o tint. This is about the only "before" picture I have of it. Only a few days and $270 later... There was actually one thing I bought prior to buying a car that I wanted in my next vehicle... a dash cam. After the accident and knowing that had I not had a witness stop and give their side of the story it could have been a hell hole of he-said she-said.. So I did a little research and bought a Spytec A119 w/ the GPS(you can get it w/o the GPS). Super clean and muuuuch easier install than I expected. The only wires exposed are coming from the center console down and then again from the headliner to the cam itself. The rest is completely hidden. A view from the driver's seat... I don't see it at all. That's exactly what I wanted to keep it from being a distraction. A view from the outside. It's very difficult to see. This past week I finally ordered and received my wheels and tires. This is the first vehicle I've ever actually gone through with changing them as I've always wanted to on all of my vehicles. I went with a 18x8 Konig Oversteer wrapped in a 225/45ZR18 Continental ExtremeContact DW. I'll be using the OE setup for the winter months. I'll get better pictures of the wheels when I get home. OE wheel/tire combo = 47lbs New wheel/tire combo = 42.5lbs I think the only other thing that I would really like to do is wrap the chrome door outline in black or a black chrome.
  10. We're excited by the new Opel and Vauxhall Insignia, especially considering we'll be getting our hands on it as the Buick Regal. But we don't know what form the Regal will come in. Opel has shown off a five-door hatchback and wagon, and there is talk about a sedan for China. According to a report from Automotive News, Buick will be selling the Regal as a hatchback and wagon. This information comes from two auto forecast firms: LMC Automotive and AutoForecast Solutions. Dropping the Regal sedan may seem odd, but there is some method to this madness. Sales of midsize sedans has been falling for the past two years and the segment has seen a 20 percent drop in the first two months. Going a different route could give the Regal a possible chance in the U.S. As for the wagon, it is unclear if it will be the standard Insignia wagon or an off-road variant like the Audi A4 Allroad.bu Not surprisingly, Buick spokesman Stuart Fowle declined to comment. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  11. We're excited by the new Opel and Vauxhall Insignia, especially considering we'll be getting our hands on it as the Buick Regal. But we don't know what form the Regal will come in. Opel has shown off a five-door hatchback and wagon, and there is talk about a sedan for China. According to a report from Automotive News, Buick will be selling the Regal as a hatchback and wagon. This information comes from two auto forecast firms: LMC Automotive and AutoForecast Solutions. Dropping the Regal sedan may seem odd, but there is some method to this madness. Sales of midsize sedans has been falling for the past two years and the segment has seen a 20 percent drop in the first two months. Going a different route could give the Regal a possible chance in the U.S. As for the wagon, it is unclear if it will be the standard Insignia wagon or an off-road variant like the Audi A4 Allroad.bu Not surprisingly, Buick spokesman Stuart Fowle declined to comment. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  12. Volkswagen has tainted the reputation of diesel in the U.S. So it seems a bit odd that Chevrolet is not only going ahead with offering a diesel in the upcoming Equinox, but also adding a diesel option for the Cruze. Yesterday, Chevrolet officially announced that the 2018 Cruze sedan and hatchback would come with a 1.6L turbodiesel four-cylinder. It will come with the choice of either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic. Official power figures are not out and Chevrolet would not confirm if this is the same engine found in the Equinox. "People who drive diesels, love diesels. And so there is a customer base there that wants to drive this type of vehicle and have this type of performance. What we're doing is providing that option," said Alan Batey, president of GM in America. Chevrolet is hoping to draw away buyers who were planning to buy a Volkswagen diesel vehicle and owners displaced by the current diesel emission scandal. But the question we have is can Chevrolet make any inroads? Will we actually see any of these vehicles on the road or will they just be sitting on dealer lots because of the evilness that diesel currently has due to the Volkswagen mess? Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Car Connection
  13. Volkswagen has tainted the reputation of diesel in the U.S. So it seems a bit odd that Chevrolet is not only going ahead with offering a diesel in the upcoming Equinox, but also adding a diesel option for the Cruze. Yesterday, Chevrolet officially announced that the 2018 Cruze sedan and hatchback would come with a 1.6L turbodiesel four-cylinder. It will come with the choice of either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic. Official power figures are not out and Chevrolet would not confirm if this is the same engine found in the Equinox. "People who drive diesels, love diesels. And so there is a customer base there that wants to drive this type of vehicle and have this type of performance. What we're doing is providing that option," said Alan Batey, president of GM in America. Chevrolet is hoping to draw away buyers who were planning to buy a Volkswagen diesel vehicle and owners displaced by the current diesel emission scandal. But the question we have is can Chevrolet make any inroads? Will we actually see any of these vehicles on the road or will they just be sitting on dealer lots because of the evilness that diesel currently has due to the Volkswagen mess? Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Car Connection View full article
  14. Honda has finally pulled the curtain back on the 2017 Civic Hatchback that will be arriving this fall in the U.S. There aren't many changes with the transition from concept to production model. There is a sloping roofline and a upswept beltline. The model shown here - Sport Touring - features side skirts, intergrated rear wing, and center mounted exhaust. The Civic Hatchback will only be available with the turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder. The LX, EX, and EX-L get 174 horsepower, while the Sport and Sport Touring feature 180. Both tunes of the turbo 1.5 will feature the same amount of torque - 162. One exciting bit of news is that the hatchback (along with the Civic coupe and sedan equipped with the turbo engine) will have a manual transmission as standard equipment for the LX, Sport, and EX trims. A CVT will be available on those trims and standard on the EX-L and Sport Touring. Honda says the Civic Hatchback provides best-in-class rear legroom (36 inches) and cargo space (no measurement is listed for it). More importantly, the hatchback will be the basis for the next Civic Type R, due out next year. Honda's Swindon plant in the UK will handle the worldwide production of the Civic Hatchback. Pricing will be announced at a later date. Source: Honda Press Release is on Page 2 All-New 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Arrives This Fall in North America Aug 15, 2016 First 5-door Hatchback for Civic lineup in the U.S. Civic Hatchback combines Euro-inspired styling and five-door versatility All models powered by 1.5-liter DOHC direct-injected turbo engine Civic Hatchback will serve as the basis for radical new Civic Type-R TORRANCE – Arriving this fall in North America, the 2017 Civic Hatchback is the latest addition to the much-heralded 10th-generation Honda Civic lineup, joining the 2016 North American Car of the Year – the Civic Sedan, and the Civic Coupe that launched earlier this year. The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback combines striking, Euro-inspired styling and five-door versatility with the Civic's world-class driving dynamics and Honda direct-injected turbo engine technology. The Civic Hatchback, scheduled to arrive this fall at Honda dealers nationwide, also will serve as the basis for the radical new Civic Type-R launching in the U.S. in 2017. "The Civic Hatch has been a staple for Honda in Europe, but has long been the forbidden fruit for Honda fans in the U.S.," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Now, we're bringing this sporty, stylish and versatile Civic Hatchback to North America, as we amp up the performance of our incredible Civic lineup with each new Civic model." Built on the same world-class platform as the 10th-generation Civic Sedan and Coupe, the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback offers an appealing combination of sporty styling, efficiency, interior utility and premium features. The Civic Hatchback will be available in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Sport Touring trims, and will feature a single engine for the U.S. market: a 1.5-liter DOHC direct-injected turbocharged in-line 4-cylinder with peak output of 174 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque in LX, EX and EX-L trims and 180 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque in the Sport and an all-new Sport Touring grade, which feature a high-flow center-mounted exhaust. The turbocharged engine will be offered with either a sporty CVT (all trims) or a performance-inspired 6-speed manual transmission (LX, Sport, and EX trims). Anticipated EPA fuel economy ratings of 31/40/34 mpg (city/highway/combined) for CVT-equipped models, based on the newer, more stringent model year 2017 EPA ratings requirements, put the 5-door Honda Civic Hatchback at the top of its class. Working in concert with the Honda turbocharged powertrain is the Civic's more rigid and lightweight body and sophisticated chassis design, featuring a fully independent suspension system with liquid filled bushings, front and rear; sport-tuned electronic power steering with variable gear ratios; and powerful 4-channel anti-lock disc brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution and Hill Start Assist. The interior of the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback carries through on the modern, sophisticated and premium quality of the 10th-generation Civic lineup, with high-grade materials and finishes applied liberally throughout. In terms of packaging, the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback delivers class-leading volume and cargo capacity, including a roomy interior (122.9 cu. ft.), best rear seat legroom (36.0 inches) and largest cargo carrying capacity in the competitive set. Available on most trims (and standard on Sport Touring) will be the Honda Sensing™ suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies, which includes Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) integrated with CMBS, Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Lane Departure Warning integrated with RDM and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow. Other available features include Honda Display Audio with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ (EX and above trims), heated front seats and heated side mirrors, power driver and front-passenger seats, remote engine start and more. The Civic Hatchback's all-new Sport Touring grade makes Honda Sensing™, Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ and LED headlights as standard equipment, while adding heated rear seats and other features. The Civic Hatchback will target top-class safety ratings – an NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score and an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK rating with a GOOD rating in all crash test modes and a SUPERIOR rating in frontal crash prevention, when equipped with Honda Sensing. The 2017 Civic Hatchback was developed jointly by Honda R&D teams in Europe and Japan and will be manufactured exclusively by Honda of the UK Manufacturing in its Swindon, UK plant. View full article
  15. Honda has finally pulled the curtain back on the 2017 Civic Hatchback that will be arriving this fall in the U.S. There aren't many changes with the transition from concept to production model. There is a sloping roofline and a upswept beltline. The model shown here - Sport Touring - features side skirts, intergrated rear wing, and center mounted exhaust. The Civic Hatchback will only be available with the turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder. The LX, EX, and EX-L get 174 horsepower, while the Sport and Sport Touring feature 180. Both tunes of the turbo 1.5 will feature the same amount of torque - 162. One exciting bit of news is that the hatchback (along with the Civic coupe and sedan equipped with the turbo engine) will have a manual transmission as standard equipment for the LX, Sport, and EX trims. A CVT will be available on those trims and standard on the EX-L and Sport Touring. Honda says the Civic Hatchback provides best-in-class rear legroom (36 inches) and cargo space (no measurement is listed for it). More importantly, the hatchback will be the basis for the next Civic Type R, due out next year. Honda's Swindon plant in the UK will handle the worldwide production of the Civic Hatchback. Pricing will be announced at a later date. Source: Honda Press Release is on Page 2 All-New 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Arrives This Fall in North America Aug 15, 2016 First 5-door Hatchback for Civic lineup in the U.S. Civic Hatchback combines Euro-inspired styling and five-door versatility All models powered by 1.5-liter DOHC direct-injected turbo engine Civic Hatchback will serve as the basis for radical new Civic Type-R TORRANCE – Arriving this fall in North America, the 2017 Civic Hatchback is the latest addition to the much-heralded 10th-generation Honda Civic lineup, joining the 2016 North American Car of the Year – the Civic Sedan, and the Civic Coupe that launched earlier this year. The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback combines striking, Euro-inspired styling and five-door versatility with the Civic's world-class driving dynamics and Honda direct-injected turbo engine technology. The Civic Hatchback, scheduled to arrive this fall at Honda dealers nationwide, also will serve as the basis for the radical new Civic Type-R launching in the U.S. in 2017. "The Civic Hatch has been a staple for Honda in Europe, but has long been the forbidden fruit for Honda fans in the U.S.," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Now, we're bringing this sporty, stylish and versatile Civic Hatchback to North America, as we amp up the performance of our incredible Civic lineup with each new Civic model." Built on the same world-class platform as the 10th-generation Civic Sedan and Coupe, the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback offers an appealing combination of sporty styling, efficiency, interior utility and premium features. The Civic Hatchback will be available in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Sport Touring trims, and will feature a single engine for the U.S. market: a 1.5-liter DOHC direct-injected turbocharged in-line 4-cylinder with peak output of 174 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque in LX, EX and EX-L trims and 180 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque in the Sport and an all-new Sport Touring grade, which feature a high-flow center-mounted exhaust. The turbocharged engine will be offered with either a sporty CVT (all trims) or a performance-inspired 6-speed manual transmission (LX, Sport, and EX trims). Anticipated EPA fuel economy ratings of 31/40/34 mpg (city/highway/combined) for CVT-equipped models, based on the newer, more stringent model year 2017 EPA ratings requirements, put the 5-door Honda Civic Hatchback at the top of its class. Working in concert with the Honda turbocharged powertrain is the Civic's more rigid and lightweight body and sophisticated chassis design, featuring a fully independent suspension system with liquid filled bushings, front and rear; sport-tuned electronic power steering with variable gear ratios; and powerful 4-channel anti-lock disc brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution and Hill Start Assist. The interior of the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback carries through on the modern, sophisticated and premium quality of the 10th-generation Civic lineup, with high-grade materials and finishes applied liberally throughout. In terms of packaging, the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback delivers class-leading volume and cargo capacity, including a roomy interior (122.9 cu. ft.), best rear seat legroom (36.0 inches) and largest cargo carrying capacity in the competitive set. Available on most trims (and standard on Sport Touring) will be the Honda Sensing™ suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies, which includes Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) integrated with CMBS, Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Lane Departure Warning integrated with RDM and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow. Other available features include Honda Display Audio with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ (EX and above trims), heated front seats and heated side mirrors, power driver and front-passenger seats, remote engine start and more. The Civic Hatchback's all-new Sport Touring grade makes Honda Sensing™, Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ and LED headlights as standard equipment, while adding heated rear seats and other features. The Civic Hatchback will target top-class safety ratings – an NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score and an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK rating with a GOOD rating in all crash test modes and a SUPERIOR rating in frontal crash prevention, when equipped with Honda Sensing. The 2017 Civic Hatchback was developed jointly by Honda R&D teams in Europe and Japan and will be manufactured exclusively by Honda of the UK Manufacturing in its Swindon, UK plant.
  16. Honda hasn't sold a Civic hatchback in U.S. since the 2001 to 2005 Si. Since then, Honda has only been giving us coupes and sedans. Europe meanwhile has been getting the Civic hatchback and it has grown into a sleek model that has many of us very jealous. But that will be changing with the next Civic hatchback. Honda has announced it would be coming to U.S. and we got our first peek into what it will look like at the Geneva Motor Show. The Civic Hatchback prototype follows along the same lines as the Civic concept from last year's New York auto show with a sporty appearance - blacked-out trim pieces, center mounted exhaust, and large wheels. But the basic shape lines up very closely with the current Civic sedan and coupe with a similar front and rear styling. Compared to the current Civic Hatchback, the Prototype is about 1.2 inches wider, 5.1 inches longer, and about a half-inch lower. No details were given on powertrains, but we wouldn't be surprised if the hatchback comes with the 2.0L four-cylinder and turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engines for the U.S. Honda will be building the Civic Hatchback at their Great Britain plant and export them to the U.S. later this year. Source: Honda Press Release is on Page 2 CIVIC HATCHBACK PROTOTYPE REDEFINES HONDA’S CORE MODEL FOR EUROPE Prototype of the next-generation Civic hatchback makes its global premiere at the 86th Geneva International Motor Show Assertive stance and distinctive new design establishes 10th generation as the sportiest Civic everLow, wide proportions and long wheelbase promise engaging driving dynamics while maximising interior space New Civic hatchback will be available in Europe early in 2017 and will be built at Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) The next-generation Civic hatchback makes its global debut in prototype form at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The design of the prototype heralds a significant step-change from previous versions of Honda’s core European model, focusing on provocative design and rewarding driving dynamics. The all-new Civic hatchback will be 30 mm wider, 20 mm lower and 130 mm longer than the current generation. New larger and wider wheels and tyres give a feeling of an assured stance, while the long wheelbase, short overhangs and sleek cabin area further add to the dynamic feel of the exterior. At the front of the car, a short overhang with large air intakes presents a sharp and aggressive interpretation of Honda’s family face. LED headlights and daytime running lights flow from beneath the boldly sculpted bonnet into accentuated wheel arches. The sleek and swept-back body lines continue along the side of the car with a swage line that incorporates front and rear door handles before culminating in the distinctive C-shaped LED rear lights. A second, lower character line extends from behind the front wheels up through the doors and meets the rear wheel arches, emphasising the car’s dynamic forward-leaning stance. At the rear, the bumper incorporates angular creases and vents, designed to echo the aggressively styled nature of the rest of the car. Daisuke Tsutamori, Project Leader for the 10th generation Civic provided an insight into how the distinctive design was conceived and realised: “We knew that we needed to create a striking and stand-out exterior design that challenged conventional European compact styling while staying true to the original Civic’s core values; a marriage of distinctive and sporty design, rewarding driving dynamics and versatile practicality.” Designed and developed for the European market, the 10th generation Civic is scheduled for a European launch early in 2017. The five-door hatchback variant will be produced by Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM), and will be exported to global markets including the United States. View full article
  17. Honda hasn't sold a Civic hatchback in U.S. since the 2001 to 2005 Si. Since then, Honda has only been giving us coupes and sedans. Europe meanwhile has been getting the Civic hatchback and it has grown into a sleek model that has many of us very jealous. But that will be changing with the next Civic hatchback. Honda has announced it would be coming to U.S. and we got our first peek into what it will look like at the Geneva Motor Show. The Civic Hatchback prototype follows along the same lines as the Civic concept from last year's New York auto show with a sporty appearance - blacked-out trim pieces, center mounted exhaust, and large wheels. But the basic shape lines up very closely with the current Civic sedan and coupe with a similar front and rear styling. Compared to the current Civic Hatchback, the Prototype is about 1.2 inches wider, 5.1 inches longer, and about a half-inch lower. No details were given on powertrains, but we wouldn't be surprised if the hatchback comes with the 2.0L four-cylinder and turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engines for the U.S. Honda will be building the Civic Hatchback at their Great Britain plant and export them to the U.S. later this year. Source: Honda Press Release is on Page 2 CIVIC HATCHBACK PROTOTYPE REDEFINES HONDA’S CORE MODEL FOR EUROPE Prototype of the next-generation Civic hatchback makes its global premiere at the 86th Geneva International Motor Show Assertive stance and distinctive new design establishes 10th generation as the sportiest Civic everLow, wide proportions and long wheelbase promise engaging driving dynamics while maximising interior space New Civic hatchback will be available in Europe early in 2017 and will be built at Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) The next-generation Civic hatchback makes its global debut in prototype form at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The design of the prototype heralds a significant step-change from previous versions of Honda’s core European model, focusing on provocative design and rewarding driving dynamics. The all-new Civic hatchback will be 30 mm wider, 20 mm lower and 130 mm longer than the current generation. New larger and wider wheels and tyres give a feeling of an assured stance, while the long wheelbase, short overhangs and sleek cabin area further add to the dynamic feel of the exterior. At the front of the car, a short overhang with large air intakes presents a sharp and aggressive interpretation of Honda’s family face. LED headlights and daytime running lights flow from beneath the boldly sculpted bonnet into accentuated wheel arches. The sleek and swept-back body lines continue along the side of the car with a swage line that incorporates front and rear door handles before culminating in the distinctive C-shaped LED rear lights. A second, lower character line extends from behind the front wheels up through the doors and meets the rear wheel arches, emphasising the car’s dynamic forward-leaning stance. At the rear, the bumper incorporates angular creases and vents, designed to echo the aggressively styled nature of the rest of the car. Daisuke Tsutamori, Project Leader for the 10th generation Civic provided an insight into how the distinctive design was conceived and realised: “We knew that we needed to create a striking and stand-out exterior design that challenged conventional European compact styling while staying true to the original Civic’s core values; a marriage of distinctive and sporty design, rewarding driving dynamics and versatile practicality.” Designed and developed for the European market, the 10th generation Civic is scheduled for a European launch early in 2017. The five-door hatchback variant will be produced by Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM), and will be exported to global markets including the United States.
  18. Even though Nissan has only just launched the Sentra, the company already has some changes in store. Wards Auto reports that Nissan is planning to launch more engine options in the near future. “From a product standpoint, in the future you’ll see more engine offerings, and it’s full steam ahead. We’re fully focused on the segment,” said Michael Bunce, director of product planning for Nissan North America. It's unclear as to what other engine options Nissan has in store. We wouldn't be surprised if a turbocharged four-cylinder is one of those options. Nissan is also considering adding another body style to the Sentra lineup, a hatchback. Tony Baehner, senior manager of product planning for Nissan says adding a hatchback allows consumers another choice in a growing market. The downsides are compact crossovers are very popular and the hatchback marketplace being dominated by two models; the Ford Focus and Mazda3. Baehner says with the Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback going on sale later this year, they'll be watching how it does in terms of sales before making a decision on doing a Sentra hatchback. Source: Wards Auto View full article
  19. Even though Nissan has only just launched the Sentra, the company already has some changes in store. Wards Auto reports that Nissan is planning to launch more engine options in the near future. “From a product standpoint, in the future you’ll see more engine offerings, and it’s full steam ahead. We’re fully focused on the segment,” said Michael Bunce, director of product planning for Nissan North America. It's unclear as to what other engine options Nissan has in store. We wouldn't be surprised if a turbocharged four-cylinder is one of those options. Nissan is also considering adding another body style to the Sentra lineup, a hatchback. Tony Baehner, senior manager of product planning for Nissan says adding a hatchback allows consumers another choice in a growing market. The downsides are compact crossovers are very popular and the hatchback marketplace being dominated by two models; the Ford Focus and Mazda3. Baehner says with the Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback going on sale later this year, they'll be watching how it does in terms of sales before making a decision on doing a Sentra hatchback. Source: Wards Auto
  20. A couple years back, then General Motors' North American president, Mark Reuss said “That was a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake,” when asked why Chevrolet didn't sell the Cruze Hatchback in North America. That appears to changing with the next-generation Cruze. Automotive News reports that Chevrolet showed off a Cruze Hatchback at its national dealer meeting in Las Vegas last week. According to sources, the model was billed as a 2016 model, but a launch date wasn't announced. Chevrolet will be revealing the 2016 Cruze at a media event this week with sales starting sometime in the first quarter of next year. Automotive News guesses sales of the hatchback could start sometime there after. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  21. A couple years back, then General Motors' North American president, Mark Reuss said “That was a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake,” when asked why Chevrolet didn't sell the Cruze Hatchback in North America. That appears to changing with the next-generation Cruze. Automotive News reports that Chevrolet showed off a Cruze Hatchback at its national dealer meeting in Las Vegas last week. According to sources, the model was billed as a 2016 model, but a launch date wasn't announced. Chevrolet will be revealing the 2016 Cruze at a media event this week with sales starting sometime in the first quarter of next year. Automotive News guesses sales of the hatchback could start sometime there after. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  22. At one time, the subcompact was seen as the penalty box in the automotive marketplace. The reasons for buying one were the low cost and high fuel economy. But in return, subcompacts were devoid of many comforts found in larger vehicles such as air conditioning, power windows, and automatic transmissions. Now subcompacts are seen as a real choice in the marketplace and automakers have had to step up to make their models feel like an actual vehicle. One of the automakers who has made this change was Hyundai. Their entrant in the subcompact marketplace, the Accent, was the poster child of the no frills, cheap commuting vehicle. But with the most recent model, Hyundai has moved it up the food chain to better compete with the likes of the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, and Honda Fit. But does the Accent belong in this playground, or is it just a pretender? There are two ways you can describe the Accent Hatchback’s design. One is that the model is quite boring and plain looking when compared to other subcompacts. The other way is to say the Accent Hatchback is sophisticated and matured. The Accent doesn’t have quite the flair of the fludic sculpture as other models, but does feature some sculpted curves along the doors, a distinctive character line running from the front fender to the rear, and a set of sixteen-inch alloy wheels that come standard on the SE model. Much like the exterior, the Accent Hatchback’s interior can be described as being plain or classy. Like most subcompacts, the Accent does feature its fair share of hard plastics. But the plastic is very solid and Hyundai used textured plastics on certain parts of the interior to make it feel somewhat premium. The center stack is well laid out and easy to glance at. My Accent SE tester came very well-equipped with Bluetooth, iPod and USB connections, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and satellite radio all as standard. One complaint I have with Hyundai and Kia vehicles is the lack of thigh support in the front seat when sitting in them for long periods. The Accent falls into this category as well. I don’t know if it's the way I have the seats adjusted or if there isn’t enough padding on the seat that causes this for me. Moving to the back, the Accent Hatchback does pretty well in this regard with a decent amount of head and legroom. Being 5’7”, I was very comfortable sitting in the back. Cargo space stands at 21.2 cubic feet with the seats up and 47.5 cubic feet which puts its in the mid-pack of the subcompact class. All Accents come equipped with a 1.6L DOHC four-cylinder producing 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up to a six-speed automatic. The Accent does take a little bit of wringing to get to the sweet spot in the powertrain. But when you’re leaving a stop, it doesn’t feel like the vehicle is gasping for power. Hyundai made sure it was very easy to get up speed on city streets. On the fuel economy front, the Accent SE is rated by the EPA at 27 City/37 Highway/31 Combined. My week’s average landed around 30 MPG. The Accent’s ride quality feels like a bigger vehicle with the suspension doing an excellent job of minimizing impacts from bumps and potholes. Noise isolation is also pretty decent with wind and road noise kept to a minimum. Those who are thinking of taking the Accent on their favorite road will be slightly disappointed. The Accent doesn’t quite have the same handling characteristics as the Chevrolet Sonic as it leans a little bit more and doesn’t quite feel as solid. Steering is light, but has a decent amount of feel for those who feel on going a sporting drive. The 2014 Hyundai Accent SE shows that it belongs in this playground. While it might not have the looks or driving dynamics as many of the subcompact competitors, the Accent has some positives to it. It begins with a fair number of standard equipment, followed by a engine that delivers very good grunt and a ride that feels like a bigger vehicle. It’s a very compelling choice in the class. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Accent SE, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Hyundai Model: Accent Hatchback Trim: SE Engine: 1.6L DOHC GDI Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 138 @ 6,300 Torque @ RPM: 123 @ 4,850 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/37/31 Curb Weight: 2,635 lbs Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, Korea Base Price: $17,395 As Tested Price: $18,315 (Includes $810.00 Destination Charge) Options: Carpeted Floor Mats - $110.00 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  23. At one time, the subcompact was seen as the penalty box in the automotive marketplace. The reasons for buying one were the low cost and high fuel economy. But in return, subcompacts were devoid of many comforts found in larger vehicles such as air conditioning, power windows, and automatic transmissions. Now subcompacts are seen as a real choice in the marketplace and automakers have had to step up to make their models feel like an actual vehicle. One of the automakers who has made this change was Hyundai. Their entrant in the subcompact marketplace, the Accent, was the poster child of the no frills, cheap commuting vehicle. But with the most recent model, Hyundai has moved it up the food chain to better compete with the likes of the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, and Honda Fit. But does the Accent belong in this playground, or is it just a pretender? There are two ways you can describe the Accent Hatchback’s design. One is that the model is quite boring and plain looking when compared to other subcompacts. The other way is to say the Accent Hatchback is sophisticated and matured. The Accent doesn’t have quite the flair of the fludic sculpture as other models, but does feature some sculpted curves along the doors, a distinctive character line running from the front fender to the rear, and a set of sixteen-inch alloy wheels that come standard on the SE model. Much like the exterior, the Accent Hatchback’s interior can be described as being plain or classy. Like most subcompacts, the Accent does feature its fair share of hard plastics. But the plastic is very solid and Hyundai used textured plastics on certain parts of the interior to make it feel somewhat premium. The center stack is well laid out and easy to glance at. My Accent SE tester came very well-equipped with Bluetooth, iPod and USB connections, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and satellite radio all as standard. One complaint I have with Hyundai and Kia vehicles is the lack of thigh support in the front seat when sitting in them for long periods. The Accent falls into this category as well. I don’t know if it's the way I have the seats adjusted or if there isn’t enough padding on the seat that causes this for me. Moving to the back, the Accent Hatchback does pretty well in this regard with a decent amount of head and legroom. Being 5’7”, I was very comfortable sitting in the back. Cargo space stands at 21.2 cubic feet with the seats up and 47.5 cubic feet which puts its in the mid-pack of the subcompact class. All Accents come equipped with a 1.6L DOHC four-cylinder producing 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up to a six-speed automatic. The Accent does take a little bit of wringing to get to the sweet spot in the powertrain. But when you’re leaving a stop, it doesn’t feel like the vehicle is gasping for power. Hyundai made sure it was very easy to get up speed on city streets. On the fuel economy front, the Accent SE is rated by the EPA at 27 City/37 Highway/31 Combined. My week’s average landed around 30 MPG. The Accent’s ride quality feels like a bigger vehicle with the suspension doing an excellent job of minimizing impacts from bumps and potholes. Noise isolation is also pretty decent with wind and road noise kept to a minimum. Those who are thinking of taking the Accent on their favorite road will be slightly disappointed. The Accent doesn’t quite have the same handling characteristics as the Chevrolet Sonic as it leans a little bit more and doesn’t quite feel as solid. Steering is light, but has a decent amount of feel for those who feel on going a sporting drive. The 2014 Hyundai Accent SE shows that it belongs in this playground. While it might not have the looks or driving dynamics as many of the subcompact competitors, the Accent has some positives to it. It begins with a fair number of standard equipment, followed by a engine that delivers very good grunt and a ride that feels like a bigger vehicle. It’s a very compelling choice in the class. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Accent SE, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Hyundai Model: Accent Hatchback Trim: SE Engine: 1.6L DOHC GDI Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 138 @ 6,300 Torque @ RPM: 123 @ 4,850 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/37/31 Curb Weight: 2,635 lbs Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, Korea Base Price: $17,395 As Tested Price: $18,315 (Includes $810.00 Destination Charge) Options: Carpeted Floor Mats - $110.00 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  24. Space, the final frontier. Besides being one of the well known lines in pop culture, it’s a perfect description for the Nissan Versa. When the automaker first introduced the Versa, it promoted that the model had a lot of space for not a lot of money. With this combination, Nissan was able to take a nice chunk of the subcompact marketplace. But as time went on, the subcompact marketplace got more competitive with automakers introducing brand new models that offered more than a low price. However, Nissan is sticking with a lot of space for not a lot money combination with the new Versa and Versa Note. Is this still a viable plan? I spent a week in a 2014 Versa Note SL to find out. There are two key items you need to know about the Versa Note’s design. One: It follows the general rule in subcompact and compact car design where the hatchback has a bit more style than the sedan. Two: The Versa Note’s overall design either reminds you of a small bread van or a tropical fish. The latter due in part to the tester’s blue color. Some design cues Nissan has applied to the Versa Note include a long, narrow front grille; seventeen-inch alloy wheels on the SL, and a rear spoiler. Space is the big theme with Versa Note and it begins with the back seat. Stepping back here, you’ll be surprised at the amount of head and legroom available here. Getting into the back for the first time, I felt like I was sitting in a midsize sedan, not a subcompact. For cargo space, the Versa Note offers up 18.8 cubic feet of space with the back seats up. This beats the Infiniti QX80 I reviewed the week before. Another selling point Nissan is promoting with the Versa Note is the amount of tech. On this particular model, it came equipped with a 5.5-inch color touchscreen with NissanConnect and navigation. The new system’s interface looks a little bit dated, but its easy to navigate thanks to large touch points and hard buttons on either side to move to different functions. It also comes with the ability for you to send points of interest and directions from Google. The system allows you use certain apps such as Facebook when your phone is hooked up. Sadly, I didn’t get chance to try either feature out. What I did try was Nissan’s Around View Camera system which uses four cameras (one in the front, the back, and under each side view mirror) to provide a 360 degree view of the view when backing up or getting into a tight parking space. It may seem a bit odd to have this feature in subcompact hatchback with excellent visibility all around, but I was very appreciative of this feature when I was trying to get the Note into a tight parallel parking spot. The rest of the interior is well, very dull. While many subcompacts are being somewhat interesting with their interiors, the Versa Note sticks on the boring side. Materials are mostly of the hard plastic variety, which is the standard for the class. Build quality is excellent. For Driving Impressions, See Page 2 Powering the Versa family is a 1.6L four-cylinder with 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. Base models get a five-speed manual as standard, while higher trim models such as the SL get a CVT. With a 0-60 MPH time around 11 seconds, the Versa Note is one of the slowest vehicles on sale. But oddly, it doesn’t feel that slow in certain situations such as leaving a stop. In others such as merging onto the freeway, you find yourself wanting a bit more oomph and less noise from the engine and CVT. The upside to the slowness is EPA fuel economy ratings of 31 City/40 Highway/35 Combined. During the week I saw an average of 34 MPG. The saying of you win some and you lose some is very apparent here. The Versa Note feeling like a bigger vehicle also pertains to the suspension. A MacPherson strut/torsion bar suspension setup is used and for the most part, and it was able to cope with most imperfections on the road. It should be noted that large bumps were able to upset the suspension. Out on the curves, the Versa Note isn’t great. The suspension tune is manly focused on comfort which means the Versa Note shows evidence of body lean. Steering feels very rubbery and there isn’t really much feel when you decide to push it. The subcompact class is filled with many vehicles that have their own distinct advantages for someone to find the right model. Because of this, the 2014 Nissan Versa Note fills a niche. If you’re someone who wants a lot space for not a lot cash, and the availability of a lot technology, then the 2014 Versa Note is one that deserves a closer look. But if you want something a bit more funky; something with a bit more sport; or something with better appointments, you have a wide range of vehicles to choose from. Cheers: Space, Big Car Ride, Around-View Camera, Infotainment System Jeers: Could Use A Bit More Power, Dull Interior, Not A Car You Want To Play Around With Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the Versa Note, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Nissan Model: Versa Note Trim: SL Engine: 1.6L DOHC Inline-Four Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM: 109 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 107 @ 4,400 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 31/40/35 Curb Weight: 2,482 lbs Location of Manufacture: Aguascalientes, Mexico Base Price: $15,990.00 As Tested Price: $19,545.00 (Includes $790.00 Destination Charge) Options: SL Package - $1,700.00 Technology Package - $800.00 Carpeted Floor Mats & Cargo Mat - $175.00 Rear Cargo Cover - $90.00 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster View full article
  25. Space, the final frontier. Besides being one of the well known lines in pop culture, it’s a perfect description for the Nissan Versa. When the automaker first introduced the Versa, it promoted that the model had a lot of space for not a lot of money. With this combination, Nissan was able to take a nice chunk of the subcompact marketplace. But as time went on, the subcompact marketplace got more competitive with automakers introducing brand new models that offered more than a low price. However, Nissan is sticking with a lot of space for not a lot money combination with the new Versa and Versa Note. Is this still a viable plan? I spent a week in a 2014 Versa Note SL to find out. There are two key items you need to know about the Versa Note’s design. One: It follows the general rule in subcompact and compact car design where the hatchback has a bit more style than the sedan. Two: The Versa Note’s overall design either reminds you of a small bread van or a tropical fish. The latter due in part to the tester’s blue color. Some design cues Nissan has applied to the Versa Note include a long, narrow front grille; seventeen-inch alloy wheels on the SL, and a rear spoiler. Space is the big theme with Versa Note and it begins with the back seat. Stepping back here, you’ll be surprised at the amount of head and legroom available here. Getting into the back for the first time, I felt like I was sitting in a midsize sedan, not a subcompact. For cargo space, the Versa Note offers up 18.8 cubic feet of space with the back seats up. This beats the Infiniti QX80 I reviewed the week before. Another selling point Nissan is promoting with the Versa Note is the amount of tech. On this particular model, it came equipped with a 5.5-inch color touchscreen with NissanConnect and navigation. The new system’s interface looks a little bit dated, but its easy to navigate thanks to large touch points and hard buttons on either side to move to different functions. It also comes with the ability for you to send points of interest and directions from Google. The system allows you use certain apps such as Facebook when your phone is hooked up. Sadly, I didn’t get chance to try either feature out. What I did try was Nissan’s Around View Camera system which uses four cameras (one in the front, the back, and under each side view mirror) to provide a 360 degree view of the view when backing up or getting into a tight parking space. It may seem a bit odd to have this feature in subcompact hatchback with excellent visibility all around, but I was very appreciative of this feature when I was trying to get the Note into a tight parallel parking spot. The rest of the interior is well, very dull. While many subcompacts are being somewhat interesting with their interiors, the Versa Note sticks on the boring side. Materials are mostly of the hard plastic variety, which is the standard for the class. Build quality is excellent. For Driving Impressions, See Page 2 Powering the Versa family is a 1.6L four-cylinder with 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. Base models get a five-speed manual as standard, while higher trim models such as the SL get a CVT. With a 0-60 MPH time around 11 seconds, the Versa Note is one of the slowest vehicles on sale. But oddly, it doesn’t feel that slow in certain situations such as leaving a stop. In others such as merging onto the freeway, you find yourself wanting a bit more oomph and less noise from the engine and CVT. The upside to the slowness is EPA fuel economy ratings of 31 City/40 Highway/35 Combined. During the week I saw an average of 34 MPG. The saying of you win some and you lose some is very apparent here. The Versa Note feeling like a bigger vehicle also pertains to the suspension. A MacPherson strut/torsion bar suspension setup is used and for the most part, and it was able to cope with most imperfections on the road. It should be noted that large bumps were able to upset the suspension. Out on the curves, the Versa Note isn’t great. The suspension tune is manly focused on comfort which means the Versa Note shows evidence of body lean. Steering feels very rubbery and there isn’t really much feel when you decide to push it. The subcompact class is filled with many vehicles that have their own distinct advantages for someone to find the right model. Because of this, the 2014 Nissan Versa Note fills a niche. If you’re someone who wants a lot space for not a lot cash, and the availability of a lot technology, then the 2014 Versa Note is one that deserves a closer look. But if you want something a bit more funky; something with a bit more sport; or something with better appointments, you have a wide range of vehicles to choose from. Cheers: Space, Big Car Ride, Around-View Camera, Infotainment System Jeers: Could Use A Bit More Power, Dull Interior, Not A Car You Want To Play Around With Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the Versa Note, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Nissan Model: Versa Note Trim: SL Engine: 1.6L DOHC Inline-Four Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM: 109 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 107 @ 4,400 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 31/40/35 Curb Weight: 2,482 lbs Location of Manufacture: Aguascalientes, Mexico Base Price: $15,990.00 As Tested Price: $19,545.00 (Includes $790.00 Destination Charge) Options: SL Package - $1,700.00 Technology Package - $800.00 Carpeted Floor Mats & Cargo Mat - $175.00 Rear Cargo Cover - $90.00 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster

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