2014 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - Small

The small car segment, a crucial and very competitive one in Canada, contains some of Canada’s best-selling cars.
Cars in this segment are no longer cheap, but equipment levels, refinement and performance are equal to those of mid-size cars a decade ago. Other than a need for greater cabin space, there is no compelling reason to move beyond this class.

Over the last few years, new cars in this segment have arrived as relentlessly as waves on a beach. 2014 is no exception as three popular cars in the compact segment, the Kia Forte, Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla are all new this year. Volkswagen introduced its seventh-generation Golf in Europe in the fall of 2012, but the model won't be available in Canada until the spring of 2014, as an early 2015. The only Golf offered for the 2014 model year is the wagon, which is based on the Jetta that debuted for the 2006 model. With 2013 introductions co-inciding with the beginning of the 2014 model year, it is unlikely there will be 2014 verstions of the Honda CR-Z or Nissan Leaf.

The better cars in this class are economical to operate, very reliable, and have excellent resale value. Interestingly, the highest-rated cars are often very competitive on a monthly payment basis, and are the only ones that offer a lease worth considering. The average and below average cars in this segment can seldom be leased, and though finance payments may be low, so will the resale value if you trade in the car before the six year mark.

A note about mileage: The APA's posted fuel economy figures for 2013 differ from those published by the Canada EnerGuide. Starting in 2012, the APA is using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency EPA), numbers for fuel economy as they better reflect real-world fuel economy. For more information, read APA President George Iny's article regarding the inadequacies of the Canada EnerGuide test cycle.

 

 

Buick Verano  Hyundai Elantra  Nissan Juke  Subaru XV Crosstrek  
Chevrolet Cruze  Hyundai Elantra GT  Nissan Sentra  Toyota Corolla 
Dodge Dart  Kia Forte  Scion tC  Toyota Matrix 
Ford Focus  Mazda 3  Scion xB  Volkswagen Beetle 
Honda Civic  Mitsubishi Lancer  Scion xD  Volkswagen Golf Wagon 
  Mitsubishi RVR  Subaru Impreza  2015 Volkswagen Golf VII 
      Volkswagen Jetta 

Nissan Sentra

Specifications


 

 

What’s new
Revised CVT programming as well as suspension and steering revisions. Sliding front armrest is now standard on the SV model. Updated infotainment interface. All models now equipped with tire pressure monitors.

Comments
The cabin, fronted by a dashboard housing large, crisply-marked gauges and a centre stack stocked with logical controls, is a much better effort than the exterior. Pleasing shapes and some nice faux alloy accents are cabin highlights. Substantial, comfortable seats front and rear. Good cabin space. Big trunk. The previous Sentra's 2 L 140 horsepower four has been replaced by a 130 horsepower 1.8 L. A 68 kg (150 lb) weight loss should help to maintain performance. Two transmissions, a six-speed manual and a CVT, are offered.

Pricing

Good value SV and SL trim upgrades. Overpriced SV Luxury package. Good value leasing. 

Reliability

New car, Insufficient data. Not rated. Reliability is predicted to be average to below average.


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.8L‑4 (130 HP)

Transmissions: 6M, CVT 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  7.8L/100 km
ESC: Standard

Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Country of Origin:  Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: P

NHTSA Rating: 



Scion tC

Specifications


 

 

What’s new
Revised front fascia outside and a new large-screen format audio system inside. Revised automatic transmission programming, including a new feature that blips the throttle on downshifts. Steering and suspension have been tuned for greater precision. Special "10" edition to celebrate Scion's 10 years of sales in the United States. 

Performance
The crisp, enthusiastic performance delivered by the 2.5L four and six-speed automatic transmission on the open road deteriorates into a mild lurch-fest in town because of a stiff throttle pedal, and heavy brakes. A loud exhaust system adds a sonic edge to in-town travel. The ride is firm yet resilient despite the low-profile 18 inch tires. Handling is precise and highway stability is good. Outward visibility is compromised by shallow windows and heavy rear roof pillars. The cabin is fronted by large, easily scanned gauges, as well as a logical three-dial climate control set-up. The heavily bolstered front seats hold, but don’t confine, and prove comfortable on a long run. Legroom is good front and rear, and rear seat access is relatively easy due to front seats that glide forward when the seatbacks are released. The interior is carefully assembled but the look of some components reminds you that the tC is not an expensive car. The huge standard sunroof works very well. The cargo area is easily accessed via the large hatchback door, and while the floor space is ample, the trunk is shallow below the window line.

Comments
Built on the same platform as the Scion xB, the tC is longer, wider and lower than its showroom companion. Styling is vaguely sporty. The tC's substantial size and hatchback format give it a unique edge in the market as few competitors can comfortably seat four people as well as having a versatile luggage locker. The same 2.5L four used in the Camry, producing 180 horsepower in this application, powers the tC. Power reaches the front wheels via a duo of six-speed transmissions, one manual, one automatic.

Pricing

With 18 inch alloy wheels and a large glass sunroof, the tC is very well equipped for the price. The tC is sold in a single trim level with numerous dealer-installed options available for customers wishing to customize their rides. However, these options are significantly overpriced as is the "10" anniversary model. Equipped with a manual transmission, the tC, with fog lights and an alarm system is priced $3500 less than a Honda Civic Si which does partially compensate for the price gap by having a standard navigation system. Good value leasing. 

Reliability
Above average reliability predicted as the tC's main mechanical components have proven reliable in other Toyota products. 


Body Style:  2HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.5L‑4 (180 HP) 

Transmissions: 6M*, 6A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  10.2L/100 km
ESC: Standard

Additional Airbags: Knee airbags for both front occupants
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: A

NHTSA Rating: 



Scion xB

Specifications


 

 

What’s new
No changes of note for 2014.  

Performance
The xB is roughly the same size as the Toyota Matrix. The 2.4L four is quick, flexible and is well-matched to its optional four-speed automatic transmission. The automatic works very well despite its unfashionably low gear count. A stiff throttle inhibits smooth driving. Stable handling comes at the expense of ride, which is very firm and occasionally harsh. Precise, nicely weighted steering. Easily modulated brakes. High interior noise levels. Limited visibility. Inside, design trumps ergonomics. The centrally-mounted dashboard gauges are easy to scan except for the partially obscured tachometer. Hopeless audio controls. The vast cabin has abundant leg and headroom. Commanding driving position. The front seats are comfortable despite the short seat cushions. Limited front seat travel. Copious hard plastic surfaces, small windows and sombre hues make the cabin a grim place to inhabit. Versatile, easily accessed cargo space.
Comments
Only one engine, a 188 horsepower 2.4L four, is offered in the xB. Two transmissions, a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic, are available.

Pricing

The xB is sold in only one, very well equipped trim level. Pricey dealer-installed options allow for some customization. The xB offers more space that a similarly-equipped Toyota Matrix for less money. The xB is one of the best new car deals in the new car market. Good lease values.

Reliability
Insufficient data, Not rated. Above average reliability predicted.


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.4L-4 (188 HP) 

Transmissions: 5M, 4A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  10.7L/100 km
ESC: Standard
 Additional Airbags: None

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: N/R

NHTSA Rating: 


Scion xD

Specifications

NOT RATED

 

 

What’s new
Large screen format audio system is the sole change for 2014.
Performance
The 1.8L four from the Corolla produces 128 horsepower, 22 more than the 1.5L four that powers the Yaris. Hooked to a four-speed automatic transmission, the xD is a sprightly, if vocal performer. There is a pronounced driveline vibration when accelerating from a stop, and wind and road noise combine to take the serenity out of cruising. The nicely geared steering is both light and numb. Handling and ride get the job done but won't inspire any sonnets. Except for a fussy-looking combined tach-speedo, the xD's dashboard and the rest of the cabin are attractive. Straightforward controls. Comfortable seats front and rear, with good rear seat legroom. Reasonable cargo space with the rear seat up is little different than it is in the current Yaris. 

Comments
Based on the previous-generation Yaris hatchback, the Scion xD, built on a 50 mm (2 inch) shorter wheelbase, is 30 mm (1.2 inches) longer and wider and the same height as the current Yaris hatchback. Other than its more powerful engine, the xD fails to make a case for itself as cargo space, the chief deficiency of the previous Yaris, is much improved for 2012. One engine, a 128 horsepower 1.8L four, and two transmissions, a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic, are offered on the xD.

Pricing

The xD is sold as a single model with numerous and expensive dealer-installed factory accessories. The xD is priced roughly 10 percent higher than a five-door Toyota Yaris LE with the Convenience package and monthly payments are significantly higher for the xD than they are for the Yaris. 

Reliability
Proven components from the Corolla and Yaris should provide above average reliability. 


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.8L‑4 (128 HP)

Transmissions: 5M, 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  8.7L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions ratings: Front seat cushion airbags
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: N/R

NHTSA Rating: 



Subaru Impreza, XV Crosstrek, WRX, STI (2015)

Specifications


 

 

What’s new
Impreza: No changes of note. XV Crosstrek: Hybrid version introduced in the fall of 2013. WRX and WRX STI: early 2015 models introduced in the spring of 2014. . 

Performance
The characterful and vocal 2L boxer four must be pushed hard to make good progress and while reasonably refined when hooked up to a CVT, it is intrusive when connected to a manual transmission. Docile clutch, precise gearchange and well-chosen gear ratios on the manual-transmission model tested. Nicely-calibrated CVT automatic doesn't use excessive revs unless the car is pushed hard. Precise steering has reassuring heft and has good directional stability on the highway. Carefully-judged ride-handling compromise reflects much careful development by Subaru. The higher ground clearance of the XV Crosstrek results in a bit more body lean in corners and an even more absorbent ride. Strong brakes despite spongy pedal feel. Audio equipment and sound quality are much better than in the previous-generation Impreza. Classically elegant cabin with clear gauges, straightforward controls, plentiful space, comfortable seats and attractive cabin materials. Good legroom front and rear. The carefully-trimmed cargo area in the hatchback is on the shallow side. The WRX and STI offer phenomenal performance.

Comments
The mainstream new-generation 2L Imprezas were joined by the XV Crosstrek, essentially an Impreza on stilts with some off-roader type body-cladding, last year. A normally-aspirated 2L four producing 148 horsepower, is the sole engine offered on the new-generation Impreza, with the XV Crosstrek offering a hybrid version that combines the 2L flat four and a 13.5 horsepower electric motor that sends power to the wheels via a CVT exclusively. Two transmissions, a five-speed manual and a CVT are available on all non-hybrid variants of this platform. WRX buyers can chose from a six-speed manual tranmsission of a CVT, with the manual the sole choice for the STI. 

Pricing
The hatchback body style commands a $900 premium over the sedan of the same trim level. Impreza: The Touring and Sport packages are priced to reflect additional contents included in the upgrade. Moving up to the Limited trim level reflects very good value. Tempting leasing arrangements. XV Crosstrek: It costs an extra $1200 (Limited), $1700 (Sport) or $1900 (Touring) to obtain a Crosstrek compared to an Impreza hatchback of the same trim level and generates a $50 to $60 higher monthly payment whether you lease or buy. If you want to lease an XV, it is good value compared with financing. The STI version of the WRX is vastly more expensive than its less powerful showroom mate­.

Reliability
Not rated, insufficient data on the new model. Previous Subaru flat-four engines have had head-gasket failure issues.


Body Style:  4HB, 4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-flat four (148 HP)*,2L-flat four H (148 HP gas plus 13.5 HP electric), 2L-flat four T (268 HP WRX), 2.5L-flat four T (305 HP STI) 

Transmissions: 5M, 6M, CVT* 
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  8.7L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Additional Airbags: Driver's knee airbag
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: N/R

NHTSA Rating: 



Toyota Corolla

Specifications

NEW

 

 

What’s new
All-new Corolla went on sale in the fall of 2013.

Comments

Built on a 100 mm (3.9 inches) longer wheelbase, the new Corolla is 99 mm (3.9 inches) longer overall, slightly wider and lower than last year. The frontal styling features a discreet version of Toyota s current smiling face grille, a massive lower air intake and dramatically-shaped L.E.D. headlamps. Like the RAV4, the Corolla's clean flanks are accentuated by a high-mounted character line that turn into arcs at each end drawing the line to the lower bumpers. The long-wheelbase and short overhangs give the Corolla a planted stance and is very much a production version of the Furia concept displayed at cars shows in 2013. The cabin is spacious for a C-segment car. Most Corollas are equipped with an attractive, crisply-marked three gauge package but the S trim level has twin gauges separated by a large trip computer. Simple, logical controls are housed in a strongly horizontal dashboard with a strong 1970s Japanese design overtone. Cabin materials are class average and seat fabrics are more attractive on the new model than on the old one. Comfortable seats front and rear. Taller drivers commented on insufficient seat travel for them to be truly comfortable. Good rear legroom. Headroom in the rear seat is tight for the tall. Most Corollas are powered by the familiar 132 horsepower 1.8 L four, with the ECO variants motivated by a 140 horsepower version of the 1.8 L with a more advanced Valvematic intake valve system. The CE model is strictly a price leader,. Air conditioning cannot be combined with manual transmission and the optional automatic is a shockingly old-school four-speed unit. All other variants can be teamed with a new CVT, which has a faux seven-speed function on the S model. With various aero tweaks, low-resistance tires and other measures, the ECO models promise enhanced fuel economy.
The Corolla's 132 horsepower 1.8L four is flexible and delivers  competitive acceleration but can become a touch raucous when extended,.The new CVT is carefully calibrated to the 1.8L four, and unless you push the engine hard, operates in such a conventional way that many drivers may think it is a traditional multi-speed automatic transmission. Though lacking in feel, the Corolla's steering is nicely weighted and geared and exhibits good directional stability on highway runs. The ride-handling compromise of the 'S'model driven seemed well judged for routine driving but hard driving in challenging conditions leads to more wallowing than expected.  

Pricing

Model lineup alterations have resulted in the base LE becoming the mainstream, high-volume Corolla for 2014, replacing the CE Enhanced Convenience package that has been the volume model for the past few years. Upgrading from an automatic CE with air-conditioning to a base LE CVT represents very good value. The LE Upgrade and Tech packages are well worth buying if you want their features. The LE Premium package is priced to reflect its additional content and results in a nicely appointed car for the money,. Moving from the LE to the S trim levels brings a lot of content for the money asked. The Tech package on the S is keenly priced but the Upgrade and Premium supplements simply cover the value of their additional features. Reasonable supplement charged for the ECO versions of the LE compared with the regular versions. Impressively low monthly lease payments for the mainstream LE model. 

Reliability

New vehicle, not rated. Above average reliability predicted. Complaints received regarding oil leaks from the intake manifold and the timing chain cover on the engine that is carried over to this new model. Unproven CVT. 


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.8L-4 (132 HP), 1.8L-4 (140 HP)* 

Transmissions: 6M, CVT* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  8.1L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Additional Airbags: Front passenger seat cushion airbag and driver's side knee airbag
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Country of Origin:  Canada

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: M

NHTSA Rating: 



Toyota Matrix

Specifications


 

 

What’s new
The Matrix, in front-wheel drive 1.8L form, returns to Canada for 2014 but not to the U.S.

Performance
The 1.8L four-cylinder engine is carefully mated to the four-speed automatic transmission and delivers good overall performance but it, and fuel economy could be better if Toyota provides a more sophisticated transmission than the four-speed unit used in the Matrix. Despite its height, the car handles confidently and rides well. Light steering lacks any involvement . The spongy brake pedal is hard to modulate. Small windows and heavy rear roof pillars restrict visibility to the sides and rear. Although the front seat cushions are a bit short, the seats are supportive and are covered in an attractive cloth. Good rear legroom, but the rear seat begins to feel hard and flat after a few minutes. The driver faces a hideous dashboard with jagged shapes and great lashings of faux alloy. The instruments, resting at the bottom of long tubes, are oddly marked, with 160 km/h showing at top dead centre of the speedometer. Heating and audio controls are logical and easy to find. Good cargo capacity and versatility, but the hard plastic cargo floor lets cargo slide around.

Comments
The Matrix has been discontinued in the U.S. but continues in Canada for 2014. With nearly 12,000 units sold in 2012 and similar numbers expected for 2013, the Matrix is a big seller in Canada and worth keeping in the Canadian market for 2014. The big-engined 2.4L engine and all-wheel drive have been axed, leaving a single 1.8L, front-wheel drive variant. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, with a four-speed automatic optional. 

Pricing

The Convenience and S packages are a bit overpriced but the Touring variant is good value. Excellent leasing terms.

Reliability
Above average reliability. Some complaints of oil leaks from the intake manifold and timing chain cover on the 1.8L engine.


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.84L‑4 (132 HP) 

Transmissions: 5M, 4A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  9.4L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Country of Origin:  Canada

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: N/R

Rear: A

Sml. Front: N/R

NHTSA Rating: 



Volkswagen Beetle

Specifications


 

 

What’s new
2L gasoline turbo produces 210 horsepower, 10 more than last year. Standard auto door locks. New colour. GSR trim package new for 2014.   

Performance
The 2.5L five-cylinder is strong and flexible. The smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission tries to attain the highest gear as soon as possible, but kicks down readily when asked. Stable handling, but its chassis is not quite as balanced as that of the Golf it is based on. Lots of road and wind noise at highway speeds. The precise steering is not as communicative as it is in the Golf. The brakes work well despite spongy pedal feel. Hooked up to the DSG automatic, the 2L turbo four feels lethargic when in "normal" mode and thrilling but hyper-active in "Sport" mode. Other than programming designed to flatter the U.S. fuel economy tests, the transmission upshifts smoothly and downshifts promptly. With fully-independent rear suspension and big, low-profile tires, the gas-turbo powered Beetle handles more crisply than its 2.5L-powered showroom mate, but it rides abruptly. The TDI should deliver the satisfying blend of speed and economy in the Beetle as is does in other VW products. Good visibility, except to the rear in sloppy conditions as there is no rear wiper, even as an option. The cabin, fronted by a dashboard with big gauges featuring sober, crisp graphics, and large centre panel containing a vent-flanked radio and 3-dial HVAC knobs, is reminiscent of the original Beetle's dash. A dash painted to match the exterior hue is available. The rest of the cabin is very chic. Great space and comfortable seats in front, with less room in the back seat than in the related Golf.
Comments

The hatchback is available with the same 2L TDI, 2L gas turbo and 2.5L five offered in the Golf. Transmissions choices include a five-speed manual and six-speed  automatic with the five, and a six-speed manual and DSG with the gas turbo and the TDI. The turbo has a multi-link rear suspension set-up compared to the torsion-beam system on other Beetles. The convertible is powered exclusively by a 2.5L five hooked up to a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.5L five will be supplanted by a 1.8L gas turbo four sometime during the 2014 model year.  

Pricing

The Comfortline, Highline and the GSR upgrades are priced to reflect their extra features. Overpriced Sportline package. Good value Technology group. The convertible body style will cost anywhere from $6400 to $7415 more than a similarly-equipped hatchback. Good value leasing. 

Reliability
Average reliability predicted for the first three or four years. Electrical problems are possible. Expect typically high Volkswagen servicing costs. Unproven DSG transmission. 


Body Style:  2HB
Occupants: 2/2
Engines:
1.8L-4 T (170 HP/late arrival), 2L-4 T (210 HP), 2L-4 TDI (150 HP), 2.5 L-5 (170 HP)* 

Transmissions: 5M*, 6M, 6A, 6 automated manual (DSG) 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  10.7L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 4/80,000, 5/100,000
Country of Origin:  Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: M

NHTSA Rating: 



Volkswagen Golf Wagon

Specifications


 

 

What’s new
The Golf wagon, actually a fifth-generation Jetta with sixth-generation Golf facelift, is the sole Golf for 2014. Diesel power now is available with the base Trendline model. Auto door locks, heatable windshield washer nozzles and heated front seats are all standard in 2014. The seventh-generation Golf, on sale in Europe since the fall of 2012, goes on sale in North America by the summer of 2014. 

Performance
Powered by the 2L turbodiesel, the Golf harnesses abundant torque that bestows it with brisk acceleration, wondrous flexibility, impressive refinement and astonishing fuel economy. The manual gearchange works well, and while the clutch is progressive and docile, its high engagement point on the example driven by the APA was a bother. Mated with the responsive six-speed automatic transmission, the Golf’s 2.5L inline five delivers ample power while emitting a creamy multi-cylinder warble which lifts the car above other cars in its class in terms of aural pleasure and refinement. Steering, brakes, ride and handling could hardly be better judged for a mainstream touring wagon. Though weighing about the same as cars from the competition, the Golf feels incredibly solid. Big, clear gauges and generally straight forward controls. However, some APA drivers complained that the climate controls were small, hard to see and fiddly to operate. Powerful air conditioning. The base radio is a pleasure to listen to and the upgraded radio delivers sound of exceptional clarity. Big, comfortable seats reside in a cabin with good space front and rear. Top-notch fit and finish. Versatile, regularly shaped cargo area. 

Comments

The wagon, the only Golf offered for 2014, is a fifth-generation Jetta with a Mark VI Golf front grafted on. Two engines, a 2.5L inline five and a 2L four-cylinder turbodiesel, are offered.  Transmission choices are a five-speed manual and six-speed automatic on 2.5L cars, with a six-speed manual and DSG automatic available with the TDI.

Pricing
Upgrading from the Trendline to the Comfortline trim level is a bit expensive considering the extra content provide. The Highline package is a bargain. Good resale value, especially diesel wagon. The supplement for diesel power is $2800, regardless of trim level. 

Reliability
Rated average for reliability for the first three or four years. Electrical problems are possible. Expect typically high Volkswagen servicing costs. 


Body Style:  2HB, 4HB, 4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 TDI (140 HP), 2.5L-5 (170 HP)* 

Transmissions: 5M, 6M, 6A* 6 automated manual 

Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive 


City Fuel Economy:  10.2L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 4/80,000, 5/100,000
Country of Origin:  Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: N/R

NHTSA Rating: 



2015 Volkswagen Golf VII

Specifications

NEW

  

 

What’s new
Seventh-generation Golf arrives in Canada before the summer of 2014 as an early 2015.

Comments
Walter de Silva, Volkswagen's styling chief, was on hand at the New York auto show in March 2013 to introduce the car and discuss its subtle design and carefully developed styling. De Silva contends that the MK VII Golf references the fourth-generation car and he is very happy with the final product. Built on VW's new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform that will underpin numerous Volkswagen products over the next few years, the new car is roughly the same size as its predecessor and about 20 kilograms (45 lbs.) lighter.
The Golf VII's cabin is classically elegant. With abundant soft-touch surfaces, quality fabrics, matte finishes and convincing faux alloy trim, it is rather luxurious. Updated versions of the existing TDI (now with 150 horsepower) and 2L turbo four (now with 210 horsepower in the GTI) will see service in the Golf VII. Three carryover transmissions, a six-speed manual, a conventional six-speed automatic and a six-speed DSG automated manual, return. The 2.5L five-cylinder engine that was standard on the previous Golf will be replaced by a new 1.8L turbo four producing 170 horsepower. Both gasoline engines require premium gasoline. Previously sourced in Germany for our market, the new Golf will be built in Mexico.

Pricing

The base Golf starts at $18,995, but most Golfs will be sold in five-door form which begins at $19,995. Trim upgrades from Trendline to Comfortline to Highline are overpriced. Diesel power commands a $3100 supplement on the Trendline and $2500 on the Comfortline and Highline models. The extra luxuries of the Highline trim level also includes the firmer "Sport" suspension settings which might reduce ride comfort in urban conditions. The GTI's Autobahn packages are priced to reflect their additional content.
Reliability
New model. Not rated. New base 1.8L turbo four and new body.


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants: 2/3

Engines:
1.8L-4 T (170 HP), 2L-4 T (GTI 210 HP)*, 2L-4 TDI (150 HP)


Transmissions: 5M, 6M*, 6A,  6 automated manual  (DSG), 7 automated manual (Hybrid)

Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  9.4L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 4/80,000, 5/100,000
Country of Origin:  Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: N/R

Side: N/R

Roof: N/R

Rear: N/R

Sml. Front: N/R

NHTSA Rating: 



Volkswagen Jetta

Specifications


 

 

What’s new
1.8L turbocharged four replaces the 2.5L five for the 2014 model year. 2L turbocharged gasoline four horsepower increases from 200 to 210. Multi-link independent rear suspension is standard on all Jettas this year. Power driver's seat standard on the Highline model as is a power recline mechanism for the front seatbacks on Comfortline models. New colours.

Performance
The normally-aspirated 2L engine’s initial enthusiasm soon dissolves into a breathless thrashing when requests for acceleration are met more by noise than by forward motion. The new 1.8L gas turbo four and 2L TDI engines are much better suited to the Jetta than the base 2L. The TDI is smooth, quiet and its massive torque allows for impressively brisk and totally effortless urge. The 2L gasoline turbo in the GLI is strong and flexible, but sounds a bit strange when installed in this car. The DSG automated manual transmission works very well but is determined to reach the highest gear possible as soon as possible in the interests of fuel economy. The mainstream car rides and handles well, but the steering is numb. The TDI sampled rode well and generated little road noise despite its sports-oriented low-profile tires. The hybrid is pleasant to drive and economical, but at the expense of fearsome complexity. Refinement, balance and cabin ambience all trail those of the Golf. Cabin styling is either classically elegant or dated, depending on your taste. VW, once known for lavish cabin materials, has fallen well behind class leaders like the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus and the revised Honda Civic. Big, clear gauges and logical controls. The climate controls are functional but look and feel cheap. Big, comfortable seats front and rear. A low roofline limits headroom and renders the cabin less roomy than it would be with a taller roof. 

Comments
A variety of powertrain options are available. The base engine is an ancient and wheezy 2L four. Buyers can upgrade to the 2.5L inline five cylinder, a 2L turbodiesel or a 2L gasoline turbo engine. The base engine and the 2.5L can be linked to either a six-speed automatic or a five-speed manual. The 2L gas turbo and the TDI can be hooked up to either a six-speed manual transmission or VW’s DSG automated manual. The new hybrid model employs a 150 horsepower 1.4L gas turbo hooked up to a 27 horsepower electric motor to produce a combined 170 horsepower. 

Pricing

The 2L eight valve entry model permits a low base MSRP. The new 1.8L gas turbo four is standard on the Highline and while $2200 separates the 2L and 1.8L versions of the Comfortline, the net difference is about $1800 as the 1.8L variant is better equipped. The TDI engine commands a $2300 premium over a 1.8L version of the same trim level. Prices to Upgrading from the Trendline to Trendline+ and from there to the Comfortline reflect their additional contents almost exactly. Feature seekers can luxuriate in the great value Highline model. Similarly equipped, the 210 horsepower GLI is priced nearly $5000 higher than the 170 horsepower Highline. Good value leasing.
Reliability
Average reliability predicted for the first three or four years. The various cost-cutting measures employed in the Jetta don't seem to have affected reliability thus far. Electrical problems possible. Unproven 1.8 turbo four and DSG transmission. The complexity of the hybrid model is staggering and the system in unproven.  


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants: 2/3

Engines:
1.4L-4 T H (150 HP gas, 170 HP combined), 1.8L-4 T (170 HP)*, 2L-4 (115 HP), 2L-4 T (GTI 210 HP; ), 2L-4 TDI (140 HP)*,


Transmissions: 5M, 6M, 6A*,  6 automated manual  (DSG), 7 automated manual (Hybrid)

Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  9.4L/100 km
ESC: Standard
EAdditional Airbags: None
Warranty: 4/80,000, 5/100,000
Country of Origin:  Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

Sml. Front: M

NHTSA Rating: 


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