2015-2016 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - Small

 

Chevrolet Cruze  Hyundai Elantra GT  Nissan Sentra  Subaru WRX 
Dodge Dart  Kia Forte  Scion iM  Toyota Corolla 
Ford Focus  Mazda 3  Scion tC  Volkswagen Beetle 
Honda Civic  Mitsubishi Lancer  Subaru Impreza  Volkswagen Golf VII 
2017 Hyundai Elantra  Mitsubishi RVR  Subaru Crosstrek  Volkswagen Jetta 

2016 Mazda 3

 


 

 

What’s new
Revised trim packages including a new G grade base model. Cruise control, a rear view camera and a seven inch touchscreen are now standard on the GX trim level.  

Performance
The 2L four powering our 3 test car was flexible, quiet and smooth. When prodded, the 2L delivers brisk performance but you have to insist as the six-speed automatic transmission, programmed to flatter U.S. fuel economy tests, makes operating in the highest gear possible its life mission. A good initial push on the gas pedal will circumvent Mazda's mileage friendly performance curve and result in sparkier acceleration. The greater power of the larger 2.5L four is not really noticeable in normal driving. Mazda spent a lot of time developing the 3's suspension, as the car absorbs bumps adroitly and grips tenaciously in corners. The 3's steering is perfectly weighted and sufficiently precise but lacks any feedback. Strong brakes. Good control of wind noise and tire noise but road-borne grit pings loudly off the floorpan. Large door mirrors are a necessity as the stout centre pillars, heavy rear roof supports and small side windows restrict visibility, especially on the hatchback. Reversing is easy due to the rearview camera standard on GS and GT models.
GX and GS drivers face a gauge package featuring a central speedometer flanked by digital readouts, a tachometer on the left and a gas gauge on the right. GT buyers gaze upon a central tachometer, part of which contains a digital speedometer. Overall the dashboard looks like a modern interpretation of BMW's long-standing dash design. Like some recent BMW and Mercedes-Benz models, the 3's dash is the anchor for a large, aftermarket-looking screen. The screen displays audio, fuel economy and if so equipped, navigation information. Like on the 6, the 3 utilizes a BMW iDrive-like rotary knob that controls the various functions displayed on the screen. Comfortable front seats combine with a tilt and telescoping steering wheel for an excellent driving position. Space is snug up front, and with a low-mounted seat and limited legroom, rear seat room is limited for anyone over about 5 foot 8 and the sloping rear roofline and small lower door aperture limit access. With convincing faux-alloy and piano-black accents, as well as matte finished plastic, chic upholstery and copious soft-touch surfaces, the 3's cabin looks very upscale. Very good audio system performance.

Comments
Two inline fours, a 2L unit and a 2.5L, are available. Two six-speed transmission, a manual and an automatic, are offered on all trim levels.
The Technology package, optional on the high-end GT model, includes safety equipment such as blind spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, high beam control and Smart City Brake support that can, between the speeds of four and 30 km/h, slow or stop the car if an obstacle is detected. The Technology package also includes i-ELOOP, a regenerative braking system that sends power to capacitors which can store enough power to run some accessories for a short time, saving fuel.

Pricing

Mazda introduced a new G base model to be able to advertise a similar low-low base MSRP as cars like the Elantra, Corolla and Civic. Trim level content realignments have resulted in a GX model that is competitive in regards to price and content to cars like the Civic LX and Corolla LE. Upgrading from the base G to the GX is priced to exactly reflect the value of the extra content. Moving up from the GX trim level to the GS is exceptional value, with the value of the additional features contained in the GT group about $1000 short, which is what the the 2.5L engine must be worth. G
ood value leasing.

Reliability
Not rated, new model. Average reliability predicted. The 2010 to 2014 3 generated few complaints. Rust, a significant problem with the first 3, did not show up on the second generation car, and Mazda now offers a seven year warranty on the body.   

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB, 4SD*
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L‑4 (155 HP)*, 2.5L-4 (184 HP) 

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

City Fuel Economy:  7.8L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  5.7L/100 km
Active Safety Features: None
Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 3/Unlimited, 5/Unlimited
Current Generation Debut:  2014
Country of Origin:  2L Mexico, 2.5L Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Mitsubishi Lancer

 


 

 

What’s new
With no replacement in this segment in sight, Mitsubishi treats the eight year old Lancer to a minor update for 2016. Changes for this year include a new automatic transmission named CVT-8 by Mitsubishi, a new front fascia and minor cabin updates.  High-performance Evolution and Ralliart models have been discontinued.  

Performance

The Lancer's 2L four is willing, flexible, moves the Lancer along at a good pace, but is hardly the last word in refinement. Linked to a five-speed manual transmission with a precise short-throw gearchange and light clutch, the Lancer is a lively performer but low gearing leads to higher than normal engine revs at highway speeds. The CVT delivers good acceleration and low-rev cruising, but is a slow-witted device that holds onto high revs too long during acceleration, spoiling refinement. The quick, nicely-weighted steering suffers from torque-steer. The Lancer’s agile handling is coupled to a firm yet resilient ride. Tight turning circle. The very quick Ralliart turbo model is noisy and rides roughly. Small front seats on mainstream models prove comfortable on long runs. The Recaro seats in the Ralliart are mounted lower than the seats in mainstream versions of the Lancer. Rear seat comfort and legroom are good for this class. The rising beltline makes occupants feel a bit buried, especially in the rear seat, and hinders visibility for lane changes. Lane change visibility is further reduced on the hatchback by the sloping roof shape, which also reduces rear seat headroom to a bare minimum for taller occupants. Big, clear instruments. Cabin climate is controlled by three large dials that feel cheap when turned. Interior fit and finish are class competitive. The trunk on the sedan is roomy and easily accessed. The hatchback cargo area is nicely finished, and has a cargo floor panel that can be adjusted to two different heights.

Comments
The current Lancer has been around an incredibly long time Mitsubishi has not yet announced what, if anything, will replace it. The Lancer's normally-aspirated 2L four can be linked to either a five-speed manual transmission or a CVT. The 2.4L four resides under the hood of the all-wheel drive models.

Pricing
Despite limited sales, the Lancer has a massive model range with multiple trim levels, two engines, two body styles as well as front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive variants. The supplement to move up from the base DE to the ES and from there to the SE Limited Edition reflect the value of the extra features very precisely. If extra content is accounted for, Mitsubishi believes that the bigger 2.4L engine that powers the GTS to be worth $1400. All-wheel drive, which includes a larger 2.4L engine costs from $1700 (GTS) to $2300 (ES and SE Limited Edition) more than its front-wheel drive equivalent. A hatchback body style is offered but it and the sedan body range do not overlap so no price comparison is possible.  
Reliability:

Not rated. insufficient data. The APA has received complaints regarding poor paint adhesion on Lancer models and all-wheel drive systems on the turbos. The long warranty sas attracted some buyers to Mitsubishi. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB, 4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L‑4 (148 HP)*, 2L-4 T (Ralliart 237 HP; Evolution 291 HP), 2.4L-4 (168 HP) 

Transmissions: 5M, CVT,* 6 automated manual  
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  8.7./100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.7L/100 km
Active Safety Features: None
Additional Airbags:  Driver's side knee airbag
Warranty: 5/100,000, 10/160,000. Ralliart and Evolution 3/60,000/, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2009
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: A

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Mitsubishi RVR

 


 

 

What’s new
Late life-cycle update including revised frontal styling and some cabin trim updates as well. Mitsubishi stopped U.S. RVR production late in 2015, with production returning to Japon.

Performance
The RVR's 2L four lacks torque below 3000 rpm, is noisy and performs just adequately when hooked to a manual transmission with excessively high gearing. Precise, long-throw gearchange allies to a progressive clutch. The available CVT works well enough but employs a lot of noisy revs from the coarse engine to deliver tepid, unenthusiastic acceleration. Good control of road and wind noise combines with low-rev cruising to make the RVR a relaxing car on the highway. An absorbent ride is accompanied by noticeable lean in corners, which turns to understeer when pushed. Porpoising is evident on long undulations and the car can be deflected off its path by mid-corner bumps. The brakes have an inert pedal feel. Light, lifeless steering.
The RVR's cabin is fronted by a classically conservative dashboard housing clear instrumentation and straightforward controls. The dash and the upper door panels are padded in a material with a very upmarket appearance, and while most other surfaces are hard to the touch, their matte finishes are quite attractive. Faux alloy trim pieces brighten the cabin. The front seats are large, deeply padded, very comfortable and are swathed in appealing fabrics. The door panels have cloth inserts matching those on the seats. With good space utilization, the RVR can easily house a quartet of adults and can take three people in the back seat for short hops. The APA's top spec GT model was equipped with a name-brand audio system that produced very pleasing sounds. It also featured a fixed, full-length glass roof panel equipped with an electrically-retracting screen that fully blocked the rays of the sun when closed. The roof was frustrating in that most drivers would prefer at least some part of it to open. That said, rear seat passengers enjoyed the panoramic views afforded by the massive glazed area. Small lights, located alongside the tracks of the sunscreen reflect onto the glass, which amused some passengers, especially at night. The RVR's regularly-shaped cargo bay is a bit shallow below its cargo cover, but expands considerably when you fold down the rear seats.

Comments

Mitsubishi offers the 2L four as well as the 2.4L, but should withdraw the 2L as it is slow and noisy. The car is marketed as an SUV or crossover, but in terms of size, versatility and price, it is in reality just a tall hatchback. Early 2016 RVRs were built in the U.S. but production reverted to Japan after Mitsubishi's plant in Illinois was shuttered.  

Pricing

All-wheel drive, standard on the SE Limited Edition and GT models, is a $2300 option on the SE and not offered on the base ES trim. The supplement to move from the base ES to the SE trim and from there to the SE Limited Edition reflect the value of their additional contents. The GT range topper has a wealth of additional features for the money asked for them. Good lease terms for 2016, 

Reliability

Not rated. Insufficient data available on this recent model. The long warranty attracts some customers to a Mitsubishi. Some replacement parts are very expensive. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L‑4 (148 HP), 2.4L-4 (168 HP) 

Transmissions: 5M, CVT*
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive*, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  n.a
Highway Fuel Economy:  n.a
Active Safety Features: None
Additional Airbags: Driver's side knee airbag
Warranty: 5/100,000, 10/160,000
Current Generation Debut:  2011
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Nissan Sentra

 


 

 

What’s new
Mid-cycle remake of the Sentra includes a new grille, headlights, hood, front fascia, taillights and rear fascia and updated alloy wheel designs outside and revised trim inside. Mechanical updates include firmer suspension settings for crisper handling, a revised CVT transmission and structural enhancements to improve rigidity. The 2016 Sentra is now available with active cruise control, forward collision warning, forward emergency braking as well as blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings. The new Sentra goes on sale early in 2016.  

Comments

Linked to CVT, the Sentra's 1.8L four feels strained while accelerating but does cruise quietly enough. Light, lifeless steering. The suspension absorbs moderate bumps well but loses its composure over major dips and is a steady, if unenthusiastic handler. The cabin, fronted by a dashboard housing large, crisply-marked gauges and a centre stack stocked with logical controls. Pleasing shapes and some nice faux alloy accents are cabin highlights. Substantial, comfortable seats front and rear. Impressive cabin space for a compact car. Big trunk. The Sentra would be an excellent urban taxi. Two transmissions, a six-speed manual and a CVT, are offered.

Pricing

SV and SR trim upgrades a bit expensive for the money asked. The SL model is priced to reflect the value of its additional content. Unimpressive lease terms for 2016.  

Reliability

Not rated, Insufficient data. Reliability is predicted to be average to below average. The 6000 oil change and service intervals are more frequent than the competition, as is replacing the serpentine accessory drive belt at 96,000 km. . 

Specifications


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

Transmissions: 6M, CVT
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy:  8.1L/100 km.
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.2L/100 km.
Active Safety Features: Available with active cruise control, forward collision warning, forward emergency braking as well as blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings.None

Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut: 2013
Country of Origin: Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Scion iM

 

NEW

 

 

What’s new
Replacing the Scion xB and the Toyota Matrix, this new Scion, sold in other markets as the Toyota Auris, will be marketed here as the iM. Toyota has decided to disband the Scion franchise and the iM will return for 2017 as a Toyota. 

Comments

Based on the same set of components as the Corolla, the iM shares the more powerful, 140 horsepower version of the Corolla’s 1.8L engine hooked up to either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT. With side skirts, attractive alloy wheels and low-profile 45 series tires, the iM looks pretty sporty. The cabin of the new iM is fronted by the same dashboard unit as the Corolla but with a slightly different centre section which contains the audio and climate controls. Big, clear instruments. The rest of the black hued cabin is very nicely done with soft-touch materials on the upper dash and front door and elegant fabrics, including inserts on the centre section of the doors. Those up front are treated to comfortable seats and plenty of space while those in the rear supportive seats and class average legroom. Good cargo space, especially when the rear seats are folded flat.  
Driven briefly by the APA, the iM s 1.8L four was quick, smooth and carefully mated to the CVT that will be the choice of most buyers. The car was particularly pleasant in stop and go traffic when it responded eagerly to throttle input when a spot in the traffic opened up. Good visibility make this car easy to drive in traffic. In addition to providing snappy performance in an urban setting, the high-gearing of the CVT makes for serene highway cruising. While not notably sporty, the iM handles in a tidy fashion and rides tolerably well for a car shod with low-profile tires. The Bluetooth phone and audio systems are particularly well thought out easy to use. The audio system sounds great when in Bluetooth audio mode, with FM sound quality being less impressive. The small sun visors need some extenders to better protect the driver from glare in low-sun conditions.
Replacing both the Matrix and the xB, the iM should prove to be a practical, versatile car that provides Scion with a solid mainstream product and the sales of which will either make or break the franchise in Canada. 

Pricing

Only one version of the iM is sold, with the CVT automatic being the sole factory option available. Unlike other Scions where something mainstream buyers expected was missing and the dealer-installed price for the missing feature was fanciful, the iM is equipped as most buyers would want it. Compared with a base Corolla S, the iM is priced around $1200 higher, but is equipped with alloy wheels, which are worth about $600, and is good value considering the iM s versatile hatchback body style. Payment details may change as the model year moves along, but in October 2015, monthly payments for the iM were considerably higher than they were for the Corolla S. Good value leasing. 
Reliability
New model, not rated. Predicted reliability is above average.  

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.8L‑4 (137 HP) 

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

City Fuel Economy:  8.4L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features: None

Additional Airbags: Knee airbag for the driver and a front cushion airbag for the front passenger
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2016
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Scion tC

 


 

 

What’s new
New 7 inch touchscreen audio system. 
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 tiresom, 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 previous 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. Good value leasing. 

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

Specifications


Body Style:  2HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.5L‑4 (179 HP) 

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

City Fuel Economy:  10.2L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.6L/100 km
Active Safety Features: None

Additional Airbags: Knee airbags for both front occupants
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2011
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: A

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


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