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 Subaru Impreza, WRX, CrossTrek

 


 

 

What’s new
Impreza and CrossTrek: Limited trim level gains a new infotainment system featuring a seven inch screen as well as Apple Siri compatibility and Sirius XM audio and traffic links. CrossTrek: revised styling including a revised front fascia.
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 noisy 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 nicely-trimmed cargo area in the hatchback is on the shallow side. The WRX and STI offer phenomenal performance.

Comments
The Crosstrek, offered only in hatchback form, is essentially an Impreza on stilts. A normally-aspirated 2L four producing 148 horsepower is the sole engine offered on the new-generation Impreza. The XV Crosstrek also offers a hybrid version that combines the 2L flat four and a 13.5 horsepower electric motor. 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 transmission or a CVT, with the manual the sole choice for the STI.

Pricing

The hatchback body style commands an $1100 premium over the sedan of the same trim level. Impreza: The Touring and Sport packages are very good value, with the Limited trim level priced to reflect its additional content. The Technology package available on the Sport and Limited models contains Subaru's advanced Eyesight safety system and lane departure warning for only $1200. The XV Crosstrek is priced from $1500 To $2400 more than an Impreza hatchback of the same trim level. The Sport and Limited trim upgrades are priced to reflect their additional contents almost exactly. Spectacular value Tech package, which includes the "Eyesight" safety system. However, Subaru has been caught flat-footed by the demand for Tech package models and there can be significant waits for those wanting the Tech package. The WRX is priced $7300 (base and Sport) to $8700 (Sport Tech versus Limited) more than normally-aspirated Impreza. The STI version of the WRX is priced $8000 to $8500 higher than its WRX equivalent. Very good value leasing for all Impreza derivatives.

Reliability

Average reliability. Previous Subaru flat-four engines have had head-gasket failure issues. Early versions of the new-generation 2L engine in the Impreza and Crosstrek developed an excess oil consumption problem which led to engine failures as owners of new cars weren't expecting oil consumption. Subaru claims the issue has been fixed. An extended powertrain warranty is recommended if you plan to keep your Subaru past the five year/100,000 km powertrain warranty.

Specifications


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:  8.4L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Pre-collision braking and brake assist, adaptive cruise control, lane departure and lane sway warnings
Additional Airbags: Driver's knee airbag
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2012
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Subaru Impreza

 

NEW

 

 

 

What’s new
All-new Impreza built on a new vehicle architecture that will underpin all future Subarus. No news thus far about a new-generation replacement for the word on whether there will be a replacement for the CrossTrek.

Comments
New from the ground up, and based on an all-new platform which will find its way under future Subaru vehicles, the next Impreza goes on sale in late 2016. The styling is no great leap forward, but is contemporary and nicely detailed. The cabin is conservative, tasteful and assembled from attractive components. Comfortable seats and good legroom ally to welcome a quartet or adults. Adding direct-injection to Subaru’s 2L flat-four ups its horsepower from 148 to 152. Power reaches all four wheels via a CVT transmission. A manual transmission was not announced but is traditionally offered by Subaru on this model. The new Impreza will be built in the United States. 

Pricing

No pricing details are available at this time. 

Reliability

New vehicle, not rated. Subaru engines appear to lack durability. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB, 4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-flat four (152 HP)*

Transmissions: CVT 
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  N/A
Highway Fuel Economy: N/A
Active Safety Features: Available pre-collision braking and brake assist, adaptive cruise control, lane departure and lane sway warnings
Additional Airbags: No details available
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Toyota Corolla

 


 

 

What’s new
Without air conditioning, even as an option, the primary purpose behind the base CE model is allow Toyota to advertise a low MSRP. Manual transmission is no longer available with the LE ECO and S models or with the Technology package.

Comments

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 quite attractive. Comfortable seats front and rear. Taller drivers commented on insufficient seat travel for them to be truly comfortable. Good rear legroom but headroom in the rear seat is tight for the tall. Many Corollas are powered by the familiar 132 horsepower 1.8L four, but Toyota is force-feeding the ECO engine, with a more advanced Valvematic intake valve system by making it mandatory with a number of popular option packages this years. Most Corolla variants can be hooked to a CVT, but the automatic transmission on the CE is a shockingly old-school four-speed unit.
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, it 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 seems well judged for routine motoring but hard driving in challenging conditions leads to more wallowing than expected.

Pricing

The base CE model with air conditioning is lumbered with an old-school four-speed automatic transmission. For just $1300 extra, buyers can move up to the LE model that is hooked up to an efficient CVT and also includes around $2000 in additional equipment compared with a CE automatic. Upgrading from the LE to the S is very good value but the LE ECO package seems pointless. Except for the S Technology package, S and LE option packages are good value. Good value leasing.

Reliability
Above average reliability predicted. Cam cover and timing chain cover leaks were reported on the 1.8L four in the previous-generation Corolla. Unproven CVT. 

Specifications


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

Transmissions: 6M, 4A, CVT* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  8.1L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.2L/100 km
Active Safety Features: None
Additional Airbags: Front passenger seat cushion airbag and driver's side knee airbag
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2014
Country of Origin:  Canada

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: M

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Volkswagen Beetle

 


 

 

What’s new
Gasoline turbo 2 L four, 2 L TDI, Sportline and R-Design models discontinued. Revised audio systems. Android auto and Apple CarPlay are available for 2016. A rearview camera is standard on all models this year. Dune model, with a 14 mm ground clearance lift kit and a limited edition Denim model are new for 2016.

Performance
The 1.8L turbo four is smooth, flexible and more economical than the previous 2.5L base engine. The smooth clutch is hooked up to a slick-shifting five-speed manual transmission. Stable handling. Lots of road and wind noise at highway speeds. The precise steering is reasonably communicative. 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. 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 acceptable rear seat legroom for smaller adults. 

Comments

The hatchback is available with the same 1.8L and 2L gas turbo fours as the Golf. A 2L TDI was initially offered for 2016 but has been withdrawn. Transmissions choices include a five-speed manual and six-speed automatic with the 1.8T, and a six-speed manual and DSG with the 2L gas turbo four. The convertible can be powered by the 1.8T hooked up to a six-speed conventional automatic transmission or a 2L turbo four linked to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed DSG automatic.

Pricing

With heated seats, heated windshield washer nozzles, a USB port and cruise control, the Trendline Convenience package is great value and should really be the base model of the Beetle range. Very good value Comfortline trim upgrade. The Technology is priced to reflect the value of its contents and the Appearance package is a bargain. The Dune model is good value if you like the way it looks and the Classic model is an keenly priced that contains much of the content offered by the Comfortline model but for about $2000 less. The convertible is priced around $5000 more than a similarly equipped hatchback.  

Reliability
Average reliability predicted for the first three or four years. Electrical problems are possible. Changin the automatic transmission fluid can cost up to $500. Expect typically high Volkswagen servicing costs.  

Specifications


Body Style:  2HB
Occupants: 2/2
Engines:
1.8L-4 T (170 HP)  

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

City Fuel Economy:  9.4L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.9L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Standard
Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 4/80,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2012
Country of Origin:  Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: M

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Volkswagen Golf

 

  

 

What’s new
Cruise control, App Connect with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a rearview camera are standard on all five-door Golfs for 2016. Blind spot monitors, radar cruise control with autonomous braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure and lane keep assisitance and park distance control are all available. Revised packages and packaging. All-wheel drive 290 horsepower Golf R is now available. Diesel sales suspended due to VW emissisions scandal. Volkswagen announced that the Golf Sportwagen will be available with all-wheel drive starting with the 2017 model year.

Performance
The new 1.8L turbo four is quick, smooth, flexible and economical. The 1.8L was linked to a five-speed manual transmission that combined a docile clutch and pretty precise gearchange. Gearing with the manual is a bit on the high side, needing 80 km/h in fifth gear if any meaningful response is expected when you push the accelerator. Beautifully weighted steering allies with suspension that grips well and delivers an absorbent ride. The new Golf is an impressively well-balanced and refined car. The cabin design is so VW that nobody would have trouble figuring out what kind of car they were in even if the VW logo was shorn off the steering wheel. The dashboard, with big, crisply-marked gauges and logical controls, works well. Big, supportive seats and good room for four people combine to make for a very comfortable interior. Cabin materials are very attractive but are no longer miles ahead of those used in the cars of major rivals. The regularly-shaped trunk is quite spacious and, with a fold down rear seat, is versatile. Driven briefly, the Golf R is a formidable machine, but its Subaru WRX sounding engine is a bit odd considering it is an inline four, and the volume of noise it makes when accelerating may be a deal breaker for some buyers.

Comments
Built on VW's new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform that will underpin numerous Volkswagen products, the new car is roughly the same size as its predecessor.
A new 1.8L turbo four replaced the previous 2.5L inline five as the base engine on the Golf this year. A 2L turbodiesel was offered but has been withdrawn in the wake of the VW diesel scandal. The 2L turbo four returns to power the Golf GTI this year. Four carryover transmissions, a five-speed manuan, six-speed manual, a conventional six-speed automatic and a six-speed DSG automated manual, return for 2015. 
Wagon: The 1.8L turbo four is the sole engine available in the Golf Wagon. The wagon is offered in the same trim levels as the hatchback and, except for 294 mm (about a foot) extra length behind the back wheels, all dimensions closely track those of the hatch. Rear cargo space, good with the rear seat up, is impressively long with the rear seat arrayed to accept cargo. Both versions of the Golf are built in Mexico.

Pricing

The base Golf starts at $18,995, but most Golfs will be sold in five-door form which begins at $20,995, which includes about $1000 worth of additional equipment as well as the extra doors. . With the upgrades to the Trendline trim level for 2016, there is no real reason to move beyond it for most buyers. Trim upgrades from Trendline to Comfortline to Highline are significantly overpriced. The extra luxuries of the Highline trim level also includes the firmer "Sport" suspension settings which might reduce ride comfort in urban conditions. Depending on the trim level, the wagon is priced from $1900 (Trendline and Comfortline) to $2300 (Highline) more than the hatchback. The Golf R looks expensive, but it is an impressive, balanced, high-performance tour-de-force.
Reliability
Reliability should be average for the first three or four years, deteriorating after that. Electrical problems are possibl.as are problems witht he DSG transmission as it ages. Expensive servicing. Leasing for not longer than the four year/80,000 basic warranty is a good strategy for Golf intenders. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB.4SW
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.8L-4 T (170 HP)*, 2L-4 T (GTI 210 HP, Golf R 292 HP)
Transmissions: 5M, 6M, 6A*,  6 automated manual  (DSG)
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy:  9.4L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.5L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Blind spot monitors, radar cruise control with autonomous braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure and lane keep assisitance and park distance control are all available. ,

Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 4/80,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2015
Country of Origin:  Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Volkswagen Jetta

 


 

 

What’s new
The previous eight valve 2L four has been discontinued with a new 1.4L 150 horsepower turbo four standard on the Trendline and Comfortline trim levels at the beginning of the year, but the 1.8L turbo will be substituted from March 2016 on Comfortline models with automatic transmission due to a shortage of 1.4L turbos. The 1.8L turbo four is the sole engine offered on the Highline trim level. Package and packaging changes for 2016. The TDI models have been withdrawn as a fallout of the VW diesel emissions scandal. 

Performance

The new 1.4L turbo base engine addresses the performance shortcomings of the previous normally-aspirated 2L four and is more refined than the larger 1.8L unit. The 1.8L engine, exclusive to the Highline trim level, is little faster than the 1.4L and is less refined. The 2L gasoline turbo in the GLI is strong and flexible. The 1.4L four works well with its conventional six-speed automatic transmission. The DSG automated manual transmission available with the 2L turbo four works very well. The mainstream Jetta rides and handles well enough but lacks the crisp steering and handling Volkswagens used to be known for. Strong brakes. The hybrid is pleasant to drive and economical, but is fearsomely complex. The Jetta’s 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 Honda Civic in terms of design and materials. Big, clear gauges and logical controls. The climate controls are functional but look and feel cheap. Big seats front and rear but they are a bit soft for total comfort. Very big trunk. 

Comments

Available engines for 2016 include the new 1.4L turbo four (Trendline and Comfortline) as well as the returning 1.8L (Highline) and 2L (GLI) turbos, as well as the 1.4L hybrid powertrain. The 1.4L and 1.8L fours can be linked to either a six-speed automatic or a five-speed manual. The 2L gas turbo can be hooked up to either a six-speed manual transmission or VW’s DSG automated manual. The 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 base Jetta's $15,995 MSRP is $1000 higher than last year but is now powered by a much more suitable 1.4L turbo compared to the wheezy 2L four employed in 2015. With automatic transmission, the $20,195 Trendline+. with air conditioning and keyless entry, is essentially the base Jetta for most buyers. Significantly overpriced Trendline+ and Comfortline trim, upgrades. When the bigger 1.8L turbo four is accounted for, the Highline model balances price and content very closely. The 2L GLI sports model is very expensive when compared with a similarly-equipped Highline. 

Reliability

Average reliability predicted for the first three or four years, deteriorating after that. Electrical problems possible as are issues with the DSG transmission as it ages. Unproven 1.4 L and 1.8L turbo fours. The complexity of the hybrid model is staggering and the system in unproven.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.4L-4 T (150 HP), 1.4L-4 T H (150 HP gas, 170 HP combined), 1.8L-4 T (170 HP)*, 2L-4 T (GLI 210 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
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Blind spot, autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian detection are available.
Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 4/80,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2011
Country of Origin:  Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


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