Chevrolet Sonic  Honda Fit  Kia Soul  Nissan Versa Note 
Chevrolet Spark  Hyundai Accent  Mitsubishi i-MiEV  Smart ForTwo 
Fiat 500  Hyundai Veloster  Mitsubishi Mirage  Toyota Yaris Sedan 
Ford Fiesta  Kia Rio, Rio 5  Nissan Micra  Toyota Yaris 

2018 Kia Soul

 


 

 

What’s new
Soul: Manual transmission discontinued. EX Tech package gains autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. Revised navigation system. Soul EV: battery output increases from 27kWh to 30 kWh and maximum range under optimal conditions is boosted from 150 to 179 kilometers.
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Comments
The cabin on the current Soul, with quality mouldings, matte finishes, convincing faux alloy and piano black trim, is actually more attractive than some entry-level luxury cars. Cabin space is impressive. Cargo room is greater than before and more easily accessed via a wider tailgate opening.
Driven briefly by the APA in 2L SX trim, the Soul's strong 2L four was quick, smooth, and well-matched to its slick-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. Shod with big, low-profile 235/45R/18 tires, our test SX handles crisply but the ride is a bit choppy. Two direct-injection fours, a 130 horsepower 1.6L powers LX models, with a 2L with 164 horsepower found under the hood of all other trims. A six-speed automatic is standard on the normally aspirated 1.6L and 2L but the 1.6L turbo is hooked up to a seven-speed dual clutch automated manual transmission.  


Pricing

Soul LX base model is powered by a 1.6L four. The EX models featured a 2L four under the hood with the SX powered by a 1.6L turbo. The base LX, with the 1.6L engine, automatic transmission and air conditioning, is good value. The EX trim upgrade is exceptional value and especially well priced as it includes the 2L engine. Overpriced EX+ package, the EX Premium is reasonable value and the EX Tech group is a bargain. The SX turbo is worth the money if you want the powerful turbo and the SX Tech model is a steal. Soul EV : the Luxury upgrade is value and the panoramic roof is good value at $900. The EV Luxury model with the large format sunroof costs nearly $15 000 $ more than an EX Premium, but huge rebates ($8000 in Quebec and $14,000 in Ontario) reduces the gap considerably.

Reliability
Good reliability is predicted as the powertrains have proven reliable in other Hyundai/Kia products. All-new electric model is an unknown quantity.

Specifications


Body Style: 4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.6 L‑4 (130 HP), 1.6 L-4 T (201 HP), 2 L‑4 (164 HP) *, electric motor (109 HP)

Transmissions: 6M, 6A* 7A (dual clutch)
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy:   9.5L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.8L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available forward collision and lane departure warnings
Additional airbags: None
Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2014
Country of Origin:  South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating:


 

 


 

Specifications


Body Style: 4HB
Occupants: 2/2
Engine:
AC electric (66 HP/49 kW)

Transmission: None 
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy:  1.9L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  2.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features: None
Additional Airbags: None

Warranty: 3/60,000, 10/160,000, 8/160,000 (battery pack)

Current Generation Debut:  2012
Country of Origin:  Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Mitsubishi Mirage

 


 

What's new
The SEL trim has been replaced bu the new GT trim. Revised audio systems and the Bluetooth cellphone interface is standard on the ES trim this year. Nouveau système audio et téléphonie Bluetooth de série sur le modèle ES. The iOS-Android cellphone interface is standard on the ES sedan and ES Plus hatchback for 2018.

Comments
Unintentionally retro styling outside with a straightforward, functional cabin. Power stems from a 1.2L inline triple churning out 78 horsepower. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual and a CVT. Driven by the APA, the Mirage, with a good heater and volcanic seat heaters, shrugs off winter conditions. The Mirage rides pretty well for such a small, light car, especially in town. The Mirage's steering is relatively precise but lightly weighted and lacks any sensation of the road rolling underneath its wheels. The CVT ekes out every bit of performance available from the 1.2L triple and allows for surprisingly serene cruising, but performance is lacklustre and unless at a steady speed, the engine sounds like a diesel with an exhaust leak. Noise from grit pinging off the bottom or the car and wind noise over the roof (not the windows) betray a lack of sound proofing. Comfortable front seats but the rear seat is small, hard and flat. Cabin space is quite good considering the Mirage's tight dimensions and two adults can wedge themselves into the back seat for cross-town hops easily enough. Good cabin fit and finish on the SE model tested. The trunk is regularly shaped and deep below the window line. Fuel mileage was unimpressive considering the performance disadvantage the Mirage represents compared with its competitors. The G4 sedan, with 100 mm between the front and rear wheels, is a full 505 mm longer than the hatchback. Except for the front doors, which are common to both body styles, the G4 s exterior panels are unique to it. Even more so than the hatchback, the design of the sedan can be charitably described as "interesting" rather  than attractive.

Pricing 

The base Mirage ES hatchback, priced at $10,998, lacks air conditioning or automatic transmission, even as options. The ES Plus trim, with air conditioning, a power accessories group, Bluetooth and optional automatic transmission, is equipped the way most buyers expect but the upgrade is expensive. The GT trim, with heated seats, xenon headlights, fog lights, auto climate control and cruise control, is nicely equipped but its price is so close to those of very competent larger cars like the Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio and Honda Fit that buying one makes no sense. The ES sedan is equipped the same as the ES Plus hatch. The GT versions of the sedan and hatchback are priced the same. Poor resale value. The Nissan Micra and Chevrolet Spark are better products than the Mirage.  

Reliability
Not rated, too few sold. The oil pan of the hard-working 1L triple contains only 3L of oil so it is important to check the oil regularly, change the oil according to Mitsubishi service instructions and keep your service receipts in the event of a problem. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB, 4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.2L‑3 (78 HP) 

Transmissions: 5M, CVT* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy:  6.9L 100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  5.7L 100 km
Active Safety Features: None
Additional airbags: Driver's side knee airbag
Warranty: 3/100,000, 10/160,000
Current Generation Debut:  2014
Country of Origin: Thailand

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: M

Mod. Front: G

Side: A

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating:


2017 Nissan Micra 

 


 

 

What’s new
The next-generation Micra, expected by the summer of 2017, has been delayed.  

Comments
The Micra's styling is decidedly retro but continues the cute-and-cuddly vein that has marked the last few generations of the Micra. The cabin design is simple and straightforward, sharing many of the components as the Versa Note model. While cabin fabrics are attractive, much of the interior is fashioned from hard and shiny plastics. A shorter wheelbase results in less rear legroom than in the Versa Note but enough for a cross-town hop for a movie or a night out. Reasonable trunk space.
The Micra is powered by the same 109 horsepower 1.6L four found under the hood of the Versa Note. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual as well as an old-school, but cheap-to-make four-speed automatic.
The Micra for Canada will be sourced in Mexico and is not sold in the United States. 

Pricing
The base Micra is priced at a headline-creating $9998;  which you will have a hard time finding at a Nissan dealer. The automatic option on the base S includes air-conditioning and cruise control for $13,598, which is about $1000 higher than the value of the package. The SV and SR trim upgrades are priced to reflect the value of the content included in the upgrades. Leasing is not worth considering. The competent second-generation Chevrolet Spark has dented sales of the Micra but the Micra outsells its Chevrolet rival by more than two-to-one.

Reliability
Predicted reliability is average at best. Problems encountered by owners of the previous-generation Versa, premature exhaust failure, short brake life, premature suspension wear and door lock failures, may show up in the Micra. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3
Engines:
1.6L-4 (109 HP)

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

City Fuel Economy:  8.9L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.8L/100 kmn/a
Active Safety Features: None
Additional airbags: None

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut: 2015
Country of Origin: Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Nissan (Versa) Note

 


 

 

What’s new
Now in its fourth year, the Note enjoys a mid-cycle refresh including a new fascia, grille and headlamps up front, a revised rear fascia and some minor cabin updates. The Note will not be replaced at the end of its run as the next Micra will be larger and fill both market slots.  

Performance
The Note's throttle is easy to modulate, but pushing the pedal hard generates more noise than actual progress. Despite the racket when accelerating, the car is a relaxed highway cruiser. Except for excessive ping from debris kicked up from the road, road noise is well-suppressed, as is wind noise. While the steering is accurate and nicely weighted, it is essentially lifeless. The suspension copes well with single bumps but tends to skip over a series of bumps rather than absorbing them. The Note is agile due to its size and handles predictably enough, but it lacks any sense of fun and fails to engage drivers. Braking is satisfactory. 

The Note uses many of the cabin components as the smaller Micra. The dashboard is stocked with large, clear gauges and simple, logical, climate controls. Except for attractive seat upholstery and carpets, most cabin trim is fashioned from shiny, unyielding hard plastic. Though small, the front seats are deeply padded and supportive. Most drivers of the Note complained that the steering wheel, which does not have a telescoping feature, was too far a reach for them. The comfortable rear seat allies with astounding legroom and good headroom to create a welcoming environment for two, and width-challenged space for three rear passengers. Though visually grim, the Note's cabin seems is more solidly constructed than that of the previous Versa but dash rattles are still an issue. The Note's heater is slow to warm but had good output once aroused. Good trunk space. The SL model tested was equipped with high-end features such as Keyless Go, navigation and a multi-view rearview camera.

Comments
Built on Nissan's global "B" platform that also underpins the Micra. The introduction of the Micra resulted in the Note moving upscale to prevent any overlap of the two models. Power stems from a 1.6L four that produces 109 horsepower, one of the lowest power ratings in the Note's class. Power reaches the front wheels via either a five-speed manual transmission or a CVT.

Pricing 

Trim upgrades, from the S to SV and from there to the SR model, are good value. The SV, with heated seats and a power group, is the trim level equipped to suit the wants of most buyers. Leasing is not worth considering. 

Reliability

Predicted reliability is average at best. Problems encountered by owners of the previous-generation Versa generated expensive repairs for premature exhaust failure, short brake life, premature suspension wear and door lock failures, may show up in the Note as well.

Specifications


Body Style: 4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.6 L‑4  (109 HP)

Transmissions: 5M, CVT*
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy:  7.6L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 6.2L/100 km
Active Safety Features: None
Additional Airbags: None

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2014
Country of Origin:  Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: G

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Smart ForTwo

 

 

 

What’s new
Spun off the current Renault Twingo architecture, the third-generation ForTwo is a big improvement on its predecessors. An electric variant and a cabriolet are new for the lineup in 2017. All coupe variants are equipped with a composite roof, including the new Brabus trim package. Smart has announced that 2017 will be the last year for the gasoline powered Smart in North America, with only the electric model returning for 2018.  


Comments
The Smart is powered by a 900 cc, turbocharged three-cylinder engine that produces 89 horsepower. A manual transmission, a five-speed in this case, is offered for the first time in a ForTwo. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is available. An electric model is new for 2017. Using a 240 volt outlet, owners will be able to recharge their Smarts in under three hours .All Smart models feature a Crosswind assist that will help keep this small rear-engined car on the straight and narrow when conditions get blustery. A forward collision alert system is optional.
The interior looks very Smart overall but more thought has been put into the controls this time, which are more logical than before. Interior materials are more attractive and the Smart once again offers astounding cabin space for two occupants.
Driven briefly by the APA, the new Smart ForTwo is a significant improvement over its predecessor. The turbocharged triple exhibits flexible power deliver and surprising energy for an engine of its size. The triple emits an enthusiastic three-cylinder thrum when extended, is acceptably quiet in normat driving, and fades into the distance when cruising. For those who experienced the miserable transmission in the previous two Smarts, the new dual clutch automated manual, with smooth shifts and a good spread of gears, is a revelation. Ride and handling are impressive for a very tall car built on such a short wheelbase. Steering is nicely direct and pleasantly weighted. Braking is strong but there is a slight feeling of instability when braking hard from speed. In Smart tradition, the driving position is a bit odd and potential buyers should go on an extended test drive to see if it suits them. Luggage capacity is adequate.
Pricing
The convertible body style adds $3000 to the price of both the Passion and Prime trim levels. A number of reasonably priced options are availble so buyers can build a car that suits their needs. The Smart is neither cheap, practical nor economical but it has enough charm to attract nearly 2000 buyers in Canada last year. Rapid depreciation is to be expected.  

Reliability
Not rated, insufficient data. Unique mechanical components of the Smart precludes servicing at independent mechanics; with parts and service at Mercedes-Benz dealers, which distributes the Smart in Canada, being very expensive. No powertrain warranty beyond the four year/80,000 km basic warranty.   

Specifications


Body Style: 2HB, 2CV* 
Occupants: 2
Engine:
900cc 3 T (89 HP)* , Electric (60 kW estimated)

Transmissions: 5M, 6A (dual clutch)*
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  7L/100 km.
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.3L/100 km.
Active Safety Features: Available forward collision alert. 
Additional Airbags: Knee airgags for both front occupants.

Warranty: 4/80,000, no additional powertrain warranty
Current Generation Debut:  2016
Country of Origin:  France

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating:


2018 Toyota Yaris

 


 

 

What’s new
Toyota generally renews its vehicles every five years but for 2018, Toyota has elected to update the Yaris that debuted for the 2012 model year. Exterior updates include a new front fascia, new rear fascia and restyled tail lights. New standard equipment for 2018 includes a backup camera, heated front seats and new gauges on the CE and LE trims that were previously exclusive to the top-end SE trim.

Performance
The 1.5L four in the Yaris lacks refinement compared with key competitors. Low final gearing and big gaps between gears on the four-speed automatic transmission keeps it spinning noisily, especially when kick down, needed to maintain progress, is engaged. The Yaris feels sprightly in town but is about the slowest cars in its class on the open road. Nicely weighted, accurate, modestly communicative steering. The Yaris copes well over big bumps taken at speed on secondary roads, but rides abruptly over most other types of road imperfections, especially when laden. Good body control in corners, especially on the SE model. Directional stability could be better. Very good outward visibility. Modern cabin design with good finish at this price point. Clear gauges and simple controls. Insufficient oddments space in the cabin. Supportive front seats on the SE model tested, but limited seat travel cramps taller drivers. Flawed driving position exacerbated by the non-telescoping steering wheel. Comfortable rear seat and reasonable space for a car of this size. Limited cargo space. The Yaris snagged last place in a four car test that included the Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent and Chevrolet Sonic.

Comments
The long-serving 1.5L four can be hooked up the either a four-speed automatic transmission or a five-speed manual.

Pricing

The primary purpose of the base CE three-door is to advertise a tempting base MSRP. The LE five-door upgrade includes air-conditioning, cruise control and power locks. The LE is good value and is equipped the way most buyers want it. The SE sporty themed range-topper is good value compared with the LE but is an expensive car for this market segment. Good value leasing compared with financing, however, a Yaris LE can cost almost as much to lease as a Corolla LE. Automatic transmission is a $1000 option. 

Reliability
Above average reliability. The previous Yaris was one of the most reliable and durable cars available.

Specifications


Body Style: 2HB, 4HB*
Occupants: 2/3
Engine:
1.5L‑4 (106 HP) 

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

City Fuel Economy:  7.9L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.8L/100 km

Active Safety Features: Forward autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning. 

Additional Airbags: Driver's side knee airbag


Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2012
Country of Origin:  France

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: M

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Toyota Yaris Sedan

 


 

 

What’s new
Standard features on the 2017 model include a low-speed pre-collision system and mudguards. Toyota is concentrating their sales efforts for the Yaris sedan on Quebec, with a factory order needed to secure one in other provinces.  

Comments
Toyota returned the Yaris sedan to our market last year, but it is not an actual Toyota, but a sedan version of the aborted Mazda 2 not sold in North America. Built in Mexico, the Yaris sedan should be cheaper to build than the current Yaris hatchback sourced in France. An edgy, rectangular front styling clip fights visually with the very oval forms of the Mazda 2. Inside, space is reasonable up front but rear legroom is a bit tight. With an attractive dashboard and nice materials, the cabin of the Yaris sedan is as attractive as that of the no-show Mazda 2 it is based on. Turning a hatchback into a sedan by extending the overhang behind the rear wheels usually results in a substantial trunk, and the Yaris sedan certainly delivers in this regard.
The powertrain features a 1.5L four with 106 horsepower sending power to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. The Yaris has earned a reputation for being Toyota's most reliable conventional gasoline car; it remains to be sees whether this badge-engineered Mazda 2 will be as durable and drama-free.


Pricing 
Upgrading from the base to the Premium model balances price and content quite precisely. Good lease value but the monthlies on the Yaris sedan are really too close to those of the Corolla to make the car tempting unless you are a Mazda fan who must have a new Mazda 2 even if it bears a Toyota logo.   

Reliability
New car, not rated. The previous Mazda 2 generated few complaints. 

Specifications


Body Style: 4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engine:
1.5L‑4 (106 HP)

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

City Fuel Economy: 7.1L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 5.6L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Forward autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning. 
Additional Airbags:
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut: 2016
Country of Origin: Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


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