2018 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - SUVs

SUVs: MicroCompact - MidSize - Luxury - All-Terrain

Micro CUVs

The micro-CUV segment was inadvertently started by Nissan when it introduced its now-discontinued Juke model in 2011. GM, with its Trax and Encore models, expanded the segment, which ballooned for 2016 with the introduction of the Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade and Mazda CX-3. The second-generation Compass for 2017 and the Nissan Qashqai arrived in mid 2017 and Ford put its new EcoSport on sale in early 2018. Nissan introduced its new Kicks, a vehicle that fits into this size category, but without all-wheel drive, it is just a tall supermini, and the review for the car can be found there.

 

Chevrolet Trax Fiat 500X Hyundai Kona  Mazda CX3 
Buick Encore  Honda HR-V  Jeep Renegade  Nissan Qashqai 
Ford EcoSport      

2018 Chevrolet Trax/Buick Encore

 


What’s new
Trax: A new sport-themed Redlined trim package is new as is an active safety suite on the Premier which includes forward collision and lane departure warnings. Encore: ionizing cabin filter and capless fuel filling are new for 2018. 
Comments
Encore and Trax
Though they share the same mechanicals, exterior styling and cabin designs are unique to each model. The Trax is quite attractive and manages to neatly disguise its great height in relation to its length. The Encore's exterior design, which displays all of Buick's styling cues within a tall short form, is awkward at best. The cabin is clad with a lot of hard plastic components, which, while a bit on the shiny side, are carefully assembled and attractive enough in design. While narrow, the cabin can easily accommodate four adults and a reasonable amount of luggage as well. The Encore's cabin reflects Buick's current design themes. The dash houses big, clear gauges and a visually impressive. Pleasing shapes, attractive materials and a few fetching two-tone colour combinations are cabin highlights. Like the Trax, the Encore can contain a quartet of adults easily enough. The hard work of Buick's "quiet tuning" boffins have resulted in a very quiet car. Dealers report that despite their shared components and cabin volumes, buyers aren't cross shopping the two nameplates. Trax buyers are cross-shopping the Equinox-Terrain while Encore buyers are seeking it exclusively. Roughly 10 percent of Trax buyers opt for all-wheel drive but nearly half of Encore intenders go for it.
Pricing
Encore: all-wheel drive, standard on the Premier, is a $2000 option on other trims. Migrating from the Preferred to the Sport Touring trim is expensive. The Essence trim is priced to reflect the value of its additional content. The more powerful direct-injected four is a $1030 option on premium models. Fully equipped, a Premier can cost up to $40,000; at this price there are a lot of other vehicles that are more tempting than the Encore. Trax: The LT trim upgrade is priced to reflect is additional content and the Premier is good value. All-wheel drive is a $2000 option on the LS and LT trims but is standard on the Premier.  
Reliability
Not rated due to insufficient data. Possible trouble points could include the turbo engine and the suspension. Free oil changes (up to four changes, based on oil life monitor in the car) for two years or 40,000 kilometers.   

Specifications


Body Style: 4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.4L-4 T (138 HP: Trax)*, 1.4L-4 T (138 HP,  153 HP: Encore)

Transmissions: 6M (Trax), 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*
City Fuel Economy:  9.9L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.8L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Both: available forward collision and lane departure alerts. Encore: Available blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings.
Additional airbags: Front occupant knee airbags and ourboard rear side airbags.
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/160,000 (Trax), 4/80,000. 6/110,000 (Encore)
Current Generation Debut:  2013
Country of Origin: Mexico (Trax), South Korea (Encore)

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating:


2018 Ford EcoSport

 

NEW

 

 

What’s new
Though the current EcoSport was introduced overseas for the 2013 model year, the Ford EcoSport will debut here early next year as a 2018 model.

Comments
Updated for its North American debut, the current EcoSport is now in its sixth year. Compared with the class-leading Honda HR-V, the EcoSport is just a bit shorter overall. Power will stem from two familiar Ford engines, a 1 L turbocharged triple and a normally aspirated 2 L four. The sole transmission announced is a conventional hydraulic 6-spd. automatic transmission. The 1 L engine is featured on front-wheel drive EcoSports; with all-wheel drive exclusive to the 2L engine.

With a grille shape that echoes those fronting the Escape and Edge, the EcoSport can easily be identified as a Ford. The rest of the EcoSport is an unfortunate aggregate of odd shapes that combine to create an ungainly whole; nudging the Buick Encore off its perch as the least attractive car in the segment. The cabin, with big, clear gauges, a large floating screen at its centre and logical minor controls, is a very conservative design that looks easy to live with. The Android Apple phone interface will be available on the new EcoSport. Cabin materials on pre-production units shown at various auto shows were unimpressive. Comfortable seats and sufficient space will keep front occupants happy but rear seat legroom is really for kids only. The regularly shaped cargo, deep below the window line, is accessed via a side-mounted, swing-out tailgate that has all but disappeared from vehicles destined for the North American market.

Pricing
No pricing details are yet available.  

Reliability

New model. Not rated. Predicted average reliability. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1L‑3 T (120 HP estimated)*, 2L-4 (160 HP estimated)

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

City Fuel Economy:  8.6L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.1L/100 km 
Active safety equipment:
Additional Airbags: n.d.
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut: 2018
Country of Origin:  India

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Fiat 500X

 

 

 

What’s new
The iOS-Android cellphone interface and FCA's Uconnect 4 with a seven inch screen are standard on all models. Cars with navigation include Travel Link from SiriusXM.
Comments
The Fiat 500X, and its Jeep twin, the Renegade, are FCA's entries in the mushrooming B-segment crossover segment. The 500X was the vehicle that was going to consolidate the Fiat franchise in North America but poor sales have cast a long shadow on the future of the brand here. 
The 500X is based on the same component set as the Jeep Renegade and built next to it at a Fiat plant in Italy. The cabin is quite elegant and roomier than the Mazda CX-3, but can't match the space offered inside the HR-V.
Power choices include the 1.4L turbo four seen in the 500 Abarth and 500L, with a normally-aspirated 2.4L four also available. Transmissions include a six-speed manual with the 1.4L and a nine-speed automatic with the 2.4L. All-wheel drive is optional with the 2.4L engine.
Driven by the APA in the fall of 2015, the 2.4L, all-wheel drive 500X was a bit of a disappointment. The engine is gruff and the nine-speed automatic transmission seems poorly adapted to the engine and is often in too high a gear to provide any discernable energy. Suspension is a sore point, offering neither entertaining handling nor an absorbent ride. Like its Jeep Renegade platform mate, the 1.4L turbo engine and six-speed manual transmission combination, which few people will buy, is the most satisfying powerteam for the 500X. Good audio sound quality.
While much more elegant than its Jeep Renegade platform made, the 500X is a less satisfying all-rounder than its corporate cousin.

Pricing
The base front-wheel drive 1.4L Pop model with manual transmission is pleasant to drive and reasonably priced. Opting for automatic transmission on the Pop pushes you into the larger 2.4L engine. The Sport trim, which is equipped the way most buyers will want, is a bit on the expensive side. The Trekking trim is slightly overpriced but the range-topping Lounge is a bargain if you desire its equipment. All-wheel drive is a $2200 option on the Sport, Trekking and Lounge trims. 

Reliability
Not rated, new model. New-generation Fiat reliability has been average, at best.

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.4L‑4 T (160 HP estimated), 2.4L-4 (180 HP estimated)

Transmissions: 6M (1.4L-4 T), 9A (2.4L-4) 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  11L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  18.0L/100 km 
Active safety equipment: Available blind spot, rear cross traffic, forward collision   and lane departure warnings in addition to active front braking.
Additional Airbags: Driver's side knee airbag
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut: 2016
Country of Origin: Italy

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Honda HR-V

 

 

 

What’s new
No changes of note for 2018. 

Comments
The HR-V is longer and taller than the Fit, whose platform it is based on. The HR-V has substituted the Fit's 1.5L engine for the 1.8L four from the previous Civic. Power reaches the front wheels via either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT automatic; the automatic is the sole choice on all-wheel-drive models.
Recently tested by the APA alongside the Mazda CX-3, the HR-V was rated second of the four cars tested, with the HR-V in first place for one driver due to is amazing space efficiency. Like the Fit, the HR-V's front seats and driving position does not suit all drivers and the front passenger seat, mounted too low to the floor, is also partially encroached upon by the large dashboard. Rear seat passengers enjoy a comfortable seat and abundant legroom. Cargo space is not massive, but is square and tall, and with the rear seat folded, remarkably versatile. The HR-V driver faces elegant, conventional gauges and a centre stack that looks chic, but its touchscreen-activated controls are very unsatisfying, with the audio controls, with no knobs for tuning or volume, needing a total rethink. Attractive fabrics, which cover the upper door panels in addition to the seats.
The HR-V's 1.8L four is smooth and works very well with a carefully calibrated CVT to deliver good acceleration and relaxed cruising. The HR-V's steering is light and lacks feel, but is nicely geared and accurate. Very good ride-handling compromise for a small family hauler.
Pricing
All-wheel drive, standard on the EX-L Navi trim, is a $2300 option on the LX and EX models. Trim upgrades, from LX to EX and from EX to EX-L Navi are very good value. Good value leasing. Equipped with automatic transmission, the HR-V and the Mazda CX-3 are priced very closely from the base model to the range toppers. Compared with the HR-V, the Mazda is considerably more stylish, inside and out, but is essentially a 2+2 format with limited cargo space whereas the HR-V is a generous four seater with abundant cargo space. Good value leasing. 

Reliability
Not rated, new vehicle. The Fit and the Civic which supply the structure and mechanicals for the HR-V are both rated above average.

Specifications


Body Style: 4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.8L-4 (141 HP)*

Transmissions: 6M, CVT*


Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  8.9L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 7.5L/100 km

Active safety equipment: Available forward collision and lane departure warnings.


Additional airbags:: None
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current generation debut: 2016
Country of Origin: Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: A

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Hyundai Kona

 

NEW

 

 

What’s new
All-new crossover based on the components from the new Accent. In late August, Hyundai began taking orders for a new Kona electric that has a range of about 400 kilometres. 

Performance

The 1.6T Ultimate's 175 horsepower engine is smooth, flexible and very quick. The 1.6T is carefully mated to a seven-speed dual clutch automated manual transmission with near imperceptible upshifts and obedient downshifts. 

The Kona's steering has near perfect weighting, quick gearing without a hint of dartiness and even a hint of road feel. While the Kona's ride is firm, it has a resilient suppleness that absorbs road shock before it reaches the cabin and combines it with confident, lean-free handling and ia feeling of great stability. Hyundai really sweated the details on the Kona's chassis tuning. 

Braking is strong, backed up with solid pedal feel that requires just the right level of effort. 

Inside, the driver faces large, clear main gauges that are separated by a configurable display with crisp graphics. The audio and navigation systems on our range topping Ultimate trim are controlled buy a partially free-standing screen that is flanked by buttons for various functions and knobs for audio volume and tuning. The climate controls could not be simpler to use. Our 1.6T Ultimate tester had a rudimentary heads up display system consisting of a clear plastic flap that deploys from the dash and on which various information, speed, lane departure and navigation details, are projected. 

The front seats are comfortable and supportive on a long haul. Front seat riders have ample legroom, and while the rear seat is comfortable enough, rear legroom is just adequate for smaller adults. The space enhancing benefits of a taller body structure have not been unlocked by Hyundai as rear legroom is tight and the trunk is small for this type of vehicle. 

The Kona featured powerful air-conditioning, an excellent audio system and the navigation feature was easy to use and worked weill 

Comments
Based on the new Accent, the Kona is slightly larger than its donor car. Two familiar Hyundai engines, a 2L four and a 1.6L turbo four, are offered. Transmission choices include a conventional six-speed automatic with the 2L and a seven-speed dual clutch unit on the turbo.

Available active safety equipment includes Autonomous Emergency braking, lane keeping assist as well as driver alertness, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings. 

Like Nissan, Hyundai offers four crossover models (Kona, Tucson, Santa Fe Sport and Santa Fe XL) versus three for Honda and Toyota (if you count the C-HR as a crossover).

Hyundai has announced a full electric version of the Kona. The 64 kWh battery pack can be recharged in nine hours with a level 2 charger and using a level 3 charger, the Kona can be recharged to 80 percent in 55 minutes. The Kona electric will have Hyundai's SmartSense full active safety suite as standard equipment. 

Pricing
All-wheel drive, standard on the 2L Luxury model and both 1.6 turbo variants, is a $2000 option on the Essential and Preferred trim levels. The base Essential model, is, with air conditioning and alloy wheels, quite well equipped. The Preferred trim, with blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, a heated steering wheel and Keyless Go, is priced to reflect the value of its additional features. The 2L Luxury model, with leather seating, navigation, a sunroof and an active safety suite including autonomous emergency braking, is a bargain if you desire its equipment. Compared with the 2L all-wheel drive Preferred trim, the $2150 higher price of the 1.6T Trend model can be split into about $850 for additional features with the balance accounted for by the more powerful 1.6 turbo engine and seven-speed dual clutch transmission which replaces the conventional six-speed automatic transmission. Unusual for Hyundai, which generally offers good value for trim upgrades, the 1.6T Ultimate is signficantly overpriced and at nearly $32,000, is very expensive for a car in this class.   

Reliability
Not rated, new vehicle. The 2L Kona should deliver good reliability but both the turbo engine and dual clutch automatic in the premium models have no reliability history. 

Specifications


Body Style: 4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.6L-4T (175 HP), 2.0L-4 (147 HP), 2019 Electric (201 HP, 150 kW)

Transmissions: 6A, 7A (dual clutch)


Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  n.a.
Highway Fuel Economy: n.a.

Active safety equipment: Available autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, blind spot, rear cross traffic and driver alertness monitors.


Additional airbags:: None
Warranty: 5/100,000
Current generation debut: 2018
Country of Origin: Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Jeep Renegade

 

 

 

What’s new
Uconnect 4 is standard on the North, Limited and TrailHawk models; with Uconnect 3 now incorporated into the base Sport model. 4G Wi-Fi is now available, as are Guardian, Travel Link and Traffic Plus from Sirius XM. the iOS-Android cellphone infotainment device is available on the Renegade this year. A number of cabin updates claim to have increased oddments storage and the cabins have been freshened with new fabrics, trim hues and bright trim. 

Comments
The Renegade was the first Fiat-Chrysler vehicle based on a new Small Wide 4x4 architecture that is somehow different from the Small Wide platform that underpins most of FCA's newest models.
The Renegade incorporates Jeep styling themes such as the seven slot grille, large, squarish wheel openings and prominent body cladding, but the overall design looks forced and a bit cartoonish. The Renegade's enormous windshield pillars add to its blocky appearance and don't do much for visibility.
Like the Cherokee, the Renegade is offered in two distinct flavours, regular and TrailHawk. The TrailHawk differs in that its front and rear fascias are shaped to allow for steeper approach and departure angles for off-roading.
The cabin featuring clear gauges and logical controls. The dashboard, like much of the rest of the cabin, looks like it was fashioned from various components pulled from a variety of other FCA vehicles. The cabin is constructed primarily of matte-finished hard plastics. The front seats are substantial in size but are somewhat squishy for heavier occupants. The rear seat is hard, uncomfortable and offers just enough legroom for adults. While not massive in width or length, the Renegade's trunk is nicely square, deep below the window line and looks commodious for such a small vehicle.
Two familiar engines are available, Fiat's 1.4L turbo four and the 2.4L version of the old Chrysler-Mitsubishi-Daimler jointly-developed engine updated with a Fiat cylinder head. The turbo will be offered exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission in front-wheel and all-wheel drive systems; with the 2.4L mated exclusively to a nine-speed automatic.
Two available all-wheel drive options, with Jeep's Selec-Terrain system, with Automatic, Snow, Sand, Mud and Rock settings, offered on the TrailHawk version of the Renegade.

Pricing

All-wheel drive costs an extra $6650 on the base model equipped by the 1.4L four and manual transmission (the all-wheel drive variant includes around $1700 in additional equipment when compared with the front-wheel drive version), but costs $1500 on the all-wheel drive North. . Automatic transmission, which includes the larger 2.4L engine, costs $1495 on the Sport and $1595 on the North. Very good value Sport and Limited trim upgrades. Poor resale value predicted. 

Reliability
Not rated, insufficient data. New-generation Fiat reliability has been average, at best.

Specifications


Body Style: 4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.4L-4 T (160 HP), 2.4L-4 (180 HP)*
Transmissions: 6M, 9A*
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*
City Fuel Economy: 11.2L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 8.2L/100 km
Active safety equipment: Available forward collision warning with active braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot and rear cross traffic warning.
Additional airbags: Driver's knee airbag
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current generation debut: 2016
Country of Origin: Italy

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating:


2018 Mazda CX-3

 

 

 

What’s new
G-vectoring control is standard on all models. Mazda notes that 2018 updates result in enhanced refinement and ride quality. Higher contrast gauges for 2018. Manual transmission in a new variant on the GX front-wheel drive variant. Smart City brake support is standard on the GX. The GS trim gains standard blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, heated steering wheel, automatic climate control and an iActivesense active safety option package. The GT gains a 10-way power driver's seat, an iActivesense package and the Tech package includes radar cruise control and traffic sign recognition this year.

Comments
With a long front end compared with overall vehicle length and a wealth of body lines and creases on its flanks, the CX-3 adheres closely to current Mazda styling themes.
The horizontally arrayed dashboard, with its crisp instrumentation and simple controls, is lifted right out of the Mazda 2. The interior is quite chic and nicely finished, especially in top-spec models boasting high-contrast two-tone colour combinations. Cabin space in reasonable up front, but rear legroom is tight and getting in and out is a struggle. Cargo space is small but regularly shaped.

Based on the Mazda 2 platform but powered by the 2L four from the Mazda 3, the CX-3 performs well but the engine is noisy when pushed. The six-speed automatic transmission works well with the 2L four. This car is a satisfying drive in the country or on the highway and handily compact in town. Crisp handling on the GT trim model driven is offset by a very firm ride that can become uncomfortable in town. Though it represents a compromised package in terms of passenger and cargo space, the stylish CX-3 has been a spectacular success for Mazda in Canada. 

Pricing
Three trim levels, the GX, GS and GT are available. The $19,995 base manual transmission GX ($21,295 with automatic) a rearview camera and Bluetooth is nicely equipped. All-wheel drive is standard on the GT trim and is a $2,000 on other models with automatic transmission. Upgrading from the GX to the GS trim is a bargain, Overpriced GS Luxury package but the iActivesense upgrade delivers a lot of safety gear for the money. The GT is priced to reflect the value of its additional content but the GT Tech package is overpriced.

Reliability
Not rated, recent vehicle. Above average reliability expected. 

Specifications


Body Style: 4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 (146 HP)

Transmissions: 6A*
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*
City Fuel Economy: 8.8L/100 km
Highway fuel economy: 7.5L/100 km
Active safety equipment: Available blind spot, rear cross traffic and lane departure warnings as well as Smart City brake support. 
Additional airbags: None
Warranty: 3/unlimited, 5/unlimited
Current generation debut: 2016
Country of Origin: Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating:


2018 Nissan Qashqai

 


 

 

What’s new
No changes of note. 

Comments
Nissan abandoned the conventional C-segment hatchback market in Europe about a decade ago, replacing it with the Qashqai, which has been very successful for them there.
The Qashqai (to be sold in the U.S., as the Rogue Sport) was thought to be Nissan’s entry in the micro CUV class inhabited by vehicles such as the Chevrolet Trax and Honda HR-V, however, the firm has just introduced the (front wheel drive only) Kicks as well. The Qashqai is a bit larger overall than the Honda HR-V but usefully smaller than the Rogue, which will suit the urbanites, Nissan’s primary market target. Many intenders may find the Qashqai a great substitute for the Rogue at a lower price. 

The cabin is elegant and uses various familiar bits from other Nissans. Good interior space up front and competitive rear seat legroom. The front seats are quite supportive and the rear seat is comfortable enough.

Only one engine, a 141 horsepower 2L four is available. The front-wheel drive S trim can be linked to a six-speed manual transmission, with a CVT transmitting power on all other trims. Front wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available. 

Driven briefly by the APA, the Qashqai is a very interesting machine. If driven gently, the powertrain is smooth, quiet and flexible, but can grow raucous if brisk acceleration is required. Steering is nicely geared but a both light in weight and devoid of road feel. The Qashqai's suspension, compliant on smooth surfaces, quickly loses its composure when the road gets rough.   

Pricing
The base front-wheel drive manual transmission Qashqai starts at just $19,998. For an extra $2000, you can add automatic transmission, alloy wheels and cruise control. Moving up from the S with automatic to the SV with automatic costs $2700 but includes roughly $4000 worth of equipment, including dual zone climate control, satellite radio, Keyless Go, a sunroof and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The SL range topper, with leather seating and a power driver's seat, is very good value. All-wheel drive, standard on the SL trim, is a $2200 option on the S and SV trims.  

Reliability
Not rated, insufficient data. Predicted reliability is average when for the first few years, sinking to below average as the car ages and premature component failure is predicted.  

Specifications


Body Style: 4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 (141 HP)*
Transmissions: 6M, CVT*
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive*, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy: 8.8L/100 km

Highway Fuel Economy: 7.3L/100 km


Active safety equipment: Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, active cruise control, rear cross traffic and blind spot warnings. 
Additional airbags: None
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current generation debut: 2017
Country of Origin: Japan

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: N/A

Mod. Front: N/A

Side: N/A

Roof: N/A

Rear: N/A

NHTSA Rating: