2018 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - Premium Compact Cars and Crossovers

In the past, if manufacturers elected to move up or downmarket, they would create a new sub-brand to market the vehicles. BMW launched MINI when it wanted to move downmarket and Honda, Nissan and Toyota respectively breathed life into Acura, Infiniti and Lexus to market their luxury products. Conjuring up a new vehicle marque and promoting it is a fiercely expensive process and one that has fallen out of favour. Manufacturers now prefer to stretch the boundaries of what their established brands represent to setting up sub-brands if they decide to move out of their traditional market segments. In addition, some specialist vehicles from mainstream manufactures, are priced sufficiently above traditional vehicle categories that they must be placed into a category that reflects their unusual nature.

To track this trend and move with the times, the APA created a new Premium Compact category several years ago and continues with it for 2018. A number of cars and crossovers in this new category don't really fit into the sections other vehicles bearing the same brand name are generally found in, and so are in this Premium Compact section.

Vehicles covered within in the envelope of Premium Compact category include B-Class, CLA and GLA from Mercedes-Benz, the A3 and Q3 from Audi, all five of which represent a move downmarket by their makers. Also Included in this section is the QX30 from Infiniti, which is based on the same platform as the Mercedes B-Class, CLA and GLA. Occupying this category as well are cars from MINI, which are premium priced, and the Chevrolet Bolt, Volt and Nissan Leaf, which are priced far higher than conventional cars for the same size. Another car covered in this section is the Acura ILX.

Acura ILX  Buick Verano  Infiniti QX30  Mercedes-Benz B250
Audi A3  Chevrolet Bolt  Kia Niro  Mecerdes-Benz CLA  
Audi Q3  Chevrolet Volt  MINI Cooper  Mecerdes-Benz GLA 
  Hyundai Ioniq  MINI Countryman  Nissan Leaf 
       

2018 Acura ILX

 

 

What’s new
Based on the previous-generation Honda Civic, the seven year old ILX is overdue for replacement.
Performance
The 2.4L 201 horsepower four is smooth, flexible and punchy, but its tuneful exhaust system becomes tiresome in daily driving. Steering weight and gearing are particularly well judged but there is little feel bubbling up to the steering wheel from the road. While firm, the ILX's ride exhibits good resilience and surprising suppleness over large bumps, especially when viewed against its impressive cornering ability. Strong brakes with good pedal feel. Wind noise is well suppressed but road noise is greater than expected from a car in this price bracket. Big door mirrors are a necessity as vision for lane changes is limited.
Despite being based on the roomy previous-generation Civic platform, rear seat legroom on the ILX is a bit on the tight side. Very comfortable, supportive front seats. Excellent driving position. Elegant, conventional dashboard. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the cabin design but cabin materials are underwhelming at this price point. Reasonable trunk space. Unimpressive audio system.

Comments
The ILX, based on the previous Civic, is, except for straight line speed and low-speed refinement, totally outclassed by the new Honda Civic Touring. The sole power team for 2017 is a 2.4L four hooked up to an eight-speed dual clutch automated manual. ILX sales held steady last year, at about 2500 units.

Pricing

Upgrading from the base to the Premium trim includes popular equipment such as leather upholstery, heated, power front seats and blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings, is very good value. The Technology and A-Spec models are acceptable value if you like their features. A Honda Civic Touring sedan is priced 20 percent less than an ILX A-Spec. Exceptional value leasing. 

Reliability: Predicted reliability is above average, like the previous Civic it is based on.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.4L‑4 (201HP)

Transmissions: 8A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  9.4L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.8L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Forward collision warning and mitigation. Lane departure warning, lane keep assist and road departure mitigation. Available blind spot and rear-cross traffic warnings.
Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 4/80,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2012
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Audi A3

 

NOT RATED

 

 

 

What’s new
For 2018, Audi Drive Select is standard on the Progressiv trim, the S3 variant now features a 7-Speed dual clutch automated manual transmission and a new super high performance RS3, powered by a 2.5L inline five-cylinder engine, is new.  

Comments
Like its predecessor, Audi's new A3 is based on the Volkswagen Golf, in this case, the seventh-generation of VW's evergreen hatchback. Like the Golf and numerous other Volkswagen Group products to be released over the next few years, the A3 is underpinned by VW's new MQB variable architecture. To satisfy the American market, the mainstream A3 debuted first as a sedan, followed by a convertible. Both body styles look very Audi, but also look a bit stale, especially for all new cars. The traditional hatchback body style is offered only with e plug-in hybrid powertrain. 
The A3's dashboard features big, clear instruments and pretty simple controls. Comfortable seats and good space in front, and seat comfort and legroom for rear seat riders are at least competitive. The reasonably attractive cabin materials are a bit disappointing not in themselves, but for the fact the A3 turned out to be a much more expensive car than most observers expected them to be, especially since they are sourced in low-cost Hungary. Big, square trunk.
Power stems from two turbocharged gasoline engines, a 2L with 186 horsepower and a 2L producing 220 horsepower in the A3 and 293 horsepower in the S3. The base 2L is front-wheel drive only, with Quattro all-wheel drive featured twinned with the 220 and 293 horsepower engines. A seven-speed automated manual is standard on front-wheel drive variants with a six-speed automated manual mated to Quattro versions.

A3 E-Tron hatchback
The E-Tron is powered by a 1.4L turbo four with 150 horsepower connected to a 102 horsepower electric motor, resulting in a combined horsepower figure of 204. The E-tron is a plug-in hybrid like the Ford C-Max Energi and can run in full electric power for up to 26 kilometres. Power reaches the front wheels via six-speed dual clutch automatic.

Pricing

High prices considering that the A3 is essentially a less modern spin on the VW Golf. Moving up from the 186 horsepower 2L front-wheel drive model to the 220 horsepower all-wheel drive (marketed under the name Quattro) costs $4800. Overpriced Progressiv trim upgrade but the Technik range topper is good value. the Premium package is priced to reflect its additional equipment but the S-Line option package is significantly overpriced. The E-Tron plug-in hybrid hatchback in Progressiv trim is priced $4800 higher than a conventional equivalent front-wheel drive sedan variant. The Technik upgrade on the E-Tron is priced to reflect its extra content. The A3 convertible is priced $6200 higher than an all-wheel drive 220 horsepower sedan. 

Reliability
Insufficient data, not rated. The previous A3 was rated average for the first four years. Audi's $750 scheduled service option (70,000 km is the last service covered) is highly recommended. Warranty ends at 80,000 km with no further powertrain coverage.

Specifications


Body Style:  2CB, 4SD*
Occupants:  2/3, 2/2

Engines:1.4L-4 T H (150 HP plus 102 HP electric), 2L-4 (186 HP)*, 2L-4 T (220 HP, 292 HP S3), 2.5L-5T (400 HP) 
Transmissions: 6A (DSG), 7A (DSG)*
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive*, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  9.1L100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.8/100 km
Active Safety Features: Optional adaptive cruise control with stop and go as well as blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings.  
Additional airbags: rear seat side airbags are optional                  

Warranty: 4/80,000, no additional powertrain warranty
Current Generation Debut:  2015
Country of Origin: Hungary and Germany

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Buick Verano 

 


 

 

What’s new
Based on the last-generation Chevrolet Cruze, the Verano is in its last year and GM has announced that it will not be replaced. The turbo engine is no longer available.

Comments
The Buick Verano, based on the previous-generation Chevrolet Cruze, is more than just a badge-engineered spinoff of the Chevrolet. The exterior displays numerous Buick styling cues and the cabin is quite sumptuous. Power stems from a 2.4L version of the Ecotec four found in various GM products. With 180 horsepower and strong torque, the Verano delivers brisk, relaxed performance, and, with Buick's "Quiet Tuning" sound abatement measures, serenity as well.

Pricing 
Containing almost $2000 worth of additional equipment, including a power driver seat and rear view camera, for less than $700 the 1SD package is a bargain and should really be the base model. The Leather trim level is priced well beyond the value of its contents. However, it is the gateway to the Buick Experience package, offering a sunroof and navigation for just $800 and the Driver Confidence package, which includes blind spot, rear cross traffic and lane departure warnings, for only $935. No leasing offered for 2017.

Reliability
Not rated, insufficient data. Few complaints received thus far. Average reliability predicted.

Specifications


Body Style: 4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2.4L-4 (180 HP)

Transmissions: 6A*
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy:  11.3L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.6L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available blind spot, rear cross-traffic, lane departure and forward collision warnings.None
Additional airbags: Knee airbags for both front occupants. Rear side airbags for outboard passengers. 

Warranty: 4/80,000, 6/110,000
Current Generation Debut:  2012
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Chevrolet Bolt

 

 

 

What’s new
Delayed 2018 model. A heated steering that automatically switches on when it senses cold, is standard on the Premier and option on the LT trim for 2018. 

Performance
The electric motor of the Bold is very strong and delivers vivid acceleration. Handling is very competent but not as precise as that of the Volkswagen e-Golf, but more satisfying than those of the Hyundai Ioniq and Kia Niro. The suspension is firm and can clunk loudly on poorly maintained roads. Steering has a reassuring heft. 

Comments
The Bolt is Chevrolet’s all electric car meant to go head-to-head with the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus electrics. The Bolt looks like a breakthrough product in the affordable electric vehicle field.
According to Chevrolet, the 200 horsepower electric motor (twice the power offered by the Leaf) can reach 100 km/h from a stop in about seven seconds. GM predicts a maximum range of up to 320 kilometres, with an 80 kilometre charge available in under two hours with a 240 volt charger, and up to 145 kilometres available in about half an hour if you employ a high voltage charger.
GM notes that the Bolt is a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot and the MyChevrolet Mobile App will help the driver to monitor vehicle charge status, start the car remotely, pre-condition cabin climate inside the cabin while the car is plugged in, which minimizes energy draw once the car is under its own power. The EV-specific navigation system of the Bolt is set up to maximize range and also display local charge points.
The tall hatchback body looks crisp and modern. Except for height, the Bolt is smaller is all dimensions than the Nissan Leaf but offers greater cabin and cargo space than the Nissan. The cabin of the Bolt is dominated by a sweeping dashboard with a large touch screen at its heart. 

Pricing
The 2018 was late and then sold out. Finding a Bolt is the problem and if you do, there are no discounts. 

Availability warning
As of March 2018, the Bolt was sold out with dealers having received their full allocation for the model year. Production of the 2019 model begins mid-year with delivers not expected until August. If you want a Bolt, be prepared to wait for it.

Reliability:
New vehicle, insufficient data. This is an all-new and radical car for Chevrolet. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
Electric motor (200 HP)
Transmissions: None
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  n/a
Highway Fuel Economy:  n/a
Electric Mode Operation: 320 km

Active Safety Features: available active safety features include lane keep assist, lane departure, blind spot, rear cross traffic and forward collision alert and lane change warnings. Front automatic braking also offered.


Additional airbags: No information available

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000, 8/160,000 (on electric drivetrain)
Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Chevrolet Volt

 


 

 

What’s new
The new Driver Confidence package available on the LT includes BLIS with rear cross traffic and a rear park assist. 

Comments
Unlike the first Volt, the exterior and interior styling of which made it a real "statement" car, the second-generation Volt is a more mainstream and more closely twinned with the Chevrolet Cruze. The Volt's rear seat now has three seatbelts, which should increase versatility and remove a purchase objection of the four-seater first-generation Volt. Rear seat legroom is not generous, headroom in the rear is tight, and rear seat riders sit under the rear window, which can get uncomfortable on sunny days. The Volt remains a hatchback despite its sedan-like appearance.
The Volt’s gasoline generator increases from 1.4L to 1.5L, with a horsepower boost from 85 to 101. Revised battery chemistry has resulted in a reduction in the number of individual battery cells and a battery pack that is around 10 kilograms lighter than before. The electric motor is rated at the same 111 kW (149 horsepower) as its predecessor.
Around 3500 Volts were delivered in Canada in 2016, nearly three times the number of Nissan Leafs sold in Canada last year. Driven briefly by the APA, the Volt, with effortless, smooth power, balanced chassis, sharp steering and a real feeling of solidity, is an impressive tour-de-force. Outward visibility is poor, making city driving a struggle.  
Availability Notice
Despite low gasoline prices and a general ennui on the part of the public with electric vehicles, the plug-in hybrid Volt has proven very popular, with demand significantly exceeding supply. Volt availability is better now than it was a year ago, with delivery times down to about three months. 

Pricing
The base 2LT model is well equipped and the 2LZ range topper is a good value upgrade if you like its equipment. Big rebates available from Ontario, Quebec and B.C. for this plug-in vehicle. 

Reliability:
Insufficient data. The previous model was reliable.

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
Electric motor (111 kW/149 HP); generated by electricity: 1.5L‑4 (101 HP)
Transmissions: None
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

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


Active Safety Features: available active safety features include lane keep assist, lane departure, blind spot, rear cross traffic and forward collision alert and lane change warnings. Front automatic braking also offered.

Additional airbags: Knee airbags for both front occupants and rear side airbags for outboard occupants. .

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000, 8/160,000 (on electric drivetrain)
Current Generation Debut:  2016
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Hyundai Ioniq

 

NEW

 

 

What’s new
The plug-in hybrid is the sole update for 2018. 

Comments
About the same size as an Elantra, the IONIQ is built on a different platform designed to accept conventional hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full electric powertrains.
The exterior is modern, crisp and tidy but doesn’t signal the car is powered by alternative powertrains. With a 0.24 co-efficient of drag, the shape is very slippery. The cabin is practical and straightforward; seating is more adequate than spacious. In order to try to save some weight as well as reducing the use of oil, the hood and tailgate of the Ioniq are formed from aluminum, the interior door trims are fashioned from plastic, powdered wood and volcanic stone and sugar cane materials are employed to fashion the headlining and carpets.
A 106 horsepower 1.6L four is the basis for the hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Total system horsepower for the hybrid is 139 and maximum electric-only range for the plug-in is 37 kilometres. The hybrid and the plug-in send power to the front wheels via a six-speed dual clutch automated manual transmission but the all-electric variant dispenses with a transmission altogether. The full electric version is powered by an 88 kW motor with a maximum possible range of 170 kilometres. The regular hybrid is not as quick as the plug-in hybrid or the full electric. The plug-in model can cover up the 37 km in full electric mode before the batteries are depleted. 


Pricing
Ioniq hybrid: the Blue base model is reasonably affordable. Standard equipment includes heated seat, reverse coverage and Bluetooth. Despite equipment such as blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, heated rear seat and steering wheel and Keyless Go, the SE model is overpriced. The Limited, with leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning, pedestrian detection and self braking, is priced about $1000 too high. The Limited Tech package, with a sunroof, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and lane keep assist and rear parking sonar, is great value. Plug-in hybrid: The plug-in hybrid went on sale in the fall of 2017, with the Limited trim upgrade being a bargain if you like its equipment. Ioniq electric: The base SE model, with blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors and navigation, is well equipped. The cold climate option includes a heat pump which enhances range but is very expensive. The range-topping Limited model is solid value and it is eligible for massive provincial rebates in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. 

Reliability: New vehicle, insufficient data on Hyundai hybrid vehicles thus far.

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1,6 L-4 H (104 HP gas, 27 kW electric, 139 combine), 1,6 L-4 H Plug-in (104 HP gas, 45 kW electric), Electric (88 kW)
Transmissions: 6A (dual clutch/Hybrids)
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy:  n.a.
Highway Fuel Economy:  n.a.
Active Safety Features: Available adaptive cruise control with autonomous emergency braking, blind spot, rear cross traffic and lane departure warnings as well as lane keep assist.
Additional airbags: No info available

Warranty: 5/100,000, 8/160,000 (on electric drivetrain)
Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin:  South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Infiniti QX30

 

NOT RATED

 

 

What’s new
No changes of note for this slow-selling crossover for 2018. 

Comments
The technology-sharing agreement between Renault-Nissan has generated the new Smart ForTwo based on the Renault Twingo, and this new Infiniti QX30 that is spun off a component set derived from the Mercedes A, B, CLA and GLA models. The QX30 uses the platform, 2L turbo four and seven-speed dual clutch automated manual transmission from the Mercedes models; mating them to bespoke exterior and cabin styling. The QX30 will be built as Nissan’s plant in England.
The QX30 follows Infiniti’s voluptuous, arc-laden styling direction that debuted with the JX35 (now QX 60) crossover in 2013. While not beautiful in a conventional sense, the Q30 is extremely distinctive and will be instantly recognizable as an Infiniti. Along with Lexus with their NX and new RX, Infiniti is pushing the boundaries of style in search of a look so distinctive that its cars cannot be confused with any others.
The QX30’s interior, with a dashboard stocked with big, clear gauges (the same units as Mercedes uses but with different graphics) and, given the number of functions it controls, a dash centre-stack that doesn’t look too intimidating. Cabin materials, with elegant faux alloy accents and attractive leather highlighted by contrasting stitching, are attractive. Cabin space is on the tight side for width and especially for rear seat legroom, with is restricted. Regularly shaped and nicely trimmed cargo area.

Pricing
Bizarrely vast model range for such a small volume car. Very nicely equipped base model with Nappa leather and memory seats. All-wheel drive is offered only on the Sport trim where it is a $2500 option. The Premium package on the base model is overpriced. The Technology package, offered only on the all-wheel drive base model, contains a comprehensive array of active safety features, mandates the purchase of the Premium package. The Sport model includes the content of a Premium and Technology equipped QX30 AWD at a $500 premium, but lacks AWD, which is a $2500 option on the base model. Comparing similarly equipped versions of the Mercedes GLA and QX30, the QX30 is about $1000 cheaper and has a better powertrain warranty. 

Reliability
New vehicle, not rated. Based on the reliability of the previous-generation Mercedes B-Class, predicted reliability for the first three years is average at best, declining after that. The six-year/110,000 km powertrain warranty is longer than the four years/80,000 km offered by Mercedes, making it a better prospect than the Mercedes for those who plan to buy instead of lease. 

Specifications


Body Style: 4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 T (208 HP)
Transmissions: Seven-speed dual clutch
Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy: 10.6L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 8L/100 km

Active Safety Features: Infiniti note that pre-collision with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and dynamic cruise control will be available


Additional airbags: n/a

Warranty: 4/80,000, 6/110,000
Current Generation Debut: 2017
Country of Origin: England

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Kia Niro

 

NEW

 

 

What’s new
Lane Departure Warning System updated to Lane Keeping Assist System with
Driver Attention Alert as well. The Niro plug-in will go on sale during the 2018 model year.   
Comments
Based on the same component set at the Hyundai Ioniq, the Niro is a five-door tall hatchback that Kia will market as a compact hybrid CUV. The Niro’s 103 horsepower Atkinson cycle 1.6L four combines with a 43 horsepower electric motor for a total system output of 146 horsepower. Kia has only announced a conventional hybrid version thus far, but a plug-in was shown at the Geneva show in March. 
Though tidy enough and unlikely to offend, the exterior styling of the Niro is not the styling tour-de-force observers have come to expect from Kia. Design aside, the Niro s exterior envelope encloses a commodious cabin with good space for four adults and whatever chattel they choose to bring with them. Attractive instrumentation, practical controls and attractive materials make the Niro a good space to inhabit. The Niro went on sale in the spring winter of 2017.

Pricing

The nicely equipped base L model is priced at $26,895. Upgrading from the L to the EX is very good value if you like its additional features. The EX Premium upgrade is a bit overpriced for what it offers but the SX trim is an absolute bargain. No pricing for the plug-in version is available. 

Reliability
Not rated as too little information is available on Kia's hybrid system reliability.

Specifications


Body Style: 4HB

Occupants: 2/3

Engine: 1.6L-4 H (146 HP combined)

Transmissions: 6A (dual clutch)  

Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy: n.a.
Highway Fuel Economy: n.a.
Active Safety Features: Available adaptive cruise control with autonomous emergency braking, blind spot, rear cross traffic and lane departure warnings.

Additional airbags: No information is available
Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut: 2017

Country of Origin: South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2019 MINI Cooper

 


 

 

What’s new
Early release 2019 model went on sale in the spring of 2018. Updates include restyled headlights and taillights (L.E.D. optional), standard Bluetooth phone connection, gently revised exterior and cabin trim. A new 6.5'display screen is standard and an 8.8'touchscreen is featured on navigation equipped cars.

Performance
The 1.5L turbo triple is quick, flexible and smooth at normal speeds and now has a smoother idle than it did when the current Cooper was released. The conventional six-speed automatic transmission works very well with the 1.5L three-cylinder engine. The big 2L turbo in the Cooper S furnishes strong acceleration with an engaging exhaust note, but is quiet when cruising. Though very firm, the ride of the Cooper S does not jar occupants, and allies with impressive handling controlled by near telepathic steering.
The cabin of the new MINI may appear to be virtually the same as the last one, but its ergonomics, with easily scanned gauges and logical controls placed where you expect them to be, are a huge improvement over the previous MINI. Front seat occupants enjoy comfortable seats and plenty of legroom, but those in back will find space tight and access limited. Trunk space is limited from the back of the rear seat to the tailgate but the space is deep below the window line and regularly shaped. MINI has improved the look and feel of the cabin trim pieces.

Comments
Two and four-door hatchbacks and a convertible model are available. 

Pricing

2018 Pricing
The four-door Cooper is priced $1300 higher than its two-door equivalent. The Cooper S is priced $4300 more than the 1.5L triple, with the John Cooper Works variant priced $7500 higher than the S. The convertible body style costs $6500 more than a three-door of the same trim level.  The Essentials pakcage is excellent value and the Style package is well priced if you like its equipment. The Loaded and Visibility packages are priced to reflect the value of their additional features. The L.E.D. lights and Navigation options are a bit overpriced. Metallic paint and part leather and leather upholstery options are very expensive.

Reliability
Not rated as too little information is available on the new generation. The previous generation was rated below average. Warranty ends at four years 80,000 km, with no subsequent powertrain warranty.

Specifications


Body Style:  2CV, 2HB


Occupants: 2/2


Engines:

1.5L-3 T (134 HP-Cooper)*, 2L-4 T (189 HP-Cooper S, 228 HP John Cooper Works)
 

Transmissions: 6M, 6A*  


Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive


City Fuel Economy:  8.8L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.8L/100 km


Active Safety Features: Active cruise control sold as the Driver Assistant package. 


Additional airbags: Front knee airbags


Warranty:  4/80,000 with no additional powertrain warranty


Current Generation Debut:  2015


Country of Origin: England and Holland


IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 MINI Countryman 

 

NEW

 

 

What’s new
All-wheel drive is standard for 2018. The Countryman E, a plug-in hybrid version of the Countryman joined the lineup in mid 2017.

Performance
The 1.5L turbo triple has become more refined over the years and is now acceptably smooth as well as sufficiently quick. In MINI tradition, handling is crisp. The ride is more supple than in the previous version of the car. The cabin of the Countryman retains a very MINI look, but like the smaller Cooper, the previously scattergun ergonomics have been replaced by straightforward controls. The Clubman cabin is very stylish, with attractive cabin fittings and lots of soft-touch surfaces. Chic two-tone cabin trim options and abundant attractive faux alloy trim. Cargo space is reasonable with the rear seat in place and versatile with it folded.
Comments

Though the Countryman is an XXL size it still looks like a MINI. Very elegant interior and reasonable cargo space. The Clubman and Countryman are similar in size and concept that, to outsiders, overlap one another. 

Pricing

The 2L Cooper S is priced $3000 higher than the 1.5L triple. The John Cooper Works version of the Countryman is priced $6600  higher than the Cooper S. The hybrid commands a $12,700 supplement over the all-wheel drive 1.5L Cooper with automatic transmission. Leather and cloth seating and all leather seating options are very expensive, as are metallic paint, L.E.D. headlamps and satellite radio.

Reliability
Below average. Servicing costs are similar to those for a German luxury car. Short powertrain warranty with no coverage past four years/80,000 km.

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.5L-3 T* (134 HP)*, 2L-4T (189 HP: John Cooper Works: 228 HP)

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

City Fuel Economy:  9.5L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 7.2L/100 km
Active Safety Features: None
Additional airbags: Passenger side knee airbag
Warranty: 4/80,000 with no further powertrain warranty.

Current Generation Debut:  
Country of Origin: Unknown

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Mercedes-Benz B250

 

NOT RATED

 

 

What’s new
Mercedes proposes a single well-equipped Avantgarde model for 2018. A rearview camera is standard equipment this year. 

Comments
The cabin of the B-Class is fronted by an oversized dashboard displaying big, clear gauges. Comfortable seats and good room front and rear but the rear seat is oddly shaped and does not suit all physiques. Attractive cabin materials. Only one engine, a 2L 208 horsepower gasoline turbo four with 258 lb.-ft. of torque, is offered in Canada. Power reaches the front, or optionally all wheels, via a seven-speed dual clutch automated manual transmission with Economy, Sport and Manual modes. A stop-start system that shuts off the engine when the car is stopped, is standard. The 2L four is acceptably smooth, and while the seven-speed automatic shifts smoothly, its mission is to reach the highest gear as quickly as possible, and if reluctant to deliver a lower gear, even when asked. 

Pricing

Blind spot monitors, power front seats, sunroof, automatic climate control and L.E.D. headlamps are all standard on the B250 for 2018. All-wheel drive, marketed as 4Matic, costs $2300. A number of options, including metallic paint and satellite radio, are overpriced. The navigation and Active Park assist options are reasonably priced. Good value leasing. 

Reliability
Not rated, insufficient data. Predicted reliability is below average. The B-Class is sold only in limited-edition electric form in the U.S., but it is the mechanical twin to the new CLA so mechanical breakdowns in the U.S. should be easily remedied. However, sourcing body parts in the event of a collision in the U.S. could be a problem. Short powertrain warranty. Mercedes-Benz 36 month service contract ($799) that covers the 20,000, 40,000 and 60,000 km scheduled services, is highly recommended.

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2L-4 T (208 HP)
Transmissions: 7A (dual clutch automated manual) 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy: 9.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 6.6L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Standard blind spot warnings and active brake assist. 
Additional airbags: Front seat knee airbags and outboard rear airbags

Warranty: 4/80,000 with no powertrain warranty afterward

Current Generation Debut: 2013
Country of Origin: Germany

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA

 

NOT RATED

 

What's New
Like free-wheeling popular in the 1930s, the transmission "Sailing" feature disengages the transmission and returns the engine to idle when car is coasted with no throttle applied. A rearview camera is standard for 2018 and there are various packaging changes, including a new AMG Performance Studio option group.

Comments
Built using a flexible component set that underpins all Mercedes-Benz front-wheel drive vehicles, the CLA is an example of what the German carmakers call a four-door coupe. The CLA is considerably lower than its B250 cousin and has significantly less cabin space. The CLA's cabin is dominated by an over-scaled dashboard that looks like it is was borrowed from a bigger vehicle. Fit, finish and materials are much better than Mercedes-Benz was doing just a few years ago but are a bit disappointing at this price. Most CLAs will feature the same 208 horsepower turbo 2L inline four and seven-speed automated manual transmission used in the B-Class. The engine and transmission work well enough but the car does not deliver the serenity expected of a luxury brand. The 375 horsepower AMG niche model is exclusively all-wheel drive. The CLA is assembled in Hungary to hold the line on production costs. 

Pricing
The CLA is aggressively priced for a car with a storied grille badge but it is a bit of a ruse as it is simply a mainstream compact car trading off the Mercedes mystique. All-wheel drive, marketed at 4Matic, standard on the CLA45, is a $2200 option on the CLA250. The Premium package is priced to reflect the value of its content, which includes L.E.D. headlights and blind spot monitors. The Premium Plus option group, with Keyless Go, twin power front seats with a memory feature and foot gesture trunk operation as its key features, is very good value. y overpriced, with the Sport package being good value. Overpriced Sport and Night option packages. Reasonably priced sunroof, park assist and navigation options but the satellite radio is overpriced as is metallic paint. The AMG variant offers an extra 167 horsepower but is priced $4400 more than a CLA250 4Matic. Good value leasing.  

Reliability
New car, not rated. Based on the latest version of the front-wheel drive architecture as the A-Class and B-Class, the previous generation of which does not have an enviable reputation for reliability. Predicted reliability is below average. Short powertrain warranty. The Mercedes-Benz 36 month service contract ($799) that covers the 20,000, 40,000 and 60,000 km scheduled services, is priced at $799 for the CLA250 and $1,599 for the AMG43, is highly recommended.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 T (208 HP*, 375 HP AMG) 

Transmissions: 7A automated manual 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive*, all-wheel drive 

City Fuel Economy:  9.6L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Attention Assist, Driver Drowsiness Monitor and Collision Prevention Assist are standard. Available  safety equipment includes blind spot detection and lane-keeping assist

Addtional airbags: driver's side knee airbag

Warranty: 4/80,000 with no further powertrain warranty

Current Generation Debut:  2014
Country of Origin:  Hungary

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Nissan Leaf

 
NEW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s new
The second-generation Leaf has just gone on sale.
Comments
The second-generation Leaf, built on the same 2700 mm wheelbase, is essentially the same size as its predecessor, but up to 83 kilograms lighter. The new electric motor produces 147 horsepower, 40% more than before and 236 lb-ft of torque, 26% greater than on the first Leaf. Range has increased as well, with up to 241 kilometers available under optimal conditions. Nissan notes that a stronger battery with greater range and performance will be offered during the 2019 model year. The battery pack is now more compact, aiding packaging. All Leafs are equipped with a 480 V fast charging port. Both 115V and 220V charging cables are included on the 2018 Leaf. ProPilot, Nissan's new safety system, which maintains a following distance (from 29 km/h to 100 km/h) with the car in front, can also helps drivers maintain their lane position and bring the car to a full stop if the traffic ahead stops. The car can then, if the driver desires, accelerate the car again as well. Nissan's e-Pedal allows drivers to stop the car without touching the brake pedal. ConnectSM, with an iOS-Android interface, can monitor the performance parameters of the car and perform various functions from your cell phone.

While less overtly "cuddly" than its predecessor, the new Leaf's exterior design once again lacks the gravitas expected for a car which is Nissan's world-wide technology super halo car. A lost opportunity. Nissan has expended more effort on the cabin which appears to be a big improvement over what it replaces. The gauge package looks less amateur than before and the large dash infotainment screen, bracketed with easily fathomed buttons and knobs, looks good. Climate controls echo the look of the pieces in the last Leaf but are logical enough to use. The rest of the cabin is attractive and it looks more upscale than before. Heated seats, front and rear and a heated steering wheel, important to get occupants warm and minimize the use of the actual heating that consumes a lot of power.

Pricing
At just under $36 000 the base Leaf S enjoys equipment such as heated seats and steering wheel, L.E.D. lights and autonomous emergency braking. The SV trim, with Nissan's ProPilot, navigation, blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, a power driver's seat and alloy wheels, is priced to reflect the value of the additional equipment. The leather upholstery, branded audio equipment and heated mirrors standard on the SL justify its $2400 supplement quite adequately. Ontario offers a $12,000 rebate for those who buy or lease a new Leaf but makes buyers wait a protracted time for their rebates. 


Reliability
Not rated, new model. The previous Leaf was reliable. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB


Occupants: 2/3


Engines:

Electric Motor (147 HP) 

Transmissions: None 


Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive


City Fuel Economy:  n/a
Highway Fuel Economy: n/a


Active Safety Features: Radar cruise control with full stop and go, lane keep assist and blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors. 


Additonal airbags:: n/a


Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000, 8/160,000 (batteries)


Current Generation Debut:  2018


Country of Origin:  United States


IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Subaru WRX/STI

 

 

 

 

What’s new
The WRX and STI, still based on the previous-generation Impreza platform, returns for one last year before renewal. 

Performance

The WRX and STI offer phenomenal performance and exceptional balance, especially when they are roomy and practical enough to serve as an everyday family car. Refinement has improved over the years and the 2018 STI is remarkably smooth and quiet for a dedicated sporting car. While very traditional, the cabin of the WRX/STI is far from dated and is assembled from attractive components. Seat comfort is good, front and rear, and legroom is ample. 

Comments
Both engines can be hooked up to a six-speed manual transmission but the CVT automatic is exclusive to the WRX and not offered on the higher-performance STI variant.

Pricing

WRX: With  a sunroof, power driver's seat, blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors and active L.E.D. headlights, the Sport trim upgrade is good value, as is the Sport-Tech, which adds luxuries like navigation, keyless go and an upgraded audio system. The EyeSight package, with pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, is exceptional value. WRX STI: Trim upgrades on the STI are good value. With STI pricing up to $10,000 higher than a WRX of the same trim level, the extra 37 horsepower of the STI is looking very expensive. The VW Golf GTI is the closest competitor to the WRX but, with the demise of the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO model, there is no natural competitor for the STI. Good value leasing.  

Reliability:
Predicted reliability is average at best for the first three or four years, declining after that. There is powertrain warranty past the four year 80,000 km basic warranty.    

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD


Occupants: 2/3


Engines:

2L.4 T (268 HP), 2.5L-flat four (305 HP)

Transmissions: 6M, 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: None


Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000 km


Current Generation Debut: 2015


Country of Origin:  Japan


IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


Premium Compact Crossovers

2018 Audi Q3

 

 

What’s new
No changes of note for what should be the last year for the current Q3.

Performance
The 2L gasoline turbo four sounds like a diesel at idle and emits a gruff soundtrack until into second gear, after which it becomes acceptably refined. Acceleration is brisk, rather than quick, and the engine and conventional six-speed automatic transmission work well together. Handling is steady, but the Q3's ride is quite choppy in town, especially when shod with the 20 inch wheels of our test vehicle. Nicely weighted and geared steering but little road feel reaches the hands of the driver. Road and wind noise are well suppressed.
Other than the way the alloy trim fillets are installed in their panels, the Q3's interior is elegant and carefully constructed from attractive materials. Big, clear gauges are separated by a crisply marked electronic display. A large format screen perches on top of the centre of the dashboard and, with brilliantly sharp graphics, reflect the manipulations of the Audi MMI control system that occupies the top reaches of the dash centre stack. The MMI permits access to the navigation, audio and telephone systems but only one function at a time. Navigation and audio system glitches were experienced in our short time with the vehicle. Located far away at the bottom of the dash centre stack, the Q3's multiple tiny buttons for fan speed and air distribution are impractical for in-car use. With multiple adjustments including thigh support bolsters, the Q3's front seats are very comfortable. Good seat travel permits even the very tall go get comfortable behind the wheel. The rear seat is supportive, but legroom is very tight, making the Q3 unsuitable for transporting a quartet of adults for more than a short hop. Cargo space is reasonable front to rear and side to side, but height below the window line is limited.

Comments
The sole powertrain is a 2L four hooked up to a six-speed automatic transmission sending power to the front wheels, or optionally, to all four wheels.

Pricing

The least expensive Q3 is the $34,900 front-wheel drive Komfort model. All-wheel drive is a $2500 option on all three trim levels. Upgrading from the Komfort to Progressiv trim level is good value but the Technik range topper is expensive for what you are getting. Considering its small size, limited utility and unimpressive power output, the Q3 is quite expensive for what you are getting. The larger Q5 represents better proposition than the Q3 and is worth the extra money Audi charges to upsize. Despite its shortcomings and its advancing age, the Q3 is selling very well in Canada.  
Reliability:
Predicted reliability is average at best for the first three or four years, declining after that. There is powertrain warranty past the four year 80,000 km basic warranty.    

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD


Occupants: 2/3


Engines:

2L.4 T (200 HP)

Transmissions: 6A* 


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


City Fuel Economy:  11.9L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 8.4L/100 km


Active Safety Features: None


Additional Airbags: None


Warranty: 4/80,000 only, with no other powertrain coverage


Current Generation Debut: 2012, 2015 in North America


Country of Origin:  Spain


IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA

 

 

What’s new
GLA: Minor cabin updates including a new gauge package. Standard rearview camera for 2018 and L.E.D. headlamp option replaces the previous xenon headlamp upgrade. AMG variant: L.E.D. headlamps replace the previous xenon headlamps. Packaging changes on all models. 

Comments
The GLA is constructed on the Mercedes budget-car platform that underpins the A, B and CLA models. Unlike the B and CLA, all-wheel drive is standard on the GLA. The main competitor for the GLA currently is the Audi Q3, but the Infiniti QX30, based on the same Mercedes platform, is now on sale. Styling is interesting, if not actually attractive, and eschews the Banana profile, which former design chief, Dr. Thomas Weber, claimed imparted a visual strength to Mercedes vehicles. The cabin, with its overscaled dashboard stocked with large gauges, is essentially lifted from the B and CLA. The appearance of materials used by Mercedes has increased steadily over the past 10 years and the cabin of the GLA looks acceptably plush. The all-black cabin, including the headliner, made our test vehicle a gloomy place to occupy. Cabin space is sufficient up front but rear seat legroom is tight. Except for ground clearance, the Mercedes B250 4Matic, with greater passenger and cargo space and better visibility, is a smarter, more versatile choice than the GLA. Poor navigation system graphics as well as a virtually unlistenable audio system.
Driven briefly by the APA, the 208 horsepower turbo four provided good urge and was acceptably refined. The seven-speed dual clutch automated manual transmission works smoothly, but is determined to reach the highest gear possible in the shortest time and is reluctant in summon a lower gear when the driver requests. Steering is reasonably precise and nicely weighted, but lacking in feel. Solid brakes. 

Comments
All-wheel drive is standard on all GLA variants. Two 2L turbo fours, a 208 horsepower one as well as a 375 horsepower version marketed under the AMG banner, are available. 

Pricing

The base GLA is well equipped. The Premium and Sport packages are priced to reflect their extra content but the Premium Plus package is a bit on the pricey side considering its additional features. Reasonable value for the individual navigation, sunroof, navigation and self-parking options. Overpriced metallic paint and satellite radio options. Selecting a full range of options can make the GLA a very expensive car, one that is priced beyond its mandate as a compact CUV, even if it does wear a luxury car badge. The AMG variant is priced so much higher than the mainstream GLA that it cannot really be considered to be in the same market segment. Instead of a GLA, take a look at the B250 4Matic, it is much cheaper, roomier, more comfortable and has better outward vision. 
Reliability: Not rated, insufficient information. Based on the latest version of the front-wheel drive architecture as the B-Class, the previous generation of which did not have an enviable reputation for reliability. Predicted reliability is below average. Short powertrain warranty. Mercedes-Benz 36 month service contract ($799 for the GLA250 and $1599 for the AMG variant) that covers the 20,000, 40,000 and 60,000 km scheduled services, is highly recommended.   

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD


Occupants: 2/3


Engines:

2.4L‑4T (208HP, AMG: 375 HP)

Transmissions: 7A dual clutch* 


Drive Layout: All-wheel drive


City Fuel Economy:  10.6L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.6L/100 km


Active Safety Features: Attention Assist, Driver Drowsiness Monitor and Collision Prevention Assist are standard. Available safety equipment includes blind spot detection and lane-keeping assist


Additional Airbags: No information availabole


Warranty: 4/80,000 with no additional powertrain warranty


Current Generation Debut:  2014


Country of Origin:  Germany


IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: