“Whether you’re looking for a hatchback, sedan, or a micro car, the 2015 model year has all-new vehicles in that segment and more…”
If you’re in the market for a new car but don’t haven an unlimited budget, fear not… you have quite a few options.
VW Golf ($18,995)
The VW Golf is undeniably popular. With more than 30 million sold around the world since it first hit the streets, it just keeps getting better. For 2015, the ever-popular 3 or 5-door variant comes with a new engine, new architecture and new sheet metal.
Based upon Volkswagen’s latest technological masterpiece, the “MQB Platform”, the Golf embodies the spirit of the original, and incorporates all of the latest engineering advances. It is the safest, best-handling and roomiest Golf of all time.
Thanks to the use of high-strength steel, it’s more rigid, but also safe, with better handling. Though the Golf has grown in size it has dropped in weight by up to 35.8 kg/79 pounds (depending on model.)
An all-new, 1.8L direct-injected turbocharged engine, delivering 170 horsepower and 184 pound power it-feet of torque.
The shape and design elements remain as defined, as ever, with a distinctive C-pillar and roofline framing classic Golf side windows, but the striking new front end and steeply sloped hood leave no doubt this is an all-new model.
Subaru Legacy ($23,495)
The all-new Subaru Legacy will pleasantly surprise those in need of a mid-size sedan with all-wheel drive.
Priced under $24K, its trunk accommodates for 425L, there’s room for five, and its 2.5L, 4-cylinder engine produces 175 horsepower.
On the base model, you have the choice of a 6-speed manual or an available Lineartronic CVT with paddle shifters and manual mode.
One of the weakest points of the Legacy was probably the interior. For 2015, it’s significantly updated. Its infotainment system also receives a much needed revamping. Inside the entry-level Legacy 2.5i you’ll find an AM/FM stereo with SiriusXM satellite radio, a Radio Data Broadcast System, an in-dash CD player, a 6.2-inch multi-function touchscreen display, Subaru STARLINK connectivity with smartphone integration, a rear-view camera. Furthermore, the multi-touch display offers swipe and scrolling gestures, similar to smartphones and tablets.
MINI Cooper ($20,990)
MINI’s street legal, go kart-like Cooper is now in its third generation and better than before.
This pint-sized 3-door can be outfitted with a choice of two new engines: either a 3- cylinder engine with a peak output of 134 horsepower or, if you move up to the S trim, you’ll get a 4-cylinder engine with an output of 189. You can match either engine with either a 6-speed manual or an available 6-speed automatic.
And as the MINI Cooper grows up, it also grows in dimensions. It’s 114 mm longer, 44 mm wider and 7 mm higher than its predecessor.
Honda Fit ($14,495)
Unveiled at the 2014 North American International Auto Show, the all-new, five-passenger, five-door vehicle comes with style and flair.
And just because it doesn’t have a huge price tag, it doesn’t mean you don’t get some pretty great standard features.
Those include things like: Bluetooth connectivity, a multi-angle rearview camera, and Expanded View Driver’s Mirror.
For customers looking for premium features in the subcompact segment, the Fit will be available with smart entry with push-button start, heated side mirrors, heated front seats, Honda’s exclusive LaneWatch display and a 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen interface with HondaLink smartphone connectivity.
The 2015 Fit marks the debut of an all-new direct-injected 1.5-litre DOHC i-VTEC engine. It produces 130 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 114 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,600 rpm. Engine output is increased by 13 horsepower and 8 lb-ft of torque compared to the outgoing engine
For those who love the versatility of Honda’s exclusive Magic Seats, they continue through this generation. It provides an amazing 1492.3 L of cargo space when the second row seats are folded flat.
Nissan Micra ($9,998)
It’s small and comes with a small price tag, but expect big things from the all-new Nissan Micra.
At one of Canada’s lowest MSRPs – it competes directly with the Mitsubishi Mirage for that title – it’s amazing what you can get for so little.
The base model comes with manual windows and a manual transmission. It handles quite well and the cabin isn’t particularly loud when driving at highway speeds.
The Micra is designed to not only meet or exceed Canadian safety regulations, but exceed them. Micra’s standard safety systems include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) (includes front supplemental air bags, front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags, roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS).
Under its hood is a 1.6L, 4-cylinder engine that produces 109 horsepower and 107 lb-ft of torque. Okay, it’s not a lot but certainly enough to get you around.
Available in three models, the Micra S, SV and top-of-the-line SR, these micro cars will be able to be matched with a 5-speed manual transmission, or a 4-speed automatic transmission.
Whether you’re looking for a hatchback, sedan, or a micro car, the 2015 model year has all-new vehicles in that segment and more.
When I got mine, it had authentic woodworm in the bits that made it look like a mini Brit version of the Woodies that were so popular on this side of the Atlantic at the time.”
Yet another version of the popular Mini is out and selling for around $120.
Well, it is a LEGO brick replica of the original Cooper Mk VII, produced between August 1997 and July 1998. That was the last generation of the original very mini-Mini, which was soon replaced by the Mini on steroids that BMW now produces very profitably.
Interestingly, the price tag for the beautifully crafted “toy” is about the same as I paid for my used 1966 Mini Countryman Mark II back in 1974.
The LEGO version bears many authentic details, from the classic green and white color scheme with white wing mirrors and racing stripes. When I got mine, it had authentic woodworm in the bits that made it look like a mini Brit version of the Woodies that were so popular on this side of the Atlantic at the time.
Dad suggested we strip out the wood but the garage guy thought the whole darn thing might fall apart if we did. Oh, brother! My dad, as a model plane painter of some repute, bought a few cans of paint and carefully painted the wood black. Then he hand painted the rest of the body blue. Couldn’t see a brush stroke when he had finished.
The model has doors, hood and trunk that open – more than you could say for mine on many occasions. Sporty fog lights are featured as well as a detailed four-cylinder engine – transversely mounted, of course. There’s also separate spare tire compartment. Had one of those to house a spare that was as bald as I am now.
You can even remove the roof to access a tan colored interior with patterned seats, veneer-style dashboard, turning steering wheel, and moving gearshift and handbrake. I had a hole in my roof at one point but the only thing that came through it was rain, by the bucketful.
This Cooper model measures more than 11cm in height, stretches 25cm in length and is about 14cm wide. Dimensionally it doesn’t sound much smaller that my real live, constantly stalling machine. Mind you that’s what happens when you aquaplane through gigantic duck pond-sized puddles on the narrow back lanes I travelled through the rural northwest of Lancashire on my way to journalism school.
The set is part of the Creator Expert series and I must say the thought of putting together 1,077-parts is somewhat daunting. Perhaps no more so than my old banger after a breakdown. A girlfriend at the time always wondered why it would quit in the darkest back lanes. Which reminds me, the LEGO car accessories includes a picnic basket, bottle and blanket… I had a blanket in the back of mine but it wasn’t for picnic use.
Ah, those fond memories will come flooding back if Santa does his job this year.
Canadian Olympic team sponsors BMW and MINI are celebrating their association with imaginative video.
The BMW tribute (above) is heartwarming while MINI’s is plain fun as a garage full of MINIs sing “O Canada”.
To mark the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, BMW premiered its 60-second spot as part of its integrated Olympic marketing campaign, Powering Performance. The campaign communicates the parallels between the high performance of BMW vehicles and the high performance of Canadian Olympic athletes.
“At BMW, peak performance, innovation, and style are at our core,” said Kevin Marcotte, Director of Marketing at BMW Canada. “Powering Performance brings to life the synergies between our brand and the elite athletes competing in Sochi, and celebrates our Team BMW Olympians as they keep their eye on their craft – and on gold.”
The Powering Performance platform and creative was developed by Cundari, BMW Canada’s creative agency. The campaign includes one 60-second TV spot, and three 15-second spots featuring three of six Team BMW sponsored athletes – Olympic champions Kaillie Humphries (Bobsleigh) and Charles Hamelin (Short Track Speed Skating), and first-time Olympian Roz Groenewoud (Freestyle Skiing – Halfpipe).
The spots were directed by award-winning director-photographer Shin Sugino, and feature the high-performance BMW M5, the all-new BMW 4 Series Coupé, the next generation BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle and the BMW i8, the new electric vehicle from the sub-brand BMW i.
Using the visual metaphor of “Blue Energy”, BMW’s signature colour, Powering Performance is meant to symbolize how BMW Canada is powering Canada’s athletes to achieve their best and secure their place on the Olympic podium. Topix, one of Canada’s leading post-production houses, fused the Blue Energy to each of the featured athletes as they power through every twist, turn and jaw-dropping trick. An anthemic original music track by award-winning Canadian music composer Grayson Matthews, supports the world-class visuals.
The campaign amassed more than 200 hours of rotoscoping, 150 hours of background painting, 50 versions of ‘Blue Energy’, and 500 hours of compositing to achieve the desired effect.
The TV spots are also supported by digital, out of home, consumer drive events and contesting, and social media, using hashtags #TeamBMW and #PoweringPerformance, and a two-minute dynamic behind-the-scenes spot exclusively for YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Real-time posting to digital banner ads, bmw.ca and social media will show BMW Canada’s support for Team Canada and its Team BMW athletes every step of the way.
Go online for more information on BMW Canada’s Olympic Partnership and the Powering Performance Campaign.
Over at the BMW subsidiary, MINI teamed up with Toronto creative agency Richmond
Day, Corner Store Films and SNDWRX Audio to produce a 60-second Olympics-themed online spot (above) in which a group of MINI vehicles ‘spring to life’ to perform a unique rendition of the Canadian National Anthem.
The video, aptly titled “MINI Sings O Canada”, features a musical track that was created using only the sounds emitted by the MINI vehicles themselves – a melange of MINI horns, doors closing, electronics, and engine revs, to name but a few.
VIDEO: Charles Hamelin’s Powering Performance Ad for BMW Canada
Pictures courtesy of BMW Canada: