Toyota believes their new Corolla can take the overall sales crown away from the Honda Civic.
So many cars to choose from, so few words available in this tight space!
Yes, I know that’s the complaint of every writer but we truly do have a lot of choice today. And the quality of vehicles is so much higher than it ever was so there is much to celebrate. In the run-up to 2014, I will be testing a lot of what’s new and improved.
Here, I’ll just offer you five models to consider adding to your shopping list.
The compact car segment in Canada is the biggest by far, with over 20 per cent of all vehicles sold. So, the introduction of the Mazda3 is important because it is currently the fourth best seller in this class.
The outgoing car was already one of the best handling cars and now with a lighter and sexier looking body, this new car is both eye catching and solid on the road. The base engine is a 2.0L 4-cylinder with 155hp, thanks to direct injection. The larger 2.5L engine puts out a healthy 184hp. It is the interior buyers will care most about, and the Mazda3 is a nice surprise, due to class leading available options and a high level of finish. Starting at $15,995 and running up to $29,895, there is a Mazda3 for all budgets.
2014 Toyota Corolla
Continuing with the compact car theme, the Toyota Corolla is the third best selling car in Canada but Toyota believes this new model can take the overall sales crown away from the Honda Civic. This new 2014 model is made, and partly designed, right here in Canada with our needs in mind.
The Corolla now has a longer wheelbase for amazing interior space, especially in the back seat. The dash is wide and flat for ample room and covered in nice looking and feeling materials, plus there is an available centre screen to use for the radio and backup camera. Powering the 2014 Corolla is the same 132hp 1.8L engine from the last model, with one exception: the LE Eco model has a modified valve system to improve fuel economy and pump the power to 140hp.
The biggest change is the introduction of a continuously variable transmission for a greater range of gears, improved economy, and a smooth drive.
2014 Volkswagen Golf
This new Golf will be made in Mexico along side the Beetle and Jetta sedan and will go on sale in the spring of 2014.
It’s wider and longer than the last Golf but also significantly lighter and safer. The base engine will be a new turbocharged 1.8L engine with 170hp but don’t worry the TDI diesel is carried over. The sportier GTI trim is fantastic, with an estimated 225hp, in the Canadian Model, thanks to a new 2.0L turbo engine.The interior materials used inside are almost Audi quality.
No price yet but building these new cars inside the NAFTA zone will save money and that will be reflected in the price.
The Cherokee is back and it looks nothing like that boxy truck of old.
In fact, this new, small SUV is based on the same Alfa Romeo platform used in the Dodge Dart. It is smooth and quiet and a pleasure to drive. The Cherokee is also the first vehicle in the world to be equipped with a 9-speed automatic transmission. The base engine is a 2.4L 4-cylinder with 184hp or the optional 3.2L V6 with 271hp, for just $1,300 more, offering good value.
Not to worry, Jeep fans… this new Cherokee is available with three AWD systems.
2014 Nissan Rogue
You might notice a trend with my 2014 model choices – they’re all compact cars or compact SUVs.
This is the direction Canadians are heading when it comes to buying a new vehicle. With this in mind, Nissan has an all-new Rogue compact SUV with enough room inside for three rows of seats and room for 7-passengers. This is practical for people who require extra capacity but don’t want to buy a bigger or more expensive mid-sized or larger SUV. Under the hood is a 2.5L 4-cylinder used in other Nissan products and is matched to a new continually variable transmission featuring more available ratios and reduced friction. The interior is very well executed, with a dash that looks similar to the bigger Pathfinder.
Goes on sale just before Christmas.