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sub-compact cars

The 2016 Mazda CX-3 is a new subcompact crossover.

2016 Mazda CX-3 debuts well in tough small SUV field

Among the newer car industry segments, the subcompact crossover is chock full of worthy vehicles, including the new 2016 Mazda CX-3. ...

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Chevrolet Sonic, 2012: Stepping Up Their Game In Small Car Market

Being on a budget does not mean you have to settle for a boring car. The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic offers great ...

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The Chevrolet Spark tops the 2020 cheap car list.

Chevy Spark tops 2020 cheapest car list

Six years ago, a small number of buyers in the United States could still purchase the cheapest car with a sticker ...

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Mazda2, 2012: keen handling lightweight among top sub-compacts (video)

The sub-compact car segment is increasingly popular among buyers on tight budgets and interested in saving money on rising fuels cost. ...

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2015 Nissan Versa Note is smart choice among entry level cars.

2015 Nissan Versa Note: Inexpensive but not cheap

It doesn’t seem like the Nissan Versa has been around for nine years. What might be the confusion (at least for ...

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The 2016 Scion iM is a new sub-compact hatchback.

2016 Scion iA, iM: worthy new underdog sub-compacts

It seems like only a few years ago when Scion joined the automotive community and touted its edgy, inexpensive cars. They ...

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The 2016 Scion iA is a new car in the sub-compact class.

2016 Scion iA: A new small package with attitude

The Scion iA and its sibling, the iM, are new vehicles for 2016. The iA is a sporty entry level sedan; ...

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Two questions with similar themes percolate throughout the auto industry. Consumers want to know the best car for the money and the best car money can buy. The answers are subjective. But the first question is more relevant to more buyers, and so here’s one vote for the 2018 Honda Fit. Now in its third generation and 11th year since replacing the Honda Civic hatchback, the Fit is a five-door subcompact with more interior room than its appearance indicates. Versatile, well-constructed inside and outside and value-priced, the little engine that can is arguably the best new car available in the United States for less than $20,000. The 2018 Fit is available in LX, Sport, EX and EX-L trims. All Fits have 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engines with front-wheel drive. A standard six-speed manual or optional continuously variable transmission (CVT) is available except on EX-L trim. It only has a CVT. With a manual transmission, the engine is rated at 130 horsepower. The new Sport trim (my test vehicle) has a 7-inch touchscreen interface that connects with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a six-speaker sound system. A few new styling extras include 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Also new for 2018 is an upgraded suspension and improved safety features. The Fit's interior space is impressive, including ample legroom in the back seat. Like many vehicles with manufacturer’s claims of five-passenger seating, the Fit is more appropriate for four adults. The second-row seating called “Magic Seat” is innovative. The 60/40-split rear bench folds flat into the floor, and the seat bottoms prop up to provide upright space for tall objects. With both rear seatbacks folded down, the Fit has 52.7 cubic feet of cargo room, not too much less than some smaller crossovers and the best in its segment. With the Fit's front passenger seat folded flat, items nearly eight-feet long will fit. The Honda Fit shouldn’t be expected to break land speed records. But for its class, it’s no slouch. Its 0-60 mph test speed of 8.8 seconds is among the strongest in its segment. Gas mileage averages are 29 miles per gallon in city driving, 36 miles per gallon on the freeway. On the open road, the Honda Fit drives predictably. It’s a lightweight vehicle, so it doesn’t have a lot of authority. And compared to previous years’ models, the new Fit has more engine noise at freeway speeds. With three two friends and a combined occupant weight of about 550 pounds, the new Fit fared well and without issues on a 275-mile round-trip from Sacramento to Half Moon Bay. The engine's high pitch is prevalent, particularly exceeding 70 miles per hour. But it's not problematic. Still, the Fit is at its best in city driving. It maneuvers well through traffic, has a tight turning radius and is confident, as it should be, in tight parking spaces. Overall road vision is impressive, in part because the Fit has 10 windows. It’s another reason why the Fit has a larger presence than its subcompact status. The manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for the top-line EX-L model just surpasses $20,000, but the remaining fit trims are all less expensive. The MSRP for the Sport model is $17,500. With its delivery charge, the total is $18,390. The topic of best car money can buy is still open for discussion as is the best car for the money. But the 2018 Honda Fit makes its case just as it has for the past decade.

2018 Honda Fit: money car for budget-minded buyers

Two questions with similar themes percolate throughout the auto industry. Consumers want to know the best car for the money and ...

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2017 Fiat 500c Abarth: fun but flawed subcompact

Six years after Fiat returned to the United States, the Italian carmaker continues to struggle in the subcompact market. It’s a ...

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The 2016 500X is a new subcompact SUV for the Italian carmaker.

2016 Fiat 500X: Little SUV has faults, but rules the road

Four years after the Italian carmaker return to the United States, the 2016 Fiat 500X joins the little car family as ...

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The 2017 Toyota Yaris iA is value-priced but has a lot of standard features.

2017 Toyota Yaris iA: New start for stellar subcompact

What a short, odd life it’s been for the Toyota Yaris iA and Yaris, formerly the Scion iA and the Scion ...

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The 2016 Honda Fit remains unchanged for the 2015 model.

2016 Honda Fit: Hatchback shines as best car value in U.S.

Nearing its 10th year of availability in the United States, the Honda Fit is quickly accelerating its way toward the iconic ...

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The Fiat 500 Pop model has a lot to offer for $18,000.

2014 FIat 500: Proud little Italian subcompact

Since the FIAT 500 returned to the United States four years ago for the first time in about 30 years, I’ve ...

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The 2014 Ford Fiesta has an interior and exterior makeover.

NEW CAR REVIEW: 2014 Ford Fiesta: Sub-compact star

Now 38 years old and a half-dozen generations into its tenure, the Ford Fiesta joins its siblings, the Ford Escort and ...

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The 2014 Nissan Versa Note has huge front headlights.

CAR REVIEW: 2014 Nissan Versa Note: Roomy, good value

The Nissan Versa debuted in 2007 and it’s firmly in the mix with a good chunk of quality sub-compacts in a ...

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The 2015 Honda Fit.

PREVIEW: Honda Fit, 2015: Quicker, better mpg

The Honda Fit, which debuted in 2006 as a 2007 model, has been heavily praised as among the best bargains in ...

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