2020 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - Superminis

Superminis (referred to also as B-Segment cars) were once cramped, stark, slow and noisy. Those days are gone. Levels of comfort, cabin space, performance and refinement have increased to such an extent that for many people, there is no need to move beyond this segment unless you are seeking greater cabin space. Desirable features such as air-conditioning, power windows, locks and mirrors are either standard or optional on all of the cars in this category. Luxury features like leather seating, navigation systems, Keyless Go and heated steering wheels, are optional on many cars in this segment. Active safety features such as autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning and radar cruise control, once offered only on super-luxury cars, are increasingly available on cars in this segment.

This segment is very fluid this year with a number of unexpected changes. Nissan discontinued its Micra and Versa Note models, leaving the Kicks as its entry level car. However, after saying it would not sell the new Versa sedan in Canada, Nissan announced that the car will be available here by the fall of 2020. It looked like Mitsubishi had discontinued the Mirage, but released a very late 2020 model which itself will step aside for an early 2021 Mirage in the summer of 2020. While the new Hyundai Venue is marketed as a crossover, it lacks all-wheel drive, so, like the Nissan Kicks, is covered in the Supermini section. Not returning for 2020 are the Fiat 500, Ford Fiesta and the Smart ForTwo.  


The better cars in this class are economical to operate, very reliable, and have excellent resale value. However, unless you are a cash buyer, please pay attention to monthly payments for financing and especially leasing, which are often as high as they are for more expensive cars in the next size class up.

Once covered in this section, the MINI Cooper has been moved to the Premium Compact section as most examples carry enough options to push the model out of the supermini price segment.

Chevrolet Spark  Hyundai Veloster  2021 Mitsubishi Mirage  2021 Nissan Versa 
Honda Fit  Kia Rio  Nissan Kicks  Toyota Yaris 
Hyundai Accent       

2020 Chevrolet Spark

 


 

What’s new
No changes of note for 2020.

Performance
The $9998 manual transmission LS base model tested by the APA was a revelation. The 1.4L four is smooth, flexible and surprisingly punchy. While clutch engagement is a bit late in its travel, the clutch is light and easy to modulate. The gearchange is not the last word in precision but is nicely weighted and never fails to find the gear selected. Overall gearing is a bit on the high side, which permits low-rev cruising but does demand you drop a gear for even modest hills. Steering lacks in road feel but is quick and nicely weighted. The brakes work well but could use greater initial bite. Some controlled lean is experienced while cornering but handling is sound and is allied to a surprisingly supple ride for a car with such a short wheelbase. Driven briefly, the CVT works unobtrusively and keeps revs low while cruising at highway speeds. Wind noise and road noise are well suppressed but tire noise borders on intrusive.
Spark drivers face a clear, very conventional appearing gauge package. Even on the base model, the top-centre of the dash is dominated by a large touch screen, below of which are simple audio controls as well as a straightforward three dial climate controls. Seat fabrics and other cabin trim are more attractive than most people will expect for $9998. Some APA testers thought the front seats to be a bit on the small side, they were quite deeply padded and acceptably supportive. Access to the rear seat is better than expected and rear seat space (especially on the passenger side if the front passenger gives up some room for those in the rear) is surprising for such a small car. Trunk space, while not copious, is tall and regularly shaped. The sound quality of the base two-speaker audio system in the Spark LS is impressive and even the base car is equipped with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay.
Comments
Though sold for many generations overseas under the Daewoo Matiz nameplate, the new Spark is only the second-generation of the car to reach North America. The Spark is powered by a 1.4L four that produces 98 horsepower that sends power to the front wheels via either a five-speed manual transmission or a CVT. Available active safety equipment includes blind spot and lane departure warnings as well as low-speed forward auto braking.

Pricing

With the departure of the Nissan Micra, the $9998 base Spark LS manual is the cheapest car available in Canada. It will be interesting to see if Micra buyers migrate to the Spark this year. The LS base manual transmission model lacks air-conditioning, even as an option. Air conditioning is packaged with the optional CVT, but only about $2400 of additional price is contained in the upgrade GM charges $4300 for. The 1LT trim upgrade includes a power equipment (windows, locks and mirrors) group and alloy wheels at a compelling price that represents an equipment level that would suit most mainstream buyers. The 2LT, with a forward collision and lane departure warnings, as well as low-speed auto braking, is reasonable value but renders the car expensive for what it is compared to cars one size up. Though less well-equipped than a top-spec Spark, a Kia Rio LX+ hatchback is a better car overall. Poor lease value with monthly payments devised to discourage leasing. 

Reliability
Insufficient data on reliability but few complaints have been received regarding the current Spark that went on sale for the 2014 model year. Previous GM cars from South Korea had a poor reputation for reliability.   

Specifications


Body Style: 4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.4L-4 (98 HP)

Transmissions: 5M, CVT* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy:  7.9L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.2L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Optional forward collision warning with low-speed autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning
Additional Airbags:  Standard front occupant knee airbags and rear seat outboard side airbags. 
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2016
Country of Origin:  South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: NR

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: NR

Sm. Front Pass.: NR

Head/Seat: NR

Rear: NR

Headlight: NR

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Honda Fit

 


 

What’s new
While other markets got a new Fit this year, Canada did not, and the Fit nameplate will not return for 2021.  

Comments
Fit styling is crisp and clean, with an interesting Pininfarina-esque profile indentation.
Passenger space, cargo capacity and versatility are all extraordinary for a car of the Fit's size. The Fit has an attractive cabin as well as an array of luxury features like Keyless Go, sunroof, and heated leather seats. All Fits are equipped with Bluetooth phone hookup as well as a multi-view rear camera.
Power stems from a direct-injected 1.5L four that produces 130 horsepower. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual or a CVT. 

Pricing

The base DX trim, lacking air conditioning or automatic transmission, even as options, is offered simply to be able to advertise the lowest possible base price. The next model, the LX, has air conditioning but does not offer automatic transmission, taking it out of the running for most buyers. The price gap between the DX and the LX is roughly $1000 higher than its extra content can justify. Compared with the LX, the LX HS, with automatic transmission and the Honda Sensing active safety suite, is a bargain. The Sport HS trim upgrade is very good value as is the EX HS trim upgrade. The EX-L Navi HS adds navigation and leather seating, making it a nicely equipped small car. However, Fit pricing is such, that unless you live in a congested urban environment where the tidy footprint and spectacularly space-efficient body of the Fit will serve you well, Honda actively discourages non cash buyers from picking a Fit. Monthly payments for the Civic LX sedan are actually less (considerably less for financing) than those for a Fit LX, prompting most buyers migrate to the bigger car. 

Reliability
Above average reliability is prediced. Some paint problems reported on 2016 and 2017 models. 

Specifications


Body Style: 4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.5 L-4 (130 HP)

Transmissions: 6M, CVT* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy:  7.0L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  5.9L/100 km

Active Safety Features: CVT-equipped cars feature a forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warnings, a lane keep assist system and adaptive cruise control. 

Additional airbags: None


Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2015
Country of Origin:  Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: NR

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: NR

Head/Seat: G

Rear: NR

Headlight: P

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Hyundai Accent

 


 

What’s new
Only the hatchback body style returns for 2020. The new Venue has replaced the Accent as Hyundai's entry level car in the U.S. but the Accent is too successful in Canada to discontinue. Revisions to the 1.6L four include dual port fuel injection, a new thermal management module, a high energy ignition coil, a narrow water jacket core, a reduction of horsepower from 130 to 120 and a new Smartstream moniker. The previous six-speed automatic transmission has been replaced by a new CVT that Hyundai markets as the Smartstream IVT. Hyundai claims their CVT has been programmed to mimic the operation of a conventional automatic transmission. 

Performance
The previous version of the 1.6L four was strong, flexible and, unless really extended, when is got a touch raucous, smooth and quiet. It is unknown how the updated Smartstream engine will perform or sound. The Accent's steering is quick, and nicely weighted but it reveals little of the road beneath its wheels. Handling is crisp but at the expense of ride, which is very abrupt, to the point of being a deal breaker for some buyers. Wind noise is low and road noise itself is subdued but the overly firm suspension is clunky over large road imperfections. Braking is strong, with a reassuringly firm pedal and no lost motion. 
The driver faces a dashboard stocked with big, soberly-designed gauges of remarkable clarity. Controls for the climate and audio functions could not be more straightforward and the dash infotainment screen is a snap to use. The Accent's seat heaters are quick and the heated steering wheel was most welcome on cold days in February when the APA had the car. Strong heating and defrosting.     
The front seats are comfortable and the driving position is commanding. The tilt and telescope steering wheel allows most drivers to find a comfortable seating position. The rear seat backrest is a bit too vertical and rear seat legroom is tight unless those in front take some pity on those in back and move their seats up.

Comments
Only the hatchback body style is available in Canada for 2020. The sole engine offered is a dual port injected 1.6L four that produces 120 horsepower. Power reaches the front wheels via either a six-speed manual transmission on the Essential and Preferred, with a CVT available on all trims and exclusive to the Ultimate range topper.  Active safety equipment has been migrating downmarket for a few years; forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking are available on the new Accent.

Pricing 
Without air conditioning or an automatic transmission, the base Essential hatchback is more about a low advertised MSRP than offering a car people are interested in buying. The Essential Comfort package, with air conditioning, automatic transmission, Bluetooth and power windows, is reasonable value but it lacks the keyless entry and cruise control many buyers would expect at this price. What is needed is for the Essential Comfort package to have the equipment most buyers are looking for without forcing them into the next model up to get key components. The Preferred trim, with alloy wheels, the iOS/Android cellphone interface, heated front seats and keyless entry, is great value but buyers are compelled to buy items they don't need, like alloy wheels, to get the cruise control, keyless entry and the iOS/Android phone interface that they want.  With a sunroof, auto climate control, Keyless Go, a heated steering wheel, L.E.D. headlights, a forward collision warning with self braking capability, the Ultimate trim upgrade is comprehensively equipped and a bargain considering its additional content. Similarly equipped, an Accent can generate a monthly payment close enough to that of an Elantra to make many buyers migrate to the larger model. Many Accent buyers are picking it because they inhabit congested urban environs and like the practical hatchback body style. Poor value leasing demonstrates Hyundai does not want this car back after a lease. 

Reliability
Unknown reliabilty. Engine failures, previously not a problem for the Accent, are becoming more common and this revised 1.6L four is an unknown power unit. In addition, the new CVT transmission is unprovent. Servicing the car under the "Severe Service" maintenance schedule at a Hyundai dealership is recommended as is keeping all service receipts in the event of engine failure so Hyundai can not sidestep their obligations. An extended powertrain warranty is advised if you plan to keep the car past the five year/100,000 km warranty.    

Specifications


Body Style: 4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.6L-4 (120 HP)

Transmissions: 6M, CVT 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy: 7.3L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6L/100 km

Active Safety Features: Optional forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking

Additional Airbags: None


Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2018
Country of Origin:  South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Sm. Front Pass.: NR

Head/Seat: NR

Rear: NR

Headlight: NR

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Hyundai Veloster and Veloster N

 


 

What’s new
The Turbo-Tech trim has been discontinued, leaving a single Turbo model. A new 2L Luxury trim delivers some upmarket features without having to buy the turbo engine. 

Performance

The APA had an opportunity to drive the high-performance "N" version of the Veloster and came away very impressed.
Power stems from a turbocharged 2L four that cranks out 275 horsepower. The engine is strong, flexible, zingy and acceptably muted in day-to-day operation. However, if you engage the “N” mode, the engine bellows as it approaches the redline and pops and crackles on the over-run. Hyundai wisely makes the “fun” aspects of the N available when you are in the mood for them but lets you enjoy reasonable refinement otherwise.
The clutch of the N is light in weight and smooth in engagement. The gearchange is both precise and has little lost motion.
Steering is beautifully weighted and precise but doesn't follow grooves in the road like some other cars shod with wide, low profile tires.
The ride-handling compromise, with firm control combined with enough resiliency to prevent beating passengers up, reflects a lot of very careful development by Hyundai.
In practical terms, front occupants enjoy enough space as well as the wonderfully locating but not confining front seats. The rear seat has reasonable space for a small, sporty car and the rear door on the passenger side of the car eases access considerably. The trunk is amply spacious and with a hatchback, versatile.

Comments
Based on the Accent, the current Veloster exhibits similar design cues as its predecessor. The asymmetric door format remains and affords easy entry to the rear seat, which benefits from better headroom this year. Power stems from either the Elantra's 2L four or Hyundai's ubiquitous 1.6L turbo. The 'N' model (named after Hyundai's Namyang technical facility and the Nürburgring), has a 2L turbo four under its hood.

Pricing

The base Veloster, with air conditioning, alloy wheels, heated front seats and steering wheel, leather wraps for the steering wheel and shifter as well as blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, is comprehensively equipped. Compared with the base model, the new Luxury trim, with forward collision avoidance, a large format sunroof, branded audio, auto temperature control and Keyless entry and Go, lets buyers enjoy some luxuries without having to splash out on the turbo engine. The turbo model adds leather seating and L.E.D. headlamps, about $1600 worth of equipment, leaving the value of the turbo at around $2300. Compared with the lower power turbo, the manual-transmissio N, with 74 more horsepower and unique exterior and cabin styling, is priced $7500 higher, but lacks leather upholstery or any kind of active safety equipment. The Veloster is a good value lease for 2020. 

Reliability
Engine failures on four-cylinder Hyundais make it advisable to service the car under the "Severe Service" maintenance schedule exclusively at a Hyundai dealership. Keeping all service records is essential in the event of engine failure so Hyundai can not sidestep their obligations. An extended powertrain warranty is advised if you plan to keep the car past the five year/100,000 km warranty.

Specifications


Body Style: 3HB
Occupants: 2/2
Engines:
1.6L-4 T (201 HP), 2L-4 (147 HP)*, 2L-4 T (275 HP) 
Transmissions: 6M, 6A, 7A (clutchless manual: turbo)
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy:9.1L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 7.1L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Standard forward collision, blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors and autonomous emergency braking. Optional lane departure warning and a lane keep assist system  
Additional airbags: None
Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2019
Country of Origin: South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: P

NHTSA Rating:


 

2020 Kia Rio, Kia Rio5

 


 

 

What’s new
Though still a 1.6L four, Kia claims the Rio's engine, named Gamma II, is all new. The previous six-speed automatic transmission has been replaced by a CVT marketed under the IVT banner. Revised packaging for 2020. The previous Tech Navi trim was elimated as has autonomous emergency braking and navigation.  

Comments

The Rio's cabin is conservatively stylish, with expensive looking crisply marked gauges and a dash centre dominated by a large free-standing screen which is flanked on each side by infotainment access buttons and a rotating knob in each lower corner for volume and tuning. Upscale features like heated seats and heated steering wheel are standard on all trims. 
Buyers in other markets have a wide variety of engines available but the sole powerplant for Canada is a new 120 horsepower 1.6L four Kia calls Gamma II. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual or a CVT. Driven with the previous powertrain, the Rio was a quick and refined car with good road manners that was, for those who don't need more space, good enough to be the sole vehicle for most drivers. 

Pricing

Kia charges $200 extra for the hatchback body compared with a sedan of the same trim level. On the hatchback, the LX model is for advertising purposes as its lack of automatic transmission or air conditioning will generate little interest from buyers. The LX+ trim includes air conditioning and cruise control, equipping the car in a fashion to suit most buyers at a fair price. The new CVT is priced $1250 higher than an LX+ with the six-speed manual. The EX adds alloy wheels, a temporary spare wheel, a sunroof, a telescoping steering wheel, auto climate control and the iOS-Android cellphone for much less money than the value of the content. The EX Sport trim is expensive for what you get. The Rio sedan is offered only in LX+ and EX trims. The sedan may enjoy a mild surge in sales this year as Hyundai no longer offers its Accent as a sedan. Profit potential for the Rio is small and dealers will by to pad profits by adding admin fees and needless "mandatory" equipment to the invoice once the price on the actual car is agreed to. Poor value leasing for 2020 demonstrates that Kia does not want this car back at the end of a lease. 
Reliability
Engine failures on four-cylinder Hyundais and Kias make it advisable to service the car under the "Severe Service" maintenance schedule exclusively at a Kia dealership. Keeping all service records is essential in the event of engine failure so Kia can not sidestep their obligations. An extended powertrain warranty is advised if you plan to keep the car past the five year/100,000 km warranty.

Specifications


Body Style: 4HB, 4SD*
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.6L‑4 (130 HP) 

Transmissions: 6M, CVT* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  7.2L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 5.9L/100 km

Active Safety Features: None


Additional Airbags: None
Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2018
Country of Origin: South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: NR

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: NR

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Kia Soul

 

NEW

 

 

What’s new
The third-generation Kia Soul went on sale in March 2019.

Performance
With 147 horsepower, the 2L normally-aspirated four furnishes more than adequate power under all conditions and unless really pushed hard, is quite refined as well. The new-to-Kia CVT is well matched to the 2L four, is smooth, keen to downshift, can mimic the operation of a conventional automatic and avoids the “rubber banding” that was so much a part of earlier CVTs. With a generally quiet engine and good suppression of noise from the wind and road, the Soul is a quiet highway cruiser. The steering of the Soul is nicely weighted and is geared to deliver both quick response and good directional stability at speed.
The Soul feels very solid and there is no suspension jiggling over large bumps or over curbs like those experienced when you enter a driveway from the street. The ride of the EX Limited is firmly compliant most of the time and copes well with most surfaces except for long wave speed bumps on side streets, where the need to slow down is more pronounced than it is with other cars driven on the same roads.
The brakes feel over boosted at first but once you are used to them they are strong, easy to modulate and are non-fatiguing in stop-and-go driving. The air conditioning of the Soul can keep occupants cool and refreshed in the hottest weather.

Comments
The design of the new Soul is a refinement of its predecessor and immediately identifiable as a Soul, if not as an all-new car. Built on the same architecture that underpins the Rio that debuted for 2018, the Soul is essentially the same size as its predecessor.
Cabin styling follows previous Soul themes and features the simple, logical controls that are becoming a Hyundai-Kia hallmark. Available for 2020 is a wide 10.25 inch infotainment screen with crisp graphics and a head up display system as well. Cabin materials are very attractive, especially for this segment. Seating is comfortable front and rear, and rear seat riders have good legroom and plenty of space under the front seats to rest their feet. Trunk space is good for a car in this segment and the trunk is deep below the window line.
The only gasoline engine is a 147 horsepower 2L four used in a number of Hyundai Kia products. The sole transmission offered with the 2L engine is a CVT marketed as the iVT. A turbo performance model was expected but Kia elected not to sell it in Canada. Two electrics, the 248 kilometre Premium and the 383 kilometre Limited, are available.

Pricing
The Soul has an enormous model range. At just over $21,000, with air-conditioning, automatic transmission, power windows, locks, keyless entry, heated front seats and attractive trim, the base LX trim is equipped well enough for many buyers. Stepping up to the EX, which adds alloy wheels, a heated steering wheel, cordless cellphone charging, a forward collision avoidance system, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings as well as a lane keep assist system, results in a car that fulfills the wish lists of most buyers. The EX+, EX Premium and EX Limited trims are priced to reflect the value of their additional content. Our EX Limited test car boasted luxuries such as leather seating with heated and cooled front seats, a Harmon-Kardon audio system, navigation displayed on a 10.25 inch screen, a head’s up display system and smart cruise control. Enormous model range.  The 2L and electric versions of the Soul only overlap in Limited trim; with the electric priced $22,600 higher. The Premium EV is rated at 134 horsepower and a range of 248 kilometres. The Limited, with a 383 kilometres range, 201 horsepower, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, leather upholstery, a heads up display system, a heat pump system and an upgraded audio system, is priced $9000 higher than the Premium. Rebates of $8000 (Quebec) and $5000 (from both B.C. and the Federal Government) are available on the 2020 Soul electric. The gasoline Soul is a very good lease value for 2020. The Soul EV is a very good lease value for 2020.  

Reliability
Engine failures on four-cylinder Hyundais and Kias make it advisable to service the car under the "Severe Service" maintenance schedule exclusively at a Kia dealership. Keeping all service records is essential in the event of engine failure so Kia can not sidestep their obligations. An extended powertrain warranty is advised if you plan to keep the car past the five year/100,000 km warranty. Long-term reliability of the electric Soul is unknown.

Specifications


Body Style: 4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
2L-4 (147 HP)*, Electric motor (134 HP (Premium; 201 HP Limited)

Transmissions:  CVT*
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  8.6L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.1L/100 km

Active Safety Features: Optional forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors and adaptive cruise control 

Additional airbags: None
Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2020
Country of Origin:  South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: G

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: P

NHTSA Rating:


2021 Mitsubishi Mirage

 


 

What's new
Very late to the party, the 2020 Mirage was a blip in the atmosphere that will be replaced by the early 2021 model in mid-2020. The 2021 Mirage is treated to a late cycle update with revised styling and the addition of a number of available active safety features. 

Comments
The revised Mirage is new from the windshield forward and displays Mitsubishi's "Dynamic Shield" styling theme featuring horizontally-arrayed chrome accent pieces. The cabin is updated as well and incorporates a display audio screen and the availability of the iOS/Android cellphone interface.
Power stems from a 1.2L inline triple churning out 78 horsepower. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual and a CVT. Driven before its update, the Mirage, with a good heater and volcanic seat heaters, shrugs off winter conditions. The Mirage rides pretty well for such a small, light car, especially in town but handling becomes nautical when the car is pushed. The Mirage's steering is relatively precise but lightly weighted and lacks any sensation of the road rolling underneath its wheels. The CVT ekes out every bit of performance available from the 1.2L triple and allows for surprisingly serene cruising, but performance is lacklustre and unless at a steady speed, the engine sounds like a diesel with an exhaust leak. Noise from grit pinging off the bottom or the car and wind noise over the roof (not the windows) betray a lack of sound proofing.
Comfortable front seats but the rear seat is small, hard and flat. Cabin space is quite good considering the Mirage's tight dimensions and two adults can wedge themselves into the back seat for cross-town hops easily enough. Reasonable cabin fit and finish. The trunk is regularly shaped and deep below the window line. Fuel mileage is unimpressive considering the performance disadvantage the Mirage represents compared with its competitors. 

Pricing
No pricing details are available at this time. 

Reliability
Only partial data is available as too few cars have been sold. Unknown CVT durability. The hard-working three-cylinder engine is lubricated by only 3L of oil so check your oil level frequently and keep all oil change receipts in the event of an engine problem. Mitsubishi's 10 year/160,000 powertrain warranty does instill some confidence that the powertrain will go the distance. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB
Occupants: 2/3
Engines:
1.2L‑3 (78 HP) 

Transmissions: 5M, CVT* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

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

Active Safety Features: Optional forward collision and autonomous emergency braking and a lane departure warning 

Additional airbags: No information available
Warranty: 3/100,000, 10/160,000
Current Generation Debut:  2014
Country of Origin: Thailand

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Sm. Front Pass.: NR

Head/Seat: NR

Rear: NR

Headlight: NR

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Nissan Kicks

 

 

What’s new
New safety equipment for all models includes Intelligent Emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane depature, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings, reversing sensors and side airbags for outboard rear occupants. A rear door open conflict alert is added to the SV and SR trims.  

Comments
Like Mazda, which elected to pass on the Mazda 2 for Canada, Nissan has passed on the current-generation Micra in Canada. However, like Mazda with the CX-3, Nissan has spun the components from a small hatchback into a format it can make a good profit on; hence the Kicks. This strategy worked spectacularly well for Mazda and Nissan must be hoping for similar results from the Kicks. 
The Kicks is powered by Nissan's ubiquitous 1.6L four which mates up to a CVT exclusively. Autonomous emergency braking and forward collision warnings are standard; with a blind spot warning system available on premium variants.
The exterior is one of the more attractive Nissans released over the last while, as the firm emerges from a dark place in design terms. The Kicks is available in some quasi-compelling two tone paint combinations reflecting a growing trend. The cabin design is refreshingly clean, uncluttered and features very functional controls. The seating position is good for the driver with plenty of headroom and legroom up front. The rear seat is supportive and legroom is reasonable for this class. The regularly shaped cargo area has good space with the rear seat in place and good versatility when the rear seat is folded.

Driven briefly, the 1.6L four moves the Kicks with sufficient speed and, unless really pushed, good refinement. The 1.6L four mates well with a CVT transmission that mimics the shift patterns of a conventional automatic transmission and avoids the rubber banding that used to be so much a part of the CVT experience. Steering is accurate but lacks road feel and the ride-handling compromise arrived at by Nissan will please most buyers. Overall the Kicks is a good package and, considering the cars Nissan has issued over the last decade, a bit of a breakthrough.  

Pricing
With a CVT, air conditioning, a power group, Bluetooth, the Siri phone concierge, cruise control, fog lights, and forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, the base Kicks S trim is exceptional value. The SV trim upgrade adds alloy wheels, the iOS-Android cellphone interface, automatic air conditioning, heated front seats, Keyless Go and a cargo cover, is priced to reflect the value of the additional content. With LED headlights, a roof rack, leather wraps for the steering wheel and shifter, an all around view monitor, an alarm system and branded audio, the range topping SR is a bit of a bargain and a firm favourite with buyers. The Kicks is a reasonable lease value for 2020.  

Reliability
Predicted reliability is below average to average. Smaller Nissans generate much higher than average servicing and repair costs. The CVT transmission often expires just after the warranty ends and premature failure of components such a ball joints are accompanied by massive repair bills.     

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3
Engines:
1.6L-4 (122 HP)

Transmissions: CVT 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  7.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.6L/100 km


Active Safety Features: Standard forward collision warning, including pedestrians with autonomous emergency braking, including in reverse. Blind spot, rear cross traffic and lane departure warnings. Optional driver awareness warning 

Additional airbags: Dual front knee airbags and outboard rear seat side airbags

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


Current Generation Debut: 2018
Country of Origin: Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Sm. Front Pass.: NR

Head/Seat: G

Rear: NR

Headlight: P

NHTSA Rating:


2021 Nissan Versa Sedan 

 

NEW

 

 

What’s new
Not expected in Canada, the Versa sedan, based on the same platform as the Kicks, goes on sale here in the summer of 2020.
Comments
When the latest Versa sedan was shown in New York in April last year, Nissan Canada reps stated the car would not be sold here. However, the attrition of vehicles in the segment,  including Nissan’s own Micra and Versa Note, the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent sedan, Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris, has opened up enough marketing space for Nissan to think the car has a good chance here now. 

Along with the Nissan Kicks, the Versa sedan is built on the new-generation Micra platform that debuted in other markets for the 2017 model year. Like the current Altima and Sentra, the Versa is an attractive, contemporary design. The Versa has the same wheelbase as the Kicks, but is 201 mm (7.9 inches) longer, slightly narrower, 130 mm (5.1 inches) lower and about 40 kilograms lighter.
Essentially a Kicks sedan, the Versa shares most of the cabin features, including the dashboard, with its tall hatchback showroom mate. The gauges are easy to scan and all controls are logical and work with a satisfying precision. Fit and finish are much better than in small Nissans of the recent past.
Power for the Versa stems from Nissan’s ubiquitous 1.6L four that is rated at 122 horsepower. Torque will reach the front wheels via either a five-speed manual transmission or a CVT.

The Nissan 360 Safety shield, with intelligent autonomous emergency braking, including pedestrian detection and rear self-stopping, will be offered, as will lane departure, rear cross traffic and blind spot warnings.
Although the car is already on sale in the United States, it won’t go on sale in Canada until the fall of this year. 

Pricing
Pricing has not been announced but will likely slot in below the Kicks in the Nissan lineup.

Reliability
Predicted reliability is average to below average. Predicted reliability is below average to average. Smaller Nissans generate much higher than average servicing and repair costs. The CVT transmission often expires just after the warranty ends and premature failure of components such a ball joints are accompanied by massive repair bills.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3
Engines:
1.6L-4 (122 HP estimated)

Transmissions: 5M, CVT
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  n.a.

Highway Fuel Economy:  n.a.


Active Safety Features: Standard forward collision warning, including for pedestrians, autonomous emergency braking, including in reverse and a lane departure warning. Optional rear cross traffic and blind spot monitors 

Additional airbags: None


Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut: 2021
Country of Origin: Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: NR

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: NR

Sm. Front Pass.: NR

Head/Seat: NR

Rear: NR

Headlight: NR

NHTSA Rating:


2020 Toyota Yaris

 


 

 

What’s new
The previous-generation Toyota-designed Yaris hatchback has been replaced by a hatchback version of the Mazda-sourced Yaris sedan that debuted for the 2016 model year. Only the hatchback returned for 2020, its last years on the market in Canada.  

Performance
A hatchback version of the Mazda-sourced Yaris sedan replaces the previous French-built, Toyota-designed Yaris. An edgy, rectangular front styling clip fights visually with the very oval forms of the Mazda 2 the Yaris is based on. Like other recent Mazdas, space efficiency is poor and while space is reasonable up front, rear seat legroom is tight. With an attractive dashboard and nice materials, the cabin of the Yaris is attractive and assembled from quality components. Reasonable trunk space and good versatility on the hatchback; the trunk on the sedan is large for the size of the car. 
The powertrain features a 1.5L four with 106 horsepower sending power to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. 
Hooked up to a conventional six-speed automatic transmission, the 1.5L four is smooth, quiet and flexible. The transmission functions well and never calls attention to itself. Steering, braking, ride and handling are all very well sorted which reflects Mazda's prowess at producing cars that are both a pleasure to drive and don't beat up their drivers.   

Comments
Two variants, a hatchback and a sedan, are available for 2020. The sole engine on offer is a 1.5L four, which can be linked to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic.  

Pricing: T
he base model, with air conditioning, a power group, cruise control and low-speed autonomous emergency braking, is nicely equipped. With alloy wheels, heated front seats and steering wheel and fog lights, the XLE range topper is a good value upgrade. As nice as the Yaris is, it has been resoundingly shunned by the public. Outside of Quebec, the car is only available on "sold" basis, meaning that a customer has to sign a contract on a new Yaris before Toyota will release one to the dealer. Buyers with a need for a small car to ease driving in heavily congested urban locales appreciate the tidy footprint of the Yaris. Unlike Honda, which attaches an incentive package to the Fit that discourages non-cash buyers, Toyota is happy to lease or finance a Yaris to you. The Yaris is a reasonable lease value for 2020.  
Reliability
Excellent reliability predicted but too few have been sold to set a pattern. Most recent Mazda products have been rated above average for reliability.  

Specifications


Body Style:  4HB*
Occupants: 2/3
Engine:
1.5L‑4 (106 HP) 

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

City Fuel Economy:  7.3L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  5.9L/100 km

Active Safety Features: Standard forward collsion warning with low-speed autonomous emergency braking 

Additional Airbags: None


Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2016
Country of Origin:  Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Sm. Front Pass.: NR

Head/Seat: NR

Rear: NR

Headlight: NR

NHTSA Rating: