Illustrated Articles for Car Buyers and Owners
Compared to many other small cars, the Cruze is heavier and offers a more solid feel. It's also has one of the best crash test ratings among compact cars. What are the common problems? Read our review.
Discontinued after 2016, this sporty compact is now rare and unique. Based on the expanded Alfa Romeo Giulietta platform, the Dart offers an American style with European handling.
The 2000-2011 Ford Focus is a fuel-efficient, fun-to-drive compact available as a sedan, two- or four-door hatchback or wagon. It has a peppy engine and an independent rear suspension.
The 2006-2011 Honda Civic comes as a sedan or coupe. It's a popular fuel-efficient commuter. With good care it can easily last for over 300,000 miles. Maintenance and repair costs are low.
The Civic is famous for its low upkeep costs and a bulletproof engine. It's a sporty front-wheel drive compact, available as a sedan or coupe. The Civic offers a comfortable interior with a two-tier instrument panel with a digital speedometer.
The Honda Fit is a practical fun-to-drive subcompact. It's surprisingly roomy and has plenty of cargo space. If you want to haul tall objects, the rear seats flip up, so you can even fit a flat-screen TV in the second row.
The first-generation Jeep Compass is a compact crossover, a close relative of the Dodge Caliber and Jeep Patriot. The Compass is smaller than the Toyota RAV4 but taller than an average sedan or hatchback.
The sporty 2010-2013 Mazda 3 comes as a sedan or hatchback, with a 2.0L or 2.5L 4-cylinder engine and manual or automatic transmission. The interior is stylish and nicely finished.
The Mazda 3 fun to drive and good on gas. It offers the best powertrain in its class: the 2.0L or 2.5L Skyactiv 4-cylinder gasoline engine mated to a conventional 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission.
The Vibe is a product of joint venture between General Motors and Toyota. The Vibe is mechanically similar to the Toyota Matrix; it rides on the Toyota Corolla platform and is powered by a Toyota engine.
The Corolla is one of the budget wonders. It's a simple car that won't cost a lot to repair or to fill up. It handles comfortably and offers a smooth and quiet ride. With good care, it can easily last for over 200K miles.
The Matrix is a tall wagon based on the popular Toyota Corolla. Inside, it's the definition of 'practical'. The upright front seats offer good visibility and easy entry/exit. Rear seats fold down flat, offering 53.2 cu. ft. of cargo space.
The Toyota Matrix is the most practical small wagon. Sharing its platform with the Corolla, the Matrix offers 49.4 cubic feet of flat cargo space covered with durable plastic. It's also one of the few small cars suitable for tall drivers.
If any car can be called a game changer, it's certainly the Prius. The technology is simple, yet brilliant. The Prius is very good on gas and is cheap to maintain. It offers a good visibility and a roomy interior.
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This 200-hp hot hatch is a favorite of many driving enthusiasts and car fanatics. Despite its small size, the GTI holds the road extremely well. The driver's seat is super comfortable and the interior feels upscale.
The 2004-2008 Acura TL is a rare sporty sedan. It offers a strong V6 engine, sharp handling and an upscale interior. The TL scored well in the NHTSA frontal crash tests. The reliability is not bad, but there are a few things to watch out for.
Not many cars can match the style and driving experience of the BMW 3-series. It's a small sporty car with a strong engine riding on a classic rear-wheel drive platform.
The 2003-2007 Accord is a fun-to-drive roomy mid-size car. It scored well in the crash tests and offers a comfortable nicely-finished interior. The Accord comes as a front-wheel drive sedan or two-door coupe, with a 4-cylinder or V6 engine.
The Accord is one of the few sedans that offer an excellent driving experience, solid build quality, roomy cabin and top safety ratings. The Accord coupe is a hidden gem if you are looking for a sporty car.
The stylish 2013-2017 Honda Accord comes as a front-wheel drive coupe or sedan. It handles well and is one of the most fuel-efficient cars in its class. Engine choices include a 2.4L inline-4 and 3.5L V6.
The 2002-2006 Toyota Camry is a spacious mid-size family sedan. The Toyota Camry is best known for its smooth and quiet ride.
The interior is roomy and comfortable with plenty of rear-seat space.
The Toyota Camry offers a roomy, comfortable interior and smooth and quiet ride. The 2007-2011 model (XV40) has front-wheel drive and comes only as a 4-door sedan; the Camry Solara coupe has been discontinued after 2008.
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Famous for its smooth and quiet ride, the Toyota Camry is one of the most reliable family sedans. The Camry has front-wheel drive and comes with a 4-cylinder or V6 engine.
Large doors and elevated seats make entry and exit easy.
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For Used Car Buyers:
The Equinox is the 5-seater SUV with a comfortable interior and good highway fuel economy. It comes in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive trims, with a 4-cylinder or V6 engine
The Dodge Journey is a stylish 5- or 7-seater crossover. It offers a roomy interior and pleasant driving experience. Compared to many other similar vehicles, a used Dodge Journey is not very expensive.
The third-gen Ford Escape is a sporty 5-seater compact SUV. It offers a solid road feel and a spacious, nicely-finished interior. The North American Ford Escape offers three different 4-cylinder engines and comes with front- or all-wheel drive.
The second-generation Honda CR-V offers a roomy and functional interior, car-like handling and good fuel economy. Inside, the CR-V feels surprisingly roomy for a small SUV. A tall driving position provides a commanding view of the road.
It's a 5-seater SUV that combines fuel economy and practicality in a well-rounded package. Thanks to its simplicity and proven tech, it can outlast many newer SUVs with proper care. For the same reason, it holds its value well.
The 2012-2016 Honda CR-V is a 5-seater known for its practical design; it comes with a 4-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission. For the 2015 model year, the CR-V got a facelift, with a new Earth Dreams engine and a CVT transmission.
The 2014-2020 Rogue is is powered by a dependable 4-cylinder engine and comes with front- or all-wheel drive. It offers a spacious interior, comfortable driving experience, good gas mileage and great visibility. The CVT is the only part we don't like.
The RAV4 is known for its practicality and comfortable car-like driving experience. Toyota's best-selling SUV is a popular choice on the used car market. It's a roomy compact car-based SUV available with a fuel-efficient 4-cylinder or a strong V6 engine.
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The Toyota Venza is a stylish, roomy 5-seater crossover with large wheels. The Venza comes with a 4-cylinder or V6 engine, with front- or all-wheel drive. The name Venza is a combination of the words "venture" and "Monza," a city in Northern Italy famous for its race track, Autodromo Nazionale Monza.
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