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 Corolla is known for its reliable, fuel-efficient 1.8L engine, simple roomy interior and soft ride. It's a comfortable little "workhorse" that you can count on. In the U.S. and Canada, it's only available as a 4-door sedan.
For years, the Corolla has been one of the best-selling cars, thanks to its reputation for reliability, a comfortable interior and smooth ride. The 2014-2018 Corolla sedan is larger than the previous generation and offers more interior space.
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.
A very few family sedans can be described as "fun to drive" and Mazda 6 is one of them. The 6's optional 3.7L V6 engine tops most of the family sedans in horsepower and torque.
Unlike previous models that were produced in partnership with Ford, the third-generation Mazda 6 was developed in-house. It's a sleek sporty front-wheel drive mid-size sedan that is very good on gas.
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 Ford Edge is a mid-size, 5-seater crossover SUV you can enjoy driving. It shares its platform with its luxury twin Lincoln MKX, as well as the Mazda CX-9. The Edge offers a solid feel with sporty handling and a smooth ride.
The Escape is one of the last small SUVs that still look like a truck. Its square shape provides excellent all-around visibility and interior space. It drives comfortably and is practical inside, which is why it was the best selling small SUV for many years.
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 Honda Pilot is one of the best people movers you can find. It's also one of the few truck-like SUVs. The Pilot seats 8 with three rows of seats and has a roomy, well-equipped interior with plenty of storage options. It comes with a strong V6 engine and is available with front- or all-wheel drive.
After the 2009 bankruptcy, the "New Chrysler," now called Fiat Chrysler Automobiles or FCA, decided to place more bets on its iconic Jeep brand. SUVs were becoming more popular, so FCA came up with the new Jeep Cherokee, which is a car-based crossover.
It's a Jeep thing, you wouldn't understand. The Patriot is a car-based SUV, but its truck-like shape and iconic Jeep look made it stand out. It's also one of the most affordable compact SUVs.
Mazda CX-5 is a practical 5-seater SUV. It offers a solid powertrain and sporty handling. It's also one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs. The CX-5 comes with a 4-cylinder engine and a proven six-speed automatic transmission in FWD or AWD variants.
This stylish seven-seater is not only roomy and practical, but sporty and fast. The 3.7L V6 propels the CX-9 from 0 to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. Despite its size, the CX-9 handles like a heavy sports sedan, and offers a smooth and refined ride.
The 2013-2020 Pathfinder is a comfortable, roomy seven-seat SUV with a responsive engine and a variety of available features. Unlike the previous truck-based Pathfinder, this fourth generation, known as R52, is built on a car-based platform.
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.
No other SUV can compete with the Forester when it comes to a comfortable ride, fuel economy and excellent visibility. The Suby offers a 4-cylinder horizontally-opposed 'boxer' engine and standard all-wheel drive. Subaru all-wheel drive system is one of the best.
Pick a spot on the map, pack it up and go! Standard all-wheel drive, roomy cargo area and standard roof rack system with swing-in crossbars make the Outback perfect for biking, kayaking or camping. Another pluses are comfortable spacious interior, pleasant ride and decent highway fuel economy.
The Toyota Highlander is a dependable family hauler. It offers a very smooth and quiet ride, roomy interior and a strong V6 The Highlander comes as a 5 or 7-seater, with front- or all-wheel drive.
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.
The Toyota RAV4 is a popular 5-seater SUV with a spacious interior and comfortable driving experience. It comes with a 4-cylinder engine and a proven conventional 6-speed automatic transmission. Except for some minor issues, it's very reliable.
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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As compact SUVs were becoming more popular, Volkswagen introduced the Tiguan. The name Tiguan means half tiger and half iguana, as Volkswagen puts it.
The Tiguan comes as a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
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