Posts from ‘Hatchbacks/Wagons’
Since its introduction for 1993, Subaru’s Impreza has stood out in the compact class as being one of the few – and in many years, the only – member to offer all-wheel drive. And since 1997, AWD has been standard.
Today, most wagons are luxury-brand wagons. By our count, there’s just one non-luxury, non-crossover wagon available for sale in the U.S., and that’s the Volkswagen Jetta.
Ah, fall. When – here in the Midwest – it’s not too cold, not too hot, and not too rainy … for about three weeks.
Short as that utopian span is, it’s the closest we ever come to simulating the year-round climate of coastal California. Which, as it so happens, is where most EVs are sold.
Class: Sporty/Performance Car
Miles Driven: 230
Fuel Used: 11.4 gallons
The strangest thing about the 1981 midsize-wagon market is the absence of Ford products from the segment. While Ford was still very much in the wagon business, the company no longer produced a wagon to compete directly with longroof versions of the Chevrolet Malibu or Dodge Diplomat.
LOS ANGELES—Mini introduced an all-new second generation of its Countryman subcompact SUV at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. The 2017 Mini Countryman will be offered in the expected Cooper and Cooper S trim levels, and also a new Cooper S E ALL4 model—Mini’s first-ever plug-in hybrid.
Honda’s popular Civic was redesigned for 2016, arriving first as a sedan, then as a coupe, both offered in rather conventional LX, EX, EX-T (turbo), EX-L, and Touring trim levels.
At a Volvo press-event dinner many years ago, I chanced into a conversation with one of the brand’s product-planning executives. We chatted pleasantly on the topic of wagons, and of the American market’s declining interesting in the body type.
Class: Midsize Car
Miles Driven: 248
Fuel Used: 12.4 gallons
America’s relationship with the versatile, practical hatchback has been a decidedly on-and-off affair.
During the ‘70s and ‘80s, it was “on.” Virtually every mainstream manufacturer offered one. But they were usually the cheapest cars you could find, and thus garnered a negative image that screamed, “I bought the cheapest car I could find.” Hardly a prestigious statement. As a result, their numbers dwindled during the ‘90s and remained low for the next couple of decades.