Thursday, April 25, 2024

We Drove a 2015 Chevrolet Spark Halfway Across The Country

2015 Chevrolet Spark road trip

I've long had a soft spot for the Chevrolet Spark. When I reviewed the 2013 Spark 2LT  over 11 years ago I said, "... it’s an impressive inexpensive car with lots of personality. In fact, I’m quite smitten with the Spark." A couple years later, my mother-in-law purchased a 2015 Spark LS, aka Sparky. Things have changed since then and she no longer needs it. So, we recently drove it back from Wisconsin to our home in Oregon, some 2,170 miles, and will sell it. So what's it like to drive an A-segment car halfway across the U.S.?

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Mitsubishi, Kia Kill Their Smallest Cars; U.S. Subcompact Market All But Dead. Here's Why.

2023 Kia Rio

On August 15, 2023, Automotive News (paywalled site) reported Mitsubishi may be discontinuing its thrifty Mirage model after MY2024. This really isn't that much of a surprise since automakers have been abandoning the subcompact market for years now in North America. (Mitsubishi Japan already killed off the Mirage, FYI.) Then today, I heard word via Carscoops Kia is going to stop selling its Rio in the U.S. This leaves just the MINI brand and its small cars and the Nissan Versa as the sole subcompact car offerings in the U.S. I'm not surprised. 

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Our Old Suzuki Sidekick, The Teal Terror, is Still Alive in Eastern Oregon


1995 Suzuki Sidekick - The Teal Terror

This is our old Suzuki Sidekick, The Teal Terror. We sold our trusty Sidekick in 2016 and I hadn't seen it since until now. 

Friday, August 5, 2022

We Sold our 2007 Toyota Yaris. Long Live The Yaris. Long Live Subcompact Cars.


We sold our 2007 Toyota Yaris

Today was a big day. Today we sold our 2007 Toyota Yaris. This marks a lot of milestones. This marks the end of an era. 

Friday, April 1, 2022

Suzuki Announces Plan to Return to North American Market - AGAIN

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross
Suzuki announced today that it is making plans to return to the North American automotive market in 2023. The Japanese automaker pulled out of the U.S. and Canada in 2013, after only having its subcompact SX4, compact Grand Vitara SUV, and mid-sized Kizashi sedan as offerings.

The company, according to a moderately anonymous source maybe, has said it reevaluated the U.S. market and decided to focus on its strength of small crossovers and hatchbacks. It is expected the company will initially offer the latest variant of the SX4 S-Cross pictured above. However, this will be its largest vehicle offering. New dealers might open as soon as Feb. 29, 2023.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Small Cars Are Alive and Well in Mexico

Suzuki Ignis
Suzuki Ignis in Mexico

New subcompact car sales are nearly nonexistent right now in the USA. There are only a couple new tiny cars even available for purchase anymore. However, if you want to see a ton of new and different small cars, all you have to do is cross our southern border. I just got back from a week in Manzanillo, Colima, and found small cars are alive and well in Mexico. 

Friday, February 4, 2022

To Be Discontinued: Chevrolet Spark


2022 Chevrolet Spark

In what can only be described as "completely unsurprising," the subcompact Chevrolet Spark will be discontinued. There had been reports out of Korea that GM Korea was going to halt production months ago, but Chevrolet's U.S. representatives would not confirm its discontinuation for the North American market at that time. Well, now it's official. 

Monday, November 8, 2021

Wrecked: Awesome Lifted Suzuki SX4

Crashed Suzuki SX4
Photo via C.Y. Lee

Over eight years ago, I ran into one of the most badass Suzuki SX4s I'd ever seen. This lifted Suzuki SX4 had big knobby tires, a flat-black paint job, and a custom front bumper among other things. I actually got to know the owner, C.Y. Lee, a bit because of it. Ironically, I had just been talking to C.Y. about this car on October 15, 2021, and then, next thing we knew it, it was totaled by someone who went on a rampage in stolen school bus. Yes, you read that right.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Small Cars Are Still Here. So Are We.

The Subcompact Culture Toyota Yaris in California.

Hey SCC readers. I know it's been a while. We've still been here, still been doing things, but just not as active on the website. For what it's worth, we still have a very active Subcompact Culture Facebook Group. Please join! So what've we been up to lately?

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Top 5 Mitsubishi Mirage Myths Debunked

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback - Subcompact Culture

Back in 2017, we sold our 265 horsepower Subaru WRX for a 78 horsepower Mitsubishi Mirage ES Hatchback. Crazy, eh? Well, this summer will mark four years of Mirage ownership. Despite the Mirage being on sale in the U.S. since 2014, there are still people out there that have questions about these cars. From roadworthiness to fuel economy, and other ownership items, I decided to debunk some Mitsubishi Mirage myths.