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. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Driven: 2021 Nissan Kicks SR


2021 Nissan Kicks SR

I'd wanted to drive a Nissan Kicks since they first debuted in 2018, but never got around to getting one for a press loan until just last week. So does the Kicks kick out the fun? Does it kick butt? Does it have pumped up kicks? I'll stop. You're welcome. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Subcompact Showcase: Wild Widebody Scion iQ

Widebody Scion iQ

From 2012 to 2015, Toyota's Scion brand offered what might be the company's most unique vehicle. The Scion iQ microcar was squarely aimed at another microcar, the Smart Fortwo (iQ vs Smart—get it?). It's not like the Smart Fortwo was setting the American small car segment on fire with sales, so it was always curious that of all companies, Toyota decided to go after the Fortwo. But Scion—the funky youth-oriented arm of the Japanese automaker, did indeed target Smart. Their tactics were far different than Smart's. And like most of the Scions, they played to enthusiasts who did some really neat things with these petite people movers. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Subcompact Showcase: Jake Brown's Lifted Toyota Yaris

Jake's Lifted Toyota Yaris

I've said it before: lifting is the new lowering. In fact, I wrote about this trend back in 2014. Five years later, I keep seeing cars that used to be typically lowered getting lifted. Heck, there are even Facebook groups that celebrate this, such as the Safari All The Cars group. Lifting cars is definitely a thing. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Volkswagen Golf: Dead (For The U.S. Anyway)

Every Generation of Volkswagen Golfs

We've lost a host of small hatchback choices over the last few years from the U.S. market. Most of these departures weren't terribly surprising. Then I read today that the Volkswagen Golf—a mainstay of the U.S. compact car landscape for over 46 years—is being axed. Wow.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Meet the 414,000 Mile Mitsubishi Mirage


Mitsubishi Mirage with 414,000 miles - Subcompact Culture

People criticize the Mitsubishi Mirage for being inexpensive, having three cylinders, and being basic. But guess what? The Mirage is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid gasoline-powered vehicle in the U.S. Oh, and guess what? It's one heck of a runner. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Installing a Mitsubishi Mirage Throttle Controller

EVS Throttle Controller by iDrive  Performance for Mitsubishi Mirage

We know the Mitsubishi Mirage isn't a performance car. But there are certain things you can do to make it more fun to drive and peppier. We've already modified the suspension and put on an intake. But one thing the Mirage suffers from greatly is poor throttle response. After a lot of searching, I found a throttle controller for the Mitsubishi Mirage. In fact, I've made a video all about it

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Is Toyota Racing an AWD Prius Rally Car at Olympus Rally?


Toyota Prius AWD Rally Car

We at Subcompact Culture are rally fans. We participate in TSD rally, we go to stage rally, and have always had a thing for the WRC. This weekend is the 2020 Olyumps Rally in Washington. While looking at the entry list something caught my eye. Specifically, car #871 driven by racer Jamie Bestwick. The entry? A 2020 Toyota Prius—in the NA4WD class. Could this be an AWD Prius Rally Car?