Monday, November 13, 2017

Review: 2018 Chevrolet Cruze Hatch Diesel

Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Hatch - Subcompact Culture
2018 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Hatch.
Words by Andy Lilienthal. Photos by Mercedes Lilienthal.

Let's just get all this out on the table. Volkswagen was the king of diesel cars in the U.S. until this whole dieselgate thing happened. As you're likely well aware, VW was caught cheating on emissions testing in late 2015 and the whole thing resulted in a global scandal. At this moment, VW no longer offers its formerly popular TDI-powered cars in North America.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Is Mitsubishi Getting a Turbo Mirage from Renault/Nissan?

2018 Nissan Micra
The latest Nissan Micra
In the not so distant past (aka, October, 2017), Mitsubishi announced it was investing a bunch of cash into its automotive brand and hoped to grow it up to 30%. In addition to that, it was reported we wouldn't simply see a host of re-badged Nissan products, since Mitsubishi is now part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. But is that now not the case?

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Review: 2017 Honda Civic Type R Touring

2017 Honda Civic Type R Touring - Subcompact Culture

Just mention the phrase "Type R" and you're bound to set any car enthusiast into a bit of a tizzy. The kind of tizzy depends on how the phrase is used. If used to talk about a real Honda Type R vehicle, you can expect passionate praise and respect. If you're talking about putting a Type R badge on the back of anything other than a real Type R, then you can expect vitriol and jest at the very least. However, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the Type R gets a lot of flattery.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Mitsubishi Mirage's Tiny Tires and Wheels

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage Tires - Subcompact Culture

It almost goes without saying, but our 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage has tiny wheels and tires. Our ES model has skinny 165/65/14 low rolling resistance Dunlop Enasave tires mounted on narrow 14x5.5 steel wheels with hubcaps (gasp!). Twenty years ago, many cars came with 14s. Nowadays, not so much. In fact, I believe only the Mirage and the Hyundai Accent still come 14s from the factory.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

We Bought a Mitsubishi Mirage. Here's Why.

We bought a 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage

Well, we added yet another small car to the Subcompact Culture stable ... er ... carport. We bought a 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage. And we'll be selling our 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX. Before you have us committed to an asylum, read on.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Review: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt LT

2017 Chevrolet Bolt LT - Subcompact Culture

When you think about electric cars, what’s first to come to mind? Range anxiety? A steep price tag? A vehicle not worthy to take on long road trips? What if I tell you that the new Chevy Bolt EV scoffs at those issues? At 238 miles of range and starting at $36,620 ($41,885 fully loaded) the Bolt may make you think twice before giving up the electric vehicle idea. Keep in mind you may also gain up to $7,500 worth of federal tax credit too.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Spy Photos of the 2018 Suzuki Jimny

2018 Suzuki Jimny spy photos

The folks over at have posted photos of what appears to be the 2018 Suzuki Jimny. As you can see, it's boxy, tiny, and looks a little like a tiny G-Wagen, Defender, or even maybe Ford's old Bronco concept! Where do we sign up?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

10 Years With a Toyota Yaris

2007 Toyota Yaris - Subcompact Culture

I can hardly believe it, but we have owned our 2007 Toyota Yaris for 10 years now—a whole decade. That's three times longer than I'd ever owned any vehicle. And I've owned a lot of vehicles. So what is it about the Yaris that has allowed it to remain in our stable for so long?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Ford Saying Adios to Fiesta

It was a big deal for small car fans when Ford debuted the Fiesta as a 2011 model in North America. Remember the Fiesta Movement? It was not only a huge promotion for a little car (and an amazing case study in social media marketing), but it showed Ford would react to the idea that Americans would buy small cars. Well, it looks like the the latest "movement" will be for the vehicle to exit the North American lineup.

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Small Cars of the Gambler 500

Subaru at Gambler 500

Andy and I just attended Oregon’s Gambler 500. With approximately 500 miles of pavement pounding, dirt trail tackling, and rocky road wrestling—this navigational non-race two-day event was just plain crazy and awesome.