Friday, September 30, 2011

Car and Driver compares the latest subcompacts with somewhat surprising results.

The folks over at Car and Driver has posted their six-car comparison that includes the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa, Kia Rio, and Chevrolet Sonic. All but the Fit are 2012 models. The results of the comparison are a bit surprising, too.

Sixth: 2012 Nissan Versa SL
Fifth: 2012 Kia Rio5 SX
Fourth: 2012 Hyundai Accent SE
Third: 2012 Toyota Yaris SE
Second: 2012 Chevrolet Sonic LTZ Turbo
First: 2011 Honda Fit Sport

First off the surprises: I thought the Kia and Hyundai would've fared better. I'm also surprised they put the Toyota Yaris in third place—even with the old-school 1NZ-FE 1.5-liter and five-speed manual transmission. I'm also pleasantly surprised at the Chevy Sonic's ranking.

I'm not so surprised at the Honda Fit's position, as it is a great car, and Car and Driver does love the Hondas. I'm also not surprised by the last-place finish of the new Versa. I would've ranked it last on looks alone.

Somewhat oddly, C&D didn't include the Ford Fiesta or the Mazda 2. Then again, they compared the Fiesta and Mazda2 against the Fit in an earlier compro article. The Fit won there, too.

So what do you think of the results?

Appetizers: Life in the automotive B-segment can be piquant, almost zesty. Choose wrong, however, and you’re in for beans on toast.


Chris said...

I haven't driven any, but based on what I read, I'm surprised at the Yaris' ranking. But good for it! Also, I understand why they didn't include the Fiesta and 2, but since I'm in the market and a Fiesta is at the top of my list (along with the 500 and this new Sonic), I'm disappointed it wasn't included. It would be nice to see how it stacks up with the Sonic. And I never understand why the 500 isn't included in these. (Well, I do - the narrative is 500 vs. Mini, and that's what they're gonna stick to!)

nlpnt said...

I'd also like to see their opinion on the base 1.8/5-speed Sonic since they're correct that a loaded LTZ is high-end for the segment.

nlpnt said...

Oh, and they chose the Fit over the Sonic based on powertrain flexibility as much as anything else. Check the "Test sheet" PDFs, and you'll find that the Sonic came to them with a first-tankful-tight 152 miles on it while the Fit was pushing 2000 miles so more fully broken-in.

Chevy HHR cold air intake said...

I'm sure everyone has had their fair share of comparing these subcompacts. Experience is also a matter of understanding.

Projector Headlights said...

There's a new automotive world order. In it, small is good. Small and affordable is even better.

Duke said...

I don't doubt the results of the testing from purely a performance standpoint but from a broader perspective, what it's like to live with from day to day, I think the guys at Car and Driver are way off the mark. I've driven the new Accent and I prefer it over the Fit. Yes, the Fit handles better, and yes, the Fit has a better gearbox. But the new Accent is much more liveable. The suspension is more compliant, the power plant is more than sufficient, and the Accent does something that small cars struggle with: It feels luxurious. You feel like you're in a larger and more luxurious car than you actually are. And that's something that's rare for any car that gets 30+ MPG. Were I attacking the twisty roads on the side of a mountain, I'd take the Fit. Were I driving to work in the morning with a smoking hot $5 coffee in my cup holder, I'd take the Accent.

nlpnt said...

One thing I don't get about Hyundai/Kia is that the latter is supposed to be the "sporty" one, the Excitement Division, but they restrict manual transmissions to the base model while Hyundai'll sell you an Accent with a stick in any trim except the fully-loaded sedan version.