Although crossovers and SUVs is still the trendy segment of late, the compact car remains a popular choice for consumers — especially here in southern B.C. with our tight urban parking and narrow highways and byways. Here are some of the most popular models seen around Metro Vancouver.
Honda Civic Hatchback
The Civic holds the title of Canada’s best-selling passenger car, a feat earned by the vehicle’s reliable track record, fuel efficiency and fun-to-drive characteristics. The 10th generation iteration was released back in 2015, and the hatchback was the last form factor to arrive about two years later. The sporty hatch utilizes a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, mated to a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission, outputting 174 horsepower and 162-lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is rated at a thrifty 7.2 L/100 km (manual gearbox).
It’s hard to believe the Mazda3 has been around for almost 15 years now, with a new version set to debut in the coming months. Mazda has always been a leader in innovation, and it’s proven via enhancements like G-Vectoring Control found on the current car. When a driver moves the steering wheel to initiate a turn, the computer automatically reduces engine torque. This allows more weight to stay on the front wheels so grip is increased and going around a corner is smooth instead of jerky. Two four-cylinder powertrains are offered: a 2.0 and a 2.5 liter.
It would be a crime to leave a Symmetrical All-wheel Drive-endowed Subie off our list, like the capable Impreza. The traction-friendly four and five-door is equally at home running to the grocery store as it is going up the mountains for a snow adventure weekend. The low center-of-gravity 2.0-liter four-cylinder Boxer motor layout keeps handling nimble, and the award-winning EyeSight driver assist technology assures safety is always a priority bundling radar cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and more.
Canadians love their hatchbacks, as evidenced above, and the venerable Golf is no exception. The vehicle has come a long way since its debut four and a half decades ago, regularly garnering accolades from the media like being crowned 2015 North American Car of the Year. The seventh-gen model is also one of the most practical in its class boasting 2,657 liters of interior space, a near-flat folding rear bench, and a vertically adjustable trunk floor. Well appointed too, featuring standard alloy wheels, leather steering wheel, shift knob and handbrake, partially powered front seats and Bluetooth connectivity.