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Automotive Section


Toyota kind of sort of makes two great entry level cars

One's a Scion that's really a Toyota and one's a Toyota that's really a Mazda - and both are very nice entry level cars that can offer a lot to buyers on a budget.

The new for 2016 Scion iM is a little wagon reminiscent of Toyota's now defunct Matrix, and since Toyota has announced that it's shuttering its Scion wing it could even show up as a new Matrix in the future. That's purely speculation on my part, however. In the meantime, if you're looking for a little wagon like this - and Pontiac Vibe owners needing a replacement might want to pay attention as well - the iM could be a nice choice.

On the other hand, if you're looking more for a conventional little sedan, the new Toyota Yaris should be on your list of cars to check out. It's a lovely little critter that, underneath the Toyota logos, is actually a Mazda2, with all the fun to drive goodness that being a Mazda at heart can bring. more...

Scion FR-S: the poor person's Porsche?

Lusting for a Cayman or a 911 but can't afford the sticker price? Join the club! But now, thanks to Toyota and Subaru, there's a car that can give you an excellent percentage of the Porsche's fun, but for less than half the price.

Magic? Hype? Surprisingly not. Well, it may be magic, because the brand new Scion FR-S is everything you've heard it is: an affordable, rear wheel drive two door sports coupe that'll put a smile on your face so broad your significant other might think you've been up to no good. more...

Scion iQ: outsmarting the Smart?

Scion's shoebox-sized commuter car appears to be trying to shoehorn itself into the Smart car's "eco niche."  But is it really a smarter Smart?

How could it not be?

There are many great little cars available at the lower end of the market, but – at least in its first generation – the Smart Fortwo wasn't one of them. more...

"High Voltage" Scion Adds a bit of Sportiness to Package

Scion's sportiest model receives a somewhat sportier upgrade for 2012. It's called the Scion tC "High Voltage" RS 7.0, as in "release series" 7.0, which makes it sound like a software upgrade but which is actually some tweaking to the hardware on the little coupe.

It isn't the kind of upgrade that's going to turn this unassuming little two door into a little screamer, but it certainly does make it stand out from the garden variety tC. Tweaks include TRD (Toyota Racing Design) badges, including the TRD logo on the dash-mounted start/stop push button and on the aero bits adorning the RS 7.0's flanks. more...

Scion xB, tC – One Box, One Sport

There's thinking outside the box, and there's thinking about being inside the box. And whether you're looking to be boxed up or want something a little more fun, Scion thinks it has your number in one of its little numbers.  

The Scion xB is, indeed, quite boxy, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, while it inspired me to imagine what it must be like to drive a chest freezer on wheels, when all is said and done the xB is a pretty nice car, well built, efficient and even pretty decent to drive.

That's the box. The sport is the Scion tC, a more interesting coupe that reminded me of my old 1981 Toyota Celica – a car that served me very well and which was enjoyable to own and drive, if not particularly exciting. more...

Ford Fiesta Meets Scion xD

One's a Canadian Car of the Year contender, the other's a boxy hauler. But which one's a better car?

Well, if you believe the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada members, it would have to be the Ford Fiesta, the company's new-to-North-America entry level car that scored top marks in its class at the recent Canadian Car of the Year TestFest. Fiesta bested the Scion xD compared here, as well as three other entrants for the title of Best Small Car under $21,000 (Canadian dollars). But it really depends on what you need. more...

Reviews by Brand

Acura Audi BMW Cadillac Chevrolet Chrysler Dodge Dodge Ford GMC Honda Hummer
Hyundai Infiniti Jaguar/Land Rover Jeep Kia Lexus Lincoln Mazda Mercedes-Benz Mini Mitsubishi
Nissan Pontiac Porsche Saab Saturn Scion Subaru Suzuki Toyota Volkswagen Volvo

Jim Bray is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. His columns are available through the TechnoFile Syndicate.

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