Best Compact: Nissan Micra
“The Micra may be Canada’s cheapest car, but the only thing cheap about it is the price.”
Base price: $9,998
We’ve not driven the Canadian Micra yet, but this edition is already sold in many other world markets with great praise from critics.
The price: It’s at least $2,000 less than the competition.
The features: Even the cheapest version includes a CD player with an auxillary jack.
The options: Automatic and air-conditioning are available for $13,298, Bluetooth and power windows and locks for $13,698.
Engine: 1.6 L inline 4
Power/Torque: 109 hp/107 lb.-ft.
Fuel consumption: n/a
What’s best: A new car for under $10,000.
What’s worst: Not much power.
Value for money: Can’t be beat.
Base price: $24,495
As tested: $28,395
The Mazda6 was named car of the year by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada — it’s considered the best new car on the market.
Great fuel economy for a car this size.
Sporty handling and response means it’s great fun to drive.
The high-quality interior feels like a car that costs much more.
Engine: 2.5 L inline 4
Power/Torque: 184 hp/185 lb.-ft.
Fuel consumption L/100 km: 7.6 city, 5.1 hwy.
What’s best: It has everything you want.
What’s worst: Packages sell you unwanted options.
Value for money: Excellent.
Base price: $31,445
As tested: $39,495
The Oshawa-built Impala is a refined and spacious car designed for arriving in comfort. If you want a sporty drive, too, move up to the 305-hp V6.
Plenty of room and plenty of comfort.
Noise-cancelling microphones keep the ride quiet.
Very up-to-date technology.
Engine: 2.5 L inline 4
Power/Torque: 196 hp/186 lb.-ft.
Fuel consumption L/100 km: 9.9 city, 6.3 hwy.
What’s best: Very quiet and refined.
What’s worst: Little driving feel.
Value for money: Very competitive.
Base price: $19,895
As tested: $24,195
For carrying seven people and a whole load of cargo, it doesn’t get more practical than a minivan, and the Dodge is the best value of them all.
Stow ‘n’ Go makes cargo carrying easy.
Comfortable seating for seven, and still space for luggage.
Powerful engine allows 3,600 lb. of towing.
Engine: 3.6 L V6
Power/Torque: 283 hp/260 lb.-ft.
Fuel consumption L/100 km: 12.2 city, 7.9 hwy.
What’s best: Plenty of comfortable space, smooth ride.
What’s worst: Thirsty on fuel if it’s just you in the van.
Value for money: The best-priced minivan.
Base price: $18,749
As tested: $23,749
There’s a reason why it’s the best-selling vehicle in Canada every year. The F-150 is solid, reliable, and gets the job done with no fuss.
Comfortable drive doesn’t let size overwhelm.
Lots of clever and practical features.
Great starting price.
Engine: 3.7 L V6 and others
Power/Torque: 302 hp/278 lb.-ft.
Fuel consumption L/100 km: 12.4 city, 8.6 hwy.
What’s best: Very solid and capable.
What’s worst: Next year’s model will be even better.
Value for money: Can’t beat the base price.
Others worth considering
Compact: Hyundai Elantra, 2.0 L I4, $25,649 base/as tested: The Elantra is Canada’s second-best-selling car (after the longtime champ Honda Civic) because it’s reliable, good-looking, practical, enjoyable and great value for money. What’s not to like?
Mid-size: Honda CR-V, 2.4 L I4, $25,990 base, $30,224 as tested: Honda’s compact SUV is one of its most popular models, thanks to its proven reliability and practicality. Redesigned for 2013, it improved its already exceptional fuel consumption.
Full size: Jeep Grand Cherokee, 3.6 L V6, $39,995 base/as tested: It can get very expensive very quickly, with a range of engines and options, but for a full-size family vehicle that can go anywhere, the basic Grand Cherokee is great value.
Minivan: Kia Sedona, 3.5 L V6, $28,695 base/as tested: It doesn’t have the Stow ‘n’ Go storage, but the Sedona includes plenty of other features that make the ride enjoyable for everyone in all three rows of seats.
Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado, 4.3 L V6, $26,290 base, $37,075 as tested: Voted North American Truck of the Year for 2014, thanks to its combination of efficient fuel consumption, 2,000-lb. payload and a 5-star safety rating.
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