Comfort/Involvement Index: 2012 Toyota Yaris SE Five-Door

An endearing, tossable nature that is slightly muted by mediocre steering feel and uncomfortable driving position. The new Yaris is a pleasing improvement over the previous generation. Still, issues from the last-gen Yaris remain. In particular, its 1.5-liter, four-cylinder is a noisy, underpowered engine that doesn’t match the nippy handling characteristics of the chassis. We also aren’t particularly fond of the manual transmission. It feels overly notchy, and the clutch functions like an on-off switch, with very little modulation.

By Winding Road Staff | June 05, 2012
Geneva Preview: 2012 Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon

Chevrolet has announced a long-roof variant of the Cruze to be shown at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The Cruze Station Wagon, like its hatchback brother, will be a Euro-only affair. The Europeans will also get their hands on the 1.4-liter turbo four we get stateside, as well as a new 1.7-liter diesel.

By James Bradbury | February 24, 2012
Spy Shots: BMW 1-Series Three-Door Tests In Munich

Here’s a little slice of forbidden fruit. Our spy shooter sent over photos of the BMW 1-Series hatchback, here sporting three doors.

By John Beltz Snyder | August 12, 2010
Spy Shots: BMW 1-Series Five-Door

The BMW 1-Series three- and five-door have always ranked fairly high on the “European cars we wish were sold stateside but aren’t” list. Our hope that the 1er will make its trip over in hatchback form has been renewed with these photos of a five-door variant zipping around Deutschland.

By Brandon Turkus | July 28, 2010
Third Look: Nissan Cube Versus The Traditional Hatchback

The traditional hatchback, the vehicle of choice for poor college students and career pragmatists, is evolving. Although traditional hatches are still widely available, this new breed of hatches boasts funky looks and unique tech-laden interiors to lure customers in. Why should you buy one though? What advantages do these boxes have over traditional hatchbacks? We had a Nissan Cube SL for a week to find out.

By Brandon Turkus | July 09, 2010
Spy Shots: Kia Forte Hatchback Tests In Sweden

These spy photos of the Kia Forte hatchback have been ripening in our inbox while we put together the newest issue of Winding Road. We’ve been pleased for the most part with the Fortes we have already driven, and a hatchback version seems like a natural evolution.

By John Beltz Snyder | March 15, 2010
Los Angeles 2009: U.S.-Spec 2011 Mazda2 Shows Its Face

If you feel like you’ve already seen the Mazda2 today, it’s because you have, by way of the 2011 Ford Fiesta. No matter, though — we’re sure that like other Ford/Mazda collaborations, the 2 will be unique enough to set it apart from the festive Ford on the road.

By Steven J. Ewing | December 02, 2009
Driven: 2010 BMW 550i Gran Turismo

During our drive through the woodsy, hilly roads of southern New York and northern New Jersey, there was one question that kept cropping up during every conversation about the new BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo: “What is this thing?”

By Steven J. Ewing | December 02, 2009
Driven: 2009 Subaru WRX SPT

While this generation of WRX may have officially debuted as a 2008 model, it’s the 2009 car that we’ve really spent most of our focus on. Subaru gave its WRX sedan and hatchback a big cosmetic refresh for 2008, but it wasn’t until the following year that Subaru heavily updated this car. For 2009, the WRX received an all-new, 265-horsepower version of the Boxer four, as well as some upgraded suspension parts similar to those on the STI. And while we’ve discussed both our vast praise and minimal displeasure for this car many times since then, we eagerly accepted an offer by Subaru to test a WRX that had been outfitted with SPT (Subaru Performance Tuning) parts. We figured, hey, the hot little Subie is already a pretty good car to drive, so with a few simple modifications, this thing will be fantastic, right?

By Steven J. Ewing | August 12, 2009


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