December 19, 2012
Article by Autos.ca Staff
There has never been a better time than now for Canadian automotive consumers. The broad range of choices available in our market is immense, everything from ultra-efficient all-electric vehicles right up to turbocharged V12 monsters; if you have a particular automotive taste, chances are someone is making the right car for you.
But too much choice can sometimes be daunting. With the market so competitive right now, how do you sort the good cars from the bad cars? Well, thankfully, there really are no new vehicles sold today that could truly be considered ‘bad’ cars. However, some vehicles do excel at their automotive mission in life better than others, while others are exclusive niche products or have a very narrow, specific purpose. So what is a consumer to do?
Well, that is what we are here for. However, we do not intend for you to take our word as the gospel truth, but rather educated advice from those who have had the opportunity to drive the majority of these vehicles and were able to analyze each one’s strong and weak points. That is why we have brought back the annual Autos.ca Top Picks.
How are the top picks chosen?
The Autos.ca staff of eight editors and writers each ranked every new vehicle for sale in Canada for the 2013 model year from best to worst within 10 vehicle categories: City and Subcompacts, Compacts, Family Cars, Sports Cars Low, Sports Cars High, Luxury Car Low, Luxury Car High, CUV/SUV Low, CUV/SUV High, and Trucks.
We took into account factors such as styling, comfort, functionality, quality, performance, fuel economy, safety features, reliability, and value for money. We also considered class-specific aspects such as cargo capacity, payload, towing, utility, and ground clearance. The top two vehicles in each category were then chosen as part of our Top Pick list, except in Compact vehicles, where there was a tie for second so three vehicles were chosen, and in Trucks, where one vehicle absolutely ran away with the category so it was our only pick in that category. Do you agree or disagree with our choices? Let us know in our online forum.
City and Subcompacts
The Honda Fit was the car that proved to Canadians that subcompact vehicles can be fun. And while other fun subcompact vehicles, like the Mazda2, have since come to market, none have been able to match the Honda’s ability to transform into an incredibly practical vehicle thanks to the trademark Magic Seats. Not bad for a vehicle that hasn’t changed all that much since its 2006 North American introduction.
2012 Honda Fit, 2012 Kia Rio Sedan. Click image to enlarge
If the Honda Fit was the first subcompact to bring fun to the segment, then the Kia Rio is the vehicle that has brought style and luxury. With one of the most attractive exterior designs in a subcompact vehicle, especially in sedan form, the Rio also has features unheard of for this segment, options like a heated steering wheel.