Small Car

An all-new Honda Civic takes on Scion’s iM, the Smart Fortwo, Toyota Yaris sedan, and a Volkswagen Jetta powered by the brand’s new 1.4L turbocharged engine. Normally, small cars would be split into two groups based on price, but a smaller-than-usual field of entries puts a couple of these cars at a disadvantage.

Jonathan Yarkony, Jacob Black, and Tom Sedens all predict the Scion iM will be best small car, while Paul Williams, Jeff Wilson, Greg Wilson, Michael Bettencourt, and myself all think Honda will make as large a leap with its new Civic as it did with the Accord a few years ago. All alone in their choices are Peter Bleakney, who thinks VW’s thrifty new 1.4L turbo four will be enough to put the Jetta on top, and Justin Pritchard, who figures the Mazda2-based Yaris will outgun the field.

Family Car

This is a three-vehicle field that comprises the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen (1.8 TSI), and Chevrolet’s Volt.

Peter gets with the program here, throwing his vote to the Sonata Hybrid, along with me, Paul, and Jacob. Jeff likes the Chevy Volt’s chances, and the Golf Sportwagen get the nod from VW fanboy Jonathan, Bettencourt, Pritchard, Greg, and Tom, who’s German and can’t help favouring cars from die Vaterland.

Sports/Performance (under $50,000)

The Chevrolet Camaro V8 SS stands out (just a little) against the likes of the Hyundai Veloster Turbo Rally Edition, Mazda MX-5, Mini John Cooper Works three-door, and VW’s Golf R.

Jeff, Tom, Justin, and I are all smitten with the new MX-5’s lightweight tossability, while Jacob, Peter, Paul, Greg, and Jonathan prefer the Golf R’s turbocharged torque and all-wheel traction.

Bettencourt alone can’t resist the Camaro’s smokeshow potential.

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