See also:

Part 1: Family Cars (over $25,000), Prestige, Sports and Performance
Part 3: Family Cars (under $25,000), Luxury Coupe & Sedan, Minivans
Part 4: Wagons, Intermediate & Luxury SUVs

Part 5: Compact SUVs, Pickups & “Green” vehicles

Economy cars and sport coupes under and over $30,000 are on the menu this
week in this our second instalment of the cars entered for the AJAC Canadian
Car and Truck of the Year awards. The economy category is an East vs. East
battle between Korean and Japanese car companies. Unfortunately the Toyota
Echo was not entered, as it would have been a serious contender for honours
in this group and the new Lexus IS 300 should have been entered in the over
$30,000 sport coupe/sedan category.


Economy (under $18,000)

Although the price bar for economy car has climbed
to $18,000, the quality standard in this class has also risen sharply in
recent years.
 

Honda Civic DX Sedan:

Although the 7th generation Civic has similar exterior
dimensions when compared to the previous model, it has an entirely new
chassis that offers more interior passenger space, a more comfortable ride
and a larger trunk. A slightly larger engine has also offers more power but
consumes less fuel (best in this group) and meets ULEV emission standards.

Base Price: $15,800, As tested: $17,300
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 10 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 49.9 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 7.4/5.7 city/highway

2001 Honda Civic DX sedan
click for larger image

Hyundai Elantra:
A sharp new design with a longer wheelbase allows more
headroom, hip room and legroom inside. The revised 2.0 litre engine now has
hydraulic valve lifters and improved fuel economy. Elantra is also a value
leader in this class offering 60/40 folding rear seats, tilt steering and CD
player as standard. Options on the test vehicle were metallic paint and a
4-speed automatic transmission.

Base Price: $14,875, As tested: $16,000
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 11.4 seconds

Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 49.2 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 9.6/6.5 city/highway

2001 Hyundai Elantra
click for larger image

Kia Rio:
New kid on the block Kia from Korea are another value oriented
automaker and the Rio is the entry-level price buster. You get power door
locks, windows and mirrors in an excellent standard equipment package that
also includes a CD player. The bargain priced and cute little Kia Rio is
attracting a lot of attention.

Base Price: $11,995, As tested: $14,895

Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 11.4 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 47.8 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 7.7/5.8 city/highway

2001 Kia Rio
click for larger image

Nissan Sentra GXE:

This car could be the sleeper of the group. The all-new
Sentra is an agile, great handling little car that features stabilizer bars
front and rear and a multi-link beam rear suspension. GXE is the mid
trim-level, which means it comes with air conditioning, an 8-way adjustable
driver seat, power windows/locks/mirrors and keyless entry system.

Base Price: $17,695, As tested: $17,695
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 10.5 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 44.7 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 8.8/6.2 city/highway

2001 Nissan Sentra GXE
click for larger image


Sports Coupe/Sedan (under $30,000):

In this vehicle class performance is
married to economy, value and practicality.

2001 Acura 1.7 EL
click for larger image

Acura 1.7 EL:

Made in Canada and only sold in Canada, the EL could be
described as a Civic Sedan with all the bell’s and whistles – which it is,
but there’s more. It has a unique interior with woodgrain and chrome trim
accents and leather upholstery. The brakes are disc-type on all four wheels
with an anti-lock system and the safety package includes side air bags. It
also comes with the high-output version of the 1.7 litre engine that’s also
in the Si Coupe.

Base Price: $21,500 As tested: $21,500

Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 9.0 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 44.9 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 7.7/6.2 city/highway


2001 Honda Civic Si
click for larger image

Honda Civic Si Coupe:

The well-equipped Si Coupe is more than just a 2-door
version of the sedan. It’s a step up in the performance ranks and has a
lower and more aerodynamic shape. The front and back windows are slanted at
a sharper angle and the front grille and taillight treatments are different.
The design also includes additional components to reinforce and stiffen the
body structure, like the high-strength steel mid-floor crossmember.

Base Price: $21,300 As tested: $24,235
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 9.0 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 43.0 metres

Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 7.7/6.2 city/highway


2001 Nissan Sentra SE
click for larger image

Nissan Sentra SE:

The SE version of Sentra comes with a larger and more
powerful 2.0 litre engine (than the base version) that can pump out 145
horsepower and it also comes with a limited slip differential in the
driveline. The sport package on the test car added anti-lock brakes, a
performance tuned suspension, rear spoiler, a power moonroof and chrome
tailpipe tips.

Base Price: $19,698 As tested: $21,898

Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 8.6 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 41.4 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 9.9/7.0 city/highway


2001 Chrylser Neon RT
click for larger image

Chrysler Neon R/T:

A mean little machine on a racetrack. The R/T version of
the Neon adds an impressive and complete performance package that includes
16-inch alminum wheels with low-profile tires, 4-wheel disc brakes with
anti-lock and traction control systems and high-output version of the 2.0
litre engine. Inside it had leather upholstery a 4-disc CD player, side air
bags and a sunroof.

Base Price: $18,375 As tested: $24,600
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 8.4 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 44.7 metres

Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 9.2/6.7 city/highway


2001 Volkswagen GTI
click for larger image

Volkswagen GTI:

Another impressive track performer and its hatchback design
is a handy feature. A legitimate pocket-rocket, the GTI version of the Golf
comes with a turbo-charged 1.8 litre engine with an intercooler. The
traction control system also has Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR) and an
Electronic Differential Lock (EDL) to control throttle response to maximize
traction at the wheels and minimize slipping.

Base Price: $26,050 As tested: $26,255

Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 8.2 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 43.5 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 9.7/7.0 city/highway


Sports Coupe/Sedan (over $30,000)

Lots of high-octane excitement in this category.

Acura 3.2 CL Type S:
Reviewed a few weeks ago in Cars & Trucks, the new CL
Type S is a little longer and wider than the old CL. It now shares the Acura
TL sedan platform as well as a high-output 260 horsepower version of its 3.2
litre V6 engine that propelled it to the best acceleration time in the
group. Acura uses single price, everything included price strategy on CL and
it even comes with a Bose 6-disc in-dash CD player and Xenon type
headlights.

Base Price: $40,000 As tested: $40,000
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 7.1 seconds

Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 41.7 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 12.2/7.4 city/highway

2001 Acura CL Type S
click for larger image

BMW 320i:
A perfectly balanced automobile that’s a treat to drive and the
fact that drive-power goes to the rear wheels is undoubtedly an important
factor. Although very smooth, its low revving 2.2 litre inline six-cylinder
engine doesn’t quite match the horsepower output of the competitors in this
group. On the plus side the 5-speed manual is a super slick shifter and the
passive and active safety features in the 320i are excellent.

Base Price: $33,900 As tested: $40,460

Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 9.7 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 39.9 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 11.3/7.2 city/highway

BMW 320i
click for larger image

Chrysler Sebring Coupe Lxi:

Power with a lot of poise. The Sebring Coupe was
a surprisingly capable track performer and comes with an excellent handling
package and a four-wheel independent suspension. The standard equipment
package was upgraded with leather upholstery, a power sunroof, 6-way power
driver seat, 17-inch chrome wheels and 4-disc CD jukebox style CD player.

Base Price: $30,095 As tested: $33,290
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 8.1 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 39.8 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 11.6/7.7 city/highway

2001 Sebring Coupe LXi
click for larger image

Mercedes-Benz C320:
Looking like a smaller version of the flagship S-class
the new C-class has a lot of class. The C320 is the upmarket version (C240
is the base version) of this entry level Mercedes. It comes with a 3.2 litre
V6 engine rated at 215 horsepower and a 5-speed automatic transmission with
a manual mode. The new body structure is stiffer and it comes with a revised
suspension, side curtain airbags and a new rack and pinion steering gear.

Base Price: $49,950 As tested: $58,945
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 8.3 seconds

Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 39.8 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 12.3/8.6 city/highway

Mercedes-Benz C320
click for larger image

Volvo S60 T5
Another car with a familiar design in a smaller package. With
prices starting at $35,995, the new S60 replaces the popular S70 in the 2001
Volvo line-up and looks like a scaled-down version of the S80. The T5
edition of S60 is the hot-rod and its transversely mounted inline 5-cylinder
engine with a turbocharger can produce up to 247 horsepower. Safety is still
a priority so the S60 comes with the SIPS side impact protection system with
an inflatable curtain and the WHIPS whiplash protection system.

Base Price: $43,995 As tested: $49,695

Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 8.3 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 41.2 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 11.8/8.1 city/highway

2001 Volvo S60 T5
click for larger image

Next Week: A look at the entries for Family Car under $25,000, the Luxury
Coupe/Sedan category and the Minivan entries for 2001 Canadian Car and Truck
of the Year.

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