See also:

Part 1: Family Cars (over $25,000), Prestige, Sports and Performance
Part 2: Economy, Sports Coupe/Sedan (under and over $30,000)
Part 4: Wagons, Intermediate & Luxury SUVs

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

We’re on week three of a five-part weekly review of the vehicles entered for
Canadian Car and Truck of the Year. So, here’s a peek at what’s new for the
2001 model year in family sedans costing less that $25,000, some high-priced
luxury coupes and sedans, and those oh-so-popular multi-functional minivans.
Each short preview comes complete with comparison price information and
same-day performance statistics from the TestFest evaluation event held in late October at Shannonville,Ontario.

Best Family Car (under $25,000)

Yes, you still can get a nice new car for
under $25,000 – check out these new wheels!


2001 PT Cruiser
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Chrylser PT Cruiser:

Daring to be different has paid-off again for Chrysler.
The Cruiser offers the utility of a small cargo van or sport utility vehicle
in an ultra-cool looking design. Large fenders and other styling touches
give the Cruiser a nostalgic, hot-rod appearance in a design package that’s
still fresh and modern. Another unique feature of the Cruiser is that the
interior compliments the exterior with body coloured trim panels. Test
Cruiser came with an economical 2.4-litre, 150 horsepower, four-cylinder
engine and a 5-speed manual transmission.

Base Price: $$23,665 As tested: $24,545
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 10.6 seconds seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour):44.2 metres

Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 11.7/8.3 city/highway

2001 Chrysler Sebring lx
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Chrysler Sebring LX:

The new Chrysler Sebring sedan has coupe-like styling
and offers a super quiet ride, excellent safety features and a whole lot of
style in a refined but affordable package. The not so basic LX sedan comes
with air conditioning, cruise control, a tilt steering column and power
windows and door locks. An AutoStick 4-speed automatic transmission with
manual shift mode is available with the V6 engine.

Base Price: $23,240 As tested: $24,615

Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 8.5 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour):51.9 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 11.9/7.8 city/highway

2001 Honda Civic DX sedan
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Honda Civic LX Sedan:

The Canadian-built Civic sedan comes in two trim
levels, DX and LX, and was best selling car in Canada last year. The 2001
body is all-new and the shape is all-new, however the overall exterior
dimensions are about the same. Inside, Honda has engineered more space and a
larger trunk and made it a quieter and more refined sedan. Safety features
include the latest ISO-FIX child seat anchors, front seat belt pretensioners
and dual-stage front air bags.

Base Price: $18,900 As tested: $19,900
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 9.7 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 43.6 metres

Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 8/5.8 city/highway

Kia Magentis
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Kia Magentis LX-V6:

A good-looking sedan with a generous amount of interior
and trunk space. Magentis comes with a choice of two motors, a 2.4 litre
4-cylinder and a 2.5 litre V6. The test car came with 4-wheel disc brakes
and the Steptronic 4-speed automatic transmission that can also to be
shifted manually. The styling lines are clean and crisp with a decidedly
European flavour and the body structure has been tested to meet both
European offset and US front/side crash test requirements.

Base Price: $20,995 As tested: $23,995

Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 8.9 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour):48.3 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 11.8/8.7 city/highway

2001 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T
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Volkswagon Golf 1.8T:

The only conventional hatchback in the group, the
5-door multi-functional little Golf gets a power boost with the new 1.8T
motor. The “T” is for a super-smooth “turbo”, that allows the engine to produce
150 horsepower at 5,700 rpm. This fuel-efficient long-stroke motor also has
surprising pulling power at low rpm and features five-valves per cylinder
technology. It came with a 5-speed manual transmission.

Base Price: $23,820 As tested: $24,495
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 8.2 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour):42.7 metres

Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 9.7/7.0 city/highway

Best Luxury Coupe/Sedan

Money may not be everything, but it can buy you a
very attractive and exciting-to-drive automobile.


BMW 330 xi
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BMW 330Xi:

The ‘X’ that denotes four-wheel-drive in a BMW model name is back
on a sedan. This system is borrowed from the BMW X5 (a sport utility
vehicle) and it incorporates a traction control system that uses selective
operation of the brakes in place of a conventional differential lock and
also has DSC, a stability control system. A new 225 horsepower, 3.0-litre
in-line 6-cylinder engine meets ULEV (ultra-low) emission standards and is
the top-of-the-range 3-series power unit. All 3-Series vehicles with this
engine are characterised by 17-inch aluminium wheels with dual-spoke design
and chrome surrounds on the instrument panel dials.

Base Price: $45,900 As tested: $55,660
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 7.2 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour):41.1 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 11.4/7.3 city/highway

BMW 525i
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BMW 525i:

The 2001 5-Series has new engines, a discreet facelift, new-type
Xenon headlights, a rear seat Head Protection System and PDC (an ultrasonic
park distance system) in the front, as well as the rear. The 525I comes with
a 184 horsepower, 2.5 litre in-line six-cylinder engine with good low-end
torque and a drive-by-wire gas pedal. Ordering the optional side bags for
the rear, brings the total number of airbags to ten!

Base Price: $55,900 As tested: $62,490
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 9.6 seconds

Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 39.5 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 11.9/7.9 city/highway

Mercedes-Benz C-240
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Mercedes-Benz C240 Classic:

The new C240 comes in Classic, Elegance and
Sport trim levels. Standard safety equipment includes head protection
curtain airbags as well as dual threshold and dual-stage front airbags,
door-mounted front and rear side airbags, Electronic Stability Program
(ESP), and Brake Assist. The test vehicle came with a V6 engine and a new
six-speed manual transmission. A five-speed automatic transmission with
Touch Shift, allowing manual gear selection, is also available.

Base Price: $34,450 As tested: $38,310
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 9.8 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour):41.2 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 12.8/8.0 city/highway

2001 Oldsmobile Aurora
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Oldsmobile Aurora 4.0L:

The 1994 Aurora forged a new driver-oriented focus
for the Oldsmobile product line and this second-generation Aurora is a
continuation of the original theme. The new design is a lighter, tighter
body that’s shorter by 15 cm. and the wheelbase is also slightly shorter,
improving handling and manoeuvrability. The base engine is an
award-winning 215 horsepower, 3.5 litre V6 and the test Aurora came with the
improved 250 horsepower 4.0 litre V8. Both engines are lighter, more fuel
efficient and produce less emissions.

Base Price: $46,130 As tested: $47,740
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 8.3 seconds

Braking (100 to 0 km/hour):43.1 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 13.7/8.7 city/highway

Best Minivan

As there was no minivan category at CCOY last year, due to a
lack of competitors, Mazda was allowed to defer it’s entry – the Mazda MPV – to this year.


Chrysler Town & Country
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Chrysler Town & Country Limited AWD:

Larger headlights, a raised a belt
line, a forward tilted back window and well-defined side creases are the
styling highlights of the completely redesigned Chrysler minivan. The
loaded-to-the-gills, luxurious T&C, all-wheel-drive version comes with
three-zone automatic temperature control system and a removable, powered
centre console, power operated sliding side doors and the first remotely
operable power-up and power-down rear liftgate.

Base Price: $50,030 As tested: $50,405
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 10.5 seconds

Braking (100 to 0 km/hour):44.6 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 14.0/9.6 city/highway

2001 Dodge Grand Caravan
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(SE shown)

Dodge Grand Caravan Sport:

A stronger body structure and improvements to the
suspension make for a significantly quieter passenger environment. Side air
bags and other safety improvements should enhance an already good safety
record and a bit of extra power from the motor and some chassis component
tweaking adds more driving zest on the road. There’s a pop-up cargo
organiser behind a 50/50 split third row rear seat that comes come with a
rollout feature. A new 230-horsepower 3.5-litre engine is expected later in
the year.

Base Price: $29,505 As tested: $37,000
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 9.9 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 44.7 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 13.3/9.0 city/highway

Mazda MPV
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Mazda MPV LX:

This front-drive unibody design is a little smaller than the
competition, yet it still seats up to seven, and comes with two side
sliding-doors. Roll-down windows in the sliding rear doors and a third row
“side-by-side” seat that neatly folds out of the way into a recessed floor
are just two of the many interesting features in this vehicle. A 170
horsepower 2.5-litre, V6 engine provides power.

Base Price: $25,505 As tested: $31,130
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 12.0 seconds

Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 39.9 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 13.6/9.9 city/highway

Nissan Quest GXE
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(GXE shown)

Nissan Quest SE:

A mild redesign of the Quest has made changes to the front
bumper and grille, while the rear window opens independently of the tailgate.
Inside it has a conversation mirror, a “smart” shelf behind the third row seat
and an optional (standard in SE) video game, DVD entertainment system. The
SE version also comes with front and rear stabilizers, anti-lock brakes and a
sport tuned suspension.

Base Price: $35,198 As tested: $35,483
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 11.5 seconds
Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 44.1 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 13.9/9.3 city/highway

Ford Windstar Sport
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Ford Windstar Sport:

The 2001 Windstar has “sportier” front and rear design
treatments, according to Ford. Still “sport” is a curious name for a
safety-conscious minivan that’s received a top government crash-test rating
for the last six years and the majority of the 2001 improvements are safety
related. It will come with a smart air-bag system with passenger weight
sensing technology (available mid-model year), a sliding-door warning strobe
in the side mirrors and IVD (Interactive Vehicle Dynamic), a stability
control system.

Base Price: $30,695 As tested: $35,230
Acceleration (0 to 100 km/hour): 9.9 seconds

Braking (100 to 0 km/hour): 43.1 metres
Fuel Consumption (litres/100 km): 13.9/9.4 city/highway

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