2013 Chevrolet Spark (image ©GM Corp.)
While many students can get by with public transit, biking or carpooling, others want a car for school, work or play.
But what to do when the costs of tuition, books, food and living expenses make it difficult to afford a new car? Fortunately, there are some relatively low-cost options out there for students looking for a new rather than a used ride. What follows is a list of five new vehicles that are priced just right.
Get ‘em while they’re hot.
The 2013 VW GTI Wolfsburg Edition (photos by Dan Heyman)
This side of perhaps the Nissan GT-R, there are few performance vehicles that have quite the cult following that the VW Golf GTI does.
When the folks in Wolfsburg, Germany took a garden-variety, city runabout hatchback, added a special Bosch fuel injection system, put it on a diet an slapped “GTI” badges on its grille in 1975, a whole new segment of motoring was born: the performance hatchback, or “hot hatch”.
Since those times, the Rabbit (as it was originally called in Canada) and Golf GTI have soldiered on, through six generations and the change from four-cylinder power, to six-cylinder power, then back again to four-banger power with added forced induction. There were even special all-wheel drive editions, as well as a manic über-GTI powered by the twin-turbo 12-cylinder engine from the Bentley Continental, although it was never meant for production but more of a surprise presentation to GTI enthusiasts, who make the pilgrimage every year to a small town in Austria to celebrate that cult classic, the Golf GTI.
So needless to say, for this test, I knew I would be driving something special.
As part of its national campaign to promote the new 2014 Forester, Subaru Canada will give families the opportunity to experience rally racing up close and personal.
Canadian families can until June 9 sign up for the chance to win an all-expense-paid trip to Mont-Tremblant, Que. for the Subaru Forester Family Rally. The automaker will select the five qualifying families on June 17, and the actual family friendly competition will kick off in August. Over the course of the competition, families will earn points based on how well they maneuver through obstacles and complete the course. The winning family will be awarded a spanking new 2014 Subaru Forester.
Just some of the wares drivers get to experience at the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy (photos by Dan Heyman and courtesy of Mercedes-Benz)
Awhile back, we posted a special on the Exotic Car Experience, located in Oakville, ON.
It was a very cool thing—a day spent behind the suede wheels of various supercars—and a wonderful gift idea but it had one big drawback: its location. If you weren’t from the area, then it would be a tough sell.
This next opportunity for a great Father’s Day, birthday or anniversary gift, however, doesn’t have quite the same difficulty.
This is the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy, and it’s offered in various locales, ranging from just outside Vancouver, BC in Mission all the way to Mont Tremblant in Quebec. Five types of courses are offered: a half-day course, a full-day course, a two-day course, a winter course and ours, called “Mastering Performance”, which delves a little deeper into the nitty-gritty of racetrack work. Starting in August, there’s a whole new set of courses that fly under the banner of Mercedes’ performance arm, AMG.
More than just an opportunity to try some of the best metal on offer from Mercedes and its AMG performance subsidiary, you will actually learn how to properly use your vehicle on a racetrack—there’s even a classroom component.
The 2013 GMC Acadia (images ©GM Corp.)
This is our next family vehicle.
Right now we’re rocking a Dodge Caravan and for our family of five including a two, a five and eight year old and it does the trick. Baby seats and access to people that sometimes need help getting their seatbelts done up and undone make a van with two sliding doors the right solution. But in a couple of years our oldest will be entering double digits and our youngest will be in a booster seat. All that access won’t be as important and a vehicle that has a little bit more emotional appeal to mom and dad will be in order.
The GMC Acadia fits the bill.
General Motors and Nissan have signed an agreement for Nissan to produce a small cargo vehicle that GM will sell in Canada and the United States.
General Motors has reached a deal to source from Nissan a small cargo vehicle that will be sold in Canada and the United States.
The two companies announced that they have signed a pact that will see GM obtain the vehicle from Nissan and sell it through its network of Chevrolet dealerships in North America. GM anticipates that the Chevrolet City Express, based on Nissan’s NV200, will be ready for sale in the fall of 2014. GM will announce pricing details down the road.
The all-wheel drive hits keep on coming from Jaguar.
The 2013 Jaguar XJL 3.0 AWD (photos by Dan Heyman)
When we recently tested the Jaguar XF AWD, we were impressed not just by its dynamics, but by the fact that Jaguar has finally woken up and realized that V6-powered, AWD luxury sedans are necessary, especially in the Canadian market.
We also liked how the six-cylinder power recalled the great Jags of old, perhaps even more so in the case of the XJL you see here. After all, this is Jag’s flagship line, and back in the days of the Mark 2 sedan, when Jaguar was just getting on the fast-saloon map, the six-cylinder engine was there.
Of course, the luxury and opulence remained as well, and even though the current XJ looks as futuristic as it does, we’ll soon see that there’s plenty of that luxury here, as well.
2014 Volvo S60
Volvo enthusiasts need only wait until the autumn season to get behind the wheel of vehicles equipped with the company’s new four-cylinder engine.
News of the fall rollout comes on the heels of a development that has seen the company kick off production of the first engine variants in its new, high-efficiency four-cylinder engine portfolio. The move is part of the automaker’s strategy to retain complete control over developing and manufacturing its four-cylinder engines and drivelines.
Achtung, Deutschland; General Motors is serious about building sports sedans.
The 2013 Cadillac ATS (exterior photos by Adam Allen, interior by Dan Heyman)
Not too long ago, Cadillac unleashed the ATS on the motoring world to great critical acclaim. Despite the fanfare, unshakable links to a couple of Caddy’s skeletons in the closet were inevitable, specifically where the Cimmaron and the Catera are concerned. We can be thankful that those two turds are no longer with us, flushed into the oblivion that is the automotive sewers. They’re gone, and let us never speak of them again.
You can disregard the insufferable efforts of the past, but it’d be foolish to ignore the gaping hole Cadillac has in its lineup where the competitive entry-level position resides. There’s the CTS, but its current dimensions mean it can’t directly compete with anything directly, certainly not in the compact luxury segment. Look for that to change when the next generation hits showrooms packing a footprint on par with mid-size entries like BMW’s 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz’s E-Class and Audi’s A6, but we aren’t here to talk about the CTS, are we?