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With excellent on-road poise, bang-on aesthetics and an attractive price, the Mazda3 stands as a solid alternative to the segment's stalwarts.
Not a quantum leap, but a big step forward. The new Volt really impresses.
The 2016 Audi A3 e-tron adds eco-friendliness and a bit of utility to the already premium A3, but it's far from the best choice for plug-in hybrid efficiency or EV range.
The 2016 Audi S7 starts with one of the best tech cars in this class and then adds a generous helping of track-ready performance.
Along with a brand-new look, Chevrolet's compact hatch offers several key technologies not available on the competition.
The 2016 Nissan Leaf's design and technology are getting long in the tooth, but a substantial boost in cruising range keeps the electric hatchback relevant amongst much younger competition.
Gonzo power, suspension upgrades and carbon ceramic brakes take Audi's RS 7 to the next level.
The 2016 Mini Clubman is the biggest and most premium Mini yet, but it's still a Mini: quite small, playful and quirky. This odd balance of lilliputian luxury puts the Clubman in a class of its own.
With up to $14,000 in credits or rebates available, the 500e is fun and engaging city car that many can afford.
The 2016 Scion iM is an attractive, value-priced compact car with good space, but ultimately middling efficiency and underwhelming driving dynamics.
The GTI Clubsport will be the most powerful production GTI ever when it debuts in Frankfurt next week.
The 2016 Hyundai Elantra GT boasts a solid level of standard features with standouts that make it feel like a value, as well as optional features that add a premium feel and a premium price.
More powerful, more efficient and with a broader appeal, the Volt is way better for 2016, but still a very niche car.
It has more power than any JCW that came before, but also a fair bit more polish. Is that a good thing?
It's a pricey upgrade over the already excellent GTI, but the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R packs the power and all-wheel drive performance to rival Subaru's WRX STI.
Larger, with more doors and a more powerful engine, the 2015 Mini Cooper S, in 4-Door trim, broadens its appeal while retaining its unique looks -- but tread carefully on the option sheet as the price can get very high.
The 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI continues to improve without straying too far from the blueprint that makes the original hot hatchback so great.
The flexible, fun 2015 Honda Fit loses a bit of its sporty edge for this generation, but continues to stand out as a strong, driver-friendly choice in a very crowded segment.