Buy­ing a new car?

Ignition - - Front Page -

ac­cel­er­a­tion, brak­ing and cargo space, the Elantra Sport posted better fuel ef­fi­ciency num­bers. A sig­nif­i­cantly lower MSRP ($20,000plus) also worked to its ad­van­tage.

In ad­di­tion to im­pres­sive per­for­mance test­ing scores, the Fo­cus RS also pro­duced the high­est throt­tle re­sponse, en­gine re­fine­ment and driv­e­train re­sults. It clearly has the strong­est per­for­mance pedi­gree of the three, yet it still re­tains some prac­ti­cal­ity thanks to its all-wheel drive plat­form and cav­ernous amounts of cargo space.

Like the Fo­cus RS, the Fiat 124 Spi­der scored well in per­for­mance test­ing, but gave ground in ar­eas of prac­ti­cal­ity such as oc­cu­pant en­vi­ron­ment (roomi­ness, com­fort, ac­cess, etc.) and avail­able cargo space. Not a sur­pris­ing re­sult, given that it is a con­vert­ible – the trade-offs are ob­vi­ous.

It must be noted that th­ese three are un­likely to be crossshopped due to their re­spec­tive body style, per­for­mance and pric­ing dif­fer­ences, so th­ese re­sults should be taken with a grain of salt.

The pres­ence of the Chrysler Paci­fica in the Large Util­ity cat­e­gory seems a bit strange at first blush, but when one con­sid­ers that both min­vans and SUVS were con­ceived with a sim­i­lar au­di­ence in mind – fam­i­lies with lots of stuff – group­ing it in a cat­e­gory with two tra­di­tional SUVS does make some sense. It is quite con­ceiv­able that the Paci­fica will be cross-shopped with SUVS.

In terms of this cat­e­gory, the Paci­fica edged out the Mazda CX-9 to win the cat­e­gory by the small­est of mar­gins – a sin­gle point.

The Paci­fica's styling didn't im­press AJAC vot­ers, in the main, but its oc­cu­pant en­vi­ron­ment scores (driver po­si­tion, er­gonomics, vis­i­bil­ity, com­fort, ac­cess, etc.) were the high­est of the three by a wide mar­gin.

It was level with the oth­ers in ve­hi­cle dy­nam­ics (steer­ing, brak­ing, han­dling) but posted the high­est ride com­fort score which, when com­bined with its other strengths (in­clud­ing cargo ca­pac­ity), was enough to off­set its lack of off-road ca­pa­bil­ity.

The Mazda CX-9 is a solid all-around per­former. It pro­duced the high­est styling scores and recorded con­sis­tent num­bers just about ev­ery­where else, in­clud­ing ve­hi­cle dy­nam­ics and per­for­mance test­ing. The prob­lem for CX-9 was it didn't re­ally out­shine the com­pe­ti­tion in any one area, which was enough to rel­e­gate it to sec­ond place.

At the risk of over­sim­pli­fi­ca­tion, the GMC Aca­dia was a third-place ve­hi­cle in most cat­e­gories, hence its plac­ing. It posted the best off-road score and held its own in ve­hi­cle dy­nam­ics and per­for­mance test­ing, but it was also had the high­est av­er­age fuel con­sump­tion fig­ure (11.6 L/100 km) and the big­gest price tag.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.