Back in the early 1990s when I was a few years away from my first driver’s license, one of the hottest cars you could own was the tiny little 1991 Honda CRX Si in yellow. It was small, quick and had an obnoxiously loud paint job that called attention to itself wherever it was. I’d sit in the back seat of my parents’ car as they chauffeured me to and from school, fogging up the window as I gawked at that yellow CRX which was always parked in some lucky guy’s driveway. I saved every waking cent until the day I was old enough to drive and flush enough to buy my own yellow CRX. It never happened. By the time I had enough money, my tastes had changed, and the CRX had morphed into the less desirable Del Sol.
But with the creation of the CRX, Honda had struck a chord with millions of consumers. It was a subcompact that had a look all its own and impressive performance numbers for its day in both acceleration and fuel efficiency. Fast forward 20 years past the fuel guzzling SUV era, and wouldn’t you know it, subcompacts are once again de rigueur. Auto manufacturers have to figure out a way to meet the impending 35 mpg corporate fleet average by 2016, and fuel sipping subcompacts are the way for them to get there, hence the barrage of new subcompacts from every manufacturer.
Honda has harkened the cries of CRX fans everywhere and introduced the new CR-Z, which is aimed to have the looks and sportiness of the original CRX combined with the hybrid efficiency of the new Insight. Mazda has taken its ‘gram’ strategy of cutting unnecessary fat everywhere possible to create a subcompact weighing a mere 2280 pounds, the lightest car in this comparo by an incredible 300 pounds. Ford has finally employed its strategy of a global platform and brought the wildly successful European Fiesta to the States, the first time a Fiesta has been sold on US soil since 1980.
Each of these subcompacts comes from a unique perspective, and concurrently, their redeeming qualities attract a unique buyer. We firmly believe that every car on the road today is ideal for someone, so rather than ranking these micro machines from first to last, this review will show which car appeals to which buyer the most. Because really, all three are terrific machines in their own respect, each with unique attributes that appeal to totally different consumers.
|MAZDA MAZDA2||FORD FIESTA||HONDA CR-Z|