2018 Chicago Auto Show - Show Guide - page 10

By Tom Appel
Publisher, Consumer Guide Automotive
Thanks to easy access to
ridesharing services such as Uber,
Lyft, andWingz, many urban
dwellers have found that they
can live free of the complications
and costs of car ownership. On
the occasion that short-hop
transportation is needed, these car-
free
bon vivants
turn to a smartphone app and order up
a quick ride. Other times, public transportation suffices.
But the total population of Americans—even those
living in large cities—who can satisfy all of their
personal-transportation needs without a car is relatively
small. Additionally, there are people (this author among
them) who cannot imagine life without the freedom of
owning a car.
For the latter group of urbanites, I have selected
four vehicles that are especially well suited for city
environments. Each of these vehicles is a 2018
Consumer Guide Best Buy -- to see the entire list of Best
Buys, visit
.
So, what makes a vehicle a good city car? Driving
around a crowded, bustling city presents a number of
specific challenges for drivers -- challenges that can be
moderated by vehicles with the following attributes:
• Maneuverability
• Visibility
• Park-ability
• Throttle response
Let’s look at the four vehicles here, and examine how
they perform against the above criteria:
Kia Soul
Base Price Range: $16,100-$22,800
This subcompact hatchback packs an incredible
amount of passenger and cargo space into a very tidy
package. With its short front and rear overhangs (the
amount of the vehicle that extends beyond the wheel
openings) and tight turning circle, Soul is easy to pilot
through congestion, and being just 163 inches long,
this little Kia can park in spaces that most other vehicles
cannot. Note: Taller drivers may occasionally find it
difficult to see traffic lights, as the Soul’s roof extends
farther forward than that of many other vehicles,
obscuring forward upward.
Toyota Yaris iA
Base Price Range: $15,950-$17,050
This subcompact sedan is actually a Mazda product,
assembled for Toyota to sell in the U.S. and Canada. That
behind-the-scenes business arrangement in no way
diminishes the charms of this affordable urban warrior.
Despite being only modestly quick, Yaris iA is fun to
drive, and its nimble handling is a boon for weaving in
and out of traffic, as well as winding through crowded
parking garages. Like the other vehicles on this list, the
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CHICAGO AUTO SHOW 2018
10
BEST BUYS FOR
THE CITY DWELLER
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,...32
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