We’ve driven the new Camaro SS, and we’ll tell you outright: it might be the best American car you can buy right now. With that in mind, the 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder options ought to be just as good. With a starting price $27,000, that’s pretty affordable by our account.
Maybe a little less exciting than the Camaro, the Chevrolet Cruze is beginning to shed its former rental car self for something a bit more enthusiastic. New styling and modern technology should put it in the ‘fun to drive’ category for 2016.
Dodge Dart GLH
The rumors of a hotted-up Dodge Dart have been circling the drain since the car was introduced in 2013. But with dismal sales of the Italian-American compact in recent years, execs are trying to figure out a way to make the Dart work for consumers. A quicker version might do the trick.
Fiat 500X Abarth
What’s a new Fiat without an aggressive Abarth version soon after? Taking cues from its cuter 500 cousin, the 500X compact crossover could wear the Abarth badge sometime in the next year.
Fiat 124 Spider
One of the most talked about cars of the last quarter, the Fiat 124 Spider will officially come to market in 2016. It uses the Mazda Miata as its base, and features a uniquely Italian design. We’re also expecting an Abarth version sooner than later.
GMC CUV(est.) $26,500
The GMC uptake continues thanks to the arrival of the Canyon and Sierra pickups in 2013. But GMC execs want more—specifically CEO Duncan Aldred. He hopes that the introduction of a CUV (similar to the Buick Encore) will be a home run for the brand. Let’s hope they stick with the design from the Granite Concept pictured here.
Honda Civic Coupe
In just a few weeks, we’ll get a chance to test the new Honda Civic Coupe firsthand. Based on the joy we found in the Civic sedan, we expect it to be an absolute winner.
Honda Ridgeline(est.) $22,000
Light trucks are all the rage, and not one to miss a golden opportunity, Honda (as far as we can tell) has moved its Ridgeline pickup downmarket to take on competitors like the Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado. It should be an interesting battle for truck supremacy come 2016.
Mazdaspeed 3(est.) $25,000
Enthusiasts have been waiting patiently for the arrival of an all-new Mazdaspeed 3. The rumors have been flying for years, but we truly believe 2016 is the year we see could it finally hitting auto show floors, and eventually dealerships.
Small, compact, fun to drive. Those are the key values Toyota and Scion were looking to develop with the introduction of the C-HR concept just a few months ago. Going into 2016, they hope to carry over those values into a production version.
We know we’ve been critical of Scion’s rebadged Mazda 2. But the truth of the matter is, for the price, it’s hard to find something as quirky and relatively fun to drive as the iA. Not to mention the Mazda interior which remains pretty flawless.
It’s easy to criticize the Smart ForTwo—but why? It’s unique by all definitions, and the new one is significantly improved over the outgoing version as far as driving dynamics are concerned. Not to mention a starting price of just $15,640.
‘Fun-to-drive’ and ‘Prius’ usually aren’t descriptors you’d find used in the same sentence. But we discovered firsthand that you actually can have fun in the new Prius. Go figure.
Off road, on road—anywhere, really, the new Toyota Tacoma is fun and affordable. It gets a much improved interior and really plays up to the young, hipster community, which isn’t a bad thing.
Volkswagen Beetle Dune(est.) $28,000
A much-needed addition to the Beetle lineup, the Dune adds a fun factor that we’re not used to seeing within Volkswagen’s repertoire. Expect to see a starting price somewhere under $30,000.