The Civic has been the best-selling passenger car in Canada for as long as most can remember, although Honda Canada clarified the car’s record tenure on top at 19 consecutive years in a press release…

Honda Canada sells two-millionth Civic

The Civic has been the best-selling passenger car in Canada for as long as most can remember, although Honda Canada clarified the car's record tenure on top at 19 consecutive years in a press release yesterday. The reason for the press release almost equals that feat, the sale of its two-millionth Civic in Canada since the nameplate arrived on the flower power scene in 1973. That was the same year that Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced they would restrict the flow of crude oil to countries supporting Israel on October 17th, causing the price of oil to increase by 200-percent and the concurrent success of fuel-efficient economy cars like the Civic. Talk about having the right product for the times. Of course, the fact that a compact model remains number one in the Canadian passenger car industry shows the more things change the more they stay the same. On that note, 1973 was also known for massive inflation (back when our governments Read Full Story
A plug-in hybrid minivan? That gets a claimed 2.6 Le/100km? That makes 287-hp? And as luxurious as most premium buyers could hope for with standard and optional features like proximity access, pushbutton…

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Platinum Road Test

In the mainstream volume auto sector only Daimler's Smart brand has fewer models than FCA's Chrysler. Chrysler has three. And next year it'll be down to two. Just how FCA allowed this to happen is anyone's guess outside of Auburn Hills, but at least the two models that will carry the Pentastar flag into 2018 are very good at what they do.

Case in point, the 300 is the perennial Canadian bestseller in both the mainstream full-size luxury sedan class and the mid-size premium E-segment (it arguably fits into either depending how you load it up). It obviously targets its audience very well. The Pacifica minivan hasn't been so fortunate thus far, and due to the slow take-rate of electrified vehicles this new plug-in variety even less so, but to Chrysler's credit the conventionally-powered model's sales have been growing since a new entry-level trim was introduced, and base pricing concurrently came down.

Pricing is especially critical in the minivan segment that almost always Read Full Story
Want a cheap car? Mitsubishi’s Mirage just might fit the bill. Want a nicer cheap car? Ante up for the Mirage G4 SEL. We tested this fully loaded sedan and came away surprised at its standard features…

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 SEL Sedan Road Test

Remember when Mitsubishi had a full lineup of exciting sports models? When first arriving on the Canadian market in late 2002 for the 2003 model year I attended their all-model launch in Montebello, Quebec and was impressed by much of what they had on offer. In fact, I reviewed every single car and SUV available that year, which included compact, mid-size and full-size sedans, compact, mid-size and full-size SUVs, plus a sports coupe and convertible.

Mitsubishi continued adding models to most every mainstream market niche possible in the years that followed, and I attended nearly every launch program they put on, including the fabulous 2005 Lancer Evolution VIII MR rally-bred sport sedan that wasn't offered in Canada, the '06 Lancer Evolution IX (also not offered here), the ill-fated Dodge Dakota-based '06 Raider pickup truck (at which point I was asked if they should bring it to Canada, and I recommended not as I didn't think they'd sell enough), the much-improved '06 Eclipse Read Full Story
The Fusion has long been a fashionable car and it’s even more appealing after its most recent 2017 mid-cycle refresh, while this top-line Energi Platinum receives even more style along with zero-emissions…

2017 Ford Fusion Energi Platinum Road Test

We certainly have a lot of engine alternatives these days. While oil burners are becoming less prevalent amongst cars due to Volkswagen's Dieselgate scandal, various types of hybrid and full electrics are available from most manufacturers.

"Energi" is Ford-speak for plug-in hybrid or PHEV, a technology that straddles the middle ground between an HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) and EV (Electric Vehicle) by providing pure electric capability for short commutes as well as the ability to continue driving without recharging at all, a best of both worlds scenario that seems to have found common ground amongst environmentally conscious buyers.

The Fusion Energi was one of the earlier plug-in adopters, arriving on the scene in February of 2013. It was by no means first in North America, Chevy's Volt starting things off on a mass scale in 2010, which beat Fisker's Karma and a small run of Ram 1500 PHEVs to market by a year or so. Toyota's Prius Plug-in Hybrid arrived in early 2012, Read Full Story
The ultimate sleeper? Acura’s RLX Sport Hybrid might just fill the bill if you’re looking for a conservatively styled luxury sedan that flies under the radar like an executive jet. It’s light on…

2017 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid Elite Road Test

You can be forgiven for not knowing much about Acura's flagship RLX luxury sedan. It's been around for a while, but its numbers haven't reached the critical mass necessary to put it on most luxury buyers' radar. Either that, or they've seen it and opted to shop elsewhere. Likely it's a bit of both, but I've personally met a number of RLX owners who chose it over everything else on the market. Before delving into why, here's a little background info about this little known Acura.

The car grew out of fertile Acura Legend roots, which was a four-door sedan created off the back of the Honda Accord for Acura's initial offering in 1986. It sold very well, reaching a peak of 70,770 units in the U.S. in 1988 (sorry I don't have Canadian sales info going that far back, but as a rule it's generally about 10 percent), and helped the brand earn early respect in the luxury sector.

The Legend was replaced by the larger and more upscale RL in 1995, but in an attempt to appeal to more Read Full Story
Let’s not bore each other with mundane luxury and convenience features. The 2017 Subaru WRX Sport-tech gets a 268hp 2.0L turbo 4, a 6-speed manual, active torque vectoring AWD, 18-inch rims, a sport…

2017 Subaru WRX Sport-tech Road Test

WRX? EVO? WRX? EVO? WRX? Hold on… we no longer get to make this argument. Sadly, in a dedicated, systematic effort to transform itself into the most yawn-inducing automaker the world has seen since Daewoo disappeared under the umbrella of General Motors, Mitsubishi has forsaken its countless performance fans along with decades of world rally heritage by giving up on the legendary Lancer Evolution series of compact sport sedans, so now the only Evo that might have a chance of unseating a new WRX will need to come from the pre-owned side of Mitsubishi's dealer lots (or the used lots of Subaru retailers exchanging Evo trade-ins for new WRX STIs). The WRX, on the other hand, is very much alive and better than ever, while its Subaru parent, despite no longer taking part in the World Rally Championship directly, still benefits from its decades of motorsport investment. In fact, Subaru's Canadian division has been growing stronger every year, from just 16,190 sales a decade Read Full Story
A Porsche for $54k? No wonder the German performance brand’s sales are soaring. New for 2017, the Macan compact SUV starts life with an economical 4-cylinder turbo engine that’s still quick enough…

2017 Porsche Macan Road Test

It's too early to tell exactly why Porsche has improved Macan sales so dramatically since its first full year of availability in 2015 when it sold 2,121 units, to the close of 2016 when its final tally was an impressive 2,800, but its recent ability to target an entirely new audience of entry-level luxury buyers probably had something to do with it.

Enter the all-new 2017 Porsche Macan. No, I'm not talking about the fabulous Macan S and its 340 horsepower 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 that's been available since the sporty utility debuted as a 2015 model. That trim continues forward into 2017 as one of the compact luxury SUV segment's quickest and most agile vehicles, but its $61,400 price point, while reasonable for what you get, puts it out of reach of many would-be buyers. Porsche has addressed this issue with a new base four-cylinder Macan that starts at just $54,100, hence the stronger sales numbers.

Yes, it seems hard to believe but you can potentially purchase Read Full Story
BMW’s new M2 makes a good argument for best sports coupe period. Introduced for the 2016 model year, this new 2017 gets few updates but hardly needs any more reasons for performance fans to take one…

2017 BMW M2 Coupe Road Test

Strangely, I can recall almost every moment from behind the wheel of a Canadian-spec 1994 M3 that I drove nearly 20 years ago. In actual fact it was one of the Euro-spec BF91 cars that BMW Canada had imported and sold instantly (3 days) to just 45 rabid fans thanks to a raucous and high-revving 282 horsepower (at 7,300 rpm) S50B30 3.0-litre inline-six conjoined to a five-speed manual that drove the rear wheels of a more rigidly constructed and lighter weight E36 coupe body shell (halted by vented brakes with floating rotors no less). A few years later an example came up for sale with just a handful of kilometers on the odometer, and the reseller, a trusting friend, threw me the keys.

These were pre-auto journalist days when I actually had to buy most of the cars I drove, so therefore my sequential bevy of personal BMWs (5), a Jaguar XJ, and countless beaters before these, had been powered by much less potent engines. That M3 was the most awe-inspiring car I'd driven to that point, Read Full Story