Want a cheap fun car? Consider Nissan’s heavily updated Sentra in new 2017 SR Turbo trim. Yes, a Sentra that’s fun! It’s been a while, but this 188-hp turbocharged imp boasts LED headlights, an…

2017 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo Road Test

If you'd asked me last year to name the Canadian small car market's most and least entertaining cars, I'd have put Nissan's subcompact Micra city car and compact Sentra sedan on the respective lists. For 2017 the Micra remains a personal favourite in the cheap performer entry-level category, and much to my delight Nissan has elevated the larger Sentra's fun factor times ten.

It wasn't too long ago that Nissan's Sentra SE-R was a highly respected sport compact, and while this once revered model is no more, the four-door-only Sentra can now be had in as-tested SR Turbo guise as well as top-line Nismo trim. I'll leave the Nismo for a future road test review, because the SR Turbo is the car I most recently spent time with.

Before delving into this all-new 2017 trim, Nissan gave the entire Sentra line a thorough mid-cycle refresh for the 2016 model year that pulls its much more agreeable styling cues from other models within the Japanese brand's lineup, particularly the Altima Read Full Story
Porsche builds its 718 Cayman on the same Zuffenhausen assembly line as its legendary 911, and uses many of the iconic rear-engine sports car’s components. The smaller two-seat coupe is a mid-engine…

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman Road Test

718? Well that's different. Or at least it will be to all but ardent Porschephiles. If it were any other luxury brand I might be grimacing right now. After all, normally when a premium brand changes its model-naming scheme from creatively written monikers to alphanumeric drivel (like Mazda, Acura, Cadillac, and Lincoln did years ago-the latter brand just starting to embrace its past again with the Continental) I'm not in favour, but Porsche received a smiling thumbs up from yours truly when introducing 718 as the new model prefix for the 2017 Boxster and Cayman.

You see, Porsche has long used a mix of integers, letters and words in its naming process, sometimes only referring to numbers like the original 356, the 901 that followed, the 911, 912, 914, 924, 928, 944, 959, 968, and so forth. These three-digit number sets were actually internal codes, with those noted being the most common way for we the people to refer to each model as well. Others, like the Boxster (codes 986, 987 Read Full Story
If you want a compact SUV make Honda your first or last stop, as they don’t come any better than the CR-V. The world’s bestselling SUV is new from the ground up for 2017, with standard features including…

2017 Honda CR-V Touring Road Test

Can you guess the question I get asked most often? Sure I get plenty of queries about best supercars ever driven and safest cars for university-aged daughters, but more often than not people want to know which compact SUV they should buy. Whether I'm at home in Canada, across the Pacific at my second home in the Philippines, or traveling somewhere else, the theme never changes. Compact SUVs are popular everywhere, and making life easier the answer given most often is found on every continent too, Honda's CR-V.

The CR-V was the most popular SUV in the world last year, selling a total of 752,670 units compared to 711,571 in 2015, which represented growth of 5.8 percent and a new all-time high for the SUV sector.

Of course, as good as the CR-V is I'm not going to recommend it to an off-road enthusiast, Jeep's Cherokee (good for 295,081 global sales last year) a better bet within the directly competitive mainstream volume sector (hardcore Wrangler fans don't need to ask-they Read Full Story
Sporty looking and plenty quick with 194 hybrid horsepower, its standard AWD is conventionally powered up front and a battery sourced at the rear. The result is best-in-class fuel economy of 7.4 L/100km…

2017 Lexus NX 300h Executive Road Test

Amazingly, Lexus went from having nothing in the compact luxury SUV segment throughout most of 2014 and prior, to being one of the top-three players by the end of 2016. The story is even better in the U.S. where the new NX is now number one in the entire class.

That, of course, makes it top dog in the northernmost North American jurisdictions by default, with combined U.S./Canadian sales of 61,179 units compared to 60,048 Acura RDX deliveries. Where were Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi? The four-ringed brand was third with 57,863 Q5 sales (that being the old first-generation model that's since been replaced), Mercedes' new GLC fourth with 52,562 units, and BMW's X3 fifth with a total of 49,613 buyers.

How the mighty Germans have fallen, not that Lexus is particularly weak and feeble. The Japanese luxury brand is a powerhouse in the crossover sport utility sector where its RX has been the bestselling mid-size luxury SUV in both Canada and the U.S. (by a long shot) for as long Read Full Story
BMW’s 7 Series has always played second fiddle to the S-Class for luxury, but not so anymore. With the advent of the 6th-gen 7, always admirable large car driving dynamics are joined by a level of available…

2017 BMW 750Li xDrive Executive Road Test

Ever since Lexus entered the luxury fray, pundits, including yours truly, have claimed that premium brands require a V8-powered full-size flagship sedan within their ranks in order to be taken seriously.

Hyundai Motor Company's new Genesis brand appears to concur, bravely launching its new two-model luxury division with just a mid-size and full-size sedan at a time when compact D-segment cars and all manner of SUVs dominate the luxury sales charts, and a quick look at the highfalutin sector's top-selling brands will show that Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Lexus rule the roost in Canada (just switch those last two around for the U.S. market), all of which offer large four-door flagships.

Of course, success may have a lot more to do with three-quarters of these sales leaders being traditional German brands with long, rich histories, all epitomizing luxury and therefore appealing to those trying to set themselves apart from the unwashed masses, the latter Japanese building Read Full Story
Buick’s Encore is updated for 2017 and is therefore an even more enticing prospect for subcompact SUV shoppers. In this review we give you the good, bad and ugly, the only real negative being a great…

2017 Buick Encore Sport Touring Road Test

Each time I schedule a Buick Encore for testing I don't give it much thought. It's a subcompact SUV that needs to be covered because of its reasonably strong sales, but it's not the type of vehicle that elicits a lot of passion. And then once inside I'm reminded of how nice it is, and on the way home how easy it is to drive.

I must say it's even better for 2017. GM just gave it a thorough mid-cycle update including a much more attractive modernized grille, headlights and taillights filled with LEDs, the removal of those silly hood-mounted "ventiports", and of course new wheels all-round, while its interior gets a number of styling and technical enhancements too, plus it continues to drive very well.

My tester came in near-base Sport Touring trim with few options so it featured the standard 138 horsepower 1.4-litre turbo four with 148 lb-ft of torque, and was only configured to drive the front wheels as tested-AWD is a reasonable $2,000 option across most of the line. Read Full Story
The Tiguan as we know it is ending, but before a larger completely updated model replaces it we review the near decade old original in its final special Wolfsburg Edition duds. This just-above-base variety…

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan Wolfsburg Edition 4Motion Road Test

I know what it's like to be small in stature. Throughout school I was always height challenged, as some like to call it. Making matters worse, my overall build didn't easily accumulate upper mass-the type desired-yet had no problem attracting mid-rift bulge-the unwanted variety. I worked hard to overcome the bodily challenges plus greater interest in books and hobbies than sports, combined with a love of sweets, and albeit somewhat unwillingly became a fairly decent athlete. I suppose this is why I relate to the Tiguan.

After all, it's always been pintsized compared to its supposed "compact" competitors, although it's more recently had the ego-boosting benefit of looking large amongst a bevy of new subcompact SUVs-kind of like yours truly "towering" above many of my oh-so wonderfully friendly family, friends and colleagues in my second home of the Philippines. Of course, all of this VW SUV small talk will soon become moot as the German brand prepares to replace this abbreviated Read Full Story
The Rogue has always been a strong seller in the compact SUV segment, but an impressive mid-cycle update makes the 2017 model more popular than ever. Today we review it in its most opulent SL Platinum…

2017 Nissan Rogue SL Platinum AWD Road Test

Just one look and you'll know why the Nissan Rogue sells so well. Its design is ideally balanced between sporty and elegant, with just enough rugged truck-like SUV presence to beef up what's actually a sleek and efficient car-based crossover.

How popular is it? For years the Ford Escape was number one in Canada's compact SUV category, but that ended when 2016 came to a close and Toyota's RAV4 took over the top spot, and then after the first two months of 2017 Honda's recently redesigned CR-V bumped the RAV4 off its pedestal, only to be knocked off by Nissan's new Rogue in March. By the close of May it was all topsy-turvy again, with the RAV4 up top, CR-V second, Escape third and Rogue fourth, although not many deliveries separate these hotly contested compact SUVs from each other. Every other competitor seems to drive off the sales cliff in comparison, with the majority in four-digit territory.

Truth be told, any one of these top-four compact SUVs would be a good bet, Read Full Story