Toyota has sold more than five million Prius models around the world since the nameplate’s introduction in 2000, but that’s still Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press a small fraction…

2014 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Road Test Review

Toyota has sold more than five million Prius models around the world since the nameplate's introduction in 2000, but that's still a small fraction of cars sold during that time. Still, Prius sales dwarf every other gasoline-electric hybrid ever introduced, even Toyota's own Camry Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid models. In order to build on the Prius success story, the Japanese automaker smartly expanded Prius into a brand. It's more of a sub-brand being that the four Prius models within continue to wear Toyota's namesake logo and are sold from Toyota retailers, but the move shows that Toyota is well aware of Prius brand power.

That power has now been channeled into the Prius Plug-in Hybrid. Toyota, which has almost singlehandedly built up global acceptance of hybrid-electric propulsion to the point that most every automaker, including sports car and supercar makers, has a hybrid or plug-in electric in production or at least on the drawing board, needed a plug-in just to stay on the Read Full Story
It was a month ago that Lexus teased worldwide audiences with a single close-up image of its "newest Lexus F model," and the   promise that the car would deliver a "bold, gritty experience…

Lexus reveals new RC F super coupe ahead of Detroit

It was a month ago that Lexus teased worldwide audiences with a single close-up image of its "newest Lexus F model," and the promise that the car would deliver a "bold, gritty experience synonymous with the famed Lexus F heritage."

Now, as the North American International Auto Show gets ready to open in Detroit, the Japanese luxury brand has revealed that the promised car is indeed the new RC F coupe, as was expected. Supporting the latest press release is some substantial technical information and, better yet, a full gallery of photos.

The 2015 RC F is based on the all-new RC coupe that was revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show last November, but it features wider wheels and tires, an active rear wing (similar to that on the LFA supercar), and unique styling details. These details include a bolder spindle grille, stacked angled exhausts like on the IS F sedan, and a plethora of air scoops, cooling ducts, and stabilizing fins.

The hood is also higher than the RC coupe's Read Full Story
Prior to the entirely new 2014 model, the last time I drove an Impala was more than a decade ago. It was the old General’s version Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press of a mid-to-full-size…

2014 Chevrolet Impala LT Road Test Review

Prior to the entirely new 2014 model, the last time I drove an Impala was more than a decade ago. It was the old General's version of a mid-to-full-size "ahem-cough" luxury car, and a good indication of why the automaker that once was the world's largest slid to second in command and soon after almost went belly up in the global auto sales battlefield.

That was then, this is now, and the 2014 Impala is as clear an indication that a new, better-trained General has taken control of the Detroit-based company. What's good for Detroit is also good for Canada, or at least Oshawa Car Assembly with respect to the Impala, where the big sedan is manufactured alongside the Camaro and Equinox. That it looks a bit like the Camaro from the front is hardly a coincidence, Chevrolet doing its darnedest to add excitement to its large car division so as to pull customers back from Chrysler's 300, Dodge's Charger, Ford's Taurus, Hyundai's Genesis, Kia's Cadenza, Nissan's Maxima, and Toyota's Avalon, Read Full Story
After successfully leading the charge to develop and market a mainstream hybrid vehicle with its iconic Prius, Toyota is now looking 2013 Toyota FCV Concept (Photo: Toyota) to secure the lead in the race…

Toyota shows hydrogen fuel cell powered FCV Concept at CES

After successfully leading the charge to develop and market a mainstream hybrid vehicle with its iconic Prius, Toyota is now looking to secure the lead in the race to develop a successful mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

The Toyota FCV was first unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in November and is now making its North American debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It will then make an appearance at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit where it will be joined by some competition in the form of hydrogen-powered concept vehicles from Honda and Hyundai.

At the FCV's Las Vegas unveiling two models were on display, a Radiant Blue four-door FCV Concept and a camouflaged engineering prototype. Toyota has been extensively road-testing the prototype over the past year, including cold testing in Yellowknife and heat testing in Death Valley. The vehicle has a much smaller and more powerful fuel cell than Toyota's first prototype, which was Read Full Story
If there was ever a question as to whether Mazda is trying to bridge the gap between mainstream and premium the new 2014 Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press 3 is the answer. In some ways it even…

2014 Mazda3 Sport GT Road Test Review

If there was ever a question as to whether Mazda is trying to bridge the gap between mainstream and premium the new 2014 3 is the answer. In some ways it even bests German luxury brands and in most cases it squarely beats its similarly priced competition.

The upscale treatment is best experienced in the 2014 Mazda3 Sport GT, top of the line in the go-fast Japanese company's compact arsenal. Yes, there's no Mazdaspeed3 this year, our fingers collectively crossed for the return of the tire-shredding beast along with (hopefully) some of the refinements of this new naturally aspirated regular 3 included. These refinements boast a higher quality full soft-touch dash-top plus soft-touch front door uppers, much better electronics including a BMW iDrive-like lower console-mounted rotary controller that Mazda calls HMI (Human Machine Interface) Commander Switch and BMW-like fixed colour screen protruding up from the centre dash-top, plus a heads-up display unit in front of the driver, Read Full Story
Led by the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Plug-in, and with as many as 16 offerings in total to choose from, plug-based cars 2014 Tesla Model S (Photo: Tesla) recorded a major sales surge in 2013, jumping…

Plug-in electric car sales grow in 2013

Led by the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Plug-in, and with as many as 16 offerings in total to choose from, plug-based cars recorded a major sales surge in 2013, jumping by 84 percent in the US to almost 100,000 units total. While the Volt and Prius Plug-in led in volume, the Tesla and Nissan Leaf posted the biggest year-over-year gains, selling 18,800 and 22,610 vehicles respectively in the US last year - a gain of 130 percent for the Leaf. Conventional hybrids also saw a modest 15 percent increase in sales, reaching an all-time record of just under half a million vehicles sold. To put things in perspective these are still relatively modest numbers, with all battery-based vehicles together representing less than four percent of the total US new vehicle market. That's less market share than the Ford F-Series truck holds on its own. But the numbers show a growing acceptance of plug-in and hybrid vehicles by the motoring public, indicating that these vehicles are here to stay. The numbers Read Full Story
What to do, what to do? I have so many errands requiring the roominess of a van that a week simply won’t do. The question Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press shouldn’t be what to do,…

2014 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited Road Test Review

What to do, what to do? I have so many errands requiring the roominess of a van that a week simply won't do. The question shouldn't be what to do, but rather what to do first?

Haul a load to the dump and another one to the recycling centre. Take some more summer/fall stuff to my storage locker and pick up winter clothes and the family ski gear (if the snow ever comes). Swap the kids loft bed and the foldout sofa underneath for a new bunk bed, plus pick up a new twin mattress. Buy another shoe cabinet and some other furniture from Ikea. Go get the almost-new used stove and overhead fan/microwave from a Craigslist ad and dump the old one off at the dump. Pick up the new bathroom vanity. The list goes on and on, and then this coming weekend it'll be loaded up with significant other, kids and luggage for a five-hour road trip to visit my brother and his family.

It's easy to appreciate how the minivan becomes an essential part of some families' lives. It's a vehicle that's Read Full Story
Back in December Kia teased us with an overhead silhouette of a 2+2 sports coupe concept car it would be debuting at the upcoming   North American International Auto Show in Detroit. But the image…

Kia teases GT4 Stinger Concept ahead of Detroit

Back in December Kia teased us with an overhead silhouette of a 2+2 sports coupe concept car it would be debuting at the upcoming North American International Auto Show in Detroit. But the image and seating configuration was about all that the Korean automaker revealed, telling us only that the concept was created at Kia's U.S. design studio in Irvine, California and is "intended to turn heads while delivering superb driving enjoyment on both road and track."

Now with only days to go before the press portion of the Detroit show opens, the automaker has released a second teaser image and some more detailed information about the concept. There's still not enough information to paint a complete picture of the car, but it's sure to be music to the ears of automotive enthusiasts.

The car is called the GT4 Stinger Concept, and Kia has confirmed that it will indeed be a rear-wheel drive coupe, with power coming from a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder churning out an impressive Read Full Story