Electric-only Tesla aside, BMW’s i3 was the first premium-branded EV when it arrived on Canadian soil in 2014 and remains so more than 3 years later. Now for 2017 it gets a significant power boost that…

2017 BMW i3 REx Loft Road Test

A lot has happened on the electric vehicle front since BMW came to market with its i3 in the spring of 2014. It was an anomaly amongst premium carmakers at the time, and while no competitive brand has anted up with a subcompact hatchback to do direct battle with this upstart imp, plenty have entered the plug-in hybrid fray.

The i3 started life with a cute albeit unusual exterior design and one of the more appealing interiors I'd experienced up to that point. Today, its outer styling remains quirky yet relatively fresh due to rarity, and its interior is still amongst personal favourites.

It was always a bomb to drive, with quick acceleration and superb handling, the latter surprising when first eyeing its tall, narrow, stubby proportions, and while its approximate 160 kilometres of electric-only range was reasonable for the day, more would've helped. That's how it stayed for its first few years, but for 2017 BMW bumped up the capacity of its battery from 22.0- to 33.0-kWh, Read Full Story
Chances are you’re not considering BMW’s X4 for your next SUV, but we might be able to change your mind. It’s sportier than an X3, especially in 355-hp M40i guise, and provides almost as much practicality,…

2017 BMW X4 M40i Road Test

BMW might be best known as the self-acclaimed "Ultimate Driving Machine" maker, but along with that arguably deserving title it should also be considered the ultimate luxury niche filler.

Seriously. The Munich-based premium marque manages to create obscure niches within the unique niches few other luxury rivals dare tap into, and when others don't work for their namesake brand they adapt them for Mini or Rolls-Royce.

The X4 was the obvious result of downsizing the already successful X6, the result of which sees even more sales than the larger mid-size model. Last year the X4 found 1,236 Canadians who liked the idea of a five-door sports coupe mixed with a compact SUV, whereas 1,178 BMW buyers chose the larger of the two. These aren't game-changing sales compared to 5,417 X3s and 6,942 X5s sold within the same 12 months, but every little bit adds up, as BMW has also learned with its multiple 3 Series, 4 Series and 6 Series body styles (although this last model's sales 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
BMW is the ultimate niche filler. Seriously. The Munich-based premium marque manages to create obscure niches within the unique niches few other luxury rivals dare tap into, and when others don’t work…

2017 BMW X4 M40i

2017 BMW X4 M40i
For those who can’t make up their minds between a sport coupe and an SUV, BMW makes the fabulous X4. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
BMW is the ultimate niche filler. Seriously. The Munich-based premium marque manages to create obscure niches within the unique niches few other luxury rivals dare tap into, and when others don’t work for their namesake brand they adapt them for Mini or Rolls-Royce? The X4 was the obvious result of downsizing the already successful X6, the result of which sees even more sales than the larger mid-size model. Last year the X4 found 1,236 Canadians who liked the idea of a five-door sports coupe mixed with a compact SUV, whereas 1,178 BMW buyers chose the larger of the two. These aren’t game-changing sales compared to 5,417 X3s and 6,942 X5s sold within the same 12 months, but every little bit adds up, as BMW has also learned with its multiple 3 Series, 4 Series and 6 Series body styles.
2017 BMW X4 M40i
The X4’s low profile is sporty, and its M40i upgrades even more so. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Regarding the five-door coupe-cum-SUV (or whatever you want to call it), a nod should be given to Infiniti for its original FX that more or less originated the idea and subsequent QX70 (still available, albeit rare), while Land Rover’s Range Rover Evoque took the concept down one size to the entry-level SUV class, and even went so far to create a three-door SUV coupe and now a two-door convertible variant (it’s a lot cooler than it sounds). Hitting even more at BMW’s core, Mercedes recently responded directly with the compact GLC Coupe and mid-size GLE Coupe, while a special mention should go out to Acura and its ill-fated ZDX, a model most people loathed (hence its cancellation) and I happen to still love.
2017 BMW X4 M40i
The X4 cabin is superbly crafted and M40i detailing particularly nice. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
BMW makes two versions of the X4, starting with the more fuel-friendly $48,700 X4 xDrive28i and topped off with the bahn-storming $60,700 X4 M40i. That means the X4 xDrive35i has been discontinued, but due to the latter, which entered the scene last year, no one should shed any tears. Where the xDrive35i was a blast to drive due to its twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six that made 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque, the M40i takes the same engine and puts a much more engaging 355 horsepower and 343 lb-ft down to its four torque-vectoring wheels. Like the less potent model, the M40i utilizes an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters; a version of that transmission also incorporated into the entry-level X4 xDrive28i, which incidentally is good for 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.
2017 BMW X4 M40i
A sports car profile mixed with the heightened visibility of an SUV. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)
Of course, there’s a lot more than extra oomph behind the top-line model’s “M” badge. Along with some unique styling details, larger wheels and tires, bigger brakes, a sport suspension, exclusive interior trim, and more, the M40i also includes launch control for a blistering 4.9-second standing start to 100km/h. Important news that just can’t wait for my upcoming review is the inclusion of BMW’s latest iDrive infotainment across the line, which features an ultra high-resolution display filled with a completely new menu design, faster processing, and enhanced graphics. There’s so much more to tell you about, so make sure to come back and find out why adventuresome kid-less couples should consider an X4 over an X3…
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