What’s in a name? For the iM it could matter a lot, as many Toyota faithful didn’t even look when sold as a Scion and now that it’s also a Corolla it will be doubly respected. Toyota won’t mind…

2017 Toyota Corolla iM Road Test

If asked to select new models for last year's car of the year awards, I would've put Scion's iM at the top of my list. I've always been more impressed by inexpensive practical cars done well than luxury sport models charging pricey premiums, and the iM did everything asked of it very well indeed. For 2017 it's mostly carryover except for two important features, the badge on the grille and a host of premium-level safety features that are now standard yet were never offered previously.

As you may have already heard, Toyota said goodbye to its youth-oriented Scion brand that started off with a bang back in 2003 and ended in a fizzle at the close of 2016. All that's left is this iM, which was already sold as the Auris Hatchback in Europe and simply as the Corolla Hatchback in Australasian markets, and the fabulous FR-S sports coupe that was also sold globally as the 86 (or at least as some version of the 86 nameplate including GT86 in Europe and New Zealand as well as FT86 in Nicaragua Read Full Story
I just wrote a story about Canadian Black Book resale values and learned that Tundra retains its MSRP better than any other full-size truck (click “Toyota” under TCM Quick Links […]

2017 Toyota Tundra Double Cab TRD Pro

I just wrote a story about Canadian Black Book resale values and learned that Tundra retains its MSRP better than any other full-size truck (click “Toyota” under TCM Quick Links below to read the entire story), but I’ve covered every recent model year of this pickup in multiple trims as well as generations past (scroll through that same link for previous reviews), plus my dad owned a fault-free first-gen version decades ago, so I don’t need to be sold on how good it is. Then again, the TRD Pro took me off guard.

This truck is bold, brazen, and just plain baddass! Chrome? Not. It’s matte black all the way, except for its glossy black wheels and superb “Cement” grey paint. I can’t tell you how many neck-snapping looks it’s received from passersby over the past few days, but suffice to say it’s pulled more eyeballs than most of the ultra-exotic hardware I’ve driven this year, and the sound of its big 5.7-litre V8 at full throttle is almost as intoxicating as the exhaust note of one of those supercars (the amount of gas it guzzles is almost as dizzying too). At 381-hp and 401 lb-ft of torque it’s quick for a 2,480-kilo (5,467-lb) behemoth, but its ultimate capability is meant to be experienced off-road.

Without giving too much away ahead of the full review, initial criticisms include gluttonous fuel economy, poorer interior plastics quality than most rivals, and no integrated rear bumper steps (or anything likewise) for climbing up onto the bed when the tailgate is lowered, but before you think I’ve got nothing good to say, the Tundra TRD Pro’s attributes are way too lengthy to list (here at least) so stay tuned for all the details in my upcoming road test…

Want to get the best deal on your next car? Take note, it doesn’t just come down to the price paid at purchase. Often even more important is resale value, the price you’re actually paying being the…

Canadian Black Book hands out 2017 Best Retained Value Awards

For some automakers the annual Canadian Black Book Best Retained Value Awards are a bittersweet pill. Imagine taking home first place in a given category with a discontinued model?

Such was the case for both Toyota and Volvo whose FJ Cruiser and XC70 took first place in the "Midsize SUV" and "Entry Luxury Car" categories respectively, yet the FJ Cruiser hasn't been available in our market since the last eight examples trickled away in 2015, and the XC70 ended its run last year with just one 2016 model leaving a single Volvo showroom last month.

Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and Ram also had long-gone models make the cut, although their respective Avalanche, GLK, Quest, Xterra, and Cargo Van were only runners up, but better late than never.

Vehicles that consistently retain high values save consumers money

More important to Canadian auto buyers are currently available new models that made the grade, because the real price paid for a car is the difference Read Full Story
The Highlander could win buyers over merely on styling points, but it’s much more than just a handsome face. Even base models get cloth-wrapped A-pillars and loads of soft touch surfaces, whereas this…

2016 Toyota Highlander XLE AWD Road Test Review

Still my favourite midsize crossover from a styling perspective, the Highlander will soon get upgraded for the 2017 model year with a bolder, deeper and edgier version of the current grille, plus modified headlights, taillights and body panels, and a new direct-and-port-injected 3.5-litre V6 with as yet undisclosed output figures, not to mention a more efficient eight-speed automatic transmission. It'll be a significant mid-cycle makeover, but probably not so much that you'll be sorry if you purchase the current version.

Then again, as just noted I happen to really like the current Highlander's blunt truck-like grille and brawny yet sleek, athletic stance. This XLE trimmed variant gets classic circular fog lamps at each corner, an attractive set of multi-spoke machine-finished 19-inch alloys with grey painted pockets to fill out its profile, and silver painted roof rails with crossbars up top, so if you like what you see you'd better act now.

As for the interior, the Read Full Story
After best-ever sales last year Toyota’s RAV4 is the 2nd top selling compact SUV in Canada, while just 3 months into 2016 it’s number 1! What are you missing? A major refresh has increased interest,…

2016 Toyota RAV4 LE AWD Road Test Review

As a journalist, I've always wondered how someone can cross over to the "dark" side of automaker public relations, or worse, politics. Let's remember that both Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy (who I need to clearly state has been totally exonerated after a very long and thorough trial) were journalists before they entered politics, the latter ironically "exposing" politicians as the Ottawa editor for CTV News Channel and the former laughably finishing her journalism career off as host of the Canadian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" It appears she at least wanted to travel like one… but let's get back to the automotive side of politics, shall we? If I ever found myself writing spin for an auto brand or on stage talking up the merits of a new model (and to be transparent I've been offered PR positions before) I think I'd like to work for Toyota, as there's very little need for spin when it comes to its products and therefore one's integrity could be kept intact.

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