Want the best value in the premium compact crossover segment? Automotive journalist Trevor Hofmann makes a pretty good case for driving to your local Infiniti store and picking up a 2014 Infiniti QX50.…

2014 Infiniti QX50 Road Test Review

If you had to ask me which compact crossover SUV is sportiest, I'd need to put Infiniti's QX50 near the top of my list. It's not only one of the sleekest five-door CUVs in the luxury sector; it's also an impressive driving machine.

The QX50 was first introduced as the EX35 in 2007 as a 2008 model, and hasn't changed stylistically since inception. Just the same Infiniti has steadily updated its smallest crossover each year, with the biggest improvements coming in model year 2011 when a new seven-speed automatic transmission replaced the old five-speed unit, and in 2013 when Infiniti replaced the 3.5-litre V6 with a more powerful 3.7-litre unit, and commensurately changed the model's name to EX37.

Its new QX50 designation is the result of a brand-wide renaming system that sees all car monikers start with Q and all crossovers and SUVs begin with QX, a formula that goes way back to the brand's initial model and first SUV, the flagship Q45 full-size luxury sedan introduced Read Full Story
Do you want your BMW diesel with more power or better fuel economy? With the 2014 328d xDrive it appears that BMW believes you want the latter, having come back into the compact clean diesel arena with…

2014 BMW 328d xDrive Road Test Review

In today's auto market, consumers have numerous decisions to make before purchasing. Even after deciding on a brand, model and body style, there's a choice of engines and drivetrains to consider. Offering such options is one of many things BMW does well, and its iconic 3 Series is the poster child of variety.

You might be surprised to hear that BMW can equip a 3 Series with up to six different engines, three different transmissions and either rear- or all-wheel drive, depending on the body style. The sedan, which is the subject of this test, comes in all iterations, starting with the most affordable 320i, followed by the 328i, 335i, and the clean diesel-powered 328d I recently had the pleasure of driving. Of course there's the wickedly fast M3 as well, plus at the other end of the performance spectrum the thrifty yet still very quick ActiveHybrid 3.

If you want strong performance with the best fuel economy, however, the new 328d is the way to go. Its official claimed Read Full Story
Just what makes a big seller in the auto business? Start with great design, and the Mazda CX-5 has good looks in spades, along with a lot of additional winning attributes that help make it an extremely…

2014 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD Road Test Review

Next time you're out driving, check out how many Mazda CX-5s you see. They're everywhere. The high-style compact crossover replaced the old Ford Escape-based Tribute and sleek near-premium CX-7 when introduced two years ago as a 2013 model, and now ranks a solid second in overall Mazda sales behind the new 3.

After a number of controversial stabs at finding a clear cohesive identity, Japan's sportiest carmaker has truly found its form in the new "KODO – Soul of Motion" design language. The 6 is my personal favourite, easily the best looking of the mainstream midsize sedan lot, followed closely by the new 3 in both sedan and hatchback configurations. Likewise, Mazda's new CX-5 is a styling hit, the five-point grille transferring over to its taller SUV body type perfectly, and all of the design philosophy's gently flowing lines making it as elegant as it's sporty.

Inside, the CX-5 offers a straightforward business-like approach that's decidedly Japanese. My top-line Read Full Story
Are you the 2015 Sienna? The third-generation 2011 Sienna almost made minivans cool again, and for the 2015 model year Toyota will attempt to lure yet more buyers back to this most practical class of…

New 2015 Toyota Sienna reveals updated interior

Arguably the best-looking minivan available, especially in sporty SE trim, Toyota found street cred with its third-generation 2011 Sienna when introduced in 2010. Now, four years later, it gets a mid-cycle upgrade for the 2015 model year.

The old adage "if it ain't broke don't fix it" certainly applies to the Japanese brand's refreshed minivan, at least on the outside. Exterior styling enhancements are limited to a new headlamp cluster design, optionally infused with a thin strip of de rigueur LED running lights, as well as fashionably late mirror housing-integrated turn signals on top-tier trims, and newly designed taillight lenses.

"The Toyota Sienna is a minivan like no other – delivering all the practicality that busy Canadians want, plus great styling and the surprisingly dynamic performance that drivers love," said Larry Hutchinson, Vice President at Toyota Canada Inc. "For 2015, the Sienna is more inviting and fun – with an even more upscale interior, Read Full Story
Are you considering an Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz SUV? Jeep makes a strong argument for going domestic with its impressively refined and well-equipped 2014 Grand Cherokee. For an insider’s look, read…

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit EcoDiesel Road Test Review

When Jeep updated the its fourth-generation Grand Cherokee for the 2014 model year, it made many of the little tweaks and changes we've come to expect from a mid-cycle refresh. There's a new front fascia with a body-coloured grille surround, smaller headlights, and reshaped fog lights. At the back, the taillights have been redesigned and the chrome strip between them has been removed, while at the corners there are new wheel designs. With its metallic red paint, polished chrome wheels and bold grille my Summit trimmed test truck certainly turned heads.

More significantly, Jeep also made a couple of notable mechanical updates for 2014, with a new eight-speed automatic transmission and a newly available 3.0-litre direct-injected turbodiesel engine. This isn't the first time the Grand Cherokee has been offered with a diesel in North America - the third-generation version got an available Mercedes-Benz-sourced diesel from 2007 until that model was replaced in 2010. It's also not Read Full Story
BMW applied its naming strategy to its much-lauded 1 Series and now we have the all-new 2014 2 Series, a car that’s not only renamed but is also much improved. Read Simon Hill’s detailed analysis…

2014 BMW 228i Coupe Road Test Review

There are many reasons to love BMW's new 2 Series: For true driving enthusiasts it offers quicker, more nimble handling than the increasingly large 3 Series or its new 4 Series two-door offshoot. For the style-conscious, it offers genuine two-door coupe styling without sacrificing outward visibility or much in the way of practicality. For the budget-minded BMW shopper, it offers all the key touchstones of the BMW driving experience (and even the same engine, if you're comparing the 228i to the 328i) at a significantly lower entry price ($36,000 for the base 228i versus $42,000 for the base 328i, not including destination fees). Finally, for those who just want a fun car, it delivers in spades without spoiling the party when it comes time to fuel up.

For those who haven't been following BMW's rapidly evolving model nomenclature, the 2 Series Coupe is the replacement for the 1 Series Coupe. From now on, 1 Series cars are slated to be small four- and five-door models (mostly only Read Full Story
Sad but true, the Toyota FJ Cruiser’s days are numbered, so make sure you take in Trevor Hofmann’s review of this special 2014 Trail Teams edition. Complete with every available option, this unique…

2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Road Test Review

You can choose to weep in your pillow if you want to, or rather than lamenting the news that Toyota's fabulous FJ Cruiser will soon only be available from the used car lot, you can choose to purchase a brand new 2014 model and revel in its exclusivity.

There's something even more exclusive about the 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser, incidentally, the availability of a unique version that Toyota unveiled to Canadians at the Vancouver International Auto Show, dubbed Trail Teams Special Edition. Most noticeable is the model's Heritage Blue paint scheme, which is very un-heritage-like as its roof isn't painted white like the original FJ40 and most FJ Cruisers that have come since. No matter as it looks great, adding a custom appearance that's only enhanced by its black 16-inch TRD beadlock-style alloy rims on LT265/75R16 BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A tires. The bumpers, mirror caps and door handles are a matching matte black, while the grille surround is painted in classic gloss white. The Special Read Full Story
Mainstream brands in the subcompact arena had better be ready for the upcoming launch of the 2016 Mazda2, as it’s one very smart looking hatchback with one very appealing cabin. The next-gen 2 gets…

New 2016 Mazda2 unveiled in JDM Demio guise

We won't be seeing the new Mazda2 in the metal just yet, but next year the stylish subcompact hatchback will make its way to Canadian Mazda dealers. Ahead of that 2016 model year Canadian-specific car, Mazda's home market of Japan will receive the updated 2 under its Demio nomenclature later this year.

The 2015 Demio looks a great deal like the Hazumi concept vehicle that rolled onto Mazda's Geneva Motor Show stage last March, so those who like that stylish hatchback should be pleased with what the automaker has done with the new production car's design. As expected, the company's new trademark five-point grille looks much like it does on the larger Mazda3, 6 and CX-5, as does the brand's unique headlight treatment. The new Demio is proof that the automaker's Kodo design language works well on any size vehicle, car or crossover.

In case you're thinking that it's somewhat soon for Mazda to be bringing out a new 2, being that the model only debuted here in 2011, consider Read Full Story