Lincoln isn’t most luxury buyers’ first choice when it comes to premium brand auto shopping, but with the shapely new MKZ the domestic brand is putting forth a good argument to raise its pecking order.…

2014 Lincoln MKZ AWD Road Test Review

Every time I see a new Lincoln MKZ drive by I turn my head. It's not the brand's new signature split-wing grille that captivates me, although there's nothing wrong with it stylistically, it's the car's gracefully sweptback rear proportions capped off with its elegant taillight treatment. From the rear, the MKZ is really something unique and special in a mid-size luxury sedan segment that's become all too safe and predictable over the years.

I suppose that's what I like best about Lincoln. In its quest to once again make a strong styling statement of its own and simultaneously gain greater relevance as a luxury brand, its design department hasn't merely been pushing boundaries but rather removing some of them altogether, boundaries that other carmakers don't even seem willing to nudge up against. The end result hasn't always proved palatable to enough premium buyers to reach critical mass in the luxury market (MKT comes to mind), but the new MKZ truly stands out in a very pleasing Read Full Story
BMW has been producing the X3 for more than 10 years, and according to auto journalist Trevor Hofmann the German automaker has finally got it completely right. From styling to interior refinement it has…

2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d Road Test Review

If there's a vehicle in BMW's lineup that's shown the most consistently steady improvement since inception it's the X3. I was on the original model's press trip in Spain way back in the fall of 2003, and while I was impressed with its performance, the ride was a tad on the firm side and interior quality wasn't quite what I had hoped for. With each new generation BMW has refined its compact crossover, so that now with this entirely new 2015 model it comes so close to the quality of its larger X5 brother that the only reason to move up to the larger model is size and optional V8 performance.

Powertrains in mind, another consideration that bodes well for the 2015 X3 is its powerful, fuel-efficient clean diesel, previously only available with the X5 in BMW's sport activity vehicle offerings. Switch the console-mounted driver select mode toggle forward to the Sport position and the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder's 280 lb-ft of ready and willing torque reacts to throttle input Read Full Story
Are you the Lexus RX 350? If you’re looking for a luxury crossover, chances are this one’s got your name on it. Read Trevor Hofmann’s review of the updated 2015 model to find out why so many premium…

2015 Lexus RX 350 SportDesign Road Test Review

Let me ask you a quick question. If you were to buy a mid-size luxury crossover SUV today, what would you buy? Almost every luxury brand makes one, but chances are, just based on statistics alone, a Lexus RX 350 would end up in your driveway.

The Lexus RX is the best selling luxury SUV in North America, period. Others are doing their best to catch up, but the originator of the entire luxury crossover segment is still number one after 16 years, and deservedly so. It does exactly what people who buy luxury crossovers want them to do, provide comfortable, accommodating, feature-filled transportation in a good looking richly appointed cabin, while delivering good fuel economy and exceptional reliability.

What most don't realize, however, is that the RX 350 is also a very enjoyable vehicle to drive. Comfort might be objective one, and to that end its ride quality is second to none, but plant your right foot on the accelerator from standstill or while passing slower moving Read Full Story
In today’s world of restricting fuel economy standards, every possible way an automaker can eke out efficiencies needs to be explored, and when proven technologies deliver significant results yet don’t…

Silverado and Sierra 1500 pickups to get optional 8-speed automatic for 2015

In the light-duty pickup truck arena, the big three can't be seen as behind the times. Leave such mundanities as normally aspirated V8 power conjoined with six-speed automatic transmissions to Toyota and Nissan, which don't compete as fiercely for top dog as Ford, GM or Ram. It's ok to have one of the above, but you'd better include some innovative tech under the hood and elsewhere if you want to be taken seriously or your loyal truck owners will start feel inadequate.

Ford F-150 owners should be feeling particularly virile these days, with the brand's EcoBoost turbocharged V6 giving them powertrain leadership bragging rights and now an all-new lightweight aluminum body shell seemingly more supercar than super-duty, while Ram owners will be feeling pretty smug about the new 1500's ultra-efficient and powerful EcoDiesel V6, eight-speed automatic gearbox and air suspension. How about Chevy and GMC light truck owners? The Silverado and Sierra are excellent pickup trucks with superb Read Full Story
If you bought a new luxury model would you choose all-wheel drive? Audi has proven that its Quattro AWD system is now more popular than ever before, achieving the most recent million units of the 6,000,000…

Audi hits six million Quattro AWD landmark with new SQ5

Today, think of Audi and most who know the brand will also think of its Quattro all-wheel drive system. These fans may or may not know that Audi was the first to offer a modern-day permanent all-wheel drive system in a passenger car 34 years ago, a technology that's been seen as such an immense benefit to road cars in cold weather climates that most models sold in Canada by such rear-drive stalwarts as BMW and Mercedes-Benz are now all-wheel drive too, while Porsche offers optional all-wheel drive in every vehicle it produces except for its Boxster and Cayman.

Tally up the number of all-wheel drive models these rivals have individually produced over the last three and a half decades and it won't sum up to six million, however, the number of Quattro systems built by Audi since it introduced the drivetrain on its sporty Quattro Coupe way back in 1980.

"Dynamism and sportiness, the utmost technical precision and safety – that's what Audi's quattro technology stands Read Full Story
There’s still plenty of sunshine left for al fresco touring, and BMW has just the right car to do it in. BMW’s beautiful Z4 roadster is a visual dream on wheels, and auto journalist Trevor Hofmann…

2015 BMW Z4 sDrive35i Road Test Review

Look long and hard to find a better-looking two-seat roadster than BMW's Z4. It's difficult to do.

Styling is always a personal thing, of course, as is human beauty. But just as experts in the field of the fine arts or for that matter the modeling profession will tell you there are certain physical features that most people find more aesthetically pleasing than others, there are also classic sports car design cues that cause grown men to go weak in the knees and people who don't even pay attention to cars to sit up and take notice. BMW combined the classic long hood and short rear deck to design perfection with its graciously beautiful Z8 in 1999, the Grace Kelly of sports cars and possibly the four most memorable days I've ever spent in a road car. As much as I love this ode to the perfectly proportioned '56 507, it's my personal opinion that they one-upped the brilliant Henrik Fisker design when they introduced this second-generation E89 Z4 in 2009.

It's also stood Read Full Story
Today on CarCostCanada, auto journalist Trevor Hofmann takes a 2014 Toyota RAV4 to beautiful Victoria, BC. Enjoy the picturesque gallery created by our new staff photographer and photo editor Karen Tuggay,…

2014 Toyota RAV4 LE AWD Road Test Review

I wasn't in the automotive journalism field when the first RAV4 came into existence way back in 1994. I just remember being amazed by the little compact. I felt it was a lot cuter, a bit funkier and generally better looking than the first Honda CR-V that followed a year later, but both immediately caught on with the buying public and the rest is history.

That RAV4 was a revolutionary vehicle for the time. Certainly there had been small SUVs prior to '94; Suzuki's original LJ80 that first appeared in 1979 comes to mind, followed up with the same Japanese brand's Samurai in 1985, the Sidekick in 1988 and the Vitara in 1999. What made that first RAV4 different was its car-based platform architecture, a unibody design we now refer to as a crossover SUV or CUV. That Toyota's RAV4 and others like it now make up one of the fastest growing vehicle segments in North America, and Suzuki, while continuing to make body-on-frame SUVs to this day no longer sells any road-worthy four-wheel Read Full Story
How we love to speculate about the future of the automotive world, and nothing gets us going like a teaser image. Most give us a hint of what’s coming down the line, but Infiniti’s latest gives no…

New Infiniti teaser image taunts fans of the brand ahead of Paris

If you were to do a complete accounting of a given brand's new vehicle lineup, you might be surprised at what they're missing which would otherwise help them compete more effectively.

Cadillac and Lexus, for instance, don't have seven-passenger crossover SUVs, whereas the latter is only just getting its compact crossover now and the former has nothing at all to offer. As for cars, Lexus does a good job in the full-size luxury sedan flagship department with its LS, but Acura's RLX and Cadillac's STX don't quite measure up to the class leaders from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, while Infiniti's Q70, its largest sedan, clearly battles it out in the mid-size luxury segment.

Why all this banter about "white" spaces needing to be filled? Because Infiniti's latest teaser image gives us no clue as to what they're planning to introduce next, but rather it causes us to speculate as to what the brand requires most.

The press release that accompanies the photo is quite Read Full Story