Most new car buyers have at least considered buying a hybrid, and cars like the 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid make the move to partial electric power seem easy. Automotive journalist Simon Hill dissects this…

2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE Road Test Review

Following its ground-up redesign for the 2013 model year, Ford's Fusion Hybrid has received only a few relatively minor changes over the past couple of years. Key amongst these changes was the introduction for the 2014 model year of a new entry-level Hybrid S trim level that jettisoned the Hybrid SE's power seats, rear seat HVAC ducts, rear seat armrest and cupholders, rear floor mats, compass, exterior temperature indicator, keyless-entry pad, satellite radio, and heated side mirrors with approach lights. It also restricts the options list, meaning you can't get the MyFord Touch infotainment system or any of the company's sophisticated driver assistance equipment with the S trim. 2014 also saw the introduction of available inflatable rear seatbelts (optional on all models), a heated steering wheel (optional on SE and Titanium models), and ventilated front seats (optional on Titanium models).

For 2015 a rearview camera has been made standard across the range, and the available Read Full Story
What’s more special than a mid-engine Ferrari? A special limited edition version of a mid-engine Ferrari. Specifically, reports from last weekend’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey,…

New limited edition Ferrari 458 Speciale Spider on the way

The word from last weekend's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is that Ferrari will build a new model that combines the topless beauty of the retractable hardtop enhanced 458 Spider with the brute muscle of the 458 Speciale, and limit its availability to just 458 examples.

The new 600-horsepower model was reportedly unveiled at a private function at the Monterey, California event. It will succeed the F430-based 16M Scuderia Spider when it goes on sale, but before it hits the road we can expect it to show its pretty face at the upcoming Paris motor show in October.

And what are your chances of getting one? While a total of 458 examples hardly makes the 458 Speciale Spider (or whatever name it will eventually receive) as exclusive as some special editions, if you weren't at the closed-door Pebble Beach event or haven't yet received your exclusive preview invitation from Ferrari, you're likely too late.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press) Read Full Story
Today on CarCostCanada, we bring you Trevor Hofmann’s review of the 2014 Mazda3 Sedan in top-tier GT trim, a compact premium model minus the pricy luxury badge. Mazda has thoroughly improved its new…

2014 Mazda3 Sedan GT Road Test Review

Want a BMW 3 Series but can't quite afford it? No problem. Mazda has the next best thing: the new 3 GT.

Of course I say that with tongue in cheek, but then again I'm only half joking. The new 2014 Mazda3, especially when kitted out in top-line GT trim, looks and feels a lot more upscale than most in the mainstream compact class. What's more, it delivers sportier performance than the majority of its rivals too. It's the 3 series for those on a budget. No wonder Mazda chose 3 for its numerical designation so many years ago.

Actually, the Mazda3 hasn't been the Mazda3 for all that long. The current designation only came into existence 11 years ago for the 2004 model year. Happy belated anniversary, by the way. What is the 10-year anniversary present anyway? Diamonds? Hmmm… I think the traditional gift of tin or aluminum is more fitting, but I seriously digress. Prior to the 3, the misspelled Protegé was Mazda's compact model, and before that it was the 323. Read Full Story
Want something that will not only attract every passerby within a hundred feet, but also every honeybee searching for daffodils, dandelions and tulips? If so, the bright yellow 2014 Volkswagen Beetle…

2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR Road Test Review

A couple of things about the Volkswagen Beetle GSR: First, yes, it's loud and showy with its bright yellow-and-black paintwork and bold racing stripes. Second, it comes by its extroverted personality honestly. The GSR pays homage to the 1973 Beetle GSR, a tweaked and tuned version of the original Beetle that was produced in limited numbers (3,500 units to be exact) mostly for the German market.

The original Beetle GSR borrowed its distinctive colour scheme - a yellow body with black hood and engine cover - from the Salzburg Rallye Beetles of Austria, and took its name from the same colour scheme: GSR stands for Gelb Schwarzer Renner, which translates as Yellow Black Racer. How's that for honesty?

While the original GSR had a naturally-aspirated, air-cooled 1.6-litre motor that made all of 50 horsepower, the 2014 Beetle GSR gets Volkswagen's turbocharged 2.0TSI four-cylinder engine, cranking out a comparatively massive 210 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. And while Read Full Story
Missed out on the M1 but you still want something ultra-exclusive with a blue and white roundel on the hood? BMW will only bring 30 30th Anniversary M5s to North America, so start the conversation with…

BMW’s 30th Anniversary M5 puts 600-hp to the rear wheels

Want to get a car enthusiast's attention? You can spend millions on a sensationally styled supercar concept with soybean-sourced faux suede upholstery and solar energy-enhanced plug-in-hybridized biofuel-powered greenness, which will never get produced, or you can simply pump up the power in our favourite sport sedan, douse it in some matte grey paint, add a few special badges and call it a day.

That's what BMW has done with its legendary M5, although the "30 JAHRE///M5" (30 Years of the M5) badges found on the front fender engine vent trim, doorsill plates, and sewn into the seat inserts, plus the "30 JAHRE///M5 x/300" plaque fixed to the passenger-side dash are a great deal more important than most special edition hardware, as they celebrate 30 years of the most revered sport sedan to ever hit the road. The only bad news is that the "x" in the nomenclature above represents 1 through 300 limited edition models.

No tears will be shed by the lucky 300 who get to own Read Full Story
The performance car world will never be the same again. Enter the 707 horsepower Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, the quickest and fastest production four-door sedan anywhere in the world. This made-in-Canada…

707-hp Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat super-sedan revealed

With the advent of the 707 horsepower 2015 Charger SRT Hellcat, Dodge is clearly saying: We are not the minivan company anymore!

We never got the hyper-powered Dodge Grand Caravan SRT family hauler that many hypothesized about, but yah, whatever. Now that Dodge is officially becoming Fiat Chrysler Automobile's performance/muscle car brand, hellfire is clearly being stoked.

While the Charger SRT Hellcat closely follows the Challenger SRT Hellcat to market, it won't lag behind its two-door sibling on the racetrack. Word has it the slightly smaller but approximately 45-kilo (100-lb) heavier four-door uses its 2,068-kg (4,560-lb) curb weight to hook up the rear wheels more effectively, passing the quarter mile 0.2 seconds sooner at 11.0 seconds flat when shod in its standard Pirelli P Zeros. Zero to 60 mph (96.6 km/h) takes just 3.7 seconds, while the world's most powerful four-door will top out at a cool 328 km/h (204 mph). If you hadn't guessed already, this makes it Read Full Story
The Infiniti QX60 is a very popular luxury crossover SUV, and for good reason. Find out exactly why in this review by automotive journalist Trevor Hofmann. Its standard feature set will likely surprise…

2014 Infiniti QX60 AWD Road Test Review

Every brand has at least one go-to model that pulls more buyers in than any other, and Infiniti is fortunate enough to have two. Its biggest seller is the Q50 sport sedan, a highly competitive four-door that deserves its journalistic praise and ownership loyalty, but very close in the Q50's rearview mirror (with respect to sales numbers) is the big seven-passenger QX60 crossover SUV.

The QX60 isn't the lowest priced crossover in Infiniti's lineup, that honour belonging to the compact QX50, but it just might be the best executed CUV in the entire luxury segment, that when combined with its comparatively low price of entry and excellent fuel economy is too much of a good value proposition for many families to pass up.

In case I've got your curiosity piqued, the 2014 QX60 starts off at a very reasonable $43,000 plus $1,995 for freight and pre-delivery prep, and that model hardly shortchanges you on features. Rather, a sampling of the standard menu includes proximity sensing Read Full Story
In the market for a luxury hybrid? If so, Lexus has a lot to choose from, including the new 2014 Lexus ES 300h, a good looking four-door sedan that’s big on roominess, features and fuel economy, plus…

2014 Lexus ES 300h Road Test Review

It's hard to believe that 2014 is just the second model year for the hybrid version of Lexus' most popular mid-size ES luxury sedan. If there ever was a no-brainer in the auto industry this car is it.

For the ES model's first five generations ending in 2012, the Lexus ES shared underpinnings with the mainstream Toyota Camry, which has long offered a hybrid alternative. That Lexus didn't choose to adapt the Camry Hybrid's drivetrain for ES duty is something I have difficulty wrapping my mind around, as it would have been a prime candidate. It's odd then that the brand waited until last year to offer a hybrid variant when the sixth-generation ES moved up to share the new Avalon's platform architecture, but the ES 300h is a welcome addition just the same.

We don't get the Avalon Hybrid here in Canada, our market too small to warrant such a niche trim level for a model that already sells in relatively small numbers overall. It's a shame, as the Avalon is a superb entry-level Read Full Story