Why be normal? Every time a manufacturer dreams up another new market niche this question has to be on the mind, and in the case of the three-door coupe-cum-crossover Mini has dubbed Paceman, it certainly…

2014 Mini Cooper S All4 Paceman Road Test Review

Remember when the Mini brand re-launched under BMW's ownership way back in 2001? The sole model was the three-door hatchback now referred to as the Cooper Hardtop. It took another four years before the Cooper Convertible was added to the mix, and then another three before the elongated Clubman model with its cool Dutch-oven rear doors entered the lineup. These three happily filled out Mini's arsenal until just three years ago when the Countryman crossover SUV upped the size and versatility of the Mini equation, quickly followed by the smallest modern Minis to date, the two-seat Coupe and Roadster fraternal twins that zipped, zigged and zagged onto the scene a year later. The latest addition to what has now grown into a seven-model Mini lineup (not including the brand's S and John Cooper Works trims, or the five-door Hardtop that's on its way next year) is the Paceman, a unique three-door sport coupe crossover introduced last year.

To wrap your mind around the Paceman, think of Read Full Story
Today on CarCostCanada, Trevor Hofmann reports on the Golf Alltrack, a compact crossover based on the new updated Golf Wagon. Will it come to Canada? Only those on the inside of VW Canada’s operations…

VW shows off Golf Alltrack CUV-styled wagon ahead of Paris motor show

The reality that other markets get vehicles not accessible to Canadians is nothing new to automotive enthusiasts in our part of the world, and if it's any consolation there are many cars, crossovers, sport utes and trucks available for us to purchase that can't be had overseas. One of the former is the Passat Alltrack, a jacked up Subaru Outback-style crossover based on the Passat Wagon that's no longer sold on our shores (our larger American-built Passat sedan isn't related to any Passat model sold in Europe). Volkswagen has just released photos of a similar car based on the new Golf Wagon, however, which just might make the trek across the Atlantic and into a VW showroom near you.

The reason why the Passat Alltrack won't be heading here and this Golf Alltrack might is that the latter is based on the Golf Wagon that's already sold in North America, so Volkswagen doesn't need to certify an entirely new model in order to make it available to the U.S. and Canadian markets. If the Read Full Story
What to do when your car is aging and you still want to keep it strong on the sales charts? Drop the price so that it becomes the best value in its segment, which is exactly what Infiniti has done with…

2015 Infiniti QX50 Road Test Review

It wasn't long ago that I tested and reviewed last year's 2014 Infiniti QX50 luxury crossover, but upon rereading that report I owe you all a big apology. In that review I stated that it was "the best value amongst compact crossovers period." I was so wrong. As it turns out, the 2015 Infiniti QX50 is an even better value.

That outgoing model was priced at $37,900 in base AWD Journey trim, but now the new 2015 QX50 can be had for a staggering $2,950 less at only $34,950, plus $1,995 for freight and pre-delivery prep of course. The ultimate shocker is that it hasn't lost many features with the new more affordable price. The only items missing are its auto-dimming rearview mirror, powered tilt and telescopic steering column, maple trim, and powered moonroof, all now optional.

The standard features that remain put its German competitors to shame just the same, starting with proximity sensing Intelligent Key remote access with an illuminated pushbutton ignition, premium Read Full Story
Has Infiniti finally come up with a full-size flagship model to spiritually replace its original Q-ship? Fans of the brand can only hope that something similar to the graceful Q80 Inspiration concept…

Infiniti shows off rear styling of Q80 Inspiration concept

First they showed us part of a new grille, with the next photo being a long, lean and low profile shot, darkened beyond recognition in typical teaser fashion. Now we can clearly see the Q80 Inspiration concept, albeit only from its rear quarters.

This is good enough to depict its segment classification, however, the Q80 Inspiration slotting into the premium four-door coupe class to potentially do battle with the Audi A7, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, and Porsche Panamera. Infiniti categorizes the car in the "premium fastback segment," new terminology that doesn't appear to be used by any other manufacturer other than Ford in naming its new 2015 Mustang GT Premium Fastback. They can call it whatever they choose, of course, but "category-breaking," as the press release states, might be going a bit far.

Then again, where it differs from the aforementioned four-door coupes is size, the Q80 Inspiration a true full-size four-door rather than most of its Read Full Story
Like what you see? This is the 2015 Honda CR-V, Canada’s most popular compact crossover updated with a new design and other “significant enhancements,” says Honda. Read Trevor Hofmann’s report…

Reworked 2015 Honda CR-V puts its bolder new face forward

It's one thing to have little to lose as you try to climb your way up the ladder of success, but it's an altogether different kind of problem to maintain number one status year over year. Of course, the sales leadership title Honda Canada enjoys with its best-selling CR-V compact crossover is exactly the type of problem every rival brand would welcome, and the Japanese automaker isn't about to let any of them catch up easily. Therefore, in order keep the little SUV on top, a 2015 model year mid-cycle update promises "significant enhancements."

What we can see by the lone photo Honda supplied with its miniscule press release is a "new aggressive and bold appearance with unique Honda style," or so says about half of that bulletin. Honda completely redesigned the CR-V for the 2012 model year, so the timing is right for revisions. It's easy to see its bolder presence via the image Honda released, especially its more rugged looking grille design, reworked headlights and more aggressive Read Full Story
If a Cooper Convertible isn’t quite small enough for you, Mini has an even sportier alternative that should suit your needs rather well. The Cooper Roadster is just like the regular Mini, only a bit…

2014 Mini Cooper Roadster Road Test Review

When was the last time you slid behind the steering wheel of your car, started up the engine, dropped the top, put it into gear, and giggled mischievously as you drove away?

If you're like most car owners, your daily ride is more about shuttling from A to B than hanging it all out on a sweet set of S curves. It's ok. Even we auto scribes spend most weeks behind the wheel of regular cars for regular folks, so we understand completely. Just the same, wouldn't it be nice to buy yourself something totally frivolous? And I don't mean going wild on a double ristretto venti half soy nonfat decaf organic chocolate brownie iced vanilla double shot gingerbread Frappuccino. No, I'm talking about some real serious fun. Isn't it time for a grin-inducing, sun-seeking, three's-a-crowd, two-seat roadster from the company that doesn't know how to make boring cars at all? That company is Mini, and the car is the long and lean looking, low-slung Cooper Roadster.  

It's easy to fall Read Full Story
Is your Scion tC too normal? Your RAV4 a bit on the conservative side? Toyota might have something on its way that combines the two segments into one. The part sports coupe, part crossover C-HR Concept…

Leaked Toyota C-HR crossover concept images shown ahead of Paris

If you thought for a moment that every possible vehicle niche has been filled, think again. We've yet to even imagine what the many think tanks within the various automakers are busy creating, but one thing we can be sure of is they're on a never-ending quest to come up with the next big (or small) thing.

The world's largest automaker is no exception, of course, its latest creation due on the Paris auto show stage in only a couple of weeks. That vehicle has been designed to fill a crossover niche normally exclusive to the premium sector; a combination sports coupe and crossover SUV, or so it appears.

The only images we have include a mysteriously darkened teaser photo of the CUV's side profile purposely revealed by the Japanese brand late last week, plus more recently a couple of additional shots of the front and overhead rear have leaked onto the interweb.

While we can't be specific about the new concept's size, the C-HR looks to be compact in dimension, Read Full Story
It’s so difficult to say goodbye to something so beautiful, but the gorgeous Jaguar XKR will end production after the 2015 model year. Auto journalist Simon Hill gives the elegant yet athletic cat a…

2015 Jaguar XKR Road Test Review

In no particular order, here are some fun facts about the 2015 Jaguar XKR: It's gorgeous in a sensual and curvaceous kind of way; the start/stop button pulses red with a heartbeat-like double flash when you unlock the doors and climb in; the supercharged V8 pushes enough power to the rear wheels that with the traction control turned off it'll smoke the tires and step the tail out with glee; and everyone else on the road drives too slowly when you're behind the wheel.

Now here's a sad fact about the 2015 Jaguar XKR: It's the last of its line, with Jaguar discontinuing the model at the end of the model year in the face of increasing sales pressure from the smaller, cheaper F-Type, and a pressing need to free up production capacity for the company's upcoming XE small sedan.

The Jaguar XK first stormed onto the scene back in 1996 (essentially replacing the XJS), and a second-generation version debuted in 2007. It has changed little since than, and that's just fine as it Read Full Story