The Santa Fe dukes it out in one of the most hotly contested new vehicle categories in the auto industry, along with other midsize crossover SUVs like the Ford Edge, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander.…

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T SE Road Test Review

The Hyundai Santa Fe and I go back a long way together. We both started in our respective positions within the auto sector at the same time in 2000, the Santa Fe as a new breed of crossover SUV and me as a new media breed of auto journalist. It has since grown in size and sophistication and I've since found my work printed in newspapers and magazines as often as online, but one thing about the two of us is very different, the Santa Fe has been a great deal more successful than I.

It's also aged much more gracefully, the current 2014 Santa Fe much more attractive than the first-gen iteration I tested on its national launch program so long ago. Like me it's a little thicker around the middle, although the Santa Fe wears its weight gain much better as it's proportionally applied across its entire body. Actually, the Santa Fe, especially in its shorter five-seat Sport model looks downright athletic, one of the best designs in the midsize crossover SUV segment.

In case you Read Full Story
There are so many gasoline-electric hybrid models on the market these days that it’s getting difficult to figure out which one to consider, if any. Today on CarCostCanada, Trevor Hofmann reviews one…

2014 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Road Test Review

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that you've probably already considered purchasing a hybrid if you don't own one already, but before seeing this review you might not have put Hyundai on your HEV shopping list. Ahead of delving any further into details, I'm going to recommend you do.

Hyundai was a bit late to the HEV game, but its single entry is no less impressive than what green sector leaders Toyota, Honda and Ford have developed. It goes up against these brands' respective Camry Hybrid, Accord Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid models amongst others, and truly deserves to be lumped into this Japanese American mix. And I'm not just talking about its gracefully sporty styling, the Hybrid version being a unique take on the South Korean brand's much-lauded sixth-generation Sonata design.

It certainly looks good mind you. A large version of the brand's trapezoidal grille gets a matte black bumper at its mid-point plus black wave-patterned inserts above and below, while Read Full Story
Do you really need that big, hulking, truck-like crossover SUV? That’s a question Subaru wants you to ask yourself and Simon Hill’s review of the 2015 Subaru Outback poses, this particularly Limited…

2015 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5i Road Test Review

Subaru has always danced to the beat of a different drummer (or driven along to the beat of a different exhaust note, if you prefer), but while in the past that has often meant quirky and peculiar, these days it means distinctive and smart.

Consider the 2015 Outback. First introduced in 1994 as a raised, ruggedized version of the Legacy wagon, the Outback was Subaru's response to the growing SUV craze and as such was also perhaps the first true modern-day crossover - not quite a full-blown SUV, but taller and more capable than your average car. Since then it has evolved through five generations (the Legacy is in its sixth generation, but the Outback was only introduced with the second-generation Legacy). The latest Outback was introduced at the New York International Auto Show and arrived at Subaru dealerships as an all-new 2015 model.

Compared to the outgoing Outback, the new car is fractionally larger outside (17 mm longer and 20 mm wider, riding on a 5-mm longer Read Full Story
Today on CarCostCanada, Trevor Hofmann reviews the refreshed 2014 Hyundai Equus in standard albeit nevertheless impressively equipped Signature trim. If you’re thinking of buying a full-size luxury…

2014 Hyundai Equus Signature Road Test Review

If you ask anyone to name a budget car brand the name Hyundai will often come up in the conversation. Many will have either owned or know someone who owned one of the automaker's earliest entries into our market, such as the Pony or Excel, or possibly even the brand's first "luxury" car, the Giorgetto Giugiaro designed Stellar. Over the decades the South Korean brand has become a serious player in the mainstream auto sector, filling almost every key segment with a competitive offering and also offering some very creative niche vehicles, but no other vehicle Hyundai has ever made measures up to the Equus, in size, substance or wow factor.

Just the premise of Hyundai building a full-size, rear-drive, V8-powered, leather-lined, premium-level luxury four-door sedan capable of going head-to-head with Japanese and German flagship models such as the Lexus LS and Mercedes-Benz S-Class throws the mind into a numbing loop of self-doubt and second-guessing. Is the earth really round? Does Read Full Story
Is the Ford C-Max better than the Toyota Prius? That’s a question you’ll need to answer for yourself, but you can start by reading Trevor Hofmann’s detailed review of the C-Max Hybrid, in which…

2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL Road Test Review

If there's a more direct competitor to Toyota's Prius, I don't know what that might be. The C-Max is the iconic hybrid's most obvious arch nemesis, and that it comes from Ford, one of few automakers that can rival the Japanese giant for global sales and one of the world's top purveyors of electrified vehicles, not to mention the first of these two automakers to hit market with a plug-in electric and, even more of a thorn in Toyota's side, the current producer of twice as many plug-in models, has really got to irritate everyone at Koromo.

If Ford really wanted to bother Toyota, mind you, they'd just drop off a couple of C-Max Hybrids for everyone at the Japanese brand to play with. Soon the two ovals within a circle folks would realize they have a lot of catching up to do in order to keep sales of the Prius at the number one spot, the blue-oval bunch doing a better job of delivering value for money spent.

Life at the top is good, or so Toyota has learned with its best-selling Read Full Story
How important is fuel economy to you? If it’s right up there at the top of your key criteria then Scion has a car you should consider, the iQ. One of the smallest cars available, the iQ offers the best…

2014 Scion iQ Road Test Review

Just why Scion's funky little iQ doesn't outsell the Smart Fortwo ten-to-one is anyone's guess. It is tiny yet seats three comfortably and four in a squeeze whereas the Smart is only good for two. It drives much better on the highway and through curves, remaining stable and go-kart-like compared to the Fortwo's less confidence-inspiring weeble impression. It delivers stronger straight-line performance with 24 more horsepower on tap and 21 additional lb-ft of torque, despite getting better combined fuel economy at a claimed 5.5 city and 4.7 highway compared to the Fortwo's 5.8 city and 4.7 highway rating. And it's priced more than a thousand less at $17,090 plus $1,495 freight, yet the Smart still outsold the iQ more than two-to-one in the U.S. last year and more than four-to-one in Canada. What gives?

It would be easy to say that the iQ is just one more example of buyers not always thinking with their heads (which would be ironic considering the car's name), but I'm guessing Read Full Story
Love your Camry but want a little more of a premium experience? Toyota has the answer: Say hello to the much more exclusive Avalon, a larger version of the Japanese brand’s best-selling four-door that…

2014 Toyota Avalon Limited Road Test Review

I once referred to the Toyota Avalon as the automotive equivalent of a comb-over, but not anymore. That was the second-generation car, a common sight in the balding hills of Palm Springs, CA and Myrtle Beach, S.C., or anywhere else retirees are more populous than younger folks, but the third-gen model that followed reached out to a slightly younger demographic due to a more rakish design and much better performance, while the new fourth-generation Avalon could easily be chosen over any other full-size luxury model by just about anyone.

The originator in this segment was also a Toyota, but it wore the Cressida nameplate and fought it out with Nissan's sportier Maxima for up-and-comers who couldn't afford a BMW or Mercedes-Benz but didn't want to be seen in grandpa's Buick. This is the premise that bore Toyota's premium Lexus brand, and while the success of this staple of the luxury sector is now legendary, its midsize front-drive ES 350 and ES 300h hybrid in the annuls of record Read Full Story
Today on CarCostCanada, auto journalist Simon Hill reviews the unique and extremely accommodating 2014 Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI in special Wolfsburg Edition trim. Arguably a sportier alternative to a…

2014 Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI Wolfsburg Edition Road Test Review

In an automotive marketplace that's chock full of compact CUVs and gawky tall wagons, consumers might reasonably argue that they're awash in selection but starved of real choice. After all, what's the real difference between a Toyota RAV4, a Honda CRV and a Hyundai Tucson? There is, however, one genuinely unique entry in the marketplace: a commodious carry-all that stands out by hunkering down low to the road and remaining the sole holdout in a once ubiquitous segment. We're talking about the family wagon segment, represented here by the Volkswagen Golf Wagon.

For car shoppers seeking a compact, decent-handling family hauler that still retains a sporty, hip attitude there's really nothing else out there quite like the Volkswagen Golf Wagon. It has as much (or more) room inside than most compact crossovers, but it sits lower and handles with much of the taut competence of its famous GTI hot-hatch sibling. Order up the Golf Wagon with the available TDI diesel engine and it offers Read Full Story