Bored of your mass volume midsize sedan and wishing you could get all the reliability, efficiency and passenger volume you’re used to in a car that looks better, has a more upscale cabin and drives…

2015 Mazda6 GT Road Test Review

Launched for the 2014 model year, the third-generation Mazda6 appears to have it all: style, performance, comfort, crisp handling, excellent fuel economy, value … even critical approval (it won the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada's Car of the Year Award in 2014).

It's a surprise then to find that Mazda's athletic mid-size sedan lags in the race out the showroom doors, with Canadian sales numbers finishing up just ahead of the niche Subaru Legacy during 2014, but well behind the big players like the Ford Fusion it shares underpinnings with, or the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, Chrysler 200, Nissan Altima, and the list goes on. The story was pretty much the same in the US, although there even the Legacy nipped the Mazda6 at the line.

Rising to the challenge, Mazda was preparing to release a mildly refreshed 2016 Mazda6 even as 2015 got underway, but in the meantime I was able to drive the current model and found it thoroughly engaging Read Full Story
Is it time to trade up to a new vehicle? Are you thinking about a compact crossover SUV? If so, Hyundai offers up its value-infused Tucson, a model that’s hard to beat thanks to a class-leading direct-injection…

2015 Hyundai Tucson GL AWD Road Test Review

If you're like many new car shoppers, a car is the last thing on your mind. These days crossover SUVs (or CUVs) are all the rage, and the compact segment is the fastest growing category in the sector.

Hyundai's Tucson has been a strong seller since its inception in late 2004 as a 2005 model, and gained even more sales traction after its second-generation redesign for the 2010 model year. Now, five years later, sales are still impressive despite key competitors recently undergoing extensive updates, which just goes to show how ahead of the curve this little ute was when it entered the market. Then again, Hyundai hasn't let it lag behind without numerous revisions through this iteration's tenure.

After only its first year of availability, the Tucson benefited from a new base 2.0-litre engine allowing better fuel economy and a lower starting price, while 2.4-litre models received a standard six-speed automatic. Top-line Limited trims in 2011 included an auto-dimming rearview Read Full Story
Today on CarCostCanada, auto journalist Trevor Hofmann reviews the 2015 Mini Cooper S 3-Door, a tiny subcompact that’s large on interior roominess, performance and features, but small on overall size,…

2015 Mini Cooper S 3-Door Road Test Review

To call the outgoing Bini (BMW/MINI) a classic might infuriate collectors of the original BMC-built Mini, so at the risk of angering throngs of elderly flat-cap coiffed Brits, not to mention Mr. Bean and Basil Fawlty, maybe we can get away with calling it a modern-day classic. After all, except for a moderate redesign in 2006 for the 2007 model year the reimagined Mini has been tearing up our roads for close to 15 years.

For the 2014 model year this modern-day classic was reborn with a more enthusiastic look on its adorable face, as well as considerably more size all-round. Put the old and new side-by-side and you'll immediately see that this third-generation Cooper 3-Door is quite a bit longer, 114 millimetres (4.5 inches) to be exact, and that's only when compared to the second-generation car that was 68 mm (2.7 inches) longer than the original 2001 through 2006 Bini it replaced. Yes, the Mini isn't so mini anymore with 183 mm (7.2 inches) of nose to tail expansion since inception; Read Full Story
Like what you see in the new Camry? The car’s overall shape is a lot sleeker and sportier than the version it replaces, with new XSE trim the sportiest of all. For all the info, take a few minutes to…

2015 Toyota Camry XSE V6 Road Test Review

As if the best-selling Camry wasn't doing well enough already, Toyota Canada just reported a 60.8-percent improvement in last month's sales over January of 2014 with a total of 1,045 delivered. The only models in Toyota's lineup that sold better last month were the RAV4 and Corolla, helping Toyota Canada achieve a new January record with a total of 10,249 units down the road. Not a bad result for a month that saw our dollar slump and economic recovery appear to start flatlining, resulting in lower interest rates and… aha! Not a bad time to buy a new car after all.

And I really can't blame these buyers for snapping up the new Camry so quickly. The 2015 update is a great looking redesign that appears like much more than a mid-cycle refresh, and the new XSE trim level I recently tested takes the Camry's solid, dependable, reliable character into a decidedly sportier arena that none of its volume brand rivals have a direct answer for.

Just one look and you'll see Read Full Story
Today on CarCostCanada, auto journalist Trevor Hofmann reviews the 2015 Hyundai Accent Sedan in top-tier GLS Auto trim. An extremely popular subcompact sales leader, the Accent delivers great style, strong…

2015 Hyundai Accent Sedan GLS Road Test Review

Do you want to try and guess which subcompact car Canadians liked the most last year? You guessed it: the Hyundai Accent (as if I'd start off a Hyundai review by talking up a Chevy or Ford). You might be surprised at the rate we bought up Accents compared to its direct competitors, however. Last year Canadian retail and fleet buyers purchased 23,173 Accent hatchbacks and sedans, and that wasn't even a record-breaking year (29,751 units in 2008). The next best selling subcompact was the Kia Rio (a Korean brand owned by Hyundai and a model based on the Accent, incidentally) that didn't even break 15k with sales of just 14,458 units, while the third-place Nissan Versa sold 13,314, fourth-place Honda Fit delivered 11,732 examples, fifth-place Ford Fiesta found 9,312 new homes, sixth-place Toyota Yaris sold 8,530 units, and seventh-place Chevrolet Sonic found 8,036 buyers. Yes, the little Hyundai was bought up at a rate almost three times greater than the Chevy and close to five figures more Read Full Story
Selling big numbers in the auto industry isn’t a science. Certainly it helps to have a household name and a reputation for performance, value and reliability, but Mazda’s done well with the CX-5 compact…

2015 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD Road Test Review

It's one thing to come up with a good looking well designed car or SUV, and quite another to craft a unique yet attractive design language for an entire brand that transfers just as nicely from the long flowing lines of a sports car or midsize sedan to a compact hatchback or crossover utility. This is what Mazda has done with its new "KODO – Soul of Motion" design direction, first shown in the 2010 Shinari concept, after which the production results have been very intriguing.

Oddly, Mazda's oldest chassis design, and the only one to still roll on a Ford undercarriage and use blue-oval mechanicals, was the first of its models to get the new Kodo design language, debuting on the 2013 CX-9. Next was the CX-5 that I'm reviewing here, which also arrived in 2012 as a 2013 model, followed up by the 2014 Mazda6 and same model year of Mazda3. The stragglers still to be updated include the subcompact Mazda2 hatchback, Mazda5 mini minivan, and the MX-5 roadster that's so good looking Read Full Story
The new Mini Cooper might look similar to the old one, but it’s an entirely new experience with more interior room, a more refined upscale interior, nicer features, better fuel economy and a lot more…

2015 Mini Cooper 3-Door Road Test Review

The entry-level Mini Cooper Hardtop was all-new last year, so there aren't any significant changes for 2015 other than a new name, from the just-mentioned Hardtop designation to 3-Door.

That the Cooper 3-Door was previously dubbed Coupe (and Hatch, Hatchback or Hardtop depending on where it was being sold) before it became the Hardtop (here) is not a sign of any decision-making issues within the British brand's Bracknell, Berkshire-based leadership (or the leadership of its Munich-based parent company for that matter), but more so the result of its ever-expanding model lineup. When Mini launched its two-seat Coupe in 2011 it had to completely abandon the Cooper Coupe name it had often used for the base hatchback model since the Bini (BMW/Mini) took the market by storm in 2001, whereas the most recent name change is necessary because of a new 5-Door hardtop being added to the lineup. Hence the new 2015 Mini Cooper 3-Door, which I'm sure you'll agree, is a perfectly fitting name Read Full Story
Today on CarCostCanada, Trevor Hofmann reviews the 2015 Toyota Prius in base trim. It might be a rolling icon of the green movement, but it’s also an excellent car that could serve a regular family…

2015 Toyota Prius Road Test Review

Talk about a design that's stood the test of time, Toyota's Prius has been a benchmark of longevity. Since the first-generation Prius sedan was redesigned as a hatchback for 2003, its basic shape has remained the same. Toyota gave it a major overhaul for the 2010 model year, with a new grille, new scalloped headlamps, new rear quarter windows and changes made to the taillights and rear bumper, which were all well received, but other than some very subtle styling revisions the design has continued forward right up to this current model. Even so, this 2015 Toyota Prius looks remarkably fresh and modern, its deep lower grille, "floating" style lip spoiler and vertical LED fog lamps appearing downright edgy, while the clear elements in its taillight lenses add a custom touch.

You can get the Prius with nice big 17-inch aluminum wheels, but my tester was completely base and therefore came with a set of 15-inch steel rims that did a pretty good job of imitating alloys. The black gloss Read Full Story