Is it time for you to move up from your current family hauler into a new seven- or eight-occupant model? Whether currently driving a minivan, wagon, truck-based SUV or a more modern CUV, you’d better…

2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Road Test Review

Who builds the best mainstream midsize seven-passenger crossover SUV available today? Hands down it's the men and woman in Princeton who work at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, where the new Highlander is assembled.

"Best" is a highly subjective term, I know. What's best for me may be worst for you, so I don't expect you'll necessarily agree with me and am not concerned if you don't. This is my opinion, and one garnered after testing all of the midsize crossovers currently on the market. Compared to most of its competitors, the Highlander has had a lot of preparation leading up to my best-in-class vote. It started life 15 years ago and has gone through two generations and a couple of mid-cycle upgrades prior to last year's full redesign. With each generation it's become larger and more accommodating (not unusual from any manufacturer in any class), but with this newest iteration it not only grows in size but also in refinement.

Put this seven- to eight-occupant Read Full Story
Today on CarCostCanada, Trevor Hofmann reviews the 2015 Hyundai Elantra GT in top-line SE Tech trim. This great looking little five-door hatch is big on roominess, features and performance yet small on…

2015 Hyundai Elantra GT SE Tech Road Test Review

If I had to attribute one element to Hyundai's impressive rise up through the sales charts over the last half decade I'd choose styling. Of course, there's been a great deal more than that. From its impressive interiors filled with more features than most competitors, advanced drivetrains that leave the majority of rivals in clouds of archaic dust, improvements in build quality, reliability and fuel economy, to a Hyundai attribute that's been around since day one, value, the single detail that's caused more people to sit up and pay attention to the Korean automaker's cars is how they look.

Consider this Elantra GT. Nowhere near as popular as the four-door Elantra sedan here in North America yet easily outselling the equally attractive yet not as functional Elantra Coupe, the GT is my personal favourite. Like many Canadians I have a thing for five-door hatchbacks and wagons. The GT, which is the spiritual successor to the old second-generation Elantra Wagon, third-generation Elantra Read Full Story
What’s the most advanced car on the road today? Some might point to a hybrid or all-electric vehicle and they might be right, but as far as steering systems go, nothing comes close to the Infiniti Q50…

2015 Infiniti Q50 AWD Road Test Review

Infiniti has made a good argument for choosing its Q50 sport sedan over competitors. One glance is all it takes to see that it's a great looking four-door, while a few minutes inside will make you wonder if the best British artisans have left Goodwood, Crewe, Castle Vale and Solihull for Tochigi, Japan. Still, true belief won't set in until after your first stint behind the wheel, at which point you could very well be driving home in a brand new Q50. It's been an entire model year since the Hong Kong-based luxury brand dropped its multi-letter and engine displacement numeric naming scheme for a single- and dual-letter alphanumeric system, and while quite simple to understand after a full explanation its Q50/60/70 and QX50/60/70/80 designations have left more than a few North American followers baffled. Why the need for change? Infiniti rejigged its model monikers so they'd make more sense within the 50 (soon to be 51) countries its cars are now available in, important as it transformed Read Full Story
Few cars ignite the same level of passion amongst performance car fans as the Subaru WRX. It’s one of those rare four-door sport sedans that deliver supercar-beating performance. The iconic car is entirely…

2015 Subaru WRX Sport Road Test Review

Redesigned for the 2015 model year, Subaru's performance-oriented WRX compact sedan has pulled away from its Impreza roots to become a separate model in its own right, with a more powerfully efficient new engine and a pair of new transmissions.

While the old WRX was marketed as a high-performance version of the Impreza and as such was sold only with a five-speed manual transmission, the new WRX has dropped the Impreza name entirely and now offers either a six-speed manual gearbox or a CVT automatic. The good news here is that the slingshot acceleration and grippy, road-hugging handling of the WRX can now be enjoyed by a much wider audience.

Naturally Subaru wanted to showcase its newly available automatic-equipped WRX, and therefore set me up with an Ice Silver Metallic WRX Sport model fitted with the Sport Lineartronic CVT.

Styling-wise, the WRX is still based on the Impreza sedan, but for 2015 it moves further away from its bread-and-butter sibling than it Read Full Story
Today on CarCostCanada, Trevor Hofmann reviews the 2015 Mazda3 Sport GT with its new six-speed manual transmission. It didn’t already have one? Yes, oddly enough last year’s sportiest 3 only had an…

2015 Mazda3 Sport GT Road Test Review

Mazda answered many a pundit's pointed question as well as myriad performance enthusiasts' prayers by adding a manual transmission to its revered 3 GT this year.

Yes, strange that a manual gearbox wasn't part of the 2014 Mazda3 GT's standard package in the first place, this being the sportiest trim level currently available for one of the zoomiest cars it produces. The powers that be at Zoom-Zoom nation were evidently not congruent with their performance-oriented brand principles when they made this decision, but now they've righted this wrong and all is forgiven. And please don't misunderstand my point: They did include standard paddle-shifters with their impressive Skyactiv-Drive six-speed automatic last year and still do, showing that the brand's performance principles were at least being adhered to in some respects, but Mazda's superb short-throw Skyactiv-MT six-speed manual transmission deserved to be next to GT driver's seat too.

As you can imagine, Mazda wanted Read Full Story
A sporty minivan? The two terms don’t normally fit hand in glove, but with the Toyota Sienna SE it’s not at all a stretch to pair them together. The SE and all other 2015 Sienna trims benefit from…

2015 Toyota Sienna SE Road Test Review

While minivans aren't the red-hot commodity they were a decade or two back, the segment remains both important and hugely competitive. Dodge, Chrysler, Toyota and Honda sold 83,779 minivans between them in Canada during 2014, and over half a million vans in the US. In both markets, Toyota's Sienna has been in a virtual dead heat for second place against Honda's Odyssey, while in the US it's almost a four-way tie for first (Dodge's Grand Caravan is the runaway leader in Canada, but the model is slated to be retired in 2016). With Kia recently releasing a new Sedona, things look to heat up even further going forward.

To help the Sienna retain an edge in this evolving marketplace, Toyota has refreshed its popular people-hauler with some key changes for 2015, while retaining its traditional strengths including spacious and comfortable seating, easy access, a robust powertrain, available all-wheel drive and reasonable pricing.

Key amongst the changes is an all-new interior, Read Full Story
The compact class is critically important in Canada and the Toyota Corolla is one of its best selling models. Today on CarCostCanada, Trevor Hofmann reviews the 2015 Toyota Corolla in nicely outfitted…

2015 Toyota Corolla LE Road Test Review

Have you seen the new Corolla? No doubt you have, because Corollas are just about everywhere, but then again it's so good looking you might not realize that the attractive four-door passing by is actually Toyota's legendary compact sedan.

The Corolla has always been a superb car in search of styling to match its capability, but last year the ultimately dependable four-door doffed its light blue button-up shirt, beige corduroys and brown "dress" sneakers and instead put on a white button-up shirt under a thin grey sweater, slim-fit blazer and identically coloured jean-like dress pants adorned with a simple silver-buckled black leather belt, and black leather loafers. Yes, the Corolla went from Mark Zuckerberg to Justin Timberlake in an instant. From the ultimately style-less to 2014's best dressed list.

It remains just as fashionable for 2015, my most recent Corolla tester suited up in tasteful Slate Metallic and well-equipped LE trim, plus this model's Upgrade Package Read Full Story
Want a compact luxury car you won’t see coming around the corner every day? Lexus’ CT 200h is exclusive, but not because it’s priced itself out of reach. Rather, its five-door body style and dedicated…

2015 Lexus CT 200h F Sport Road Test Review

Last year the CT 200h received Lexus' new trademark spindle grille, and the resultant new look is so strong, so unique, so definitive, so undeniably Lexus that the entire car looks reshaped and ultimately reborn.

My 2014 CT 200h tester was in Premium trim, two positions up from base, while this time around I'm back in top-line F Sport trim. The last time I covered a CT 200h F Sport was 2012, and after reviewing the old photos it looks decidedly bland in comparison this new 2015 version, despite being coated in the same F Sport-exclusive Ultrasonic Blue Mica paint. Adding the new spindle grille made the CT's update more of an extreme facelift than just a mid-cycle makeover, at least up front. The car's rear end design as updated too, albeit more subtly, but truly it didn't need as much of a redesign as it's always been appealing in a hunkered down sporty way.

Although a five-door hatchback, or Sportback as Lexus likes to define it, this long, low and lean body style Read Full Story