Toyota redesigned its large and spacious Prius V for 2015 and its wallflower look is now history. It no longer needs to drive past to be identified as the largest member of the Prius family, but rather…

2015 Toyota Prius V Technology Road Test Review

When Toyota brought the larger Prius V to market in late 2011 I took part in the launch program and was duly impressed. The car made sense then and still does today, especially here in Canada where the larger Prius V has outsold the regular model by a wide margin every year since introduction.

For 2015 Toyota has given the Prius V a fresh new face. It's totally different from its predecessor that looked a lot like its smaller sibling, and early sales numbers affirm that fans of the big hybrid like what they see. Year to date deliveries are on track to once again hit last year's total of 2,292 units, whereas the regular Prius is trending towards its 2014 total of 1,819 units.

I won't have to go out too far on the proverbial limb to guess that many of these sales are to fleet buyers, particularly taxi companies and independent owner operators that previously bought the regular Prius in hoards and have now switched over to the more accommodating Prius V for obvious reasons. Read Full Story
Want a sedan yet appreciate the functionality of a hatchback, not to mention the sporty styling of a coupe? Combining all of these elements together into one very beautiful car, BMW has brought the 4…

2015 BMW 435i xDrive Gran Coupe Road Test Review

In an effort to seemingly fill every premium automotive niche imaginable, BMW brings us yet another take on personal performance for the 2015 model year. Expanding on its four-door Gran Coupe lineup, the larger 6 Series Gran Coupe arriving on the scene two years before, we recently took to the streets in a top-line 435i xDrive Gran Coupe, having tested the near entry-level 428i xDrive version late last year.

As fate would dictate, this more powerful version was finished in the same Carbon Black metallic paint as the last one despite numerous shades and colours available, while my tester also wore a set of 18-inch rims instead of the standard 19s due to winter Pirelli Sottozero 225/45R18 M+S rubber being fitted. Yes, an odd inclusion being that we never even caught a sniff of winter here on the west coast this year and are currently in the middle of a long dry spell that has our water reserves in question, but while not quite as visually impacting as the big 19s these 18s delivered Read Full Story
Toyota’s Sienna went through a mid-cycle refresh late last year, and while the 2015 model doesn’t look all that different on the outside its interior shows monumental change. More soft-touch materials…

2015 Toyota Sienna XLE AWD Road Test Review

Toyota's Sienna has been Canada's best-selling import branded minivan for five straight years, and at least as impressive it's outsold one of the two domestic minivan brands by a wide margin for the last 11 years. What makes it so popular? One look at its attractive styling followed up by a test drive will explain it all.

Before I get into the looking and driving portion of this review, I used the term "import branded" instead of "import" because the Princeton, Indiana-built Sienna is more chicken noodle miso than purely Japanese. In fact, you can't even buy the Sienna in Japan let alone in any other market outside of North America. Instead, global markets get too many van variations to list in every size and shape imaginable. Subcompact, compact, mid-size and full-size MPVs are still incredibly popular all over the world despite vans with side-sliders giving way to car-based crossovers here in North America. A few trips to Asia over the last year and a half have made this quite Read Full Story
How useful would it be to have a blind spot eliminating rearward vision camera project live video onto your infotainment screen before making a lane change? It could be life saving. That’s an exclusive…

2015 Honda Civic Sedan Touring Road Test Review

Look out onto any street in any city the world over and you'll likely see a Honda Civic. Here in Canada, where the compact model achieved best-selling car status last year with 66,057 examples down the road despite sales that were significantly lower than 2008 when it found 72,463 buyers, you'll see multiples at any given moment. Ditto in the US where Honda came close to selling 326,000 Civics in 2014.

To be clear, Civic sales statistics include the rakish two-door Coupe that I tested earlier this year and this handsome four-door I spent a week with recently, both surprisingly similar in feel and features respective of trim, if not exterior styling. It's certainly easy enough to see that they're from the same family, but since its early refresh for the 2013 model year Honda has gone with a downright stately chrome-adorned look for the Civic Sedan, whereas it has totally muscled up the latest Coupe.

Yes, the Civic Sedan is one classy looking little ride, especially in Read Full Story
Bored of your compact SUV? Could something more entertaining to drive and certainly more interesting to look at pique your interest? If so, Mini has just the vehicle to turn mundane commutes into fun-filled…

2015 Mini Cooper S Countryman ALL4 Road Test Review

For the 2015 model year Mini has given its popular Countryman crossover SUV a mid-cycle refresh, and due to only the subtlest of changes it's safe to assume the British brand is happy with how the last four years of sales went down.

And they should be. Here in Canada Mini sold 2,018 Cooper Countryman models in 2014, resulting in the model's second best year. It didn't miss toppling its old record by much either, 2013's Countryman sales the highest on record at 2,067 units, while 2012's deliveries reached 1,731 and 2011 the lowest at 1,563, not unusual for an all-new model's first year. If you compare its success to the regular Mini Cooper it doesn't look quite as popular at first glance, that model selling 3,365 units last year, but what the Cooper sales statistic doesn't tell you is that all models based on the new three door hatchback, and even those still running on the old platform architecture, are lumped under the single Cooper category, which includes the new third-generation Read Full Story
Standard LED headlights in a mainstream subcompact hatchback? Toyota once again shocks small car shoppers like it did with the new Corolla, but this time it’s the new Prius C that gets the lighter,…

2015 Toyota Prius C Technology Road Test Review

No matter which angle you see it, whether coming or silently whisking past on EV power, the Prius C is a great looking little hatchback. It rides on Toyota's B platform that also underpins the Yaris and current Corolla, but visually you'd never know it.

The Prius C is wholly distinctive, made even more so for 2015 thanks to sportier new front end styling that adds a larger looking all-black grille with a glossy black bumper cap, integrated LED headlamps at each side, new vertical LED driving lights with tiny gloss black rimmed LED fog lamps just below, and a much more aggressively shaped lower fascia, along with a less obviously updated rear end design featuring a sizable rear spoiler up top and revised taillight lenses with integrated LED brake lights wrapped around each corner just below.

Yes, you heard me right. Just like the aforementioned Corolla this latest entry-level Prius, the most affordable hybrid model on the new vehicle market, comes standard with lighter Read Full Story
If you’re searching for the ideal mid-size family hauler with either 6 or 7 seats, make sure you include Hyundai’s Santa Fe XL on your list. With a 290-hp V6 and 6-speed auto standard, not to mention…

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe XL AWD Luxury Road Test Review

Hyundai certainly does things differently than most auto manufacturers in some key segments, especially when it comes to crossover SUVs. The Tucson is a true compact, yet the regular five-passenger Santa Fe Sport is slightly shorter than most mid-size models and even some compacts, albeit wider than all compact models in the mainstream CUV sector. Being different than the status quo doesn't always work to an automaker's advantage, but Hyundai has nevertheless found a nice niche that has its Santa Fe achieving impressive sales numbers.

In 2014 the five-passenger model found 27,580 Canadian buyers, whereas the larger seven-occupant Santa Fe XL added another 4,894 owners to Hyundai's SUV camp for a total of 32,474 down the road. Along with the little Tucson's 11,856 sales, Hyundai's CUV tally came to 44,330 units last year. In comparison, Chevrolet sold 21,298 Equinox compacts and a mere 3,886 seven-passenger Traverse models for a total of 25,184 during the same period, whereas Read Full Story
Are you looking for a premium experience but don’t want or need the pricy luxury segment badge? Toyota has long offered a less expensive yet just as appealing alternative in its full-size Avalon, a…

2015 Toyota Avalon Limited Road Test Review

You could be forgiven for mistaking Toyota's Avalon for the new redesigned Camry. Such a comment wouldn't have been made a year ago, but the new Camry's design team certainly took inspiration from the brand's full-size flagship sedan for its 2015 redo.

The current Avalon has been with us since 2012 when it arrived as a 2013 model, and for the most part remains unchanged for the 2015 model year. In my opinion this is a very good thing, as today's Avalon is not only the best looking, most impressively finished and best equipped of its kind to ever hit the road, but it's also one of the more appealing full-size luxury models offered within its class.

Well-appointed large sedans aren't as plentiful as they once were, at least here in Canada where models like Hyundai's Azera and Volkswagen's Phaeton no longer exist, not to mention cars like the Mazda Millenia and Mitsubishi Diamante which are no longer offered anywhere, but then again today's mid-size sedan is now so large Read Full Story