There’s no better value in the mid-size crossover SUV segment than the Dodge Journey, and today on CarCostCanada we review a top-line Crossroad V6 AWD version with options, which so-equipped is priced…

2015 Dodge Journey Crossroad V6 AWD Road Test Review

When Dodge introduced the Journey in 2008, expectations were that it would soon replace the Grand Caravan minivan. After all, the GC's sales were down significantly, about half of what they were four years prior in the US and some 15,000 units lower in Canada, and minivans overall were a dying breed, with Ford having axed its Freestar a year prior, GM having already announced that its Chevrolet Uplander and Pontiac Montana vans would shortly follow the same fate (they did in 2009), everyone expecting Hyundai's slow-selling Entourage to die an untimely death (it did so in 2010), and somehow through all this minivan carnage the ill-conceived Grand Caravan-based Volkswagen Routan came and went without many even taking notice. All along the Dodge Grand Caravan continued to enjoy overwhelming sales leadership in the minivan sector, while the Journey held its own in the mid-size CUV segment.

That Journey, which has been a top-seller in the mid-size crossover SUV segment since it arrived, Read Full Story
Volkswagen has given its luxuriously equipped Touareg SUV a mid-cycle update for 2015, including new front styling, new wheels and some updates to the interior, while HID headlamps are now standard. Today…

2015 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Execline Road Test Review

Every time I climb into a Volkswagen Touareg I'm reminded that this is no volume crossover SUV from a mainstream automaker, but rather a premium CUV in every sense of the word. This is evidenced everywhere, from the higher grade of materials used inside the cabin to the way each door thumps shut, but possibly the most obvious clue to the Touareg's upper crust character is the way it drives.  

After pressing one of four proximity sensing buttons at each door for access, a simple push of the start button ignites the engine at which point another suitably premium sound exudes, optional clean turbo-diesel technology. Yes, this is the same diesel as offered in various Audi and Porsche models, VW's direct-injection and turbocharged 3.0-litre V6. It's tuned to produce 240 horsepower from 3,900 to 4,400 rpm and 406 lb-ft of torque from 1,750 to 2,750 rpm and drives all four-wheels by way of Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive via a state-of-the-art eight-speed automatic transmission, Read Full Story
Nothing is more American than the Jeep Wrangler, yet this iconic 4x4 based on a legendary war hero is actually more popular per capita here in Canada where it sold more than 23,000 units last year. Today…

2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4×4 Road Test Review

I've got a special place in the sweet spot of my soul for the Wrangler, and it wasn't because I enjoyed great times in one as a kid or anything so formative. My dad loved the Willys. He lived through wartime Vienna, Austria and Munich, Germany as a child, and then joyously witnessed thousands of the little 4x4s help allied forces liberate the majority of peace-minded citizens from the Nazis. He told me many stories and I'd listen with piqued interest, sometimes at home and oftentimes while away camping or at our family cabin.

On one such vacation in BC's Caribou country we "tested" a Willys from an en route gas station owner who was attempting to sell it, and my dad piloted it up and over some rough ranching territory. The tiny tot of a 4x4 was anemic at best, but it made light work of heavy-duty trails. That was my first experience in a Willys jeep, and it left a lasting impression. He actually owned a Toyota FJ40 at the time, and as I remember had very little positive to say Read Full Story
The new 2015 VW Golf has been winning major awards along with big time sales, almost doubling the number sold during the first half of last year. Today on CarCostCanada we test a 5-Door TDI Highline model,…

2015 Volkswagen Golf 5-Door TDI Highline Road Test Review

When it comes to the Golf, Volkswagen doesn't make brash moves. Its development is purely evolutionary, evidenced in the all-new 2015 Golf, which is one of the safest redesigns in recent memory and therefore looks very similar to the outgoing 2014 Golf. Fans of the car, and there are many (that border on zealots no less), will say the new model is dramatically different than the old one due to its chiseled new LED infused headlamps, more sharply angled LED taillights and so on, but to most consumers who only pay attention to the auto market when it comes time to purchase a new car, this Golf looks much the same as the old Golf.

Of course, this is intentional. You don't build a nameplate as successful as Golf by uprooting its diehard followers with every redesign. The changes need to come slowly, at least visually, as the powers that be certainly wouldn't want to go too radical with a car that is now as iconic as the original Beetle. Still, despite this completely new Golf appearing Read Full Story
Volkswagen’s slightly smaller than compact Tiguan crossover SUV offers up a premium experience within the mainstream volume sector, and today we review a mid-grade Comfortline trimmed model complete…

2015 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TSI 4Motion Comfortline Road Test Review

When Volkswagen introduced the Tiguan to the world back in 2008, its partial first year sales here in Canada and the US were hardly anything to write home about. I was a bit surprised after joining the German automaker on the long-lead press launch in Budapest, Hungary the year before, during which the little crossover utility wowed all present with strong performance both on and off the road, superb fuel economy from the impressive little supercharged and turbocharged 1.4 TSI "Twincharger" four-cylinder I drove, VW's usual above average cabin quality and wonderful comfort.

It looked like a hit in making, but 5,075 sales here, plus an even more meager (per capita) 13,903 deliveries in the US hardly made for a stellar first full year, especially in a market that was already selling 36,980 Ford Escapes in Canada and 173,044 in the US, 25,784 Toyota RAV4s here and 149,088 in the US, 18,554 Honda CR-Vs north of the 49th and 191,214 south of the border, 11,759 Chevy Equinox models Read Full Story
Looking for compact luxury and affordable turbo-diesel efficiency in a well-built imported four-door sedan? Search no further because VW has exactly what you’ve been waiting for, the recently updated…

2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Highline Road Test Review

If you're one of the 31-plus thousand Canadians who bought a Volkswagen Jetta last year, you'll be glad the updated 2015 model hasn't changed all that much. VW doesn't tend to make dramatic changes to its models when it comes time for a mid-cycle update, let alone for total redesigns, but rather evolves them slowly over decades. Such is the case with the subtly reworked 2015 Jetta.

That said it's kind of late for this mid-cycle refresh. The sixth-generation Jetta hit the market in 2011, which means the 2015 upgrade that arrived last year took almost four years to materialize. Normally four years is the entire lifespan of a compact model's generation, but then again VW should be given some slack due to continual upgrades since the model debuted. We should also give them credit for building a car that has won them more new customers than any other model in recent history. Jetta sales have almost doubled over the last 10 years in Canada, with 2015 YTD deliveries once again on target Read Full Story
Nobody expected BMW’s long-awaited supercar to debut with three-cylinder plug-in hybrid power, but the i8 is here and delivers more style, luxury and advanced technology than anyone from the M1 or even…

2015 BMW i8 Road Test Review

This isn't just any BMW i8. Yes, possibly a very silly thing to say considering Bayerische Motoren Werke's super clean supercar is about as rare as exotics get in these parts and its technology more advanced than most anything else on the road, but this particular i8 is done out in a modernized version of classic BMW M-Motorsport racing livery and then wrapped with numbers, sponsorship decals and more as part of its entry into this year's Diamond Rally, a fundraising platform for various charities that saw 100-plus luxury and supercars traveling from Vancouver to Whistler, BC and back, this i8 driven by Canada's own (actually Surrey, BC's own) Scott Hargrove, an accomplished up and coming race driver.

It was yours truly at the wheel more recently, which suited me just fine. I wasn't rallying in an effort to raise funds for the BC Cancer Foundation like the big-hearted race driver or his even more benevolent sponsor OpenRoad Auto Group, but was only too happy to share the various Read Full Story
Audi’s A4 has long been the solid third place finisher amongst Germany’s big 3 premium brands, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve to be number 1. Today’s review covers an impressively…

2015 Audi A4 2.0 TFSI Quattro S line Road Test Review

To watch Audi's A4 evolve over the years has been a most interesting process. The lines have become evermore chiseled and angular, the grille larger, the lighting elements more detailed and LED infused, interior more luxurious and feature set more abundantly equipped, but the overall shape has remained just as singularly defined as this car's mission, to deliver premium five-passenger comfort and all-weather performance to luxury buyers with discriminating taste.

Like all "compacts" within the luxury sedan sector the A4 has grown quite a bit since inception, now 183 mm (7.2 inches) longer than the original 1995 version, with a 193-mm (7.6-inch) longer wheelbase, plus it's 93 mm (3.6 inches) wider and 12 mm (0.5 inches) taller, and I'm not talking about the long-wheelbase version sold in other markets, but of course we now have the wonderful A3 four-door filling the entry-level void the A4 outgrew. Both are great looking sport sedans, but most would agree the A4 is the more enticing Read Full Story