Sleek styling says this is an all-new Honda Pilot, but there’s a lot more to it than new duds. Under our Touring tester’s metal is a 280-hp V6, 9-speed auto with paddles, idle-stop, LED headlamps…

2016 Honda Pilot Touring Road Test Review

No one at Honda will argue that their outgoing Pilot, which while a good, reliable and utile mid-size crossover, wasn't dated. Its tall, boxy, traditional SUV styling might still work for a true off-roader like Land Rover's LR4, but more often than not the seven-year old second-generation Pilot was overlooked by today's CUV buyer seeking a sleeker, more stylish ride. As of May 2015, this stopped being an issue.

That was the month the 2016 Honda Pilot went on sale, a vehicle that went from passé to preeminent in one very thorough redesign. The only thing that stays the same is the displacement of its standard 24-valve, SOHC, cylinder-deactivated 3.5-litre V6, with everything else new.

Direct-injection adds 30 horsepower and 9 lb-ft of torque for a total of 280 and 262 respectively, while standard six- and optional nine-speed automatics, the latter with a fancy pushbutton selector, steering wheel paddles and idle start/stop make sure it's as up-to-date as electromechanically Read Full Story
Toyota’s Venza is hardly news, but a classy red-brown interior colour scheme and Redwood Edition badging give the 2016 model updated style. Two engines are available, but today we review the new trim…

2016 Toyota Venza AWD XLE Redwood Edition Road Test Review

Since Honda abandoned its unorthodox Crosstour last year, which was more hatchback than wagon and, most would agree, bordered on fugly, Subaru's Outback and this Toyota Venza are the only two five-passenger mid-size crossovers in the mainstream volume sector that venture into more traditional wagon territory. Nissan's new Murano comes close, but its taller overall height puts it within range of the Ford Edge and other more SUV-like crossovers, which is either a very good thing if you're looking for something more car-like, or not ideal if greater ride height is preferable.

When the Venza debuted in early 2009 it was just the ticket for disenfranchised Camry wagon owners (who by this point had been without their beloved five-door for eight years), its first year of sales resulting in 12,375 Canadian buyers, while calendar year 2010 was even more successful with 12,468 units sold and 2011 resulting in a best-ever 13,159 deliveries. Things started to taper off for the 2012 calendar Read Full Story
Who says you need to go big to get high performance luxury? Audi’s S3 defies this belief with stylish big sedan presence, 292-hp turbo power, a 6-speed dual-clutch autobox with paddles, AWD, a 4.9-sec…

2015 Audi S3 Sedan 2.0 TFSI Quattro Progressiv Road Test Review

Every now and then an automaker creates a car that's ideal for a given market, and sales success follows. Enter the new Audi A3 Sedan and its even more enticing S3 sibling.

Small, lightweight, superbly styled and filled with Audi's usual high-quality finishings and ample allowance of features, the premium compact four-door suits Canadian tastes to a twin-scroll turbocharged T, and when kitted out with the extra power and handling prowess of the S variant it becomes the stuff of future legend.

I'm not going to go so far as to say the 2015 Audi S3 will someday be collectible, but there's no doubt it will be highly sought after on the pre-owned market for decades to come as there are few compacts that deliver as much satisfaction behind the wheel, yet come in such a fully livable and accommodating package.

If you're not yet familiar with the S3 Sedan or its A3 compatriot, think S4/A4, only smaller. Where the larger Audi models share Volkswagen group's MLB platform Read Full Story
The popular Hyundai Santa Fe Sport moves into 2016 without Saddle leather and with Beige and Grey leather, neither affecting the 2.0T SE model covered here today. The sportiest of Sport trims, our SE…

2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T SE Road Test Review

It's hard to believe the Santa Fe is entering the final year of its current third-generation body style, because it still looks so good. That's the sign of good design, and reason enough for such strong continued sales. Hyundai sold 32,474 of its regular wheelbase Sport model and long-wheelbase XL during the last calendar year, while the mid-size crossover SUV shows little sign of slowing this year either.

I've been a fan of the Santa Fe since the second-generation arrived on the scene in 2006 as a 2007 model, and became an even more ardent proponent since this third-gen iteration hit the scene in 2012 for the 2013 model year. The original was a good SUV too, although I never warmed up to its styling, but the design progression shown since is evidence of just how far Hyundai has come in all respects over the past decade.

Design reflects sales, as do many other attributes, the success Hyundai is enjoying made clearly evident in its segment-trouncing sales leadership. Read Full Story
Hyundai has redesigned its Sonata Hybrid for 2016 with a new 2.0L four and smaller motive battery that combine for better fuel economy at 5.6 L/100km combined city/highway yet performance that’s still…

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Road Test Review

Hyundai completely made over its popular Sonata family sedan last year, but the Hybrid was left to soldier on in a somewhat dated uniform. As you'll likely agree the wait has certainly been worth it, as the all-new 2016 Sonata Hybrid delivers even more appealing styling than the regular model.

The new model makes an altogether bolder statement with a much deeper looking grille smartly created by covering its bumper cap with the same matte black composite used for the rest of the insert slats, while surrounding the entire grille area with thick chrome edging, the Sonata Hybrid now looking more familial to the larger Genesis sedan and totally original when compared to other mid-sizers on the market. Elegant LED DRL-infused headlamp clusters with revised lens graphics hover above a stunning set of totally unique LED fogs. I love the way the rear portions of the headlamps meld into the leading edge of the chrome beltline moulding too, a design element shared across the entire Sonata Read Full Story
Mazda has given its popular CX-5 compact CUV a mid-cycle makeover for 2016, but you’ll need to look very closely to see any differences. A slightly revised grille joins new fog light surrounds and new…

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD Road Test Review

Mazda has updated its CX-5 compact crossover for 2016 and styling changes are subtle. Truly, most won't even notice. The new grille gets five evenly spaced slats for a cleaner more uniform design than the outgoing model's thick black slab up top and honeycomb mesh insert below, while GS and GT models get restyled fog lamp surrounds featuring two horizontal strakes. The mid-grade GS uses the same fogs as last year, while this top-tier GT gets a totally new set of tiny LEDs, not to mention new LED headlamps with signature detailing as well as stylish LED taillights. The GT's standard wheels are impressive too, machine-finished 19-inch alloys with what look to be body-colour painted pockets on 235/55R19 Toyo A23 all-seasons. A nice set of twin exhaust pipes poke through the CX-5's sculpted matte black body cladding that, just like last year's model, continues to wrap right around the SUV's lower extremities for a rugged yet sporty look.

My tester's Titanium Flash Mica (metallic Read Full Story
Hyundai has given its sporty five-door Elantra GT a facelift for 2016 featuring a new grille that better incorporates the brand’s new family design strategy. Additionally, LED taillights now come as…

2016 Hyundai Elantra GT Limited Road Test Review

How do you like it? This is the refreshed 2016 Elantra GT, a car that's only been with us for three years yet has found a passionate following. It arrived on the scene in 2012 as a 2013 model, replacing the more wagon-like Elantra Touring that had a good five-year run paving the way for this arguably more fashionable five-door. Where the Touring arrived on our shores with carryover styling from the European-designed i3 when our current four-door Elantra had already been available since 2011, this time around Hyundai has given its sportier model a mid-cycle update first.

The new grille design transforms the look of the GT, tying it more succinctly to the rest of the Hyundai lineup that now offers a similarly styled hexagonal grille. At first glance it looks like an all-new design with four evenly spaced horizontal slats replacing the outgoing model's curved upper and lower ribs and bisecting bumper cap, but other than this not much has really changed. The bumper cap is still there, Read Full Story
Looking for a stylish, well-equipped compact sedan with 5-star safety, best in class dependability, and so much more? Look no further than the latest Corolla. Today we review the popular Canadian-built…

2016 Toyota Corolla LE Road Test Review

Do you want to guess how many different compact models Chevrolet has produced since the Vega hit the scene in 1971? Just after Vega came Monza and then Chevette, all sold simultaneously and all falling under the old subcompact designation, then Sprint (Metro in the US), Cavalier, Cobalt, Optra (in Canada), and Cruze. Ford and Chrysler group's compact entries follow similar paths, with names like Cortina, Pinto, Escort and Focus for the blue-oval bunch and Omni, Shadow, Neon, SX, Caliber and now Dart for Dodge. Why the history lesson? I'm just wondering how much better domestic brands would have fared in the compact segment if they'd followed Toyota's lead with just one compact nameplate over 50 years like the now legendary Corolla.

We wouldn't use "legendary" to describe the Chevette, Pinto or Omni, although the latter model's GLH was nutty fun for the era, not to mention the Shelby GLH-S version, but is it possible the Big 3 domestics would enjoy the same level of compact loyalty Read Full Story