BMW invented the Sport Activity Coupe segment, and while the Acura ZDX has come and gone since and Mercedes GLE Coupe just recently arrived the X6 remains the leader. Today on CarCostCanada we review…

2016 BMW X6 xDrive50i Road Test Review

BMW didn't create the X6 to pad its bottom line. Like the Z4 roadster, 6 Series Coupe, Gran Coupe and Cabriolet, and new i8, not to mention all of its M-badged models, the X6 is a niche image building model that shines its halo across the rest of the brand's meat and potato vehicles, although to be fair to the Munich-base automaker its core models are more chateaubriand and truffled potato gratin than the usual commoner's stew.

The X6 has had few challengers since it came into fruition in 1997, the rival most often mocked being Acura's ZDX, a vehicle I happened to really like for its boldness and clean, uncluttered lines from the outside in. It was considered a slow seller, and while it slid down the sales chart as its four model years came to an end, its initial Canadian numbers weren't that much lower than X6 sales with 863 sold in 2010 compared to 1,017 X6s for BMW, whereas the unorthodox coupe-like German CUV only found 897 buyers last year. A redesigned X6 arrived during Read Full Story
Jeep’s new Renegade is already one of the best selling subcompact SUVs in North America, and today we review a mid-grade North model with load of options. Starting at just under $20k, the Renegade offers…

2015 Jeep Renegade North 2.4 4×4 Road Test Review

The new Jeep Renegade might just be the cutest of cute utes ever, its upright boxy stance and rounded elements almost making it look pudgy, but in an adorable way. Where it's Fiat 500X counterpart is ovoid all around yet still appears sporty, the Jeep pulls off a compact ruggedness thanks to that squared off upright design and plenty of thick black trim and body-cladding, not to mention four of the toughest looking Y-style five-spoke machine-finished alloys in the segment. Two of its most unique elements are the "X" marks the spot Phillips crosshead screwdriver taillights, but really the whole design is ultra-brave with loads of interesting details.

Inside, Jeep takes premium-level luxury to a whole new level for this subcompact SUV class. For instance, the dash top is padded all the way down to the lower midpoint of the instrument panel, which means that it wraps all the way around the primary gauge package as well as switches below that, while also circling right around the Read Full Story
The compact commercial van sector is becoming more competitive lately, partially due to the Ram ProMaster City. Today we review a passenger version in top SLT trim with pricing starting at just $26,495.…

2015 Ram ProMaster City Wagon SLT Road Test Review

Chrysler group has been in the panel and passenger van business for a very long time, and I've had personal experience with Dodge Tradesman, Sportsman and even Fargo variants going right back to my childhood, having sat on my dad's shop's old work van's engine cover when my big brother was occupying the only true passenger seat, the clamped-down insulated metal hood under me doubling as a third-seat/centre console way before seatbelt laws changed the way we now drive and ride. How I'd love to get my hands on a pristine mid-'60s Dodge or Fargo Van to customize, but that's a distant dream for another time.

Instead, the new ProMaster line of compact and full-size vans is hear and now, not to mention a dream come true for Chrysler group's North American operations, which prior to being taken over by Fiat and together with that Italian automaker globally renamed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), had been financially pillaged and left for dead by Daimler (Mercedes-Benz), while more Read Full Story
Need to tow heavy loads but don’t want to be depleted of all your resources at the pump? Ram’s 1500 EcoDiesel puts out 420 lb-ft of torque yet claims 12.1 L/100km city and 8.8 hwy with 4WD or 11.6…

2015 Ram 1500 Big Horn Crew Cab EcoDiesel 4×4 Road Test Review

Since Ram adopted the big rig look back in '93, they've been a solid number three instead of a distant third here in Canada, even as recently as calendar year 2014 coming very close to toppling combined Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra sales. Ram missed achieving this feat by a mere 1,484 models, which would be a significant margin if we were comparing Chevy Malibu to Chrysler 200 sales, but in the Canadian half-ton market where the two GM pickups found 90,005 new owners to the Ram 1500's 88,521 buyers, it was losing by a hair.

The Chrysler 200 ended up 3,409 units in the clear for calendar 2014, incidentally, but with 11,655 200 sales to the Malibu's 8,246 deliveries you get my point. This is where I'd like to say something witty like, GM had better watch out or Ram's trucks will soon oust them for second spot overall, but as it is the General's 6,237 unit lead as of October 2015 is probably too much for Ram to overcome in the next two months. This no doubt comes as a bit Read Full Story
Cars don’t get more stylish than Audi’s A6, and for 2016 it’s redesigned to look even better, upgraded with more base power, a nicer interior plus new 8-inch infotainment. Today we review the V6-powered…

2016 Audi A6 3.0 TFSI Quattro Technik Road Test Review

The A6 has long been a personal favourite, even when Audi dubbed it 5000. Of course, that car wasn't an A6, but it was the genesis of this mid-size Quattro-infused four-door, and a critically important car for the four-ringed German brand.

That model was known as the 100 in other markets, an earlier version being the first car I ever bought with my own hard earned money. It was later renamed 100 here as well, the original turbocharged five-cylinder all-wheel drive S4 spinoff my personal favourite sport sedan of the era and a test drive I'll never forget, while the original Audi V8, based on the same 100 platform architecture, is probably the vehicle most responsible for pulling the Audi image up to the same premium stratosphere as fellow Teutonic brands BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The 100 line lasted until 1997 when it was replaced by the first A6, the Audi V8 melding into the A8, and so on.

Yes, I'm going way back. Fifty-plus years of indelibly stamped impressions will Read Full Story
While Infiniti’s 2016 QX50 gets new styling with an updated grille, LED lighting elements in new fascias front and rear, a longer wheelbase for added rear seat and cargo room, plus new standard features,…

2016 Infiniti QX50 AWD Road Test Review

By the way Nissan has treated its Infiniti brand over its quarter-century existence, the now Hong Kong, China-based luxury division might have a case for child abandonment. The majority of its models, which for the most part were style, performance and technology leaders when devised, have been left to languish far past their various shelf lives, the parent automaker seemingly crossing its collective fingers in hopes that premium buyers will purchase their outdated products on traditional luxury features and price. Granted, Infiniti often offers best-in-class value, but you're not going to attract the vast majority of premium buyers with bargain basement deals, this reality casting a shadow on a brand's cachet. True luxury buyers expect more than great pricing for good performance and the usual assortment of high-level features, they expect constant innovation across the board.

On this theme Infiniti should be lauded for introducing its EX35 way back in 2007 when very few premium Read Full Story
If you’ve been waiting for a new Tacoma, now’s the time. For 2016 an all-new model hits the street and trail with an advanced 3.5L V6 good for 278-hp and 11.9 L/100km combined with its 6-speed auto…

2016 Toyota Tacoma 4×4 Double Cab V6 Limited Road Test Review

There are a lot of reasons why Toyota is number one in mid-size pickup truck sales, and while rugged good looks, capability, durability, reliability and owner satisfaction are indeed high up on the list, you can't discount its longevity in the marketplace either.

The Taco, as fans like to call it, had its 20th birthday this year, arriving on the light truck scene in 1995, and that was after 20 years of Toyota truck brand building via the humbly named Pickup, while before that the HiLux filled the Japanese brand's compact trucklet gap back to 1969, the Stout from to '64, and of course the much-lauded and highly collectible Land Cruiser FJ45 was Toyota's first North American truck entry in '63. That's 52 years of dutiful truck service.

The Tacoma didn't run the full 20 years without a redesigned, but rather was updated in 2004 as a 2005 model, both iterations serving Toyota and its devoted truck fans very well. Now, 11 years down the line it gets another redesign for Read Full Story
Lighter, more powerful with gobs more torque, the BMW M3 was entirely new for the 2015 model year. Now with 425-hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, a carbon-fibre roof, driveshaft, strut tower brace and option…

2015 BMW M3 Road Test Review

In case you were wondering, it takes a considerable amount of time and effort to test, research, and finally write a review on a given vehicle. And that doesn't even take into consideration the team needed to schedule, book, pick up, shuttle around and drop off the test car, source a location and then shoot a gallery of photos, the additional team required to edit those photos, size and optimize them for the web, edit the review, and finally file it to various print publishers while posting it to the content management system for online distribution ahead of promoting it via various social media sites. So why on earth would anyone in my line of business cover the same car twice in a single model year? When that car is quite possibly the best sport sedan ever created.

Yes, it all comes down to personal gain. My gain, in this instance, was more time spent in yet another 2015 BMW M3. Sure this has cost me and my company time, effort and money, because it really wasn't necessary. Read Full Story