The GS F sits at the pinnacle of Lexus’ performance sedan lineup, a midsize 4-door with a 467-hp 5.0L V8, 8-speed auto with paddles, RWD, 19-inch alloys, an adaptive sport suspension, a torque vectoring…

2016 Lexus GS F Road Test Review

Expanding its hyper-performance F sub-brand is an important step in Lexus' continued progression as a Tier 1 premium brand, and while the Japanese luxury division has contracted this process somewhat with the (hopefully) temporary loss of its IS F sport sedan, it has certainly grown out F prospects in other categories, particularly the new RC F super coupe that I reviewed a couple of months ago (which even includes a race-spec RC F GT3 variant) and this mid-size GS F super sedan.

The GS F puts Lexus in rarified company, alongside the legendary BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz' nearly as well recognized E63 AMG, Audi's S6 and Cadillac's less known but nevertheless very respectable CTS-V. Of note, Jaguar has bowed out of the mid-size uber sedan race by eliminating its XFR/XFR-S, but Alfa Romeo is just introducing us to its new Giulia Quadrifoglio, although it's a slightly smaller model than the usual E-segment competitor, yet a bit larger than the D-segment "compacts" occupied by the M3, Read Full Story
Is this the Elantra that will finally bump Toyota’s Corolla from 2nd place in compact sales? The old model came within 200 units last year, so this much more attractive all-new 2017 model could be the…

2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited Road Test Review

If Honda's latest Civic is a bit too radical and the Corolla a smidge on the conservative side, this all-new 2017 Elantra should fit you to a tee. Hyundai has completely redesigned it from the ground up, with styling that immediately makes it more appealing and simultaneously more upscale.

You'd think that this was the upcoming BMW 3 Series D-segment competing Genesis G70 model, but it's still a lowly Elantra fighting it out with the two aforementioned models as well as the Mazda3s and Chevy Cruzes of the world. Up front there's a stylishly large horizontally ribbed hexagonal grille that's nicely trimmed in chrome thanks to my tester's upmarket Limited trim. The $26,249 Limited also gets chrome trim across its side window ledges, chromed door handles and attractively styled LED tail lamps at back, while its eye-catching vertically stacked chrome trimmed LED driving lights and LED-enhanced side mirror caps get pulled up from lesser GL trim.

I should probably interject Read Full Story
Have you been pampering yourself too much? Isn’t it time to add a rough and ready Jeep Wrangler to your active lifestyle? While the rugged 4x4 isn’t for everyone, it certainly is popular with more…

2016 Jeep Wrangler Sport S Road Test Review

So, do you think Audi is selling well these days? They are. Last year's U.S. sales gained 11.1 percent for their best year ever, resulting in a total of 202,202 cars and crossovers sold.

What's this got to do with the Wrangler? Absolutely nothing, although when I saw the iconic Jeep's improved sales numbers that were up 15.6 percent for an all-time-high of 202,702 units throughout calendar year 2015, it caused me to stop in my tracks. First of all, except for one digit, the numbers are almost identical, this recalling Audi's sales total that I used in a recent review, at which point it dawned on me that Jeep actually sold 500 more of its the humble Wranglers over the same twelve month period than the entire Audi brand that's made up of 11 unique models and many more body styles, powertrain configurations and trim levels. A similar scenario plays out here in Canada, with the Audi brand good for a 9.1-percent increase resulting in 26,754, although the four-ringing German brand Read Full Story
Want a different kind of compact luxury car? Consider Lexus’ CT 200h, a boldly styled, luxurious, comfortable, thrifty, reliable, well-made hatchback. It’s powered by the Prius’ fuel-friendly hybrid…

2016 Lexus CT 200h F Sport Special Edition Road Test Review

The CT 200h is an unusual entry-level model. First of all it's a five-door hatchback in a premium compact car segment dominated by sedans, and second there's no conventional powertrain, a hybrid being the only option.

No wonder sales have never measured up to the segment leaders, the CT dead last in popularity when compared to other premium entry models. Leading the list is Mercedes' long and lean CLA, a four-door coupe/sport sedan that sold 3,870 units in Canada last year, while Audi's more conventional A3 sedan was a close second with 3,788 buyers over the same 12 months (Audi just started selling the A3 Sportback e-tron hybrid as well, a car that's probably closest to the CT in size, body style and powertrain, albeit the German brand is likely only relying on the five-door model for laying down a positive eco footprint, not sales). Acura's ILX, a slightly larger compact sedan based on the Honda Civic, found 2,551 new owners in 2015, whereas Mercedes' other entry model, the Read Full Story
The last time we had a hybrid in the compact SUV class was 2012 when the final Escape Hybrid was sold, so the new RAV4 Hybrid is a welcome return from the most likely of manufacturers. For just under…

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited Road Test Review

This might only be a mid-cycle refresh on paper, but the RAV4's frontal styling is radically new for 2016. This model year also represents the first time Toyota's offered its Hybrid Synergy Drive system in a compact SUV, and all I can say is it's about ruddy time.

No, they're not exactly late to the party. Hard to believe considering hybrids have been with us for more than a decade and a half, but exactly zero mainstream volume branded competitors have anted up an electrified version of their compact crossover. OK, I admit that's a bit of a misleading statement being that Ford's Escape Hybrid (and Mercury Mariner Hybrid in the U.S., RIP) was numbered amongst SUVs and not CUVs when the hybridized version was available from 2004 through 2012, the latest third-generation Escape eliminating its hybrid while competing more directly in the crossover segment, but really that was more about Ford's marketing department claiming bestselling SUV status than anything real. There have also Read Full Story
If the Outlander isn’t the best deal among compact SUVs we don’t know what is. At under $26k it gets alloys, LED DRLs, LED tail lamps, heated mirrors, more soft surfacing than rivals, a leather steering…

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC Road Test Review

I don't know about you, but to my eyes the Outlander looks much nicer in this taupe-mocha metallic than it did in black. Quartz Brown, as Mitsubishi calls it, softens the SUV's harder elements and highlights its subtler charms, seeming to smooth out its long, upright profile, giving it an all-round classier appearance.

The Labrador Black model just noted was a four-cylinder ES AWC Touring trimmed version I tested just prior to this one, whereas the model before you today is a top-line V6-powered GT S-AWC variation on the Japanese brand's compact crossover theme. I lauded the less equipped version for its improved styling, luxurious interior filled with more standard and optional features for the money than most competitors, excellent performance and thrifty fuel economy, so you'd be right in guessing that this more upscale, performance-oriented Outlander would also get an enthusiastic thumbs up.

For starters, the differences between the two are nominal at first glance, Read Full Story
Is Lexus messing with success? New for 2016 is a radicalized RX 350 and RX 450h, either of which will turn more heads than any Audi, BMW or Mercedes. Today on CarCostCanada we test the electrified RX…

2016 Lexus RX 450h F Sport AWD Road Test Review

Are Lexus RX fans ready? They've been a conservative lot over the years, Toyota's luxury division appearing to be messing with success with the latest 2016 makeover, but their radical new L Finesse 2.0 design language has certainly worked with other models across the line.

They definitely would have a lot to lose. The RX sits clearly at the top of the mid-size luxury crossover SUV heap in Canada and the U.S., last year's sales of 7,063 units only beaten by both Mercedes mid-size entries, the M-Class (including some new GLE sales in the U.S.) and the larger seven-passenger GL (Lexus needs a Highlander-sized seven-occupant crossover to compete more effectively), the former selling 6,008 and latter 2,473 for a combined total of 8,481. In the U.S., however, even adding up the old ML, new GLE and larger GL, Mercedes fell short by almost 20,000 units at just 80,920 compared to 100,610 for the lone RX, and that's after the Mercedes models' combined sales grew and the RX dropped 6.4 Read Full Story
Cadillac is doing its best to lure you away from your A5, 4 Series, C-Class Coupe, RC or Q60 Coupe, and the ATS Coupe is a credible temptress. Base models get a 272-hp turbo four, 8-speed auto, paddles,…

2016 Cadillac ATS Coupe 2.0L Turbo AWD Premium Road Test Review

How would you rate Cadillac amongst luxury brands? Would you consider it Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 in your personal pecking order?

You may find this an odd question because most people just like what they like and don't even consider anything new, or in Cadillac's case, something old. I jest because Cadillac has some of the newest most advanced product on today's premium market, but the brand itself is very, very old, actually dating all the way back to 1902.

Mercedes-Benz, despite what its clever marketing tries to portray, is 24 years younger than the crested wreath brand (Karl Benz might have built the first self-propelled automobile, but after producing his first Benz Patent Motorwagen in 1885 in his thriving new motor manufacturing business Benz & Cie, and then receiving the famed patent in 1886 before making the motorized carriage available for sale in 1988 and turning his ingenuity into the world's largest automobile manufacturer during the 1890s ahead of Read Full Story