The 7-passenger luxury SUV segment has just been moved up a significant notch with the introduction of the entirely new 2017 Audi Q7. Today on CarCostCanada we review it in top-line Technik trim complete…

2017 Audi Q7 3.0 TFSI Quattro Technik Road Test Review

With almost every mid-size SUV from volume makers offering luxuries such as fabric-wrapped pillars, multiple soft touch points, genuine woods and metals, state-of-the-art electronics and the list goes on, some even sporting driving dynamics that rival premium brands, accepted luxury marques have been forced to up their game. Some have been left behind to fight head-on with near-premium competitors while others have answered the call and delivered an entirely new level of luxury never before seen in the price class. With the advent of the 2017 Q7, Audi is now at the top of the latter list.

It was hard to improve on the Q7's styling, the new model adding more drama to the frontal design with a bigger, broader version of Audi's singleframe horseshoe grille, expected revisions to its LED lighting elements front and rear, and sharper creases to all body panels, but the outgoing model's interior mixed some extremely well made components with others that were substandard, most noticeably Read Full Story
It’s tough to get better value in a midsize SUV than the 2016 Nissan Murano, the stylish V6-powered model starting at less than $30k yet standard with lots of exterior LEDs, 18-inch alloys, proximity…

2016 Nissan Murano Platinum Road Test Review

The Murano is mostly unchanged for 2016, having gone through a complete redesign last year. This is no bad thing, because it's still one of the more exciting mid-size five-passenger SUVs on the market. It delivers a complexity of curves, angles, and an overall wow factor that none of its volume-branded crossover SUV rivals come close to offering, the Murano showing premium grade style and fortunately following that up with a premium level of substance.

This is most evident inside where it rivals luxury utes in design and execution. OK, it doesn't offer as many soft touch surfaces as its competitors, leaving a premium dash top off its list of mollycoddling indulgences like its larger Pathfinder sibling, although it gets a contrast-stitched and padded leatherette hood overtop the primary gauge package while the instrument panel boasts a supple synthetic treatment all the way down to where it disappears below the knees, as do the front and rear door uppers, the door panels also Read Full Story
Porsche’s smallest SUV gets an update for 2017 with a new 4-cylinder base model and new infotainment, plus a standard rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors and lane departure warning, while…

2017 Porsche Macan GTS Road Test Review

The Macan has only been with us for two years but it's already a staple within Porsche's ranks, achieving second-place status after its first full month of availability and only falling 268 deliveries short of matching its larger Cayenne sibling's sales during its first full year.

The key reason for the Macan's immediate success comes by default, it's part of the burgeoning compact luxury SUV segment, but it also needed to be a high performance, luxuriously equipped Porsche first, and then satisfy those looking for useful utility second. It fulfills both missions ideally, these seemingly juxtaposed challenges actually complementing each other thanks to one of the longer wheelbases and widest tracks in the segment that simultaneously enhance ride quality and handling while increasing passenger room and cargo capacity. It only took a short drive for me to heap praise upon both S and Turbo trims when introduced for the 2015 model year, but a full week spent with the new 2017 Macan Read Full Story
The compact luxury SUV segment is growing quickly and Land Rover’s new Discovery Sport is a solid entry capable of matching and in some ways exceeding standards set by German rivals, starting with interior…

2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE Si4 Road Test Review

If you haven't heard, Disco is back in a big way. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't know. Pop music was in a funk for years, and not the kind of funk most of us enjoy, but now there's a new soulful sound that's spinning ultimately contagious dance grooves from yesteryear. The first of such tracks that lured me back was Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams' Get Lucky, followed by plenty of others including Maroon 5's Sugar, Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson's Uptown Funk, and more recently Justin Timberlake's Can't Stop the Feeling, while the new soul mentioned a moment ago, from Drake, The Weeknd, Alessia Cara, Nick Jonas, Sam Smith, et al is mellowing out the moodier moments.

These old meets new musical genres, tracks, songsters and songstresses sound fabulous on the new Disco's standard 10-speaker audio system incidentally, Disco being the catchy nickname fans and owners gave the now classic 1989 through 1998 Land Rover Discovery, plus the Discovery II, 3 and 4 sold in Europe and other Read Full Story
Bored with your luxury SUV? Jaguar’s new F-Pace 3.5t R-Sport will surely bring fun back to your commute with 340-hp, an 8-speed auto with paddles, AWD, a sport suspension, 20-inch alloys, a sport suspension,…

2017 Jaguar F-Pace 3.5t R-Sport Road Test Review

A decade and a half ago many questioned BMW's reasoning for entering the SUV domain when it already owned Land Rover. It didn't take long to see the wisdom in that choice with the X5 quickly outselling the entire LR division and immediately becoming one of the most popular vehicles in the German brand's lineup as well as the luxury SUV sector overall. Now with hindsight as our ally we should question Tata group's reasoning for waiting so long to do likewise with the Jaguar brand now that JLR is under the Indian automaker's control, but we won't have to wait much longer for F-Pace sales results to signal if it was a smart move or not.

Initial reaction to the SUV has been positive from both industry critics and prospective customers. Jaguar seems to have nailed F-Pace styling while its driving dynamics are easily up to the most capable in the class, although defining that class is a bit more difficult.

Jaguar seems to be following a more for less philosophy that has worked Read Full Story
Want a little car that delivers big? Ford’s Fiesta Sedan is a good place to start and its mid-line SE trim really dresses things up inside and out with fog lamps, alloy wheels, power side mirrors with…

2016 Ford Fiesta Sedan SE Road Test Review

If you want to judge the core values of any brand, spend some time with its least expensive product. With Ford that entry-level model would be the Fiesta, a car that will surely surprise the uninitiated if given the chance.

The Fiesta is a handsome little sedan, especially in mid-grade SE trim with a few upgrades added, not to mention Oxford White paint. The stylish grille pulls cues from Mustang, albeit with chrome detailing befitting of a little luxe four-door, while the lower fascia incorporates some edgy aerodynamic detailing and sporty fog lamps. Large headlamps take up most of its front corners, while turn signals integrated into each body-colour mirror cap add a bit of upscale class. From the rear, an attractive set of red and clear-lensed taillights bookend a discrete deck lid spoiler, while the back bumper cap gets a diffuser style matte black plastic finisher for a sporty look.

Inside it's a celebratory combination of organic shapes, glitzy piano black plastics, Read Full Story
The Sentra gets updated for 2016 with the Nissan’s new V-shaped grille and other improvements including LED headlamps and new 17-inch alloys that come as part of our tester’s top-tier SL trim. Also…

2016 Nissan Sentra 1.8 SL Road Test Review

Nissan has given the compact Sentra sedan a significant refresh for 2016, continuing a tradition of modeling its smallest four-door after its mid-size Altima. The result is much more appealing styling up front where the brand's more distinctive V-shaped grille now dominates the frontal design along with unique scalloped headlamps that are once again bordered by LED DRLs in top-line SL trim. It gets a more aggressively shaped lower fascia and reworked hood too, plus new wheels all-round, while changes to the rear are much more subtle including slightly reworked taillight lenses and a mildly remolded rear bumper. Inside, a new primary gauge cluster sits ahead of an updated steering wheel, while the centre stack gets some trim detail changes depending on the model.

So how have the changes affected the market? That depends on which market we're talking about. In the U.S., response to the new Sentra has been quite good with 15.3 percent gains so far this year, but its first five months Read Full Story
Honda’s Accord Coupe is updated for 2016 and we review it in Touring V6 trim, complete with 278-hp, paddles, LED headlights, auto high beam, LED blinkers, passive entry, pushbutton start, rain-sensing…

2016 Honda Accord Coupe Touring V6 Road Test Review

If I told you I got more looks from passersby while driving an Accord than the majority of other cars I've driven this year, many of which have been brightly coloured near exotics, would you be surprised or knowingly nod in complete understanding that the car driven was the new ultra-stylish 2016 Accord Coupe? Not that the Accord Sedan isn't a looker as well, it's just so common that we've all grown accustomed to its handsome face.

Yes, the four-door Accord doesn't get the respect it deserves from enthusiasts, unfair being that it's one of if not the best mid-size sedan in the industry. It does everything asked of it and then some, but at least it gets suitably rewarded with strong sales and a high level of owner loyalty. Over the first five months of 2016 its Canadian sales have passed Ford's Fusion for second-place in the mid-size segment behind the Toyota Camry, although to be fair neither of these two competitors boost their sedan sales with a sporty two-door offering.
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