The popular Fusion mid-size sedan gets a refresh for 2017, so we test its most basic electrified S Hybrid trim level. The lowest priced HEV in its four-door class, the Fusion Hybrid comes well stocked…

2017 Ford Fusion S Hybrid Road Test Review

The Fusion has always been a strong seller for Ford, although the second-generation model introduced four years ago took the model's popularity to new heights, even achieving bestselling status in the mid-size segment here in Canada. While since giving the top podium up to a redesigned Camry the good folks in Oakville, Ontario's blue-oval HQ are hoping this refreshed Fusion might push it back over the top.

If it were based solely on styling the Fusion certainly has the edge, the new 2017 getting some subtle yet very nice improvements to its design, from a faintly reworked grille, more angular headlamps and a revised lower fascia to classier LED taillights incorporating ritzy chrome strikethroughs that continue right across the car's backside, but there's much more than merely a new set of clothes behind Ford's latest attempt to grow the Fusion's mid-size market share.

It's attacking its competitors from every angle. The new all-wheel drive 325 horsepower twin-turbocharged Read Full Story
Does best-in-class fuel economy matter as much in today’s market as it did a couple of years ago? It’s a claim worth bragging about either way, and the new Malibu Hybrid now owns it with a 5.0 L/100km…

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Road Test Review

Chevy's ninth generation Malibu is doing well, with Canadian sales up 17 percent over the first six months of the year. This was enough for new owners to wave goodbye through the car's sleek new side windows as it passed right on by Chrysler 200 and Hyundai Sonata sales, with the Malibu's new count of 6,417 Q2 deliveries starting to catch the taillights of the mid-size sedan segment's third most popular Honda Accord and second place Ford Fusion.

Despite a general waning of HEV, PHEV and EV sales due to lower pump prices in most parts of Canada, I'd like to think the new Malibu Hybrid is playing a significant role in the mid-size model's upwardly trending numbers, although its charged particle assistance likely has more to do with a positive green light being shined on the enduring nameplate than particularly high sales volumes. This is, after all, is the first Malibu Hybrid that can drive on electricity alone, its modified powertrain borrowed from GM's second-generation Voltec Read Full Story
Compare the new 2017 Kia Sportage SX to any premium brand compact SUV and you’ll walk away wondering why you should pay more, or possibly you’ll drive away happy that you didn’t. The features are…

2017 Kia Sportage SX Road Test Review

I can never figure out why some Kia models don't lead their respective segments in sales. Obviously the brand has an image issue, something it's been working hard to overcome with stunning new designs, impressive quality, features galore, and competitive driving dynamics, but even if these attributes weren't shining as brightly as they do, the value offered in vehicles like this Sportage should have buyers queuing up in front of Kia showrooms just so they don't miss getting one.

In an effort to win yet more customers to the brand, that compact SUV has been totally redesigned for 2017, and I tested a top-line Sportage SX to see how it measures up. Opting for the SX means Kia's trademark black mesh grille gets flanked by auto on/off directionally adaptive projector HID headlamps with integrated LEDs and auto high beams, two quads of LED fog lights at each corner, an aluminum-look skid plate below, 19-inch machine-finished alloys with black painted pockets down each side, LED turn Read Full Story
Wondering whether Cadillac’s super-sport V sub-brand is worthy of M, AMG, RS or F comparison? The new ATS-V gets a standard 464-hp twin-turbo V6 with 455 lb-ft of torque, a 6-speed manual or magnesium…

2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe Road Test Review

The ATS-V Coupe isn't for the faint of heart. Just look at it. Gaping black-mesh infused upper and lower grilles, glossy carbon-fibre air extracting hood louvers, a CFRP aero kit all-round, the latter incorporating a seemingly race-ready rear diffuser stuffed full with a foursome of fat chromed tailpipes that are almost as provocative as the ducktail spoiler atop the deck lid above, it's a teenage dream car wrapped up in a middle-aged CEO's paycheck, and easily worthy of duking it out with the M4s and C63 AMGs of the world.

Cadillac sales might not be at the level of German or Japanese competitors in Canada, its year-to-date numbers even slipping behind Infiniti, but it's certainly gaining fan support. Too bad Oshawa can't take respect to the bank, but then again if they keep building cars like the compact ATS four- and two-door, mid-size CTS sedan, longer and wider aluminum-bodied CT6 luxury sedan, mid-size XT5 crossover SUV, full-size Escalade SUV, and others, they'll win the Read Full Story
In its seeming eternal quest to modernize the 911, Porsche once again upsets the proverbial apple cart by twin-turbocharging its C2, C4, C2S and C4S models, the latter reviewed here. With 370 entry-level…

2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Road Test Review

Want a great deal on a Porsche turbo? That's easy. Buy nearly any new Porsche, as most are now turbocharged and all will soon be.

Scripted matte black "turbo" lettering on the backside of a 911 or via decals gracing the rocker panels has always been cause for pause amongst sports car enthusiasts, the car once revered as the fastest production model on the planet, but now Turbo is merely a trim line at Porsche. It's still duly given reverential respect, especially when the big serpentine "S" adds suffixal support, but for the sake of those who simply love driving great sports cars we need to put all of this forced wastegate induction into perspective.

Like all automakers, Porsche sells into a highly regulated world experiencing ever more stringent fuel economy targets and emissions standards, and turbochargers are being widely adopted as a way to deal with both issues while maintaining and in some cases even increasing performance. The new 3.0-litre (2,981 cm³) H-6 Read Full Story
Volkswagen never goes halfway with its special editions, and the new Beetle Convertible Denim is no exception. From unique denim blue paint and a dark denim fabric top to a two-tone blue denim interior…

2016 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Denim Road Test Review

Volkswagen is known for its special editions, especially when it comes to the iconic Beetle. This year alone brings us the 2016 Beetle Dune, a crossover style soft-roader, and this new Beetle Convertible Denim, while the Classic carries over from last year.

I doubt anyone in Wolfsburg remotely remembers long since forgotten (except by yours truly) Levi's editions of the Chevy Chevette and AMC Gremlin, but like every Beetle model the Denim pulls inspiration from yesteryear and this one gives a nod to the oddly yellow Euro-market "Jeans Bug" of the '70s. The Beetle Classic just mentioned took my memory to new depths, reminding fondly of dad's '66 Beetle, my bro's '69, and a '72 Super Beetle left in my care one particularly good summer by a pretty young woman who went on vacation.

This Denim edition has two tires stuck in the past and the other set rolling along in the present thanks to equal parts '70s-era Britannia, Howick and Jordache flares (sans rainbow coloured pocket Read Full Story
At the top level of ultra-premium grand touring drop-tops is Bentley’s Continental GT Convertible Speed, a 626-hp, twin-turbo W12-powered super sled that’s as beautifully finished as it is luxuriously…

2016 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Speed Road Test Review

I've experienced some wonderful moments in Bentleys over the years, sometimes traveling to far away places to partake in previous generation Brooklands, Azure and Arnage models, the latter with legendary racer and quintessential gentleman Derek Bell at my side, plus more recent excursions in the Continental family of GTs, GTCs, and Flying Spurs, while also enjoying a few at home with family in tow. No matter where, with whom, or the Bentley model that prompted the drive, each experience was so all-encompassing and therefore so indelibly stamped into my limbic system that I'm immediately swept back into a given moment at the mere sighting of the prominent grille and Flying B emblem. So you can imagine how the senses overflow when actually getting back behind the wheel.

The three earliest names have long been replaced and the Continental-based models updated since I first got to know the good folks at Bentley Motors' Boston headquarters (they don't have a Canadian HQ), the large Read Full Story
Buick asks a lot for its Enclave SUV, base trim costing more than the better-equipped Infiniti QX60 and, with AWD, nearly as much as the way more advanced Acura MDX, but it still sells quite well. Why?…

2016 Buick Enclave Premium AWD Road Test Review

General Motors does giant business with the Enclave in the U.S., having sold 62,081 last year and a near identical 62,300 the year before, this placing it in third in overall luxury SUV sales and first as far as seven-passenger utes go, but here in Canada it's an entirely different story. When calendar year 2015 came to an end the Enclave had only found 3,361 Canadian buyers, which is slightly more than half of its U.S. sales per capita, making it seventh most popular in the same category and fourth amongst three-row crossovers, beaten by the BMW X5, Acura MDX, and Infiniti QX60. Why such a big discrepancy between markets?

One reason is pricing. You can buy a base Enclave for under $40k south of the 49th, which is a slightly decontented version (no leather) of the same SUV that costs close to $50k here. The latter number means it's the lowest priced seven-passenger luxury branded mid-size crossover utility in the U.S., and not quite as competitive here in Canada.

GM Read Full Story