Before you buy another Camry or Accord, take a moment to consider the new Kia Optima. For similar money you’ll get a lot more car, with a more advanced turbo powertrain, paddle-shift performance and…

2016 Kia Optima SXL Road Test Review

I can't say the new Optima is better looking, but it's certainly different. Let's face it. Improving upon the previous third-generation design would've been difficult. That car changed wholesale perceptions of Kia as a brand.

With the 2011 Optima, Kia immediately became synonymous with cool and cutting edge, not unlike the way the sixth-gen Sonata wowed the mid-size class when it debuted in 2009, and thus caused us all to look at Hyundai in a different light. Still, while the new 2016 Optima design is sleeker and seemingly more aerodynamic, it's lost some of the previous version's unique character, and that may hurt sales, but Kia had to do something.

After all, over the past four years the Optima went from a respectable sixth in the mid-size family sedan segment with 11,992 sales in 2012 to eighth with 6,210 sales in 2015. But an all-new model should boost sales up again, right? Normally that's the case, but after 10 months of 2016 the Optima has only sold 4,157 units, Read Full Story
Witness the birth of an entirely new Aston Martin platform and design language; the 2017 DB11 a completely fresh creation from the ground up. Even the 600-hp 5.2L V12 is new, and developed in-house. It…

2017 Aston Martin DB11 Launch Edition Road Test Review

Chances are if you're an Aston Martin fan you tend to lean more toward classic styles than the latest trends, and I'm not just talking about your rolling stock. Your clothing is probably more along the lines of Brioni, Burberry or Ralph Lauren than Poyz & Pirlz, your feet are more likely covered by Florsheim or Franco Sarto than Asos Monk or Giuseppe Zanotti, you wear a Patek or Lange on your wrist rather than a Franck Muller or Harry Winston, your glass is filled with a 25 year old Bowmore single malt or Beefeater 24 and tonic rather than a Liquid Currency, Long Strange Trip, Winnie Cooper or Zombie. I respect your choices. Really, I love Don Draper and Joan Holloway too, but let's face the reality that the times they are a changin'.

If Aston Martin has a weakness, its various designs and the engineering behind them rely too heavily on past achievements. Others, however, will see adhering to tradition as the British brand's greatest strength. All I can say to those in the Read Full Story
Along with commemorating Jeep’s wartime contribution the new 75th Anniversary Edition is an attractive and well-packaged Wrangler. Unique features include bronze accents outside and in, 17-inch alloys,…

2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 75th Anniversary Edition Road Test Review

Have you ever driven a WWII-era U.S. military jeep? If yes you'll know the current JK-bodied Wrangler is more akin to driving a luxury car of the same era than the ultimately remedial Bantam BRC-40, Ford GP, and Willys MA.

Yes, these three automakers submitted prototypes with Bantam's "Pilot" winning the bid, but all would go on to produce a version that would soon be standardized to conform to the much-improved Willys MB (which had significant input from all three manufacturers), with a Willys-sourced powertrain and production housed at their Toledo, Ohio plant (yes, where Jeep continues to build the Wrangler). Interestingly, Jeep's trademark pressed-metal grille was initially designed by Ford for their "Pygmy" prototype, but let's not remind the current crop of blue-oval designers or they'll lay claim on it before adapting it to their next generation of copycat Range Rovers.

These early reconnaissance cars joined U.S. troops in 1941 just ahead of America's actual Read Full Story
Always thought of the Boxster as a wannabe 911 Cabriolet? It’s time to take the cheapest Porsche roadster seriously, especially in 350-hp S trim where its new turbocharged 4-cylinder provides quicker…

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster S Road and Track Test Review

Porsche's lovable Boxster has come a long way since I first tested it in S trim way back in Y2K. That would be year 2000 for those too young to have memory of the event, the turn of the previous millennia that was supposed to be the end of everything as we knew it, but in reality was just the beginning of a brave new era of unprecedented technology advancement.

The concept of a Cayenne SUV was mere heresy to Porschephiles in 2000, not the savior that would soon provide much needed funding for now hallowed supercars such as the Carrera GT and 918 Spyder, not to mention Porsche's more attainable sports cars, while Boxster production began just four years earlier in 1996. The model year 2001 Boxster S' 250 horsepower 3.2-litre flat six was good for "a sensational 5.9" seconds to 100km/h, or so I stated with unbridled enthusiasm 16 years ago (I was pretty green back then), which by today's standards is rather inefficient use of so many pistons and cubic centimeters.

The Read Full Story
Easily one of the most advanced SUVs on the planet, the new XC90 T8 Twin Engine eAWD uses a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0L four and two electric motors to make 400-hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. Its…

2017 Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine eAWD Inscription Road Test Review

To say the XC90 is important for Volvo would likely be the year's biggest automotive related understatement. Crucial is a better descriptive. Over the past year Volvo has gone from a respected albeit almost forgotten premium brand to one of the most desirable, its Canadian sales catapulting from a somewhat embarrassing 4,033 unit total after the first 10 months of 2015 to 5,215 during the same period in 2016.

To appreciate the new XC90's impact alone, the mid-size luxury SUV's sales jumped from 390 units over the first 10 months of 2014 (there were no XC90 sales during the first five months of 2015) to 2,432 as of October 31, 2016. That latter number also tells another story, that the XC90 has comprised nearly 47 percent of the entire brand's year-to-date sales. Factor in that Volvo sells 11 models altogether and the weight of responsibility borne by the XC90 is beyond significant.

This scenario holds true for most premium brands. From Acura with its MDX and RDX to Read Full Story
After 5 years the BRZ gets a mild refresh for 2017, with revised styling, new standard LED headlamps and taillights, a stronger 205-hp engine, and other performance improvements, while a new standard…

2017 Subaru BRZ Sport-tech Road Test Review

The FR-S might be getting more attention for 2017, as a revised version transforms from now the defunct Scion brand to become the Toyota 86 in our market, but Subaru's arguably purer version of the car has been thoroughly updated too.

The BRZ received a bevy of improvements for 2017, starting with obvious styling enhancements that include revised front and rear fascias featuring new standard full LED headlamps and LED taillights respectively, interior refinements with added features like upgraded Starlink infotainment that includes a standard rearview camera, plus engine performance and handling upgrades highlighted by an all-new VDC Track mode.

I like the subtle changes made front and back, the new headlights adding some sophisticated detail and the more complex lower fascia getting F1-style aerodynamics at each corner, my upgraded Sport-tech tester featuring new LED fog lamps as well. The body-colour fender vents get a more windswept look too, while the rear deck Read Full Story
An all-new Infiniti Q60 sport coupe has spiked sales and added excitement across the entire range, the base model incorporating the same 208-hp turbo-four as the Q50 2.0t, the mid-range 3.0t getting a…

2017 Infiniti Q60 3.0t AWD Coupe Road Test Review

This year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit saw a renaissance of luxuriously equipped personal sport coupes, but only two of the four shown will see the light of day, at least as far as we know.

Acura's Precision Concept, while really a four-door coupe, was merely a design exercise to introduce a new look for Honda's luxury division, first translated for the road via the brand's refreshed 2017 MDX. Likewise the Buick Avista concept made some believe GM's second-rung luxury division might become relevant outside of China again, but Lexus' jaw-dropping LC 500 is the real deal and will soon join the LC 500h in dealer showrooms. Then again, Infiniti's gorgeous 2017 Q60 Coupe has been available for months already.

The Q60 sits more upright than those unreal show cars, but its lines are still some of the most attractive amongst premium production two-door models. Like its predecessor and premium sport coupe competitors, which include BMW's 4 Series Coupe, Read Full Story
Jaguar’s midsize XF was completely redesigned for 2016 with a new aluminum-intensive body shell, reworked styling, a revised interior, improved infotainment and other upgrades, while the latest 2017…

2017 Jaguar XF R-Sport 35t AWD Road Test Review

I don't envy the people in charge of any premium brand's mid-size E-segment offerings these days. While my personal favourite size as far as five-person luxury conveyances go, the vast majority of consumers are passing on their four-door sedans like proverbial hot potatoes, and instead opting for crossover SUVs that more often than not ride on the same cars' underpinnings. It's a trend that still seems to be growing, and a reality that's hurt brands predominantly in the "car" business.

Jaguar is one such premium marque. Its brand image steeped in luxury lore, not to mention rich with rarified motorsport heritage, but until recently it didn't offer a single SUV. Before the F-Pace, which after only six months is already the brand's bestselling model, Jaguar retailers needed only to guide their customers over to the Land Rover side of the showroom in order to find something with a raised ride height, five-doors and a handy hatch, but now JLR buyers have yet more variety to choose Read Full Story