Led by the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Plug-in, and with as many as 16 offerings in total to choose from, plug-based cars 2014 Tesla Model S (Photo: Tesla) recorded a major sales surge in 2013, jumping…

Plug-in electric car sales grow in 2013

Led by the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Plug-in, and with as many as 16 offerings in total to choose from, plug-based cars recorded a major sales surge in 2013, jumping by 84 percent in the US to almost 100,000 units total. While the Volt and Prius Plug-in led in volume, the Tesla and Nissan Leaf posted the biggest year-over-year gains, selling 18,800 and 22,610 vehicles respectively in the US last year - a gain of 130 percent for the Leaf. Conventional hybrids also saw a modest 15 percent increase in sales, reaching an all-time record of just under half a million vehicles sold. To put things in perspective these are still relatively modest numbers, with all battery-based vehicles together representing less than four percent of the total US new vehicle market. That's less market share than the Ford F-Series truck holds on its own. But the numbers show a growing acceptance of plug-in and hybrid vehicles by the motoring public, indicating that these vehicles are here to stay. The numbers Read Full Story
What to do, what to do? I have so many errands requiring the roominess of a van that a week simply won’t do. The question Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press shouldn’t be what to do,…

2014 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited Road Test Review

What to do, what to do? I have so many errands requiring the roominess of a van that a week simply won't do. The question shouldn't be what to do, but rather what to do first?

Haul a load to the dump and another one to the recycling centre. Take some more summer/fall stuff to my storage locker and pick up winter clothes and the family ski gear (if the snow ever comes). Swap the kids loft bed and the foldout sofa underneath for a new bunk bed, plus pick up a new twin mattress. Buy another shoe cabinet and some other furniture from Ikea. Go get the almost-new used stove and overhead fan/microwave from a Craigslist ad and dump the old one off at the dump. Pick up the new bathroom vanity. The list goes on and on, and then this coming weekend it'll be loaded up with significant other, kids and luggage for a five-hour road trip to visit my brother and his family.

It's easy to appreciate how the minivan becomes an essential part of some families' lives. It's a vehicle that's Read Full Story
Back in December Kia teased us with an overhead silhouette of a 2+2 sports coupe concept car it would be debuting at the upcoming   North American International Auto Show in Detroit. But the image…

Kia teases GT4 Stinger Concept ahead of Detroit

Back in December Kia teased us with an overhead silhouette of a 2+2 sports coupe concept car it would be debuting at the upcoming North American International Auto Show in Detroit. But the image and seating configuration was about all that the Korean automaker revealed, telling us only that the concept was created at Kia's U.S. design studio in Irvine, California and is "intended to turn heads while delivering superb driving enjoyment on both road and track."

Now with only days to go before the press portion of the Detroit show opens, the automaker has released a second teaser image and some more detailed information about the concept. There's still not enough information to paint a complete picture of the car, but it's sure to be music to the ears of automotive enthusiasts.

The car is called the GT4 Stinger Concept, and Kia has confirmed that it will indeed be a rear-wheel drive coupe, with power coming from a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder churning out an impressive Read Full Story
No one will mistake the 2014 BMW X5 for anything else, as the changes are purely evolutionary. The grille is a bigger and bolder Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press version of BMW’s classic…

2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i Road Test Review

No one will mistake the 2014 BMW X5 for anything else, as the changes are purely evolutionary. The grille is a bigger and bolder version of BMW's classic twin-kidney design, headlight treatment now inspired by the new 3 Series, and revised taillights larger iterations of other LED-enhanced lenses already available in the ever-expanding BMW lineup. Those who liked the outgoing X5 and BMW's new design direction should really like what they see in the 2014 model. I happen to love it.

A car, or crossover sport utility in this case (or sport activity vehicle in BMW-speak), is always much more than the sum of its parts. It's one thing to say the grille is bigger and bolder and contemplate how its 3 Series-inspired headlamps bookend those chrome-enhanced kidneys, or for that matter how its new chiseled LED tail lamps pull cues from its predecessor as well as various other more current BMW products, but take a walk around the vehicle from 10 metres away and it's easy to see how harmoniously Read Full Story
For Canadian motorists – and U.S. motorists north of the Sunbelt – winter means slogging your way through endless rain, snow, The next-generation McLaren P1 might not need windshield wipers…

McLaren developing wiperless windshield

For Canadian motorists - and U.S. motorists north of the Sunbelt - winter means slogging your way through endless rain, snow, slush, sleet, and road spray. It gives your wipers a non-stop workout, and often leaves you staring through a smeared, streaked windshield.

But if McLaren and other manufacturers have their way, those days may be coming to an end. No, automotive manufacturers aren't about to eliminate winter, but they are working on ways to eliminate the windshield wiper.

Mercedes-Benz has already taken one small step, eliminating the windshield spray jets on its SL sports car and integrating the windshield fluid delivery system directly in to the wiper instead. The German company calls the technology its Magic Vision Control System.

McLaren hopes to go a step further and borrow military technology to do away with the wiper altogether, using ultrasonic sound instead to create a type of ultrasonic force field that prevents anything from sticking to the Read Full Story
Just Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press what is Ford up to? Didn’t they get the memo? Offering multiple performance models under a single brand is abnormal behaviour! Not that I’m…

2014 Ford Fiesta ST Road Test Review

Just what is Ford up to? Didn't they get the memo? Offering multiple performance models under a single brand is abnormal behaviour!

Not that I'm complaining. The company behind the legendary Mustang muscle car, import sport sedan-beating Taurus SHO, and fabulous F-150 SVT Raptor sport truck, not to mention a lineup of performance-tuned Ecoboost-powered crossovers, the same blue oval team that recently shook up the compact segment with the shockingly good Focus ST, is now doing the same in the subcompact class with the brilliant little Fiesta ST.

If you don't love this little rocket you're not a car enthusiast, or at least not a performance car enthusiast. But even if you've grown fond of environmentally friendly electrics and hybrids, a large portion of which are produced by Ford, a performance car powered by an energy-conscious 1.6-litre four-cylinder that uses high-tech direct injection and turbocharging to make a heady 197 horsepower and 202 lb-ft of torque is a very Read Full Story
In a move that will create the world’s seventh-largest car company once it’s signed off, Fiat announced that it has purchased Fiat now owns 100 percent of Chrysler. (Photo: Fiat) the remaining…

Fiat now owns 100 percent of Chrysler

In a move that will create the world's seventh-largest car company once it's signed off, Fiat announced that it has purchased the remaining 41 percent of Chrysler shares that it did not already own.

The agreement, worth about $4.3 billion total, comes after a long series of negotiations with Veba, the UAW-affiliated healthcare trust that currently owns the remaining Chrysler shares. The UAW (United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America) represents 390,000 active workers and 600,000 retired workers in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, with Veba looking after the benefits of 117,000 retired Chrysler workers and their dependents.

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne called the deal "one of those defining moments that will go down in history books" and said he plans to widen the company's global reach. Robert Naftaly, the chair of the committee that governs Veba said, "This agreement is in the best interests of the trust's UAW Chrysler retiree members and Read Full Story
Nissan will be showing a trio of concept cars at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, one of which is making 2014 Nissan Sport Sedan Concept (Photo: Nissan) its world debut at the…

Nissan reveals Sport Sedan Concept teaser ahead of Detroit

Nissan will be showing a trio of concept cars at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, one of which is making its world debut at the show. According to Nissan's press materials the new Sport Sedan Concept will offer "an advanced look at a future production vehicle." It will be joined by the Nissan IDx Freeflow and IDx NISMO concepts, which drew plenty of attention when they debuted at the recent Tokyo Motor Show.

While Nissan didn't provide much detail about the Sport Sedan Concept when it released the teaser image, it's expected that the "future production vehicle" the concept hints at is in fact the next-generation Maxima. The current Maxima was introduced in 2008 for the 2009 model year, which means that it predates much of the company's current styling language.

The Sport Sedan Concept, according to Nissan, previews "a new energetic design direction that amplifies Nissan's legendary approach of applying sports car principles to a sedan." The Read Full Story