When considering a compact SUV, it’s essential to compare offerings from both domestic and international car manufacturers. This helps make a well-informed choice, striking the right balance between performance, space, efficiency and value. Today, we compare the 2024 Chevrolet Equinox, 2023 Ford Escape, 2023 Toyota RAV4 and the 2024 Honda CR-V.
Performance and Efficiency
2024 Chevrolet Equinox:
Engine: Turbocharged Gas I4, producing 175 hp @ 5800 RPM and 203 lb-ft torque between 2000-4000 RPM.
Fuel Efficiency: EnerGuide Estimate for the highway is 7.9 L/100 km.
Emissions: 207 G/km of CO2.
Transmission: 6-speed automatic.
2023 Ford Escape:
Engine: Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-3, delivering 180 hp @ 6000 RPM and 199 lb-ft torque @ 3000 RPM.
Fuel Efficiency: EnerGuide Estimate for the highway is 6.9 l/100 km.
Emissions: 197 G/km of CO2.
Transmission: 8-speed automatic with OD.
2023 Toyota RAV4:
Engine: 2.5 Litre, 4-Cylinder, DOHC with Dual Variable Valve Timing, generating 203 hp @ 6,600 rpm and 184 lb-ft torque.
Fuel Efficiency: EnerGuide Estimate for the highway is 6.3 L/100 km.
Emissions: Not Available.
Transmission: CVT with OD.
2024 Honda CR-V:
Engine: Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4, 190 hp @ 6000 RPM and 179 lb-ft torque @ 1700 RPM.
Fuel Efficiency: EnerGuide Estimate for the highway is 7.6 L/100 km (estimated).
Emissions: Not Available.
Transmission: CVT with OD.
Interior and Comfort
Both the Ford Escape and Chevrolet Equinox impress with their spacious interiors, boasting passenger volumes of 104 ft³ and 103.5 ft³, respectively. On the other hand, the Toyota RAV4 provides a slightly more compact ambiance with 98.9 ft³, while the Honda CR-V matches the Equinox and the Escape with 103.5 ft³.
Cargo and Utility
Regarding space, the Honda CR-V leads the pack with a sizable cargo volume of 39.3 ft³ up to the second seat. Following closely are the Ford Escape at 37.5 ft³ and the Toyota RAV4 at 37.4 ft³. The Chevrolet Equinox offers slightly lesser space at 29.9 ft³.
As for towing capacities, the Ford Escape comes out on top with a capacity of 2000 lbs. The RAV4 and CR-V follow with 1750 lbs and 1499 lbs, respectively. The Equinox’s towing capacity remains unspecified.
Incentives & Financing
Incentives and financing options can make a significant difference in your purchasing decision:
2024 Chevrolet Equinox: Finance incentives range between 5.49%-6.19% for 36 to 84 months. Lease incentives are at 8.9% for 24 to 60 months.
2023 Ford Escape: Finance incentives span from 1.99% to 3.99% for 36 to 84 months, and lease incentives are set at 3.99% for 24 to 60 months.
2023 Toyota RAV4: Finance incentives begin at 7.29%, going up to 7.79% for 24 to 84 months. Lease incentives range from 6.29%-8.39% for 24 to 60 months.
It should be obvious that the interest rate assigned to your finance or lease agreement is going to impact your monthly payments in a very significant way. Click on the name of each of these vehicles to check out the latest offers available at CarCostCanada®.
Each SUV in this comparison brings a unique set of attributes. While the Chevrolet Equinox and Ford Escape shine with their spacious interiors and robust performance, the Toyota RAV4 stands out for its unmatched fuel efficiency. The Honda CR-V, on the other hand, offers a harmonious blend of performance and space.
Your final choice should reflect which attributes align best with your needs and preferences.
Regarding compact SUVs, it’s often difficult to find that sweet spot between utility and style, fuel economy and performance. Yet, the 2024 Volkswagen Tiguan seems to have found a comfortable niche in the market. As the SUV market in Canada continues to grow, consumers are spoiled for choice. But where does the Tiguan fit in?
The Tiguan rests under VW’s larger Atlas model, boasting European elegance, agile handling, and a thoughtful design. While it may not be a speed demon, the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, eight-speed automatic transmission and 4Motion All Wheel Drive ensure an efficient and confidence-inspiring ride. The interior balances function with understated style, and for those who need extra seating, a third row is available, albeit with limited legroom.
Interior and Cargo
The Tiguan is one of the few compact SUVs that offers an optional third row of seating. Note this feature is best reserved for people with smaller bodies. With the third row folded, expect about 33 cubic feet (roughly 935 litres) of cargo space, placing it in the middle of the pack against competitors.
The Tiguan’s Place in the Market
With its performance, feature set, and balanced demeanour, the Tiguan makes a compelling case for its strong position among compact SUVs in Canada. It maintains a highly competitive position when compared to the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue and Mazda CX-50, with a starting price of $34,495 CAD MSRP.
Here is some more context on where the Tiguan fits into the overall Compact SUV Market
Under the hood, a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine offers 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. This power is sent through an eight-speed automatic transmission with standard 4Motion All-Wheel drive. Although the 0-100 km/h time is a modest 9.1 seconds, the vehicle excels in everyday drivability, particularly in city and winter driving conditions.
Regarding fuel efficiency, the Tiguan delivers 24 mpg (around 9.8 litres per 100 km) in city driving and 31 mpg (roughly 7.6 litres per 100 km) on the highway. The combined Transport Canada rating is 8 litres per 100 kilometers. When you consider the standard all-wheel-drive system, these fuel consumption numbers are good.
Infotainment and Connectivity
While its infotainment system may not be universally praised, standard features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The base S trim gets a 6.5-inch screen, whereas higher trims have an 8.0-inch display. An 8.0- or 10.3-inch digital gauge display is standard on all trims.
What’s New for 2024?
New this year is VW’s IQ.DRIVE driver-assistance suite, which is standard even on the base S trim. Enhancements include lane-centering and adaptive cruise control, along with rain-sensing wipers, a faux-leather steering wheel, wireless charging, and an infotainment upgrade.
Safety gets a boost in 2024 with the standard inclusion of the IQ.DRIVE adaptive cruise control system. This comes on top of pre-existing features like a forward-collision alert with automatic braking and a blind-spot warning system. Four-wheel disc brakes, with anti-locking technology, are also standard equipment.
The 2024 Volkswagen Tiguan makes a compelling case for Canadian consumers searching for a balanced compact SUV. Although it doesn’t dominate in any area, its synthesis of features, comfort, and driving dynamics place it as a worthy contender. If you seek versatility and refinement, consider putting the Tiguan on your shortlist.
In 2023, Dodge has thrown its hat into the ring of the compact crossover segment with the all-new Hornet. Nestled just below the mid-sized Durango in Dodge’s lineup, the Hornet is set to compete…
In 2023, Dodge has thrown its hat into the ring of the compact crossover segment with the all-new Hornet. Nestled just below the mid-sized Durango in Dodge’s lineup, the Hornet is set to compete with the likes of the Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-50, and the Volkswagen Tiguan. Available in several trims, including the GT AWD ($38,770 CAD), GT Plus AWD ($44,770 CAD), R/T PHEV EAWD ($53,295 CAD), and the R/T Plus PHEV EAWD ($59,295 CAD), there’s a Dodge Hornet to match various budgets and preferences.
Trims and Technology:
The Hornet’s entry into this competitive segment marks a significant step for Dodge. Its GT model, available in both base and GT Plus trims, comes well-equipped with a host of standard features. Among them, a large 10.3-inch infotainment display, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 17-inch aluminum wheels, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and dual-zone automatic climate control set the stage for a tech-rich experience. For those seeking an added touch of comfort, options include heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and a remote start feature.
Engine and Performance:
At the heart of the Hornet lies a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, delivering a punchy 268 horsepower. This power is delivered to all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission, offering peppy acceleration from 0 to 96.56 km/h (0 to 60 mph) in an estimated 6.5 seconds. Despite this performance, the Hornet doesn’t sacrifice efficiency, with Environment Canada estimates clocking in at 11.2 L/100 km (21 mpg) city and 8.11 L/100 km (29 mpg) on the highway.
Inside the Hornet, you’ll find a cabin that blends comfort with contemporary design. The front seats provide ample space, while the rear might be snug for some. Black upholstery with red stitching lends a sporty aesthetic, with the option to upgrade to leather or faux-suede for a premium touch. Meanwhile, the infotainment system, powered by the latest Uconnect 5 system, offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Amazon Alexa connectivity.
SafetyFeatures that Inspire Confidence: When it comes to safety, the Hornet doesn’t cut corners. Automated emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and parking sensors all come standard. Adaptive cruise control with a lane-centering feature is available as an optional extra.
Covered by a standard three-year or 60,000 kilometers (36,000-mile) warranty, with an extended five-year or 96,560 kilometers (60,000-mile) power train warranty, the Hornet is a testament to Dodge’s reliability. As such, the Hornet isn’t merely a new entry in Dodge’s lineup; it’s a compelling contender in the compact crossover segment set to make waves in the Canadian automotive market.
Discover the Grand Cherokee’s MSRP and Invoice Price right at your fingertips here.
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With a line-up that ranges from the robust Laredo 4×4, priced at $55,045, to the luxurious Summit Reserve 4×4, also offered at $77,045, the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee appeals to a broad audience…
With a line-up that ranges from the robust Laredo 4×4, priced at $55,045, to the luxurious Summit Reserve 4×4, also offered at $77,045, the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee appeals to a broad audience in the Canadian marketplace. But what makes this vehicle stand out?
Engine: Power Meets Efficiency
At the heart of the 2023 Grand Cherokee is Jeep’s new inline-six engine, aptly named “Hurricane.” This engineering marvel is replacing the old V8 and is expected to deliver between 420 to a massive 500 horsepower in its high-performance version. The familiar 3.6-liter V6, producing 293 horsepower, continues to be a reliable option for base models. The cherry on top is a hybrid powertrain based on a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine that offers a combined output of 375 horsepower. Every powerplant in the lineup is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, ensuring smooth and efficient power delivery.
Interior: Luxury Meets Utility
Inside the Grand Cherokee, you’ll find a high-quality interior combining classic elements and modern technology. Quality materials and attention to detail create a luxurious cabin that accommodates passengers comfortably. The standard model comes with two spacious rows of seats, while the optional Grand Cherokee L model features a stretched wheelbase and a third row of seats.
Technology: Intuitive and Up-to-Date
Standard tech includes a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and an 8.4-inch touchscreen. The Grand Cherokee supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, ensuring your devices can easily sync with the vehicle. Additional standard features include a Wi-Fi hotspot, a six-speaker audio system, USB ports, Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control, and push-button start. Jeep has also provided a variety of optional features like a 10.1-inch touch screen, a 10.25-inch passenger-side touch screen, navigation, wireless device charging, a nine-speaker Alpine audio system, and a top-notch 19-speaker McIntosh audio system.
Design: Timeless and Refined
From a design perspective, the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee stays true to its roots. The exterior design is attractive and functional, with the potential for new color options. Despite having a smaller cargo area than some rivals, with about 37.7 feet of space behind the second row and 70.8 cubic feet total, the SUV remains a practical choice.
Performance: Off-Road and Beyond
The 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee continues to impress with its off-road capabilities. Composed handling and strong performance make it an attractive option for those who crave adventure. However, potential buyers should be aware that with these impressive attributes comes a relatively high starting price.
The 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers Canadian drivers a blend of power, luxury, and cutting-edge technology. Despite the high starting price and smaller cargo area, the numerous benefits may tip the scales in favor of this impressive SUV. As always, it’s essential to research, compare, and test-drive to determine if this vehicle meets your needs and preferences.
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Acura is smartly bringing back one of its most revered nameplates for 2023, and simultaneously ditching a three-letter moniker that never managed to garner as much devoted loyalty. The ILX has long been…
e compact sedan capable of running alongside the smallest offerings from Europe’s, Asia’s and the U.S.’ biggest luxury players, thanks to a combination of the previous ninth-generation (2012–2015) Honda Civic Si underpinnings and 2.4-litre engine with a much more sophisticated eight-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox. Certainly, the compact four-door has needed a redesign for years, so therefore sales have waned, but along with a significant update for 2023, Acura has blessed it with a much more endearing name.
Along with the new designation, a much-needed restyling, and a host of other improvements, the new 2023 Integra receives a base price of $34,350 (plus freight and PDI) that’s closer to upper trims of the outgoing ILX, which currently ranges from $31,400 to $36,800.
Integra roots go back 37 years
The ILX has already been with us for a decade, although it was given two facelifts in 2016 and 2019, the first one upgrading the drivetrain to its current iteration, and last one being a more dramatic visual departure, in that it received the brand’s latest “Diamond Pentagon” grille. Plenty of additional upgrades were made to each iteration as well, including the model’s sportiest A-Spec trim added to the latter.
Before the ILX, Canadians wanting an entry-level Acura had the option of the 2006–2011 CSX, which was exclusive to our market, albeit with styling shared with the Honda’s domestic-market Civic, while once again it shared plenty of parts with Honda’s Civic Si, albeit only in Type-S trim (beginning in 2007).
The CLX replaced the Canadian-exclusive 1997–2005 EL, which was more of a gussied up Civic in that it offered no performance option, yet nevertheless managed to accumulate 51-percent of Acura Canada’s sales in its first year and remain the Canadian division’s best-selling model from 1997 to 2003.
Up until 1996 the point of entry into the Acura brand was this article’s subject namesake Integra, or at least the inspiration for the name, which started life in 1986 and therefore joined the mid-size Accord-based Legend as one of the Japanese luxury brand’s initial two launch models.
Following Acura tradition by riding on affordable Honda Civic underpinnings
Like that original Integra, the renewed 2023 version is based on Honda’s ultra-popular Civic, although back in the mid ‘80s Acura had a Civic Coupe (and hatchback) to utilize for two-door hard-points, whereas the most recent 11th-generation Civic is only available in four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body styles.
Understandably, fans of the original Integra were disappointed when the new 2023 model showed up as a five-door hatchback in prototype form and once again in production trim, despite early first-, second- and third-generation Integras being sold as four-door sedans (plus four-door pillared hardtops) and five-door liftbacks, not only as three-door liftbacks, often referred to coupes (the fourth-gen Integra, which only came in three-door liftback form, was known as the RSX here).
Five-door Integra makes sense in today’s market
Old Integras are most collectable in sportier looking three-door form, which, by the hubbub of controversy surrounding the new Integra’s initial announcement, must have been how many fans initially imagined the majorly-hyped new version before it came out. Looking across the auto mall at Ford, disgruntled Acura enthusiasts might just want to be grateful the new Integra isn’t a crossover SUV (looking at your Mustang Mach-E).
With no three-door model in the Civic lineup, and the need to base the Integra on an existing body style, it makes sense Acura chose the liftback option to pay tribute to the luxury brand’s past. Doing so also results in the sportiest of its two Civic donor platforms, plus better access to the cargo area than the outgoing ILX’ trunk.
High-revving Honda Si engine making way for more efficient 1.5-litre turbo-four
Those who love the high-revving 2.4-litre ILX engine might be disappointed that its replacement loses 900 cubic centimetres, but take heart because the new Civic-sourced 1.5-litre unit is much more efficient (which matters these days) and utilizes a turbo to produce more output overall at 200 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque, compared to 201 horsepower and 180 lb-ft for the ILX.
Where the outgoing engine has been both lauded and criticized for its quick-spinning, peaky performance, with serious enthusiasts loving its mechanical audio track and intense accelerative VTEC forces in the upper rev-range, it was always a bit too sporting for some. After all, the current ILX, and soon this new Integra, need to serve as Acura’s entry-level product for all.
Therefore, the new model’s more subdued engine note and broader, more automatic-friendly torque band, which ranges from 1,800 to 5,000 rpm, should make it much more enjoyable with the eight-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox, not to mention easier to drive casually around town, while max power can still be found at a lofty 6,000 rpm, or 800 rpm lower than the ILX, meaning that those wanting to rev the engine out will still have an adrenaline inducing, VTEC-enhanced soundtrack to draw upon. That this engine is also used in today’s Civic Si is just another nod to both the ILX’ past and previous Integra’s, et al.
Acura incorporates fabulous six-speed manual transmission from Civic Si
Where the outgoing ILX was not available with a manual transmission (odd considering the Civic Si that donated its 2.4-litre four only was offered with a six-speed manual), the new Integra can now be had with a six-speed DIY gearbox in top-line Elite A-Spec trim at no extra charge, with both the manual and automatic models starting at $42,550, while positioned between base and Elite A-Spec trims is the regular A-Spec at $37,050. According to Acura, the six-speed manual is a “segment-exclusive” feature (sad, but true), which could cause plenty of traditional performance enthusiasts to flock to this front-wheel drive model, despite rear-wheel drive normally being the configuration of choice for the go-fast crowd.
Then again, Honda’s Civic is quite possibly the best-handling front-driver ever created, in 306-horsepower 10th-generation Type R trim at least (the new one is expected later this year as a 2023 model, incidentally), so the automaker knows a thing or two about maximizing handling prowess in this less-than-optimal layout.
Making the most of its dynamic chassis design is a standard sport-tuned suspension, plus the Elite A-Spec adds an Adaptive Damper System that provides even more control of the road below. Likewise, the Elite A-Spec model features a customizable Individual mode for its Integrated Dynamics System, with the rest of the Integra’s trim lines coming standard with the usual Comfort, Normal, and Sport driving modes.
Impressive top-level technologies included
So far, no Tech trim (currently top-of-the-line with the ILX) will be offered, which kind of makes sense being that all 2023 Integras will feature a standard configurable 10.2-inch digital driver’s display, dubbed Acura Precision Cockpit. Then again, a head-up display unit is optional with the Elite A-Spec package, as is a higher-end 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen featuring wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. The just-noted wireless capability of its smartphone integration will once again make this package’s Qi-compatible wireless charging pad something useful (it isn’t when forced to plug-in for smartphone integration), while this top-tier upgrade also includes a 16-speaker ELS STUDIO 3D audio system.
Back to standard kit, the Integra’s advanced safety features include a special set of driver and passenger airbags that were “designed to control head rotation in a crash,” says Acura, while rear seat airbags are also included. What’s more, a new single-camera AcuraWatch system boasts enhanced Traffic Jam Assist (TJA) and Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR). Lastly, a one-year free trial of AcuraLink services will also be included across the line, also incorporating the brand’s Security and Remote packages at no extra cost.
All Integra trims come standard with best-in-class roominess
According to Acura, the Integra also promises class-leading rear legroom and cargo volume (the latter partially due to its convenient hatchback design), which are two bonuses the ILX couldn’t boast of.
After all is said and done, it’s difficult to criticize Acura for making a much better ILX and then rebranding it with a legendary name. Calling this five-door model an Integra brought it much more press than merely making it the second-generation ILX, while badging it with a memorable moniker also pulls on the heartstrings while making it easier to bring up in conversation with friends. Just ask anyone not seriously into cars what an ILX is, and you’ll get a stunned look. Do the same for the new Integra, and while you might get a quizzical, doe-eyed gaze, you’re also more likely to receive a curious response. A name like Integra is more easily embedded in one’s memory too, aiding Acura’s marketing efforts, while reducing its spend. Overall, it just makes sense.
Introducing the Next-Gen Integra (0:30):
Next Generation 2023 Acura Integra Debut Featuring Pierre Gasly (1:02):
2023 Acura Integra Production Model Walkaround (6:02):
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Acura
You’ve mostly likely heard of the CX-5, Mazda’s popular compact crossover SUV, and maybe you’ve even taken notice of the little CX-3 subcompact crossover, not to mention both models’ larger CX-9…
You’ve mostly likely heard of the CX-5, Mazda’s popular compact crossover SUV, and maybe you’ve even taken notice of the little CX-3 subcompact crossover, not to mention both models’ larger CX-9 mid-size seven-passenger utility. If you’re really car savvy you’ll also know that Mazda offers the sporty CX-30 between the CX-3 and CX-5, not to mention the new MX-30 electric crossover that’s sized similarly to the CX-30, but were you aware the new compact CX-50 is on its way?
If you’re CX-confused right about now we’ll understand, because the independent Japanese automaker hasn’t exactly tiptoed lightly into the crossover SUV sector, even having a long-discontinued model (in our market) dubbed CX-7 to its credit. So far, all CX models (including the lone MX-30) have been for pavement and light-duty off-road use only, but Mazda is changing things up with the new 2023 CX-50, and beefing up the brand’s styling while they’re at it.
New CX-50 offers plenty more SUV for many more dollars
Ushering in a new look for Mazda’s SUV lineup, the CX-50 joins the CX-30 in previewing an entirely new naming scheme for Mazda’s SUV lineup, which will eventually be followed by the two-row CX-70 and three-row CX-90 mid-size models. The compact CX-50 is sized similarly to the current CX-5, yet it’s priced higher at $37,900 in base GS-L trim, making it $7,700 pricier than today’s base CX-5. Likewise, the CX-50 GT will start at $42,850, which makes it $3,900 more expensive than the equivalent 2022 CX-5 GT AWD.
For that we can expect even more premium finishings and features, plus, as noted earlier, the ability to venture farther off the beaten path than its more city-centric sibling. Some standard 2023 CX-50 GX-L features include LED headlamps, 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear rooftop spoiler, a 7.0-inch driver’s display, a 10.25-inch Mazda Connect infotainment touchscreen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a dual-zone automatic climate control system, heatable front seats and a heated steering wheel rim, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, leatherette upholstery, a panoramic glass sunroof, and a powered rear liftgate. Additionally, standard driver assist systems will include emergency front braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams.
GT and Meridian Edition trims should be popular
The CX-50 GT further adds adaptive cornering headlamps, a head-up display system, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, a 360-degree surround parking camera, ventilated front seats, a powered front passenger seat, leather upholstery, premium audio, a navigation system, wireless phone charging, and rear emergency braking.
Later this year, Mazda will also offer a CX-50 Turbo Meridian Edition, featuring exclusive 18-inch rims on all-terrain rubber, beefier headlight and rocker panel protective cladding, and available “outdoor-specific” accessories. We can expect pricing for this model to arrive closer to its availability.
Longer and leaner CX-50 provides an athletic stance
While some literature claims the CX-50 as a mid-size model, in North America it will be considered a compact as it’s only slightly larger than our current CX-5 and shares the compact model’s transverse platform underpinnings, which also gets utilized by the even smaller CX-30 and fourth-generation Mazda3. All in all, the CX-50 measures 4,719 mm (185.8 in) long with a 2,814-mm (110.8-in) wheelbase, plus it’s 1,852 mm (72.9 in) wide and between 1,613 and 1,623 mm (63.5–63.9 in) tall, depending on the trim.
This makes the CX-50 169 mm (6.6 in) longer than the CX-5, with 116 mm (4.5 mm) of added wheelbase for significant growth from nose to tail, but it’s only 10 mm (0.4 in) wider, the key measurement when comparing compact to mid-size models. What’s more, even at its tallest the CX-50 is a considerable 57 mm (2.2 in) lower than the CX-5, which helps make it appear longer, leaner and thus, sportier.
CX-50 performance and fuel economy should remain similar to the CX-5
Whether it actually feels sportier off the line will be another story, being that the CX-50 utilizes the same standard 2.5-litre Skyactiv-G four-cylinder engine as the CX-5, rated at an identical 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque, although it comes standard with fuel-saving cylinder deactivation. It also features the same six-speed automatic transmission and standard i-Activ all-wheel-drive system, yet the CX-50 weighs in at 1,681 to 1,772 kg (3,706–3,907 lbs), depending on trim, a weighty 176 to 113 kg (388–249 lbs) more than the lightest and heaviest CX-5.
In GT Turbo trim, the CX-50 will receive the CX-5’s optional 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine capable of 256 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque, and thus should help minimize any performance differences, although take note that engine output is reduced to 227 hp and 310 lb-ft when running 87-octane regular unleaded fuel.
Standard “Mi-Drive” system includes Off-Road driving mode
The 2023 CX-50 GT Turbo will start at $45,350, and like the other trims will receive various standard “Mi-Drive” driving modes including Sport, Off-Road and Tow settings, while the CX-50’s trailering capacity is average for the class at 907 kg (2,000 lbs) when fitted with the naturally aspirated engine, but up to 1,587 kg (3,500 lbs) with the turbo.
As for fuel economy, the CX-5 may not offer greater relief at the pump unless the 2023 model receives some transmission updates, because the current cylinder-deactivated all-wheel drive model is rated at 9.8 L/100km in the city, 7.9 on the highway and 9.0 combined, compared to the CX-50’s claimed estimate of 9.7 L/100 km city, 7.9 highway and 8.9 combined. Yes, you read that correctly. The new CX-50 is thriftier on fuel than the much lighter CX-5. Let’s see how these two come out in the wash, so to speak, because the CX-50 really should go through slightly more fuel, unless its longer, lower shape allows for big aerodynamic improvements on the highway.
New U.S.-built CX-50 to arrive in May
All said, the 2023 CX-50, which will be built on a separate line alongside the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross at the new Mazda Toyota Manufacturing joint-venture plant in Huntsville, Alabama, will go on sale in May of this year. The new plant will be capable of building up to 300,000 units per year, split between the two automakers.
Introducing the first-ever Mazda CX-50 | Mazda Canada (1:25):
Introducing the First-ever Mazda CX-50 | First Look | Mazda USA (1:42):
The First-ever Mazda CX-50 | For Collectors of Rare Experiences (0:15):
The First-ever Mazda CX-50 | Beautifully Capable (0:15):
The First-ever Mazda CX-50 | Every Road Is an Invitation (0:15):
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Mazda
Porsche is adding a new “T” trim line to its most popular Macan model for 2023, and it looks to be an ideal combination of fuel-efficiency and agility. The Macan, which was updated midway through…
Porsche is adding a new “T” trim line to its most popular Macan model for 2023, and it looks to be an ideal combination of fuel-efficiency and agility.
The Macan, which was updated midway through 2021 for the current 2022 model year, gets refreshed exterior styling as well as an updated interior. Key details inside include a new centre stack and console, incorporating a 10.9-inch touchscreen filled with a fully-networked Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment interface up top, plus a stylish glass-like interface with touch-sensitive switchgear below.
Macan T adds special styling details
The new 2023 Macan T adds some nice exterior and interior design details such as Agate Grey metallic trim elements outside, specifically on the front fascia, mirror caps, side blades (which also include “Macan T” script), the rooftop spoiler, and the rear bumper cap, plus glossy black exterior window trim and exhaust pipes, as well as Dark Titanium 20-inch Macan S alloy wheels and the choice of 13 plain, metallic and special colours.
Stepping inside reveals “Macan T” branded black aluminum door sill plates, a multifunction GT steering wheel featuring a heated leather-wrapped rim (that can optionally be covered in Race-Tex), and heatable eight-way powered sport seats with grey pinstriped Sport-Tex centre panels and embossed Porsche crests on the front headrests. This exclusive upholstery is based on the Macan’s Black leather package, and therefore features silver stitching on the seat bolsters, headrests, and steering wheel rim.
Up until now the “T” designation has never been used outside of Porsche’s 718 and 911 sports cars lines, and due to this the Macan T is the first Porsche with steel suspension components to bear the name, plus the first four-door model to do so. T, which stands for Touring in Porsche-speak, was originally used for the 1968 911 T, but now is a trim level that designates lightweight, affordable performance, particularly emphasizing handling dynamics.
To this end the new Macan T’s suspension is lowered by 15 mm and comes standard with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), although take note that a further 10 mm drop can be achieved by opting for the brand’s adaptive air suspension. Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive is also standard, which is expected, but it receives more rear torque bias in the Macan T in order to improve at-the-limit cornering. Additional standard features include stiffer front anti-roll bars and specific chassis tuning that Porsche says is “the perfect suspension for the vehicle and powertrain.” Additionally, those opting for the Macan T’s available Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus system will find that it’s been further retuned to enhance performance through tight, fast-paced curves.
Upgraded powertrain is identical to entry-level 2022 Macan
As part of its 2022 refresh, the base four-cylinder engine received a bump up from 248 horsepower to 261 hp, and 273 lb-ft of torque to 295 lb-ft, which translates into much stronger get-up-and-go. In fact, the model’s zero to 100 km/h sprint time has been reduced by 0.2 seconds, from 6.7 seconds to 6.5 in the new model, while base models upgraded with the Sport Chrono package see their sprint times drop from 6.4 seconds to 6.2. The Macan T comes standard with the Sport Chrono package, so it benefits from quicker acceleration, while its top track speed is limited to 232 km/h.
Along with the Sport Chrono package is a dash-top mounted stopwatch/lap timer, plus a convenient steering wheel-mounted Sport Response button that makes switching between drive modes quick and easy. This can be used to shorten the shift increments of its standard seven-speed dual-clutch automated Porsche’s Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission, the latter standard across the entire Macan line.
Speaking of alternative Macan models, those wanting more straight-line performance can choose the revised 348-hp 2022 Macan S that hightails it from zero to 100 km/h in only 4.8 seconds, while the latest 434-hp Macan GTS blasts from standstill to the same speed in just 4.5 seconds, which incidentally was the previous Macan Turbo’s sprint time.
Macan T slots in between base Macan and Macan S trims
The Macan GTS costs a cool $85,500, by the way, which is fair value considering its performance and Porsche pedigree, while the Macan S will set owners back a much more affordable $70,600. The new Macan T will fit right in between the S and base model, the latter of which starts at just $58,500, plus it benefits from the four-cylinder engine’s considerably lower running costs when it comes to fuel-efficiency. Currently we only have the base model’s numbers of 12.2 L/100km in the city, 10.2 on the highway and 11.3 combined, but these shouldn’t change in its transition to T trim, whereas the 2022 Macan S is rated at 13.1 in the city, 9.6 on the highway and 11.5 combined, and GTS at 13.5 city, 10.5 highway and 12.2 combined.
Macan T pricing and detailed ordering info will be announced early this spring, but take note that all of the other models mentioned can currently be had with factory leasing and financing rates from zero percent. Check out CarCostCanada’s 2022 Porsche Macan Canada Prices page for more detailed info, plus the ability to price out each Macan trim including options on their configuration tool. CarCostCanada will also keep you apprised of any other manufacturer deals, like rebates, if you become a member, and you’ll always have access to dealer invoice pricing info, which can help you save thousands when negotiating your next new vehicle deal. In fact, CarCostCanada members are saving an average of $1,250 when purchasing the new Macan, impressive considering how tight inventories are these days, so be sure to check out how their system works and definitely download their free app from the Google Play store or Apple Store.
Dare forward: the new Porsche Macan T (0:54):
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
Volvo’s new XC40 Recharge is everything I already loved about this fabulous little luxury utility, and less! Less running costs, less emissions, and less of an impact on the local environment, but then…
Volvo’s new XC40 Recharge is everything I already loved about this fabulous little luxury utility, and less!
Less running costs, less emissions, and less of an impact on the local environment, but then again in contrast, the new XC40 Recharge’ 78-kWh lithium-ion, high-voltage battery and twin 150-kW electric motors provide even more get-up-and-go than the turbocharged 2.0-litre gasoline-powered variants last tested. And while we’re talking about more, you’ll also need to make a bigger financial commitment to own one.
This puts the XC40’s cost of going electric at about $20k give or take a couple of thousand, although we should never forget government EV incentives that range from $1,000 to $8,000 depending on your province. All things considered, the new Recharge might not initially seem like the ideal choice amongst XC40 trims, at least financially, but for those who want the extra performance and positive nods from passersby, it’s a great choice amongst electrics.
The gasoline-powered XC40 variants previously tested included a 2019 T5 AWD R-Design that I reviewed back in June of its model year, plus a 2020 T5 AWD Momentum that I covered in October of that year. Both were infused with the non-electric model’s upgraded powertrain, featuring an energetic 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. They were relatively easy on fuel and fun to drive, but take note this purely gasoline-powered engine, as well as the less potent T4 variety that’s available in the entry-level XC40, will be replaced by more fuel-efficient hybridized B4 and B5 powertrains this fall for the 2023 model year.
Shocking acceleration comes standard
While all this is good news for small luxury SUV lovers, Volvo’s new Recharge Pure Electric power unit, which is available right now for the 2022 model year, puts an entirely new spin on XC40 performance and efficiency.
This all-electric cute ute is serious fun at take-off, thanks to dual electric motors that supply four-wheel traction out to wide, grippy tires, my tester’s having been upgraded to a set of 20-inch five-V-spoke diamond-cut alloy rims on 235/45 rubber up front, and 255/40s in the rear, which are the same as on the first XC40 R-Design I drove back in 2019.
The electrified utility’s acceleration is actually quite shocking (not literally), with a standing start to 100 km/h taking a mere 4.9 seconds, this thanks to a combined 402 horsepower and 486 lb-ft of torque from both front and rear motors.
Recharge your XC40 Recharge in only 40 minutes
The XC40 Recharge’ Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery is rated at 78.0 kWh, incidentally, and only takes 7.5 hours to refill from a 240-volt home or public charger. Then again, if you can locate a 400-volt charger you’ll need only 40 minutes to complete the same task, making it an ideal companion for longer trips.
I can access a few of these 400-volt chargers near my home in Richmond, BC, and would be able to do likewise in any other Vancouver suburb, or for that matter on major routes outside of the greater Vancouver area in any direction, while some of my regular road trip locations, such as Whistler and Kelowna, BC, have plenty of high-speed chargers to choose from. Recharging an EV isn’t quite as quick as refueling with gas, but it’s certainly a lot friendlier on the wallet, and there’s always a coffee shop nearby for catching up on work, or even better, a little rest and relaxation.
Great range for commuting and running errands in town
Of note, if you go easy on the throttle and don’t overdo it with the aircon, the XC40 Recharge provides up to 359 km (223 mi) of range. This means you won’t be able to drive directly from Vancouver to Kelowna, for instance, or even Burnaby to the Okanagan’s most populous city. If you’re taking off from Surrey, however, you’ll be fine, and ditto for Toronto to Muskoka, while Montrealers will have no problem getting both to and from Mont Tremblant without recharging until arriving back home.
This said, most XC40 Recharge owners will be content just using their little all-season runabouts around town, where it has enough range to last days without recharging, depending on your commute. Like a lot of people these days, I work from home, so didn’t need to recharge my tester until the day before bringing it back to Volvo’s rep, at the end of my weeklong test. I managed to drive it all over the place in between, never concerning myself with any hypermiling techniques in order to get the most economy out of the power unit. It’s truly too much fun to resist, anyway, causing me to regularly take off from standstill with a level of schoolboy enthusiasm I had when fuel was only about 45 cents a litre.
Impressive interior design and quality
It’s also a really nice cabin to spend time in. In fact, despite being Volvo’s most affordable model, the XC40 is everything I’ve grown to appreciate about modern-day Volvos, which means that its overall interior styling, design layout, refinement, and technical interfaces are at least as good as most competitors, and better than some.
There’s no shortage of soft-touch surfaces either, with nicely textured, matte-finish harder composites only used sparingly in the usual places for this class. Some highlights worth noting include sporty textured aluminum dash and door inlays, a cool quad of vertical vents for the easy-to-use dual-zone automatic climate control system, a fabulous set of drilled metal harman/kardon stereo speaker grilles on the front portion of the door panels (they sound great too), and beautifully contrast-stitched black leather bolsters for the microsuede-centred front and rear seats.
Nestled within a traditional hooded binnacle, the 12.3-inch primary gauge cluster is fully digital and customizable, with attractive graphics and very functional multi-information content at centre. About two-thirds of the screen is utilized by the route-guidance system’s map in default mode, with other driving functions placed to each side. The fully digital gauge cluster comes standard with all XC40 trims, which is a step up from most other offerings in this segment.
Big changes as Volvo upgrades its vertical centre touchscreen to Google OS
Making up the majority of the centre stack is Volvo’s updated tablet-style vertical infotainment touchscreen, which comes with a new Google-derived operating system. Don’t expect to find anything resembling Android Auto as far as graphics and usability go, however, as this is designed to appear like a revised version of Volvo’s excellent Sensus infotainment interface, with Google not only running in the background, but also taking regular credit when using its “Hey Google” voice activation system. The latter prompt can be used for just about anything from changing radio stations and turning up the heat, to searching for an address in the route guidance system or, in the case of my tester, finding a charging station.
To fully use the system, you’ll first need to log in with your Google account, which allows it to fully integrate with your personal smartphone. At this point you can utilize full navigation functions and much more. It’s certainly a step up from the outgoing Sensus system, but even previous Volvo owners (and Android Auto users) will need some time to acclimatize, as is the case with most things new.
Navigation woes persist with Google
The only issue I had with the system is Google maps, which once-upon-a-time was a superb app, but from more recent personal experience isn’t always that accurate. I’ve had it send me to incorrect addresses and even ask me to perform manoeuvres that would definitely get me a sizeable ticket along with a considerable fine if performed.
For instance, amid rush hour on a busy corridor it rerouted me down a residential side street, obviously trying to escort me past the busier thoroughfare, and then asked me to turn left on another main route, which is an action that wasn’t permitted at that time of day, that day of the week, and designated so via signage. These weren’t new signs either, but rather this action hasn’t been permitted for decades due to such heavy traffic flows in the area. I already knew this, but out of curiosity and testing purposes allowed the system to guide me. Unfortunately, the result was a big fail, and caused me to reroute, which put me further back in traffic than I would’ve been if I’d just stayed on the route I knew.
A similar scenario played out with the Volvo XC60 B6 hybrid I drove the week prior, in which it tried to take me to the wrong location, although this one seemed due to recent construction. It appears Google maps isn’t updating fast enough to compensate for such changes. This said, I find most carmaker-imbedded navigation systems more accurate, or at least I have in recent times.
Dreamy seats and a fabulous driving position are Volvo hallmarks
This said, the XC40 Recharge’ driving position is superb, like every other Volvo I’ve driven in recent years. There’s plenty of reach from the tilt and telescopic steering column, while the rim is wonderfully comfortable and heated via three different temperature settings. The three-way heatable and three-way cooled seats are wonderfully comfortable too. They’re aided by four-way lumbar support, plus all the usual power adjustments as well as manually-extendable lower cushions.
They’re attractive too, as noted earlier, with microsuede inserts, leather side bolsters, and nice light grey contrast stitching, plus piping on their outer edges. There’s even a tiny blue and yellow Swedish flag sewn on the insides of the backrest, just in case you were wondering where this car was designed and made.
Likewise, the XC40’s visibility is better than the class average in all directions, much thanks to a tall greenhouse with few blind spots. This makes parking ultra-easy, a process made even more effortless due to the SUV’s subcompact dimensions, not to mention its front and rear Park Assist sensors that visually and audibly warn of close-proximity objects.
Cool features abound
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I haven’t even told you how to get the XC40’s all-electric Recharge system going. In a nutshell, you don’t have to do anything. As soon as you’ve unlocked and opened the door with the proximity-sensing key fob that can remain in pocket or purse, it’s ready to drive. Similar to Tesla, there’s no ignition button. It doesn’t require the release of an emergency brake either. All you need to do is push or pull the gear lever into “D” for drive or “R” for reverse, and go. When you get to your destination, just press “P” for park and get out of the car. A simple touch of the door handle locks it up ahead of the power mirrors retracting inwards.
Additionally, as part of my previous XC40 reviews I noted a number of unique features designed to make this little ute easier to live with than any rival, such as the two slots on the dash just left of the steering column, perfectly sized for holding gas/credit cards; and the parking pass holder placed next to the driver’s windshield pillar is a handy feature too. There’s even a little garbage bin integrated within the centre console, with its own push-down lid and easy removability for cleaning. What’s more, the carpeted door panel pockets are large enough for a 15-inch laptop as well as a big drink bottle, while the glove box hides a nifty hook that can be flipped outward to hang a purse or shopping bag. There’s even an available storage box below the driver’s seat, and the list goes on. No wonder the XC40 won European Car of the Year when it was introduced back in 2018.
Convenience is king
If you’re using an older phone, like me, it might be time to upgrade to a USB-C-to-C cable, because there are no USB-A ports available in the XC40 Recharge. Still, the wireless charging pad on the lower centre console powered my phone up quickly enough, plus, on an unrelated yet still appreciated note, to each side was a handy spot for stowing additional items such as sunglasses.
Back to the charging pad itself, I should mention that sometimes while driving I was notified that my phone wasn’t charging, at which point I had to physically slide my device back onto the centre of the pad. I have a fairly grippy case, so this was an unusual circumstance. Thankfully, the convenient notification feature let me know my phone wasn’t getting any juice, but taller ridges around the charging pad area might better help keep devices in place.
On the positive, I love the panoramic sunroof, and especially like the touch-sensitive slider function used for both the powered front glass roof portion, and the power sunshade. The overhead console is nicely designed too, with LED overhead reading lights that are also touch-sensitive, while even the rearview mirror was well thought out, looking better than average due to being rimless with handy switchgear for the universal remote below.
Comfortable for rear passengers and practical for cargo
Much of the above can be enjoyed from the roomy rear seats as well, not to mention a large, comfortable centre armrest with dual integrated cupholders that actually hold drinks in place. Tall vertical vents for distributing air evenly to rear passengers can be found on the backside of the front centre console, with three-way rear outboard seat heaters controls located nearby, next to a device charger.
Before delving into rear luggage capacity, take note there’s a small carpeted “frunk” under the front hood, which holds 31 litres (1.1 cubic feet) of well-hidden gear, while the rear cargo area is the one that truly matters, measuring 452 litres (16 cu ft) behind the 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks, and an accommodating 1,328 litres (46.9 cu ft) when those seats are folded flat. Volvo has smartly included a centre pass-through too, large enough for a couple pairs of skis, which means rear passengers will still be able to enjoy the aforementioned heatable window seats.
Notably, a portion of the cargo floor doubles as a grocery bag holder when pulled upright, while opening the rearmost section exposes a compartment below for storing the regular 110-volt three-prong household-style charging cord, which is easily the most robust of any I’ve ever seen. I used it throughout my test week, and appreciated the blinking light that let me know it was charging. I had no issues charging from home, being that I work there and don’t go out every day. This said, it takes nearly two days to fully recharge this “old-fashioned” way, so most owners will want to purchase a higher voltage home charger.
Still looking great after all these years
As noted earlier, the XC40 has been with us for a number of years already. Nevertheless, despite having almost a half-decade of experience under its stylish belt, I think it remains one of the better-looking subcompact crossover SUVs on the market, with the Recharge variant adding a more modern take on the design by filling in the grille opening with a nice body-colour cover. I think the little ute manages to balance sporty and cute ideally, making it a good choice for couples that share their ride. Plenty of fun colours can personalize it further, truly allowing for a bespoke appearance.
Of course, I’m biased, as I love the traditional boxy, upright, classic SUV shape, but it only works because Volvo has followed the new XC40 Recharge’s significant dose of style up with so an extra helping of function, and plenty of go-fast sport. There’s a lot to love about this tiny SUV package, which makes it an ideal candidate for your next new vehicle purchase.