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Do you want to guess how many different compact models Chevrolet has produced since the Vega hit the scene in 1971? Just after Vega came Monza and then Chevette, all sold simultaneously and all falling under the old subcompact designation, then Sprint (Metro in the US), Cavalier, Cobalt, Optra (in Canada), and Cruze. Ford and Chrysler group's compact entries follow similar paths, with names like Cortina, Pinto, Escort and Focus for the blue-oval bunch and Omni, Shadow, Neon, SX, Caliber and now Dart for Dodge. Why the history lesson? I'm just wondering how much better domestic brands w...
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Now in the fifth model year of its fourth generation, the 2016 Accent is deep within its product cycle with Hyundai planning a replacement sometime during the next calendar year. That's a good, healthy run for any car, yet sales of the subcompact model are hardly slowing. Last year the Accent found 23,173 Canadian buyers for both its four-door sedan and hatchback body style, and despite its aging design 2014 was one of only six 12-month periods that saw the model spike over the 20k threshold since well before I first reviewed one in the fall of 2002. The Accent actually dates back to mode...
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The subcompact crossover class is relatively new compared to larger compact, mid-size and full-size SUVs, and it's growing exponentially. This year alone four models have been added to a segment that still only holds nine competitors combined, although it's seen attrition too. Remember the wacky Nissan Cube? I happened to like its ovoid second-gen styling, but I was obviously outnumbered by those who were either appalled or simply not interested and therefore the Cube died a quiet death a couple of years ago. Nissan's unorthodox Juke continues on, and is actually more of a true SUV than t...
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As far as compact crossover SUVs go, the Tucson has always delivered excellent value, loads of features and decent driving dynamics, but for me at least, it's never been a looker, that is until now. All-new 2016 Hyundai Tucson? You had me at hello. OK, it's an overused movie line, the inspiration of which comes from watching too many back-to-back episodes of USA Network's Suits (that drops a lot of classic movie lines), but I could definitely see Gabriel Macht's Harvey Specter emerging from the leather-lined back seat of this third-generation Tucson as he arrives at Pearson Specter Litt, ...
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Europeans have been enjoying small luxury for decades, but the concept is relatively new for we North Americans. Our mindset has traditionally been "big is better," and while this is still reality for the most part, Audi's own full-size A8 luxury sedan still outclassing and certainly out-pricing the diminutive A3 four-door, there's a shift to small occurring in the premium sector that's likely here to stay. The Q3 is a prime example. Prior to its arrival here last year, Audi's only "compact" SUV model was the Q5. The larger crossover SUV was and still is classified as a compact as there's...
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You could be forgiven for not noticing that the 2016 Mazda6 has been given a mid-cycle refresh, as updates to its exterior styling are quite subtle. In my opinion this is a good thing, however, as it's already a fabulous looking mid-size sedan and any radical changes for the sake of change might have undermined the original design. As it is, Mazda has only modified its grille slightly by replacing the thicker topmost horizontal rung with two thinner slats, resulting in six uniform ribs from top to bottom. These are chromed on as-tested top-line GT trim, while all models get a thicker...
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Let's face it. Some cars are simply better than others. Take Audi's A5. From styling to engineering it was a winner from day one, and nearly nine years later it's still a beautiful luxury coupe that sells more than five times better than it did when new. Crazy, huh? After only 35 units left Audi Canada showrooms in 2007, the A5's first full year of sales only resulted in 400 deliveries across the country. I don't know why 2008 was such a dud. Maybe it was an allocation issue or possibly it took a bit of time to get sales traction, but I'd find that latter hard to believe. Just look at it....
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I certainly didn't expect this. I became a diehard M fan at first sight of the original M1 in my dad's Popular Mechanics magazine, which was long before my first stint at the wheel of a '94 Euro-spec E36 M3, followed up by a drive in a second-gen '95 M5 and many more recent M experiences since, but there's no way you could've told me a month ago that my new favourite M-badged BMW would be an SUV. It's a clear sign that I'm aging and prioritizing what matters most under the luxury and refinement categories rather than all-out performance, but while this X5 M is endowed with what is by far ...
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Audi hasn't had a sedan-based convertible in its lineup since the advent of the A5 Cabriolet in 2009, at least not in name, so the A3 marks a return to a formula that won a lot of fans over to the four-ringed brand during the A4 Cabriolet years. The A3 Cabriolet is significantly smaller than any A4 Cab, a car that was already shorter than the A5, so it literally opens Audi up to a new market segment not available to the Ingolstadt brand prior to the new model's introduction last year. Previously, these buyers looked to BMW's old 1 Series Cabriolet or Volkswagen's Eos and others in the mai...
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Compared to the old 1 Series Coupe and Cabriolet, the 2 Series two-door hardtop that arrived on the scene last year and this drop-top, new for 2015, seem to have grown up. They've transcended from cute and somewhat pudgy shapes to sleeker more athletic profiles, each model's longer, narrower twin kidney grille and sharply angled headlamps looking downright menacing, my tester's upgraded M Sport lower front fascia more aggressive, curvaceous side panels more mature and shapelier angled taillights more upscale. The 2 Series twosome are altogether more alluring than their predecessors. The 2...
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