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When Toyota brought the larger Prius V to market in late 2011 I took part in the launch program and was duly impressed. The car made sense then and still does today, especially here in Canada where the larger Prius V has outsold the regular model by a wide margin every year since introduction. For 2015 Toyota has given the Prius V a fresh new face. It's totally different from its predecessor that looked a lot like its smaller sibling, and early sales numbers affirm that fans of the big hybrid like what they see. Year to date deliveries are on track to once again hit last year's total of 2...
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In an effort to seemingly fill every premium automotive niche imaginable, BMW brings us yet another take on personal performance for the 2015 model year. Expanding on its four-door Gran Coupe lineup, the larger 6 Series Gran Coupe arriving on the scene two years before, we recently took to the streets in a top-line 435i xDrive Gran Coupe, having tested the near entry-level 428i xDrive version late last year. As fate would dictate, this more powerful version was finished in the same Carbon Black metallic paint as the last one despite numerous shades and colours available, while my tester a...
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Toyota's Sienna has been Canada's best-selling import branded minivan for five straight years, and at least as impressive it's outsold one of the two domestic minivan brands by a wide margin for the last 11 years. What makes it so popular? One look at its attractive styling followed up by a test drive will explain it all. Before I get into the looking and driving portion of this review, I used the term "import branded" instead of "import" because the Princeton, Indiana-built Sienna is more chicken noodle miso than purely Japanese. In fact, you can't even buy the Sienna in Japan let alone ...
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Look out onto any street in any city the world over and you'll likely see a Honda Civic. Here in Canada, where the compact model achieved best-selling car status last year with 66,057 examples down the road despite sales that were significantly lower than 2008 when it found 72,463 buyers, you'll see multiples at any given moment. Ditto in the US where Honda came close to selling 326,000 Civics in 2014. To be clear, Civic sales statistics include the rakish two-door Coupe that I tested earlier this year and this handsome four-door I spent a week with recently, both surprisingly similar in ...
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For the 2015 model year Mini has given its popular Countryman crossover SUV a mid-cycle refresh, and due to only the subtlest of changes it's safe to assume the British brand is happy with how the last four years of sales went down. And they should be. Here in Canada Mini sold 2,018 Cooper Countryman models in 2014, resulting in the model's second best year. It didn't miss toppling its old record by much either, 2013's Countryman sales the highest on record at 2,067 units, while 2012's deliveries reached 1,731 and 2011 the lowest at 1,563, not unusual for an all-new model's first year. If...
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No matter which angle you see it, whether coming or silently whisking past on EV power, the Prius C is a great looking little hatchback. It rides on Toyota's B platform that also underpins the Yaris and current Corolla, but visually you'd never know it. The Prius C is wholly distinctive, made even more so for 2015 thanks to sportier new front end styling that adds a larger looking all-black grille with a glossy black bumper cap, integrated LED headlamps at each side, new vertical LED driving lights with tiny gloss black rimmed LED fog lamps just below, and a much more aggressively shaped ...
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Hyundai certainly does things differently than most auto manufacturers in some key segments, especially when it comes to crossover. The Tucson is a true compact, yet the regular five-passenger Santa Fe Sport is slightly shorter than most mid-size models and even some compacts, albeit wider than all compact models in the mainstream CUV sector. Being different than the status quo doesn't always work to an automaker's advantage, but Hyundai has nevertheless found a nice niche that has its Santa Fe achieving impressive sales numbers. Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto...
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You could be forgiven for mistaking Toyota's Avalon for the new redesigned Camry. Such a comment wouldn't have been made a year ago, but the new Camry's design team certainly took inspiration from the brand's full-size flagship sedan for its 2015 redo. The current Avalon has been with us since 2012 when it arrived as a 2013 model, and for the most part remains unchanged for the 2015 model year. In my opinion this is a very good thing, as today's Avalon is not only the best looking, most impressively finished and best equipped of its kind to ever hit the road, but it's also one of the more...
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What's the most basic new car very little money can buy you? It's not Hyundai's Accent Hatchback L. Don't get me wrong, as it doesn't take much money to drive away from any Hyundai dealer in the Korean brand's least expensive Canadian offering, but it's not as basic as you might think. For a tidy $13,599 plus $1,595 in freight and pre-delivery prep fees you can own a 2015 Hyundai Accent Hatchback L model, or at least that's the manufacturer suggested list price. Look a little farther down the page dedicated to the car on the automaker's retail website and you'll see a red highlighted no-h...
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Every time I get behind the wheel of a Honda Accord I'm immediately reminded of just how good it is, not to mention how far the auto industry has come in the last decade. I've long appreciated the Accord for its excellent driving dynamics, understated good looks and accommodating, feature-filled, high-quality cabin, but with each new generation this class leader gets better and better, this latest iteration coming as close to a premium-level four-door sedan as anything in its class. While I'm tempted to begin this review by detailing all the soft-touch synthetics surfacing the interi...
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