Mercedes-Benz fans interested in getting into a starter model have a fresh choice with the introduction of the 2019 A-Class. Available as both a sedan and hatchback, the “Baby Benz” is attention-getting and stocked with the latest technology. Read the review.
These are “true” utility vehicles built for the rugged duties of towing and off-roading.
What’s better in the spring and summer months than cruising along one of the Lower Mainland’s great roads, sans top? The only caveat is the amount of rainfall we get — that’s where hardtop convertibles come in. Roof down for wind in your hair; up and it’s like you’re riding in any other vehicle. Here are three of OpenRoad’s favourite examples.
This SLK-successor has already been around for a little bit but the luxury roadster is still as good as ever. The electrohydraulic vario-roof can be closed in approximately 20 seconds, even while the car is moving at speeds of up to 40 km/h hour. There’s also a panoramic glass option with MAGIC SKY CONTROL allowing the unit to be lightened or darkened via a simple button press.
There are two flavours of the SLC: the 300, which has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine under the hood, and the AMG 43 boasting a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 producing 362 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. Both are mated to 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission.
The fourth generation Mazda MX-5 debuted in 2016 to great fanfare, enthusiasts hungry for another rear-wheel drive, open-air product from the Japanese manufacturer. One year later, the RF arrived, providing the same fun only with the addition of a power retractable hardtop. When closed, the PHRT lends the vehicle a stunning fastback look. In the stowed position, cargo capacity remains the same as the standard variant.
Powertrain specs are unchanged as well, consisting of a 155-horsepower 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G four cylinder mated to either a SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic.
Featuring a three-piece hardtop with full noise-absorbing headliner and integrated LED lighting, BMW has ensured the convertible version of the 4 Series is no less luxurious than any other model. The absence of a B pillar creates a clean silhouette, and a standard load/unload assistance function pivots the folded roof in the trunk upwards if extra storage is required.
Buyers have the choice of BMW TwinPower Turbo motors, one a 2.0-litre four cylinder, the other a 3.0-litre straight six. Protip: bundle in the M Performance Power & Sound Kit that includes a high-flow valve controlled exhaust generating aural bliss at full throttle in Sport and Sport+ dynamic driving modes.
There’s a lot of innovation that goes into every facet of modern automobile design. Here are just a few standouts.