Canadian EV sales surge ahead

2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid
Plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles experienced a significant year of growth in 2016. Photo by Benjamin Yong.

The results are in: electric vehicle sales are up. Way up in fact — as of Q3 in 2016, EV sales in Canada rose by 60 per cent compared to the year previous.

Ontario led the way, followed by Quebec and then British Columbia. B.C.’s numbers (+13 per cent) were good, but nothing compared to the +126 per cent explosion during the same period in 2015 thanks to the reinstatement of Clean Energy Vehicle Program following a one-year hiatus.


Regardless, 2016 was clearly a banner year for EVs here. Before the mid-way mark, the country had already surpassed 20,000 registered plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles milestone. There were over 1,000 EVs sold in June alone.

Part of the reason for the electric interest is that there are simply more choices offered across nearly all segments, by a range of automobile manufacturers from Toyota to Porsche, than ever before. Additional entries are on the horizon as well, like the Honda Clarity that’s coming to North America for the first time.

bmw i8

BMW has been somewhat of a trailblazer in the EV space, with the development of the i3 hatchback and i8 sports car. In addition, the German marque now has the distinction of having the most plug-ins available in Canada with four, recently and somewhat quietly releasing two new models.

In the summer, the first BMW 330e was delivered: a green take on the iconic 3 Series. Utilizing the brand’s eDrive and EfficientDynamics technologies, the compact sedan pairs an 88-horsepower electric motor with a 184 hp four-cylinder engine sending a total of 252 hp to the rear wheels. Drivers can travel up to 40 kilometres on electric power alone, at speeds up to an impressive 120 km/h.

BMW X5 xDrive40e

For all the crossover fans, the company also debuted the X5 xDrive40e, its debut plug-in Sports Activity Vehicle. The SAV has all-wheel drive, net 308 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, an eight-speed transmission and a fuel consumption rating of 4.2 Le/100 km.

B.C.'s largest Hyundai dealership now open for business at OpenRoad Hyundai Boundary

B.C.’s largest Hyundai dealership now open for business at OpenRoad Hyundai Boundary

February 16, 2017 (Vancouver, B.C.) – OpenRoad Auto Group is pleased to officially open the doors to its latest dealership, OpenRoad Hyundai Boundary. The 30,000 square foot retail space is now the largest Hyundai dealership in the province and the premier Hyundai dealership in Vancouver.

“OpenRoad Hyundai Boundary is a spectacular new dealership that sets a new standard for Hyundai dealerships across the country,” said Don Romano, President and CEO of Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. “We would like to congratulate Christian Chia and his team on their second Hyundai store and we look forward to our continued success as partners with OpenRoad Auto Group.”

Located at 2395 Boundary Road in Vancouver, OpenRoad Hyundai Boundary employs Hyundai’s Global Retail Design Space, the Hyundai Motor Company’s latest retail store design which features a modernized, open showroom with floor-to-ceiling windows and a bronze coloured roof. The dealership’s interior also features premium furniture, customer lounges, as well as digital kiosks, tablets, and wheel stands to enhance and facilitate a superior customer shopping experience. The new look is part of the Korean automotive manufacturer’s plan to reflect Hyundai’s move towards a more refined and sophisticated brand style.

The new dealership will be OpenRoad’s second Hyundai store. The company has successfully owned and operated OpenRoad Hyundai Richmond in the Richmond Auto Mall since 2005. OpenRoad has appointed Ian Quinn, a 25-year company veteran to the position of General Manager of OpenRoad Hyundai Boundary where he will lead a team of 28 sales and service staff.  Quinn and his team will offer OpenRoad’s signature customer service, loyalty plan and customer perks to OpenRoad Hyundai Boundary customers. 

For more information, visit and for media interviews and photos, please contact Tanis Sullivan at

OpenRoad Hyundai Boundary, BC’s largest Hyundai dealership is now open for business.


OpenRoad Auto Group is B.C.’s largest automotive dealership group with over 900 associates representing 17 quality automotive brands at 20 full-service car dealerships. Established In 2000, OpenRoad Auto Group offers car buyers and owners an experiential automotive retail service. With sales and service in multiple languages, OpenRoad Auto Group encourages a car buying experience based on openness, participation and expertise. OpenRoad is proud to be one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies, a CADA Laureate, and the recipient of multiple Canadian Best Employer Awards.


Tanis Sullivan


Turbocharged Sport model joining 2017 Hyundai Elantra lineup


2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport turbo badge
This badge on the front grille of the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport hints at what’s underneath the hood. Photos by Benjamin Yong.

Not content with reaching the milestone of 500,000 Elantras sold in Canada earlier this year, Hyundai is continuing to evolve the compact sedan by adding a Sport model, billing it as the most powerful and dynamic version the manufacturer has ever made.

The Sport would not be possible without the underlying sixth generation chassis, built upon a “superstructure” comprised of 21 per cent more high strength steel than before, explained Ken Maisonville, national manager of product strategy. He spoke at start of the Hyundai Fun Day event held in Ontario where media were given a taste of the sprightly sedan after “finding” the vehicle from solving a series of geocaching puzzles set up around the Greater Toronto Area.

Hyundai Superstructure steel

“We took our own in house steel plant — we’re the only manufacturer in the world with our own steel plant — and started from the ground up with an all new superstructure and that’s the basis for everything about Elantra,” said Maisonville.

To throw some additional numbers out there, torsional rigidity has improved by 30 per cent, and bending rigidity by 25 per cent. So what does that mean in plain English?

2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport front

“Improved ride and handling, cabin quietness and safety. That’s what we’re going for and that’s going to turn around perception of quality,” he said.

A number of exterior changes differentiate the Sport from regular variants. These include a unique front fascia comprised of headlamp housings containing red inserts; a wider black chrome grille, horizontally, as opposed to vertically, arranged signature LED daytime running lights; and a subtle splitter resting beneath the front bumper.

2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport wheel

Around the rest of the vehicle, there are 18-inch multi-spoke wheels wrapped in Hankook Ventus S1 Noble2 tires, side skirt extensions, revised LED taillight lenses and dual polished muffler tips peeking out from behind a built-in rear bumper diffuser.

The dual-exit tailpipes don’t just look pretty — they’re connected to a specialized exhaust system tuned for a very specific performance-oriented sound. Maisonville says engineers paid extra attention to ensure it’s only loud on the outside without the dreaded in-cabin drone at mid to high rpm levels.

2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport rear

Backing up the aggressive rumble is a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing a healthy 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque at an accessible 1,500 rpm. Choices of transmission are between a six-speed manual and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport will start at MSRP $24,999 when it is launched later this fall. 

Top three 2016 model year family vehicles

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
The Hyundai Sonata comes with many comfort and convenience options making it a great choice for families. Photo by Benjamin Yong.

Similar to the contemporary family unit, the family vehicle segment too has evolved, reflecting the wants and needs of 21st century living. Now, models come in a plethora of shapes and sizes catering to wide variety of customers, and are safer, more comfortable and better equipped than their predecessors. We’ve included three of our favourites from 2016 here — one each from the sedan, crossover SUV and minivan categories — and have taken into consideration the attributes above, as well as price.

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid rear

2016 Hyundai Sonata

The Sonata is a particularly versatile sedan that has a lot going for it. The design was completely changed last year, and the car is offered in gasoline, Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid flavours (Hybrid pictured here). Parents will appreciate the convenience of options like rear window sunshades for little ones or pets riding in the back, a power trunk for easy storage of cargo, and programmable driver’s seat memory taking out the guesswork of adjustment when there are multiple drivers. Prices start at $24,749.

2016 Toyota Highlander

2016 Toyota Highlander

Plenty of interior space, reliability and onboard entertainment are just some of the 2016 Toyota Highlanders strong suits. Grownups and children passengers alike will be kept busy with a multimedia system consisting of a 6.1-inch touchscreen, USB and 12-volt ports for electronics and an available Blu-ray DVD player and 9.0-inch screen in the back. There’s also room for either seven or eight occupants depending on the configuration.

2016 Toyota Sienna

2016 Toyota Sienna

Toyota makes this list twice, but that’s simply because they’ve got the family vehicle formula down pat. The best-selling Sienna is successful for a reason, or several reasons actually, among them being a load of tech and massive carrying capacity. Siri Eyes Free functionality means drivers can easily and safely call up smartphone functions using their voice, such as adding a doctor’s appointment to the calendar or calling up a favourite restaurant to order dinner, and with the second and third row benches folded down the minivan can swallow over 4,000 litres of cargo.  

2016 Toyota Sienna cargo capacity

Top vehicles for students going back to school

2017 Hyundai Elantra front
The 2017 Hyundai Elantra has been completely redesigned and still offers a lot of value for the dollar. Photo by Benjamin Yong.

Is it really back to school already? Well not quite yet, but September will be here in the blink of an eye. If a vehicle is on your school supplies shopping list, OpenRoad Auto Group is here to help with a list of the most affordable vehicles for students for 2016.

2016 Volkswagen Jetta front back

2016 Volkswagen Jetta

Starting at $15,995, the 2016 VW Jetta is the most affordable model in the German automaker’s lineup and is equipped with a zippy turbocharged 150-horsepower engine. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard, or add an extra $1,400 for a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission.

2016 Honda Civic Sedan white

2016 Honda Civic Sedan

Completely redesigned, the legendary Honda Civic enters its 10th generation sportier in both appearance and performance. The interior has be also been reworked to provide lots of storage space for things like phones, wallets and cups. Also offered in a coupe body style, the four-door (starting MSRP $16,155) is the better buy for those on a budget. 

2016 Toyota Corolla

2016 Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corollas have been the go-to-car for many students for five decades now, and not much has changed in that regard. The current compact sedan is still great on gas — 8.4 L/100 km in the city, 6.4 on the highway — and has enough interior room for five adults to sit comfortably thanks to the flat floor in the rear. Prices start at $15,995.

2017 Hyundai Elantra rear

2017 Hyundai Elantra

All new for this year, the reimagined Elantra is drop dead gorgeous with a smart looking front end anchored by a wide-mouth grille and a set of sleek headlamps. As always, even the base model ($15,999) is chock full of features like heated front seats that will come in handy during those brisk fall morning drives to class. The car is powered by a 2.0-litre motor producing 147 horsepower and 132-lb-ft of torque.

OpenRoad Auto Group used cars

Pre-owned vehicles

In the market for a used car? OpenRoad has hundreds of pre-owned vehicles available for sale  — have a look on the website.