Here are three top models across different segments offering the confidence only AWD can deliver.
After an 80-year history, the last VW Bug is rolling off the assembly line.
Sporty and practical, here are OpenRoad’s top three picks for 2019 model year hatchbacks.
For many, the end of June not only marks the official start of summer, but also school graduation. Whether you are a former student shopping for that first brand new, affordable set of wheels or a parent looking for a safe and economical vehicle to gift a child, there is no shortage of fantastic products on the market to suit every need. We’ve rounded up three of our favourites here.
2018 Honda Fit Sport (starting at $20,890)
The third-generation Honda Fit was given a major overhaul this year, highlighted by the addition of a Sport trim. The special model has some exterior garnishes such as an orange-frosted splitter underneath the nose of the car, side skirts and a rear bumper diffuser, as well as 16-inch gloss black wheels. The cabin is draped in all-black interior with orange stitching.
Both fun to drive manual and efficient CVT (automatic) transmissions are offered, the latter bundling the Honda Sensing suite of collision mitigation and driver assistance technologies.
2018 Toyota Prius c ($23,960)
The smallest hybrid in the Toyota lineup gets some fresh duds for 2018. Designers have changed up the front and rear fascias leaving the hatchback looking its sportiest since being introduced in 2012. The headlamps are more contoured, black aero strakes surround the foglamps and an installed lower front spoiler and hatch wing promote better airflow.
Interior pieces like the instrument panel, air conditioning controls and steering wheel have been updated as well. A backup camera is now standard making reversing a much more easier and hazard-free affair. Under the hood, the familiar Hybrid Synergy Drive continues to provide a stellar 5.1 L/100 km fuel economy rating. All Prius c’s receive the Toyota Safety Sense package encompassing lane departure warning, automatic high beams and more.
Toyota Canada offers special incentives to recent grads with their Graduate Program. Contact OpenRoad Toyota to learn more.
2018 Volkswagen e-Golf (38,125)
How do you make the already great VW Golf even greater? By making it completely electric (say farewell to costly gas bills!). The EV version of the popular compact finally arrived in Canada in 2017 and boasts a high-capacity 35.8 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery, allowing a maximum travel distance of up to 200 kilometres on a single charge.
The e-Golf — which is eligible for the B.C. Clean Energy Vehicle $5,000 rebate — features the same styling changes found on the gasoline variants, for example LED lighting, revised bumpers and an upgraded infotainment system, and each one is equipped with Volkswagen’s Park Distance Control. Also known as ParkPilot, the technology uses ultrasonic sensors mounted in the bumpers to monitor an area up to five feet in each direction, and issues audible and visual alerts when approaching an object while manoeuvring at speeds of 15 km/h or less.
Did you know Club OpenRoad members are able to transfer their points to other people in their family who are vehicle shopping? Points can be redeemed for discounts of up to $2,500 off a purchase across 16 new car brands or 500-plus used cars. Check your current balance at clubopenroad.ca.
Not a member yet? Anyone can join and there is no fee. Earn 15 per cent back anytime your vehicle is serviced at any OpenRoad dealership. Other perks include exclusive invites to launch events, driving clinics, and free parking at Grouse Mountain.
To enroll, simply visit an OpenRoad location, call 1-800-859-9820 or visit us online at clubopenroad.ca.
We’re officially well into spring, but it certainly doesn’t appear that way some days here in the Lower Mainland. So it’s still too early to shop for a convertible, right? The answer is most certainly not, especially if you pick the right vehicle capable of being comfortably used all year round. Here are three picks, all with different features ideal for daily driving.
Representing the spiritual successor for the two-door 3 Series, the beautiful 4 Series knocked a lot of people’s socks off when it first debuted in 2013. The convertible version released shortly after is no less impressive, utilizing a fully powered, three-piece hardtop that can fully open or close in 20 seconds, and at speeds of up to 11 miles per hour, meaning drivers are ready for rain or shine by simply pushing a button.
The weatherproof top has an advanced headliner designed to soak up noise and provide insulating properties making occupants think they’re in a regular coupé. When stashed in the trunk, a load and unload assistant can pivot the folded roof to accommodate bigger items like luggage or equipment.
The Audi A5 family entered just its second generation a couple of years ago, completely updated and culminating in the new Cabriolet model. The two-plus-two seater comes packaged with a quick 2.0-litre TFSI motor producing 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, mated to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission or grin-inducing six-speed manual. Although running a soft top, it uses thick thermal fabric and is operable when the car is travelling up to 31 miles per hour.
Most importantly for colder seasons, the automaker’s legendary Quattro full-time all-wheel drive system is standard equipment, which sends power to all four wheels. Grip and traction are always available helping maintain vehicle stability in all road conditions, and especially around corners.
The roofless VW Bug gains a more robust powertrain for 2018, in the form of a bigger and torquier turbocharged 2.0-litre four cylinder engine replacing the outgoing 1.8. A Coast trim is all new and comes with a unique Deep Sea Teal exterior paint colour option, surfboard-wood look dashpad, houndstooth cloth-covered seating surfaces and Monster Mats thick rubber floor mats that can contain all the dirt, mud and slush dragged in during the fall and winter.
Other all-season attributes include the quickest articulating top of the bunch, taking only 9.5 seconds to go between the two positions, and a predictable front-wheel drive setup giving those behind the wheel a sense of confidence in inclement weather operation.
One of the more extravagant auto shows to make the annual rounds, the 88th Geneva Motor Show did not disappoint this year with huge unveils from the likes of Toyota, BMW, Audi and others. Read on.
Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept
It seems like people have been talking about a replacement for Toyota’s legendary sports car for ages now, and the Japanese automaker adds fuel to the fire with the debut of the GR Supra Racing Concept. Created by Toyota Gazoo Racing, this two-door, front-engine rear-wheel drive concept is constructed almost entirely out of lightweight composite material. Performance parts by BBS, Brembo and OMP can be found sprinkled throughout the vehicle. The number “90” on the doors is a reference to the “A90” codename for the upcoming fifth-generation version.
Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion
The latest VW I.D. concept to come out of Wolfsburg is the Vizzion, an autonomous electric vehicle demonstrating what transportation could be like in the year 2030. It’s the first Volkswagen to be built without a steering wheel or pedals — the EV utilizes a “digital chauffeur” that navigates, steers and even automatically sets the climate controls by learning individual occupant preferences. Front and rear electric motors provide all-wheel drive and a combined output of 302 horsepower.
BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe
Showing what is possible with a new BMW lineup flagship model, the company says the “M” in M8 stands for “more,” as in more of everything. The opulent four-door features several design flourishes like gold-coloured kidney grille trim, an aggressive front apron, severely flared fender arches, duckbill-style spoiler and a quad exhaust system. The entire body is sprayed in a Salève Vert colour that changes from green to greyish-blue depending on the light.
After a long seven years since the last redesign, Audi’s executive A6 sedan is about to enter generation five. Sporting sharp, defined body lines indicative of the new styling language also seen on bigger brother the A8, the car will launch in Europe as a 2019 with both a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 and a diesel utilizing mild-hybrid technology. A turbo 2.0-litre four cylinder will also be available at a later date.
The largest auto show in North America is underway right now in the Windy City. The 2018 year marks the Chicago Auto Show’s 110th anniversary, and here is what’s in store for visitors this time around.
Toyota TRD Pro Series trucks
The next-generation 4Runner, Tacoma and Tundra Pro were revealed at CAS as 2019 models. The trio have been given new suspension featuring Fox aluminum Internal Bypass Shocks that resist bottoming out regardless of the driving environment, from pothole-ridden roads to off-road rock crawling. The 4Runner and Taco are each lifted one-inch higher on the front than before, the Tacoma two inches, to give additional clearance for more accessible adventuring.
Hyundai Sonata hybrids
The refreshed 2018 electrified Sonata siblings made their debut looking quite a bit more refined than the previous version. The LED headlight housings are reshaped, flanking a curvier front grille and more prominent corner air intakes. Under the skin, the suspension is slightly stiffer and, combined with retuned steering assistance, provide better road feel. The standard hybrid features a net 193 horsepower and 1046 kilometres of total driving range, while the plug-in has a total 202 horsepower and a range of 950 kilometres.
People first got a glimpse of this premium mid-size sedan in Geneva back in March, and the Arteon now makes its North American introduction. The full spec sheet is out, and things are looking good: 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, generated by VW’s famous 2.0-litre turbocharged TSI engine; available 4Motion all-wheel drive; optional Digital Cockpit; and a standard Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adaptive damping system that is capable of managing each corner individually, to respond to changing road conditions and offer the most dynamic ride possible.
This year, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) chose the Montreal International Auto Show to announce its finalists for the Canadian Car of the Year program. The vehicles chosen, below, were among many 2018 models across multiple segments that have been thoroughly tested by nearly 100 journalists — scored on factors like performance, technology, fuel economy and much more — over the last several months. Here is more on some of the notable category winners.
Best City Car in Canada for 2018: Volkswagen e-Golf
It’s easy to see why the electric version of the legendary Golf was bestowed with this honour — a massive 35.8-kilowatt-hour battery gives the zero-emissions hatchback a 200-kilometre range, and the motor outputs 134 horsepower and 214 lb-ft of near-instant torque for guaranteed fun, fuel-free driving.
Best Small Car in Canada for 2018: Mazda3
The current-generation Mazda3, featuring the head-turning KODO design and efficient SKYACTIV engineering, has garnered no shortage of accolades, and now chalks up one more on the list. The agile car returns with a truly class-leading looking and feeling interior, full suite of i-ACTIVSENSE safety technologies and an affordable starting price tag of $15,900.
Best Large Car in Canada for 2018: Honda Accord
What a year for the ’18 Accord, already having been named the North American Car of the Year and now the Best Large Car in Canada. Rebuilt from the ground up, the sedan is lighter and more rigid than before, touts a more streamlined body shape, runs on a one of two turbocharged VTEC engines and introduces a 10-speed automatic transmission, which is a world’s first for a front-wheel drive vehicle.
Best Premium Sports-Performance Car in Canada for 2018: Jaguar F-TYPE
Anyone who has laid eyes on the beautiful Jaguar F-TYPE can tell the sports car is award winning without even having to do any research. To be specific, the coupe/roadster, available in both supercharged V6 and V8 form, has netted 160 awards worldwide since the original 2012 launch, according to the company. Small improvements have been made for the latest edition such as a new Touch Pro fast response infotainment system, full-LED headlights, refreshed front bumper and lightweight “slimline” seating.
Best Small Premium Utility Vehicle in Canada for 2018: Range Rover Velar
The forth member to join the Range Rover family, the Velar brings a level of elegance and minimalism never quite seen before from the brand (just look at those flush-deployable door handles). From a capability standpoint, however, it’s business as usual. The mid-size SUV boasts a 558-litre luggage compartment, Terrain Response 2 traction aids, Advanced Tow Assist functionality and a choice between a 180-horsepower diesel and 380 horsepower gasoline engine.
There is nothing quite like auto show season. One of the industry’s biggest spectacles, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, starts up this week and manufacturers made headlines revealing some complete redesigns of staple models.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta
VW announced the arrival of the anticipated seventh-generation Jetta, built on the company’s proven Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform shared with products such as the current Golf, Tiguan and Atlas. Like the new Tiguan, the Mk7 Jetta is all grown up, literally, now longer, wider and taller than the outgoing car. Everything from the front fascia to interior looks and feels more premium than before, and all trim levels include Driver Personalization remembering up to four user settings for seat memory, radio presets and ambient lighting colour. Power is provided by the same 1.4-litre turbocharged TSI engine and buyers have a choice of either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.
2019 Toyota Avalon
Toyota’s full-size flagship sedan undergoes a well-deserved makeover, and going against the common theme of growing larger, has actually slimmed down some in size. The North American-built vehicle is 25 millimetres lower in height with a 50 millimetre shorter wheelbase, although width increases slightly, by 20 millimetres, to give a planted, performance-oriented appearance. Two grades will be offered: the sporty XSE boasting a piano black mesh grille, 19-inch gloss black wheels and black side mirror housings; and a luxurious Limited wearing a chrome-trimmed grille, silver LED headlight bezels and a chrome-tipped dual exit exhaust system. A newly designed efficient 3.5-litre V6 Atkinson-cycle powerplant can be found beneath the hood, mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
2019 Hyundai Veloster
The result of a partnership between Hyundai main headquarters and the U.S. design center in Irvine, California, the Veloster goes version 2.0 later this year. The quirky five-passenger hatch returns with an asymmetrical two-plus-one door configuration and shows off a bold 3-D interpretation of the Hyundai cascading grille, similar to the one seen on the 2018 Sonata. The A-pillar has been pushed further back, the roofline lowered and 18-inch alloy wheels made standard to emphasize an aggressive, coupe-like silhouette. The regular Veloster gets a 147-horsepower 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine while the top-of-the-line Turbo receives a boosted 201-horsepower 1.6-litre mill.
Maybe with the exception of a mug of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s night, there’s nothing as comforting as the embrace of a heated car seat during the chilly season. And unlike years past where this feature was reserved for luxury brands and/or range-topping models, consumers will be pleased to hear it’s becoming more common across a wide range of segments and trims. Here are some of the best examples.
This past summer, the versatile Fit hatchback received a facelift with new styling and the addition of a Sport offering boasting a body kit and a bright Orange Fury paint option. But even the LX grade, one step above base, receives front heated seats to keep occupants toasty.
The most affordable entry in VW’s lineup is the Jetta packing an ultra-efficient 1.4-litre turbocharged TSI engine, now including standard 16-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights and a backup camera. Bumping the entry Trendline sedan to Trendline+ adds not just heated seats, but heated exterior mirrors too.
There are a lot of things going for the Mazda3: the lauded SKYACTIV technology, an available precise-shifting six-speed manual transmission and gorgeous KODO Soul of Motion design. The GS tier allows customers to enjoy heated seats, and surprisingly at a starting price of $20,300, also a heated leather steering wheel.
If we’re talking about bang for buck, the Elantra wins hands down. At an MSRP of only $15,999, the compact four-door comes with the sought-after heated front seats and door mirrors. Spend an additional $4,350 and level up to the GL model for a heated leather steering wheel, or $6,700 to GLS to extend automatic seat warming to rear passengers as well.