Automotive News - January 2019

FCA Recalls 182,000 2019 RAM 1500 Pickup Trucks

The FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) Group has issued a recall of some 182,000 2019 RAM 1500 pickup trucks due to a power steering problem. A fastener that grounds the battery was found to be incorrectly installed, and if it detaches the power steering mechanism could stop functioning.

The End for the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ Tandem?

It could be one-and-done for the current, first generation of the Toyota86/Subaru BRZ duo, as it appears the two automakers behind them have decided not to go ahead with producing a second generation. But that doesn’t mean the companies are done collaborating.

Toyota Teases First Image of its 2020 Tacoma

Ahead of the official unveiling set for the Chicago Auto Show, Toyota has released a first teaser image of its new 2020 Tacoma truck. We’re expecting the model will get some major changes, as new rivals have surfaced in the last five years that are well-equipped to take on the category-leading Toyota truck.

Nissan LEAF PLUS: Reduced Range for Higher Trims

Nissan has confirmed that two of the three trims of its LEAF PLUS will deliver reduced range due to the additional weight they carry. The heaviest LEAF PLUS will thus have a total range on a full battery charge of 340 km.

2019 Toyota C-HR Review: Style! Daring! Middling Power!

2017 was the birth year commercially for the C-HR, a sub-compact SUV that was originally supposed to be produced under the banner of Scion, the now-defunct Toyota division that aimed its products at millennials. Since then we’ve continued to wonder how such an original, strange and daring car could have been brought into the world by such a staid company as Toyota!

GM Now Biggest Producer of Vehicles in Mexico

General Motors took over first place as the biggest producer of cars on Mexican soil by volume of vehicles assembled. According to GM, the move to the top of the ranking is due to changing consumer preferences in Mexico, at the same time as demand decreased elsewhere in North America.

The Next Toyota Yaris Hatchback Will Also Be a Mazda2

Car and Driver reports that Toyota will partner with Mazda for the next version of the Yaris Hatchback, which will be based on the Mazda2 – just like the current Yaris sedan is. The Mazda2 is an aging model, however, so this may represent a strictly temporary solution.

A Hybrid V8 Engine in Works at Ford

Ford is believed to be working on a hybrid V8 engine that could power its F-150 pickup or Mustang muscle car, or both. A new patent filing reveals a unit with two electric motors attached to each side of the engine bloc that would power the front wheels. Could this mean the first AWD Mustang in history?

Chinese Manufacturer Zotye Coming to America

Chinese auto manufacturer Zotye has announced the first volley in its major foray into the North American market. The company is opening its first 19 dealerships spread out across the United States.

Lexus High-Performance SUVs on the Way?

Lexus is looking into the possibility of giving some of its SUV models the F performance treatment. Confirmation came via Cooper Ericksen, vice president of product planning and strategy at Lexus. No word yet on which models could be thus sportified…

2019 GMC Sierra AT4 First Drive: Provider Emeritus

The new AT4 version of GMC’s Sierra is an impressive machine with its off-road-focused equipment and demeanour that says ‘Adventure-seeker’. The price tag affixed to it is impressive as well, but in a different way.

GMC Says It’s Also Keen to Produce a Electric Pickup

Following a similar announcement by Ford, and with Rivian arriving on the scene with its electric pickup prototype, GMC boss Duncan Aldred confirmed to CNBC this week that the division is considering producing an electric pickup truck of its own.

Top 10 Diesel Vehicles in Canada in 2019

We take a look at 10 diesel-engine vehicles available in Canada en 2019. Dieselgate certainly dealt the technology a major blow here and elsewhere, but some hardy models continue to hang on!

Toyota Calls Time on the Yaris Hatchback in the U.S.

Toyota is dropping the Yaris Hatchback from its product offering for the American market, effective this year. U.S. sales of the small car plummeted by a ghastly 78% in 2018, leading the company to decide it was time to pull it. What kind of future lies in store for the model will be revealed at the next New York auto show in April.

Review of the 2019 Kia Optima: Still Refined After All These Years!

The 2019 Kia Optima gets a substantial update that keeps it competitive in a shrinking segment full of quality products. In terms of refinement it still feels a notch up above most of its rivals, but the lack of AWD may lead some Canadian consumers to head for the likes of the new Nissan Altima.

2019 RAM HD to Get Laramie Longhorn Versions

FCA has announced details of the Laramie Longhorn editions of its 2019 RAM 2500 HD and 3500 HD trucks – by no coincidence at all, right as GMC was unveiling its 2020 Sierra HD and as Chevy confirmed the Silverado HD is coming this spring. With big profits at play, expect a mighty struggle to come in this segment…

Toyota and Panasonic to Partner on Building Batteries

Toyota and Panasonic have announced they will partner in a joint venture to develop batteries for the automotive industry as a whole. The new division will focus on research and development, engineering, the manufacture of prismatic lithium-ion and solid-state batteries and energy-storage technologies.

Hyundai IONIQ EV Will Get Boost in Range Very Soon

According to a report by, Hyundai will swap out the battery pack of the IONIQ to improve range, from 200 km to 270 km, for the all-electric version. No word yet on whether the PHEV version will get a boost in range as well.

The 2020 GMC Sierra HD Unveiled: A Freak of (Human) Nature

General Motors’ truck division GMC introduced the HD version of its Sierra truck in a world premiere in San Diego yesterday evening. The new edition boasts improved capabilities, technological innovations galore and, of course, a towing capacity that challenges the laws of gravity.

2019 Toyota Sienna SE AWD review

The 2019 Toyota Sienna SE AWD is very generous to its owners. It doesn’t skimp on space, versatility, safety or reliability (it being a Toyota and all). This is so much more than a grandparent-mobile, and its practicality puts many an SUV and pickup to shame.

Chevrolet Sonic on its Way Out?

According to a new report in the Wall Street Journal, Chevrolet is getting ready to consign the little Sonic car to the past. Sales have been beyond sluggish: last year, the manufacturer sold a paltry 20,613 units of the car in the United States, for a drop of 31.9% in relation to 2017.

Montreal 2019: AJAC Names Winners in 12 Vehicle Categories

The Automobiles Journalists’ Association of Canada (AJAC) has handed out its annual best vehicle awards in 12 categories at the 2019 Montreal Auto Show. Winners in each of the categories now go head to head for the titles of Car and SUV of the Year, to be announced at the Toronto show next month.

Ford’s Mustang-Inspired Electric SUV Will Spawn a Lincoln One

Lincoln could be putting out an electric SUV model built on the same platform that Ford is using for its planned Mustang-derived utility EV. The luxury division is promising a wholly distinct model that will benefit from the freedom afforded stylists in fashioning an electric vehicle.

Ford Will Produce its Own Electric Pickup

Ford announces that it too will produce an electric pickup, in the form of an electrified version of its F Series truck. With Tesla and Rivian having announced their intention to market EVs in the segment, it was clear that at least one of the big three U.S. manufacturers would join the fray.

Montreal 2019: Our Top 10 Vehicles to See at the Auto Show!

Here are the 10 models that grabbed our attention at the 2019 Montreal Auto Show… and that should be on your bucket list if you’re going to attend in the next 10 days. Welcome to the auto show’s prettiest, boldest and weirdest vehicles, products and ideas.

Canadian Pricing, Details for 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Revealed

Toyota used the occasion of the Montreal Auto Show to introduce to Canada several models, including the 2020 Supra, 2020 Corolla sedan and first Corolla hybrid, as well as to announce Canadian pricing and trim details for the next-generation 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

Montreal 2019: 2020 Genesis G90 Gets North American Premiere

Hyundai’s luxury brand today gave the redesigned new 2020 Genesis G90 its North American premiere at the 2019 Montreal Auto Show. The goal of the exercise for Genesis was to come up with a car that embodied the concept of Athletic Elegance, and the design changes work to that end.

INFINITI QX30: Over Almost Before it Began

While at the 2019 Detroit auto show this week, INFINITI boss Christian Meunier stated that the career of the QX30 as it currently exists will be coming to an end, almost before it started. The model has not been very successful since its introduction in 2017; its replacement will not be a clone of a Mercedes car but an all-INFINITI creation.

Montreal 2019: Overview of the International Auto Show

It’s time once again for the oldest car show in Canada, the Montreal International Auto Show, to get underway. In a show that has long been and remains an auto show focused on the public, there will be some premieres and presentations… and all the automakers are there!

Remodeled 2020 BMW 7 Series Sedan Makes World Premiere

BMW put on the world premiere today of its revamped 7 Series sedan. Most of the changes involve the exterior styling, but the interior has also been given a makeover, which aim to bring it more closely into line with the new 8 Series.

2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Review : Eight Months Later

Unlike any other. That’s a description that can cut both ways, and it applies in both directions to the 2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, a unique utility model that appeals to a specific clientele but is in tough in its segment against some firmly entrenched rivals.

Detroit 2019: The Lexus LC Blows its Lid

Lexus’ LC has blown its lid at the 2019 Detroit auto show as the Japanese automaker introduces a convertible concept version of its sports model. While still a prototype, the topless LC is very close to production-ready.

Detroit 2019: Kia Presents its Big Telluride SUV in Production Form

We saw the concept version a few times over the course of the past year, but Kia finally presented its new Telluride SUV in production form at the Detroit auto show this week. The big utility model, conceived and designed for North American consumers, can accommodate up to eight occupants.

Detroit 2019: The Mildly Revised 2020 Volkswagen Passat Debuts

Unlike some other European manufacturers Volkswagen is at the Detroit auto show, and the German automaker used the occasion to debut its mildly refreshed 2020 Volkswagen Passat sedan. The car’s innards remain the same although torque has been slightly increased.

Detroit 2019: The new 2019 RAM HD Drops In

The 2019 RAM HD pickups made their big debut at the 2019 Detroit auto show, and the figure that got much of the attention was 1,000 - as in the maximum 1,000 lb-ft of torque one version is able to muster.

Detroit 2019: World Premiere for 2020 Toyota Supra

The Toyota Supra is reborn. The 5th-generation GR Supra has been officially unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The highly anticipated first model produced by Toyota GAZOO Racing for the global market finally shows the world its full face.

Detroit 2019: Genesis G70, RAM 1500, Hyundai Kona Take 2019 NACTOY Honours

The 2019 North American Car of the Year awards have been given at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Genesis was named North American Car of the Year, the RAM 1500 was chosen as North American Truck of the Year, and the Hyundai Kona took top honours as the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year.

The Car Brands That Depreciate the Least, According to J.D. Power

A J.D. Power study reveals the brands whose models suffer from the least depreciation over five years of ownership. Unsurprisingly, the top rung of the ranking is populated by Japanese brands like Toyota, Lexus and Subaru, but some FCA divisions are right there along with them.

Ford-Volkswagen Partnership: More Details Coming Next Week… Maybe

Ford and Volkswagen are reportedly preparing to announce further details of a partnership the two automotive giants have been working on. The setting will be the Detroit auto show, next Tuesday. Volkswagen executives will be meeting this Friday, and approval for the partnership could be given then.

Ford Introduces the next-gen 2020 Ford Explorer

Ford has unveiled its next-generation 2020 Ford Explorer, one of the biggest star attractions on its roster. The changes being brought to the SUV are many, but the most striking have to do with the model’s chassis configuration: out goes front-wheel drive, in comes rear-wheel drive.

CES 2019: The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA in the Spotlight in Vegas

Mercedes-Benz used the occasion of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to lift the veil on its next-generation CLA. Stuffed with an endless array of advanced technologies, the four-door coupe will debut commercially towards the end of this year as a 2020 model.

CES 2019: Finally, the Nissan LEAF PLUS Makes it Entrance

The new extended-range version of Nissan’s LEAF has, finally , gotten its big reveal. The LEAF PLUS, as it will be known in Canada, was presented at CES in Las Vegas this week. The big feature is the big boost in range its new battery pack will offer it, 263 km in comparison with 241 for the regular LEAF – and no change in charging time.

CES 2019 : Hyundai Presents its “Walking Vehicle”

This week Hyundai is at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas presenting a “walking vehicle” concept. The Elevate is designed to allow emergency response teams to get to areas unreachable in conventional vehicles.

2020 BMW 7 Series Shows its New Face Via Leaked Image

A first image of the new 2020 BMW 7 Series has found its way online. The model is set to debut publicly at the Geneva auto show in March. As part of the model’s mid-cycle refresh, its front end is receiving its biggest change in over 10 years.

2019 Could Mark Beginning of Gas Engine’s Decline

A record number of combustion-engine vehicles sold in 2018, but several experts predict the past year will prove a high water mark for the technology. Starting this year, the impact of electric vehicles will start to eat into the popularity of gas engines among consumers.

Atlis XT Electric Pickup Could Have 800-Km Range

Rivian is not the only small firm is working on an electric pickup truck. Little-known Atlis steps out of the shadow with its XT pickup, promising an 800-km range. Here’s hoping the new project moves beyond existing on paper only.

2019 Toyota Avalon Review: First in Class

The 2019 Toyota Avalon is a rejuvenated, sleeker-looking car with a long list of positive qualities to offer what Toyota hopes is a younger demographics. But will it be undermined by its one big drawback? (and no we’re not talking about that prominent shnozz).

Next-Gen Volkswagen Golf GTI Could Get 300 hp

The next generation of VW’s Golf GTI, set to make its debut at the Geneva auto show in March, could benefit from a 300-hp powertrain. A 245-hp base unit would be the go-to engine out of the box, but consumers could opt for a second powertrain offering the extra horses.

The Volkswagen Beetle, Like You’ve Never Seen It

We follow the beloved VW Beetle on a trip through time, and shows some of the unusual uses it’s been put to over the decades! As it gets ready to drive off into the sunset, the Love Bug leaves behind a ton of memories and a rich, unique history.

2018: A Record Year for Mitsubishi in Canada

Mitsubishi closed out 2018 with its best year for sales since it arrived on the Canadian market back in 2002. The automaker sold some 25,000 units, with the RVR leading the way but with the new Outlander PHEV providing an added boost.

Electric mobility: Canada trails in infrastructure, sales of EVs

According to a new study by GoCompare, Canada lags behind many other countries in developing needed infrastructure for electric cars, and fewer vehicles in that segment are sold here than in several other, smaller countries. The leaders of the pack when it comes to switching to electric mobility? Norway.

Hyundai, Kia Show Off New Automated Valet Parking System

Hyundai and Kia preview the new Automated Valet Parking System (AVPS) they are working on. The system currently being developed will actually combine two distinct technologies, EV wireless charging and autonomous driving, and aims to clear congestion around recharging stations.

Volkswagen Developing a Mobile EV Charging Station

Volkswagen is currently working on developing a mobile charging station for electric vehicles. The main benefit of VW’s system is that EV owners will be able to charge their vehicle’s battery pack in areas with no permanent charging station network.

Locals Attacking Self-Driving Cars in Arizona Town

Police in Chandler, Arizona have recorded some 25 attacks made by people on self-driving vehicles in its jurisdiction since 2017. The attacks range from verbal abuse hurled at occupants of the self-driving cars to stone throwing and even slashing of tires.

10 Buses That Will Make You Want to Leave the Car at Home

Yesterday, today and tomorrow: here are 10 bus models that marked history in their own way, and did their bit to convince the average car owner to leave their ride at home. shows you the best and the most innovative buses ever made – and some that made history.

Toyota looking at performance version of Corolla Hatchback

Toyota is looking at launching, under the banner of its GAZOO Racing (GR) performance division, more models that would take on Hyundai’s N cars and others of the kind. First out of the GR gate could be the Corolla Hatchback, according to a new report.

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