Automotive News - April 2019

Smart Brand Leaving North American Market

Daimler has announced it is pulling the Smart EQ fortwo model from the North American market after 2019. The company says the decision was due to low consumer interest and the high cost of homologation for a low-volume model.

The Lexus NX Will Be Built in Canada as of 2022

Toyota Canada has announced that it will start assembling the Lexus NX SUV at its plant in Cambridge, Ontario beginning in 2022. Last year the company poured $1.4 billion into updating its facilities to accommodate a new vehicle platform.

Understanding the Government of Canada’s iZEV EV incentives program

The Government of Canada’s iZEV EV incentives program takes effect on May 1, and it creates a new reality consumers and manufacturers when it comes to electric vehicles. tries to demystify the program and the benefits consumers get from it, and looks at how the manufacturers will respond to increasing demand.

New-Vehicle Inventories Nearing Record High

The drop in auto sales since the beginning of the year has led to an increase in vehicle stocks at dealerships in North America. In the short term the situation is not alarming, but if this state of affairs drags on, it could result in a host of new incentives that will make consumers happy, manufacturers less so.

GM Is Recalling 113,000 Chevrolet Trax

General Motors is recalling 113,000 Chevrolet Trax models due to a problem with the suspension system’s left front control arm. An improper weld by the supplier of the component could lead to the arm partially separating, which in turn could result in the steering malfunctioning and the wheels going out of alignment.

2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Review

The 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is a clear category leader in terms of capabilities, power and handling on rough terrain, but less so when it comes to comfort and refinement. Now in the sixth year of its fifth generation, the Cherokee, though it's been refreshed in recent years, is ripe for a more radical overhaul.

A Mitsubishi Pickup Back in North America by 2025?

The COO of Mitsubishi in North America, Mark Chaffin, says that the automaker would very much like to bring back a pickup model into its lineup on our continent. For that to happen, however, the product would have to be the right fit at the right price, and the timing would have to be right as well.

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Review: Fourth Time’s the Charm

It might not stand out in the supermarket parking lot amidst all the others of its ilk, but the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is one of the finer big two-row people movers available on the market. reviews an SUV that does a lot of things very well.

The Longer Buick Encore GX Coming to North America

Buick Encore GX: The stretched version of the next-gen Buick Encore unveiled in Shanghai will be sold in North America, according to a report by Automotive News. In all likelihood the model will fit into the lineup between the regular Encore and the Envision.

Genesis Looking Hard at a Production Version of its Essentia Concept

The Essentia concept unveiled by Genesis at the 2018 New York Auto Show could well see the light of day as a production car. The company is confirming nothing but is saying it does not intend to develop prototypes as mere design studies or technology showcases. Any concept it produces could end up in showrooms.

GMC Reserves the Granite Name… for the Fourth Time

GMC has reserved, for the fourth time, the Granite name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). There can be little doubt now that the company is seriously intending to produce an SUV bearing that nameplate. Fourth time’s the charm?

Ford investing $500 million in EV maker Rivian

Ford has announced $500 million in investments in Rivian, an EV maker currently developing two electric vehicles. For Rivian the cash infusion is obviously very welcome, while for Ford it means access to the company’s EV platform and the development of its own electric vehicle based on that architecture.

Airbags: NHTSA Investigation Impacts 12.3 Million Vehicles

The NHTSA is investigating an airbag problem that could affect 12.3 million vehicles, and for once it doesn’t involve Takata products. The new issue involves an electrical defect that could result in airbags not deploying in the case of a collision.

Review Of The 2019 Chevrolet Colorado: Hard To Beat!

2019 is shaping up to be the year of the midsize pickup. The 2019 Chevrolet Colorado arrives on the market like a Swiss army knife, able to meet all the needs of the segment. It has new models like the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator to contend with, however.

2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR First Drive: F-Pace Squared

The new F-Pace we test-drove in the south of France marks the third time a Jaguar-Land Rover vehicle gets the SVR treatment from Jaguar’s five-year-old Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division, and it’s the first time the F-Pace gets a V8. That sounds impressive, and in practice it actually is.

Top 8 All-Electric Vehicles in Canada in 2019

To mark Earth Day 2019, once again presents our annual list of the best electric vehicles available in Canada this year, comprised solely of models eligible for the $5,000 discount offered under the federal government’s new iZEV program.

Top 10 Vehicle Interiors in 2019 According to WardsAuto

The Top 10 vehicle interiors in 2019 according to WardsAuto were announced at the kickoff of the New York Auto Show this week. The list features the usual premium models, but also some affordable vehicles and even a pickup… though you’ll be surprised at which one!

Discount Program for Electrical Vehicles: Federal Government Makes it Official

The Government of Canada has launched its new incentives program for electric vehicles. The iZEV program enters into effect on May 1, 2019 and will provide discounts on purchases of zero-emissions vehicles, up to a maximum of $5,000 depending on the vehicle. In B.C. and Quebec, this can be added on top of existing provincial incentives.

Comparison: 2020 Jeep Gladiator vs 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

How to choose between the 2020 Jeep Gladiator and the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2? compares two pickups in a fast-growing segment. The two are equivalent in a number of respects, and your choice may come down to whether you want a bit more comfort or a bit more off-road effectiveness.

New York 2019: Top 10 Premieres of the Auto Show

We do a quick flyover of the models, premieres and presentations that marked the first day of the 2019 New York Auto Show. The last big car show of the spring season was highlighted by crazy concepts, big tech-heavy utility models… and cars! Real cars!

New York 2019: Hot debut for the Kia HabaNiro Concept

Kia served up a hot new prototype at the 2019 New York Auto Show this week. The Kia HabaNiro Concept is fully electric and able to drive autonomously, plus it harbours new technologies that will start to appear in production vehicles over the next decade.

New York 2019: A future founded on tradition for the 2020 Subaru Outback

At home in one of its regional strongholds in the U.S. market, Subaru used the occasion of the New York Auto Show to introduce the next-generation 2020 Subaru Outback. The future of this popular model for the manufacturer still follows from a foundation of continuity, because why mess with a winning formula?

New York 2019: The Mazda CX-5 Diesel, At Last

After promising it for years, Mazda has finally rolled out a new diesel powertrain. The first model to get it is a core product for the brand, the CX-5 SUV, just unveiled at the New York Auto Show. Other Mazda models are expected to get it in the near-future, however.

Kia Soul and Niro EVs: Prices Announced for Canada

Kia Canada has announced pricing for its new Soul and Niro electric variants, and potential EV buyers in Canada will be glad to learn that both will be eligible for the federal government’s new EV incentives program.

New York 2019: Small Hyundai Venue Crossover Makes Big Debut

Hyundai has presented the all-new 2020 Venue crossover at the 2019 New York Auto Show, The company hopes fervently that the new runt of Hyundai’s North American litter can recreate the quick sales magic achieved by the larger Kona. Another cute city car joins the fray…

2019 Honda Passport Review: Back to Essentials

The 2019 Honda Passport is, in a nutshell, a shortened Pilot offering 2 rows of seats instead of 3, a more dynamic driving experience and the ability to do some mild off-roading. Price-wise it’s competitive with models like the Ford Edge, Jeep Grand Cherokee and new Chevy Blazer.

New York 2019: 2020 Toyota Highlander Makes Big Entrance

The fourth-generation 2020 Toyota highlander has made its big debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show, and as it did when it first launched, the SUV places luxury front and centre. But in a more contemporary twist, it will come in a hybrid variant.

Shanghai 2019: Mercedes-Benz Presents its Concept GLB

Mercedes-Benz has lifted the veil on the Concept GLB, its new rugged small SUV, at the Shanghai auto show. The new model positions between the GLA and GLC models from the luxury automaker. Now word yet on whether the Canadian market will see it when it gets to the production phase...

2020 Jaguar XE First Drive: Sorted

The 2020 Jaguar XE a compact performance sedan has been given a full overhaul by the automaker and now features a more-aerodynamic design, more luxury and more technology. And in Canada, the only way you can get it is with all-wheel drive.

NHTSA instigates Nissan Rogue braking issue in U.S.

The NHTSA has launched an investigation amid reports of issues with the emergency braking system of the Nissan Rogue. The agency has received 87 complaints in which owners allege the system sometimes operates even when there is no reason for it to.

Genesis Will Present a New Model at New York Auto Show

Genesis has confirmed it will be presenting something new at the New York Auto Show, setting in motion what should a be a busy period of expansion over the next decade. The new model joins an electric concept already in the works from the Korean luxury automaker.

Nissan Introduces 2020 Versa for U.S. Market

Nissan premiered the sedan version of its new 2020 Versa for the U.S. market, confirming at the same time that it’s ending production of the Note variant. The 4-door Versa has not been available in Canada for a few years now, but might it one day return?

2019 Chevrolet Volt Review: 35,000 km on $550 of Gas

Despite its imminent departure, the Chevrolet Volt remains a solid choice in its category, a pioneering hybrid that really deserves to stay. It’s a victim of the growing popularity of SUVs, but the Volt’s spirit will surely live on in another form soon enough.

A High-Performance Mazda3 Under Consideration

The idea if bringing back a high-performance version the Mazda3 is being actively discussed at Mazda HQ, as hinted by Kota Beppu, head of the Mazda3 program, when he spoke to Autocar magazine. The executive says he’s in favour of such a project.

2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro Review: Try and Stop Me

The 2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro, a no-holds-barred off-road master of a sport utility vehicle that also happens to look ultra-cool in its new Voodoo Blue paint. This is a ride that doesn’t beat around the bush, in fact it’s better at driving you right through it.

Comparison: 2019 Chevrolet Bolt vs 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric

How to choose between the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt and the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric? compares two small, “affordable” EVs getting thumbs up from Canadian buyers. The Bolt dates only from 2017 and it’s already a veteran of the segment. The Kona? A star being born.

Infiniti Qs Inspiration: The Brand’s Future Seen From Today

Infiniti has previewed a few photos of its new Qs Inspiration concept car ahead of the official premiere in Shanghai. This is the second fully electric model to debut from the automaker this year, and it makes clearer than ever the future according to Infiniti.

2019 BMW X5 xDrive50i Review: Here’s to Clean Sheets

Big and brawny, tech-laden and luxurious, the 2019 BMW X5 rides on new architecture and benefits from savvy exterior design tweaks, plus it comes with a wonderful (yet frankly unnecessary) twin-turbo 4.4L V8 engine as standard equipment.

2020 Subaru Outback Previewed Ahead of New York Premiere

The revised new 2020 Subaru Outback has shown a little skin ahead of the full reveal set for next week at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The model will get at least one new powertrain configuration for its refont, namely the one now in use in the larger Ascent SUV.

2020 Lexus RC-F First Drive: Balance Before Brute Strength

The 2020 Lexus RC-F is the definition of a niche model, but it offers the right balance of power, driving pleasure and everyday comfort with the added bonus of reliability, a rare commodity in this segment focused on here-and-now thrills. We drove it on the track.

1962 Volkswagen Microbus: Love at First Sight

The 1962 Volkswagen Microbus is a rare sight these days, but back in the day it managed to confound expectations and make a place for itself in a market environment that wasn’t used to that kind of vehicle. It takes a bit of time to master driving it, but pretty quickly you appreciate its disarming simplicity.

Nissan Putting an End to the Nissan Versa Note

Nissan will be debuting its new Versa sedan in the U.S. this month, but the company has just confirmed that the Note version, the only Versa sold in Canada, will not be back. The extremely-similar Nissan Kicks is now the automaker’s designated representative in the category.

2019 Lincoln Nautilus Review: Evolutionary or revolutionary?

The 2019 Lincoln Nautilus, which doesn’t try to out German the Germans but is all about interior comfort, good tech and sufficient power to get you where you need to go in comfort, and, at an observed 13.2L/100km of fuel usage, somewhat efficiently. Here’s our review.

Nissan: A New Frontier on the Horizon in 2020?

The rumours have succeeded one other over the years regarding a next-gen Nissan Frontier. The latest hints at a new Frontier on the horizon, possibly next year as a 2021 model. It also claims the model will be modernized in terms of its look, and that Nissan will be aggressive with pricing to maximize the splash it makes.

Six Gladiator-Inspired Concepts Debut at Moab Jeep Safari

Jeep has presented six different Gladiator-based concept vehicles at the 2019 edition of the annual Moab Jeep Safari. Each of the prototypes is focused on different specialized tasks and diverge wildly in form and function. There’s even a version that pays tribute to the 80s-era Jeep Scrambler.

FCA to Pay Tesla Hundreds of Millions to Meet European CO2 Limits

The FCA Group will pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to Tesla in order to get to compliance with European CO2 emissions norms for 2020, according to a Financial Times report. This will be necessary only until the electric Fiat 500 launches and allows Fiat-Chrysler to meet the standards.

A 400-hp Golf R Still Possible From Volkswagen

Contrary to what Volkswagen was telling us last month, it appears the idea of a 400-hp Golf R Plus is still under consideration at VW HQ. The decision ultimately rest with company boss Herbert Diess. And he is said to believe in the project.

Autonomous Driving: Ford, Toyota and GM Create Partnership

Ford, Toyota and GM are partnering up in order to develop new and more-evolved autonomous driving technologies. Called AVSC, the new consortium will combine its efforts with SAE International and work with authorities to help produce clearer industry-wide standards.

Cars Sit Idle 96% of the Time in Canada

A new Angus Reid Global study shows that Canadian vehicle owners use their car only 4% of the time on average - but don’t ask them to live without one. The same study shows that most people still want to own a vehicle, and those who do can’t imagine living without it.

Comparison: 2019 Acura MDX vs 2019 INFINITI QX60

How to choose between the 2019 Acura MDX and the 2019 INFINITI QX60? compares two premium midsize SUVs, one of which offers an element of sportiness while the other is the automotive equivalent of your favourite pair of comfy slippers.

Peugeot Back in North America Sooner Than Planned?

Peugeot might be returning to North America sooner than expected, maybe as early as 2022, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Previously the French automaker had advanced a timeline bringing it back to the continent by 2026.

Edmonton 2019: Toyota Debuts the Improved 2020 Tacoma Truck

Toyota Canada is showcasing its new and improved 2020 Tacoma truck at the Edmonton Motorshow in a Canadian premiere. The exterior retouches and other upgrades are a sign that Toyota is giving its truck more attention now that the mid-size truck segment has welcomed new entrants.

Volkswagen to Debut ID Roomzz Concept Full-Size Electric SUV

Volkswagen will present a new I.D. prototype, a full-size electric SUV called the I.D. Roomzz, at the Shanghai auto show this month. This is the fifth concept in the company’s I.D. line of EVs, and it’s expected it will be ready in 2021, at which point it will be built in the United States.

Volkswagen Nixes Idea of Jetta 4Motion or Jetta R

No sooner did rumours surface of a possible Jetta R with AWD, Volkswagen has squashed the idea. The company does not believe there is sufficient interest to make the idea of a 4MOTION-equipped performance Jetta feasible.

2020 Jeep Gladiator First Drive: Dan’s Take

Jeep has managed with the Gladiator to produce a capable, fun and unique vehicle, in fact they’ve done much more than just slap a bed on a Wrangler. We (finally) got to drive the 2020 Gladiator pickup and proceeded to get it nice and dirty.

Jeep Gladiator Top 10: The history of pickups at Jeep

As we welcome the long-awaited 2020 Jeep Gladiator to the arena, takes a look back at the history of pickups at Jeep. The company’s story started in the immediate wake of WWII, and the newest chapter opens with the debut of the new pickup.

Toyota Reveals its Mazda-Based 2020 Yaris Ahead of NY Show Debut

Toyota has lifted the veil on its Mazda-derived 2020 Yaris Hatchback model. Its resemblance to the Mazda2 is pretty overt, in fact it’s clear that Toyota didn’t expend much energy trying to differentiate its model. Getting the new edition out quickly was evidently the overriding priority.

2019 Jaguar XF Review: Fit, Finish and Performance

In the tradition of all those great Jag performance sedans of old, the 2019 XF is a performer, quick without requiring too much effort, luxuriously-appointed and blessed with looks to set it apart from the competition. Here’s our review.

Nissan to Unveil New Versa Next Month

Nissan announced that it will present an all-new Versa next month, but it won’t be at a car show. The premiere will take place during the Tortuga music festival being held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from April 12 to 14.

Volkswagen To Build Pickup Using Ford Platform

The recently announced partnership agreement between Ford and Volkswagen will result in the arrival of a German pickup on the North American market. The truck, which could well adopt the Amarok name already in use by VW in global markets, would be based on the new Ford Ranger.

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