2018 Nissan 370Z NISMO – Automotive Review

2018 Nissan 370Z NISMO – Automotive Review

Nissan 370Z is a back to basics sports car that puts serious yet affordable driving fun above everything else. At the top of Nissan's 370Z line is the NISMO, which provides access to straight-from-the-factory street and track performance inspired vehicles. With things such as the standard with 6-speed manual transmission and NISMO-tuned suspension, the 2018 Nissan 370Z NISMO is race-proven engineering at an attainable price point.

Main Changes for 2018

  • Dunlop SP Sport MAXX GT600 high-performance tires
    • Same tread pattern as the Nissan GT-R
  • EXEDY® L-PEC high- performance clutch

Key Features:

  • Nissan 307Z NISMO starting at $48,298 CAD
  • GT-R-inspired functional and fully integrated aerodynamic body pieces
    • 0 inches longer and 1.0 inch wider than a standard 370Z Coupe
  • Three exterior colors are offered: Solid Red, Pearl White, and Magnetic Black.
  • Standard Advanced Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Active Sound Enhancement (ASE) systems
  • 7-litre DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL)
    • 350 hp @ 7,400 rpm
      • 18 horsepower more than a standard 370Z Coupe
    • and 276 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
  • Close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission with standard SynchroRev Match
  • Fuel Economy
    • Combined 11.5L/100km
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Automotive Reviews Video

2018 Mazda6 – Automotive Review

2018 Mazda6 – Automotive Review

With a slogan of “Driving Matters”, Mazda has produced a juggernaut sedan that’s a leader in its class. While most North American consumers are leaning towards SUV’s and Crossovers, it hasn’t stopped Mazda from quietly outperforming its competition in the sedan market.

While it may not get the recognition it deserves, the secret is out that Mazda isn’t going to be taken lightly. The all-new Mazda6 has been loaded with upgrades from its previous year, as well as continuing with previously unmatched features throughout.

Mazda6 has been given some improved chassis refinement to enhance its already superb drivability. Complimenting the handling with a slight increase in power. New to the Mazda6 is a 250 horsepower-2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Paired with its automatic six-speed transmission, with seamless shifting capability and virtual zero turbo lag; the Mazda 6’s power is more than adequate.

Already possessing one of the more elegant cabins compared to its counterparts. It was shocking to know that, aside from the steering wheel and minor trim pieces; the cabin of the Mazda6 is completely remodeled. Whoever said “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” obviously didn’t design this Mazda. However, this does follow the strategy Mazda outlined of pursuing constant updates and improvements on a much more frequent basis compared to the standard refresh and remodel schedule. The new horizontal dashboard provides a more sophisticated look and is easier on the eyes. A thin strip of satin chrome cascades around the cabin elevating the look even further. None of that cheap plastic on the dashboard downgrading its luxury feel. The entertainment module is also less clunky than most, but the rotary controller can take some getting used to, leading to many frustrating involuntary actions by mis-selecting through overshooting the appropriate icon. A seating upgrade is also a new addition for 2018 as well as gaining an inch of display on the navigation screen (previously 7 inches). Which every man can agree upon, you have to make every inch count.

The 2018 Mazda6 introduces various trim levels to satisfy everyone’s price range. Starting with the standard GS model at $27,000. The 187 horsepower 2.5L engine in the GS is partnered with standard features and a fabric interior. Stepping up from there we have the $31,600 GS-L. The GS-L has the same engine configuration but gains premium features such as; leather seating, moonroof, and iActivsense safety controls. The iActivsense safety gives the driver increased safety functions like collision warning, lane departure, and pedestrian alert sensors. I personally recommend the $2000 powertrain upgrade which will grant you a turbocharged boost to the 2.5L engine. Conversely, at $35,800, the GT model will come with the turbocharged, 250 horsepower engine, as well as features like premium Bose audio system, heads-up display, auto-dimming mirrors, and some signature lighting for the cabin. Dipping into the more luxurious credential is a new thing for this Mazda Sedan, with the all-new signature passage for the Mazda6. Special trims for the interior and exterior come with the signature package like; A luxurious Nappa leather upgrade for the seats, a beautiful real satin wood trim, ultra-suede dashboard, a 360-degree monitor, and parking sensors come with the $38,800 top of the line Mazda6.

Changes to the suspension geometry have improved the dynamic handling of the Mazda6’s drivability. Electric steering which has been growing in popularity has been added to assist in maneuvering. I found that the power and acceleration were adequate and it didn’t suffer any of the turbo lag that can easily ruin any driving experience. The transmission automatically responds smoothly and seamlessly. However, the manual six-speed transmission was removed from production in Canada, leaving some drivers slightly disappointed.

For those willing to appreciate innovative design, affordable luxury, and comfortable drivability the Mazda6 delivers on all fronts. These Japanese automakers have made aggressive steps towards putting the competition in its rearview mirror. When you are looking for your next sedan, Mazda has to be included on your list.

Key Features

  • Starting at $27,000 CND
  • Third update to the Mazda6
  • SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with optional Dynamic turbo
    • 187hp @ 6,000 rpm
    • 186 ft-lbs torque @ 4,000 rpm
  • 9.1L/100Km City & 6.7L/100Km Highway
  • Cargo volume 416L
  • Full Color 8” touchscreen display
  • Mazda’s unlimited mileage warranty
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Automotive Reviews

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio – Automotive Review

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio – Automotive Review

Just as many were asking for an exotic and unique flair to the crossover class, Il solo e unico, the Godfather himself has granted their wish for Italian flair in the form of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio – “on this the day of his daughter’s wedding.” With a combination of slick styling and a formidable chassis, the Stelvio is all about producing comfortable drivability; every trip to the market will feel like an adventure through the foothills of Tuscany. Prego! I can smell it now, a hint of olive oil, some fresh baked pizza, a little parmigiana. Dannazione I am stopping for something to eat. Enzo park the car and wait for me here.

Named after one of the most infamous scenic roadway’s in the world (Italy’s Stelvio Pass), the Alfa Romeo Stelvio has both impressive standard features and exotic styling, which is sure to fulfill the appetites of these crossover starved North Americans. Built extensively with aluminum framing for weight and control, the Stelvio handles incredibly and vigorously. Assisting with the handling is the addition of the electric power steering. This is exceedingly helpful when parking or turning, allowing for minimal effort to be applied to the steering wheel.

The exterior is unique and unlike most other vehicles around. I have had conflicted opinions throughout my personal test drive and from others continuously offering to share their thoughts. I have had some that say it looks like a Mitsubishi rip-off; which I took as a negative comment to its credit. While others having said it looked original, foreign, and a was nice change from the similar looks to all the regular SUV’s you see everywhere. This is like being the new kid at school; some people aren’t going to trust an outsider, and can take some time to warm up. While others are going to be immediately intrigued by the novelty. I concluded that I do like the downward aggressive Bi-Xenon headlamps and uniquely shaped front grille. However I find the rear to be somewhat plain and boring, and the rear window from a functionality standpoint can be slightly difficult to see out of.

The interior is pretty standard and lacks pizzazz. For a country that produced Giorgio Armani, and Guccio Gucci, the mark was missed on some fashionable design to this interior. The seating was noticeably uncomfortable, and clearly didn’t take the average sized American into account. The side bolsters of the seat were so tight that a man built like Tony Soprano physically couldn’t fit, and he would have had to find the shmuck that designed it. The Stelvio has pride itself on being more spacious then other crossovers. With a 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat configuration, the space opens to an impressive stretch of trunk capacity.

The impressive powerhouse is a 2.0 litre turbocharged engine that produces 280 horse power, 306 lb-ft of torque and a top speed of 232 km/h when mated with the 8 speed automatic transmission. Fantastico!  Starting at $43,240 for a base model, the Stelvio is on the expensive side amongst it’s direct competitors. While that comes with some premium standard features like a leather interior, automatic power hatch, and Apple CarPlay to name a few; The Ti trim performance package includes paddle shifters, limited-slip differential, and sport-tuned adaptive suspension to enhance your driving experience.

Key Features:   

  • Starting at $43, 240
  • 2.0L turbocharged engine
  • 280 horsepower and 306 lb-ft of torque
  • 0-60 mph 5.4 sec.
  • 40/20/40 split-folding seat configuration
  • Fuel Economy L/100 km (city/hwy/combined) 10.8  / 8.3  / 9.6 
  • Maximum Cargo Volume – 1,600 Litres
  • Towing Capacity – 1,361 Kg.
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Automotive Reviews
2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR - Exterior Side

2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR – Automotive Review

2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR - Exterior Side

2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR – Automotive Review

We had a thrilling adventure experiencing this new 2018 Jaguar F-type SVR. It was only fitting that we would have the opportunity to review this beast in the setting of historic Langley Speedway.

Hosting numerous races up until its closure in 1984, we thought we would relive some of the tracks former glory by unleashing the menacing 575-horsepower V8 supercharged Jaguar F-Type fully equipped with all the technologies expected of the SVR badge. Now while this Jaguar was more than capable of screaming down some fresh new asphalt at a furious pace, the now-retired Langley track is more suitable for walking your dog, over racing a cat. However, the 2018 Jaguar F-type SVR literally screams, with the assistance of Active Exhaust,® button located inside the cockpit, you are able to release at any speed a race-car inspired crescendo that was once so prominent at his now historic site.

Whether it’s gliding through the tight corners of the track or cruising through the city, the handling is magnificent. The use of the double wishbone aluminum suspension and the Electric Powered Assist Steering (EPAS) enables you to tame the amount of power effortlessly around corners. Throughout testing, I was able to conclude that dynamic mode was very relative to the throttle and circumstances. Maneuvering through a corner at an increased pace, you can feel the technology take control, preventing understeer and improving handling. This is in large part to the technology added inside the F-pace’s core. The torque vectoring provides independent brake control to the inside wheels while the Electronic Active Differential® delivers the torque to the rear wheels when exiting the corner. The jaw-dropping stature of the brake calipers is one thing, but the functionality is another. It’s the most powerful brake system available from Jaguar and just adds to the high class of performance for this F-Type SVR

The stunning retro sky blue, accompanied by a plethora of carbon fiber accents demands your attention at every turn. Our first impression was one of excitement and awe, and we are sure it will catch your eye too in with our cinematic review of this 2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR.

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Automotive Reviews Video
2018 Honda Civic Type R - Exterior

2018 Honda Civic Type R – Review

2018 Honda Civic Type R - Exterior

2018 Honda Civic Type R – Review

In the automotive industry, they rarely make fun cars anymore. The markets are understandably catered to family vehicles, fuel efficiency, or luxury. The Honda Civic Type R isn’t going to necessarily fit any of those needs. The Civic Type R is just one of those fun cars.

This radical Civic looks like it received a Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift makeover. Honda has fulfilled a successful front-drive formula. This is evident when the Civic Type R smashed the front-wheel-drive production-car lap record at the esteemed Nürburgring. Impressively this upgraded Civic lapped the 12.9 mile course in 7:43.80; the next closest came 3.39 seconds behind (Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S).  Credit not only goes to the tremendous power infused into the Type R, but the complete tuning into the suspension and frame. The over the top styling may be a little to in your face that some might love or hate, the drivability is unquestionable.

A running joke amongst Honda Civic drivers is the VTECH® system. For many years Civic drivers have comically thanked there VTECH® for the improved efficiency of their four stroke engine as well as the ability to reach 100km/hr after a couple minutes. Well, this Honda Civic Type R is no joke. Propelled by a direct injected, 16 valve VTECH®, 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing a whopping 306 horsepower and 295LB-ft of torque this Civic is something drivers can actually brag about. The transmission is a short-throw manual six-speed with rev-match control. Feeding the front wheels without losing traction through its limited-slip differential. The rev-match control enhances the manual experience by automatically optimizing the engine revs to match the desired gear for smooth transitions. Three drive modes (Comfort, Sport, R+) will adjust these settings, the adaptive damper system, alter steering and tune the throttle response.

The styling is an acquired taste that I’m still trying to swallow. There are some aspects I absolutely love, and others that I feel like are too much. I’ll start with the interior. First thing you notice is the unique bucket seats, double stitched in red suede allowing you to become one with the car and providing a stable and comfortable setting. Accompanying the red theme scattered throughout is the solid aluminum additions to the shift knob, and pedals. A particular personal serial number plate is also located next to the gearshift, allowing proud Civic owners to belong to the limited edition club. Moving to the exterior, you will notice the winged spoiler and body kit. While the functional winged additions provided major credit for the aerodynamics behind the record setting lap time, the demeanor of this Civic seems too overdone. Triple center exhaust, badging and 20” aluminum-alloy wheels are all excellent features that capture the spirit of a performance Honda.

When a daily commuter vehicle can set a track record as well as get you to work on time, which is nothing short of incredible. You will first notice the tremendous acceleration and smooth grip handling. Do yourself a favor and flip the toggle to R+ in order to truly drive this car how it was intended. When the gauge turns an aggressive red, a more advanced rev matching kicks in for effortless shifting. The handling is equally impressive. Tight gripping around the hardest corners is tremendous and comfortable. The low profile tires and stance however, isn’t desirable on the rougher terrains and major bumps. Honda had also slapped on some Brembo® high-performance four piston calipers with heart stopping technology are made for stopping on a dime. In test results the Type R substantially stopped 15 feet less than its Golf and Focus RS rival.

Finally Honda Civic fans can rejoice with an actual factory modified Civic they can brag about.

Key Features:

  • Starting $41,090
  • 2.0-litre, Direct injection, 16 valve VTECH®, turbocharged 4-cyclinder
  • 306 Horsepower and 295lb.ft Torque
  • 6/100km City and 8.3/100km Highway
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Automotive Reviews
2018 Range Rover Velar - Exterior

2018 Range Rover Velar – Review

2018 Range Rover Velar - Exterior

2018 Range Rover Velar – Review

One of the most elegant, luxurious, and polished vehicles on the market today the Velar is a work of art. In an ever growing highly-competitive class which features the Jaguar F-pace, the Maserati Levante, and the BMW X6 to name a few, sitting in the Range Rover Velar is something unique. The Velar just oozes that Range Rover feel.

One of the most elegant, luxurious, and polished vehicles on the market today the Velar is a work of art. In an ever growing highly-competitive class which features the Jaguar F-pace, the Maserati Levante, and the BMW X6 to name a few, sitting in the Range Rover Velar is something unique. The Velar just oozes that Range Rover feel. Perhaps it’s the just the posh sense of self entitlement impression the Velar imprints. This high-tech SUV is accompanied with a 380-hp supercharged 3-litre V-6 engine. Supported by countless features, an adaptive suspension makes driving on any road surface indistinguishable.

The exterior design is purely compelling. Its handcrafted body style complemented by the low-angle roof make the Velar a sight for sore eyes. Shaped bigger than the Evoque but, slightly smaller than the Audi Q5; this Range Rover fills that happy medium. With its integrated deployable door handles, blacked-out badges, slick LED headlights and taillights, dapper vents, and optional 22-inch wheels give this Range Rover a striking look. The R Dynamic that was tested featured a stunning Black Package®, making the Velar look like a shadow ripping through the city.  An exaggerated rounded shape to the front end is an acquired taste that I’m not sure how I feel about. I often notice the amount of dead space and gap hidden underneath the plastic paneling which throws me off slightly, however from a distance where you notice that less, the shape definitely works. I will leave the debate open.

The interior is simplicity at its finest from Range Rover. I would expect nothing less since luxury has become Range Rover’s moniker. In order to match the polished look to the outside the Velar was designed using high-end materials like wood or aluminum to give the cockpit a stunning look. The leather seats are plush and comfortable as you would expect. There is a generous amount of space for the rear passengers as well as a tremendous amount of cargo room. The all-new dual display InControl Touch Pro Duo operates the seat controls, climate, and driving modes on a lower panel, while the upper panel controls the audio, settings and navigation. This very well could be overwhelming and confusing at first but, it sure does look impressive and high-end.   

Weighing a surprisingly 4676 pounds, the Velar is anything but bulky in the looks and performance department. With a V6 supercharged engine producing 380 horsepower the Velar moves quite swiftly and smoothly, reaching 0-60 in 5.7 seconds. The suspension is tight and vigorous around every corner. The drive is smooth and dynamic on all terrain, with help from a series of drive modes ranging between six different configurations. You will notice that the ride is seemingly quiet as Range Rover has made the Velar’s interior soundproof from wind, road noise, and exterior sound. You do however; get to hear that crisp exhaust sound that this Velar produces.

The fuel economy in the Velar is something that I wish wasn’t an afterthought. This SUV remains identical to its Jaguar F-Pace counterpart; however this was a missed opportunity to gain an edge over its rival. This 6-cylinder’s 13L per 100km city and 10L per 100km highway aren’t spectacular especially with gas prices the way they are. For comparison sake, the Velar ranks lower than the Mercedes GLC43 AMG.

The drive was impressive to say the least. I’m not going to bore you with the typical it handled well, great power, highly recommend. I took it upon myself to test this Range Rover how anyone else would expect. This top heavy SUV with a thirst for power (and apparently fuel) was tested strictly on performance standards. With this in mind, the Velar controlled every turn immensely. This due in large part to the dynamic and adaptive suspension accompanied by added air springs. Agility-wise race mode engages the body by lowering itself by a couple inches, and shifts most of its power to the rear. The supercharged engine does well to jolt you back into your driving seat as you would expect. This is just one of the pillars of this Range Rovers ability. The latter being the various off-road modes. This capability raises the body, changes the powertrain, traction and differential; handling any situation from wet, muddy, or unstable road conditions with ease. It surely is an ode to the craftsmanship, engineering, and design from Range Rover. It truly is a work of art.

Key Features:

  • Price as tested $92,092
  • 3-litre supercharged V6 engine 380 horsepower
  • 8-speed transmission
  • Various configurable drive modes
  • 22-inch ‘Style 7015’ gloss black rims
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Automotive Reviews
Genesis G80 - Exterior

2018 Genesis G80 – Review

Genesis G80 - Exterior

2018 Genesis G80 – Review

The all-new Genesis G80 will have people saying, “Wow! Is that really a Hyundai?

For years Hyundai has been known standard, simple, and reliable vehicle brand. With top selling models like the Sonata and Elantra, that is not a bad thing.  However, Hyundai has never released a vehicle to brag about, nor a vehicle to compete in the luxury mid-size sedan class. Since releasing a concept in 2008, and now independently as a luxury spin-off division, the Genesis has reshaped the identity of Hyundai.  Leading to the introduction of the new Genesis G80 last year.

Now Hyundai has taken another step further and introduced a new trim level and engine upgrade for the G80.  The new Genesis G80 Sport model is fueled by a 3.3-liter twin turbo V-6 producing 365 horsepower and 376lb-ft of torque. This sits right in between the standard 311 horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 and the top-of-the-line 5.0-litre V-8 engine generating 411 horsepower and 383lb-ft of torque.

Starting with the exterior, the Genesis G80 is nothing short of impressive. The sportier and elegant look throughout disguises itself from the Hyundai brand, which I feel is a smart move. The addition of an elongated front-end and an improved stylish front bumper are a success. This gives the Genesis G80 that high-end luxury sedan sheik it needs to compete with the Audi A6, BMW 5 series, and the Cadillac CTS to name a few.  Additional features included as well are chrome accents throughout, 19-inch alloy rims, and pronounced brake calipers.  The interior is comfortable and sleek. Hyundai included some carbon fiber additions to the dashboard which I feel is a little gimmicky. I am not a fan of the carbon fiber look in general; I think a more simplistic trim accent would have served them better. The gear shift is unlike any I have seen in any vehicle making it unique and easy to maneuver.  The touchscreen display is 9.2-inches wide, which is on the smaller side. (For comparison sake the Cadillac CTS display measures 12.3-inches.)However, I do always love the touchscreen and dial combination as opposed to relying on the dial (or finger pad like in the Lexus ES) only. Nothing is more frustrating when the dial skips over your desired selection, unlike the good ol’ finger tap which is bang on every time.  I am also surprised by the amount of room given to the rear passengers. It’s subtly spacious throughout, making it suitable for a family or an entourage.

Now the drivability of the Genesis G80 had me excited before I even put the vehicle in drive. I mean how you could not look at the dual-double exhaust tips peeking out the rear, the giant brake calipers, and the chiseled driver seat. As I gripped the leather steering wheel tight, I took off down the serpentine roads of the Sea to Sky highway. Now full disclosure, I did say took off and you are associating that with speeding.  My lawyer advised me that it doesn’t imply I was speeding. That is your assumption, and nor do I need to disclose my actual speed. Never-the-less, I took this Genesis to the test, the speed, the suspension, the handling. It satisfied my every need. You feel every bit of that twin-turbo (Again I emphasize, was not speeding). The handling is superb around the tight switchbacks accompanied by the lane departure mitigation feature nudging you back into your desired lane. Along with the beautiful scenery of Cliffside rock faces, the panoramic sunroof lets you enjoy seeing it all as you fly by. When I managed to get to Vancouver, I lots of testing with the brakes. There’s traffic everywhere and lights every 10 feet. Surprisingly, where Vancouver parking can be stressful the easy to use parking system and the overhead multi-camera will make parking a cinch.           

Key Features:

  • $62,000
  • 3-liter twin turbo V-6
  • 365 horsepower and 376lb-ft of torque
  • 8L/100km city, 9.8L/100km highway
  • Stylish exterior
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Automotive Reviews
2018 Vancouver Auto Show

2018 Vancouver Auto Show

2018 Vancouver Auto Show

2018 Vancouver Auto Show

An exclusive look behind some of the premier releases of the new vehicles from the 2018 Vancouver Auto Show.  Media day was chalked full of some first look of the all new 2019 Mustang Bullitt, the 2019 BMW X4 M40, the 2018 BMW M5, the 2018 Corolla Hatchback, and the 2019 Kia Optima. We also provide a glimpse of what you may have missed from the show; giving you a first-hand look at what the Vancouver Auto Show had to offer.  

Toyo-Tires-BJ-Baldwin-Cover-Photo

Toyo Tires – Open Country H/T II- Review

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd., distributes a complete line of premium replacement tires for high performance cars, luxury vehicles, light trucks, and SUVs as well as commercial trucks, buses, off-road vehicles, and construction applications.

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Autoshow Experiences
2018 BMW M550i Exterior

2018 BMW M550i – Review

2018 BMW M550i Exterior

2018 BMW M550i – Review

The newly redesigned BMW M550i just might be the most ‘bang for your buck’ luxury sports sedan of 2018.

When purchasing a vehicle, it’s almost impossible to believe that you are getting a bargain. No matter what that sly salesman might have you believe, they are not doing you any favors. BMW however, is doing us all a favor with the new redesigned M550i. Loaded with a handful of bells and whistles, BMW has packed multiple features and technology inside this sedan.

Dressed in the “M” performance badge, which is a first for the 5-series, the performance was exceptional. The 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 sedan propels you in your seat, going from 0-100 in 4.5 seconds. The tuning of the transmission shifts smoothly and seamlessly. Generating an impressive 456 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque, the M550i is one of the fastest sedans in its class. For comparison sake, the Mercedes E43 AMG has only 396 horsepower output. It may not be a track car (try looking at the m5 and paying more coin.) but, the M550i has a loose suspension due to some weight displacement in the front and rear. When put into modes Sport and Sport+, this tightens up quite nicely and adaptively lowers the suspension.  The fuel economy isn’t spectacular, especially in a class where everything adds up. At a modest 14L/100km city and 9L/100km highway fuel efficiency, the BMW M550i ranks in the lower half of its class.

It’s almost as if Lexus has captured Denzel in Man on Fire with its fierceness. The IS 350 looks like it can casually leave a scene of fire chaos and look bold while doing so. The front end has a draped black “netting” outlined in a unique shape. Along with air intake ventilation accompanying the grille, the IS 350 also features a check mark style LED lights underneath the existing headlights. It has a low stance look to the overall vehicle giving a more powerful look. From the backside, the IS 350 has sleek taillights sharply jagged and wrapping around the sides of the vehicle. The exhaust looks substantially larger and produces a decent roar.

Accompanied with some aerodynamics, BMW has kept a classic styling to this 5 series. This is a subtle but, effective move to fans of BMW’s. There’s something visually appealing to BMW, and they didn’t redesign a complicated and busy look for this new sedan. The BMW M550i includes a performance inducing spoiler, vents, and sculpted body styling. The exhaust does its job projecting the amplified V-8 engine letting the Honda Civics’ with aftermarket exhausts know who is boss. A nice accent is the metallic silver trim around the vents and on the mirrors mimicking the cars rotors. Blue brake calipers complete the look entirely.

The interior is spacious for all and looks sharp. Dressed in cream-white leather seating and the carbon fiber accents compliment the inside nicely. Also, BMW has draped some multicolor rope lighting along the dashboard that’s very attractive to the eye. There is plenty of head and leg room in this sedan for people of all body types. The display screen with multiple functions is a great size measuring 10.25 inches wide but, the non-touch screen is a disappointment. The classic scroll dial has me sometimes frustrated when it slips to the wrong desired function. A gesture mode has been added to impress anyone that hasn’t seen it before. Simply roll your index finger in a circular motion in front of the display to turn up the volume. 

The drive itself was very comfortable, and smooth. I had myself enjoying the exhilarating power and adrenaline from this sedan. Often found myself bullying my way around other vehicles, but before you judge me, this car made me do it. The drivability, quality, and comfort have continued to satisfy what you expect BMW would produce. Now, I will say it ranks high in a stiff competitive based on its performance and quality. Where it stands out and blows my skirt up is the price. (Yeah, I said skirt.) The tested BMW M550i was priced at $89, 650. Lower than any competitive sedan. The Audi A6 will ring you around $91,000 and the Mercedes-AMG E 43 at around $93, 000.          

Key Features:     

  • Starts at $82,000
  • 4L twin-turbocharged V8, 8-speed shiftable automatic transmission
  • 456 horsepower, 0-100 in 4.5 seconds
  • xDrive (all-wheel drive)
  • Four years/80,000kms warranty

If the lack of fuel efficiency has grabbed your concern, BMW has covered their bases by adding a Hybrid model BMW 530e, where you can sacrifice power for fuel savings. The BMW 530 can cover up to 25kilometers on a single charge. You sacrifice significant power obviously, but it is no slouch in its own right. The BMW 530i produces 248 horsepower from a turbocharged-2L inline-4 engine. The combined fuel economy will give you 8.7L/100km (city and highway).

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Automotive Reviews
Colorado vs Canyon

2017 GMC Canyon and the Chevy Colorado

Colorado vs Canyon

2017 GMC Canyon and the Chevy Colorado

Highly coveted as the pillars of mid-sized trucks, the 2017 Colorado and the 2017 Canyon are cut from the same cloth. Both developed by General Motors, the two are virtually identical

Both developed by General Motors, the two are virtually identical in specifications. However I am going to break them both down to give my opinion on which does pull out ahead. Now, this is going to be similar to deciding which one is better Pepsi or Coke, but it’s ultimately going to boil down to preferability.

Both offer a 2.8-litre four-cylinder diesel engine giving effective drivability and tow rating. Both have the capability of hauling 7700 pounds which is impressive for a mid-sized truck. This is ideal for buyers looking for a capable vehicle that is more practical to maneuver around. With a gracious amount of torque (369-lbs) and upgraded 8-speed transmission, there is no usually lag off the line when driving. The Duramax turbo-diesel and turbo-diesel featured in the Chevy Colorado both are surprisingly quiet. I was anticipating that there would be a louder than usual hum from the engine. However, both trucks feature an extra layer of paneling to lower the sound.

Edge: Tie

The offered diesel engine capability makes the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon the most fuel-efficient trucks on the market. The Chevy Colorado offers a 13.6L/100km city and a 9.9L/100km highway. The Canyon edges out over Colorado. The GMC Canyon sports a 10.8L/100km city and 7.7L/100km highway capability. This may be only a slight improvement, but this could be costly since gas prices are sky-high at the moment.

Edge: GMC Canyon

Safety-wise General Motors has supplied both trucks with 6 standard airbags, lane departure warning, collision alert, traction control and StabiliTrak® stability control system. StabiliTrak® seamlessly detects unrecognizable or un-foreseeable road conditions like ice or hydroplaning. Both also offer a 5 years/160 000 km powertrain limited warranty.

Edge: Tie

The interior of both trucks is simple and lacks flare. It’s preferred for most people that don’t want too many complicated nobs and switches, but the lack of push start and keyless entry is a miss. There is seating for five, and is spacious for being mid-sized trucks. The display screen and technology are Apple car play compatible as well as a featured Wi-Fi hotspot. The seats are made of a higher quality material in the GMC Canyon which takes the edge in the category. Not to mention the GMC Canyon features the Denali® upgrade possibility.

Edge: GMC Canyon

The exterior is more of personal judgment and opinion. They both have similar features, both look nice but this comes down to the small features. Similar to the attraction of a person, you may find things that look nice in one, but the nose is a little off, compared to the bad eyebrows on another. This is where people will have to choose for themselves. The Chevy Colorado has a rugged look to the hood in the Zr2 class, giving it a meaner look. However, the GMC Canyon has additions of chrome in the grille and door handles. Now, personally feel the GMC Canyon grille is more appealing than the Colorado. 

Edge: GMC Canyon

Being two identical mid-sized trucks, it’s apparent upon dissecting that the GMC Canyon is suited more for the executive, business class while the Chevy Colorado is for the everyday blue collar worker. Styling wise is important to some, but functionality and performance are what it comes down to. Both mid-sized trucks will get the job done. However one surprisingly comes at a lower price. This brings me to my verdict being the Chevy Colorado is the better truck out of the two.  The Price of the GMC Canyon is starting at $23 160, while the Chevy Colorado starts at $22 130. Regardless, it’s all about priorities. Some people are willing to shackle up more money for the slight increase in luxury. However, I am not. I am as cheap as they come.

Verdict: Chevy Colorado   

Key Points:

GMC Canyon            

  • Starting at: $23 160      
  • 8L/100km City and 7.7L/100km Highway
  • 8-litre 4 cylinder Duramax® Eco-Diesel

Chevy Colorado

  • Starting at: $22 130
  • 6L/100km City and 9.9L/100km Highway
  • 8-litre 4 cylinder turbo-diesel
 
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