2015-16 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - Luxury

Luxury cars are expensive to buy and maintain but generally lack the kind of reliability that buyers of mainstream cars expect. The massive gulf in terms of performance and refinement between everyday cars and luxury cars has gradually been chipped away by the astounding improvements made by even the most modest of mainstream cars; reducing the need to move up to a higher cost car. In addition, advanced safety features, like active cruise control, blind spot, pedestrian and lane departure warnings, once the preserve of high-end luxury cars, now available on the most modest of new cars, makes moving up the price scales less necessary than ever before. 

Increasingly, the "Key Fob" factor, the prestige of having a fancy badge on your keyring, or the need to expend a company car-allowance are the key reasons to venture into the luxury market. With the draconian U.S. fuel economy laws leading to smaller, higher-stressed engines, refinement, or more importantly, the intoxicating multi-cylinder aural delight that used to be such a part of the "luxury" experience, is no longer a motivation to purchase one of these cars, making a "lesser" car a more viable choice now.

Many of the cars in this segment are based on traditional rear-wheel drive architectures. Rear-wheel drive is essentially a market-killer in Canada, and most of the rear-wheel drive based cars in this segment offer all-wheel drive, which is how most are sold. The first-generation rear-wheel drive Hyundai Genesis sold in very small numbers. Hyundai didn't repeat that mistake as the second-generation Genesis is exclusively all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive based luxury cars will often have an all-wheel drive variant available as well.   

Many of the cars in this segment are equipped with large diameter, low-profile perfomance tires that are hard-riding, quick-wearing and expensive to replace. Winter tires for the larger wheels can be very expensive when you can find them, which is not always possible.

New cars in this segment include the Nissan Maxima and the next-generation Audi A4, which should go on sale in Canada by the summer of 2016 as a 2017 model.    

There has been a move downmarket by several luxury brands, descending into price categories they have not ventured into convincingly before in North America. With the front-wheel drive-based CLA and the Audi A3 sedan, both Mercedes-Benz and Audi are going after big volumes by tempting aspirational buyers with mainstream budgets into cars with "prestige" badges. Infiniti has joined this trend and will sell the Mercedes CLA-based Q30 and QX30 in Canada during the 2016 model year. To reflect this move downmarket, Lemon-Aid created a "Premium Compact" car category. If you are looking for reviews of the Audi A3, the Mercedes B-Class and CLA as well as the new Q and QX from Infiniti, you can find them there.

Sales in this segment are robust, with many nameplates enjoying year-on-year sales increases. Part of the reason for robust delivery figures are cheap leases that make driving an entry-level version of some fabled brands no more expensive than it would be to pilot a more prosaic car.

A note about mileage. The APA's posted fuel economy figures uses fuel consumption data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as those from the Canada Energuide were not available when this information was compiled.

Acura TLX  Buick Regal  Infiniti Q50  Mercedes-Benz C-Class 
Audi A4  Cadillac ATS  2017 Jaguar XE  Nissan Maxima 
2017 Audi A4  Cadillac CTS  Lexus CT200h  Toyota Avalon 
BMW 3-Series  Cadillac XTS  Lexus ES350, ES350h  Volvo S60 
BMW 4-Series  Hyundai Genesis Sedan  Lexus IS250, IS350  Volvo V60 
Buick Lacrosse  Infiniti QX50  Lincoln MKZ  Volvo XC70 

2016 Acura TLX

 

 

What’s new
The front-wheel drive V6 variants have been discontinued for 2016.

Performance
Driven in Elite front-wheel drive form, the TLX's 3.5L V6 is, except when it wails deliciously at high revs, smooth, quiet and very quick. While its unusual gear selector is initially confusing, the TLX's nine-speed automatic transmission delivers smooth up and downshifts and very relaxed cruising. Unlike some "sports-luxury" cars that veer too much into the "sport" vein, the TLX combines crisp handling with a comfortably absorbent ride. Steering, with good gearing, nice weighting and good directional stability, is quite pleasant. The Acura TLX is sold as a luxury car, and in terms of performance, refinement and ride comfort, it is a great success.
The interior is where the TLX is found a bit wanting. The dashboard houses crisp instrumentation and looks uncluttered, but primarily because so many functions, including the ventilator fan speed, are accessed through a touch screen. Not ideal. Cabin trim will no doubt prove durable but don't match the level of luxury expected in this class of car. All seats were comfortable and there is sufficient space for those in the front seats, but access to the back seat is not the easiest and legroom is on the tight side for such a big car. It is a bit of a mystery, given that the TLX is based on the very roomy Honda Accord, as to why the cabin of the TLX is so tight. Reasonable trunk space.
Very good heating and ventilation during early winter testing. However, the various active safety systems were essentially disabled by slushy snow. Very good audio system.

Comments
The TLX consolidated the TL and TSX lineups, neither of which was sustainable individually.
Power choices include a 2.4L direct-injection four connected to an eight-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission with a torque converter, and a 3.5L V6 hooked up to a nine-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive versions have all-wheel steer, a feature on some Hondas from the 1990s that is surprising to see again. The all-wheel steer cannot be combined with all-wheel drive, which is optional on the V6. Extensive active safety features such as Collision Mitigation Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist System, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Blind Spot monitors with rear cross-traffic-alert, are available on the new TLX.
With combined sales of roughly 3300 cars in 2014, the TSX and TL generated insufficient volume to keep them going individually into a new generation. In Canada, Acura's duo were pummelled by European cars such as the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the BMW 3-Series. It remains to see whether buyers will be interested enough in this new car to the point they will be deflected from their paths that generally lead to a "prestige" German brand.

Pricing
With the deletion of the front wheel-drive V6 TLX models, the range is more logical this year. The base front-wheel drive four-cylinder TLX is priced just over $35,000. The V6 and all-wheel drive powertrains is priced $5650 (base) to $5876 (Tech) higher than the same car with powered by a 2.4L four sending power to its front wheels. The Tech package, which includes navigation, an upgraded audio system, a number of comfort features as well as safety gear like Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, is pricey for the additional content. The Elite trim upgrade, the only way to get safety features like Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed follow and Collision Mitigation Braking, is significantly overpriced. Acura is offering excellent lease terms on this car. 

Reliability
Predicted reliability is very good. Maintenance and repair costs of an Acura are much lower than the European brands competing in this segment, and comparable to a well-equipped Honda Accord.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2.4L-4 T (206 HP)*, 3.5L-V6 (290 HP)  

Transmissions: 8A* (automated manual), 9A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive*, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  9.6L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  6.6L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Collision Mitigation Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist System, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Blind Spot monitors with rear cross-traffic-alert, are available
Additional airbags: Driver's side knee airbag
Warranty: 4/80,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut: 2015
Country of Origin: United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: A

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Audi A4


 

 

What’s new
Next-generation A4 that debuted at the Frankfurt show in September may not make it here until mid 2016 so the previous-generation car remains on sale as a new 2016. A rearview camera is now standard on the wagon version marketed as the Allroad.  

Performance
The 2L four is quick, smooth, flexible and economical. Well sorted ride and handling. The automatic transmission which grab the highest possible gear as quickly as it can helps to lower fuel economy. It is livelier in its "Sport" mode. The steering is over-assisted below 60 km/h and too heavy over that speed. High interior noise levels. The A4's cabin offers similar cabin space as the BMW 3-series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The cabin design, often a highlight in an Audi, reflects design confusion and cost cutting. Avoid the navigation system as too many basic controls are forced to plot the confusing, distracting and graphically-impaired display screen. Good cargo space on the Allroad wagon. Great audio system.

Comments
Mainstream A4s are powered by a 2L turbo four, with a supercharged 3L V6 found under the hood of the S4 niche model. A4 buyers can choose either front-wheel drive or Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system. The front-wheel drive model employs a continuously variable transmission (CVT) to send power to the wheels; a six-speed manual transmission and an eight-speed automatic are available with quattro drive. The quattro system is standard on the S4, with buyers having the option of either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed S tronic (DSG) clutchless manual transmission. The Allroad wagon is offered in a single 2L-quattro variant with automatic transmission.

Pricing

The front-wheel drive A4 is only offered in base Komfort trim. A quattro (all-wheel drive in Audi speak) Komfort model with automatic transmission is priced $3300 higher than a front wheel drive Komfort. The price asked to upgrade from the Komfort to Progressiv trim levels reflects the additional content provided. Compared with the Progressiv, the Technik trim level is very good value for the money. Overpriced S Line packages. The Allroad, essentially an A4 wagon on stilts, is priced $4500 to $5200 higher that an A4 quattro sedan, but that massive figure does include about $2500 worth of additional standard equipment. The old A4 wagon cost about $1500 more than a sedan of the same trim line; Audi must be rubbing their hands with joy at the big profit it is making when an Allroad is sold. The V6 S4 commands a $10,000 supplement over a 2L A4.

Reliability
Predicted reliability is average for the first four years; declining after that. The warranty ends at 80,000 km, with no further coverage on the powertrain. Carbon deposits on valves common; cleaning them is a laborious and expensive process. Some owners have reported the timing chain on the 2L four has jumped a tooth on the sprokets. High service costs. The Audi service plan, which offers regularly-scheduled  service (first service at 8000 km is complimentary) for four years or 70,000 kilometres is recommended. Expensive parts.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD,4SW
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2L-4 T(220 HP)*, 3L-V6 S (333 HP; S4) 

Transmissions: 6M, 8A*, CVT, 7A (automated manual)* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy: 11.2.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.8L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available blind spot warning
Additional airbags: Optional outboard rear seat airbags

Warranty: 4/80,000, no additional powertrain warranty 
Current Generation Debut: 2009
Country of Origin: Germany

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: P

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Audi A4

NEW

 

 

What’s new
Next-generation A4 that debuted at the Frankfurt show in September will go on sale in Canada by the spring of 2016.

Comments
Based on the MQB platform working its way under the majority of new VW Group vehicles, the new A4 is all-new for 2017. A 2L turbo four returns, producing 252 horsepower, 32 more than previously, as well as a stump-pulling 273 lb-ft or torque. Power reaches all wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch automated manual.
Though all new, very Audi and quite elegant, the styling of the new A4 represents absolutely no progression is design or modernity and is such, deeply disappointing. The interior is all and is an improvement over its disappointing predecessor. Big, clear gauges are separated by a large info screen with impressively crisp graphics. The gauges are grouped together in a housing, with infotainment functions handled by an aftermarket-looking screen that grows out of the middle of the dash. The very horizontally-arrayed dashboard has a very BMW design ethos.
Cabin materials look better than in the previous A4. Rear legroom now is such that the new A4 can be considered suitable transport for four adults.

Pricing
The base Komfort trim level is equipped with heated seats, Keyless Go, xenon headlamps and satellite radio. The Progressiv trim upgrade is priced to reflect the value of its additional content but the Technik range-topper lacks content for the money asked. Good value Convenience package but all other packages are very overpriced. 

Reliability
New car, not rated. All-new platform and revised power units. Predicted reliability is average at best for the first four years, declining after that. The warranty ends at 80,000 km, with no further coverage on the powertrain. Carbon deposits on valves common; cleaning them is a laborious and expensive process. Some owners have reported the timing chain on the 2L four has jumped a tooth on the sprokets. High service costs. The Audi service plan, which offers regularly-scheduled  service (first service at 8000 km is complimentary) for four years or 70,000 kilometres is highly recommended. Expensive parts.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2L-4 T (252 HP) 

Transmissions: 7A (automated manual)
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy: n.a.
Highway Fuel Economy:  n.a.
Active Safety Features: Available blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings as well as adaptive cruise control with stop and go and active lane keep assist.
Additional airbags: Optional outboard rear airbags
Warranty: 4/80,000, no additional powertrain warranty 
Current Generation Debut: 2017
Country of Origin: Germany

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: N/R

Mod. Front: N/R

Side: N/R

Roof: N/R

Rear: N/R

NHTSA Rating:


2016 BMW 3-Series


 
What’s new
The 335i replaced by the 340i which features a brand new modular engine that will eventually spawn three and four cylinder units as well. The headlights have been restyled for 2016 and now offer an L.E.D, headlight option. Suspension and power steering updates for 2016. The Hybrid mode has been discontinued but will be replaced by a 330e plug-in hybrid later in 2016.

Performance
The 2L turbo four in the 328i delivers performance as strong and eager as the old six-cylinder 328i, but lacks the stirring soundtrack, a major compelling reason for buying a 3-Series, of its predecessor. Smooth, responsive eight-speed automatic transmission ekes out every bit of energy available from the turbo four. Auto-start-stop mechanism is noisy, intrusive and frustrating in traffic, but can be disengaged. Steering on the 3-Series is light and not particularly communicative. Able handling which lacks any real sense of engagement. Strong brakes. More engine, wind and road noise than competing cars. The 3-Series can accommodate four people easily enough. Comfortable seats. Cabin design is very BMW, which pleases some observers but is beginning to look quite old to others. Small main gauges feature lacklustre graphics. Minor controls are too numerous and have a hollow feel when manipulated. There are some pleasant two-tone cabin colour combinations. Avoid the beige interior hue as it will soil easily and looks cheap, even with leather upholstery.
Tested against the Cadillac ATS 2L, the 328xi was found wanting in terms of engine smoothness, overall quietness, steering precision, suspension control and interior design, fit and finish.
Comments
The 3-series Gran Turismo is built on a 110 mm (4.3 inch) longer wheelbase, and is 200 mm (7.9 inches) longer overall than its wagon counterpart. Greater height bestows considerable space efficiency to the car, which has an impressively roomy cabin and a tall, regularly-shaped and versatile cargo hold. With frameless door glass, the roofline looks light and airy and the car is much more attractive than the ungainly 5-series Gran Turismo that introduced the tall hatchback concept at BMW. As a roomy, versatile capsule, the 3GT is the best 3-Series. BMW sees no marketing conflict between the 3GT, X1 and 3-Series Touring (wagon in BMW speak)
The 3-Series offers a massive array of engines throughout its lineup. Two 2L gasoline turbo fours, one with 180 horsepower (320i) and the other with 241 horsepower (328i) are offered, as well as is a 180 horsepower 2L turbodiesel (328 d). Six cylinder variants include the 325 horsepower 340i and the 425 horsepower turbo six found under the hood of the M3.

Pricing
If you want leather seating, the massive (nearly $7000) price gap between the 320i and 328i is reduced to around $3500 as BMW enforces the Sport option package on 320i buyers to get leather. The price gap between the 328i and the 340i is more of a chasm than a gap. The 328 diesel engine commands a $1500 supplement over the 2L gasoline four in the 328i. All-wheel drive is standard except for the 340i, where it is a $2600 option. The Touring (wagon) body style is priced $1350 higher than the sedan, with the GT body style from $2140 to about $2500 more than its sedan equivalent. The 328Xi is priced higher than the base Mercedes C300 4Matic but is better equipped and is actually cheaper when compared with a similarly equipped C300. Good lease valeue. The super-sports M3 model is priced so much higher than the rest of the range as to be in a totally different market segment.

Reliability
Average reliability during the warranty period. Capricious electrical system. Free four year/80,000 km scheduled servicing that competitors charge for. Expensive servicing after that. The APA has received complaints regarding oil sludge build-up in the variable valve-timing mechanism. The APA recommends oil changes every six months or 10,000 kilometres, even though they are not included in BMW's four year/80,000 kilometres scheduled service plan. Short powertrain warranty with no coverage past four years/80,000 km. BMW is not a signatory to the CAMVAP arbitration protocol. Some complaints about defective vinyl upholstery on recent BMWs

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD, 4HB, 4SW
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2L-4 T (180 HP 320; 241 HP 328),2L-4 TDI 184 HPi), 3L-6 T (320 HP 340i), 3L-6 T (425 HP: M3).

Transmissions: 6M, 8A*, 7A (automated manual) 
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  10.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.1L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available Lane departure, forward collision and blind spot warnings as well as adaptive cruise control with stop and go 

Additional airbags: knee airbags for both front occupants.

Warranty: 4/80,000, no additional powertrain warranty
Current Generation Debut:  2013
Country of Origin:  Germany

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: M

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 BMW 4-Series


 

 
What’s new
Except for an RWD 435 coupe, all 4-Series feature AWD for 2016.

Comments
With the new 4-Series, BMW has split the two door body styles from the four-door 3-series with which they have been twinned for decades. However, in the spirit of micro-niche filling the German automakers have become such proponents of, BMW has created a four-door version of the 4-Series it has named the Gran Coupe.
Cabin styling is much like the related 3-Series, fundamentally practical but the design themes are looking tired and cabin components don't reflect the level of luxury expected of a car at this price point. The coupe debuted first, followed by the hard top convertible and then the Gran Coupe. Two engines, a 2 L turbo four (428i) and a turbo inline six (435i) are offered on mainstream models, with a 425 horsepower 3L turbo six powering the custom-order M4. Rear-wheel drive is standard but all-wheel drive is optional except for the M3, which is exclusively rear-wheel drive. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic on the 428i, and 435i, with a seven-speed automated manual dubbed "DCT" offered on the M4.

Pricing
Complex model lineup. Coupe: the six-cylinder engine in the 435i costs an extra $6600 compared with the four-cylinder 428i. The same upgrade in the convertible costs $9300. All-wheel drive, standard on all models except for the 435i coupe, where it commands a $700 premium. Depending on engine choice, the convertible body style is priced $10,800 to $13,500 higher than the coupe. Gran Coupe is priced the same as the 4-Series coupe with the power upgrade from the 428i to the 435i being $6600. 428i coupe: the Premium Package Essential is overpriced but the Premium Package Enhanced  balances price and content precisely. Very expensive metallic paint charge. The high-performance M4 is so much more expensive than the mainstream variants that it is really in a different market segment.

Reliability
Average reliability during the warranty period. . Capricious electrical system. Free four year/80,000 km scheduled servicing is standard compared with direct rivals from Mercedes-Benz and Audi that charge extra for this coverage. Expensive servicing after that. The APA has received complaints regarding oil sludge build-up in the variable valve-timing mechanism. The APA recommends oil changes every six months or 10,000 kilometres, even though they are not included in BMW's four year/80,000 kilometres scheduled service plan. Short powertrain warranty with no coverage past the four year/80,000 km warranty. BMW is not a signatory to the CAMVAP arbitration protocol.

Specifications


Body Style:  2CP, 2CV, 4CP 
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2L-4 T (241 HP 428i)*, 3L-6 T (300 HP 4335i), 3L-6 T (425 HP: M3)..

Transmissions: 6M, 8A, 7A (automated manual) 
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  10.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.1L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available Lane departure, forward collision and blind spot warnings. Active cruise control with auto stop
Additional airbags: Knee airbags for front seat occupants.
Warranty: 4/80,000, no additional powertrain warranty
Current Generation Debut: 2015
Country of Origin:  Germany

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: N/R

Mod. Front: N/R

Side: N/R

Roof: N/R

Rear: N/R

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Buick LaCrosse


 

 

What’s new
Revised IntelliLink system with a revised screen and two USB ports. Last year for the model. Next-generation LaCrosse unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show in November 2015.

Performance
The V6 is responsive but causes considerable torque-steer under heavy acceleration. Smooth, responsive transmission, generally smooth ride. The LaCrosse is very quiet.

Comments
The LaCrosse, built on the Epsilon 2 platform that underpins the Opel Insignia, benefits from the input of GM's operations on three continents. With clean lines and artfully subdued detailing, this is one good looking Buick. Containing cool blue instruments and a prominent centre stack, the dashboard of the Lacrosse borders on the avant-garde. The rest of the cabin is an example of how visual restraint can be luxurious. Top-notch cabin materials and assembly. Cabin space, while good, is less than expected in such a big car. Power stems from either the standard eAssist light hybrid system that helps during acceleration but can't run the car in a full electric mode, or an optional 3.6L V6. Power reaches the front wheels (or optionally all-wheels) via a six-speed automatic transmission. Active xenon lights and a Blind Zone Alert monitor are optional. Small windows and large roof pillars restrict outward visibility. With around 1500 sold in 2014, the LaCrosse is a very low-volume car.

Pricing
Upgrading from the LaCrosse to the Leather balances priced and content quite closely. The Premium I model contains virtually no content for the money asked and the Premium II range topper is a bit pricey for what you get. The V6 engine is standard, with the hybrid version a no-cost option on front-wheel drive variants. All-wheel drive costs from $2440 (Premium I) to $3150 (Leather) on V6-powered LaCrosse models. Good value leasing.
Reliability
Limited information regarding this low-volume model. Complaints have been received regarding defective timing chains on the 3.6L-V6 engine. Expensive replacement parts. A GM extended warranty is recommended if you buy a LaCrosse and plan to keep it beyond the warranty period.
See the Hybrid and Electric car section.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3
Engines:
2.4L-4 H (182 HP combined), 3.6L-V6 (304 HP)*

Transmissions: 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  13.1L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available forward collision, blind spot and lane departure warnings.

Additional airbags: side airbags for outboard rear passengers.

Warranty: 4/80,000, 6/110,000
Current Generation Debut:  2010
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: N/R

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


 

2017 Buick LaCrosse

 NEW

 

 
What’s new
All-new LaCrosse built on the same platform as the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu.

Comments
Built on a 68 mm longer wheelbase, the 2017 LaCrosse is roughly the same size, but a bit lower than its predecessor. Buick's new corporate grille fronts a car that is cleaned lined, with some carefully thought out bright accents. The sweeping dash, with clear gauges and visually calm controls, flows into the centre console. Chic colour combinations, attractive faux wood and alloy accents and copious soft-touch surfaces make for a very elegant cabin. The long-wheelbase of the LaCrosse delivers generous legroom front and rear. Very comfortable seats. The new Lacrosse has a very large trunk.
Power is provide by GM's familiar 3.6L V6, which produces 305 horsepower in this application. Power reaches the front wheels (or optionally, four wheels), via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Buick may offer a four-cylinder engine or a hybrid at some point but has made no announcements as of April 2016.
The LaCrosse is no longer built in Canada.

Pricing
No 2017 price infomation is available.

Reliability
New model, not rated. A GM extended warranty is recommended if you plan to keep this car past the warranty period.   

Specifications


Body Style: 4SD
Occupants: 2/3

Engines:
3.6L-V6 (305 HP)

Transmissions: 8A
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  N/A
Highway Fuel Economy:  N/A
Active Safety Features: Front knee airbags and outboard rear airbags
Additional airbags: Available forward collision braking, blind spot, adaptive cruise control  and lane departure warnings 

Warranty: 4/80,000, 6/110,000
Current Generation Debut:  2017
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NA

Mod. Front: NA

Side: NA

Roof: NA

Rear: NAG

NHTSA Rating: 


 

2016 Buick Regal


 

 
What’s new
Revised displays and controls for the Buick IntelliLink infotainment interface.

Performance
The Regal's eAssist 2.4L four is smooth and is sufficiently quick but can't run in full-electric mode. The 2L turbo is smooth and delivers lively performance. The smooth automatic transmission acts very slowly at times. Sloppy manual transmission. Precise steering with good road feel. Progressive brakes. The ride is firm, yet never harsh. Crisp, stable handling. Large, heavily-sloped windshield pillars restrict visibility. Small door-mounted rear-view mirrors. Chic, modern and attractive cabin with comfortable seats and competitive room for a car in this class. Rear headroom is a bit tight for taller occupants. The large, elegant gauges.

Comments
The Regal is a bit shorter overall than its showroom mate, the LaCrosse. Two four-cylinder engines, a standard light assist (it won't run in full electric mode) hybrid and a 259 horsepower 2L turbo four, are available. Most Regals send power to the wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission but a six-speed manual is offered with the turbo. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available with the turbo engine. Exterior styling is, except for the grille and some minor details, carried over directly from the very elegant Opel Insignia that the Regal is based on. Despite its overall goodness, the Regal, with only 800 sold in 2014, is dying a slow death in the market.

Pricing
No 2016 price infomation is available.

Reliability
Insufficient data on this low-volume model. Suspension problems predicted. Expensive replacement parts. A GM extended warranty is recommended if you plan to keep this car past the warranty period.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2L-4 T (259 HP)*, 2.4L-4 H (182 combined)

Transmissions: 6M, 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  11.2L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.8L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Standard
Additional airbags: Available forward collision, blind spot and lane departure warnings.

Warranty: 4/80,000, 6/110,000
Current Generation Debut:  2011
Country of Origin:  Canada

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: N/R

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Cadillac ATS


 

 
What’s new
The 3.6L-V6, with direct injection, cylinder de-activation and a stop-start feature, is, according to GM, all new for 2016. The 2L turbo four gains a stop-start feature. An eight-speed automatic transmission is available with all engines in 2016. An Apple CarPlay system is available this year.

Performance
Cadillac's sporty compact is now fully competitive with the revered German-branded cars that dominate this segment. Equipped with a 2L turbo four and automatic transmission, the ATS is fast, flexible and quite refined except when pushed hard, when it takes on a sporting bark. Quick, lively, communicative, beautifully-weighted steering. A firm, yet never harsh ride is allied to near-cerebral handling. The ATS is a very quiet car. Very good driving position. With sleek, contemporary design, lavish materials and rigorous assembly, the ATS's cabin is the benchmark for the compact luxury class. The dashboard features crisp, clear instrumentation, but minor controls, via Cadillac's CUE (Cadillac User Interface) system, don't work as quickly as they should and lead to driver distraction. Firm yet resilient seats front and rear. Cabin space is a bit less than the comparable German-branded competitors. Trunk space is sufficient, but no more. The ATS was ranked first, ahead of the BMW 328i, in a multi-car road test.

Comments
Cadillac has been successful in building a car that, if considered, has a solid chance in diverting BMW 3-Series intenders away from the car that once defined the compact luxury segment. Three engines, a 202 horsepower normally-aspirated 2.5L four, a turbocharged 272 horsepower 2L four and a 3.6L V6 with 333 horsepower, are available. A six-speed manual transmissions and an eight-speed automatic, are offered. Rear-wheel drive is offered with all four engines. All-wheel is available with the 2L turbo and 3.6L V6 engines but not with the 2.5L or V6 turbo. Manual transmission is standard on rear-wheel drive four-cylinder ATSs, with an eight-speed automatic standard with the V6 and on all-wheel drive versions.

Pricing
Packaged exclusively with automatic transmission, all-wheel drive is a $2725 option on the sedan and costs roughly $2200 on most versions of the coupe. Both the Luxury and Performance option groups are expensive given the content in the upgrades but the Luxury trim level is necessary if you want leather seating. The Premium range topper is very expensive and contains virtually no extra content compared with the Performance model. Upgrading from the 2.5L four to the 2L turbo ranges from $965 to about $1800. The V6 is priced from $2200 (coupe) to $2500 (sedan) more than a similarly-equipped ATS powered by the 2L four. The all-wheel drive versions of the coupe are priced from essentially the same to nearly $3500 higher than an all-wheel drive sedan of the same trim level. Very good value leasing.

Reliability
Not rated, insufficient data. Numerous new technologies may increase service costs. A GM extended warranty is recommended it you plan to keep the car past the warranty period. Cadillacs feature four year/80,000 km regularly scheduled maintenance as part of vehicle purchase.

Specifications


Body Style: 4SD, 2CP 
Occupants: 2/3

Engines:
2L-4 T (272 HP)*, 2.5L-4 (202 HP), 3.6L-V6 (333 HP), 3.6L-V6 T (455 HP Type V) 

Transmissions: 6M, 8A
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  10.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  7.8L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Collision provention and blind spot and lane departure warnings
Additional airbags: None

Warranty: 4/80,000, 6/110,000
Current Generation Debut:  2013
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: N/R

Mod. Front: N/R

Side: N/R

Roof: N/R

Rear: N/R

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Cadillac CTS


 

 
What’s new
The 3.6L-V6, with direct injection, cylinder de-activation and a stop-start feature, is, according to GM, all new for 2016. The 2L turbo four gains a stop-start feature. An eight-speed automatic transmission is available with all engines in 2016. An Apple CarPlay system is available this year.

Comments
With the ATS now battling it out with the German compact luxury vehicles, the CTS moved upmarket to compete with cars like the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The cabin is fronted by dashboard with elegant gauges and a visually simple centre stack which contains a number of touch controls that need to be manipulated to get anything to work. Reasonable rear legroom. The rest of the cabin is conservatively elegant and is carefully assembled from attractive components. The CTS shares the 2L turbo four and 3.6L V6 available in the smaller car. The range-topping CTS V-Sport features a 3.6L twin turbo producing 430 horsepower and the crazy CTS-V develops 640 horsepower from its supercharged V8. An eight-speed automatic transmission is the sole transmission choice. All-wheel drive is offered with all but the V8.

Pricing
Equipped with popular features such as leather upholstery, cooled front seats, a navigation system and blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, the Luxury trim upgrade is good value and will suit the needs of most buyers. The Performance and Premium trim upgrades are significantly overpriced for their extra content. All-wheel drive is priced from $2625 (2L) to $2020 (V6). On all-wheel drive CTSs, the V6 is priced $1730 higher than a 2L turbo of the same trim level. The turbocharged V6 V-Sport is priced about $8600 higher than a CTS V6 Premium model with not many additional features to show for it, putting the price of each of its additional 85 horsepower at around $100 each. At $92,135, the rear-wheel drive only CTS-V is not really in the same market segment as the mainstream CTS models, but is a tremendous car nevertheless and a nice change from the German-branded sedans in the hyper-performance segment. Resale value could be savage but good value leasing indicates GM may be confident of resale value. 

Reliability
Not rated, insufficient data due to limited sales. Unproven mechanicals. Numerous complaints regarding faulty timing chains on the 3.6L V6 used in various GM products. A GM extended warranty recommended if you plan to keep the car past the warranty period. Cadillacs feature four year/80,000 km regularly scheduled maintenance as part of vehicle purchase.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
2L-4 T (272 HP)*, 3.6L-V6 (333 HP), 3.6L-V6 T (430 HP), 6.2L-V8 S (640 HP CTS-V)

Transmissions: 8A 
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  11.2L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.1L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Lane keep. lane change, blind spot and rear cross traffic alerts. Adaptive cruise control and forward collision alert
Additional airbags:  Knee airbags for both front occupants

Warranty: 4/80,000, 6/110,000
Current Generation Debut:  2014
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: N/R

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Cadillac XTS


 

 
What’s new
No changes of note for the XTS in its fourth year on the market. 

Comments
The cabin has comfortable seats and abundant space, front and rear. The interior is attractively styled and sumptuously appointed. The XTS features Cadillac's CUE (Cadillac User Experience), system, which Cadillac says is more user-friendly than the MyFord touch interface offered on rival Lincolns.
Cadillac's traditional V8 engine is no more as the XTS is powered by a 304 horsepower 3.6L V6, which is a strong, smooth powerplant, but has had a chequered career for reliability in other GM products it is used in. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional on all models except for the turbocharged V, on which it is standard equipment.

Pricing
The Luxury and Premium trim upgrades are overpriced but the price supplement demanded for the Platinum trim level bears no relation to the content that comes with this range topper. All-wheel drive costs from $1850 (luxury) to $1945 (Premium and Platinum) more than the front-wheel drive version of the same trim level. The high-performance V-Sport turbo models are priced up to $7000 higher than the normally-aspirated model of the same trim level. Poor value leasing is not worth bothering with. Rapid depreciation.
Reliability
Not rated due to limited sales. Numerous new technologies may increase service costs. A GM extended warranty is recommended it you plan to keep the car past the warranty period. Cadillacs feature four year/80,000 km regularly scheduled maintenance as part of vehicle purchase.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
3.6L-V6 (304 HP) , 3.6L-V6 T (410 HP)

Transmissions: 6A 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  13.8L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  9L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert and lane departure, lane keep, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings.
Additional airbags: Knee airbags for both front occupants and side airbags for outboard rear passengers are standard.

Warranty: 4/80,000, 6/110,000
Current Generation Debut: 2013
Country of Origin: Canada

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: N/R

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Hyundai Genesis Sedan

 

 
What’s new
A standard panoramic sunroof is the sole change for the very late 2016 Genesis.

Comments
While a good car, the first-generation Genesis sedan failed to find a market in Canada. Even those buyers who recognized its inherent value rejected it for its lack of all-wheel drive, a market necessity for rear-wheel drive based luxury cars in Canada. Hyundai has not made the same mistake twice as all-wheel drive is standard on all Genesis sedans for 2015.
The cabin of the last Genesis is roomy and elegant, but the new car clearly moves the game ahead. Supple leathers, real alloy trim and acres of genuine wood (fashionable open-pore on fancier versions) line the cabin. Genesis denizens are cosseted in the embrace of supportive seats and enjoy generous space for a sedan with a space-inefficient rear-wheel drive layout.
Power choices include a 3.8L V6 with 311 horsepower as well as a 420 horsepower 5L V8. Power reaches all wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission connected to Hyundai's HTRAC all-wheel drive system. HTRAC is an active rear-wheel biased all-wheel drive system with a 40:60 default front-rear bias, but can shift torque around the car to gain and maintain optimal traction.
A full array of active safety gear is available, including Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Keeping Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control with stop-and-go capability.
2015 pricing starts at $43,000 for the base V6 to a hefty $62,000 for the V8 Ultimate model. While expensive for a Hyundai, the new Genesis sedan represents tremendous value and will appeal to buyers who want luxury but don't need a propeller, star, or a quartet of rings on their key fob.

Pricing
While the base Genesis 3.8 model is very well equipped, the good value 3.8 Luxury upgrade contains equipment such as xenon lights, memory system, cooled front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, an upgraded audio system and deluxe wood trim and more sumptuous leather will suit the wants of many buyers and is the best value of the lineup. The 3.8 Tech model is very expensive considering the additional equipment it offers and only about $4500 of the $9000 supplement demanded to move up from the 3.8 Tech to the 5L Ultimate can be attributed to additional equipment, with the balance generated by the stronger V8 engine. The V8 Ultimate is priced about $23,000 less than a similarly equipped Mercedes E550 4Matic. Very good value leasing for 2016.

Reliability
New car, not rated. Previous Genesis sedan exhibited navigation-entertainment system glitches which Hyundai were unable to fix.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
3.8L-V6 (311 HP), 5L-V8 (420 HP) 

Transmissions: 8A* 
Drive Layout: All-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  14.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  9.4L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Keeping Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control with stop-and-go capability.

Additional airbags: Driver's side knee airbag and outboard rear airbags

Warranty: 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut:  2015
Country of Origin:  South Korea

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


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