• Best-in-class picks at the 2017 Canadian International Auto Show

    Here at Wheels.ca we sifted through hundreds of new vehicles on display in Toronto to bring you our favourite picks in each segment.
    • 2017 cias
    George Angelopoulos
    By

    When wading through the plethora of new models at the 2017 Canadian International Auto Show trying to select the best of the bunch, one could argue that the word ‘difficult’ would be an understatement. Manufacturers have become so good at listening to customer feedback and in most cases, implementing or remedying the suggestions or concerns. Options normally reserved for the high-end, high priced models are now common place amongst even entry-level vehicles. This made the selection process to find our favourites in each of the following segments quite difficult indeed.

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    • 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT
    1

    Best New Compact - 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT

    The new Hyundai Elantra GT arrives just in time to take on the likes of the Ford Focus hatch and the Honda Civic hatch. European styling had an influence on the next-generation offering from Hyundai which features a large cascading grille, slender headlights, long hood and short rear valance. The new Elantra GT will offer a 2.0-litre four-cylinder good for 162 hp and the Sport trims receive a new 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Both engine options will be offered with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. Other options include Apple Car Play and Andriod Auto as well as dual-zone climate control.
    • giulia
    2

    Best New Sports Sedan - Alfa Romeo Giulia

    Stunning is the only word that comes to mind when discussing this vehicle. The sport sedan market is definitely crowed, but the new Giulia has a trick or two up it’s sleeve. Three trim levels are available, the base Giulia, Ti and the Quadrifoglio with two engine choices. Buyers can option either a 2.0-litre four-cylinder good for 280 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque or a 2.9-litre twin-turbo six-cylinder making 505 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque with the latter reserved for the top level Quadrifoglio. Performance aside, the distinctive Alfa front grille, proportioned and elegant design both inside and out, allows this vehicle to really take the fight to and potentially beat the segment benchmark, the BMW 3-Series.
    • BMW M550i xDrive
    3

    Best New Luxury Sedan - BMW M550i xDrive

    With introduction of the new 5-Series, it was only a matter of time before an M performance version would be available. According to a BMW executive presenting at the Canadian International Auto Show, the new M550i is the fastest non-M Performance division car BMW has produced (quicker than the current M5)! Power comes via BMW’s 4.4-litre TwinPower turbocharged engine producing 456 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. Furthermore, the M550i xDrive includes a multitude of options from the brand’s M Performance division. Some of these include adaptive suspension, an M-Sport steering rack, standard M Sport brakes and calipers, M badging, an M aerodynamic body kit and an M Sport performance exhaust system.
    • volkswagen atlas
    4

    Best SUV/CUV - Volkswagen Atlas

    Volkswagen’s all-new seven passenger crossover is a very impressive competitor in it’s segment. Fit and finish on this vehicle are nothing short of German quality precision. Visually, the exterior of the Atlas is striking and makes a definite statement. On the inside, VW offers Apple Car Play, Andriod Auto and MirriorLink; and an optional 12-speaker Fender audio system. Third row legroom in also in abundance. A choice of two power plants are available: 238 hp turbocharged four-cylinder with standard front-wheel drive or an optional 280 hp six-cylinder with all-wheel drive. There is also an abundance of safety technology available including forward collision alert and lane-departure warning with steering assist.
    • bolt
    5

    Best New EV/Hybrid - Chevrolet Bolt

    The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV is quite impressive for what it is. GM claims this vehicle can get 238 miles (383 km) from a single charge. That’s roughly 30 more miles (48 km) than the Tesla Model S. Time will tell how accurate that is, but on paper, it’s very impressive. The available tech on this vehicle is equally impressive; Regen On Demand and One Pedal Drive technologies allow you to slow the vehicle down or come to a complete stop without touching the brake pedal, which equates to more range. An optional 10.2 inch centre touch screen and 8 inch driver information screen are impressive and allows the driver to customize the display data from Classic to Modern and Enhanced visual modes. Apple Car Play and Android Auto are also available.
    • kia sedona
    6

    Best Minivan - Kia Sedona

    When you think of minivans, elegant, sporty and superb are not some of the adjectives that come to mind. Kia’s motivated and obviously dedicated design team have created a minivan with those traits, and a few more to boot. With seating for up to eight, storage for everything a family may need and a mile-long list of standard and optional features including navigation and autonomous braking, the Sedona is a persuasive, if not an irrefutable choice for value-minded buyers. Available Nappa leather seating surfaces, dual sun roofs and a leather wrapped multi-control steering wheel make occupants feel as though they are in a much more expensive European sport sedan. Optional 19 inch wheels and the standard 276 hp six-cylinder connected to a six-speed transmission will definitely brighten up the family hauling duties.
    • Toyota tundra TRD Pro
    7

    Best New Pick Up - Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

    More than just stickers, the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is filled with goodies that, when optioned separately, would cost much more. Performance upgrades include front and rear Bilstien shock absorbers with external remote reservoir’s, upgraded rear sway bar and an aluminium skid plat protecting the oil pan. Rolling stock is upgraded too, 18 inch alloy wheels, 32 inch Michelin tires and stainless steel exhaust pipes round out this truck’s exterior modifications. A 145-litre fuel tank means you can drive by a few gas stations with confidence. The TRD touches continue on the interior with leather seats, a 7 inch touchscreen navigation unit and Entune audio system are standard. This Tundra is powered by a 5.7-litre i-Force V8 producing 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode.
    • mercedes amg gt r
    8

    Best New Sports Car - Mercedes-AMG GT R

    Visually, this car is nothing short of brilliant. Although the gullwing doors are no longer a design element, the new GT R looks menacing. It’s low, long and wide… and very intimidating. Equipped with a 577 hp 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, buyers can be sure this car is an absolute rocket ship. Inside, the fit and finish is second to non and is remarkably comfortable. The seats are very supportive and offer excellent adjustability.
  • Honourable Mention - Volvo V90 R Design

    Stunning, striking, brilliant… full stop. Volvo’s new full size wagon is nothing short of amazing. From its 21 inch wheels, to it’s long and low profile to the absolutely massive rear cargo area. Interior design is characteristically Scandinavian and offers the feeling of luxury through space, light (enormous sun roof), and a virtually silent cabin. Materials are first rate and the simplicity and ergonomics of the controls is near perfect. Even if you are not a fan of the wagon segment, the Volvo V90 will drawn you in and definitely alter your perceptions. Where do I send my deposit?

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