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Newer cars aren’t supposed to need more oil between oil changes, but Consumer Reports found that some engines – mainly from Audi, BMW, and Subaru – require an extra quart as often as once a month. In an annual survey of car owners, significant numbers reported what the magazine considered to be excessive oil consumption. Consumer Reports focused on 2010 to 2014 models and called on automakers to make repairs under the powertrain warranty or to extend warranties. “The companies should be willing to step up and take responsibility...Continue reading »

BMW is developing a hybrid version of its 2 Series Active Tourer. At the company’s Innovation Days 2015, we’re finally getting to see the fruits of that electric labor with a prototype for a plug-in hybrid version of the front-wheel-drive hatchback. The Bavarians aren’t keeping a secret that they intend to build a model like this in the future. But like the rest of the Active Tourer family, it’s likely to remain unavailable to US buyers. BMW is already somewhat familiar with the realm of plug-ins with its i sub-brand...Continue reading »

Lexus Australia has reduced retail prices of certain Lexus models to pass on the benefit of the Australian Government’s increase to the Luxury Car Tax (LCT) threshold. The LCT threshold from yesterday (July 1) applies to vehicles above $63,184 at a rate of 33 per cent. This marks a $1300 increase on the previous price of $61,884, which was introduced on July 1 last year. Lexus has responded by reducing its prices by the amount of the reduction in LCT payable. Lexus Australia chief executive Sean Hanley said Lexus had made the move...Continue reading »

Honda is planning to roll out a new seven-seat crossover in Indonesia. But before it does, it’s giving the public a taste of what’s to come with a concept to be unveiled in Tangerang, previewed in the pair of teaser renderings you see here. Dubbed the BR-V prototype (for Bold Runabout Vehicle), the Honda concept calls for a three-row crossover with room for seven passengers – just like the Pilot we get over here. But if the design sketches are anything to go by, it’ll look better. We’ll reserve final judgement...Continue reading »

It’s been less than a month since Hyundai told us to start anticipating the arrival of the new Creta, and even less time since it released the first teaser sketch. Now the Korean automaker has taken the wraps off the finished product. Unveiled over the weekend in India, the new Hyundai Creta applies the company’s latest design language to a smaller crossover form. Full details have still yet to be released, but those body panels are laid over a structure the manufacturer calls Hive. It makes use of a high proportion of high-strength...Continue reading »

The Mercedes-Benz Unimog, the super-duper heavy-duty off-road workhorse vehicle that the German automaker has been making for more than 60 years, may soon be sold in Canada once again after a hiatus. Regulators had taken issue with both their emissions (super torquey diesel engines don’t tend to run real clean) and the fact that some folks would take them out on city streets and even highways (these beasts have a top speed of about 25 miles per hour). Now, regulatory officials are considering allowing the Unimog to be sold in Canada...Continue reading »

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is opening a preliminary evaluation into the 2011-2012 Ford F-150 with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 because of potential failure of the power braking assist. If a recall is required, it could affect an estimated 250,000 of the trucks. This investigation is prompted by NHTSA receiving 32 complaints about the electric vacuum assist pump allegedly failing in these trucks, which then causes the power braking assist to stop working. Drivers claim having no warning beforehand. There are also two...Continue reading »

After the groundbreaking move to aluminum for the bodywork of the 2015 Ford F-150, it’s easy to understand Ford keeping the updates light for the 2016 model. However, while there are no drastic changes for the upcoming model year, customers will benefit from a few tiny tweaks. Among the biggest improvement to the truck’s usability is the move to the Blue Oval’s latest Sync 3 infotainment system to replace Sync with MyFord Touch. Now running on Blackberry’s QNX, the software claims to be faster and more intuitive....Continue reading »

Which is the most entertaining Jeep Renegade you can get? While one might make an argument for the Trailhawk model and its accompanying off-road hardware and consequential go-anywhere ability, that car comes with one glaring flaw – its 2.4-liter engine and nine-speed automatic transmission just aren’t very entertaining. Instead, I submit the turbocharged, 1.4-liter base engine and its accompanying six-speed manual, a position that was reinforced after a recent stint behind the wheel of a very basic Sport 4×4. Not only do...Continue reading »

Renault doesn’t compete in the North American market, but it is a major player in South America, which is where it revealed these two new models that make us wish they’d edge northward. Introduced this weekend at the Buenos Aires Motor Show in Argentina, both of these new additions to the French automaker’s Latin American portfolio are based on models sold as Dacias in other markets, enticing us with their back-to-basics appeal. First up is the Duster Oroch, a small double-cab pickup version of the Dacia Duster designed...Continue reading »