Auto Reviews

VW Denies Customer Compensation in Europe


In the US and Canada, Volkswagen and environmental agencies have yet to agree on a solution to bring consumer diesel vehicles back into regulation. In September of 2015, Volkswagen was caught with using emission cheating software in their 2.0L diesel vehicles which amounted to approximately 11 million cars worldwide.

Customers in US and Canada have been patiently waiting for Volkswagen to announce their official solution, so in the meantime, diesel owners don’t know how large of an impact they will face. Volkswagen North America agreed to compensate diesel owners through a goodwill package amounting to $1000 per owner.

This certainly got the EU industry commissioner, Elzbieta Bienkowska, very vocal as he wrote to Matthias Mueller, Volkswagen CEO, to consider the same compensation to Volkswagen diesel owners in Europe. Bienkowska continued to reiterate fair treatment of consumers during a meeting with Mueller. At this point, Volkswagen has not yet agreed to provide similar compensation to European consumers, but did agree to provide Bienkowska with a response to her demands.

Subaru Recalls Outback and Legacy for Driveshaft Problems


Subaru has issued a recall of 3,251 2016 Legacy model vehicles with a build date between October 24, 2015 and November 16, 2015, and the Outback with a build date between October 24, 2015 to November 17, 2015.

The issue has been identified as an improperly assembled drive shaft; specifically, the nuts securing the drive shaft to the rear differential were not properly torqued. If the nuts come loose, the drive shaft could separate from the rear differential, hit the gas tank, and could lead to a fuel leak. As of today, no injuries or accidents have been linked to this recall.

Owners of these vehicles should contact their local Subaru dealers immediately. The dealers will complete a full inspection of the potential issue and complete all repairs at no cost to the owners.

An official recall campaign will begin on December 10, 2015.

Lamborghini Aventador Will Not Be RWD


With the amount of technology packed into today’s performance cars, a driver can get every ounce of performance out of the car relatively safely and bank in faster lap times than the car’s analog counterpart. However, sometimes I ask myself at what expense? Personally, I prefer the feelings and excitement that comes from driving a car with 3 pedals, a stick shift, and no tech aids to help me along the way even though it might not be the fastest way around a track.

That is why when Maurizio Reggiani, the R&D director for Lamborghini, says, “The Aventador can only be four-wheel drive because we have so much power and torque to manage; only with four driven wheels are you able to manage this” a little bit inside me died. OK, I’m in no position to every own an Aventador, or maybe even get behind the wheels of one, but the driver in me just wishes a rear wheel drive variant could be produced.

Truth be told, the Lamborghini’s Huracan LP 580-2 is 118 hp down from the Aventador, and recently at the 2015 LA Auto Show a rear wheel drive version was unveiled. One would hope that with some additional engineering to aerodynamics and suspension tuning that a rear wheel drive Aventador can one day join the Lamborghini stable.

2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Highline

Volkswagen calls its 2015 Jetta “refined, redesigned,” and countless man-hours have gone into its re-engineering, but you’d need to crawl all over the car, unbolt most of the body, drive it or spend some time on VW’s website to fathom the changes. That’s why we wrote, “2015 Volkswagen Jetta is n…

2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk [w/video]

There are two avenues to the world of off-roading. Arguably the more popular is to pick up a second- or third-hand Jeep, Land Rover or pickup truck and go wild with the aftermarket. The opposite approach, though, is to simply buy new, which brings a warranty along with the most up-to-date off-ro…

2017 Jaguar XE

Pouncing On The Wide-Open Compact Luxury Sports Segment

For the first time in decades, the prize for the best-driving compact luxury sport sedan is very much up for grabs.

BMW’s 3 Series, the segment’s longstanding archetype, has grown a bit soft, distant and pricy. Its Japanese rival from …

2015 Jeep Renegade [w/video]

Would it surprise you to hear that a strong, vocal and loyal owner base can sometimes be a hindrance to automakers? Of course, no brand would ever admit such a thing. And sure, on the surface, you might think that having people passionately champion a brand would provide nothing but perks. As we…

2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK 350

Introduced in 1996 as a 1997 model, the Mercedes-Benz SLK was a car that took the industry by surprise. It was one of the first two-seat roadsters widely available with a retractable hardtop for a reasonably affordable price.

With keys to the latest SLK350 in hand, we pondered over the bright…

2015 Ducati Scrambler

Just past the ping-pong table and the pop-up barbershop, a live graffiti artist splashes colour across a makeshift wall while Bruce Brown’s On Any Sunday plays on a bigscreen. If it weren’t for the odd motorcycles and accessories scattered within this carefully curated array of culture ephemera,…

2015 Ram ProMaster City Wagon [w/video]

At the tail end of 2014, I had some time to sample Ram’s slightly more civilized version of the Promaster Cargo Van – the ProMaster City Wagon.

From the driver’s seat forward, the Wagon and Tradesman (Ram’s name for the cargo version) are practically the same, but the former trim is a lot dif…

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