“With the expansion this year’s show underwent, the Vancouver show is moving into the big leagues.”

If you would like to plug in an all-electric Nissan LEAF at your home, this weekend is the last chance you will have to get one for nothing!

British Columbia’s SCRAP-IT Program kindly supplied us with one of the eco-friendly sedans as a prize in our Plug-In to Win Contest, which closes at midnight on Sunday (see the link or below for entry details). The winner will be announced online next week and Driveway will feature an interview with the lucky winner in an upcoming edition.

SCRAP-IT announced its new incentive program here last week, which offers a $3,000 rebate for electric car purchasers if they scrap a 2000 or older vehicle. This is in addition to the newly announced provincial government program detailed in our main story today.

The LEAF will be on display at the SCRAP-IT booth throughout this weekend at the Vancouver International Auto Show, in the Vancouver Convention Centre West. Qualifying electric vehicles for the organization’s incentive are listed on the SCRAP-IT.ca website. Take a look because some of them, plus vehicles qualifying under the additional government program, will be at the show to view and some made available there for test drives outside.

For information on electric vehicles and charging systems and infrastructure visit Plug-In BC at: http://pluginbc.ca/

For details of the Clean Energy Vehicle incentive program visit: www.cevforbc.ca

“The incentives are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking 1,400 cars off the road…”

“You can still get a great vehicle, with a fully warranty, AND some perks for under $20,000…”

Subaru Impreza Sedan ($19,995)
Hyundai Accent Sedan/Hatchback ($13,249/$13,599)
Ford Focus Sedan/Hatchback ($16,449/$18,849)
Toyota Yaris ($14,545)
VW Jetta ($14,990)

Auto shows dazzle with glitzy expensive new cars but among them are some hidden less expensive gems.

You can still get a great vehicle, with a fully warranty, AND some perks for under $20K.

Here are five cars with frugal price stickers at the Vancouver auto show that that will get you where you need to go and with a few goodies.

Hyundai Accent Sedan/Hatchback ($13,249/$13,599)

The Hyundai Accent five-door is quite possibly the best-looking car within its price range. And it’s hard to believe that kind of style comes in under $14K. And for that meagre price, you get a standard six-speed (yes, six) manual transmission linked with a 1.6L, four-cylinder GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) engine, along with 138 horsepower and 123 lb-ft of torque.

Additionally, there’s 600L of cargo space. Not bad for such a small car.

Then there’s the Accent sedan for those who aren’t on the hatchback bandwagon. The engine specs and transmission are the same but in a four-door format. Trunk space, however, is reduced to 389L.

Toyota Yaris ($14,545)

Available in both a three-door or five-door configuration, the 2015 Toyota Yaris fits five people inside, has nine airbags and an very efficient 1.5L, four-cylinder engine producing 106 horsepower under its European-styled hood.

Standard features included on the Yaris models come in the shape of a 15.5 cm display audio with AM/FM, CD and MP3 with USB input and Bluetooth capability, along with power windows and power door locks.

VW Jetta ($14,990)

Your eyes are not deceiving you. The new VW Jetta Trendline is priced as modestly as you see.

For that money, you’ll get a standard rearview camera, Bluetooth, as well as six airbags. Not to mention a great looking sedan. It’s powered by a 2.0L, four-cylinder engine, which yields 115 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque. You have your choice between the standard five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.

The Jetta has room for five, a 60/40 split rear seat and 440L or cargo capacity.

Furthermore, it comes with revised front and rear fascias, attributing to better aerodynamics and fuel consumption. If 115 horsepower isn’t enough, you’ll need to save your pennies for the next available engine. It’s a powerful 1.8L TSI engine ($22,890.) The 1.8L engine came out last year and delivers 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque thanks to direct injection and turbocharging.

Ford Focus Sedan/Hatchback ($16,449/$18,849)

For 2015, the Focus for Ford is about styling and efficiency!

There’s a new look for the Focus sedan and hatchback that includes a restyled hood, grille, new rear lamp clusters and a restyled trunk lid. You’ll have the option of both a four-door sedan or a five-door hatch.

Standard on Focus for the first time is the rearview camera, which will appear on either a 10.4 cm screen or the 20.3 cm screen that comes with MyFord Touch-equipped cars.

Inside, colours and materials have a clean, modern look, with satin chrome detailing, new seat trims, switches and an available heated steering wheel. Storage is improved with a new centre console incorporating adjustable cupholders, and a new, easier-to-access glove box.

Subaru Impreza Sedan ($19,995)

As the most affordable vehicle in Canada that comes standard with an All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system, Subaru’s Impreza is a great fit for those who want reliable transportation and the confidence on slippery surfaces.

As an added bonus, it comes with a manual transmission. But for those who prefer not shifting their own gears, there’s an available Lineartronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). For the 2015 model year, it also received some cosmetic upgrades, you know, to keep it looking young and hip.

The Impreza is powered by a 2.0L horizontally opposed, four-cylinder SUBARU BOXER engine giving you 148 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque.

Contact: alexandra [dot] straub [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

“The new Nissan Titan offers a roomy interior that rivals the other popular full-size trucks on the market today.”

2015 Chevrolet Colorado
2015 Ford F150
2015 GMC 3500HD Denali
2015 Nissan Titan
2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Truck lovers could fill an afternoon running a careful eye over the new trucks at the Vancouver auto show.

Here are my five picks for special attention:

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

The all-new design is turning heads all across Canada. This mid-size truck fills a void here. Still expected to work as hard as a full-size truck, the Colorado can tow more than 3,039 kilograms (6700 lbs) a 2.5L I-4 engine is standard with an optional 3.6L V6 with a six speed automatic transmission. This truck includes all the modern day technologies including 4g LTE hotspot with WI-FI connection through OnStar, which provides service for seven devices.

Base price: $21,695.

2015 Ford F150

The combination of a body made of aluminum body and high strength steel in its frame make this truck up to 317 KG (700 lbs) lighter. This truck was inspired by Ford’s concept vehicle, the Atlas. It has 11 new class-exclusive features, including 360-degree camera view, integrated loading ramps stowed in the pickup bed, 400-watt power outlets inside the cab, LED headlights and side view mirror spotlights, and remote tailgate release. There are four engine choices, the 3.5L Ti-VCT V6, 2.7L EcoBoost, 5.0 Ti-VCT V8, and the 3.5L EcoBoost.

The 3.7L V6 delivers 282 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque. The 2.7L V6 has 325 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque. The 5.0 V8 has 385 horsepower with 387 lb-ft of torque and the 3.5L V6 is pushing 282 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque. These are all capable engines depending on your requirements.

Base price: $24,899

2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

It is the only light duty diesel available here. It has a 3.0 L V6 Diesel engine with a torqueflite eight speed transmission. Not only will it give you 420-pound feet of torque and plenty of towing capabilities, it will also reduce CO2 emissions and runs on B20 Biodiesel. Many trims are available from work-truck-ready to full luxury. This truck has something for every buyer.

Base price: $31,140

2015 GMC 3500HD Denali

It is a beast. This truck is built to pull with 10,251 KG (22,600 lbs) of trailer towing capacity. The 6.6L V8 turbo engine delivers 397 hp and 765 lb ft of torque and is paired with a 1000 series Allison transmission. With interior upgrades such as triple door seals, hydraulic powertrain and body mounts, 12 way power adjustable bucket seats, heated leather wrapped steering wheel and a Bose sound system you can operate this beast and still feel comfortable doing so.

Base price: $67,305

2015 Nissan Titan

This Titan can tow up to 4309 kg (9,500lbs) thanks to 385 lb-ft of torque from its 5.6 L DOHC 32 valve V8 engine producing 317 hp at 5,200 rpm.

If off-road driving is part of your plans then the Titan is ready. With the Prox-4x package you get heavy duty skid plates protect the oil pan, fuel tank, transfer case and lower radiator. The 4WD system utilizes a shift on the fly two-speed transfer case, which allows you to 4WD at a moment’s notice. Low range can be selected when the terrain requires it. The electronic locking rear differential is ready at a flip of a switch giving much need traction on slippery surfaces. Rancho performance shocks are available with the off-road package. The new Nissan Titan offers a roomy interior that rivals the other popular full-size trucks on the market today.

Base price: $40,498

Contact: ian [dot] harwood [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

“The fuel cell Tucson can go 420 kilometres on one tank of fuel, a range about which electric car manufacturers can only dream.”

2016 Acura RDX
2016 Ford Explorer Platinum Series with EcoBoost
2016 Honda Pilot
Hyundai Tucson fuel cell
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Coupe

Several new crossovers will be featured at this year’s Vancouver auto show.

Honda recently revealed for the first time at the Chicago and Toronto auto shows, the all-new Pilot. Gone is the boxy three-row vehicle, replaced by a sleeker, more stylish design. Now equipped with LED headlights and LED daytime running lights, along with available 20-inch wheels and panoramic sunroof, this is a modern take on family hauling. The Pilot is powered by a 3.5L V6 engine, matched to a six-speed automatic transmission or an optional nine-speed unit. This new model will be sold with front or all wheel drive and because it is 135kg lighter than the last model it should be more efficient.

Mercedes is renaming the M-Class as the GLE. GL refers to an SUV/Crossover and the E is the “E-Class of SUVs”. To confuse things a bit more, the first debut is the GLE Coupe, a sportier coupe-like SUV designed to compete with the BMW X6. This Mercedes, with its sleeker silhouette and powerful 262-hp biturbo V6, looks great. It will range from comfort to all-out performance.

The Acura RDX has been a big hit for this premium brand. Based on the ever-popular Honda CR-V, this Acura is filled with lots of luxury touches for a modest price. The 2016 RDX showcases the latest look of the Acura family. The dual LED headlamps and improved interior design, including two screens in the centre of the dash, puts the RDX in line with the new TLX and recent MDX. Good news is that the trusty V6 engine will stay for 2016.

Hyundai has announced that they it will start leasing Hydrogen Fuel Cell Tucson SUVs to Canadians this year, with the Vancouver area being the first market to receive these world-class vehicles. This is an electric SUV but instead of getting electricity from the grid it is produced using an onboard hydrogen fuel cell. The owner fills the fuel tank with hydrogen, not gasoline, and drives normally. The fuel cell Tucson can go 420 kilometres on one tank of fuel, a range about which electric car manufacturers can only dream.

Ford has one of the best selling SUVs of all time in the Explorer, with more than 350,000 sold in Canada so far. The all-new 2016 version made available a 2.3L EcoBoost engine on the base and XLT trim. The 290hp 3.5L V6 engine is carried over but the Sport trim and new Platinum trim will be fitted with the 365hp Ecoboost V6. The new Platinum model will be fitted with real aluminum and ash wood accents, plus leather will trim the steering wheel, instrument panel, armrests, doors and other trim.

Range Rover has two new versions of the Range Rover Sport. The most popular will be the all-new 3.0L diesel engine that produces a whopping 440 lb.-ft. of torque and better fuel consumption. In fact, Range Rover claims a 32 percent improvement over the regular V6 model. On the high performance end is the Range Rover SVR, capable of a run to 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds. This will be the first Range Rover to sport the new SVR (Special Vehicle Racing) badge.

Prices remain to be finalized on most of these vehicles at press time.

Contact: zack [dot] spencer [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

Driveway’s Alexandra Straub will pilot an all-electric Nissan LEAF in the annual AJAC Eco-Run this week.

The all-electric sedan, which is also the prize car provided by the Scrap-It program for our Plug-In to Win contest, will glide silently from the Vancouver International Auto Show in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday. The route, devised by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, will then take the participating 19 eco-friendly vehicles to Victoria via the Nanaimo ferry. On Thursday, the vehicles will be put through their paces on a handling course in Langford to see how versatile they are. The EcoRun concludes that evening in Vancouver.

In addition to pure electric vehicles, the Eco-Run includes plug-in and conventional hybrids, as well as vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells, diesel-fuelled powertrains and highly efficient gasoline options.

There’s no limit to the size of vehicle showcased, as they range from subcompacts to pickup trucks. The participants include the 2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell, 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel, 2015 Kia Soul EV, 2015 Ford Focus 1.0-litre, 2015 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid and the 2015 Chevy Volt.

The purpose of the event is to inform consumers of these alternative options. These new vehicles are driven in real-world road conditions in order to fully test for fuel efficiency and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

Contact: keith [dot] morgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

British Columbia’s SCRAP-IT Program has announced a new incentive program aimed at removing high polluting vehicles from our roads, on the eve of this year’s Vancouver International Auto Show. (more…)

“The new and innovative Car Culture area will feature interactive vignettes, highlighting themed lifestyles and the vehicles that drive them.”

The Nissan BladeGlider concept will contribute to the promised sizzle at the upcoming all-new Vancouver International Auto show – now just under three weeks away.

This revolutionary electric car, based on the DeltaWing race car introduced a few years ago, is described by the manufacturer as an “exploratory prototype of an upcoming production vehicle.”

Just like the DeltaWing, the BladeGlider features a very different chassis layout – narrow at the front, wide at the rear. The design gives the vehicle a huge aerodynamic advantage of a traditional layout. The roadster has a centrally located driver seat upfront and two passenger seats behind.

It’s the first of a number of concepts to be announced for the show at the Vancouver Convention Centre, which runs from Tuesday, March 24 through Sunday, March 29. Hundreds of new production cars will populate the all-new floor layout of exhibition space. The show floor is growing 25 percent to almost 28,000 square metres by taking over the Ballrooms.

Presented by the New Car Dealers Association of BC, the 95th Vancouver International Auto Show is the premier showcase for car enthusiasts, providing the best opportunity of the year to see some of the world’s most popular brands alongside exciting new features and displays.

New features at this year’s event include the return of Exotic Manufacturers, Electric Avenue, and a showcase of the newest and most innovative green vehicles and technologies. That area includes a 100 percent electric powered Bigfoot monster truck. The new and innovative Car Culture area will feature interactive vignettes, highlighting themed lifestyles and the vehicles that drive them. Custom built and modified hot rods, super cars and luxury vehicles will be showcased. And this year marks the return of commercial vendors selling vehicle parts and accessories.

Driveway will profile many of the vehicles from the show immediately before the show opening.

Contact: keith [dot] morgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

Show Dates: March 24-29, 2015

Location: Vancouver Convention Centre West

Show Hours & Pricing: Tuesday, March 24: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Admission: $20

Wednesday, March 25: 12 pm – 10 pm. Admission: $15

Thursday, March 26: 12 pm – 10 pm. Admission: $15

Friday, March 27: 10 am – 10 pm. Admission: $15

Saturday, March 28: 10 am – 10 pm. Admission: $17

Sunday, March 29: 10 am – 6 pm. Admission: $17

*Admission discounts provided for seniors (65+), students with valid ID, children ages 7-12 (except Tuesday), multi-day passes, and family packs.

For more Information and to purchase tickets, please visit: www.VancouverInternationalAutoShow.com.

“The fuel efficiency of the four-door, five-seat LEAF is calculated at the gas equivalent of about 2.0 L/100 kms with a range of around 120 kms on a full charge.”

  • Recent Comments

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    • Davd Randall { Bantam designed the Jeep, not Willy's or Ford. The American military gave the original Bantam prototype to Willys and Ford to copy. There is plenty... }
    • Elliott Parodi { All Escalades come with a 6.2-lilter V8 engine that produces 420 horsepower. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission offered and drives the rear wheels.... }
    • Ev { Alexandra is an excellent journalist. }