2015 Ottawa Auto Show Top Picks
The last few days have been a real treat , as Ottawa has played host to a number of incredible vehicles across multiple platforms. From everyday sedans to high performance supercars, there was something for everyone at the 2015 Ottawa Auto Show. For many, the highlights were of course vehicles like the Lamborghini Huracan or the Tesla Model S. The 2015 Ottawa auto show is unique because in addition to super cars, there are plenty of everyday cars and dealers in attendance. While we can all dream of owning an exotic sports car, we need something to get us around on a day to day basis. Gary’s is here with your top picks for new vehicles in 2015! (Note: many vehicles mentioned will be the 2016 models due to the way vehicle model years are released)
Best New Compact – Mazda 2
If you’ve driven down Rideau street around 5pm on a weekday, then you know the desire to have a smaller, more agile car. Compact cars have been gaining more popularity as the desire for greater fuel efficiency at lower prices outweighs the desire for performance. With newer compact cars, you no longer have to decide between performance and economy. Mazda hasn’t officially released details for the 2016 engine options, but it’s rumoured that there will be a few options, ranging from 1.3 litre gasoline engines to 1.5 litre diesel engines. We chose the Mazda 2 has our top pick due to the outgoing 2015 Mazda 2. The previous model was sporty, and hands down the most fun to drive compact, giving you the feeling of driving a much sportier car. For 2016 Mazda promises further increased handling, refined interior and exteriors, all while maintaining the 2’s $15k starting price.
Best New Sedan – Buick Regal
Compacts may be too small for some, or they may not offer enough luxury for daily driving. Gary’s Automotive had the chance to sample some of the new sedans hitting the market, and was impressed by the Buick Regal. While a large sedan is typically not aimed at performance enthusiasts, the 259hp turbo charged engine in the Regal will get you where you’re going, and the available all wheel drive system only adds to the performance. The most appealing part about the Buick Regal? A fully loaded model packed to the brim with all modern luxuries such as lane detection warning and back up cameras, as well as touch screen navigation can be had for under $40k.
Best New SUV/Crossover – Nissan Juke
When comparing it to other vehicles, yes, the Nissan Juke looks a little different. That’s what makes it Gary’s choice for best new SUV/Crossover. The current market of SUV’s and Crossovers are somewhat bland. Crossovers can fall victim to having off-road styling with city comforts, yet excelling at neither. The Juke starts at only $20k, but offers one of the widest ranges of options today. Front wheel drive or all wheel drive, manual or automatic, and personalization options on nearly everything. The Juke also features an incredible amount of cargo room(1017L). If you really want to get a killer Crossover, Nissan offers a Nismo tuned version of the Juke for incredible performance. All Jukes are equipped with a 188 hp turbo charged engine with available driving mode controls, for switching from the city core to the trails.
Best New Truck – Ford F-150
While the pick up market is a hotly contested arena, there’s no denying the fact that the Ford F series has been the top seller in Canada for a number of years. With the lowest base MSRP of the big 3 combined with some of the greatest power, the new Ford F-150 is Gary’s choice for the truck to beat. There’s also incredible diversity in the F-150 lineup. For the workhorse, you can take home an F-150 for under $25k. If you want to splurge and ride around the job site like royalty, A fully loaded platinum edition F-150 can set you back a whopping $85k (for those keeping score at home, a Porsche Cayman GTS capable of a 0-60 in under 5 seconds with 340 hp is also $85k)
Best New Minivan – Dodge Grand Caravan
Ford may dominate the truck market in Canada, but the minivan game belongs to Dodge and their Grand Caravan. What makes the Grand Caravan Gary’s top pick? The Grand Caravan starts at $20k. No other competitor has such a low base MSRP, and for a large family, saving on anything is important.The patented Stow’n’go seating also offers unparalleled ease of use and cargo space, and optional tailgate seating can make outdoor events more enjoyable. The Dodge Grand Caravan also gets an expected 25mpg highway, so more savings can be had even when your driving. If you’re in the market for a new minivan, then the Dodge Grand Caravan is a top choice.
Best New Hybrid/Electric – Smart Fortwo Electric
As gasoline vehicles, the Smart Fortwo has a reputation for being under powered and a little uninteresting. That makes the Fortwo the perfect platform for an electric vehicle. With a range of 109km and a top speed of 125km/h, the electric version is Gary’s top pick for a urban electric vehicle. While it may lack the cargo room of some bigger vehicles, as an every day driver it’s hard to beat the benefits of an electric vehicle. The Fortwo electric currently starts at $26k, and that’s before up to $11,500 in rebates and incentives to go green. If you’re looking to be on the cutting edge of technology an innovation, then consider the Smart Fortwo. Ottawa is currently in the midst of expanding their charging network, and with the current infrastructure you won’t be left stranded.
The Best Of The Best
While we haven’t even got started on the high performance options from the 2015 Ottawa Auto Show, but these cars represent the top choices for an every day driver. Based on what we saw, we feel confident recommending any of the vehicles on this list to get you where you need to go on a daily basis. We could spend hours talking about the high performance vehicles, but at the end of the day these are the vehicles that you will experience and that will play the biggest parts in your life.
Check Out our highlights from the 2015 Ottawa Auto Show here!