Hey Canada, go and build your Volkswagen Passat Wagon at www.VW.ca and choose the 3.6L V6. Now you've got plenty of power, all-wheel drive, and not a little luxury. Add navi, rear side airbags, one $3,000 package, freight and PDI, and you're looking at ......... $52,160. It's a Volkswagen; a very nice Volkswagen. But it's a midsize Volkswagen. It may even be worth it. But again, $52,160 jars my liver.

Venture over to www.Toyota.ca. Though you may think your interest in gas-guzzlers is fleeting, the Toyota Sequoia seems plenty nice, doesn't it? With a 5.7L V8 in Platinum trim? It'll cost ya'. $59,900 is only the start. Add your "Green Levy" at $2,000; freight and PDI at $1,390; and another $115 for air-con and tire taxes, and you've got yourself a bill. $63,405 increases to $71,647 with HST in a place like Nova Scotia. How does a lease payment of $1,213 sound with $2,455 due at delivery? 

Mercedes-Benz and 'entry level' seem oxymoronic. But the B-class starts below $30K. True, 134bhp isn't exactly smokin', but the B200 is a very practical family vehicle. Then again, equipping the B200 in genuine Benz fashion necessitates over $5,000 in options and $890 for a good shade of red paint. It'd be nice to try Mercedes' Continuously Variable Transmission and - hello - this is Canada, you need heated seats. That's another couple grand. If your kids are going to ride around in the backseat of a Benz, they'll feel silly without a sunroof. The panoramic version from Mercedes costs, however. $1,600 down the tubes. You're $29,900 Mercedes-Benz turned into a $39,515. Sorry, that's life.

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