Buying used: 2011 Ford Fiesta is far from perfect

Early reviews were strong but over time, questions about quality have cropped up

Buying used: 2011 Ford Fiesta is far from perfectIntroduced in 1976 and built in Germany, the original Ford Fiesta was one of the company’s most successful models. Over the years, Ford sold some 12 million of the sub-compacts worldwide. It was discontinued in North America in the early 1980s, despite continuing to be offered elsewhere. In Europe, the Fiesta has consistently been one…

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: part SUV, part sport cute

This is a straightforward vehicle to drive that does its job efficiently and competently

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: part SUV, part sport cuteOriginally a sport coupe/convertible with available all-wheel drive and turbo power, the Mitsubishi Eclipse has evolved from a sports car for everyman into a crossover hatchback that’s part SUV and part sport cute. It’s one of many on the market and shares much with competitors such as the Honda HR-V, Ford EcoSport, Hyundai Tucson and…

Beating the bushes for a winter beater?

Here are some choices if you're looking for something that's easy on gas, affordable, dependable and, if possible, good in the snow

Beating the bushes for a winter beater?With winter just around the corner, it might be time to start thinking about a beater. Something to get you through the nasty weather and salty roads while your ‘other’ car is nestled snugly in the garage. The parameters are straightforward – we’re looking for something that's easy on gas, affordable, dependable and, if possible, good…

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV kicks hybrid technology up a notch

It’s surprisingly lively and judicious use of the various modes will help extend battery power

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV kicks hybrid technology up a notchMost car companies are run by accountants – bean-counters. That’s probably the way it has to be: bottom line, profit and loss, mollifying the stock-holders and so on. But there are a few where the engineers still have sway and where management actually listens to them. Saab was one (and look where it got them,…

Three good bets if you’re shopping for a used hybrid

The 2010 Ford Fusion, 2007 Honda Civic and 2004 Toyota Prius all have much to recommend them

Three good bets if you’re shopping for a used hybridOne of the pleasant bonuses of owning a hybrid vehicle is that it will probably be reliable. Indeed, according to Consumer Reports, most hybrids are more dependable than their garden variety non-hybrid counterparts. The Toyota Prius and Camry hybrids, for example, generally top the list for most reliable cars, period, from this organization and elsewhere.…

Honda’s latest hybrids hit the mark

Accord Hybrid and Clarity both offer exceptional fuel economy, all the modern conveniences and more than enough get up and go

Honda’s latest hybrids hit the markAlthough Toyota seems to have the lion’s share of the hybrid market, other manufacturers haven’t exactly been idle. Honda, for example, introduced the Insight back in 2000 and has unveiled a series of hybrid models over the years, with varying degrees of success. The first generation Accord Hybrid, for example, was a lovely car in…

Want your motorcycle ready to go in the spring?

Here are the essential steps you need to take now to ensure that your bike is in top shape after the snow melts

Want your motorcycle ready to go in the spring?The sun is shining and the weather has never been lovelier (in my part of the country). Nonetheless, it’s time to start thinking about storing your bike for the winter. And by that I don’t mean putting it up on the kick stand, stashing it in a corner of the garage and just forgetting about…

Honda Civic Type R is a genuine pocket rocket

Honda isn’t making that many of these and even with its lofty price tag, they won’t be lingering on dealers’ lots

Honda Civic Type R is a genuine pocket rocketIf I was a few years younger, I would love this car – make that quite a few years younger. The 2018 Honda Civic Type R is a young person’s car, no question, but even for an old guy, it’s a ball to drive. I love its drivetrain, handling and sense of balance. It’s the…

Buying used: the 2010 Kia Forte Koup

For most buyers, the Koup offered entertaining handling and performance, even if it was never going to set the road on fire

Buying used: the 2010 Kia Forte KoupIntroduced at the 2009 New York International Auto Show, the Kia Forte Koup was the first two-door coupe configuration from this Korean manufacturer. Officially classed as a five-passenger coupe, with room in the back for three, elbow room was a little tight side back there, so four people would fit just about right overall. It…

Driver-friendly Mazda CX-5 is easy to get along with

For 2018, it features various engineering refinements, including a cylinder de-activation system for the larger 2.5-litre engine

Driver-friendly Mazda CX-5 is easy to get along withNot designed to raise pulses, the Mazda CX-5 is nonetheless one of the mainstays of the company’s lineup. It’s kind of their mid-sized model, sandwiched between the very popular CX-3 and CX-9. What it may lack in driving kicks, it makes up for in sheer driveability and driver-friendliness. It’s just one of those cars that…

Still riding, but with more caution all the time

Motorcycle riders in Canada are at least 15 times more likely to be involved in a crash than automobile drivers

Still riding, but with more caution all the timeIn my home province – B.C. – the attorney general recently announced that July of this year was one of the worst on record for motorcycle fatalities: 18 deaths in one month, the highest number in decades. To put this into some kind of perspective, in 2017 there were 30 motorcycle deaths in total for…

The 2010 Toyota Yaris remains economical and functional

This econobox has stood the test of time and remains a solid choice for A-to-B transport

The 2010 Toyota Yaris remains economical and functionalMade in Japan and formerly known as the Echo, the Toyota Yaris has traditionally been about as basic as econoboxes get. The emphasis has always been on economy of operation and affordability, rather than performance or comfort. Eight years on, the 2010 Yaris is an econobox that has stood the test of time and remains…

Is the Mazda MX-5 the greatest sports car ever made?

Thirty years after its introduction, this two-seater remains as entertaining, dependable and fun as anything out there

Is the Mazda MX-5 the greatest sports car ever made?What’s the greatest sports car ever made? Depends who you talk to, I suppose. Jaguar E-Type, Shelby Cobra, Ferrari Testarossa, Porsche 911, Mercedes 300 Gullwing, Aston Martin DB5 … the list goes on and on. But let’s narrow down our criteria a little. Let’s look at things like usability, reliability, affordability, fun quotient, and parts…

The top 10 (bottom 10?) ugliest cars ever made

Not everything that springs from the mind of automobile designers and stylists can be a winner. In many ways, when they sit down to design, it’s a crap shoot

The top 10 (bottom 10?) ugliest cars ever madeSomething a little different this time around: ugly cars. Not everything that springs from the mind of automobile designers and stylists can be a winner. In many ways, when they sit down with their computer-aided design and manufacturing programs, or simply clay mules, it’s a crap shoot. Things like passenger ingress/egress, aerodynamics, manufacturing costs, engineering…

Mazda CX-9 is more than just another mid-size SUV

Plenty of cargo capacity, good jump for a four-cylinder engine, sleek styling and a comfortable, quiet ride add up to a solid vehicle

Mazda CX-9 is more than just another mid-size SUVThe CX-9 is the biggest model Mazda makes and arguably the most interesting. Not because it’s extraordinarily fast or has bling styling, or even because it pampers its occupants more than anyone else. On the face of it, the CX-9 is yet another mid-size SUV, duking it out in one of the most competitive markets…
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