New Nissan Rogue built for hockey moms

The 2021 version is a mainstream, garden-variety compact SUV and, all things considered, that’s a good thing

New Nissan Rogue built for hockey momsCar manufacturers have always had an interesting time when it comes to naming their products. Over the years, they’ve given us monikers such as Gremlin, Judge, Duster and, way back when, the Utopian Turtletop – although, in fairness, Ford didn’t choose this last one when unveiling the new 1958 Edsel but they thought about  it.…

Buying used: Mercedes S400h holds its value

Buying used: Mercedes S400h holds its valueBased on the S350 platform, the Mercedes-Benz S400h hybrid was introduced in 2010 and was a completely different animal. It was the first Mercedes sedan to receive a hybrid drivetrain and the first to utilize a lithium-ion battery pack. Th lithium-ion battery pack was – and is – controversial. Under some circumstances, this variety of…

Buying used: 2011 CR-Z hybrid has zip and economy

According to Honda, drivers aged 35 or under and sports car buffs were the primary target, with hybrid customers coming second

Buying used: 2011 CR-Z hybrid has zip and economyIntroduced in late 2010, the Honda CR-Z hybrid bore more than a passing resemblance to one of the company’s most beloved models: the CRX. This was no coincidence. The pint-sized, Civic-derived CRX hatchback was a favourite with tuners and enthusiasts, and many lament its passing in the early 1990s. But the CR-Z was a different…

Mazda3 Turbo is a good car gone bad

For 2021, Mazda has built in so many nanny features that it renders the car almost undriveable – or, at the very least, a pain in the butt

Mazda3 Turbo is a good car gone badSometimes an automobile can be just right – on paper. It can look half-decent, perform well, offer a reasonable level of comfort and hold its own through the corners. But when you slide behind the wheel, it just doesn’t come together and driving it is almost a chore. Take the 2021 Mazda3 Turbo. Please. This…

Buying used: 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep’s flagship SUV received a major overhaul in 2011 that included new body style, new V6 engine, interior makeover and more

Buying used: 2011 Jeep Grand CherokeeNeed a pre-owned winter vehicle? How about a Jeep? Jeep’s flagship SUV, the Grand Cherokee, received a major overhaul in 2011. That included a new body style, a new V6 engine, interior makeover and revised four-wheel-drive system. Although it was no longer available with the Mercedes six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, a new Pentastar V6 apparently gave…

News and notes from the automotive world

New car and motorcycle models, e-vehicle updates and a runabout that really went the distance

News and notes from the automotive worldSome year-end odds and ends from various car manufacturers. Acura is about to unveil its 2022 MDX. The company describes it as “the most premium, performance-focused and technologically sophisticated SUV in Acura history.” The latest iteration of the MDX will feature a new exterior design, redesigned suspension, more interior space, and all-new digital instrumentation and…

Buying used: 2011 Nissan Juke fails to dance

Besides its unorthodox appearance, there are plenty of reasons to look closely if you're interested in buying this car

Buying used: 2011 Nissan Juke fails to danceIntroduced in mid-2010, the Nissan Juke was, to put it mildly, controversial. Some saw it as one of the homeliest cars to ever come down the pike, while others loved its idiosyncratic appearance and deviation from the norm. Built on Nissan’s B platform – also used for the Versa – the Juke came with one…

Mazda keeps hitting all the right notes with MX-5

Mazda keeps hitting all the right notes with MX-5Every now and then, carmakers get it right. They come up with a model that’s well designed, well engineered, affordable, driveable and reliable. Models like the Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, Mazda 5, Porsche Boxster and, if you go back in time, the BMW 2002 and E30, Volvo 240, MGB, Volkswagen Beetle, Jaguar E-Type and so…

VW Routan was nothing to quack about

The 2010 version of this minivan resembled its Chrysler cousins, although with some shortcomings

VW Routan was nothing to quack aboutBuilt and sold from 2008 to 2012, the Volkswagen Routan featured a VW badge front and centre, but was more or less a Chrysler Town And Country. When it was introduced, Volkswagen claimed the minivan featured “German engineering,” sharing very few components with its counterpart from Chrysler. But the Routan was built at Chrysler’s old…

RAV4 Hybrid offers plenty for 2021

The 2021 version of this SUV is comfortable, driveable, reasonably roomy, thrifty and, with Toyota’s proven hybrid system, reliable

RAV4 Hybrid offers plenty for 2021Back when they were first conceived some 70 years ago, the idea behind sport utility vehicles was to provide practical, usable transportation that could move things and people around with a modicum of comfort. Clearly it was a good idea on the part of car manufacturers. SUVs have almost replaced the conventional four-door sedan as…

Pontiac G8: the blunder from Down Under?

Buying used: Surprisingly, this potent but unreliable road warrior has held its value over the last decade

Pontiac G8: the blunder from Down Under?Designed and built by Holden Australia and debuting in North America in 2008 for the 2009 model year, the Pontiac G8 lasted two seasons. Manufactured in Melbourne and sold Down Under as the Commodore, it was a decent-looking car with above-average handling and performance, and a definite European flavour. It could be had with either…

A tale of two Camrys: XSE and TRD

A tale of two Camrys: XSE and TRDFor the past four decades or so, the two top-selling sedans in Canada have been the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, not necessarily in that order. Not hard to see why. They’re both comfortable, competitively priced and – most importantly – reliable people carriers. They may not always get the blood pumping, but they do…

Buying used: 2010 Ford F-150 pickup offers plenty of options

Buyers should keep in mind that pre-owned F-150s might have been used as work vehicles or regularly taken off-road

Buying used: 2010 Ford F-150 pickup offers plenty of optionsBy 2010, Ford’s F-150 pickup had been the bestselling truck in North America for most of the past 43 years. Apparently, if you parked every F-series truck ever sold in Canada front to back, you’d have a line stretching from Halifax to Vancouver and beyond. Ten years ago, Ford still pretty much owned the full-size…

The 2020 Nissan Sentra offers no-nonsense value

The 2020 Nissan Sentra offers no-nonsense valueAutomobile manufacturers have pretty much mastered the art of building cars. Some 125 years on, today’s breed of automobile is safer, more powerful, thriftier, more comfortable and more reliable than ever. Things like climate control, heated/ventilated seats, satellite radio, accident alert warning systems, anti-locking brakes, hybrid drivetrains, etc., etc., have made driving more palatable than…

Auto industry updates abound

Auto industry updates aboundTime for a roundup of auto news items and industry updates that have come my way lately. Mitsubishi Mirage rates well Mitsubishi wants us to know that their Mirage econo-box has recently received three “best of” awards in Canada for pre-owned cars from Vincentric, a Canadian research firm that gathers data on car automobile ownership…
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