Moving? Here are some practical vehicle options

From pickup trucks to minivans, what vehicle to rent, beg, borrow or even buy when you're moving - depending on the size of your home

Moving? Here are some practical vehicle optionsOn the fun scale, moving is right up there with looking for a job, root canal and shovelling snow off the driveway. And it’s made even worse if you don’t have the right vehicle (not to mention friends who have suddenly all left town). Borrowing your buddy’s hatchback and cramming it full of your stuff…

Toyota RAV4 is still worth raving about

Toyota has mastered the art of building appealing, mainstream automobiles and the 2019 RAV4 carries on that tradition

Toyota RAV4 is still worth raving aboutFirst, let’s talk about the paint job on my test RAV4. Toyota is calling it Blue Flame With Ice Edge. I call it taxi cab meets corporate fleet vehicle and it’s, well, distinctive. Taste is personal, of course, but of the infinite number of paint choices the company could have picked, why this particular eyesore?…

The best oil-change options for vintage car owners

What you need to know about zinc dialkyldithiophosphate, or ZDDP, in engine oil and why it matters – or doesn't, depending on your car

The best oil-change options for vintage car ownersOil. When it comes time for a change, most of us just wheel into the nearest lube joint or dealership and get it done by someone else. The do-it-yourselfer who breaks out the tool kit, jacks up the front end, rolls up their sleeves and changes their own oil is becoming something of an endangered…

Toyota Corolla remains rock-solid for 2020

In virtually all respects, this is an extremely well-equipped and dependable automobile – as it is year after year

Toyota Corolla remains rock-solid for 2020What makes a car good? Why do some models succeed beyond their manufacturers’ wildest expectations while others are stillborn? Price point? Absolutely – people want to get their money’s worth and a well-priced automobile with good value for the buck has already got a leg up on the competition. What about styling? Not so much.…

Can millennials be convinced to fall in love with cars?

Many, when they do buy, view automobiles as a necessity rather than a lifestyle. And many others are content to live without wheels

Can millennials be convinced to fall in love with cars?With baby boomers fading into the sunset, millennials have taken over as the biggest generation, population-wise, in the world. Born roughly between 1980 and 2000, they’re sometimes called generation Y and now represent the largest demographic group of consumers in North America. Not to mention the most strategic group of voters. But millennials aren’t throwing…

Strip away the mod cons and GM’s Terrain could be the perfect vehicle

The Terrain is chock-a-block with safety and modern convenience features that push the price tag to just under 50 grand

Strip away the mod cons and GM’s Terrain could be the perfect vehicleApparently, the first true SUV was the Jeep Wagoneer, introduced in 1963 ... but, depending who you talk to, the Sport Utility Vehicle – SUV – as we know it was actually conceived at General Motors, which introduced the pickup truck-based Chev Carryall Suburban decades earlier, in 1935. Originally intended to be a workhorse –…

The best, and worst, used cars of 2015

The best, and worst, used cars of 2015Thinking of buying a used car that’s … oh … four years old? Well, every year, Consumer Reports (CR) publishes its “Best And Worst” automobile issue. This is arguably the most comprehensive and thorough automobile guide in the industry and takes a hard, cold look at new and used cars and SUVs. Consumer Reports accepts…

Mazda3 Sport for 2019 is buttery smooth

If you overlook its hopeless stereo system, the Mazda3 is everything you could ask for in a compact car. It ticks most of the boxes

Mazda3 Sport for 2019 is buttery smoothYears ago, while teaching my eldest daughter to drive, I tried to impress upon her the value of learning to drive a manual stick shift. “All the really cool cars have one,” I reasoned. “And it’s just more fun to drive a car with a manual transmission. You are more in touch with the car’s…

Mazda MX-5 has the heart of an MGB – and much more

The MX-5 has better handling and braking, a much more appropriate engine, better rust resistance and a manageable soft-top

Mazda MX-5 has the heart of an MGB – and much moreIn its 18-year production run – from 1962 to 1980 – the MGB was purchased by more than half a million people. It was – and still is – one of the most successful two-seaters ever made and, even today, stands up well. There are still thousands of them around the world and the parts/service…

Latest upgrades take Honda in the wrong direction

Latest upgrades take Honda in the wrong directionWhat’s happened to Honda? Things just aren’t the same anymore. Let me back up a bit. I like Honda products. Have done for years. If I look around my family and friends, I can count at least half a dozen Accords and Civics, some of which I have recommended. And when anyone asks me what…

The 2019 Ford Expedition is big on features – and just plain big

Comfortable, stable, accommodating and roomy, it’s the state of the art for full-size SUVs

The 2019 Ford Expedition is big on features – and just plain bigWith the explosion in compact SUV popularity, it’s almost unusual to see an actual full-size model – the ones that got this whole ball rolling, like the Chevrolet Suburban or its direct competitor, the Ford Expedition. Introduced in 1997, the Expedition borrows heavily from the F-150 pickup truck platform, utilizing many mechanical components and similar…

Is the golden age of show and shines coming to an end?

The people who attend these events – and those who bring the cars – are getting older

Is the golden age of show and shines coming to an end?It’s almost a cultural cliché these days. The old cars roll in and park, their drivers set up folding chairs or start polishing, the hot dog and hamburger vendors start cooking, someone puts on some Chuck Berry or Bill Haley, and the people file in to gaze at vintage and classic automobiles. Sometimes they’re British…

Surviving the contact sport of buying a used car

Beware con artists, smoothies, carpetbaggers, excuse-makers and truth-stretchers

Surviving the contact sport of buying a used carA few months ago, I got the chance to take my own advice and put my money where my mouth is. My daughter needed a cheap but decent used car – something sensible, with back door/seat access and a decent-sized trunk. Budget: $5,000 max. Here are some of the cars we checked out: 2003 BMW…

Honda CR-V a treat to drive in almost every way

The unresponsive transmission takes a great deal of the joy out of this otherwise practical, pleasurable small SUV

Honda CR-V a treat to drive in almost every wayAlthough I drive 50 to 60 new cars a year, I still own a 1976 BMW 2002, a ’76 Triumph TR6 and the family schlepper: a 2002 Honda CR-V. The first two cars are my toys, pampered and driven in nice weather, and usually for short distances. The Honda is the workhorse, and is used…

Power plant sets Mazda CX-5 apart from competition

No one wants surprises in this market. The practical, well-thought-out model will win the race every time. This fits the bill

Power plant sets Mazda CX-5 apart from competitionIn a market absolutely saturated with utes, sport utes, sport cutes, and full-size beauts, what can a manufacturer do to make its product stand out in the crowd? In a word, nothing. At least, nothing drastic. This segment of the auto market is not about game-changing innovations (despite carmakers’ boasts to the contrary), revolutionary design…
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