Buying used: 2011 Honda Odyssey a benchmark for people carriers

One thing that remains unchanged is this generation's great handling and drivability

Buying used: 2011 Honda Odyssey a benchmark for people carriersFrom its reintroduction in 1999, Honda’s Odyssey has been an unqualified success story. Over the years, this minivan has become more powerful, with a host of up-to-date upgrades and engineering goodies. But its basic dimensions have remained about the same. Why mess with success? The 2011 version comes in five trim levels, all with a…

Honda gets almost everything right with 2022 Civic

Honda got it right in almost every department – except the continuously variable transmission

Honda gets almost everything right with 2022 CivicCast your memory back to the early and mid 1970s, when Japanese car manufacturers were just starting to make serious inroads into the North American market. Toyota was a presence, as were Datsun, Mazda and Isuzu. But the company that seemed to really get the ball rolling was Honda. When it was introduced in 1972,…

Nissan Pathfinder has no bad habits for 2022

As a grocery-getter, the Pathfinder is just fine. Easy to get along with, comfortable and refined

Nissan Pathfinder has no bad habits for 2022When it comes to redesigning or upgrading their models, carmakers apparently have one rule of thumb: make it bigger. When in doubt, increase the wheelbase, raise the roof height, put in a bigger engine and add more stuff to the interior. Models that start out a modest size somehow balloon over the years to the…

Buying used: 2011 Nissan Murano upgraded and overhauled

This more mainstream-looking SUV bore some resemblance to its chief rival, the Acura RDX

Buying used: 2011 Nissan Murano upgraded and overhauledBuilt on Nissan’s revamped D platform (the same as the Altima sedan and coupe), the Murano got a revamp in 2011 – a bit of body tweaking here and there, some drivetrain upgrades, a new interior design and a new front grille, among other things. Nissan stylists overhauled the wheel arches and cleaned up the…

The 2022 Kia Carnival SX proves minivans can be cool

Comfortable and quiet with all kinds of elbow room and easy-to-understand instrumentation

The 2022 Kia Carnival SX proves minivans can be coolAs of 2022, the Kia Sedona is no longer with us. In its place is the Carnival. While still a minivan, this is a different animal in just about every way. It’s larger, more luxurious, better equipped and more robust. The Kia Sedona was one of the first products to come out of the Kia/Hyundai…

Buying used: 2011 Volkswagen Golf is a treat to drive

The 2011 hatchback had a 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine, which made it kind of a hot rod

Buying used: 2011 Volkswagen Golf is a treat to driveThe Volkswagen Golf was completely restyled and redesigned in 2010 and little changed in 2011. The 2011 hatchback came in three and five-door variations and was propelled by a 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine, which made it kind of a hot rod. With some 170 horsepower pushing a 1,376-kg body, the three-door version with a manual gearbox,…

2021 Toyota C-HR passes (almost) every test

The C-HR is practical and easy to get along with – except for the CVT, which is its undoing

2021 Toyota C-HR passes (almost) every testIf you’ve ever driven in southern British Columbia, chances are you’ve spent some time on the Coquihalla Hwy, also known as Hwy 5. Constructed to coincide with Expo 86 in Vancouver, it’s a spectacular stretch of road, soaring over the coastal mountain range from Hope to Kamloops, with Hwy 97C branching off at Merritt, taking…

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 offers luxury and performance

This is a lively, stable and road-hungry compact SUV that will surprise you with its prowess

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 offers luxury and performanceIf you have any doubt about the dominance of SUVs in today’s market, look no further than Mercedes-Benz – by my count, they have no less than nine distinct models for your consideration in the 2021 model year. That includes everything from the “entry-level” GLA to the Maybach GLS at just shy of $200,000. For…

2011 Ford Fusion a well-appointed, moderately upscale sedan

This vintage Fusion featured a tastefully revised interior, with available leather upholstery

2011 Ford Fusion a well-appointed, moderately upscale sedanIn 2011, the Ford Fusion came out with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine, plus a choice of two V6s and a hybrid. Ford introduced a six-speed transmission the previous year and there was an all-wheel-drive version, so they were covering all the bases. The all-wheel-drive version was kind of intriguing. It came with the largest engine…

Tuning out the Mazda CX-5 because of a stubborn radio

Performance is excellent. Lively acceleration, smooth power delivery and whisper-quiet in operation

Tuning out the Mazda CX-5 because of a stubborn radioI want to congratulate Mazda for fitting their 2021 CX-5 compact SUV with the most unco-operative stereo system I’ve encountered in 35 years of testing automobiles. It’s so difficult to access and use it might as well not be there. I couldn’t figure out how to change stations without having to consult the owner’s manual…

Buying used: 2011 Mazda CX-7 has held up well

It featured some great equipment: 17-inch alloy wheels, AC, heated mirrors, privacy glass and more

Buying used: 2011 Mazda CX-7 has held up wellAvailable with front-drive or all-wheel-drive, Mazda’s CX-7 continued on as a steady if unspectacular performer for the company in 2011. This vintage of the CX-7 was essentially a carryover from 2010. While the CX-7 SUV didn’t share its platform with any Ford products, it featured an interesting assortment of components from other Mazda products –…

Genesis GV80 has all the ingredients for the upscale SUV market

The GV80 is a mid-size SUV that feels full size

Genesis GV80 has all the ingredients for the upscale SUV marketAs an automobile manufacturer (they also make everything from deepsea freighters to power tools), Hyundai has had its share of ups and downs. The car that launched the company in North America – the Pony – was popular but deeply flawed. Subsequent offerings – Excel, first-generation Sonata, etc. – sold well enough but often developed…

Buying use: 2011 Golf GTI offers exceptional handling

The GTI is more than enough for most drivers

Buying use: 2011 Golf GTI offers exceptional handlingEssentially unchanged from 2010 to 2011, this generation of the Volkswagen Golf GTI model actually debuted in the fall of 2006. In the 2011 version of this hatchback, power is ably provided by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that develops 200 horsepower and 207 foot-pounds of torque. Transmission choices are a six-speed manual or a…

Buying used: The 2011 Honda Pilot has stood the test of time

Priced from about the $10,000 range right up to the low $20,000s

Buying used: The 2011 Honda Pilot has stood the test of timeLike its upscale brethren – the Acura MDX – the 2011 edition of the Honda Pilot was a candidate for one of the homeliest models in the SUV market. Offered in four trim levels, it bore a strong resemblance to the Ridgeline pickup and featured a chunky body style with one of the least appealing…

Nissan Kicks a comfortable, serviceable urban runaround

The Kicks, despite its odd moniker, is actually a decent little SUV

Nissan Kicks a comfortable, serviceable urban runaroundOf all the car manufacturers, Nissan seems to display the most imagination when it comes to naming its products. Who can forget the Qashqai, Juke, Armada and, going back, the Fairlady and Pulsar. They also had a model in Japan called the Leopard J. Furie, not to mention the Big Thumb delivery truck. More recently,…
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