The enduring allure of the Porsche Panamera

It has a kind of muscularity about it, but not clumsy or overdone, and features a visual presence few others can match

The enduring allure of the Porsche PanameraHere’s another in my series of ones that got away – cars that I’ve encountered over the years and wish I’d kept. But in this case, I couldn’t have afforded it in the first place. When it was introduced in 2010, the Porsche Panamera was priced in the $120,000 neighbourhood – before taxes. Hard to…

Trends and new products as car industry sits in neutral

Trends and new products as car industry sits in neutralUsually car manufacturers are falling over themselves at this time of year, introducing new models, debuting industry updates, unveiling new technology, providing new vehicle test drives and so on. It’s also traditionally when auto scribes start attending various new car launches and industry events, and filing update stories. But with COVID-19, social distancing and all…

Gone but definitely not forgotten: Mazda RX-7

It offers hell-for-leather performance, yet idles like a purring cat at stoplights and is perfectly civilized on the highway

Gone but definitely not forgotten: Mazda RX-7In the spirit of social distancing and stay-at-home isolation, here’s a look at a nearly forgotten classic and one of my favourite cars. One that got away from me and I really wish I’d kept: the third-generation Mazda RX-7. In the 1990s, sales were brisk for this Japanese company. Its motor sports division was basking…

Morgan brand still vital after ownership change

In a world filled with anonymous SUVs and universally similar sedans and hatchbacks, seeing a Morgan going down the highway is like a breath of fresh air

Morgan brand still vital after ownership changeLast year, the Morgan Motor Co., which started selling its iconic three-wheeled runabout in England in 1910, was sold to an Italian investment firm. Egad! But the beat goes on and the Morgan is still as iconic as ever. Arguably it’s most recognizable model is the three-wheeler. Available in the U.S., the 3 Wheeler is…

VW Rabbit still plenty of fun to drive

VW Rabbit still plenty of fun to driveThe Volkswagen Rabbit was the original hatchback pocket rocket when it was introduced to North American in 1974. It quickly morphed from sensible urban transport to a lively, performance-oriented corner-carver that was immediately popular with enthusiasts and racers around the world when the GTI was introduced two years later. Over the years, it has been…

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…

Mazda CX-3 is a sport cute built for urban driving

It’s a little twitchy at highway speed but around town it’s nimble, easy to manoeuvre and simple to park

Mazda CX-3 is a sport cute built for urban drivingTake a look at what’s filling up the highways and byways these days and you’ll come to the inescapable conclusion that the day of the traditional family sedan is over. The four-door people carrier with a trunk that many of us grew up with seems to be going the way of whitewall tires, bell-bottom pants…

Top-down fun and performance with Nissan 370Z Roadster

Buying used: the 2010 version offers plenty of options, including some unusual features

Top-down fun and performance with Nissan 370Z RoadsterWith spring just around the corner, it’s top-down time. If you're in the market for a pre-owned model, the 2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster is a decent choice. After a major redesign, in 2009, Nissan lowered the price and reduced the size of its flagship roadster. Strictly a two-seater, it was now shorter and lighter, with…

The 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 holds its value

Buying used: With its legendary liquid-cooled, six-cylinder powerplant, it remains one of the most enjoyable cars to drive

The 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 holds its valueNo car has a closer link to its past than the Porsche 911 series. It’s been front and centre, in one form or another, for 50 years. And despite numerous engineering updates and redesigns, it still has a horizontally-opposed engine hanging out the back for power. In 2009, the 911 was on the receiving end…

Buying used: 2010 Audi R8 has ‘collectible’ written all over it

The full measure of the high-end European sports car, with a symphony of mechanical noises emanating from the engine

Buying used: 2010 Audi R8 has ‘collectible’ written all over itBuilt on the Lamborghini Gallardo platform and patterned after one of Audi’s LeMans racers, the Audi R8 was introduced at the Paris Auto Show in 2006. Initially offered as a two-door hardtop, and later as a Spyder convertible, it was an instant sensation. Easily the most eye-catching production car ever put forward by the German…

Buying used: 2010 Audi R8 has ‘collectible’ written all over it

The full measure of the high-end European sports car, with a symphony of mechanical noises emanating from the engine

Buying used: 2010 Audi R8 has ‘collectible’ written all over itBuilt on the Lamborghini Gallardo platform and patterned after one of Audi’s LeMans racers, the Audi R8 was introduced at the Paris Auto Show in 2006. Initially offered as a two-door hardtop, and later as a Spyder convertible, it was an instant sensation. Easily the most eye-catching production car ever put forward by the German…

Buying used: 2010 Mazdaspeed3 not to be taken lightly

The Speed3 was that rarest of creatures: an affordable hot rod, accessible to just about everybody

Buying used: 2010 Mazdaspeed3 not to be taken lightlyNot to be confused with the garden-variety Mazda3, the Speed3 version of this popular econobox was the fastest car under $35,000 sold in 2010. Behind the wheel, it was a different automobile entirely. With some 263 horsepower in hand, it could rocket from zero to 100 km/h in well under six seconds and had a…

Sexy Stinger takes it to the German touring sedans

Review: 2018 Kia Stinger GT Limited is a lot of car at a price point just under $50,000

Sexy Stinger takes it to the German touring sedansBy Doug Firby and Lisa Monforton Troy Media Like its cousin Hyundai, Kia is a Korean carmaker known for its value-priced vehicles. The cars and SUVs offer great value in hardy vehicles with lots of features. They’re also offered for relatively low dollars. Until now. Kia is busting out of the hive with its first…

Ford Mustang EcoBoost lacks the edginess a muscle car needs

My car looked like a Mustang but drove like a Taurus, lacking that rough-around-the-edges, tactile edginess that made the car so endearing in the first place

Ford Mustang EcoBoost lacks the edginess a muscle car needsIf you follow the automobile industry at all, you probably know that Ford will be discontinuing production of all its passenger sedans and focusing on SUVs and trucks within the next few years. Fiesta, Fusion, Focus, Taurus, etc., all gone. The single exception is the Mustang, which will carry on. And just last week I…