Mercedes CLA 250 too sophisticated for its own good

Fussy controls and bad ergonomics take away from an attractive car that should just be a pleasure to drive

Mercedes CLA 250 too sophisticated for its own goodSometimes it seems car manufacturers are rolling backwards when it comes to usability and driver friendliness. Despite – or maybe because of – things like touch screen controls, continuously variable transmissions (CVT), driver-vehicle interface, climate control, etc., etc., some cars are nowhere as driveable as they used to be. No argument, automobiles are more sophisticated…

Lincoln Corsair dripping with luxury features

Lincoln Corsair dripping with luxury featuresThings have definitely changed in the car industry over the past decade. Especially with domestic manufacturers.  What was known as The Big Three – General Motors, Ford and Chrysler – pretty much owned the car industry in North America right up to the early 1980s and had an iron grip on most buyers’ affections. But that…

Mazda CX-3 nimble and versatile

This sport cute may be a little shy on power but it’s a pleasure to drive as an urban runabout

Mazda CX-3 nimble and versatileFor the first time in a long while, I went to a social event last week. Just a few people getting together to play a little music and socially un-distance for a while. It was all COVID-19-proof, of course, and a good time was had by all. But what struck me as I pulled up…

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…

Slow but sure, RAV4 Hybrid fills a need

As you would expect from any Toyota, the 2020 RAV4 Hybrid is very driver-accessible and immensely driveable

Slow but sure, RAV4 Hybrid fills a needHybrid engineering, once thought to be bridge technology, is stronger than ever. Sometimes it seems every other vehicle on the road is a hybrid of some kind. And this includes SUVS – virtually all the major carmakers have something on offer. Volvo XC90, Mitsubishi Outlander, Hyundai Kona, Ford Escape, Subaru Crosstrek and others are available…

Toyota Prius still leads the hybrid pack

This car is all about practicality and common sense. Toyota is on top of its game when it comes to hybrid technology

Toyota Prius still leads the hybrid packToyoto Prius is the world’s best-selling hybrid vehicle – by a long shot. This is the hybrid against which all others are judged. Its hybrid drive system is used by Toyota and Lexus throughout their lineups, as well as used under licence by other manufacturers worldwide. Well over six million Toyota Prius units have gone…

Hyundai Palisade makes no wrong turns

The 2020 version does exactly what it’s supposed to do. It’s comfortable, roomy, powerful, easy to drive and pleasant to look at

Hyundai Palisade makes no wrong turnsSometimes, going with the flow is the best course of action. Not making waves, being consistent and taking your cues from those around you. That strategy has certainly served Hyundai well over the years. Going right back to the 1980s-era Pony, the South Korean company has kept a sharp eye on industry front-runners and built…

Genesis G90: true luxury and a pleasure to drive

The G90 matches anything in the luxury market when it comes to comfort, performance, engineering finesse and usability

Genesis G90: true luxury and a pleasure to driveAlthough upscale luxury cars ostensibly represent the pinnacle of automotive engineering and are something many people aspire to own, I find them kind of tiresome to drive these days. When a top-tier luxury mobile appears on my schedule, I often groan inwardly and sometimes find myself reluctant to drive it. It seems car makers are…

Mercedes GLS 450 is big, bold and pricey

The 2020 version of this SUV has plenty of prestige and presence, but it's not perfect

Mercedes GLS 450 is big, bold and priceyIs bigger better? Mercedes-Benz has always thought so. If you’re talking bigger performance, bigger presence, bigger luxury and, yes, bigger price tag, Mercedes has always risen to the challenge. This applies in spades to the company’s full-size SUV line. These are big automobiles and the 2020 GLS 450 is right near the top of the…

Acura RDX interface just alienates driver

Honda hasn’t lost the ability to build nice driveability. Ignore the shifter and interface and the 2020 RDX is still reasonably pleasant to drive

Acura RDX interface just alienates driverI drive 50 to 60 new vehicles a year, of all kinds: sports cars, hybrids, pickups, mini-vans, sedans, luxury, economy box, electric – you name it. And most of the time, I look forward to sliding behind the wheel, for a bunch of reasons. If it’s a new Porsche, for example – well, that speaks…

Mazda gets the most out of CX-5 Diesel

This lovely automobile has a nice sense of balance, plenty of get-up-and-go, is comfortable and easy to get along with

Mazda gets the most out of CX-5 DieselMaybe it’s because the price of diesel has crept up. Maybe it’s because Volkswagen got busted for a massive fuel economy scam a few years ago. Maybe it’s because people stopped caring about fuel economy. But whatever the reason, diesel-engined cars have decreased in popularity to the point where they’re almost unavailable. For a while,…

VW Arteon has all you need but not much more

This sport sedan has above-average handling and braking, and beautiful styling, but it's otherwise unremarkable

VW Arteon has all you need but not much moreBelieve it or not, one of the major hurdles faced by car manufacturers is what to name their products. After all the research and development, focus groups, engineering studies, clinics, workshops and roundtable discussions, you have to decide what to call the thing. And it’s extremely important – get it wrong and people stay away.…

2020 Hyundai Elantra the best Elantra yet

2020 Hyundai Elantra the best Elantra yetBuying a new car is all about expectations. If you expect to drive something that is faster than everyone else, you get yourself a Corvette, or Porsche. If you expect you will be carrying a bunch of stuff, you get a mini-van or pickup truck. If you are looking to save money on gas, you…

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.…