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…

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…

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…

2021 Toyota Tacoma built for weekend warriors

The year's version of this mid-size pickup truck has plenty of bells and whistles, but can it live up to the reputation of its predecessor?

2021 Toyota Tacoma built for weekend warriorsA few lifetimes ago, I decided to bring in the new year by taking a long hike up a well-known trail near Harrison, B.C. The Clear Creek trailhead is on the road to Port Douglas on Harrison Lake, and makes its way northeast, until it kind of peters out somewhere just west of the Fraser…

Genesis G70 is a top-drawer copycat sedan, nanny features and all

One of the most unrelaxing vehicles I’ve ever driven

Genesis G70 is a top-drawer copycat sedan, nanny features and allWhen the Japanese automobile industry was just getting on its feet in the 1950s and 1960s, one of the ways it accomplished its goals was by emulating other manufacturers. For example, the concept of assembly-line production, using just-in-time technology, was taken from General Motors, which introduced it during the Second World War. Similarly, when companies…

Revived Ford Bronco is worth celebrating

It’s faithful to the original idea behind SUVs

Revived Ford Bronco is worth celebratingIn the world of SUVs, size definitely matters. Some manufacturers, such as Ford, General Motors and others, believe that the bigger the SUV, the better. And many buyers agree. This explains the presence of models like the Escalade, Suburban, Explorer and so on. On the other hand, sport cutes are simply too small for some…

2021 Infiniti QX80 is an SUV I actually like

Offers style, comfort and performance

2021 Infiniti QX80 is an SUV I actually likeI’ve never really fully understood the SUV market. It seems to me that, most of the time, SUVs don’t really excel at anything. They don’t function as well as minivans when it comes to people-carrying or schlepping stuff around; they aren’t usually as comfortable or accessible as a conventional sedan or hatchback; nor do they…

Lincoln Corsair fussy, uncomfortable and badly conceived

Now and then, a car comes my way I simply can’t get along with

Lincoln Corsair fussy, uncomfortable and badly conceivedNow and then, a car comes my way I simply can’t get along with. Almost everything about it presents an obstacle to a pleasant driving experience. I seem to spend half my time fussing and fighting with it. In this case, it was the 2021 Lincoln Corsair which, despite embodying the pinnacle of automotive design…

Lexus RX 450h offers comfort in a hybrid package

The RX 450 is roomy, cheap to run and very comfortable. For most folks in this market, that’s more than enough

Lexus RX 450h offers comfort in a hybrid packageAlthough hybrid vehicles have been around for decades (Ferdinand Porsche developed a gas/electric vehicle in 1899), Toyota/Lexus really got the ball rolling when they introduced the Prius in 1997. The Prius has been phenomenally successful, selling over a million units worldwide, and remains the benchmark by which all other hybrids are judged. So successful has…

Toyota Sienna proves the minivan still worth a look

The SUV may have eclipsed the minivan in popularity but, most of the time, they do the same thing

Toyota Sienna proves the minivan still worth a lookWhile SUVs of all shapes and sizes have exploded in popularity, the equally usable minivan has quietly languished. General Motors and Ford don’t make minivans anymore, and while some other manufacturers have taken up the slack, they don’t sell in huge numbers. That’s kind of a shame because, for most applications, a minivan can do…

Mazda CX-30 Turbo has plenty of punch

Mazda has added another compact SUV to its stable

Mazda CX-30 Turbo has plenty of punchSometimes it seems like every other vehicle on the road is a Mazda. Specifically, one of the CX models: 3, 5 or 9. These are very popular SUVs and I’ve driven most of them at one time or another. The CX-5 is the sixth most popular compact SUV sold in Canada, behind perennial leaders Toyota…

Land Rover Defender utilitarian, retro and capable

The 2021 version conveys a sense of ruggedness and capability that sets it apart from most other Rover products

Land Rover Defender utilitarian, retro and capableIn one of my favourite movies – The Gods Must Be Crazy – a hapless protagonist inadvertently winches his old Land Rover to a massive tree branch and immediately forgets about it. When he remembers what he’s done, the trusty Rover has winched itself off the ground and is hanging in the air like some…

Mazda MX-5 RF may be ugly but it handles like a dream

The RF excels at point-and-squirt city handling, and can carve corners with the best of them

Mazda MX-5 RF may be ugly but it handles like a dreamMazda doesn’t often get it wrong. Over the years, it has produced some very well designed – and successful – cars and trucks. Models like the Mazda5, Mazda3 and, going back, the B2200 pickup have really struck a chord with buyers. They have cemented the company’s reputation as a thoughtful, astute manufacturer that knows how…