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…

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…

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…

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…

The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is a straightforward value

Mid-size SUV offers high standard equipment level, driver-friendliness and a high degree of usability

The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is a straightforward valueAlthough it sometimes seems that every other vehicle on the road is a Hyundai Santa Fe, this mid-size SUV from Korea is actually not even in the best-selling top 10. The best-selling SUVs in Canada are the likes of the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. According to the people who monitor these things,…

Buying used: 2011 Kia Sorento may not age well

It gets average grades for performance and features, but users have had a variety of problems

Buying used: 2011 Kia Sorento may not age wellKia had a landmark year in 2010. As well as dramatically increasing its sales and becoming a legitimate contender in the marketplace, it opened a manufacturing plant in the U.S. – West Point, Ga. The debuting model was the mid-size 2011 Sorento SUV. There are two engine choices: a 2.4-litre four cylinder and 3.5-litre V6,…

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…

Fusion Energi puts some spark in the debate about hybrids

The 2019 model can be plugged in overnight and then travel up to 40 km on battery power

Fusion Energi puts some spark in the debate about hybridsThe federal government recently announced funding in this year’s budget for incentives of up to $5,000 for Canadian buyers of zero-emissions vehicles. That’s good, but why not extend the funding to hybrid cars? Given the current technology, a hybrid car makes much more sense than a fully electric one. And if the hybrid is a…

The best and the worst cars of 2015 (and some other years)

According to Consumer Reports, there are plenty of good used cars out there from the last decade – and some models to avoid

The best and the worst cars of 2015 (and some other years)Thinking of buying a used car that’s four years old? Well, every year, Consumer Reports publishes its “Best And Worst” automobile issue. This is arguably the most comprehensive and thorough automobile guide and takes a hard, cold look at new and used cars and SUVs. Consumer Reports accepts no advertising, so they have no axes…

The 2019 Lincoln Continental offers upscale driving at its best

This spectacular-looking automobile drives like a sports coupe and even plows through snow with ease

The 2019 Lincoln Continental offers upscale driving at its bestFord announced a while ago that it would cease production of all its conventional passenger sedans starting in 2020. As well as being a potential game-changer for the company, this is also a huge mistake. Yes, people are buying SUVs and sport cutes in unprecedented numbers, but things change. And right now, Ford has never…

The 2010 Toyota Sienna goes about its business efficiently

From the comfort of the ride to the quality of the mechanics to the utility of its design, this used minivan offers value

The 2010 Toyota Sienna goes about its business efficientlyIn 2010, Toyota was still grappling with its unintended acceleration/sticky floor mat/wonky gas pedal/ineffective brake pedal imbroglio. But one of the few models in the company’s stable not affected was the Sienna. If you liked minivans, the 2010 Sienna has all the necessary ingredients. It goes about its business efficiently and unobtrusively. At the time,…

Buying a hybrid on the cheap, while you can

The Toyota Prius C is small and basic, but it's also relatively cheap. However, it just may disappear from the market shortly

Buying a hybrid on the cheap, while you canOne the problems with being environmentally responsible is that, for carmakers and consumers, it doesn’t come cheap. Electric and hybrid cars, for the most part, are more expensive than their internal combustion-propelled counterparts. Mitsubishi and Nissan, for example, are both actively immersed in electric/hybrid vehicle technology. They also sell affordable, non-hybrid econoboxes priced in the…

The 2010 Acura TSX is still a pretty good bet

Buying used: In virtually every area, this generation of the TSX receives top or near-the-top grades

The 2010 Acura TSX is still a pretty good betOriginally based on the European Honda Accord, the Acura TSX has always been an intriguing blend of performance and luxury. Not a hard-and-fast sport sedan along the lines of the Audi A4 or BMW 3 Series, it still holds its own under most circumstances. The 2010 version is powered by either a 3.5-litre V6 or…
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