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…

Buying used: four-cylinder version of 2010 Mazda6 a better bet

Standard equipment level was high: air conditioning, cruise control, power door locks, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls

Buying used: four-cylinder version of 2010 Mazda6 a better betOverhauled, restyled and re-engineered in 2009, the 2010 edition of the Mazda6 was also on the receiving end of refinements and various upgrade of a comparatively minor nature. Some models got a push-button start feature, while others featured a blind spot monitoring system. But for all intents and purposes, the 2010 and 2009 Mazda6s were…

Buying used: 2010 Honda Odyssey holding its value

Why mess with success?

Buying used: 2010 Honda Odyssey holding its valueReintroduced with sliding side doors and a new body style in 1999, Honda’s Odyssey has been a success story ever since. Over the years, this minivan has become more powerful, with a host of upgrades and engineering goodies. But its basic dimensions have remained about the same. Why mess with success? In 2010, it came…

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…

Buying used: 2011 Lexus GX 460 still top of the class

Plenty of power, almost completely silent and no worse on gas than most of the competition

Buying used: 2011 Lexus GX 460 still top of the classKissing cousin to the 4Runner, the Lexus GX 460 is the upscale version of Toyota’s popular SUV. It has a body-on-frame design and more stuff and a higher price tag, but features the same basic body style, wheelbase, seating capacity and driving experience. In 2011, it was powered by a 4.6-litre V8 engine that delivered…

Buying used: 2010 Toyota Camry has held its value well

When you purchase a Camry, you usually get a four-wheeled appliance that at a minimum gives you years of hassle-free motoring

Buying used: 2010 Toyota Camry has held its value wellThe year 2010 wasn’t the best of times for Toyota. Unintended acceleration complaints and floormat glitches were giving the company fits. No model in the company’s lineup, it seemed, was immune and Toyota appeared to spend most of its time putting out fires. But as it turns out, this was a pretty good year for…

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…

Buying used: 2010 Hyundai Sonata reliable but not flashy

Hyundai engineers emphasized comfort over handling with this generation of the Sonata. So don’t look for snappy handling

Buying used: 2010 Hyundai Sonata reliable but not flashyIn 2010, you could pick up a new Hyundai Sonata for under $18,000, making it one of the best deals going in the mid-size sedan market. That price applied to the base GL, equipped with a four-cylinder engine and a manual transmission. But the equipment level was still pretty high, with standard features like air…

Auto industry notes: new models and features rolling out

New models, retooled favourites and significant new features

Auto industry notes: new models and features rolling outIt's time for some auto industry odds and ends, random notes and updates that have come my way lately. Subaru Subaru has just announced the pricing structure for the 2022 Legacy and Outback. Available in five trim levels, the newest Legacy continues to have a full-time all-wheel-drive system and can be had with a turbocharged…

The 2011 Kia Soul is both cute and practical

The Soul surprised with its reserve power, nimbleness and, in particular, its lack of rattles, looseness or mysterious noises

The 2011 Kia Soul is both cute and practicalThe Kia Soul was introduced to the North American market in 2010. Based on the Rio platform, it was one of the new breed of stubby compact urban crossover wagons, such as the Nissan Cube, Scion xB, Honda Element, Ford Flex and so on. When it hit the market, Kia was also targeting the Dodge…

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…

Buying used: 2011 Mazda CX-7 stands the test of time

The CX-7 was a cut above competitors, but it had less cargo space and was not available with a V6 engine or manual transmission

Buying used: 2011 Mazda CX-7 stands the test of timeAvailable with front-wheel or all-wheel drive, the Mazda CX-7 got a bit of a facelift in 2011, continuing as a steady, if not spectacular, performer for the company. This vintage of the mid-size SUV is essentially a carryover from 2010. While the CX-7 didn’t share its platform with any Ford products, it featured an interesting…

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…

Buying used: 2011 Mustang convertible offers top-down fun

Once the top is down, you understand. As well as improving all-round visibility, it gives this car a whole new dimension in driveability

Buying used: 2011 Mustang convertible offers top-down funWhen Ford introduced its Mustang convertible in 1964, it was powered by an optional 260-cubic-inch (4.3-litre) cast-iron V8 engine that developed just over 160 horsepower. It was later bumped up to 289 cubic inches and more, and Ford went on to sell over a million of the first-generation Mustang in its first year of production.…