Automotive Industry and Car Reviews

Old automotive pages from 2007 and Before

Honda refreshes the Fit for 2018

Honda refreshes the Fit for 2018
Does Honda’s mid-cycle refresh of its little Fit mean the car’s a little Fitter now?

Indeed. The Fit is a good little car - despite the Honda-isms of the company’s current line that continuously drive me crazy - and Honda has indeed made it even better than before. They’ve even returned the volume control knob to the centre stack, proving that they either do listen to their critics or that they’ve actually started driving their own products for a change.

By Jim Bray - Friday, November 17, 2017 - Full Story

Toyota sports coupe a relatively cheap way to have fun behind the wheel

Toyota sports coupe a relatively cheap way to have fun behind the wheel
Toyota, please don’t even think about 86ing this great little smile generator!

A tip of the pun-dit hat to my friend Harry for that one, though the rest of the groaners in this piece are all mine.

The Toyota 86 - the Scion FR-S before Toyota said sayonara to the Scion era - and its virtual twin from Subaru (named after a Business Revitalization Zone or something) are relative rarities in this era of high tech gadgetry: they’re raw and unsophisticated, but they also hearken back to the days when cars were simpler, more direct and, dare I say, visceral.

By Jim Bray - Sunday, November 12, 2017 - Full Story

Canadian Car of the Year TestFest offers great first driving impressions

Porsche Panamera
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Ontario: Some of the best or most interesting new or substantially-changed vehicles for 2018 turned out at this vintage Ontario racing facility for a two day marathon driving session designed to choose the top candidates for AJAC‘s annual Canadian Car of the Year Awards.

This is the place, as noted in historic pictures around the facility,  where guys like Gilles Villeneuve, Jackie Stewart, Stirling Moss, Mario Andretti and A. J. Foyt plied their trade. The track owners were smart enough not to let us anywhere near that track (damn their wisdom!), but we did get to take some of the coolest sets of wheels onto the Driver Development Track, a fun series of innumerable turns designed more to teach you mettle than test your metal.

By Jim Bray - Friday, November 3, 2017 - Full Story

Lincoln’s biggest car and smallest ute make driving in Southern Ontario nearly tolerable

Lincoln Continental
How do you cope with stupidly low speed limits, endless semi-trailers choking the two right lanes (even if there are only two), and drivers who seem to think that, because they’re from the Centre of the Universe™, they have a right to drive as moronically and/or in others’ faces as they want?

Oh, and how about the endless signs peppered over the roadsides cajoling you how to drive, how to live, how to do everything except drive distracted (because it appears to only be okay when it’s the government doing the distracting)?

Well, you could try driving in a Lincoln. It won’t make the drive better, but it can certainly make it a lot more pleasant.  

By Jim Bray - Friday, November 3, 2017 - Full Story

Motoring: Volvo V60 D4 Cross Country

Motoring: Volvo V60 D4 Cross Country
“I delivered one of these the other day and the chap didn’t want to drive it,” says the delivery driver.

“Oh,” I reply, a little perplexed, admiring the finish of this particular model. “Couldn’t he drive?” I ask.

“He just sat and listened to the stereo.”

“Really? Was he all there?” I question.

By Tim Saunders - Thursday, November 2, 2017 - Full Story

Macan Turbo Exclusive Performance Edition with 440 hp and customized details

Macan Turbo Exclusive Performance Edition
Toronto— With the Porsche Macan Turbo Exclusive Performance Edition, Porsche is introducing a particularly elegant version in the Macan line-up. The Edition model is based on the Macan Turbo with Performance Package, which features a 3.6-litre V6 turbo engine capable of producing 440 hp. Exclusive exterior and interior design features underline the highly sporty character of the most powerful derivative in the model line. The sports car amongst SUVs is carefully finished by hand in the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur department at the Leipzig production site.

The standard Turbo exterior package is the foundation for the unique appearance of the Macan Turbo Exclusive Performance Edition. This package includes features such as 21-inch 911 Turbo Design wheels with lateral spokes painted in Black (high-gloss), LED headlights, and tinted LED rear lights. Additional design components created specifically for this Edition model underline the exclusive character of the vehicle. Elements on the front spoiler, rear apron and side blades painted in Carmine Red are just one example of such exclusive details. The “Macan turbo” model designation is also painted in Carmine Red underneath the Black (high-gloss) “PORSCHE” logo on the rear end.

By News on the Net - Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - Full Story

Mercedes-Benz E coupe a real ‘Tourer de force’

Or maybe it’s a “coupe de grace!”

However you pun about Mercedes-Benz’ 2018 E 400 coupe, it’s an exquisite and luxurious two door E Class, and that is nothing at which to sneer. Sure, you won’t get much change back from your 90 grand to get one configured as Mercedes-Benz Canada’s quite loaded sample was, but that’s what a car like this costs these days - and for that amount you’re getting an incredible vehicle.

By Jim Bray - Saturday, October 14, 2017 - Full Story

Mandate destroys buyers’ freedom of choice; whacks the economy

FLINT, Michigan  — There is an old saying that those who don’t learn from the mistakes of others are destined to repeat them.

Before Congress finalizes ill-conceived fuel economy standards that would almost double gasoline mileage by 2025, while boosting costs of the average vehicle by some $3,000 and pricing millions of Americans out of the market, it could learn a lesson from a similar misguided experience 40 years ago.

In the late 1970s, President Jimmy Carter, citing a need to reduce U.S. dependence on OPEC oil, mandated a 53 percent increase in fuel economy over seven years.

By Mark J. Perry - Sunday, October 8, 2017 - Full Story

Auto supplier Denso to invest $1B in Tennessee plant, create 1,000 jobs

Japanese auto supplier Denso announced a new $1 billion investment in its Tennessee plant on Friday, a move that will create 1,000 new U.S. jobs.

The investment is aimed at making the Maryville plant the Japanese company’s primary manufacturer in North American for electrification and safety systems, the company said.—More…

By News on the Net - Friday, October 6, 2017 - Full Story

A vehicle for America

That is my opinion of the fourth generation Lexus RX450h Sport. Why? It’s the type of SUV (sports utility vehicle) the Americans like, ultra luxurious inside, large and its hybrid credentials help the driver feel that they are no depleting the earth’s resources, too much anyway. Its predecessors have been extremely popular in the States, which means that this one will go down extremely well, too. It is easy to imagine it cruising the large roads over there and being very much at home. The poor British motorist can but dream of large traffic free roads or embark on their journeys during incredibly anti-social hours.

By Tim Saunders - Monday, October 2, 2017 - Full Story