Automotive

WhatFinger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Acura adds A-Spec goodies to 2018 TLX

Honda’s luxury division may have sparked the Japanese invasion of the luxury and high end sports car markets - and led the way for several years after that - but you might wonder what the company has done lately.

Well, besides the new NSX supercar, the company has continued to release well built, luxurious vehicles that are stuffed with technology. The problem is, everyone else is doing the same thing, only some have now passed Acura’s lead enough that the folks at Honda’s top niche may find themselves a tad lost in the customer shuffle. And that’s a shame.

By Jim Bray - Friday, September 29, 2017

Fuel-cell cars cruise onto the market

Fuel-cell powered cars that emit only water vapor when driven have been in the works for decades, but progress seemed to keep stalling. Now, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the wait is over. Motorists can finally lease or buy hydrogen-powered, fuel-cell cars, but the road ahead for these vehicles still faces some bumps.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, September 28, 2017

Volkswagen stretching things with new generation Tiguan

The VW Tiguan has always been a great compact SUV, and for 2018 the German carmaker has redesigned the vehicle completely, crafting a new generation Tiguan that seems fully capable of slugging it out in this niche of the market.

As a VW fan, I’m always nervous when they release a new model because I’m afraid they’ll screw it up. It’s like your favourite sports team coming off a championship-winning season, and you just know the team will be different next year thanks to retirements, free agency, etc., and you dearly hope the new team will be everything the old one was. They aren’t usually, unfortunately - dynasties being the exception rather than the rule - but at least in Volkswagen’s case their history is generally one of steady development and refinement rather than the company rushing to throw the new baby out with the ancient bath water.

By Jim Bray - Monday, September 25, 2017

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid hits the right notes except for some weird sounds

Minivans. These people haulers have been around for years and for a while were some of the most popular vehicles on North American roads. Then came the “crossover,” a combination of car and SUV, and the minivan segment in which an abundant number of automakers had participated started dwindling down until today there’s only a handful of models available.

One of the more interesting is from Chrysler, via its Pacifica - a name that once applied to one of the early crossovers, a seven seat people hauler that was more a long and a tad taller car than a minivan. I reviewed the first Pacifica back in 2007 and thought it was pretty neat - a decent carrier of people and not necessarily their stuff. But that Pacifica is long dead and the new one comes down firmly into the minivan segment - and it also offers what the company says is the first hybrid minivan on the market.

By Jim Bray - Saturday, September 9, 2017

Motoring: Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo

The city of Monte Carlo has had a long association with motorsport, ever since the Monaco Grand Prix was founded in 1929 using the city streets as part of the challenging circuit. A circuit that has seen some of Britain’s finest racing drivers clinching victory such as Graham Hill and more recently Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

Why am I talking about this famous French Formula One race? Because I happen to be behind the wheel of a Skoda Fabia… Monte Carlo. It’s a racy little number that reminds me of a plush bachelor pad, as I cast my eyes over the striped seats. There’s definitely a hint of sportiness about this five-door family hatchback. There’s a liberal smattering of leather on the gearstick, handbrake and steering wheel. But somehow it’s more staid than a typical hot hatch.

By Tim Saunders - Monday, September 4, 2017

New CX-5 continues Mazda’s zoomy tradition

Here we go again, another Mazda review, another vehicle that does everything it should well, but which adds a little extra "zing"  to the equation or, as Mazda has put it for so long, with "Zoom-Zoom."

Sure, it could use a little more "Zoom," but it’s still pretty good, and it’s a darn fine mid-sized SUV as well.

I love Mazdas and have only found one over the years I’ve been reviewing them that was lacking enough in "Zoom-Zoom" for me to whine about it - even though I’d love to see a little more of it in most of their current vehicle line. It was the original CX-5, back in 2012, the first Mazda product to offer its SKYACTIV technology. The two litre engine in question only put out 155 horsepower, which prompted me to quote the book of Daniel: "For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?"

By Jim Bray - Sunday, September 3, 2017

Does VW’s Atlas hold the company’s future on its shoulders?

Volkswagen’s first all new SUV since the Tiguan is here, and it’s bigger, more angular - and more modern in VW’s inventory, than the Tiguan and the Touareg.  Will it be enough to help turn around any negative public impressions there may be coming out of the diesel kerfuffle of the past couple of years?

Who knows? I doubt one model could do that - though the Atlas is a darn fine place to start. Besides, I think the whole diesel thing was BS anyway - and a shame from consumers’ standpoints. That’s because, if I were to buy a vehicle today that was offered in gas or diesel, in most cases I’d opt for the diesel. Sure, they’re down on horsepower, but they generate gobs of torque, which is more important for the lead footed, plus they get terrific fuel mileage. And, though prices wobble wildly, diesel is often cheaper than gasoline.

By Jim Bray - Sunday, August 20, 2017

10 of the hottest self-driving technologies from Israel

“Car manufacturing is not about tires or brakes anymore, but the technology inside the car – the sensors and algorithms.”

How did Israel, a country that has no domestic car manufacturing industry, become a worldwide powerhouse for autonomous-driving technology (also known as self-driving cars)?

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Fusion Sport and MKZ offer sporty variations on a mid-sized them

One is the sportiest version of Ford’s mainstream mid-size sedan, while the other’s Lincoln’s variation on the theme. So, when it comes to a choice between the Fusion Sport and the Lincoln MKZ, which is the better car?

Waffle time (syrup, anyone?)! As is so often the case, the answer is a clear “it depends.” Mostly, it depends on your budget, I suppose, because the loaded Ford Fusion sport Ford loaned me to wring out for a week is priced at $42,388 (sans taxes, etc.) while the MKZ stickered for $59,300. That’s a pretty big spread for what beneath the surface are two cars who share a lot of their DNA.

By Jim Bray - Friday, August 11, 2017

Lincoln MKC and MKX - Ford’s upmarket brand Escapes its roots and hones its Edge

If you’re looking for a compact or mid-sized crossover from Ford but want something a little more exclusive, Lincoln just may have what you’re seeking.

The MKC and MKX, which are up market versions of the Ford Escape and Edge, respectively, are both comfortable and luxurious vehicles that drive well and will coddle your bones nicely. I spent a week in each of these vehicles recently and came away quite impressed. I think they’d be even more impressive if the manufacturer would integrate more completely the terrific new interior found in the excellent Continental, but in the meantime you get a better and nicer Ford for a not-too-unreasonable premium over the garden variety Fords.

By Jim Bray - Sunday, August 6, 2017

General Motors U.S. Sales Down 15.4 Percent To 226,107 Units In July 2017

General Motors reported 226,107 new vehicle deliveries in July 2017 for the U.S. market, a 15.4 percent decrease compared to strong July 2016 sales. Sales were down at every brand, including Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac.

The automaker attributes the decline to responsible sales of vehicles into the the lucrative retail and commercial segments, rather than incentivizing overproduced vehicles, thereby protecting residual values.—More…

By News on the Net -- GM Authority- Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Official: General Motors Closes Sale Of Opel-Vauxhall To PSA Groupe

The end of an era for General Motors’ once-sprawling global empire has come to a close: Opel and Vauxhall have officially been sold to France’s PSA Groupe.

The deal was closed today, August 1, 2017, which falls in line with previous estimates that aimed for the deal to close by the end of July. PSA Groupe also operates the Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands.—More…

By News on the Net -- GM Authority- Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Consumers still love that new vehicle smell - and German quality smells the best

Ah, that new car smell! There’s nothing quite like it.

As a car nut, it’s one of the nicest aromas I can think of, and as someone who reviews cars regularly it’s a welcome odour I get to experience all the time. The only “new” smell that can match it is the spit up from a newborn family member - but, unlike a new family member, you don’t have to hose yourself down after experiencing new car smell.

By Jim Bray - Friday, July 28, 2017

Volkswagen Trendline

It is necessary to adapt your driving style when behind the wheel of a vehicle that does not have a rear view mirror.

This becomes clear when I am sat in the Volkswagen Transporter Trendline 2.0 TDi Bluemotion. It is the white van man’s dream vehicle, tough and robust, fast and efficient. And although it very much does feel like a car to drive with fairly light steering and a good driving position, the fact remains that there are no windows at the rear and no rear view mirror.

By Tim Saunders - Friday, July 28, 2017

GM considers pulling the plug on the Chevy Volt

The Chevy Volt was unveiled in 2010 to great fanfare. Politicians hailed it. The media gushed over it. The first electric car manufactured domestically, it was instantly a cause celebre, and it was hailed as part of the resurrection of General Motors.

There was one problem, though. The public was never excited about the Volt. With a price tag of more than $40,000, even government rebates of $7,500 weren’t enough tto convince many people to buy a Volt. It drives well enough and it’s true that you don’t have to put much gas in it (although you do need some in reserve just in case), but that type of price tag isn’t within reach for most people, and GM seems to have forgotten that electricity isn’t free either.

By Dan Calabrese - Monday, July 24, 2017

Michelin debuts airless tyre concept that never needs to be replaced

Earlier this month, Michelin—the company behind the chubby white tyre man we all know and love—unveiled a revolutionary new airless tyre concept. The ‘Visionary Concept’ tyre is 3D printed from recycled biodegradable materials and is designed to be the puncture-proof tyre of the future.

The Visionary Concept is actually a tyre and wheel combo. which mimics the structure of coral or the human lung, by being constructed from a number of smaller cells. This biomimetic structure is designed to be generative, meaning that the tyre never needs to be replaced, by enabling fresh tread to be added via 3D printing.—More…

By News on the Net -- Adapt Network- Monday, July 24, 2017

Ford F-150’s blend comfort with utility and size - and even some fun!

Ford’s F-150 truck line has been at or near the top of the vehicular sales heap for decades, and that’s a laudable achievement in an ever-more-competitive automotive marketplace. Especially for a truck!

And even though the joy of a full sized pickup truck is nearly entirely lost on me, I just got to spend two weeks behind the wheel of two Ford F-150 samples, a fairly conventional (but quite loaded) F-150 Lariat edition and (drum roll…) the Mighty Raptor.

By Jim Bray - Friday, July 21, 2017

Few vehicles raise a smile in the way that a Range Rover does

Few vehicles raise a smile in the way that a Range Rover does when you are behind the wheel, I find.

It’s always an absolute privilege to find yourself sitting in the high quality cabin and it is a fantastic experience. Imagine your favourite armchair and then add all the electronic gadgetry that you can conjure up and here is a seat that can be electrically adjusted to your heart’s content providing that ultimate driving position. Then of course there is the sheer height of this luxury off roader, which stands head and shoulders above most other vehicles apart from lorries. This means that the driver and front passenger have a marvellous view of the road ahead, which is perfect for overtaking. Despite its sheer size and weight this 4x4 is pretty quick off the mark and if the accelerator is pushed to the floor it makes safe light work of most opportunities that present themselves on the open road. Zero to 60mph is accomplished in a little over seven seconds, which is very impressive. There are so many luxuries fitted to this vehicle that it makes a Rolls Royce blush. Shut the door and the Range Rover ensures that the door is properly closed as you can see in the video at Testdrives.biz. The two section boot opens and closes at the push of a button. This is all well and good but ironically, after reading a newspaper article about how a woman lost her arm in the door of a neighbour’s car, I come close to trapping mine in the boot of the Range Rover but thankfully escape with a light bruise. It seems to shut and continues even if a hand is in the way. There needs to be a sensor to prevent this from happening.

By Tim Saunders - Tuesday, July 4, 2017

2018 Buick Regal TourX Priced To Start From $29,995

Buick made headlines headlines when it officially announced a wagon would be returning to its portfolio. The 2018 Buick Regal TourX aims to inject a dose of “white space” to the Regal nameplate and potentially offer the Subaru Outback some competition.

Now, it has a price tag. CarsDirect reports the 2018 Regal TourX will start at $29,995 including destination when it goes on sale in late fall of this year. Under $30,000 seems like a sweet deal, but it may be difficult to nab one at that price.

That’s because the $29,995 price tag represents the base 1SV trim, while the $33,575 Preferred 1SB trim will likely be the TourX stocked on dealership lots. Per the norm with Buick, the base model will likely not receive many incentives either.—More…

By News on the Net - Thursday, June 29, 2017

U.S. States Would Be Barred From Setting Individual Self-Driving Car Standards Under New Proposed Pl

The United States House of Representatives released its early draft of self-driving car framework earlier this month and it would mean more federal government control and less say from individual states.

Reuters reports the self-driving car plan would diminish states’ rights and limit what a particular state could regulate with regards to autonomous cars and their rollout. California and New York have proposed legislation to initially limit the roll out of driverless cars and associated technology.—More…

By News on the Net -- GMAuthority.com- Wednesday, June 28, 2017

AV’s mean more safety and savings for U.S. drivers

EDGEWATER, Maryland — Visitors to the General Motors Futurama pavilion at the New York World’s Fair of 1939 saw something quite amazing for its time: an automated highway system.  It was a dazzling display of thousands of cars and trucks operating without driver assistance for maximum traffic flow and efficiency. 

The GM Futurama program was the work of famed industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes, who many credited with conceiving what became the first modern interstate highway system. 

Today, Bel Geddes, who died in 1958, is being given even more credit: for introducing a whole new world of automated transportation.

By Guest Column -- William H. Noack- Sunday, June 25, 2017

Say goodbye to an American tradition: The thrill of the open road

BALTIMORE — Self-driving cars will kill our precious thrill of the open road while hurting large segments of our economy.

When killjoys and bureaucrats get their way, we give up the things that make our lives rich and fun.  We’re are approaching that now with these pod-like vehicles.

Private companies and federal agencies are working to put millions of driverless cars on America’s roads, and there’s a good chance those vehicles will eventually comprise the majority of personal vehicles on our roads: Some are predicting fully automated cars could be 10 percent of global vehicle sales yearly by 2035 and that percentage likely will grow.

By Whitt Flora - Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mazda’s little bundle of joy continues to please

Ah, the Mazda MX-5. Once called the Miata, the Japanese carmaker’s little open top roadster has been around for nearly 30 years and during that time has evolved and grown like most cars.

But unlike some cars that get overstyled or “over-teched” or which lose their original mien over the years, Mazda has never lost the Miata’s focus of delivering the kind of driving joy that used to be found on such cars as the MGB, but without leaving you on the side of the road every time it rains.

Okay, that may be an exaggeration about the old British sports cars, but I’ve owned three MGB’s (in various states of repair from “on its last legs” to “brand new”) and they all left me on the side of the road - so much so that I look back now, decades later, and find it hard to believe I could have been so stupid as to get kicked by that particular mule three times. What can I say? I was a kid.

By Jim Bray - Friday, June 9, 2017

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