2022 Nissan Frontier is smooth, comfortable and driver-friendly

Powered by 3.8-litre V6 engine mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission

2022 Nissan Frontier is smooth, comfortable and driver-friendlyAlthough things have cooled down recently, Canada’s pickup truck market is still a going concern: at least one out of every four new vehicles sold in this country is a pickup truck of some kind. Manufacturers are falling over each other to get new models to market. They come in all shapes and sizes: from…

Buying used: 2012 Honda Fit has held its value well

The base model offers AC, power windows, tilt steering, cruise control and power door locks

Buying used: 2012 Honda Fit has held its value wellIn 2012, Honda’s popular Fit subcompact was well into its second generation and it was pretty much business as usual. Two trim levels are available: Base and Sport. Although they’re pretty much the same vehicle, the Sport features tuned suspension that gives it a stiffer ride. It handles the corners better but it’s at the…

The 2022 Kia K5 ticks all the boxes for sedan enthusiasts

The K5 does everything this type of vehicle is supposed to do

The 2022 Kia K5 ticks all the boxes for sedan enthusiastsThe passenger sedan market definitely ain’t what it used to be. Not long ago, the conventional four-door sedan defined the new car marketplace. If you went shopping for a new car, that’s what you bought nine times out of 10. Yes, SUVs were around. But they were more of a novelty than a legitimate choice…

Buying used: 2012 Honda Insight offers ultra fuel economy

Originally priced at under $22,000, the 2012 Insight now ranges between $8-15K

Buying used: 2012 Honda Insight offers ultra fuel economyThe 2012 Honda Insight was aimed squarely at first-timers and buyers under 35, since when new it was priced below the Civic Hybrid and popular Toyota Prius. In 2012, it was two years into a refit. With technology fundamentally similar to that found in the current Civic Hybrid, the 2012 Insight yields fuel consumption of…

Mazda’s new electric MX-30 is strictly an urban car

Mazda claims it has a 160-km driving range, but don't push your luck

Mazda’s new electric MX-30 is strictly an urban carDepending on who you talk to, fully-electric automobiles are definitely in our future. Apparently, they will account for at least one-quarter of all new car sales by 2030. That number in Canada is around two per cent, but with the U.S. mandating that electric cars will make up at least 50 per cent of new…

Buying used: 2011 Lexus GX 460 offers luxury and function

Unsurprisingly, the GX 460 has held up well in terms of resale and residual value

Buying used: 2011 Lexus GX 460 offers luxury and functionKissing cousin to the Toyota 4Runner, the Lexus GX 460 is the upscale version of Toyota’s popular SUV. It, too, has a body-on-frame design but with more stuff and a higher price tag. It features the same basic body style, wheelbase, seating capacity and driving experience. Revamped in 2010, the 2011 edition is powered by…

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is an intriguing pickup/SUV hybrid

Accommodates five adults and has a cute little pickup bed that’s big enough to carry bits and pieces

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is an intriguing pickup/SUV hybridThey say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that’s the case, Korean car manufacturers have been extraordinarily complimentary to their Japanese counterparts since the early 1980s at least. Ever since the Hyundai Pony, the Koreans have employed a fairly simple principle: make automobiles driveable and easy on the pocketbook. It’s a modus…

Buying used: 2011 Honda Odyssey a benchmark for people carriers

One thing that remains unchanged is this generation's great handling and drivability

Buying used: 2011 Honda Odyssey a benchmark for people carriersFrom its reintroduction in 1999, Honda’s Odyssey has been an unqualified success story. Over the years, this minivan has become more powerful, with a host of up-to-date upgrades and engineering goodies. But its basic dimensions have remained about the same. Why mess with success? The 2011 version comes in five trim levels, all with a…

Honda gets almost everything right with 2022 Civic

Honda got it right in almost every department – except the continuously variable transmission

Honda gets almost everything right with 2022 CivicCast your memory back to the early and mid 1970s, when Japanese car manufacturers were just starting to make serious inroads into the North American market. Toyota was a presence, as were Datsun, Mazda and Isuzu. But the company that seemed to really get the ball rolling was Honda. When it was introduced in 1972,…

Buying used: 2011 Mercedes GLK 350 for the young at heart

This is primarily an upscale compact luxury SUV, with modern conveniences galore

Buying used: 2011 Mercedes GLK 350 for the young at heartThe compact Mercedes-Benz GLK 350 was introduced in 2010 and designed with younger customers in mind. According to the company, the SUV was aimed at brand-conscious young professionals with an active lifestyle, plus up-and-coming female buyers. There are few, if any, differences between the 2010 and 2011 models. It featured a 3.5-litre V6 engine that…

Nissan Pathfinder has no bad habits for 2022

As a grocery-getter, the Pathfinder is just fine. Easy to get along with, comfortable and refined

Nissan Pathfinder has no bad habits for 2022When it comes to redesigning or upgrading their models, carmakers apparently have one rule of thumb: make it bigger. When in doubt, increase the wheelbase, raise the roof height, put in a bigger engine and add more stuff to the interior. Models that start out a modest size somehow balloon over the years to the…

Buying used: 2011 Nissan Murano upgraded and overhauled

This more mainstream-looking SUV bore some resemblance to its chief rival, the Acura RDX

Buying used: 2011 Nissan Murano upgraded and overhauledBuilt on Nissan’s revamped D platform (the same as the Altima sedan and coupe), the Murano got a revamp in 2011 – a bit of body tweaking here and there, some drivetrain upgrades, a new interior design and a new front grille, among other things. Nissan stylists overhauled the wheel arches and cleaned up the…

The 2022 Kia Carnival SX proves minivans can be cool

Comfortable and quiet with all kinds of elbow room and easy-to-understand instrumentation

The 2022 Kia Carnival SX proves minivans can be coolAs of 2022, the Kia Sedona is no longer with us. In its place is the Carnival. While still a minivan, this is a different animal in just about every way. It’s larger, more luxurious, better equipped and more robust. The Kia Sedona was one of the first products to come out of the Kia/Hyundai…

Buying used: 2011 Volkswagen Golf is a treat to drive

The 2011 hatchback had a 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine, which made it kind of a hot rod

Buying used: 2011 Volkswagen Golf is a treat to driveThe Volkswagen Golf was completely restyled and redesigned in 2010 and little changed in 2011. The 2011 hatchback came in three and five-door variations and was propelled by a 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine, which made it kind of a hot rod. With some 170 horsepower pushing a 1,376-kg body, the three-door version with a manual gearbox,…

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…

Buying used: Drive the 2011 Camaro with enthusiasm

Conveys muscularity and a bad boy persona, with a dash of nostalgia thrown in

Buying used: Drive the 2011 Camaro with enthusiasmIntroduced in 2009 and manufactured in Oshawa Ont., the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro banked heavily on baby-boomer nostalgia. And aside from the fact that it delivered better fuel economy than its predecessors, had better handling and braking, and was more environmentally correct, the driving experience was much the same. This generation of the Camaro was based…

Plenty of new and updated vehicle models on horizon

Honda, Nissan, Subaru, Mitsubishi and Mazda are all trotting out changes, upgrades and revisions for 2022 model year

Plenty of new and updated vehicle models on horizonIt’s that time of year again: car manufacturers are introducing their new and refreshed models for the coming year. Some really are new; others merely breathed upon and updated. Falling into the updated category is the latest iteration of Honda’s Passport SUV. For 2022, it gets new exterior styling that Honda is describing as “bold,”…

Buying used: 2011 Mercedes E-Class has plenty to love

The E-class was one of the prettiest cars on the road and emulated by other manufacturers

Buying used: 2011 Mercedes E-Class has plenty to loveAvailable as a four-door sedan, estate wagon, convertible or two-door coupe, Mercedes-Benz’s E-class was well into its fourth generation by 2011 and still represented the heart of the company’s lineup. Not as pricey or exclusive as the S-class, it was a cut above the C-class stable. It was also one of the prettiest cars on…

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…

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…

Buying use: 2011 Golf GTI offers exceptional handling

The GTI is more than enough for most drivers

Buying use: 2011 Golf GTI offers exceptional handlingEssentially unchanged from 2010 to 2011, this generation of the Volkswagen Golf GTI model actually debuted in the fall of 2006. In the 2011 version of this hatchback, power is ably provided by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that develops 200 horsepower and 207 foot-pounds of torque. Transmission choices are a six-speed manual or a…

Buying used: The 2011 Honda Pilot has stood the test of time

Priced from about the $10,000 range right up to the low $20,000s

Buying used: The 2011 Honda Pilot has stood the test of timeLike its upscale brethren – the Acura MDX – the 2011 edition of the Honda Pilot was a candidate for one of the homeliest models in the SUV market. Offered in four trim levels, it bore a strong resemblance to the Ridgeline pickup and featured a chunky body style with one of the least appealing…

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…
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