News and notes from the auto industry

A new Outlander, Nissan honoured for safety features, Kia offers a new ‘life utility vehicle,’ Ford‘s new Bronco goes modular

News and notes from the auto industryWith spring just around the corner, automotive updates, news releases and new vehicle launches are coming thick and fast. Here are a few that have come my way: Mitsubishi has just released its 2022 Outlander. Here’s how the manufacturer describes it: “Based on the product concept ‘I-Fu-Do-Do,’ which means authentic and majestic in Japanese, the…

Buying used: six-cylinder 2011 Chevrolet Equinox a better bet

Consumer Reports gave the V6 version an average used car prediction, while the four-cylinder models are worse than average

Buying used: six-cylinder 2011 Chevrolet Equinox a better betThe Chevrolet Equinox was the first model out of the gate after General Motors’ corporate shuffle in 2009. Made in Ingersoll, Ont., it replaced the Suzuki-built Tracker and was essentially a carryover for GM in 2011. It could be had with two engine choices: GM’s ubiquitous 2.4-litre Ecotec four-cylinder or a 3.0-litre V6. A six-speed…

Auto industry news and notes

Recycled batteries and other components, plus new models and partnerships

Auto industry news and notesIt’s time for a few odds and ends in the automobile business. Acura has a new, fourth generation 2022 MDX set to go on sale later this month. The flagship SUV will feature a new exterior redesign that the company describes as “bold and athletic,” new front suspension and revamped interior layout, among other things.…

Buying used: 2011 CR-Z hybrid has zip and economy

According to Honda, drivers aged 35 or under and sports car buffs were the primary target, with hybrid customers coming second

Buying used: 2011 CR-Z hybrid has zip and economyIntroduced in late 2010, the Honda CR-Z hybrid bore more than a passing resemblance to one of the company’s most beloved models: the CRX. This was no coincidence. The pint-sized, Civic-derived CRX hatchback was a favourite with tuners and enthusiasts, and many lament its passing in the early 1990s. But the CR-Z was a different…

News and notes from the automotive world

New car and motorcycle models, e-vehicle updates and a runabout that really went the distance

News and notes from the automotive worldSome year-end odds and ends from various car manufacturers. Acura is about to unveil its 2022 MDX. The company describes it as “the most premium, performance-focused and technologically sophisticated SUV in Acura history.” The latest iteration of the MDX will feature a new exterior design, redesigned suspension, more interior space, and all-new digital instrumentation and…

Buying used: 2010 Honda Ridgeline worth seeking out

This is as comfortable a truck as you’ll find and little touches make everything that much more civilized

Buying used: 2010 Honda Ridgeline worth seeking outIntroduced in 2005, the Ridgeline was Honda’s first attempt to penetrate the pickup truck market in North America. How did that work out? Famously. The Ridgeline was an almost instant success. In 2010, it was propelled by a transversely-mounted 3.5-litre V6 engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and a full-time all-wheel-drive system. Fuel economy…

Honda’s 2020 CR-V maintains strong tradition

It’s a state-of-the-art compact sport utility vehicle that stands at the head of the class in almost every department. You just need to overlook the transmission

Honda’s 2020 CR-V maintains strong traditionThe qualities that have made the CR-V such a winner – driver-friendliness, usability, thrift and driveability – are still very much in evidence in the newest iteration of this Honda mainstay. I spent some time with the 2020 CR-V and liked just about everything about it. Available in five trim levels, with front- or all-wheel…

Acura RDX interface just alienates driver

Honda hasn’t lost the ability to build nice driveability. Ignore the shifter and interface and the 2020 RDX is still reasonably pleasant to drive

Acura RDX interface just alienates driverI drive 50 to 60 new vehicles a year, of all kinds: sports cars, hybrids, pickups, mini-vans, sedans, luxury, economy box, electric – you name it. And most of the time, I look forward to sliding behind the wheel, for a bunch of reasons. If it’s a new Porsche, for example – well, that speaks…

Can millennials be convinced to fall in love with cars?

Many, when they do buy, view automobiles as a necessity rather than a lifestyle. And many others are content to live without wheels

Can millennials be convinced to fall in love with cars?With baby boomers fading into the sunset, millennials have taken over as the biggest generation, population-wise, in the world. Born roughly between 1980 and 2000, they’re sometimes called generation Y and now represent the largest demographic group of consumers in North America. Not to mention the most strategic group of voters. But millennials aren’t throwing…

Latest upgrades take Honda in the wrong direction

Latest upgrades take Honda in the wrong directionWhat’s happened to Honda? Things just aren’t the same anymore. Let me back up a bit. I like Honda products. Have done for years. If I look around my family and friends, I can count at least half a dozen Accords and Civics, some of which I have recommended. And when anyone asks me what…

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…

The 2019 Honda Ridgeline is a pleasure to drive

It’s civilized, practical and, as far as it goes, rugged. Score another one for Honda

The 2019 Honda Ridgeline is a pleasure to driveWhen Honda introduced its Ridgeline pickup in 2006, it was well received except for one thing: it looked funny. It didn’t really resemble a traditional North American pickup, with its high rear deck sides and odd cargo layout. Some said it had more than a passing resemblance to the Chevrolet Avalanche, which wasn’t necessarily a…

Honda Insight wants to be in charge of the driving experience

Driver input these days, it seems, is decreasing incrementally

Honda Insight wants to be in charge of the driving experienceIt all started with cruise control. It was, arguably, the first modern automotive convenience readily available to buyers that didn’t fundamentally involve the operation of the vehicle. When it became readily available – in the 1970s, initially in the RV industry – it was something of a sensation: a feature that allowed you to drive…

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…