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,”…

Tuning out the Mazda CX-5 because of a stubborn radio

Performance is excellent. Lively acceleration, smooth power delivery and whisper-quiet in operation

Tuning out the Mazda CX-5 because of a stubborn radioI want to congratulate Mazda for fitting their 2021 CX-5 compact SUV with the most unco-operative stereo system I’ve encountered in 35 years of testing automobiles. It’s so difficult to access and use it might as well not be there. I couldn’t figure out how to change stations without having to consult the owner’s manual…

Buying used: 2011 Mazda CX-7 has held up well

It featured some great equipment: 17-inch alloy wheels, AC, heated mirrors, privacy glass and more

Buying used: 2011 Mazda CX-7 has held up wellAvailable with front-drive or all-wheel-drive, Mazda’s CX-7 continued on as a steady if unspectacular performer for the company in 2011. This vintage of the CX-7 was essentially a carryover from 2010. While the CX-7 SUV didn’t share its platform with any Ford products, it featured an interesting assortment of components from other Mazda products –…

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: 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…

Mazda CX-30 Turbo has plenty of punch

Mazda has added another compact SUV to its stable

Mazda CX-30 Turbo has plenty of punchSometimes it seems like every other vehicle on the road is a Mazda. Specifically, one of the CX models: 3, 5 or 9. These are very popular SUVs and I’ve driven most of them at one time or another. The CX-5 is the sixth most popular compact SUV sold in Canada, behind perennial leaders Toyota…

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.…

Mazda MX-5 RF may be ugly but it handles like a dream

The RF excels at point-and-squirt city handling, and can carve corners with the best of them

Mazda MX-5 RF may be ugly but it handles like a dreamMazda doesn’t often get it wrong. Over the years, it has produced some very well designed – and successful – cars and trucks. Models like the Mazda5, Mazda3 and, going back, the B2200 pickup have really struck a chord with buyers. They have cemented the company’s reputation as a thoughtful, astute manufacturer that knows how…

Mazda3 Turbo is a good car gone bad

For 2021, Mazda has built in so many nanny features that it renders the car almost undriveable – or, at the very least, a pain in the butt

Mazda3 Turbo is a good car gone badSometimes an automobile can be just right – on paper. It can look half-decent, perform well, offer a reasonable level of comfort and hold its own through the corners. But when you slide behind the wheel, it just doesn’t come together and driving it is almost a chore. Take the 2021 Mazda3 Turbo. Please. This…

Mazda CX-3 nimble and versatile

This sport cute may be a little shy on power but it’s a pleasure to drive as an urban runabout

Mazda CX-3 nimble and versatileFor the first time in a long while, I went to a social event last week. Just a few people getting together to play a little music and socially un-distance for a while. It was all COVID-19-proof, of course, and a good time was had by all. But what struck me as I pulled up…

Gone but definitely not forgotten: Mazda RX-7

It offers hell-for-leather performance, yet idles like a purring cat at stoplights and is perfectly civilized on the highway

Gone but definitely not forgotten: Mazda RX-7In the spirit of social distancing and stay-at-home isolation, here’s a look at a nearly forgotten classic and one of my favourite cars. One that got away from me and I really wish I’d kept: the third-generation Mazda RX-7. In the 1990s, sales were brisk for this Japanese company. Its motor sports division was basking…

Mazda3 just keeps getting better and better

This is a nice little car that’s fun to drive, nimble and nice looking

Mazda3 just keeps getting better and betterThe phrase, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” can apply in spades to automobiles. We could also toss in “leave well enough alone” or “don’t mess with success.” Car makers have an annoying habit of taking a perfectly good model and altering or ‘refining’ it just because … well, just because. But with the…

Mazda gets the most out of CX-5 Diesel

This lovely automobile has a nice sense of balance, plenty of get-up-and-go, is comfortable and easy to get along with

Mazda gets the most out of CX-5 DieselMaybe it’s because the price of diesel has crept up. Maybe it’s because Volkswagen got busted for a massive fuel economy scam a few years ago. Maybe it’s because people stopped caring about fuel economy. But whatever the reason, diesel-engined cars have decreased in popularity to the point where they’re almost unavailable. For a while,…

Mazda3 Sport for 2019 is buttery smooth

If you overlook its hopeless stereo system, the Mazda3 is everything you could ask for in a compact car. It ticks most of the boxes

Mazda3 Sport for 2019 is buttery smoothYears ago, while teaching my eldest daughter to drive, I tried to impress upon her the value of learning to drive a manual stick shift. “All the really cool cars have one,” I reasoned. “And it’s just more fun to drive a car with a manual transmission. You are more in touch with the car’s…

Mazda MX-5 has the heart of an MGB – and much more

The MX-5 has better handling and braking, a much more appropriate engine, better rust resistance and a manageable soft-top

Mazda MX-5 has the heart of an MGB – and much moreIn its 18-year production run – from 1962 to 1980 – the MGB was purchased by more than half a million people. It was – and still is – one of the most successful two-seaters ever made and, even today, stands up well. There are still thousands of them around the world and the parts/service…