Latest auto news from Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi and Kia

From the funny little Toyota zipping around the Olympics to the Honda Monkey and Acura NSX to the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Fefe Dobson

Latest auto news from Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi and KiaTime for some automotive odds and ends that have come my way lately. First, if you’ve been watching the Tokyo Olympics, you may have noticed these funny little model cars zipping all over the place. They’re especially obvious during the athletics events, such as shot put, javelin, relay races and so on, where they schlepp…

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: 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…

Lexus RX 450h offers comfort in a hybrid package

The RX 450 is roomy, cheap to run and very comfortable. For most folks in this market, that’s more than enough

Lexus RX 450h offers comfort in a hybrid packageAlthough hybrid vehicles have been around for decades (Ferdinand Porsche developed a gas/electric vehicle in 1899), Toyota/Lexus really got the ball rolling when they introduced the Prius in 1997. The Prius has been phenomenally successful, selling over a million units worldwide, and remains the benchmark by which all other hybrids are judged. So successful has…

Toyota Sienna proves the minivan still worth a look

The SUV may have eclipsed the minivan in popularity but, most of the time, they do the same thing

Toyota Sienna proves the minivan still worth a lookWhile SUVs of all shapes and sizes have exploded in popularity, the equally usable minivan has quietly languished. General Motors and Ford don’t make minivans anymore, and while some other manufacturers have taken up the slack, they don’t sell in huge numbers. That’s kind of a shame because, for most applications, a minivan can do…

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…

RAV4 Hybrid offers plenty for 2021

The 2021 version of this SUV is comfortable, driveable, reasonably roomy, thrifty and, with Toyota’s proven hybrid system, reliable

RAV4 Hybrid offers plenty for 2021Back when they were first conceived some 70 years ago, the idea behind sport utility vehicles was to provide practical, usable transportation that could move things and people around with a modicum of comfort. Clearly it was a good idea on the part of car manufacturers. SUVs have almost replaced the conventional four-door sedan as…

A tale of two Camrys: XSE and TRD

A tale of two Camrys: XSE and TRDFor the past four decades or so, the two top-selling sedans in Canada have been the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, not necessarily in that order. Not hard to see why. They’re both comfortable, competitively priced and – most importantly – reliable people carriers. They may not always get the blood pumping, but they do…

Toyota Tundra offers muscles and manners

The engine is one of the most responsive yet well-behaved power plants in this market. Remarkably powerful, yet docile in the city

Toyota Tundra offers muscles and mannersIf I was a traffic cop and I wanted to make city roads safer and fulfil my ticket quota, one of the first things I’d do is pull over every full-size pickup truck that crosses my path. That would be especially true of the jacked-up, fat-tired, lift-kit behemoths that seem to be piloted by testosterone-addled…

Toyota Venza stands the test of time

Buying used: Definitely not a conventional sedan but not quite a fully-fledged SUV either

Toyota Venza stands the test of timeAccording to Consumer Reports, the average life expectancy of a new vehicle these days is around eight years or 250,000 km. Some can even go 15 years and up to 500,000 km, if properly maintained. With that in mind: the 2010 Toyota Venza. Available with front or all-wheel drive, the Venza was introduced to the…

Slow but sure, RAV4 Hybrid fills a need

As you would expect from any Toyota, the 2020 RAV4 Hybrid is very driver-accessible and immensely driveable

Slow but sure, RAV4 Hybrid fills a needHybrid engineering, once thought to be bridge technology, is stronger than ever. Sometimes it seems every other vehicle on the road is a hybrid of some kind. And this includes SUVS – virtually all the major carmakers have something on offer. Volvo XC90, Mitsubishi Outlander, Hyundai Kona, Ford Escape, Subaru Crosstrek and others are available…

Toyota Prius still leads the hybrid pack

This car is all about practicality and common sense. Toyota is on top of its game when it comes to hybrid technology

Toyota Prius still leads the hybrid packToyoto Prius is the world’s best-selling hybrid vehicle – by a long shot. This is the hybrid against which all others are judged. Its hybrid drive system is used by Toyota and Lexus throughout their lineups, as well as used under licence by other manufacturers worldwide. Well over six million Toyota Prius units have gone…

Toyota turns heads – and tight corners – with i-Road

Part motorcycle and part automobile, the three-wheeled vehicle is innovative and provocative. But will it ever be allowed in Canada?

Toyota turns heads – and tight corners – with i-RoadThere’s no shortage of alternate forms of personal transportation these days. Manufacturers from every corner of the industrial sector are on a never-ending quest to come up with a workable alternative to the automobile as we know it. They come in all shapes and sizes, from battery-powered skateboards, to hover boards, to the remarkable but…

Looking for a 2015 used car? Here are some good bets

BMW 3 Series, Kia Optima Hybrid, Scion xB, Toyota Prius V all offer good value and quality

Looking for a 2015 used car? Here are some good betsLooking for a used car around five years old? Here are some models from 2015 that I happen to like, from four manufacturers. BMW 3 Series BMW makes some outstanding automobiles, no question. But for driving pleasure, value, and accessibility, the 3 Series takes some beating. The base version was actually less expensive than the…