2019 Honda Passport - Cover

2019 Honda Passport – Automotive Review

2019 Honda Passport - Cover

2019 Honda Passport – Automotive Review

Equipped with traveling appendages, I decided to put the Passport to the ultimate test. However, to really test this Passports limits, I figured I would get three friends to accompany me. Four grown size adults on a four-day road trip, let’s see how this goes.

Oddly enough, with a companion having an expired passport, our journey was going to be limited. We decided to head to the interior of beautiful British Columbia, with our stops being Logan Lake, Kamloops, Falkland, and Shuswap Lake as our final destination.

Not to be confused with the Honda Pilot, the Passport sits in that sweet spot between the sub-compact CRV and the Pilot. However inside you would never notice. It’s incredibly spacious; however, there is a big difference, not having that third row of seating.

Scrambling to pack my gear and items, I managed to include everything you can imagine to the very last tee. I brought games, I brought bug spray, and I even brought a roll of duct tape because- you just never know.

This Honda Passport Touring featured a Thule(R) ski-rack for extra storage capacity. While the trunk measured at 1,430 (L) cargo volume; this was more than efficient for our gear, the extra storage made it even more comfortable. We were able to utilize the over 1500 millimeter shoulder room in the rear seats and 1000 millimeter headroom in the front. With seating capacity at five grown adults, the comfortability was entirely optimal.

While we had a three-hour journey ahead of us before our first stop, equipped inside the Honda Passport Touring edition was WiFi capability thanks to HondaLink. Having WiFi is an excellent feature, especially on road trips.

Once we arrived at Logan Lake, we decide to go slightly off the beaten path. Taking a minor detour onto a dirt path demonstrated that the Passport handles it with ease. The tight wheel to body clearance navigates the rocks and body sway particularly well. The overall ride comfort is one of the best in the Honda Lineup. However taking the Passport on any more than dirt mixed with a couple rocks and you might be in for a rough ride due to the low clearance and sway. With a firm suspension I was pleasantly surprised by the control throughout nevertheless.

After spending the night lakeside, we quickly made our way toward Kamloops. Powering the drivetrain is a 3.5-litre V6 engine. The acceleration is smooth and quick. The Passport registers a 0-100 at 6.8 seconds. Accompanied with a nine-speed transmission the shifting is fast and seamless. There are also steering wheel paddles to offer that manual shift feel. With the 280 horsepower we made excellent time on our journey- not to insinuate that I was speeding. Once our brief stop at Kamloops was complete, we were off towards the small town of Falkland. Driving aids like the blind spot detection and lane-keeping assist were quite the assets on our trek. The multiple drivability technology was important when driving through some fog on the highways were visibility is limited. The adaptive cruise control worked well on lengthy straightaways in combination with blind-spot detection in limited visibility weather.

In Falkland, we optimized our fishing reels and only managed to catch a cold. Wasting 7 hours of casting and reeling, the scenery of the mountains was a nice consultation. We needed to fuel up for our second time here, which I must say wasn’t the most impressive fuel efficiency. At 11L/100km the Honda Passport is deemed average in comparison to its mid-size crossover competitors. At long last we reached our final destination of Shuswap.

While in Shuswap, we got to utilize the boat that we had been towing throughout the trip. Oh, did I not mention that we were pulling a small boat and trailer? Yes, that’s because with the towing rating at 5,000lbs our boat was weightless enough I barely would notice it.

We had a great trip, and we recommend the Honda Passport for those looking for that middle ground of size, comfortability, and utility. Equipped with a plethora of features and extras, the Passport is suitable for any family getaway. 

Key Features:

  • V6 24-Valve SOHC i-VTEC®
    • 280 hp @ 6000 rpm and 262 lb-ft torque @ 4700 rpm
    • City 12.5 L/100KM
    • Highway 9.85 L/100KM
  • Available Intelligent Variable Torque Management™ (i-VTM4®) AWD System
  • Ground Clearance (2WD/AWD,) 7.5 in / 8.1 in
  • Towing Capacity (2WD/AWD) 3500 lbs / 5000lbs
  • Seating Capacity 5
    • Headroom (front/rear) 40.1 in / 40.1 in
    • Legroom (front/rear) 40.9 in / 39.6 in
  • Cargo Volume
    • behind 2nd-row 41.2 cu ft
    • behind 1st-row 77.9 cu ft
  • Apple CarPlay™/ Android Auto™
  • Available AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot
Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email
Automotive Reviews SUV

2019 Lincoln MKC – Automotive Review

2019 Lincoln MKC – Automotive Review

Premium design features make the 2019 Lincoln MKC enjoyable for all - except for your wallet.

Overview

Stemming from its Ford Escape counterpart, the Lincoln MKC holds a more driver-focused orientation. With refined exterior styling, enriching comfortability, and adaptive technology, the MKC is ideal for those looking for a more premium small utility vehicle. Although starting at $42,150 CND, buyers have to consider, is the extra cost worth more than competitors highest model.

Styling

Visually the MKC is very appealing; equipped with an improved grille. It has a reminiscent of the Lincoln Navigator luxury, separating its appearance from the Escape hidden under the shell. Inside the cabin, Lincoln has dressed the MKC Reserve exquisitely. Comfortability comes standard with a heated and cooled 12-way power-automated front seats, heated rear seats and steering wheel, and dual-zone temperature control. While the seating package may not stack up to the Lincoln Navigator or Continental in term of luxury, but it’s a substantial improvement on the Escape. Additionally, features like the hands-free power liftgate, a voice-activated navigation system, and a breathtaking panoramic vista roof provide that required pop for consumers.

Exterior wise, the Lincoln MKC looks compressed, considering the seating capacity is for five comfortably, and the cargo space is sufficient; the outside doesn’t reflect upon the headroom. The front end, as I mentioned has received a facelift, and the rear still wears the cyclops style taillight cascading across the back, with Lincoln outlines overtop.

Driving

While the Lincoln MKC could be replaced next year by the emergence of the 2020 Lincoln Corsair, the end of Lincoln’s smallest crossover is adequate. The base model 2.0-litre four-cylinder is shared with the Escape. That said, the MKC also has a 285-hp 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine as an option in the Reserve badge.

The transmission shifts smoothly and delivers power when needed in all circumstances. Thanks to the adaptive all-wheel drive the turbocharged engine’s power is transitioned thoroughly to avoid any slips or mishandling. While acceleration isn’t much of a standout, there seemed to be little lag when the pedal hits the floor. However, it’s tough competition like the Audi Q5 launched much quicker. During testing our fuel consumption ran about 12.5L/100km with a smaller fuel tank capacity. Completely full, the range will grant you just under 500km depending on which of the three driving modes you prefer to operate.

Summary

Lincoln has delivered a luxury crossover capable of fulfilling the lack of amenity in the Escape, yet the MKC still has its issues. The price is unreasonable for the overall return from Lincoln, and overall execution wasn’t as strong as I’ve seen from competitors. A buyer may want to look towards the Infinity QX50, Acura RDX, Volvo XC60 or perhaps wait for the Lincoln Corsair.

Key Features:

  • MKC 2.0L Select – starting at $40,098 CND
  • MKC 2.0L Reserve – starting at $43,875 CND
  • MKC 2.3L Reserve – starting at $45,737 CND
  • Turbocharged 2.0L I-4 (AWD)
    • Horsepower: 245 @ 5,500
    • Torque: 275 @ 3,000
  • Turbocharged 2.3L I-4 (AWD)
    • Horsepower: 285 @ 5,500
    • Torque: 305 @ 2,750
  • Fuel Economy
    • Est. L/100 Km: 12.3 City / 9.3 Hwy
  • Head Room
    • Front Seats 39.6 in.
    • Rear Seats 38.7 in.
  • Leg Room
    • Front Seats 42.8 in.
    • Rear Seats 36.8 in.
  • Cargo Volume Behind Front Seats 53.1 cu. ft.
  • Cargo Volume Behind Rear Seats 25.2 cu. ft.
  • Total Passenger Volume 97.9 cu. ft.
  • Towing Capacity Optional: Class II Trailer Tow Package – tow up to 3,000 lbs./2.0L and 2.3L Engines
Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email
Automotive Reviews SUV

2019 Ford Edge – Review

2019 Ford Edge – Review

“Savvy dimensions, exquisite comfortability, and sharp dynamics; The 2019 Ford Edge sits in that sweet-spot between the Expedition and Escape.”

Parked in a crowded Ford SUV line-up, the 2019 Edge satisfies the mid-sized demand of consumers that are finding a lacking of space in its little brother the Ford Escape. While the Expedition has few flaws, the size will drive some buyers to consider the Edge. Often overlooked in the past, as sales have never been a Ford standout, change is coming with its new renditions. Stamped with a new Sports Technologies (ST®) badge to go along with its existing trims, this crossover has every flavor covered for every driver’s taste.  

The twin-turbo V6 engine in the ST model provides exhilarating power and pick-up.  While the base turbocharged four-cylinder engine offers some relief in fuel consumption. With a combined rating of 10L/100km for our Titanium model tested, which was followed by the ST which tested at 11L/100km. All models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and Ford co-Pilot360 as the new foundation for safety features and assistance in all models.

The Edge models begin with its SE starting at $34,099. At an impressive price point, the Ford Edge SE sets its bar for generous value. Equipped with 18-inch aluminum wheels, push-button start, hill assist, emergency braking, and much more driver assistance features, Ford has loaded up its base model to put pressure on the competition.  Adding more luxuries such as dual-climate control, silver roof rack rails, LED fog lamps, leather accents, and SYNC® 3 comes with the $34,599 SEL model. Ideal for weekend warriors on a budget, this model provides an excellent return for what you pay. Luxury seekers will have to look at shackling another $5,400 for the Titanium. Leisure features outline the Titanium model. With heated leather seating package, hands-free foot-activation liftgate, wireless charging pad, and 19-inch aluminum wheels.

Known as the Sport model, Ford has finally introduced the ST trim to the Edge. Accompanied by the only V6 turbocharged engine available the Ford Edge ST has some unique exterior styling. Reminiscent of the Ford Focus ST, the black mesh addition to the grille and 20-inch aluminum with gloss black painted rims is engaging. Tight leather-trimmed seats with Miko® cloth inserts compliment the interior nicely and enhance the drive experience. The cabin is spacious for a full trip, and cargo room for baggage is acceptable and improved with the rear seating foldability. The infotainment is lackluster at its base with one USB charging port and smaller control screen. The upgraded model gains Sync®3 software, an 8-inch display screen, with Apple and Android connectivity added. While it’s a simple interior design layout, some may be wishing more was revamped this year. I found it less clunky then some interiors I have seen and overall easily functional by not cluttering the control dials with nobs or rotaries.

Drivability is reasonably enjoyable. The base model handling and power are pleasant from what I’ve seen compared to other crossovers. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine generates 250 horsepower, giving some casual get-up comparative to its Volkswagen Atlas counterpart. Conversely, the Ford Edge ST stands alone when you’re looking for an SUV to also hang with the Volkswagen Golf GTI acceleration. Its 2.7-litre turbocharged V6 engine produces a whopping 335 horses on 380lb.-ft of torque making it one-of-a-kind for speed enthusiasts.

While I was tremendously impressed with the new Ford Edge ST, it is undoubtedly more of a unique option for buyers. Consumers will be more than satisfied with what they get from Ford in the ST, but it’s a model that isn’t suitable for anyone not already having a sportier model already in mind. A more practical option, in my opinion, sits with the SEL model. You get a plethora of features at a generous value by Ford.                   

Key Features

  • Trims available
    • 2019 Edge SE Starting at $34,099
    • 2019 Edge SEL Starting at $34,599
    • 2019 Edge Titanium Starting at $39,999
    • 2019 Edge ST Starting at $46,199
  • Twin-scroll 2.0L EcoBoost® I-4 turbocharged, direct-injection engine (SE,SEL,Titanium)
    • FWD: 10.9 L/100km city/ 8.0 L/100km hwy/ 9.6 L/100km combined
    • AWD: 11.4 L/100km city/ 8.3 L/100km hwy/ 10.0 L/100km combined
    • 250hp @ 5,500rpm
    • 280lb.-ft @ 3,000rpm
  • 2.7L EcoBoost® V6 twin-turbocharged, direct-injection engine (ST)
    • AWD: 12.6L/100km city/ 9.2 L/100km hwy/ 11.0 L/100km combined
    • 335hp @ 5,550rpm
    • 380lb.-ft @ 3,250rpm
  • Warranty
    • Basic: 36 months / 60,000 km
    • Powertrain: 5 years / 100,000 km
    • Corrosion: 5 years / unlimited distance
    • Safety Restraint: 5 years / 100,000 km
    • Roadside Assistance: 5 years / 100,000 km
  • Capacities: Interior Volume
    • Passenger Volume 3225l.
    • Cargo Volume Behind First Row 2078l.
    • Cargo Volume Behind Second Row 1111l.
Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email
Automotive Reviews

2019 Ram 1500 Rebel – Automotive Review

2019 Ram 1500 Rebel – Automotive Review

“A Rebel With a Cause: Ram has produced their most practical off-road truck yet.”

Stemming from its leaked photos of a TRX off-road hellcat soon after the emergence of the Ford Raptor; Ram has tapped into that backcountry market we so dearly appreciate in Canada. The Rebel has often come up short, with Ford capturing the interest of gravel-runners towards the hefty price tag on the Ford Raptor. So many driving enthusiasts compare these two juggernaut companies; the off-road market is no different. After gaining more attention from a teased concept in 2016 of a Rebel TRX off-road monster; Ram has instead continued to develop a more sensible truck for all types of terrain.

While I am pleased to know that concept TRX is gaining traction for its release by the year 2022, however, the 2019 Ram Rebel is no slouch itself. Equipped with an angry vented hood, black fender flares, and a gaping opening in the grille with outlined RAM interlocked. Dodge has beefed up the wheels 32-inch on/off-road tires on 18- or available 20-inch on Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires. Changed from the previous year; Ram strived to improve the amount hum produced by the tread.

The 5.7L we tested boasted a 395 horsepower-V8 engine, producing 410 lb-ft of torque. This is trumped by Ford’s prized pony with the twin-turbo 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 Engine producing 450 horsepower and a 100 more foot-pounds of torque. However, that would cost you another $25,000 CAD, and the V8 Rebel ride still feels particularly responsive. I always felt with the Ford EcoBoost, while it delivers tremendous power, it does suffer from some lag response.

A beefy upgrade comes to the Rebel in the form of a new off-road package. As stated earlier the tires have been improved as well as a host of other included features. Dodge’s offering includes a one-inch suspension lift, with or without the available four-corner air suspension. The electronic-locking rear differential and Hill-descent Control provide increase control off-road. The Rebel off-road package also includes new Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs, a black powder coated bumper, with a heavy skid plate and tow hooks. Driven within its limits, the Ram Rebel is a solid light-duty pick-up. Moreover, the Ram Rebel should be more of a Toyota Tundra TRD comparison. Enough to handle some rugged trails and have the appearance to do so.

The interior of the Rebel radiants simplicity, ruggedness, and stylish choices in terms of design. The bulky knobs are literally handy and useful to use and give that beefy look to the inside to match the exterior. The red accent styling to the dashboard and door panel is a really distinguished touch. As well as the intertwined cloth and vinyl seating makes for any long journey a comfortable trip. I also marvel at the additions of the Rebel stitched and imprinted into the dashboard to only appeal the eye as you prepare to sit in the cab.

With this genre of trucks ever growing in popularity, the level of competition is going to be fierce in the coming years. While the Ram Rebel has made strides in the right direction it still falls short of the prized Raptor. It’s going to be intriguing to see where this all heads to in the coming years as concepts and variations are becoming more demanded. As well as General Motors looking to unleash their own version very soon. One thing is certain. You can never have too many trucks in the sandbox.

Key Features:

  • 7-LITRE HEMI® V8
    • 395 hp (291 kW) @ 5,600 rpm
    • 410 lb-ft (556 N•m) @ 3,950 rpm
    • City -16.1 // Hwy – 11.0 // Combined – 13.8 // L/100 km
  • Brakes 378 x 30 mm (14.9 x 1.2 in) vented disc with 57 mm (2.2 in.) two-piston pin-slider caliper and anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • QUAD CAB PICKUP
    • Front Headroom 1,038mm
    • Front Legroom 1,040mm
    • Rear Headroom 995mm
    • Rear Legroom 903mm
    • Box Length 6Ft. 4In.
  • CREW CAB PICKUP
    • Front Headroom 1,038mm
    • Front Legroom 1,040mm
    • Rear Headroom 1011mm
    • Rear Legroom 1,147mm
    • Box Length 5Ft. 7In.
  • 151 litres of interior storage volume
  • Five-year/100,000-Km Powertrain Limited Warranty
Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email
Automotive Reviews

2018 Ford Ecosport – Automotive Review

2018 Ford Ecosport – Automotive Review

“Introducing the 2018 Ford EcoSport, a combination of no eco and zero sport.”

Seriously though, the 2018 Ford EcoSport is a complete head-scratcher. I don’t know who this vehicle is intended for. With engine options varying from lawnmower to large pressure washer, I was surprised at how fast my fuel tank seemed to disappear. Entirely I wasn’t even pleased with some of the design choices Ford went with. In the ever-expanding crossover market, Ford has missed the mark with the 2018 EcoSport.

Whether it’s the 123-horsepower 1.0L intercooled turbo or the 166-horsepower inline-four, the EcoSport struggled to keep up with traffic on higher density roadways. I often felt the need to have the peddle completely down to the floor, with the RPM’s maxing out, just to keep up with the flow of traffic while commuting up and down Highway 1.  The measly 123 hp featured in the standard Ecosport is significantly lower than its direct competitors such as the Toyota C-HR, Kia Soul, Mazda CX-3, and Hyundai Kona, yet has a very similar fuel rating. As consumer desire for sub-compacts grows every calendar year; in 2018 Ford has failed to impress or stand out from the rest.

As you may not get there in a hurry, you will hopefully get there with ease. The suspension controls a great degree of the body weight around corners, and with a smaller wheelbase, this was a pleasant surprise. The steering response isn’t particularly as energetic as vehicles with the electric power steering, (which I almost expect from newer vehicles) but it’s also not sluggish either. Simply the EcoSport will go where you point it without any resistance.

Although this Ford model was introduced to North America in 2017; the EcoSport is not new. It is designed for South America, Southeast Asia, and Europe. In terms of size, the EcoSport is the smallest of the bunch. While still having a seating capacity for five, the EcoSport is about half a foot shorter than most competitors and has a smaller wheelbase. We unfortunately tested the seating capacity, and as you can imagine it’s a tight fit for five full-grown occupants. The storage in the rear is decent for a sub-compact, as it has 20.9 cubic feet of available storage and another 30 additional cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. There was a complaint from everyone on our team that tested this vehicle, related to the design in opening the rear hatch. It’s pretty well hidden in the rear passenger-side taillight. Once found it looks like it’s was designed as a pull-latch, but it’s not, instead it’s a small sensor button. I kept trying to open the hatch pulling on the latch, but of course not getting a response until I felt the small little button. And judging by how loose the piece I was pulling on… I think many of the other journalists had the same problem.

Ford has always stayed with the Sync software in their infotainment system, and it’s no different in the EcoSport. With a touch 6.5-inch screen Sync3 with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, and additional features like; power sunroof, automatic climate control, heated seating, push-button start, and rear-sensor parking assistance provided in the tested EcoSport SE at $27,599. Optional upgrades would be features like lane assistance, heated steering, 17-inch wheels, and a 1.5-inch increase in the touchscreen navigation are available. The base model S at $21,099 grants you the basic Sync, a backup camera, with rear-mounted spare tire capability at an additional cost. The Titanium starting at $27,599 is outrageous for what you are getting in my opinion. As the saying goes, “you get what you paid for” Ford is going against the grain with that saying. I recommend looking elsewhere at this premium price point, as all the competitors will be offering more hp with better fuel efficiency while providing more legroom.

Finally, common sense would tell you with a name that features synonym for economical that it would be in fact economical. Well, there is no common sense here. With a fuel economy rating of 8.6L/100km city and 8.1L/100km highway as per fords website. We tested this first hand by resetting the gauges based on how we drove. With a combination of highway driving and city travel, we had a rating of 10.6L/100km of actual fuel economy. For a 1.0L subcompact SUV these are terrible numbers, and fuel economy was obviously sacrificed due to the lack of power, but we weren’t purposely stepping on the gas to increase the consumption, it just happened to be the consequence of driving in BC traffic

Key features:

  • Starting at
    • $21,099 for the Ecosport S
    • $24,099 for the Ecosport SE
    • $27,599 for the Ecosport Titanium
    • $28,399 for the Ecosport SES
  • 1.0L EcoBoost® engine with Auto Start-Stop Technology
    • Est. L/100km 8.6 City / 8.1 Hwy
  • 2.0L Ti-VCT I-4 engine with optional Auto Start-Stop Technology
    • Est. L/100km 10.2 City / 8.0 Hwy
  • Front-wheel drive (FWD) with optional Intelligent 4WD System
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Available FordPass Connect™ Powered by FordPass™ in-vehicle WiFi
  • Capacity
    • Passenger volume 2580.9 L
    • Cargo volume behind first row 1414.9 L
    • Cargo volume behind second row 592 L
Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email
Automotive Reviews

2018 Hyundai KONA – Automotive Review

2018 Hyundai KONA – Automotive Review

There’s a trembling brewing up from Hyundai’s core, spewing out like an eruption is the all-new 2018 KONA. This is Hyundai’s first global entry to the B-SUV segment and is the smallest crossover in Hyundai’s lineup, however, this little KONA sure packs a wallop.

“Get a friendly aloha from this Mecca to you…”

– Beach Boys Kona Coast

Hyundai chose some interesting styling compositions. The decision to mold clunky plastic fender flares looks bad in my opinion and I would have preferred a continuation of the body paneling to be over the wheel-well like a typical vehicle. I understand the decision to look different and new, but I feel it missed the mark. The wide front grille is appealing, and combined with the slim aggressive LED headlights, gives the KONA the look of eye squinting focus. The rear end starts to lose that appeal and looks messier and more disorganized compared to the tight sleek front. Below the rear taillights are additional lights with indicators located separately. With the addition of the bulky molded plastic, the rear end looks too busy and doesn’t really catch the eye in a good way.

However, that is where my complaints end as equipped with the 1.6L turbo GDI engine this KONA provides a fun and practical amount of power. Ideal for zipping around town, the KONA wasn’t as gutless as it’s opponent the Honda HR-V. The transmission is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and it shifts very smoothly. I was pleasantly surprised with the drive overall, as the all-wheel-drive combined with the multi-link rear suspension performed firmly and responsively. It’s particularly less top heavy then the Kia Soul, providing more control through corners. Also available is a turbocharged 2.0-litre. Having an estimated zero to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds is almost 2.5 seconds slower than the 1.6L GDI but combined with no AWD saves you about $7000 CND.

The interior will not blow you away, but that is not Hyundai’s intention. It was a safe design, giving every it features its occupants will need and making available all the features many will want. Nothing looks clustered, or busy, it just looks standard and typical. The infotainment screen can be between seven to eight inches in size depending on chosen spec. The inclusion of Apple CarPlay and/or Android Auto is great when in use. With so many options available on the KONA compared to the competition, ensure to choose things like the heads-up display or the wireless charging, which can be worthy and useful upgrades.

Up against the likes of the Nissan Juke, Kia Soul, and the Mazda CX3; the fuel economy of the KONA is on par with the competition. With such small engines, it becomes hard to break out in this category. With that considered, showing that it’s close to identical in this category; this is an advantage for Hyundai. The KONA was a more pleasurable driving experience with the combination of swiftness and power without sacrificing fuel economy.

Overall, I was impressed with the Hyundai KONA. I can see a small family living in the city will find this vehicle ideal. It’s ability to keep up with traffic, being affordable, and under-sized for parking will delight its owner. With everything you need and want bundled into a small package at an affordable price point, it’s no wonder that these types of crossovers are an ever-growing in popularity amongst the public. I’ll say that I’m positive you will be seeing many KONA’s zipping around your city for sure.

Key Features:

  • 2018 KONA is Hyundai’s first global entry to the B-SUV segment
  • Starting from $20,999 CND
    • 0L four-cylinder engine
    • 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft. of torque.
    • 0L FWD City/Hwy/Combined 8.6/7.0/7.9
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • Starting at $27,274
    • 6T GDI engine.
    • 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft. of torque
    • 6T AWD City/Hwy/Combined 9.0/8.0/8.6
  • BlueLink telematics service
    • Accessed from: buttons on the rear-view mirror, the web or via a smartphone app
    • features like Remote Start with Climate Control, Local Search powered by Google, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Find My Car and Enhanced Roadside Assistance
    • *included in the Ultimate trim and is activated for a 5-year term from the date of purchase.
Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email
Automotive Reviews
2018 Lincoln Continental - Exterior Cover

2018 Lincoln Continental – Automotive Review

2018 Lincoln Continental - Exterior Cover

2018 Lincoln Continental – Automotive Review

While a majority of buyers have been leaning towards affordable sedans; especially while automakers have been packing more luxury options than ever before. This remains true, however, their still is a slice of the market for full luxury. Insert Lincoln Continental.

While sharing the basic undercarriage as the Ford Fusion, the Lincoln Continental from the bottom up has an unmatched look of its own. 

From its early beginnings of a one-off, personal vehicle for Ford Motor Company president Edsel Ford in 1939. The Continental has since become the flagship luxury sedan. First brought back into the limelight in 2015 at the New York Auto Show as a concept to replace the previous Lincoln MKS; after its long cancellation in 2002. The concept car was infamous for its comparisons to the Bentley Continental GT (and not just in name) and has become the basis for the production of the 2017 Ford Continental. 

Now a year older, the 2018 Lincoln Continental has remodeled its package from the previous year. Four previously optional packages are now standard on specific trim options. The trims being the Premier, Select, Reserve and Black Label. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, navigation, and SiriusXM Travel Link are now standard on the Select Trim. While the Black Label trim contains additional Technology package and Climate package accompanied with a panoramic sunroof. Within these packages are lane assist, adaptive cruise control, heads-up display, automated emergency braking, self-parking, automatic headlights and dimming mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, and heated seats throughout. All available models feature 4G LTE data connection with hotspot capability. As well as additional colors with some absurd names have been added: Iced Mocha, Ivory Pearl, Blue Diamond, and Rhapsody Blue. 

The engine base is a 2.7-litre twin-turbocharged V6. Capable of producing 355 horsepower, and 380 lb.-ft. Of torque. This comes with a fuel economy of 12.0L/100km combined highway and city driving. There’s also an optional 3.0L twin-turbo V6 for the top level trims exclusively. Pushing the horsepower and torque to an even 400 each respectively. The tested Continental was, in fact, the top level option, and the power was sufficient for its price-point, however as many have criticized; I would have liked to see a fuel-efficient option available. 

Smooth and seamless is what you would describe the overall drivability. Comfort mode seemed to be the more favorable option while driving. Typically in a luxury sedan, the suspension feels loose to begin with and then with the additional comfort mode, most vehicles feel too loose. This wasn’t what I experienced in the Lincoln Continental under comfort mode. Moreover, the sport mode felt redundant. The increase in noise from the exhaust, high revolutions, and stiffness isn’t the purpose of this vehicle. 

Now I touched on the appearance drawing comparisons to Bentley’s styling; which when it made its debut in 2015, Bentley stated it was in fact a copy.

                       “Finally a ‘Bentley for the masses’ though…”

                                       -Bentley designer Luc Donckerwolke

To me, I wouldn’t say it’s a copy more so an ode. There are only so many design options, some are bound to be similar. Lincoln went with what they felt best represented true luxury. In order to obtain one of the more roomy cabin spaces, the length of the Continentals dimensions exceeds its competitors. Measuring at 201.4 inches in length and 78 inches wide, the Continental is at least 6 inches longer and 4 inches wider than its Audi, BMW, and Genesis counterparts. Their are just the right amount of chrome around the vehicle and the door handles are located distinguishably integrated the window sills is an amazing idea. They seemingly unlock under minimal pressure and almost just pop open. While closing features a soft close to the door as the mechanism clinched the latch closed automatically. This sounds like an unnecessary feature, but it’s unbelievably satisfying and extravagant. Almost reminiscent of a doorman at an exclusive hotel. The rear-end has one of the very few horizontal-style tail lights I find appealing. This may be due to the fact it’s slimmer than most and parallels an elegant chrome Lincoln embroidery. 

When it comes to the interior of the Continental, rear-seated passengers were part of the focus, not a side piece. While all in all, the entire cabin was extremely spacious and comfortable thanks to the excessive size throughout. It seemed, however, that design elements were an afterthought. With a mixture of wood grain, aluminum, chrome, and some plastic; Lincoln loses some of its sophistication here. With the Climate package, passengers get to enjoy heated seats entirely, rear audio control, and even massage and recline capability. Luxury treatment is also available for the front seats in the form of an all-new 30-way-adjustable Perfect Position. The transmission shifter remains a button system, also seen in the Ford Fusion. I hate this. There’s something unpleasantly unnatural about pushing a button for reverse. Ironically making me feel uncomfortable driving an otherwise extremely comfortable vehicle. 

Key Features:

  • Strating at $56 650
  • 7L twin-turbocharged V6
  • 335 horsepower, 380 lb.-ft. torque
  • 30-way-adjustable Perfect Position
  • 19″ Premium Painted Aluminum

 

 

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email
Automotive Reviews

2018 Nissan 370Z NISMO – Automotive Review

2018 Nissan 370Z NISMO – Automotive Review

Nissan 370Z is a back to basics sports car that puts serious yet affordable driving fun above everything else. At the top of Nissan's 370Z line is the NISMO, which provides access to straight-from-the-factory street and track performance inspired vehicles. With things such as the standard with 6-speed manual transmission and NISMO-tuned suspension, the 2018 Nissan 370Z NISMO is race-proven engineering at an attainable price point.

Main Changes for 2018

  • Dunlop SP Sport MAXX GT600 high-performance tires
    • Same tread pattern as the Nissan GT-R
  • EXEDY® L-PEC high- performance clutch

Key Features:

  • Nissan 307Z NISMO starting at $48,298 CAD
  • GT-R-inspired functional and fully integrated aerodynamic body pieces
    • 0 inches longer and 1.0 inch wider than a standard 370Z Coupe
  • Three exterior colors are offered: Solid Red, Pearl White, and Magnetic Black.
  • Standard Advanced Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Active Sound Enhancement (ASE) systems
  • 7-litre DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL)
    • 350 hp @ 7,400 rpm
      • 18 horsepower more than a standard 370Z Coupe
    • and 276 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
  • Close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission with standard SynchroRev Match
  • Fuel Economy
    • Combined 11.5L/100km
Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email
Automotive Reviews Video

2018 Mazda6 – Automotive Review

2018 Mazda6 – Automotive Review

With a slogan of “Driving Matters”, Mazda has produced a juggernaut sedan that’s a leader in its class. While most North American consumers are leaning towards SUV’s and Crossovers, it hasn’t stopped Mazda from quietly outperforming its competition in the sedan market.

While it may not get the recognition it deserves, the secret is out that Mazda isn’t going to be taken lightly. The all-new Mazda6 has been loaded with upgrades from its previous year, as well as continuing with previously unmatched features throughout.

Mazda6 has been given some improved chassis refinement to enhance its already superb drivability. Complimenting the handling with a slight increase in power. New to the Mazda6 is a 250 horsepower-2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Paired with its automatic six-speed transmission, with seamless shifting capability and virtual zero turbo lag; the Mazda 6’s power is more than adequate.

Already possessing one of the more elegant cabins compared to its counterparts. It was shocking to know that, aside from the steering wheel and minor trim pieces; the cabin of the Mazda6 is completely remodeled. Whoever said “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” obviously didn’t design this Mazda. However, this does follow the strategy Mazda outlined of pursuing constant updates and improvements on a much more frequent basis compared to the standard refresh and remodel schedule. The new horizontal dashboard provides a more sophisticated look and is easier on the eyes. A thin strip of satin chrome cascades around the cabin elevating the look even further. None of that cheap plastic on the dashboard downgrading its luxury feel. The entertainment module is also less clunky than most, but the rotary controller can take some getting used to, leading to many frustrating involuntary actions by mis-selecting through overshooting the appropriate icon. A seating upgrade is also a new addition for 2018 as well as gaining an inch of display on the navigation screen (previously 7 inches). Which every man can agree upon, you have to make every inch count.

The 2018 Mazda6 introduces various trim levels to satisfy everyone’s price range. Starting with the standard GS model at $27,000. The 187 horsepower 2.5L engine in the GS is partnered with standard features and a fabric interior. Stepping up from there we have the $31,600 GS-L. The GS-L has the same engine configuration but gains premium features such as; leather seating, moonroof, and iActivsense safety controls. The iActivsense safety gives the driver increased safety functions like collision warning, lane departure, and pedestrian alert sensors. I personally recommend the $2000 powertrain upgrade which will grant you a turbocharged boost to the 2.5L engine. Conversely, at $35,800, the GT model will come with the turbocharged, 250 horsepower engine, as well as features like premium Bose audio system, heads-up display, auto-dimming mirrors, and some signature lighting for the cabin. Dipping into the more luxurious credential is a new thing for this Mazda Sedan, with the all-new signature passage for the Mazda6. Special trims for the interior and exterior come with the signature package like; A luxurious Nappa leather upgrade for the seats, a beautiful real satin wood trim, ultra-suede dashboard, a 360-degree monitor, and parking sensors come with the $38,800 top of the line Mazda6.

Changes to the suspension geometry have improved the dynamic handling of the Mazda6’s drivability. Electric steering which has been growing in popularity has been added to assist in maneuvering. I found that the power and acceleration were adequate and it didn’t suffer any of the turbo lag that can easily ruin any driving experience. The transmission automatically responds smoothly and seamlessly. However, the manual six-speed transmission was removed from production in Canada, leaving some drivers slightly disappointed.

For those willing to appreciate innovative design, affordable luxury, and comfortable drivability the Mazda6 delivers on all fronts. These Japanese automakers have made aggressive steps towards putting the competition in its rearview mirror. When you are looking for your next sedan, Mazda has to be included on your list.

Key Features

  • Starting at $27,000 CND
  • Third update to the Mazda6
  • SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with optional Dynamic turbo
    • 187hp @ 6,000 rpm
    • 186 ft-lbs torque @ 4,000 rpm
  • 9.1L/100Km City & 6.7L/100Km Highway
  • Cargo volume 416L
  • Full Color 8” touchscreen display
  • Mazda’s unlimited mileage warranty
Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email
Automotive Reviews

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio – Automotive Review

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio – Automotive Review

Just as many were asking for an exotic and unique flair to the crossover class, Il solo e unico, the Godfather himself has granted their wish for Italian flair in the form of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio – “on this the day of his daughter’s wedding.” With a combination of slick styling and a formidable chassis, the Stelvio is all about producing comfortable drivability; every trip to the market will feel like an adventure through the foothills of Tuscany. Prego! I can smell it now, a hint of olive oil, some fresh baked pizza, a little parmigiana. Dannazione I am stopping for something to eat. Enzo park the car and wait for me here.

Named after one of the most infamous scenic roadway’s in the world (Italy’s Stelvio Pass), the Alfa Romeo Stelvio has both impressive standard features and exotic styling, which is sure to fulfill the appetites of these crossover starved North Americans. Built extensively with aluminum framing for weight and control, the Stelvio handles incredibly and vigorously. Assisting with the handling is the addition of the electric power steering. This is exceedingly helpful when parking or turning, allowing for minimal effort to be applied to the steering wheel.

The exterior is unique and unlike most other vehicles around. I have had conflicted opinions throughout my personal test drive and from others continuously offering to share their thoughts. I have had some that say it looks like a Mitsubishi rip-off; which I took as a negative comment to its credit. While others having said it looked original, foreign, and a was nice change from the similar looks to all the regular SUV’s you see everywhere. This is like being the new kid at school; some people aren’t going to trust an outsider, and can take some time to warm up. While others are going to be immediately intrigued by the novelty. I concluded that I do like the downward aggressive Bi-Xenon headlamps and uniquely shaped front grille. However I find the rear to be somewhat plain and boring, and the rear window from a functionality standpoint can be slightly difficult to see out of.

The interior is pretty standard and lacks pizzazz. For a country that produced Giorgio Armani, and Guccio Gucci, the mark was missed on some fashionable design to this interior. The seating was noticeably uncomfortable, and clearly didn’t take the average sized American into account. The side bolsters of the seat were so tight that a man built like Tony Soprano physically couldn’t fit, and he would have had to find the shmuck that designed it. The Stelvio has pride itself on being more spacious then other crossovers. With a 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat configuration, the space opens to an impressive stretch of trunk capacity.

The impressive powerhouse is a 2.0 litre turbocharged engine that produces 280 horse power, 306 lb-ft of torque and a top speed of 232 km/h when mated with the 8 speed automatic transmission. Fantastico!  Starting at $43,240 for a base model, the Stelvio is on the expensive side amongst it’s direct competitors. While that comes with some premium standard features like a leather interior, automatic power hatch, and Apple CarPlay to name a few; The Ti trim performance package includes paddle shifters, limited-slip differential, and sport-tuned adaptive suspension to enhance your driving experience.

Key Features:   

  • Starting at $43, 240
  • 2.0L turbocharged engine
  • 280 horsepower and 306 lb-ft of torque
  • 0-60 mph 5.4 sec.
  • 40/20/40 split-folding seat configuration
  • Fuel Economy L/100 km (city/hwy/combined) 10.8  / 8.3  / 9.6 
  • Maximum Cargo Volume – 1,600 Litres
  • Towing Capacity – 1,361 Kg.
Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email
Automotive Reviews