2020 Toyota Supra - Cover

2020 Toyota Supra – Video Review

2020 Toyota Supra - Cover

2020 Toyota Supra – Video Review

Introducing the all-new BMW Supra... Wait, I meant to say Toyota! Check out our video review below!

Since the end of the fourth-generation Supra in 2002, fans have been begging for a return of the Supra. While in between, we were given a severely insufficient Toyota 86 to hold our tongues; finally, the Supra has made its return. An exoskeleton of the BMW Z4, Toyota has built upon that along with a little Toyota flare to become the by-product of the next great sports car.

Underneath, the Supra shares a platform, running gear, engine, gearbox, and large chunks of the interior with the latest Z4. Not being the first example of Toyota partnering with others to collaborate on a version with a Toyota badge. (Subaru BRZ/Scion FRS/Toyota 86).

But this partnership is different because the Supra is a huge deal. It’s not a run of the mill newly introduced small coupe. The Supra badge has a history as a staple in Japanese car culture alongside the greats like the Honda NSX, Nissan Skyline, and Nissan GT-R.

While the DNA is the same, The Supra, in my opinion, is better looking than the Z4, no doubt about it. It’s well proportioned, striking, and eye-catching throughout.

Under the hood sits BMW’s B58 single turbo 3.0-liter straight six, developing identical power figures (335bhp and 369lb ft of torque) to the Z4 M40i. This is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. 0-100km takes 4.3 seconds. The body is more rigid than the Lexus LFA’s, weight distribution is 50:50. Leaving aside the BMW controversy, you’ve got to admit it looks good on paper.

It’s excellent to drive. The Supra is crisp, responsive, well connected, confidence-inspiring, and quick. The fact that Toyota has been able to take the same mechanicals as BMW and shape them into a proper sports car that’s perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Supra. But it is not all entirely successful, so let’s start there. The paddle downshifts can be a fraction delayed and upshifts can surge on you.

Similarly, the engine has plenty of mid-range shove, but at higher RPM’s there’s not much point. The brakes do fade, but it does have bigger brakes, using 13.7-inch vented discs in front and 13.6-inch vented discs in the rear, 1.0 inch and 0.8 inches larger than the old car (which also had vented discs). But it’s the good stuff that dominates the experience. The front wheels unfailingly go where you aim them, and the rear axle is communicative and well supported. What this means is that the Supra moves into corners well, and it gets out of them well, too. The steering set-up – especially in Sport (that or Normal are your only choices) – is lovely, well-weighted, and responsive. It’s too light in Normal. Turning is decisive, and it feels agile, thanks to its short 2,470mm wheelbase.

Here is the thing; we can forgive the non-Toyota engine, but it’s hard to forgive the lack of innovation in the cabin. The Supra is a BMW inside. Of course, this means it’s got the material quality and tactility it wouldn’t have had otherwise, and some people will see that as a plus. And once again, if you aren’t familiar with BMW, it’s not going to offend you. But here’s Toyota, the world’s largest car company, having slapped a body on top of a BMW, It’s just an odd thing to do with a brand with such history for Toyota.

The rev counter is Toyota’s own, but the steering wheel definitely isn’t. The same goes for the heating controls, graphics, USB slots, switchgear, door handles, etc. Ignoring the BMW influences then: the driving position is excellent. You sit low, the standard seats wrap around your back as bucket seats do, however over the shoulder visibility is horrible. Two seats and two people have adequate space inside. The infotainment is intuitive as BMW’s go. No complaints as the rotary are easy to manage and operate.

After all is said and done, it’s like BMW built a better Toyota. It’s impossible to separate the new Supra from its underpinnings – not least because they are always staring you in the face when you get in. But in the end, Toyota has built a very talented driver’s car. It’s a very complete coupe. Big enough inside, well equipped, handsome, rapid, and good-natured. It’s grown-up yet compact, agile, and smooth. It’s a smart piece of engineering. A car you’d enjoy driving anywhere, a car that probably strikes the best compromise of GT and sportiness of any car in its class. 

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2019-Mercedes-Benz-A-220-Cover

2019 Mercedes-Benz A220 – Automotive Review

2019-Mercedes-Benz-A-220-Cover

2019 Mercedes-Benz A220 – Automotive Review

Mercedes-Benz redefines modern luxury requirements for the compact class, with the new for 2019 A Class Sedan & Hatchback

Excerpt/Headline

With this entry-level luxury sedan set to entice buyers into the brand at an affordable price, offering a complete blend of luxury design and features bundled up in a financially respectable package. Well, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz A 220 does just that. While the Mercedes originally released the CLA to fulfill this space; At the released price, the elements of quality and lack of spaciousness in the rear seats didn’t have buyers sticking around. Well the A-class now acts as the most economical segway into a Mercedes-Benz brand with many of the expected luxuries found in their higher-end models

Interior

Inside the A 220, your immediate drawn is towards the dash. The silver coating throughout and use of layering are smart in making the infotainment screen look extravagant and expensive.  Previously in the CLA models, the screen looked almost like it was tacked-on as an afterthought. Where-as the A 220 with the $3000 premium package and its dual 10.25” screens look almost as if it’s “floating” on the dashboard. This digital screen combo creates the feeling of it being one elongated piece extenuating that high-end design feel. Other available options like $1990 for leather seats and $1500 for a HUD can quickly elevate this car, but also as quickly take it out of the entry category. Our A 220 featured a white and black piano-style seating, which looked slick but, I can only imagine how fast the white color will fall victim to stains. The 2729 mm wheelbase and 1443 mm height provide enough comfort and space for a car full of people. Also, a point to note, the A 220 sedan has 420 L of truck capacity, compared to the hatchback A 250 with 370 L.

Styling

For an extra $310 “wow factor,” the Mercedes-Benz A 220 can be equipped with a 64-color ambient lighting system, including illuminating the, air vents, headrests, and door trim. We spent hours setting different color schemes and displays for our drive moods. This was mainly for the show-off factor to passengers and friends, which is, of course, part of the Mercedes experience, correct? It’s one of the more unique and exciting features that we have seen in most modern vehicles, including some higher-end models. The Meridian or available $700 Burmester audio system, in combination with the unique display, only electrifies that ambiance.

Driving

Now under the hood is a different story. There happens to be enough pace with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission routing the 188 horsepower; however, the acceleration isn’t overly impressive. The A 220 4Matic hits it’s 0-100Km in 6.5 seconds. With the price jumping when you include the necessary options, it just gets to be overpriced for a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, in my personal opinion. At that point, I’d start to look at the cheaper Audi A3 or the Acura ILX. The A 220 shifts smoothly at hard acceleration thanks to the dual-clutch transmission, but at lower speeds, it felt somewhat clunky when downshifting to lower gears. However, the overall drivability is adequate. Featuring 3 drive modes, ideally, the A 220 should be left into comfort. The best blend of shift performance and throttle control. Eco-mode feels completely gutless and strictly feels like you should limit yourself to the slow lane. Sport mode will provide later shifting, and higher RPM’s in between gears, providing a more attractive engine fluttering

While this is an excellent segment from Mercedes-Benz into affordable luxury sedans. The A 220 goes from affordable to “why didn’t you just get a C-Class?” in a matter of just a couple options.

Comparisons

  • 2019 Audi A3 Sedan – $34,500
    • 0L with 184hp, and 221 lb-ft torque
    • 0-60 mph in 6.6 sec
  • 2019 BMW 2 Series – $39,950
    • 0L with 248 hp and 258 lb-ft
    • 0-100 km/hr 5.8 sec
  • 2019 Cadillac ATS – $39,990
    • 0L with 272 hp and 295 lb-ft

Key Features:

  • 4.0L with 188 hp at 5,800 RPM and 221 lb-ft torque at 1600 RPM
  • 0-100 km/hr in 7.2 seconds
  • 7G-DCT Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission
  • Front Wheel Drive
  • 420 L Luggage capacity
  • 17” 10-Spoke Wheels
  • Digital Instrument Cluster with 7.0″ Display and 7″ MBUX Media Touchscreen Display
    • Available as 10.25”
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Automotive Reviews Compact
2020 Toyota Corolla - Cover

2020 Toyota Corolla – Automotive Review

2020 Toyota Corolla - Cover

2020 Toyota Corolla – Automotive Review

Regarded as the best selling car of all time, the 2020 Toyota Corolla gets its most dramatic transformation in recent years.

The Toyota Corolla has always been an easy choice for compact vehicles. It’s the highest selling vehicle of all-time. The reliability, affordability, and efficiency easily have people knowing what they are investing in when purchasing a Corolla. This new 2020 segment has left nothing to suggest that will ever change; even after undergoing the most dramatic transformation in recent memory.

The transformation began with a bit of cosmetic work to the shape and under belly of the new Corolla. New underpinnings to the body as part of Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) helps deliver that smooth drivability. Notably the new 2020 Corolla will offer a new engine option and Hybrid-engine capability. This giving users the optimum fuel efficiency whilst reducing carbon emissions. Ever evolving the Corolla will always deliver to get you from place to place, efficiently and reliably.

The exterior as I mentioned got the sharp feature treatment as opposed to last year. The outside features provide a competitive design finally that seemed to be lacking within the Corollas of years past. Boasted as longer, lower, and wider; the Corolla measures out to be 182.3 inches which is in fact .7 inches shorter then it’s predecessor. The width is increased by .2 inches to 70.1, and lower stance by more than an inch and a half. The Nightshade Edition has that marvel villain name to go along with its dark side. Flairs of black features include 18” black alloy wheels, mirror caps, door handles, front and rear spoilers, skirt, and badging. Complete with availability as a sedan or hatchback to fit your need, the Corolla has more glamour than ever before.

The interior remains rather unchanged from the previous year. Inside, the Corolla hatchback and sedan share a streamlined dashboard and soft-touch materials. Every model has passive entry and push-button start, but certain Corollas can be upgraded with ambient interior lighting, dual-zone climate control, and heated front seats. Those who regularly have back-seat passengers should consider the sedan over the hatchback since it has considerably more legroom behind the front seats.

Every Corolla has a touchscreen infotainment system with a mobile hotspot, Apple CarPlay capability however Android Auto is shockingly absent. The rather large 7-inch touchscreen dominates the dashboard, but its numerous buttons, rotary volume, and tuning knobs help keep the driver’s eyes on the road during use. Top options include wireless charging and an upgraded JBL audio system.

 

Prices starting at

  • L sedan: $18 990
  • LE sedan: $21 790
  • SE: $22 290
  • Hybrid: $24 790
  • XLE sedan: $26 990
  • XSE sedan/hatchback: $28 490

 

With a plethora of selection, each model has noteworthy safety features and options to suit your needs best. Leaving the choice for the best suited Corolla totally up to your own presences. While the hatchback has tighter rear capacity and less cargo space; the hatchback look feels sportier and drives as such. The luxury XSE has all the glitz and glamor but, with the extra cost. The phenomenal fuel efficiency of the Hybrid LE sedan is tough to ignore as well.

Besides the sportier options like the SE and XSE, the 2020 Corolla is equipped with a 139-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. Front wheel drive power is delivered through the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) which provides smooth operation. However, with any sudden pressure to the gas pedal you will find the Corolla bellowing a loud hum throughout the cabin. The for-mentioned sport options boast a 169-horsepower 2-liter four-cylinder to pair with the CVT or optional six-speed manual. While the hatchbacks do have the larger engine, the hybrid powertrain is strictly limited to the sedan. Which ever your mood and style, Toyota has it covered with its multiple models, personally my eyes are drawn to the hatchback XSE.

Fuel efficiency in the 2020 Toyota Corolla is varied throughout the engine selections. The Hybrid will net you a combined 4.5L/100km. The L and LE model will give you about 7.1L/100km, XLE sitting around 7.3L/100km, SE being a little less at 6.7L/100km, and the XSE possessing 7L/100km.

Safety features included in the Toyota Corolla continues to be its namesake. For years the Corolla has been synonymous for reliability and safety. The 2020 Corolla sedan has earned a five-star crash-test rating. Driver-assistance features include pre-collision pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, lane tracing assist, automatic high beams, and traffic sign recognition.

The all-new 2020 ToyotaCorolla attempts to enhance its reputation with flashier styling inside and out, more desirable features, and an improved driving experience. While it’s left to the eyes of the beholder; Toyota – more specifically the Corolla will continue to always see success amongst those who simply want a safe, well equipped and competitively priced car; one with a name synonymous with reliability.

 

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Automotive Reviews Compact
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
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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.
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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

 

 

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