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
2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR - Exterior Side

2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR – Automotive Review

2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR - Exterior Side

2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR – Automotive Review

We had a thrilling adventure experiencing this new 2018 Jaguar F-type SVR. It was only fitting that we would have the opportunity to review this beast in the setting of historic Langley Speedway.

Hosting numerous races up until its closure in 1984, we thought we would relive some of the tracks former glory by unleashing the menacing 575-horsepower V8 supercharged Jaguar F-Type fully equipped with all the technologies expected of the SVR badge. Now while this Jaguar was more than capable of screaming down some fresh new asphalt at a furious pace, the now-retired Langley track is more suitable for walking your dog, over racing a cat. However, the 2018 Jaguar F-type SVR literally screams, with the assistance of Active Exhaust,® button located inside the cockpit, you are able to release at any speed a race-car inspired crescendo that was once so prominent at his now historic site.

Whether it’s gliding through the tight corners of the track or cruising through the city, the handling is magnificent. The use of the double wishbone aluminum suspension and the Electric Powered Assist Steering (EPAS) enables you to tame the amount of power effortlessly around corners. Throughout testing, I was able to conclude that dynamic mode was very relative to the throttle and circumstances. Maneuvering through a corner at an increased pace, you can feel the technology take control, preventing understeer and improving handling. This is in large part to the technology added inside the F-pace’s core. The torque vectoring provides independent brake control to the inside wheels while the Electronic Active Differential® delivers the torque to the rear wheels when exiting the corner. The jaw-dropping stature of the brake calipers is one thing, but the functionality is another. It’s the most powerful brake system available from Jaguar and just adds to the high class of performance for this F-Type SVR

The stunning retro sky blue, accompanied by a plethora of carbon fiber accents demands your attention at every turn. Our first impression was one of excitement and awe, and we are sure it will catch your eye too in with our cinematic review of this 2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR.

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email
Automotive Reviews Video
2018 Honda Civic Type R - Exterior

2018 Honda Civic Type R – Review

2018 Honda Civic Type R - Exterior

2018 Honda Civic Type R – Review

In the automotive industry, they rarely make fun cars anymore. The markets are understandably catered to family vehicles, fuel efficiency, or luxury. The Honda Civic Type R isn’t going to necessarily fit any of those needs. The Civic Type R is just one of those fun cars.

This radical Civic looks like it received a Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift makeover. Honda has fulfilled a successful front-drive formula. This is evident when the Civic Type R smashed the front-wheel-drive production-car lap record at the esteemed Nürburgring. Impressively this upgraded Civic lapped the 12.9 mile course in 7:43.80; the next closest came 3.39 seconds behind (Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S).  Credit not only goes to the tremendous power infused into the Type R, but the complete tuning into the suspension and frame. The over the top styling may be a little to in your face that some might love or hate, the drivability is unquestionable.

A running joke amongst Honda Civic drivers is the VTECH® system. For many years Civic drivers have comically thanked there VTECH® for the improved efficiency of their four stroke engine as well as the ability to reach 100km/hr after a couple minutes. Well, this Honda Civic Type R is no joke. Propelled by a direct injected, 16 valve VTECH®, 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing a whopping 306 horsepower and 295LB-ft of torque this Civic is something drivers can actually brag about. The transmission is a short-throw manual six-speed with rev-match control. Feeding the front wheels without losing traction through its limited-slip differential. The rev-match control enhances the manual experience by automatically optimizing the engine revs to match the desired gear for smooth transitions. Three drive modes (Comfort, Sport, R+) will adjust these settings, the adaptive damper system, alter steering and tune the throttle response.

The styling is an acquired taste that I’m still trying to swallow. There are some aspects I absolutely love, and others that I feel like are too much. I’ll start with the interior. First thing you notice is the unique bucket seats, double stitched in red suede allowing you to become one with the car and providing a stable and comfortable setting. Accompanying the red theme scattered throughout is the solid aluminum additions to the shift knob, and pedals. A particular personal serial number plate is also located next to the gearshift, allowing proud Civic owners to belong to the limited edition club. Moving to the exterior, you will notice the winged spoiler and body kit. While the functional winged additions provided major credit for the aerodynamics behind the record setting lap time, the demeanor of this Civic seems too overdone. Triple center exhaust, badging and 20” aluminum-alloy wheels are all excellent features that capture the spirit of a performance Honda.

When a daily commuter vehicle can set a track record as well as get you to work on time, which is nothing short of incredible. You will first notice the tremendous acceleration and smooth grip handling. Do yourself a favor and flip the toggle to R+ in order to truly drive this car how it was intended. When the gauge turns an aggressive red, a more advanced rev matching kicks in for effortless shifting. The handling is equally impressive. Tight gripping around the hardest corners is tremendous and comfortable. The low profile tires and stance however, isn’t desirable on the rougher terrains and major bumps. Honda had also slapped on some Brembo® high-performance four piston calipers with heart stopping technology are made for stopping on a dime. In test results the Type R substantially stopped 15 feet less than its Golf and Focus RS rival.

Finally Honda Civic fans can rejoice with an actual factory modified Civic they can brag about.

Key Features:

  • Starting $41,090
  • 2.0-litre, Direct injection, 16 valve VTECH®, turbocharged 4-cyclinder
  • 306 Horsepower and 295lb.ft Torque
  • 6/100km City and 8.3/100km Highway
Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email
Automotive Reviews