2019 Ford Expedition – Automotive Review

2019 Ford Expedition – Automotive Review

First light on a sunny summer Saturday morning, a hint of smoke in the air from the wildfires burning in the North, We set out on our Expedition to Vancouver Island in the 2019 Ford Expedition.

Enough room for six of us to fit quite comfortably. I like the fact the second row had the optional bucket seats without a center console; third-row passengers can quickly get out without having to move the second seat. The seats did have the tilt and slide option, but it wasn’t required. Arrived at the Horseshoe bay terminal early and gave them our reservation number, I can’t imagine taking a chance without reservations especially these days with so much traffic coming and going from the island. A short wait, and we soon found ourselves on board the Coastal Renaissance ferry. After a few hours we had crossed the Straight Georgia and were ready to disembark. Using the Ford voice-activated navigation system, I entered our next destination, Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park in Parksville. Heading through Nanaimo and onto the island highway I noticed how smooth the acceleration was and how quick the ten-speed transmission shifted. Powered by a 3.5L EcoBoost engine the Expedition produces 400hp and 480 lb-ft of torque, which provides plenty of power for this vehicle. The Rathtrevor Park is 347 hectares in size, which includes 2 kilometers of coastline and a magnificent sandy beach.

We spent some time just walking along the shore and looking at all the views, but there was more to see, so off we went. Heading west we entered Cathedral Grove and were surrounded by 75m tall Douglas Fir trees. I could only imagine what the first explorers thought when they first came across these magnificent trees. The first Ford Expedition came out in 1997 to replace the full-size Bronco. The base model came with a 4.6L V8 that produced 215hp and fuel economy that would have you thinking twice before you drove it. Despite this the Expedition has been one of the longest-lasting vehicles on the road. We were hiking along the trails through all the green moss and boston ferns with the towering trees going up what seems like forever. Nature gives us a sense of being at peace, and everybody was silent as we walked just taking in all the beauty. We passed a few people, and I don’t think they even noticed us as they too were in awe with the scenery.

We followed the trail back to our vehicle and continued with a quick stop in Port Alberni to get some supplies and then on to Tofino. Following the Pacific Rim Highway we made our way to Sprout Lake, which is home for the Martin Mars Water Bombers. If you find yourself with some time on your next trip to Tofino, stop at the visitor center on Bomber Base Road, and you will be amazed at how big these planes are. Just before Tofino you drive through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve with great views of beaches and ocean waves. A few minutes later you enter Tofino. Lots to see and do here, walks along the beach, hiking trails through the forest and just hanging out with people that know how to take life more relaxed and enjoy, I wish we had planned for more time but our day has come to an end, so we headed back to the grind. The hustle and bustle of our daily lives, which is Vancouver, but we will never forget to reflect on our Expedition and look forward to our next.

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Automotive Reviews SUV
2020 Kia Telluride

2020 Kia Telluride – Automotive Review

2020 Kia Telluride

2020 Kia Telluride – Automotive Review

What’s in a name? The KIA Telluride is an SUV that is new to the market. The question is what is Telluride?

Is it

  1. Motorcycle slang for I can tell you ride
  2. A new attraction at Disneyland
  3. Lyrics in a Rap Song
  4. A small town in Colorado

If you answered 4, you are correct.

Telluride is located in the Southwest portion of Colorado and was once a silver mining camp. It is now known as a popular ski destination. 

What better vehicle to take the family on a ski trip, than the 2020 KIA Telluride with available seating for eight and a very well-appointed interior. Now KIA could have just extended the length of the Sorento and given it a new name, but no, KIA has reinvented the SUV and given it some unique features and modern tech that sets it apart from others.  The interior features wood grain trim with soft-touch material throughout. The center dash features a 10.25” multimedia screen with navigation, easily reached by both driver and passenger. Select the quite mode, and the system mutes the sound in the second and third-row seats; anybody with young children will appreciate this feature. There is also a grandparent mode, it alerts the grandchild’s parents when the child is crying and informs them that they need to come a deal with it, ok maybe that last one isn’t available, but one can hope. Available heated and cooled premium leather seats, one-touch walk in side access slides the second row forward to enter the third row. Driving the Telluride over different road conditions is a breeze by activating Drive/Terrain Mode and lets you comfortably navigate mud, snow, rain or any other challenges you’ll meet on the road with the integrated all-wheel drive.  There are four different drive modes; Smart, Eco, Sport, and Comfort. Snow, mud and sand terrain modes increase traction control to handle any road conditions. The standard all-wheel-drive adds two additional drive moves. AWD Lock that transfers the power evenly to all four wheels, giving you total control on off-road conditions.

Looks

The moment you first look at the Telluride, the front grille and badging stand out giving the frontend an aggressive look. LED headlights are surrounded by an amber led light strip that creates day time running lights. The rest of the body has smooth sweeping lines to the back where it meets the LED taillights and the contoured rear spoiler.

Engine

A 3.8L V6 GDI engine produces 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. This combination of power, size, and weight have given this vehicle a tow rating of 5000lbs.

Safety

A total of 7 airbags including dual front, dual side, and dual front side seat are standard. Blindspot collision avoidance, lane follow assist, driver attention warning, advance forward collision avoidance assist are also included

 

The Drive

Everything about this SUV screams comfort, from the moment you enter the cabin, the seats are comfortable and supportive while all the functions a laid out in front of you. The heads up display keeps your eye on the road while quickly glancing at speed and navigation. Driving down the street feels like you are driving your living room couch, smooth and comfortable, lots of power to accelerate up hills and very responsive brakes. Overall I would have to say “a very enjoyable ride.”

Fuel Economy

  • 12.5L/100km City
  • 9.5L/100KM Highway

MSRP CND

  • EX   $44,995
  • SX   $49,995
  • SX Limited   $52,995
  • SX Limited with Nappa  $53,995
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Automotive Reviews SUV

2019 Ford Ranger – Experience

2019 Ford Ranger – Experience

We all know the saying, ‘Built Ford Tough” and we’ve seen that proven in the Raptor and F-series, but can the new Ranger live up to this? I take the new 2019 Ford Ranger on an epic journey through the back roads of the Whistler valley to find out if little brother has what it takes.

Photo Credit – Mike Markov

Our journey begins in Richmond, BC, with a tour around the different available models. I have to say the styling is very sharp; it is a similar shape to the F150 but proportioned down perfectly to create an all-new vehicle. With three different trim levels, XL, XLT, and Lariat, and surprisingly no stripped-down base model with a hand-cranked window lever and a bench seat here. All very similar models with a few added features make this Ranger good at all price levels.

Driving through city traffic, the Ranger is quick to accelerate and very easy to stop which I learned first-hand having to brake hard as a driver decided to turn left in front of me with no signal, oh yes did I mention I was in Vancouver?  After a short time later, we were through downtown and into Stanley Park. The Ranger is equipped with a 2.3 Litre EcoBoost 4-cylinder turbocharged engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. The engine produces 270 horsepower and generates 310-pound-feet of torque.

The first stop on the trip is the Sea to Sky Gondola, which if you have never been before it is a must see when traveling highway 99.  Incredible views of Howe Sound, Squamish, and the surrounding Coast mountains. There are plenty of things to do at the top; a restaurant with a large deck to sit out and take in the views, some hiking trails, a suspension bridge, and even rock climbing. Word of advice make sure you’re well hydrated first before attempting the rock climbing, especially on a hot day. You don’t want to be hanging off a rock only to find your head spinning and heat exhaustion taking over, which was a situation I unfortunately found myself in, adding insult to injury by having a toddler pulling on my pant leg asking me to leave the playground. 

Back on the road and heading through Squamish on the way to Whistler, this highway has gone through many upgrades leading up to the 2010 Olympics, and I was amazed how quick it is to reach Whistler. The hotel for the night is the Nita lake lodge which is very different from a typical hotel you would find in the village; this luxury lodge is just 5 min away from the village nestled next to Nita Lake with beautiful views of Whistler Mountain. This resort has world-class dining, and the staff are exceptional. Morning brings on great anticipation, as today is the day we get to take the Ranger out off-roading. 

A short drive away I find the entrance to the Callaghan Valley which leads to the many forest service roads that first cut through this valley. Plenty of new growth forest throughout and some of the trails are covered in brush making it tight for a full-size truck to get through but manageable with this mid-size truck. Traversing the switchbacks, the elevation gain becomes apparent, and the views are incredible. Some steep sections with a lot of loose rock. I switched on the terrain management system and selected the gravel function. The choices are; gravel and snow, mud and ruts, or sand. Each mode alters transmission gearing, throttle response, and steering control to help navigate the terrain. This is very similar to the Ford Raptor and provides excellent traction without wheel hop or loss of control. The road had a few sections that were washed out from the melting snow. The hill decent feature allows the truck to control the braking so you can concentrate on steering and avoiding obstacles as it descends some 28-degree hills. The Ranger I was driving featured a rear differential lock that came in handy when I noticed one wheel hanging in midair.   After a long day of four wheeling it was nice to be back down and back on the pavement. The transition from off-road to the pavement is quite an effort for most vehicles and to have the ability to provide firm but agile suspension off-road, and a smooth, comfortable ride on the road was seamless in the Ford Ranger.

It looks like little brother might even have a few tricks that big brother doesn’t know about. The 2019 Ford Ranger, Ford tough certified.

Key Features

  • Models
    • XL – Starting at $30,596
    • XLT – Starting at $35,139
    • Lariat – Starting at $41,389
  • Fuel Efficiency
    • 11.8L/100km City
    • 9.8L/100km City
  • Engine
    • 2.3L EcoBoost
    • 270hp
    • 310ft/lbs. torque
  • Towing
    • maximum 1650-lb. payload
    • 7,500-lb. tow ratings
  • Optional FX4 Offroad package, with Terrain Management System and Trail Control
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Automotive Reviews Experiences Truck

2019 Nissan Rogue – Automotive Review

2019 Nissan Rogue – Automotive Review

The 2019 Nissan Rogue is a compact crossover, which has had significant updates over the 2018 refresh, and remains for the longtime best seller in Nissan's lineup

Overview

I happened to find myself driving during the bad snow storm we had a while back. The snow was deep, and the clearing crews were none existent. Two tracks on the highway were the only path I had to follow. Passing many vehicles that were spun out and left abandoned on the side of the road, I realized although I was traveling at a safe speed, I had yet to experience any spinning or sliding. The Rogue was continuing to push on despite the uncleaned snow that was pushing up over the grill. It was almost as if the vehicle was telling me, relax, I got this. I came to my exit and found four semi-truck and trailers stopped and parked because they could not make it up to the ramp. I carefully drove around them and up the exit without as much as a slip. This vehicle is indeed a snow machine; I have never felt safer driving late at night in the snow than I did in this Rogue

Options

There are three trim levels, S, SV, and SL Platinum with Pro Pilot assist. The base S comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, EZ Flex seating system, 6 way manual driver’s seat, 4 way manual front passenger’s seat, cruise control with steering wheel controls, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, hands-free text messaging assistant, rearview monitor, keyless entry and a four-speaker audio system 127 mm colour display.

The SV model adds 17” aluminum wheels, power panoramic moon roof, heated front seats and a 6-way power adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support.

The SL trim level starts with the SV model’s standard equipment and adds 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic temperature control, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror. The SL’s Leather package includes leather upholstery plus heated front seats; a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, heated side mirrors, a six-way power driver seat, a one-touch up/down driver window.

Option packages for the SL include the Premium package, which consists of an intelligent around view monitor, navigation system with 178 mm colour touch screen monitor, eight-speaker Bose audio systems with a six-CD/MP3 changer, Sirius satellite radio ready, steering wheel mounted audio controls and ND Richbass sub-woofer. This package also gives you a Power liftgate and an around view monitor.

Safety

There are dual stage front driver and passenger airbags with seat belt sensors, Roof-mounted curtain side-impact airbags, and driver/passenger seat mounted side-impact supplemental air bags. The vehicle is also equipped with 4-wheel ABS and traction control systems, rollover sensor,Anti-theft with immobilizer key systems. Vehicle speed sensitive electric power steering adjusts automatically to become more comfortable at lower speed and firms up when accelerating.

Power

A 2.5 Litre, 16 valve DOHC engine with 170 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque, matched with an Xtronic continuously variable transmission with sport mode.

Pump Frequency

  • S  9.1 /7.1 L/100 km (city/highway)
  • SV  9.1 /7.1 L/100 km (city/highway)
  • SL  9.6 /7.51 L/100 km (city/highway)

Warranty Support

  • 3 year/ 60,000km complete vehicle warranty
  • 3 year roadside assistance
  • 8 year/ 130,000km power train warranty
  • 5 year unlimited km corrosion perforation warranty.
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Automotive Reviews SUV

2019 Chevrolet Silverado – LT Trail Boss – Review

2019 Chevrolet Silverado – LT Trail Boss – Review

The Trail Boss is a definite eye catcher driving down the highway and an eye opener driving off-road.

GM has added an all-new look to their Silverado line up, a much beefier body with a bold new front bumper,  grille and fluid body lines that flow from the back to the front wrapping around the front end. It looks like it is straight out of the Transformers movie franchise. Led headlights are thin and tucked up high into the upper corners. The bulging hood matches perfectly, and the side mirrors are mounted to the body panel to increase visibility.

Overview

I felt very comfortable in this truck, and I liked the extra height with the larger tires.  The gas mileage wasn’t too bad, and the transition from on the road too off-road was seamless thanks to the Rancho shocks that firmed up nicely when it was required. Large potholes did force the suspension into the bump stops, and for a second I thought I might have broken something. I like the positioning of the side mirrors from the pillar to the body side. Mounting the side mirror to the front post was always an area that created a blind spot, and the move was a significant improvement.

Driving

The 5.3L engine delivers more than enough power to traverse the backcountry and get you to your favorite fishing hole with ease.  The two speed transfer case gives you the ability to rock climb although the length of the truck does have a tendency to get hung up on the cutbacks we find common on the BC logging roads and like most full-size pickups the wheel hop is something we are used to, after all, that is part of four wheeling. The new redesign makes the truck longer and wider than previous generations, but Chevy was still able to make the Silverado almost 400lbs. lighter than the last model.

The Silverado Trail Boss comes with a 2-inch factory suspension lift with Z71 off-road package which includes Rancho shocks,  an autotrac 2-speed case, 8-speed automatic transmission and a 5.3L Eco Tec3 V8 engine producing 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. The tranny has a tow/haul mode that raises the upshift points to provide more power to accelerate with a trailer and utilizes engine compression to help slow the truck down. E-lock differential with 3.42 gears, Low enough for four wheeling while high enough not to scream down the highway. The tires are 275/65R18C Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac mud terrain tires with 18” high gloss black aluminum wheels.

Styling

The front seats are very similar to the previous year truck with a few changes. 40/20/40 split bench with a rear bench that seats 3. Center stack infotainment system that features an 8” color touchscreen with Apple car play, Bluetooth audio streaming, and Android auto. 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capable and SiriusXM radio availability. An all-new, available power tailgate that can be raised or lowered with the push of a button, and bed-mounted 120-volt power outlet, with led lighting. Another interesting feature was the rear-seatback storage compartments, helping provide extra space and organization in the cabin.

Safety

Six standard airbags including; dual-stage front driver and passenger, seat-mounted side impact, and a head curtain. An available colour Head-up Display can project information like your vehicle’s speed, navigation and active safety information directly on the road in front of you. While help comes from assisted driving features like, Forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, lane change alert with side blind zone alert, and lane keep assist. OnStar connected services

Fuel Efficiency

  • 15.3L/100 km city
  • 11.8L/100 km highway

Warranty

  • 3 year/60,000 km limited warranty
  • 5 year/100,000 km powertrain warranty
  • 5 year/100,000 km roadside assistance

** LT Trail Boss: adds off-road equipment to the LT, including a 2-inch suspension lift from the factory and the Z71 Off Road Package, including locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho shocks, 18-inch wheels and Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires. MSRP from $54,800 CAD

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