2019 Nissan Qashqai - Cover

2019 Nissan Qashqai – Automotive Review

2019 Nissan Qashqai - Cover

2019 Nissan Qashqai – Automotive Review

The Nissan Qashqai is Nissan's 2nd most popular model, behind the better-in-every-way Rogue.

With virtually identical safety features, front ends, and interiors, it would almost make more sense to go with the Rogue for the more appealing style, space, and engine. Pricing isn’t very far off from the two also. So, why did Nissan green light the mass production of a car that is virtually identical to a vehicle they’ve already perfected? An even better question is: Why are people buying it?


Coming in at a whole foot and an inch shorter than the Rogue, the Qashqai will fit five average-sized people very comfortably. The styling is best described as a “Toned down version of the Rogue.” How many times will I mention the Rogue in this article? Keep reading to find out. The front and rear end are very alike. The side profile is when you see the subtle difference in the shapes. The Qashqai takes a sloping roof design and the hood is noticeably shorter.

The Nissan Safety Shield 360 and the ProPILOT Assist keep you in your lane and away from the careless drivers out there. The Safety Shield 360 includes the Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Intelligent Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and High Beam Assist. On the inside, dead center between your RPMs and your speed, all of these safety features are displayed for your viewing pleasure (and safety of course). The 7.0” touch screen infotainment system is smooth and intuitive, and the nine-speaker Bose sound system is impressive. The Around View Cameras are displayed on this 7.0” screen but the resolution is a tad suspect. This isn’t just a Nissan issue, but a large group of cars and manufacturers in 2019 still have low-resolution cameras as back-up and around view cameras and its quite annoying. The dash and interior are identical to the Rogue with the glossy black accents and a nice, soft, and sporty designed steering wheel. And, the seats are comfortable as all get out. The leather is soft and whatever is under it is even softer.


The Qashqai runs a 2.0L 4-cylinder, 141hp engine. 4-wheel Independent strut suspension is the culprit of the smooth ride and somewhat “darty” steering. The CVTC (Continuously Variable Timing Control) is rough. It works the way it should, but the drone of any CVT is something I don’t think I will get used to. Just like every other CVT, when slowly letting off the gas, the weird surge of power shows up. It sure is fuel efficient though, with fuel economy ratings estimated at 8.1 L/100 km highway and 10.0 L/100 km city. Better than the already very fuel-efficient Rogue. The Qashqai comes in an Xtronic Transmission or a six-speed manual in the FWD models. It’s a competent car for the weekend go-getters.

The Nissan Rogue and the Nissan Qashqai (Rogue Sport in the US) have many similarities. In every aspect of the car, you can find a handful and more similarities, but the Qashqai has its own personality. It seems to stray away from the “perfect family” vehicle and cruise in the lane of “adventure seeker.” It has more space in all the right places to hold your weekend activities, but it also brings you the convenience and modern styling of any new car on the market, all while not breaking the bank. It comes in 3 trims and there are plenty of balloon-like colors to choose from

Key Features:

  • 2.0L 4-cylinder
    • Horsepower 141 @ 6,000 rpm
    • Torque (lb-ft) 147 @ 4,400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy
    • Xtronic AWD City/highway/combined 9.1/7.6/8.4 L/100km
    • Xtronic FWD City/highway/combined 8.6/7.2/8.0 L/100km
    • 6 MT FWD City/highway/combined 10.1/8.1/9.2 L/100km
  • Available AWD
  • 5 passenger
    • Cargo w/2nd row seat folded down (S 61.1) (SV/SL 53.3) cubic feet
    • Cargo w/2nd row seat upright (S 22.9) (SV/SL 20) cubic feet
  • 7″ multi touch NissanConnect® featuring Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™
    • Optional Bose® Audio System with 9 speaker
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Automotive Reviews SUV
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 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
2019 Jaguar F-Type

2019 Jaguar F-Type – Automotive Review

2019 Jaguar F-Type

2019 Jaguar F-Type – Automotive Review

This quintessential Jaguar all aluminum sports car, comes in so many variations, there is something for almost everyone

Overview/Summary

From a turbocharged 4-cylinder kitty, to a roaring 575hp SVR lion, the Jaguar F-Type is the classic sportscar you expect from Jaguar. With a long history of sexy coupes and convertibles the F-type easily picks up the pouncing cat logo and runs with it. We got the chance to drive multiple different models in different configurations, and each one completely satisfied that sportscar itch. Getting behind the wheel of the F-Type SVR, kicking it in sport mode and dropping the top I was grinning from ear to ear; with each eye widening roar from under every overpass on Hwy 1 back from Vancouver… Don’t even get me started on the sound it made in the tunnel

 (+) – Available in so many different options, there is a F-Type for everyone

(-) – Classic 2-seater sportscar, don’t expect to have many guests

Highlights

Only real new thing in the 2019 is the Touch Pro infotainment system with a 10-inch touchscreen.

Comparisons (F-Type SVR – CAD 143,500.00 As Tested)

  • 2019 Porshe 911 Carrera – $111,000 – 4.2s 0 – 100 km/h
  • 2019 Mercedes SL 550 Roadster – $128,900 – 4.3 sec 0-100 km/h
  • 2019 Aston Martin Vantage – £123,850.00 – 3.6 sec 0-100 km/h

The Jaguar F-Type was a really fun car to drive around town. It was low to the ground and had a tight glove like sports car type feel, but when you want that, this jag is what you are looking for. Sure, it’s maybe not an economic friendly daily drive, but that is not what this car wants to be. The F-Type wants to be both seen and heard, and when you are behind the wheel, that is completely okay.

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Automotive Reviews Car Video
2019 Nissan Kicks

2019 Nissan Kicks – Automotive Review

2019 Nissan Kicks

2019 Nissan Kicks – Automotive Review

The Nissan Kicks is coming in hot with a fun and perky attitude.

With efficiency and affordability in mind, the Kicks will get you from point A to point B without hurting the bank. Compact size and responsive steering will get you in and out of the busy city with ease. It was hard to find anything negative to say about this car. From the moment you see this car to the moment you hit the lock button, you know precisely what this cars job is, and it does it well.

The boxy styling of the Kicks is adorable. The ground clearance is ample, and the ride is excellent. It’s a shame it isn’t available in all-wheel drive but given the fact that it isn’t the most powerful car, front-wheel drive suffices. Trunk space is more than convenient, and the headroom available is fantastic. From the outside the Kicks looks small, but when sitting in the driver seat you notice the space. Well done, Nissan. The Bose speakers in the headrest are the feature you never knew you needed. That being adding to the already great sound system, even the local radio station will sound premium. You won’t be getting the same novel-like list of safety features like the lane-keep assist, or the semi-autonomous steering that the Rogue or Qashqai offer but the around view monitor, blind-spot warning, ABS, and TCS will keep safe. Leather seats are comfortable, but the one complaint I have is the armrest. It’s a smidge too high, making you hike your shoulder into an unnatural position, for me at least. Making it adjustable, or even getting rid of it altogether and using a storage compartment as an armrest could do the 2020/2021 model some good.

Every 2019 Nissan Kicks comes standard with the 1.6-litre DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS). The engine is rated at 125 horsepower and 115 lb-ft of torque. Combined with a smooth, fuel-efficient Xtronic transmission, fuel economy is anticipated at 33 mpg combined. The best way to describe this car is “Go-Kart with leather seats.”

The Kicks will not be your first choice for track day, but it can be your first choice when it comes to your daily drive. It’s cozy, it’s perky, it’s fun, and it’s affordable. Heated leather seats and an excellent sound system are great additions for anyone looking for value. Toss in a touch-screen infotainment system and a fun exterior color, and this is at the top of your list when searching for your next ride!

Model tested: $25,498

Models available: S, SV, SL

Fuel Economy combined: 33mpg

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Automotive Reviews Crossover
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 Jaguar F-Pace SVR - Cover

2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR – Video Review

2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR - Cover

2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR – Video Review

“The latest creation to come from SVO’s state-of-the-art Technical Center is the F‑PACE SVR – the ultimate Jaguar performance SUV.”

Key Features

  • MSRP $92,000 CND
  • 5.0-Liter V8 550 HP
  • 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3
  • F-PACE SVR 8-speed automatic QuickShift transmission
  • F-PACE All-Wheel Drive system uses Intelligent Driveline Dynamics software for agile handling and to minimize understeer.
  • Perforated Windsor leather
  • F-TYPE-inspired Variable Valve Active Exhaust System featuring quad tailpipes
  • Optional 22” Forged alloy wheels
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Automotive Reviews SUV Video
2019 Mazda3 - Cover

2019 Mazda3 – Automotive Review

2019 Mazda3 - Cover

2019 Mazda3 – Automotive Review

“Despite sharing the same Mazda3 model name, the two forms represent entirely different personalities”. The completely new design of these vehicles is on the border of drastic and subtle, you could almost call it perfect

Overview

Mazda graciously lent me the all-new Mazda 3 Sport AWD in a beautiful Polymetal Grey Metallic paint. I fell in love with this car as soon as I laid eyes on it and I was not disappointed after driving it. It was comfortable, quiet, smooth, and aesthetically pleasing. It ticks just about every box when it comes to sporty hatchbacks. It’s fun, its AWD, it’s nimble, and the price isn’t outrageous. During my “Month of Mazda” test driving the CX-9, MX-5, 3 Sport, and 6 Signature, the 3 gets the top spot in my books and my heart. There’s a reason the Mazda 3 has been Mazda’s best-selling car since 2003, and this year’s model shows you why.

Styling

When coming across a 2019 Mazda 3 in the wild, you will look twice. The new design is on the border of drastic and subtle. You could almost say perfect, almost. The 3 has a new aggressive face and a round and sporty looking back end. The hashmark grill sits well between 2 narrow and long LED headlights while the shiny and large Mazda emblem sits dead-center and also doubles as the front-view camera when parking. The taillights are a gem to stare at, and they help the 3 give it it’s the wide-body look. The model I had the honor to test had the 18” alloy rims finished in black which went exceptionally well with the Polymetal gray body color. The 2019 Mazda3 finally adopts the all-new Kodo design. The Japanese styling is on point and not in your face about it at the same time. There aren’t any swooping, sharp body lines as you usually see these days on sporty cars, but the silhouette of the 3 is what definitively separates itself from the pack — nothing else in its class like it.

When hopping inside, the sleek styling continues. The Mazda3 seemed to be the only vehicle of Mazda’s 2019 line-up to have the slightly upgraded and tweaked interior. This interior is with the times and well thought out while the other models were a tad dated and a little annoying. In the Mazda6 Signature, the armrest was set a little too far back for your arm to sit comfortably. The CX-9s infotainment system was the previous version, and the cameras were low resolution and tough to use. This was not the case in the Mazda3, as Mazda clearly saw these flaws and gave the driver a clear, almost 4k like back-up camera, and an adjustable center armrest with plenty of cargo space. The red leather accents throughout the dash and door panels, color matching the seats, set a very luxurious and high-end feel. The infotainment is clean, modern, and user-friendly. Android Autoplay and Apple CarPlay work fine, but I found myself using Mazda’s software as it just looked more natural to the inside of the car. Digital tachometer doesn’t look digital at all and is wildly smooth. The quietness of the cabin is one of the first things I noticed when driving. It is quiet. Scary quiet. The cabin was designed with a “double insulated” structure. Engine noise and road noise are reduced immensely. Being 6’1”, I didn’t feel cramped, and visibility was ample. As for the back seats, don’t expect your taller passengers not to complain when squeezed back there.

Driving

Out of the two engines offered for the 3, 2.0L and 2.5L, I was given the 2.5L. 186hp and 186 ft/lbs of torque powering all four wheels with the i-ACTIV AWD.  Seven seconds after the light turns green you can be at 60mph, and for a bit of added fun, you can give the paddle shifters a flick, or 6.  It’s a hair faster than its competition, the Honda Civic Touring, which comes with a 1.5L turbocharged engine. As fun as a turbo is in most cars, its fastened to a snooze-fest of a CVT engine. I can go on for hours about how annoying the CVT engine is, but I won’t, today. The Mazda 3 after 4000rpm sounds nice, and maybe after a few minor upgrades, it can sound great on the daily. The G-Vectoring Control Plus, MacPherson struts, and a newly developed torsion bar in the rear keep the Mazda 3 planted and in control when cornering hard; it’s quite impressive. It gives the driver plenty of control regardless of the circumstance. The safety features seem endless. With a plethora of acronyms on the invoice, just know you will be safe out there. Lane-keep assist, Auto breaking at low speeds, Rear Cross-traffic sensors, Driver fatigue warning, Windshield active driving display, and the list goes on.

Summary

For my money, there isn’t a car that will make you feel special like the Mazda 3 will in this class and for this price point. You’ll forget you’re sitting in a Mazda. The only thing I could muster up to criticize is the lack of excitement. It holds itself together well. No loud noises. No aggressive and darty steering. The engine has some “pick-up-and-go” but nothing surprising. A turbo would be nice to get the juices flowing. Other than that, the 3 is an exceptional car for Mazda. It shows the progression Mazda is making, and it’s setting a new standard for this, and other classes. Here’s to hoping the competition sees the progress and steps up their game, because currently, Mazda’s getting my money.

Key Features

  • As tested: $33,295 (Fully loaded)
  • Fuel Economy: 9.8L/100km (City) 7.4L/100km (Highway)
  • 2.0l SKYACTIV-G
    • 155 hp @ 6000 rpm
    • 150 ft-lbs torque @ 4000 rpm
  • 2.5l SKYACTIV-G
    • 186 hp @ 6000 rpm
    • 186 ft-lbs torque @ 4000 rpm
  • 8.8” MAZDA CONNECT infotainment screen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard
  • Available 12 speaker BOSE premium audio system
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Automotive Reviews Car Compact

2019 Mercedes AMG C 43 Wagon – Automotive Review

2019 Mercedes AMG C 43 Wagon – Automotive Review

A Canadian treat, the 2019 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC, is an unexpected solution for those who are looking for the space and room provided by an SUV but want the feel and performance of a sporty car

Overview/Summary

Honestly, at first, I was a little hesitant while picking up this car. It brought back memories of my Dad’s ugly old Ford Taurus; the backward-facing bench seat allowed my brother and myself to make faces at the vehicles behind us. However, that hesitant feeling vanished because the 2019 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC looks nothing like that old car. Mercedes-AMG as always has produced a very sleek and sophisticated vehicle, from the sweeping exterior lines to the premium look and feel of the interior.

After packing all the gear required for a weekend away at the lake, I was then entirely sold on the idea of a wagon. Unlike many of the smaller SUV’s and Crossover’s we’ve tested lately, everything just seemed to fit, and when taking an eight month old little girl camping… I mean everything. While it may have been packed full everyone still was comfortable on the long trip out to Port Alberni from the mainland.

It wasn’t only the space that had me sold; it was the drive. Just like it’s smaller brother the C43 sedan, the vehicle was just a pleasure to drive. The snapping and crackling exhaust notes found in the Sport+, mode could always put a smile on my face. With AMG tuning the 3.0-litre V6 bi-turbo engine to have a whopping 385hp, the wagon can shoot down the road with almost criminal ease.  While the 69% rear axle torque bias, and low center of gravity, kept that classic racecar feel. Keep in mind depending on the era, the muscle available in the 2019 Mercedes-AMG C 43 could easily have been in an actual race car. As for the first time in 1986, AMG implanted the 5.0-liter V8 into an E-class coupe, which received worldwide fame under the nickname “The Hammer.” As per this 1986 Car and Driver review,

“The Hammer we tested leaped from 0 to 60 mph in five seconds flat. It hurtled through the quarter-mile in 13.5 seconds at 107 mph. And it pounded down a long, flat straightaway to a top speed of 178 mph. Like the Corvette, the 911 Turbo, the Testarossa, and the Countach, the Hammer covers ground so quickly that you swear you can feel the earth’s curvature racing to meet you.”

Boy, it sure is crazy to see how far things have come… With a starting MSRP of $59,990 CND, this wagon available exclusively in Canada, while still expensive, when you compare it to the rest of Mercedes lineup or a luxury SUV it is actually quite reasonable.

  • (+) – Really fun and responsive to drive, but still has room for the whole family
  • (-) – In Sport/Sport+ mode, sometimes when accelerating hard from a stop and then easing off of the gas can cause the computer to shift like a 16-year-old learning a manual transmission for the first time

Highlights

  • Exclusive to Canada in the North American Market
  • 385-hp bi-turbo V6 with a nine-speed quick-shifting transmission
  • 4MATIC all-wheel drive with a 31:69 base front/rear torque split
  • 7-inch high-resolution central display
  • Cargo Capacity of 460L behind back seats and up to 1480L with back seats folded

Comparisons

  • Volvo V90 Cross Country
    • MSRP $62,500 CAD
    • 316 hp @ 5,700 rpm; 295 lb.-ft. @ 2,200 – 5,400 rpm
    • Cargo Capacity 1,953L
    • Combined Fuel Efficiency 10.0L/100 km
  • Audi A4 allroad Quattro 45 TFSI Technik S tronic
    • MSRP $57,300 CND
    • 248 hp @ 5000 – 6000 rpm; 273 lb-ft @ 1600 – 4500 rpm
    • Cargo Capacity 1510L
  • BMW 330i xDrive Touring
    • MSRP $48,900 CAD
    • 241 hp @ 5,000 rpm; 258 lb-ft @ 1,250 – 4,800
    • Cargo Capacity 1500L
    • Combined Fuel Efficiency 8.9L/100 km

Recommended Options

  • AMG Driver’s Package $2000 CND
  • Intelligent Drive Package $2700 CND
  • AMG Head-Up Display
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Automotive Reviews Car

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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