Mercedes CLA 250 too sophisticated for its own good

Fussy controls and bad ergonomics take away from an attractive car that should just be a pleasure to drive

Mercedes CLA 250 too sophisticated for its own goodSometimes it seems car manufacturers are rolling backwards when it comes to usability and driver friendliness. Despite – or maybe because of – things like touch screen controls, continuously variable transmissions (CVT), driver-vehicle interface, climate control, etc., etc., some cars are nowhere as driveable as they used to be. No argument, automobiles are more sophisticated…

Lexus LS 460 stands the test of time

The 2010 version offers plenty of refinements and is, in general, a pleasure to drive

Lexus LS 460 stands the test of timeTen years on, let’s look at Lexus’s first self-parking car: the 2010 LS 460. Available in two wheelbase sizes, with optional all-wheel-drive, it featured two versions of Lexus’s 4.6-litre V8 engine, and the transmission was an eight-speed automatic with manual shift mode. Whatever you chose, you were getting one of the smoothest and most usable…

The enduring allure of the Porsche Panamera

It has a kind of muscularity about it, but not clumsy or overdone, and features a visual presence few others can match

The enduring allure of the Porsche PanameraHere’s another in my series of ones that got away – cars that I’ve encountered over the years and wish I’d kept. But in this case, I couldn’t have afforded it in the first place. When it was introduced in 2010, the Porsche Panamera was priced in the $120,000 neighbourhood – before taxes. Hard to…

Mazda CX-3 nimble and versatile

This sport cute may be a little shy on power but it’s a pleasure to drive as an urban runabout

Mazda CX-3 nimble and versatileFor the first time in a long while, I went to a social event last week. Just a few people getting together to play a little music and socially un-distance for a while. It was all COVID-19-proof, of course, and a good time was had by all. But what struck me as I pulled up…

Easing urban traffic congestion no simple task

Cities are establishing taxes on electric cars and other low-emission vehicles to reduce traffic and raise infrastructure funds

Easing urban traffic congestion no simple taskThe state of Oregon recently became the latest devotee of a variation of congestion fees. The system falls short, even if the goal is worthy. It’s a sort of tax on road use more commonly directed at motorists and commercial vehicle drivers who access the central area of a city. Those drivers presumably add to…

Slow but sure, RAV4 Hybrid fills a need

As you would expect from any Toyota, the 2020 RAV4 Hybrid is very driver-accessible and immensely driveable

Slow but sure, RAV4 Hybrid fills a needHybrid engineering, once thought to be bridge technology, is stronger than ever. Sometimes it seems every other vehicle on the road is a hybrid of some kind. And this includes SUVS – virtually all the major carmakers have something on offer. Volvo XC90, Mitsubishi Outlander, Hyundai Kona, Ford Escape, Subaru Crosstrek and others are available…

Bike riders need to learn to share the road

Just because you ride a bike, that doesn’t put you on the side of the angels or make you better than the rest of us

Bike riders need to learn to share the roadIn Vancouver, my hometown, city council is using the COVID-19 pandemic to fulfil a long-held fantasy: the elimination of cars and the end of vehicle traffic throughout the city. While the rest of us are coping with one of the worst economic crisis in Canadian history and bungling along with reduced public transit and dwindling…

Toyota Prius still leads the hybrid pack

This car is all about practicality and common sense. Toyota is on top of its game when it comes to hybrid technology

Toyota Prius still leads the hybrid packToyoto Prius is the world’s best-selling hybrid vehicle – by a long shot. This is the hybrid against which all others are judged. Its hybrid drive system is used by Toyota and Lexus throughout their lineups, as well as used under licence by other manufacturers worldwide. Well over six million Toyota Prius units have gone…

The two-wheel war of words: Harley or not

Show up at a Harley gathering with your Yamaha or Kawasaki and you can definitely expect the cold shoulder

The two-wheel war of words: Harley or notAs a lifetime rider who has ridden just about every kind of motorcycle ever made, and spent more time than he probably should at bars and various watering holes, I’ve narrowed bikers down to two main groups: Harley-lovers and Harley-haters. Harley-Davidson riders tend to travel in packs and gather at the same places like clockwork.…

Gone but definitely not forgotten: Mazda RX-7

It offers hell-for-leather performance, yet idles like a purring cat at stoplights and is perfectly civilized on the highway

Gone but definitely not forgotten: Mazda RX-7In the spirit of social distancing and stay-at-home isolation, here’s a look at a nearly forgotten classic and one of my favourite cars. One that got away from me and I really wish I’d kept: the third-generation Mazda RX-7. In the 1990s, sales were brisk for this Japanese company. Its motor sports division was basking…
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