Tuning out the Mazda CX-5 because of a stubborn radio

Performance is excellent. Lively acceleration, smooth power delivery and whisper-quiet in operation

Tuning out the Mazda CX-5 because of a stubborn radioI want to congratulate Mazda for fitting their 2021 CX-5 compact SUV with the most unco-operative stereo system I’ve encountered in 35 years of testing automobiles. It’s so difficult to access and use it might as well not be there. I couldn’t figure out how to change stations without having to consult the owner’s manual…

Genesis GV80 has all the ingredients for the upscale SUV market

The GV80 is a mid-size SUV that feels full size

Genesis GV80 has all the ingredients for the upscale SUV marketAs an automobile manufacturer (they also make everything from deepsea freighters to power tools), Hyundai has had its share of ups and downs. The car that launched the company in North America – the Pony – was popular but deeply flawed. Subsequent offerings – Excel, first-generation Sonata, etc. – sold well enough but often developed…

Nissan Kicks a comfortable, serviceable urban runaround

The Kicks, despite its odd moniker, is actually a decent little SUV

Nissan Kicks a comfortable, serviceable urban runaroundOf all the car manufacturers, Nissan seems to display the most imagination when it comes to naming its products. Who can forget the Qashqai, Juke, Armada and, going back, the Fairlady and Pulsar. They also had a model in Japan called the Leopard J. Furie, not to mention the Big Thumb delivery truck. More recently,…

Buying used: 2011 Lexus GX 460 still top of the class

Plenty of power, almost completely silent and no worse on gas than most of the competition

Buying used: 2011 Lexus GX 460 still top of the classKissing cousin to the 4Runner, the Lexus GX 460 is the upscale version of Toyota’s popular SUV. It has a body-on-frame design and more stuff and a higher price tag, but features the same basic body style, wheelbase, seating capacity and driving experience. In 2011, it was powered by a 4.6-litre V8 engine that delivered…

Revived Ford Bronco is worth celebrating

It’s faithful to the original idea behind SUVs

Revived Ford Bronco is worth celebratingIn the world of SUVs, size definitely matters. Some manufacturers, such as Ford, General Motors and others, believe that the bigger the SUV, the better. And many buyers agree. This explains the presence of models like the Escalade, Suburban, Explorer and so on. On the other hand, sport cutes are simply too small for some…

2021 Infiniti QX80 is an SUV I actually like

Offers style, comfort and performance

2021 Infiniti QX80 is an SUV I actually likeI’ve never really fully understood the SUV market. It seems to me that, most of the time, SUVs don’t really excel at anything. They don’t function as well as minivans when it comes to people-carrying or schlepping stuff around; they aren’t usually as comfortable or accessible as a conventional sedan or hatchback; nor do they…

Buying used: six-cylinder 2011 Chevrolet Equinox a better bet

Consumer Reports gave the V6 version an average used car prediction, while the four-cylinder models are worse than average

Buying used: six-cylinder 2011 Chevrolet Equinox a better betThe Chevrolet Equinox was the first model out of the gate after General Motors’ corporate shuffle in 2009. Made in Ingersoll, Ont., it replaced the Suzuki-built Tracker and was essentially a carryover for GM in 2011. It could be had with two engine choices: GM’s ubiquitous 2.4-litre Ecotec four-cylinder or a 3.0-litre V6. A six-speed…

Buying used: 2011 Ford Explorer a people mover with frills

This Explorer was aimed more at soccer moms than off-road rock-hoppers, and was still the quintessential suburban grocery-getter

Buying used: 2011 Ford Explorer a people mover with frillsDebuting in mid-2010, the 2011 Ford Explorer signalled a new direction for Ford’s most popular SUV. From here on in, fuel economy would trump performance. Power was delivered by either a Triton V6 that displaced 3.5 litres and developed 290 horsepower, or a 2.0-litre turbocharged Eco-Boost four-cylinder engine that came later in the model year.…

Land Rover Defender utilitarian, retro and capable

The 2021 version conveys a sense of ruggedness and capability that sets it apart from most other Rover products

Land Rover Defender utilitarian, retro and capableIn one of my favourite movies – The Gods Must Be Crazy – a hapless protagonist inadvertently winches his old Land Rover to a massive tree branch and immediately forgets about it. When he remembers what he’s done, the trusty Rover has winched itself off the ground and is hanging in the air like some…

New Nissan Rogue built for hockey moms

The 2021 version is a mainstream, garden-variety compact SUV and, all things considered, that’s a good thing

New Nissan Rogue built for hockey momsCar manufacturers have always had an interesting time when it comes to naming their products. Over the years, they’ve given us monikers such as Gremlin, Judge, Duster and, way back when, the Utopian Turtletop – although, in fairness, Ford didn’t choose this last one when unveiling the new 1958 Edsel but they thought about  it.…
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