The 2012 Toyota Yaris takes the idea of a basic car to new levels. Overall, it’s easier to like than its predecessor, but the redesign doesn’t address a couple of the old car’s key flaws. Read my Autos.ca review here.
Monthly Archives: April 2012
Honda has lost the plot, compared to its world-beating ways of the 1990s, its reputation tarnished by some reliability troubles and a few sales duds. The eighth-generation Honda Accord, however, seems to live up to the brand’s ideals — well, mostly. Click here for my Autos.ca used car review of the 2008-2012 Honda Accord.
In 2011, Dodge sold 29,021 Journeys in Canada, making it the best-selling compact seven-seat crossover in the country, and second-best in the class, behind the extremely popular Ford Escape. That was a 22 per cent increase over its 2010 sales, probably owing to some pretty significant improvements Dodge made to its smallest crossover model for the 2011 model year.
Car insurance is a bit like Christmas. There's a flurry of activity for about a month every year, but for the most part, you're happy to forget about it for the remaining 11 months. Like Christmas, car insurance also comes with a painful demand for payment. But unless you're turned on by the thought of a free cuddly meerkat, you're unlikely to be receiving gifts with your insurance policy.
This third-generation Impreza is a better all-around car than the versions that came before it, and, in some ways, it’s better than the redesigned 2012 model that replaced it. This car gets good reliability ratings from many sources, but continues to be haunted by the possibility of head gasket problems in its horizontally-opposed engine. Read my Autos.ca review here.
It’s a shame that this second-generation Ford Fusion hasn’t proven as durable as its predecessor. Read my Autos.ca used car review to learn what to watch out for.
I’ve been lazy about updating lately, so here are links to a number of recent reviews of mine, published at Autos.ca:
Test Drive: 2012 Acura TSX V6 — A very nice sport sedan that nonetheless needs a serious dose of personality and a number of high-tech features that
many most of its competitors offer.
Used Vehicle Review: Nissan Altima, 2007-2012 — As a Japanese company, Nissan has a reputation for building tough cars. It earned that in the 1980s and 90s, but its later models are less robust; the fourth-generation Altima mid-size sedan is a good example.
Used Vehicle Review: Lexus GS, 2006-2012 — Speaking of Japanese cars that don’t live up to the nation’s reputation for well-built cars, there’s the third-generation Lexus GS. Compared to the quality benchmark set by Lexus (and parent-company Toyota) in the 1990s, this car falls well short.
Used Vehicle Review: Mitsubishi Outlander, 2007-2012 — Then, there’s Mitsubishi, a company with plenty to prove. It’s proving it well, apparently, with the well-built Outlander crossover, an underrated vehicle that gets overlooked by many used-vehicle buyers.
Used Vehicle Review: Mazda Tribute, 2001-2011 — I always thought the Tribute was a stop-gap vehicle added to Mazda’s lineup to fill a gap until it designed its own crossover model. It was a near carbon-copy of the Ford Escape, and so inherited that vehicle’s positive traits — and its common flaws.
Used Vehicle Review: Nissan Frontier, 2005-2012 — Here’s a modern Nissan that seems more in line with the company’s reputation. The Frontier has a few common problems, but is generally a decent little truck.
Used Vehicle Review: Acura RDX, 2007-2012 — The RDX is Acura’s compact crossover, and the first-generation model is a quirky vehicle, for being the only Honda-built product to use a turbocharged engine. Common problems include air conditioning compressor failures, but the basics — engine, transmission and nifty all-wheel drive system — seem to be pretty tough.
There’s a lot to like about the 2012 Kia Rio, including its sharp looks and fun handling. My main complaint are the optimistic fuel consumption estimates, which are nowhere close to what the car is capable of in real-world driving. Read my full Autos.ca review here.
The second-generation Hyundai Santa Fe, produced between 2007 and 2012, is a good vehicle, but is more representative of the company in transition that Hyundai was then, and not the brand gunning for the top that it is now. Read my Autos.ca used vehicle review here.