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  • Redesigned Optima a refined, drama-free family sedan loaded with features
    Style to spare

    ASPEN, Colo. -- "Lots of 'rich people rules' around here," my passenger said, noting the abundance of thou-shalt-nots posted around the town. Postcard quaint and reeking of casually affected affluence, the resort town of Aspen is home to more than 50 billionaires. It's hard to imagine "gonzo journalism" founder Hunter S. …

    October 30, 2015

  • Smart ED an electrifying automotive home run
    Battery up!

    When the Smart Fortwo was launched, it quickly became the biggest thing in small. I won't say I hated it, but my feelings for it were certainly leaning toward that end of the emotional spectrum. The combination of the gas motor and sequential gearbox meant if you didn't switch to manual …

    October 23, 2015

  • Subaru Impreza no-frills, affordable AWD car
    Gaining traction

    There's no question the Subaru name is synonymous with all-wheel-drive. What's less obvious is how many of those in the market for an affordable new ride know there's an all-wheel drive option that is also a car? Put four driven wheels and a sub-$30,000 price tag at the top of your …

    October 9, 2015

  • It's built by Mazda, but the new Yaris is a winner
    The Toyota that isn't

    QUEBEC CITY -- This is the best Toyota Mazda ever built. It's the 2016 Toyota Yaris sedan, an all-new Yaris and a departure for Yaris in many ways. For one, it feels almost as large as a Corolla, and secondly, it isn't the morphing of a hatchback into a -- let's …

    October 9, 2015

  • Gearhead concession: new Explorer not a truck, I'm OK with that

    Since I never watched Breaking Bad, failed science and the closest I've ever come to meth is the sweet smell of nitromethane spewing from the exhaust pipe of a vintage dragster, as usual I don't have a hot clue what Kelly Taylor is talking about. That said, I purely understand his …

    October 2, 2015

  • Ford's new Explorer all good, no bad
    Breaking ground

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- "If that's true, if you don't know who I am, then maybe your best course is to tread lightly." Chilling words from Walter White, methamphetamine cook extraordinaire, came to mind as William Mattiacce, an SUV communications manager for Ford Motor Co., was explaining why the list of stops …

    October 2, 2015

  • New Volkswagen Sportwagon modern version of old favourite
    Familiar friend

    In the interest of full disclosure, it should be known I'm a repeat Volkswagen owner, dating back to 2001 when I purchased a used Jetta 1.8T not too long after test driving one for a review. To date, we've owned four VWs as a family, with a 2012 Golf TDI …

    September 18, 2015

  • 2016 Fortwo ups its IQ in all respects, including new transmissions and handling
    Getting Smart

    PORTLAND, ORE. -- You couldn't say it nicely if you tried, so in the end, they didn't bother."Fixing the transmission was our No. 1 priority," said Chris Goczan, national product manager for Mercedes-Benz Canada, and by extension, Smart Canada.For the first two generations, the Smart Fortwo had a few, shall …

    September 11, 2015

  • Chevy's full-sized SUV keeps family connected on long road trip
    SUPREME utility vehicle

    At the top of Lake Huron, where the water is a Caribbean blue, a long archipelago known as Manitoulin Island shelters a summer paradise. Way up here, about a seven-hour drive northwest from Ottawa, there is sparse traffic, few bugs and even fewer people. The land and water views unfold …

    September 11, 2015

  • Luxury brand to offer economical alternative
    To Infiniti... for less

    Napa, Calif. — Infiniti is expanding its 2011 luxury sedan offerings with an addition to its G series, the G25, which will become the entry model for the brand’s best-selling line. Until now, Infiniti has been forced to face the competition with just one engine in its stable, but this new …

    October 22, 2010