Auto industry notes: new models and features rolling out

New models, retooled favourites and significant new features

Auto industry notes: new models and features rolling outIt's time for some auto industry odds and ends, random notes and updates that have come my way lately. Subaru Subaru has just announced the pricing structure for the 2022 Legacy and Outback. Available in five trim levels, the newest Legacy continues to have a full-time all-wheel-drive system and can be had with a turbocharged…

The 2011 Kia Soul is both cute and practical

The Soul surprised with its reserve power, nimbleness and, in particular, its lack of rattles, looseness or mysterious noises

The 2011 Kia Soul is both cute and practicalThe Kia Soul was introduced to the North American market in 2010. Based on the Rio platform, it was one of the new breed of stubby compact urban crossover wagons, such as the Nissan Cube, Scion xB, Honda Element, Ford Flex and so on. When it hit the market, Kia was also targeting the Dodge…

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: 2011 Mazda CX-7 stands the test of time

The CX-7 was a cut above competitors, but it had less cargo space and was not available with a V6 engine or manual transmission

Buying used: 2011 Mazda CX-7 stands the test of timeAvailable with front-wheel or all-wheel drive, the Mazda CX-7 got a bit of a facelift in 2011, continuing as a steady, if not spectacular, performer for the company. This vintage of the mid-size SUV is essentially a carryover from 2010. While the CX-7 didn’t share its platform with any Ford products, it featured an interesting…

Lincoln Corsair fussy, uncomfortable and badly conceived

Now and then, a car comes my way I simply can’t get along with

Lincoln Corsair fussy, uncomfortable and badly conceivedNow and then, a car comes my way I simply can’t get along with. Almost everything about it presents an obstacle to a pleasant driving experience. I seem to spend half my time fussing and fighting with it. In this case, it was the 2021 Lincoln Corsair which, despite embodying the pinnacle of automotive design…

Buying used: 2011 Mustang convertible offers top-down fun

Once the top is down, you understand. As well as improving all-round visibility, it gives this car a whole new dimension in driveability

Buying used: 2011 Mustang convertible offers top-down funWhen Ford introduced its Mustang convertible in 1964, it was powered by an optional 260-cubic-inch (4.3-litre) cast-iron V8 engine that developed just over 160 horsepower. It was later bumped up to 289 cubic inches and more, and Ford went on to sell over a million of the first-generation Mustang in its first year of production.…

Lexus RX 450h offers comfort in a hybrid package

The RX 450 is roomy, cheap to run and very comfortable. For most folks in this market, that’s more than enough

Lexus RX 450h offers comfort in a hybrid packageAlthough hybrid vehicles have been around for decades (Ferdinand Porsche developed a gas/electric vehicle in 1899), Toyota/Lexus really got the ball rolling when they introduced the Prius in 1997. The Prius has been phenomenally successful, selling over a million units worldwide, and remains the benchmark by which all other hybrids are judged. So successful has…

Buying used: 2011 Infiniti M sedans have plenty of jump

What set this breed of Infiniti apart were the things that pampered the driver and occupants

Buying used: 2011 Infiniti M sedans have plenty of jumpRestyled and re-engineered for 2011, Infiniti’s M sedan was offered as an M37 or M56, and was available with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. There were two engine choices: a 3.7-litre V6 and 5.6-litre V8. The latter power plant belted out a hefty 420 horsepower, which was up 95 horsepower from the previous model and…

Toyota Sienna proves the minivan still worth a look

The SUV may have eclipsed the minivan in popularity but, most of the time, they do the same thing

Toyota Sienna proves the minivan still worth a lookWhile SUVs of all shapes and sizes have exploded in popularity, the equally usable minivan has quietly languished. General Motors and Ford don’t make minivans anymore, and while some other manufacturers have taken up the slack, they don’t sell in huge numbers. That’s kind of a shame because, for most applications, a minivan can do…

Buying used: Golf GTI offers exceptional handling

Few competitors could keep up when things got interesting and the GTI was more than enough for most drivers

Buying used: Golf GTI offers exceptional handlingEssentially unchanged from 2010 to 2011, this generation of the Volkswagen Golf GTI actually debuted in the fall of 2006. Power was ably provided by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that developed 200 horsepower and 207 foot-pounds of torque. Premium gas was required. Transmission choices were either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic with…
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